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We encourage you to take advantage of our homestay program because it both reinforces classroom instrfuction and motivates you by offering you the opportunity to communicate in real life situations. This type of interaction will help you learn Spanish faster and more easily than would be possible if you were to stay in a hotel. It’s also an economical option, at only $210 per week including two meals a day and laundry service. (See complete price information for prices of all our courses.)
Costa Ricans are excellent hosts who love to receive visitors and will take pride in making you feel at home. You will enjoy your experience living with “Ticos.” Hesitant about living and sharing family life with people you don’t know? While it has its challenging moments, you can rest assured that we have taken great care to place you with families that will make you feel comfortable.
You will have a private room equipped with a bed, desk, chair, lamp, nightstand, and window. In some homes, students have a private bathroom, although more frequently, it will be shared. In addition, when selecting families we take into account the home, neighborhood, family composition and public transportation options.
Most importantly, we look for families who are interested in providing you with more than just your meals and a room. Our families are concerned about your well-being and are interested in sharing their culture and learning about yours. Many students ask their host families to help them with homework and to correct their speaking errors.
In order to ensure that students have a great experience with their families, our homestay coordinator has a thorough screening and training program for families, which includes an application, site inspection and interview. Through regularly-scheduled meetings and training opportunities, we maintain friendly relationships with our families and ensure that they are prepared to meet our students’ needs. And, of course, we ask our students to evaluate their host families. We use your evaluations to make recommendations to our families, to determine areas in which we should do training and ensure that we work with enthusiastic, caring families in which students are guaranteed clean, comfortable and well-maintained homes.
ILISA’s policy is to place no more than one student per family unless students request otherwise. If you have any preferences regarding your host family you can indicate them on your registration form. Although we cannot always meet all your preferences, especially in case of last-minute registrations, we will make every effort to match them.
And, of course, if you are unhappy with your family stay, we will be happy to relocate you to another home.