CPI Frequently Asked Questions

Does CPI Spanish Immersion provide both San Jose (SJO) airport pick up and transportation between campuses for all CPI campuses: Heredia, Monteverde, and/or Flamingo?

The CPI staff is happy to arrange your San Jose (SJO) pick up/drop off and intercampus transportation.  Details are as follows:

SJO AIRPORT:

We would like to emphasize that the SJO pick up and drop off service offered by CPI is only for those students staying in either a homestay or one of the CPI rooms/apartments/villas at either Heredia, Monteverde or Flamingo.

Arrival:

  • For students enrolled at CPI Heredia as their first school, a driver picks up the student and takes him/her directly to their homestay in San Joaquín de Flores.
  • Homestay or non-homestay students heading to Monteverde or Flamingo have an optional ARRIVAL PACKAGE to make their initial start smoother.

Our pre-arranged ARRIVAL PACKAGE includes airport pickup at SJO and staying in a local accommodation close to the airport before traveling to Monteverde or Flamingo. The following day, students will be transported to their accommodation in Flamingo or Monteverde via semi-private shuttle. This arrival package fee includes airport pick up at SJO, one night at a B&B in a single room and the aforementioned transportation to Flamingo or Monteverde. This is also an option for friends, families and couples traveling together; we have special prices for families traveling with kids under 12 years old.

  • The price of the local accommodation and private transportation is not included in the tuition price; these are extra costs. CPI makes the ARRIVAL PACKAGE reservation; please inform the CPI Admissions Office of your plans.
  • PLEASE NOTE: we do not offer airport pick up from the airport in Liberia (LIR), but our CPI Admissions staff can pre-arrange this service in advance and confirm the cost prior to your arrival. 

Departure:

  • The week-end after students finish their classes, transportation is available to SJO. Students finishing classes at the Heredia campus are picked up from their homestay; students whose last week of classes is at Monteverde or Flamingo are picked up at the B&B in San Joaquin as part of the Departure Package (an additional fee, not included in the tuition price).
  • PLEASE NOTE: we do not offer airport drop off to the airport in Liberia (LIR), but can pre-arrange this service in advance and confirm the cost prior to your arrival. 

Local Tours/ Intercampus Transfers

Each of the CPI campuses has a bilingual Student Coordinator on staff to arrange weekday and weekend activities and excursions to the most popular nearby sites.  CPI specializes in organizing all your tours and excursions while in Costa Rica. The goal is to provide high quality tours at reasonable prices, while remaining dedicated to the concept of Spanish immersion by utilizing guides experienced in working with language students.

Weekend trips can also be combined with intercampus transfers to bring the student to the next CPI site. The student is picked up for the activity at their current campus, and then dropped off with their luggage at their homestay/lodging at the new campus. If a student does not wish to participate in a weekend tour, intercampus transportation can be arranged with the Student Coordinator; pricing depends on the transportation company and route.

PLEASE NOTE: tour prices are not included in the program price and availability of any given tour depends on a minimum amount of student participants. 

Non-homestay students

For non-homestay students who need to travel to Monteverde or Flamingo, we recommend the previously explained local accommodation/private transportation combination and we are happy to make these transportation arrangements to Monteverde/Flamingo for non-homestay students. It is necessary to inform the CPI Admissions Office in advance if the non-homestay student would like to take advantage of this "combo".

 

What is the best way to communicate with my family and friends back home while in classes at CPI in Costa Rica?

All CPI campuses offer free Wi-Fi and international calls by way of a SKYPE phone. You can fax or send letters for a small cost, and family members may send you letters through the CPI address.

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High speed internet service is available free of charge at all CPI campuses for CPI students on the shared computers in the libraries of each school during working hours. You can also use CPI's wireless internet service available at all CPI campuses, also free of charge. You, too, will find that Wi-Fi is readily available at local restaurants.

If you would like to send a fax, you can do so at the the school for a small fee. In addition, you may have letters sent to CPI, but please note that letters typically take two weeks to arrive from North America. Express mail companies are also an option, if you need something sent quickly.

In addition, you can communicate with your family by telephone. CPI offers free international and local calls through Skype. Ask at reception which countries are included in this service.

Another good option for communicating is by using applications through Wi-Fi with a hand-held device; current popular options are Skype, WhatsApp or Viber. Another route is to rent a cell phone (see cellular phone section below).

Does CPI have experience teaching advanced Spanish students? Heritage students?

Yes!  Many advanced students have studied with us, as have heritage students.

Can I use my cellular phone in Costa Rica while studying with CPI Spanish Immersion?

Once in Costa Rica, you can buy a pre-paid cell phone.  Alternatively, you can also bring your own cell phone and buy a local SIM card.

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It is possible to bring your own cell phone and buy a SIM card ($5 or more).  Important: in order to use a SIM card, make sure that your cell phone is unblocked and works on 850Mha frequency.  SIM cards do not work on AT&M, MCI, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile cell phones unless specially unlocked with the provider.  Check with your provider before arriving to Costa Rica to arrange for your phone to be compatible with a local SIM card.  With proper notice, some providers also offer the option of temporarily disconnecting your home service while abroad.  

SIM cards can be purchased in your country before coming or can also be purchased at the airport.  It is recommended that you purchase your SIM card at a local vendor in Costa Rica.  Please note that your passport is required when purchasing and setting up your local, prepaid service. 

You can recharge your cellular minutes at a variety of local stores, but they require payment in cash.  The main cellular carriers in Costa Rica are Kolbi, Movistar, Claro, and your CPI staff will be happy to give recommendations about which network you should choose based on your travel plans.

CPI also offers free international and local calls through Skype.  Ask at reception which countries are included in this service. 

Do I have the same CPI Immersion Spanish professor every week?

While all CPI teachers have mastered the customized CPI methodology, CPI recognizes the importance of being exposed to the unique and varied styles of different professors; as such, each week students change professors in order to experience different expressions, vocabulary, accents and conversation topics.

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