CPI Frequently Asked Questions


Why should I study Spanish in Costa Rica?

There are many different countries in the world where one can study Spanish. Costa Rica, however, offers some unique advantages. Costa Rica is known around the world for its stable, democratic government. After abolishing its army in 1948, Costa Rica funneled a large portion of its national budget toward education and health care; today, the country boasts the highest literacy rate in Latin America, and a high-quality educational and health system.

Costa Rica also is home to tremendous biodiversity. The country is teeming with wildlife and natural beauty, allowing visitors to climb a mountain volcano in the morning and relax on the beach in the afternoon. Costa Rica has a long-standing commitment to environmental conservation; about 13 percent of the country is dedicated to national parks, and over 25 percent is protected in the form of biological and environmental reserves.



Why choose a host family? What are the CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica host families like?

All of our host families are carefully screened, and are accustomed to housing foreign students. The families are very patient and go out of their way to help our students learn Spanish.

Our families are diverse - young couples without children, couples with children (of all age groups) and older couples with grown children who no longer live at home. We always do our best to accommodate students' wishes concerning homestay families. If the student does not state a preference, we typically place them with couples of the same age group.

The majority of CPI homestays are within 20 minutes walking distance of the school. If your homestay is more than a 25-minute walk from the school, we will pick you up and bring you to classes without extra cost.

The standard of living of CPI homestay families is middle-class by Costa Rican standards. However, most students will find a simpler way of life than to which they are accustomed, especially in Monteverde and Flamingo. Students should remember that although its economy is better than most in Central America, Costa Rica is still a country in development and many homes do not have the same consumer items which are found in North America and Europe. Each homestay is clean and safe, and all students have a private bedroom.



How safe is Costa Rica and the locations of CPI Spanish Immersion?
Good question as advanced preparation is key to a positive travel experience! Costa Rica is a serene country, committed to upholding its history of peace and diplomacy. The nation also depends greatly on tourism from the United States, Canada and Europe; each visitor is warmly welcomed with respect and kindness. However, travelers should always use their common sense and best judgment, especially when visiting major cities.



Location of CPI: San Joaquín, Monteverde and Flamingo

San Joaquín

San Joaquín de Flores is a small town, just close enough to San José to enjoy the benefits of a big city, yet far enough away to maintain a sense of serenity outside the traffic and tension of San José. This distance allows students to experience the people and culture of a small Costa Rican community, relatively free of tourists and other English speakers.


Monteverde offers students the opportunity to visit Costa Rica's famous cloud forests and enjoy a variety of exciting outdoor activities while studying Spanish. With its clean air, beautiful mountain views, and easy access to the Monteverde and Santa Elena cloud forest reserves, CPI Monteverde is the ideal location for nature, hiking, and birding enthusiasts.


Flamingo is a small beach town with a distinctive rural feel. Guanacastecos, or people from Guanacaste, are well known for their warm hospitality. Since the school is on the beach, this location, like Monteverde, is an excellent choice for those who wish to combine language study with a vacation.

Get a Free CPI Catalogue