DATES & DEADLINES
- Application Deadline: Friday, May 17, 2019
- Program Deposit Due: Friday, June 14, 2019
- Balance of Program Fees Due: Friday, July 12, 2019
- Tuition: Check you campus’s calendar
- Program Dates: Saturday, August 17 to Saturday, September 14, 2019
Contact your WCCCSA Campus Coordinator for more information about spending four weeks in Costa Rica!
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Costa Rica is a land of many natural wonders: Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, luscious rainforests, abundant animal and plant life, and volatile volcanoes. Immerse yourself in language and culture while surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty and the warm, welcoming people of Costa Rica. The Costa Ricans (Ticos y Ticas) are dedicated to promoting harmony between nature, community development, and economic growth. They have made a major commitment to protect the nation’s natural resources and beauty while preserving its long tradition of political democracy and stability. Costa Rica offers you a safe and accessible place to study and to explore the peaceful beauty of its natural treasures. It offers reliable public transportation, the highest literacy rate in Central America, and an excellent healthcare system. Whether studying Spanish or researching rainforest ecosystems, the congeniality of the people along with the steaming volcanoes, pristine beaches, virgin forests, plus the unique birds, mammals, and ocean life all combine to make Costa Rica an idyllic place to live and study.
You will live and study in beautiful Alajuela, located just 30 minutes from the capital, San Jose. Alajuela is a small town surrounded by coffee and sugar plantations. Courses are held at the Instituto de Cultura y Lengua Costarricense (ICLC), Costa Rica’s premier language institute. ICLC language school is set on a hillside surrounded with tropical flowers and fruits in the outskirts of Alajuela. To learn more about Alajuela, Costa Rica, visit http://www.iclc.ws/where-is-iclc.html.
You will take five credits of Spanish immersion at ICLC. Classes are taught by qualified ICLC instructors. Spanish classes meet for four hours per day, five days per week and generally have no more than five students per class, allowing plenty of time to improve speaking and listening skills. There will be special cultural activities offered by ICLC and WCCCSA, in addition to mini-courses and optional day-trips and excursions that will be offered during weekday afternoons and on weekends.
You will live in a homestay with a local Costa Rican family. You will have a private, furnished room, and two meals per day, breakfast and dinner. Homestays are located within a 30 minute bus ride from ICLC. You are encouraged to interact with your homestay family as much as possible to facilitate learning the Spanish language and culture, and to get to know the host family. You are expected to respect the norms and customs of your host family. To learn more about host families, visit http://www.iclc.ws/Host_Families.html
- Orientation Tour: Enjoy a familiarization tour of Alajuela and a walking tour to Grecia. The tour will include traveling from ICLC through the homestay neighborhoods and onto Alajuela where you can locate services and amenities like parks, malls, and stores and will include a visit to the Juan Santamaria Museum (tour and lunch included).
- Excursion: three-day, two-night trip to Manual Antonio National Park (transportation, lodging, and breakfast included).
- Day-Trip: Tour of Doka coffee plantation, visit to Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfalls (transportation, entrance fees, and lunch included).
- Optional Mini-Courses: Topics vary but may include a dance class, a cooking class, traditional games, the Costa Rican healthcare system, the Costa Rican educational system, etc. (these are included in the program fee).
- Optional Cultural Activities: Activities vary but may include a visit to the local Farmers Market, Tropical Bird Zoo, Pre-Columbian Gold Museum in San Jose, a hospital, a private school, a daycare center, etc. (entrance fees and transportation (usually a small bus fee) is not included in the program fee to allow for program flexibility).
- Optional Excursions: Tortuga Island Pacific Cruise day-trip, overnight visit to Arenal Volcano and Baldí Hot Springs including a canopy tour (12 zip lines, Tarzan swing, and superman cable), and Pacuare River class IV rafting day-trip (these optional excursions are not included in the program fee).
- Independent Travel: Use your free weekends to explore Costa Rica’s many attractions. There will be a travel coordinator at ICLC to assist you with travel plans. Student favorites include Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Jaco Beach and the Caribbean coast, visits to rainforests and butterfly farms, day-trips to San Jose to visit the MADC art museum, the National Museum, the La Salle Museum of Natural Sciences, and a train ride to Puntarenas, among other destinations.
Based on an enrollment of up to 14 participants.
- Airport pick-up by host family (if arriving before 10pm)
- Private room in homestay (one student per family)
- Breakfast and dinner seven days per week
- Pre-Departure Orientation
- On-site arrival orientation
- Welcome reception with lunch
- Tour of Alajuela & museum visit
- Doka coffee plantation tour
- Visit to Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfalls (transportation, entrance fees, and lunch included)
- Three-day, two-night excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park (transportation, lodging, and breakfast included)
- Afternoon cultural presentations and activities
- Departure ceremony and lunch
- Medical and travel insurance
- Round-trip airfare
- College tuition and fees (paid to your home campus)
- Passport fees (and visa fees, if applicable)
- Lunches (approximately $7 per day)
- Taxi to airport after the program (approximately $20)
- Costa Rican departure tax (approximately $29)
- Spending money
PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION (mandatory)
- Date: July TBD
- Time: 10am – 3pm
- Location: Bellevue College
What to bring:
- Signed copy of the Student Guidelines
- Copy of your passport
- Flight itineraries
- Notepad to take notes
- And questions
You should also invite parents, guardians, or whomever you feel should attend with you. Coffee will be provided in the morning and lunch will be included.