Homestay: Your Costa Rica
‘HOME SWEET HOME’
Double your ‘Spanish immersion in Costa Rica’ success by living with your very own Costa Rican host family! Our SEPA Spanish School homestay family coordinator carefully partners you up with your ideal Costa Rican family. Once you arrive our coordinator stays in close contact with you and checks in frequently with the family. How is it going? Is there anything you need help with? Our job is to ensure a happy, rewarding time for you.
Will living with a family help me learn Spanish faster in Costa Rica?
You will be amazed at how much living with a family increases your ability to speak and understand Spanish! It’s one thing to learn Spanish from ‘lessons’ and quite another to learn Spanish from the inside out – that is, from heart and home. If you’re wondering whether to do a homestay or not, don’t miss this amazing opportunity to learn Spanish faster!
“Homestays. Possibly the most important and impacting experience of the entire trip. Nidia did a superb job selecting caring families that opened our eyes, hearts, and bellies to Costa Rican culture, hospitality, and pinto.” Overland leader, 2008
How do you choose your homestay families?
We take our family selection very seriously. Our family coordinator spends a significant amount of time searching out the ideal families for our program. First and foremost the family must have a spotless reputation and a ‘heart’ for creating an extended family. Each parent and sibling is interviewed.
We look for everyday, economically stable families with good interpersonal relationships and good life habits. They must have a happy home with a nurturing feel to it: we find you families, not just rooms. More importantly, we search out families who include you as a treasured member: a son, daughter, brother or sister. Many former students tell us that the ties they’ve created through their homestay family is a gift without measure.
Next the homestay coordinator carefully inspects the home to make sure that the physical conditions are just right for you. Our homestay family homes are visited twice a year to ensure the ongoing blue-ribbon environment for Spanish immersion.
Once chosen as a homestay family, our homestay coordinator runs regular training sessions in which families are taught how to work with different cultures, different age groups, and what to do in the case of a medical emergency. Families also learn how best to help you ‘grow’ your Spanish. Our homestay families take their responsibilities very seriously and take great pride in your accomplishments. With the regular training they become a very close-knit group, committed to learning and doing all they can to make your homestay visit the best ever!
Finally, the homestay coordinator stays in close contact with each student and their family, making sure that everybody is comfortable and happy!
“[She] made sure things were going well in my life outside the classroom, including my homestay. My homestay family was terrific, taking me along to relatives’ homes in the country and including me in family conversations on the porch overlooking the city.” Carol Polsgrove, Bloomington, Indiana
How do you choose my family?
Your enrollment form plays a key part in finding you your ideal family. We match you with family members close to your own age and gender. We pay careful attention to the answers you give in your enrollment form, so be sure to answer this thoughtfully!
Besides family support, what does my homestay family provide me?
Your family provides you with laundry service and two hearty meals a day: breakfast and dinner. Your cozy private room is clean and well-ventilated, with inside lighting and an outside window for natural lightning. You will love your comfy bed and surroundings. Best of all, you get to live a full-on Spanish cultural exchange.
When does my homestay start?
Your homestay starts on the weekend prior to the starting date of your Spanish classes. It’s recommended that you start and end your stay on a Saturday or Sunday, but if you need to start or end your stay midweek we can make special arrangements. We custom design our programs to meet your needs!
How will I get to school?
Almost all our families live within walking distance to the SEPA Spanish School. The first day, your family walks with you to school so you can learn the route. After that, the pleasure of a relaxing walk each morning and afternoon become a natural part of your daily exercise.
Just a few of our homes require a short bus ride and then a pleasant walk from the bus station to SEPA Spanish School. Once again, your Costa Rica family will go with you the first time to show you the way!
How will I get to my volunteer program sites?
SEPA Spanish School will make all your arrangements to get to your volunteer site, whether it be volunteering at our environmental protection center, working in a public school, medical facility, or whatever type of volunteering you may have chosen.
How much does homestay cost and what does it cover?
In keeping with our goal to make this the most affordable Spanish School in Costa Rica, the cost of your homestay is an easy $150 per week, paid to SEPA School. This price covers the payment to your Costa Rican family, payment to the homestay coordinator, your placement fee, and the trainings for our host families. Also included are administrative expenses and fees to participating agencies and universities.
What if I decide to stay longer?
Want to stay longer? It won’t be the first time that has happened! You must talk with our SEPA homestay coordinator, who will be happy to set it up for you.
Generally, additional days of homestay before or after the end of one’s regular program cost $25 per day. If you wish to stay for a significantly longer time as a houseguest, SEPA will make these arrangements for you as well. Or, if you decide to continue your Spanish homestay with Spanish classes for more weeks, we are always delighted! It’s just one more way we make your Spanish learning experience flexible. We’re here to match to YOU and not the other way around.
We and your new Costa Rica family look forward to settling you into your latest ‘Home Sweet Home’ in beautiful San Isidro!
Click to enroll now in our Spanish Language School!