Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

 

About Bookings
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+ When can I start my classes?
New classes start every Monday, at all levels, year-round.

+ When do I have to register to the program?
We do not have a rigid deadline for bookings, but anyway we recommend to book as early as possible to assure you availability in Spanish courses and also accommodation.

+ How is the Registration Process?
The Registration process is easy and fast. The Bookings steps are:
1- Submit the Registration Form: Fill out and submit the Registration Form here.
2- Bookings and Confirmation e-mail: As soon as we receive your form we will book all your requested services in advance and you will receive a confirmation e-mail with all your bookings and payment procedures, in less than 24 hours (48 hours for weekends).
3- Payment of the program: As soon as we receive your payment all your bookings will be confirmed. We do not have rigid deadlines for payment but we recommend to pay as early as possible to assure availability.
4- Receive program details: 10 days before start date you will send a Welcome Package via e-mail with all details, addresses, emergency phone numbers, maps, schedule, etc.

+ What if I want to change my course / city after arrival?
Changes of program / city / accommodation are possible after arrival without additional costs and any change is always subject to availability. You have to send us an email with the requested changes.

+ How long should I study?
The answer to this question depends on a number of variables including the type and intensity of the course you choose, your innate ability to learn a language, your knowledge of other languages, and your personal goals. You can choose the number of weeks of your program. We have on-going group classes at all levels year-round.

+ Will I need a visa, or will a passport be sufficient?
Most students can come to Costa Rica with just a passport and are allowed to stay for up to 90 days, depending on the nationality (USA, Canada, Europe, Australia). Please see further information here.

 

Courses
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+ Is the study material included in the Spanish course?
In all our destinations the study material, according to your level, is included (except Jaco).

+ Will I get a certificate after finishing the program?
Yes, you will get a certificate that specifies the level of Spanish achieved and the amount of hours you have taken. You will get also a progress report which includes the skills developed during your course and a recommendation letter from your teacher.

+ How many levels are there?
We have a 8 level system, from beginner to superior level. See detailed information about levels here.

+ What level of Spanish should I take?
In the first day of classes, 30 minutes before the first class you will be tested to determine your proficiency, and placed in a class accordingly. This is an oral and written test, in person. We prefer to avoid "online tests" because for us it is very important to evaluate your oral skills too.

+ Is there a minimum language level required before arrival?
No, in fact we encourage beginners to join our program, since being surrounded by a language is a great way to be introduced to it and allows a student to learn much faster!

+ Do you have a maximum or minimum age requirement at IS Costa Rica?
Adults of all ages can participate in our programs. Whether you are a college student, a company executive, or a retiree, we are proud to provide first-rate services to people diverse in age and nationality. We also offer special programs for teens and families.

+ I want to learn Spanish but I do not have much time to spend abroad. Which program is best for me?
For motivated students with limited time, we recommend our Program B or C. This one-on-one classes will propel you to a higher language proficiency level much more quickly than any other course, and gives you the specialized attention you require to focus on your personal learning needs.

+ Do you offer programs specializing in language for certain professions (business, health care, legal, etc.)?
Yes, we can customize your course to cover areas and language that you specifically need. If you are interested in studying specialized terminology, we would recommend that you take a Private Course in order to focus on your area, or take a Group+ course that supplements your group classes with private classes in the afternoon.

+ What qualifications do the teachers at IS Costa Rica have?
Our teachers are native speakers, have college degrees, and are experienced in teaching Spanish to foreigners. In addition to their professional credentials, they are selected for their abilities to keep students interested, motivated and entertained during class. See further information here

+ How will my language skills be evaluated?
The teachers and coordinators at our partner schools are constantly evaluating your progress to assure that you are not only learning as productively as possible, but that you are enjoying your stay. As proof of your efforts, you will also receive a certificate at the end of your course. This states the language you studied, your level, the date, the school you attended and its location.

 

Accommodation
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+ Where will I live while I’m studying?
Students may choose among a homestay (living with a local family), or students residences, or to book an accommodation by your own. For more specific descriptions of your housing options, please see our Accommodations section

+ Where should I go upon arrival?
If you have booked an accommodation with us, then you will receive instructions for your arrival day along with your confirmation. You will also receive the emergency phone number in case there is any problem upon your arrival. If you are taking only a course with us then you should go directly to the school on Monday at 8:00AM for the level test. Each city also has its own emergency number that will be given to the student before arrival.

+ How will I know the address of my accommodation?
10 days before arrival we will send you the address of your accommodation, and phone numbers.

 

Other Information
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+ Is it possible to study abroad in more than one location?
Absolutely. Spending time in more than one city/country can expose you to different accents, environments, and cultures. For example, you could start by taking two weeks of Spanish in San Jose, followed by Jaco or Tamarindo.

+ What makes IS Costa Rica different?
IS Costa Rica offers a practical, proven and communicative approach that will have you speaking Spanish from the very first day. Our professional teachers are qualified, dedicated, enthusiastic, and know how to make classes fun and effective. At IS Costa Rica, we also know that your experience abroad is about more than just class; it’s also about getting to know the local people and the culture. For that reason, we offer a rich program of activities, excursions, and special courses that allow you to make the most of your time in Costa Rica. See our Top 10 reasons to study with us here!

+ Can IS Costa Rica accommodate groups?
Yes! We can accommodate different-sized groups of students who want to study Spanish in Costa Rica. We can even custom-tailor a program to include excursions and trips. If you are a group interested in studying at IS Costa Rica, contact us and we will be happy to provide you with a program proposal.

+ What is the average day like?
This depends somewhat on the type of course you choose and the location, but in general the morning will be spent in class. Because of our conversational methodology, classes usually involve a lot of conversation. After class students usually will go to lunch together at a nearby restaurant perhaps followed by a trip into the city center to explore all it has to offer. Several afternoons a week, we offer excursions guided by a teacher or another type of school activity. The excursions are a great opportunity to practice the language you are learning, learn more about the city and culture, and to visit areas of the city that you may not discover on your own. The evenings are shared with your host family or discovering the city’s nightlife with fellow students. See further information here

+ Can I receive university credits?
You can receive university credits for attending to our schools but you should first visit your school’s language department in order to know the specific requirements. Common requests from universities are: course syllabus, talking to other teachers who know the program, classroom hours, course levels, academic policies, receiving progress reports from your teachers while abroad and giving you a test upon your return. We will help you gather all the necessary paperwork and you may schedule an interview with your academic advisor if needed.