How much money should I bring? Will my debit card work in Costa Rica?

CPI recommends that students bring both a credit and/or debit card as well as a certain amount of cash. ATM machines are a good option for withdrawing money and your debit card should work during your stay in Costa Rica (notify your bank in advance that you will be traveling to avoid unwanted fraud alerts).  In Flamingo there are not many ATMs close to the homestays so you should prepare accordingly. 

You may receive cash advances from VISA and Mastercard in most major banks.

What vaccinations do I need to enter Costa Rica?

There are no vaccinations required to enter Costa Rica, although the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does recommend that travelers be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B. Malaria contraction in Costa Rica is extremely rare, and most cases have been reported along the Caribbean coast; however, some visitors do bring anti-malaria medication. All tap water is potable, although if you wish to drink only bottled water it is readily available throughout the country. Costa Rica has high-quality, relatively inexpensive medical care; if you need to see a health care professional during your stay in the country, we will be happy to assist you.

Can children study Spanish at CPI Costa Rica?

Absolutely! CPI is proud to be able to assist parents in facilitating this type of opportunity for their children especially since starting a second language is so beneficial for a child’s social and cognitive development.  As a general guideline, children older than 13 may study in our intensive program; younger children follow a different linguistic program based on the child's language and maturity levels. CPI professors have extensive experience teaching children from as young as four years old; in fact, CPI is one of the only language immersion institutes to receive young children in our Spanish program.  Regardless of linguistic level with language and culture being intrinsically linked all skill levels are deepening cultural understanding during class time. 

Will I obtain a certificate for my Spanish studies at CPI Costa Rica?

Yes. Students must request the CPI certificate on their last week of classes at CPI.

An option for an official and internationally recognized certificate which has proven to well serve professional purposes is the DELE exam. The "Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera (DELE)", issued by the prestigious Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Spanish Ministry for Education and Science, are official qualifications accrediting levels of competence and command of the Spanish language; recognized worldwide by private companies, chambers of commerce and public and private educational systems, the DELE exams are the only officially accredited qualifications of the Kingdom of Spain that are administered internationally.

Can I study Spanish with my family? And with the homestay model, can all of us stay in the same host family?

Yes! CPI Spanish offers a family friendly learning environment for parents (and/or grandparents) traveling to Costa Rica with their children. For children 12 and under being introduced to Spanish, a less intensive course corresponds with the particular learning needs of young people; class time is divided into modules with emphasis on basic communication skills, vocabulary, and introduction of grammatical concepts. For those young students coming with an immersion background, the program is directed toward assisting the students fine-tune their language in the prescribed areas based on the initial CPI placement exam. For families with children under 4 babysitting service during class time hours can also be arranged while the rest of the family is in Spanish class; the family is responsible for the cost of the service.

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