What are my options if I am not interested in a homestay while I am studying Spanish at CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica?

While we highly recommend staying with a local host family for language acquisition and cultural understanding, we realize that our students might have other preferences.  If you do not want to live with a homestay family or would like to combine homestay and non-homestay accommodations, we are happy to help arrange other accommodations for you.  For example, students who decide to stay with host families in San Joaquin Heredia and the Monteverde Cloud Forest sites can request an apartment unit at Flamingo Beach (or any combo which best meets your personal linguistic goals).

What is the food like in Costa Rica? I am a vegetarian; can the CPI Spanish Immersion host family accommodate my needs?

Students find that the meals (breakfast and dinner) are typically freshly prepared with locally sourced vegetables, fruits and meats.  Do not be surprised to hear the blender running in the morning as your host mother prepares fresh sun ripened fruit juice -  your ‘fresco natural’.  Rice and beans are an important staple in most Costa Rican meals – even found at breakfast in the form of ‘gallo pinto’.  The ‘casado’ which is a 3 pronged dish of rice, beans and a meat is extremely common for lunch and dinner.  Pasta and soups are sometimes prepared.  The most popular fast food option tends to be fried chicken served with a side of pickled plantains and French fries.   

Should I bring a gift for my CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica homestay family?

This is a lovely gesture and while families do not expect gifts nor should you feel obliged, usually by the end of one week many students feel close and connected to their families and want to extend a token of appreciation. We recommend gifts particular to your area of the world, for example: a mug,

How long may I stay in my CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica homestay?

You may enter your homestay the Sunday prior to your first Monday class, and must leave no later than the Sunday after your last Friday class. If you would like to start your homestay earlier or stay extra nights beyond Sunday then you would only need to pay extra per night. Please note that if you arrive in June or July extra nights are limited based on availability.

Can families, spouses or travel companions stay in the same CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica homestay?

CPI does place students together upon request; however, because students tend to learn Spanish faster when not in constant contact with friends/spouses (due to the tendency to speak in their native language), it may be to your advantage to live in separate households; in the latter scenario you can request to be in host families near each other. Our experience is that spouses and families do tend to request to live with the same host family and we have host families which can accommodate up to 6 family members. 

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