Often students ask about their host family prior to arrival. Due to our attempts to make a good match between students and families, we do not finalize placements until a few days before the student arrives. At that point you will receive a message from the Student Coordinator of your first CPI campus
Living with a local family offers a unique window into the culture which only a small portion of travelers abroad have the fortune to experience. Additionally, the constant contact with the Spanish language ensures you are maximizing the opportunities to achieve your linguistic goals. The particular advantage of living with a host family in Costa Rica is the best treasure the country offers – Costa Ricans – who are consistently characterized as being kind hearted people who consistently seek to make visitors feel welcome.
All CPI programs at each CPI campus – Heredia typical town, Monteverde Cloud Forest & Flamingo Beach - are separated into week-long segments. While the minimum number of weeks to study is 1 week at your campus of choice, on average students tend to study 3 to 5 weeks and divide their studies between 2 or all 3 CPI sites. The average however is a general parameter and students may enroll for as many consecutive weeks as fits their schedule. CPI has hosted students with the goal of perfecting their Spanish and gaining a deep understanding of the Costa Rican culture up to 6 months. All of our Spanish classes for all linguistic levels – whether for our Intensive (4 hours per day) or Super Intensive (5 ½ hours per day) programs or our specialized professional options begin on any given Monday (with the exception of holidays).
Language acquisition depends greatly on an individual's desire and motivation to learn, the amount of time dedicated to homework and conversation practice outside of class, as well as the student’s general ability to learn a second language (this is positively influenced by having studied a second language before - for instance, students who have studied French have an easier time grasping certain grammatical concepts). Generally, in 4 weeks of study while staying with a homestay family, students can ascend one skill level in Spanish fluency (meaning, if you speak Spanish at a low beginner level now, after 4 weeks you might speak at a low intermediate level). CPI manages all Spanish levels from Beginner zero through Heritage speakers.
Is one-on-one Spanish instruction possible at CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica?While the small group size at CPI, no more than 4 students per class organized by level for our adult immersion program, makes our classes conducive to effective language acquisition, most certainly a student can receive one-on-one instruction if s/he so desires. A particular advantage to private classes is the student receives more personalized attention and can study in greater detail a specific topic of choice. Private classes can be organized for the morning or afternoon slots (20 hours per week), for example. Or even more is a possibility as we have had students with definitive professional goals take up to 8 hours daily of private classes. Alternatively, private classes can be scheduled after morning group classes as a onetime 1 or 2 hour session; or various afternoon classes can be secured either daily or every other day. In other words, the scheduling is at the discretion of the student and his/her needs. The content menu for private lessons is expansive and can extend to specialized Spanish terminology for such areas as: diplomacy, business, social work, law enforcement, politics, plant species, nutrition, information technology, petroleum, education, ecology, environment, sports, economy and medicine.