2018 Sessions

Two Week – $3,595
Monteverde Summer 1:  June 16 – 30
Flamingo Summer 2:  June 30 – July 14

Four Week – $6,795
Monteverde+Flamingo:  June 16 – July 14

Pre-Requisites
Age Requirements: In grades 9-12    Language Requirement:  At least 1 year of Spanish
AP/IB Preparation
Upper level courses incorporate AP/IB course material, themes & exercises to prepare students for these classes
What's Included
Flight Information
Flight booking guidelines are posted on the Flight Information Page.

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Natural Immersion in Monteverde…

Tucked away in the heart of the highland cloud forest, the towns of Monteverde and Santa Elena offer SPI participants an ideal location to experience the authentic “tico” way of life. Monteverde’s lush hills provide a spectacular backdrop, and there is a plethora of outdoor activities that afford students the opportunity to improve their Spanish skills and immerse locally. Live the good life with SPI in Costa Rica – Pura Vida!

Pura Vida in Playa Flamingo…

Flamingo Beach is renowned for its breathtakingly beautiful beaches, crystal-clear water and peaceful, small-town environment. Despite its quaint size, Flamingo offers students a vast array of adventure activities beyond fine tuning their Spanish skills! Some activities include kayaking, zip-lining, surfing, horseback riding, snorkeling, wildlife hikes, or just relaxing!

COSTA RICA PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Costa Rica Blogs       Gallery+Testimonials

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Academics & Volunteer

ACADEMIC OVERVIEW

School: Local language institute

Course Hours: 40 Hours of Spanish Language & Culture 20-40 Hours Community Service (40 Hours for Month)

Spanish Language & Conversation:  Students are broken up into levels and attend Spanish language and conversation classes Monday – Friday in the afternoons. The courses focus on developing Spanish communication skills by simulating real-life situations through interactive class activities; these include writing, oral expression, film, music, food, and literature.

> Spanish levels 1 through AP/IB
> 5-10 Students per Class
> Certified native instructors with advanced teaching degrees

COMMUNITY & VOLUNTEER SERVICE

Students engage in volunteer service work 2-3 days during the week. The volunteer service component is designed to immerse students in the local community as they make a positive contribution. Students will earn a certificate of completion of volunteer hours ranging from 12-24 hours.

Service Hours Two Week:  12 Hours   Month: 24 Hours

Costa Rica Volunteer Projects:

> Home Repair, Public Works Projects, Orphanages & Youth Outreach, Nature Park  Preservation

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Activities & Excursions

ELECTIVE ACTIVITIES

In addition to SPI’s volunteer service program, students will have the exciting opportunity to enhance their experience abroad by participating in optional elective courses and activities! Electives range from sports activities to unique cultural events, and are designed to further engage students into the local culture and, of course, to just have fun! Specific electives will vary per program and are based on student interest and weather. Upon arrival abroad, students will choose which electives they wish to participate in.

Costa Rica Elective Activities:

> Elective Courses:  Salsa/Latin Dance Course, Surfing Course (Flamingo), Adventure Course – Zip Line, Rafting, Climbing, Horseback Riding (Flamingo), Canopy Tour, Costa Rican Cooking and Gastronomy
*Optional elective activities may have an additional cost

TRAVEL EXCURSIONS

From visits to world class museums to magnificent hikes through lush mountains, students explore the most important monuments, cities and natural wonders in the Monteverde and Flamingo Beach regions. Weekend and cultural day travel excursions help students dynamically use the language of study and interact with the local community.

Possible Travel Excursions:

> Liberia (Arrival City)
> Puntarenas & Beach Trip (Monteverde)
> Santa Elena Reserve (Monteverde)
> Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and Nature Preserve (Flamingo)
> Tamarindo & Brasilito Beach (Flamingo)

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Costa Rica Quote

What Alumni Say…

“From bartering prices at the local market to just simply telling your teacher about that day’s adventure, there were opportunities everywhere to practice and use my Spanish!  Also, the food was delicious!  I wish I could have taken back to America some of my mama Tica’s arroz con pollo!”

Cara, Virginia

“Traveling to Costa Rica with SPI was a trip of a lifetime that left me with endless memories and lifelong friendships. My teachers and directors were supportive and helpful through out the trip. I had one of the best times of my life and I know I will never forget my experience. Thank you, SPI, for giving me this amazing opportunity!”

Katie, New York

“This program was a great experience!  Not only did I get amazing opportunities to practice and improve my Spanish, I was also able to completely immerse myself in Costa Rican culture and make friends that will last a lifetime.”

Nicholas, Pennsylvania

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Safety & Supervision

ON-SITE DIRECTORS & STAFF

Directors and on-site staff are professional multilingual educators and caring leaders who serve as international “moms and dads”. We maintain a highly personal student to director ratio of typically one director for every eight students. Directors actively participate in all aspects of the immersion experience focusing on student well-being, cultural adjustments, and daily check ins to ensure active student participation.

DAILY SUPERVISION & FREE TIME

To ensure student safety, on-site directors are available 24 hours a day and carry local cell phones at all times. Directors check-in with students on a daily basis in the mornings, afternoons and evenings and monitor all aspects of the program. At SPI, we believe in the educational value of giving students a structured amount of free-time on certain mornings. Students are expected to abide by SPI’s standards of conduct at all times and we implement a “buddy system.”

CURFEW:  9-10 PM (Costa Ricans are in bed early!)

YOUR DAY ABROAD IN COSTA RICA

Morning

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7:00 – 8:00 Breakfast with Homestay & Transportation

Enjoy a light breakfast of breads, cereal, and juice/coffee. You will either walk or have transportation provided to arrive at the morning activity or volunteer project.

9:00 – 11:30 Morning Volunteer Projects & Elective Activities

Two to three mornings per week, you will engage in meaningful service projects that help you connect with the community. On the other mornings, you will participate in exciting and new elective courses! Learn to surf, develop your photography skills, or zip line…

Afternoon

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12:00 – 1:00 Lunch & Transportation to Language Institute

Lunch will be included after nearly all activities and volunteer projects. Some days, you will have a cooking class to learn how to prepare your own “tico” cuisine!

1:30 – 5:30 Spanish Language, Culture, and Conversation Courses

Be amazed at how quickly your Spanish improves with SPI’s master instructors at the institute in Monteverde or Flamingo! Classes are both engaging and fun.

Evening

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5:30 – 7:00 Meeting with Directors and Evening Free-Time

In the early evening, you will have an informal group meeting to review tomorrow’s activities with directors. Before heading back to your homestay, enjoy time studying, exploring with friends, or taking a swim!

7:00 – 9:30 Evening Meal & Conversations With Your Homestay

Enjoy the evening practicing your Spanish while talking with your homestay around the dinner table. Costa Ricans are in bed early as they tend to be early risers.

COSTA RICA ITINERARIES

2 WEEK – MONTEVERDE

Day 1 Depart for Liberia, Costa Rica!

¡Bienvenidos! Get to know your group with an orientation meeting and then meet your tico homestay!

Days 2 Orientation Tour & First Day of Spanish Courses

Enjoy an orientation tour of Monteverde and visit to the enchanting Santa Elena Cloud Forest. In the afternoon, meet your Profesor/a and class after a language placement exam.

Days 3-6 Regular Courses, Elective Activities + Volunteer Service Work

Make a difference with morning volunteer service and elective activities followed by afternoon language and conversation courses. Your journey to fluency has begun!

Day 7 Explore the Beautiful Beaches of Isla Tortuga

Discover the amazing Isla Tortuga with its pristine beaches, crystal clear blue water, and postcard-perfect natural beauty.

Day 8 Quality Time with Homestay & Friends + Group Activity

Tico Sundays are the perfect day to take in the local culture, spend time with your homestay, and take advantage of the natural wonders around you!

Days 9-13 Regular Courses, Elective Activities + Volunteer Service Work

Be amazed by the progress you’ve made in your language skills and your ability to thrive in a new culture!

Day 14 Travel to Guanacaste Coast near Liberia

Bid farewell to your beloved Tico homestays before exploring the picturesque Guanacasta Coast. Lounge on sparkling, pristine beaches and swim in the crystal blue waters of the Papagayo Gulf!

Day 15 Depart Costa Rica for Home

¡Buen viaje! Return home with amazing memories of Costa Rica!

2 WEEK – FLAMINGO

Day 1  Depart for Liberia, Costa Rica!

¡Bienvenidos! Get to know your group with an orientation meeting and then meet your tico homestay!

Days 2  Orientation Tour & First Day of Spanish Courses

Enjoy a fun orientation tour of enchanting Flamingo Beach. In the afternoon, meet your Profesor/a and class after a language placement exam.

Days 3-6  Regular Courses, Elective Activities + Volunteer Service Work

Make a difference with morning volunteer service and elective activities, followed by afternoon language and conversation courses.  Your journey to fluency has begun!

Day 7  Travel Excursion to Rincón de la Vieja Volcano

Discover the awe-inspiring Rincón de la Vieja National Park; marvel at the lush green valley framing the grand volcano at the center.

Day 8  Quality Time with Homestay & Friends – Group Activity

Relish life as local ticos do by eating un helado while basking in the coastal sun and exploring the majestic landscape and culture at your fingertips.

Days 9-13  Regular Courses, Elective Activities + Volunteer Service Work

Be amazed by the progress you’ve made in your language skills and your ability to thrive in a new culture!

Day 14  Enjoy a Final Day Exploring the Region

Soak up the splendor of the Guanacaste coast before bidding farewell to your beloved Tico homestays.

Day 15  Depart Costa Rica for Home

¡Buen viaje! Return home with amazing memories of Costa Rica!

Month MONTEVERDE + FLAMINGO

Day 1  Depart for Liberia, Costa Rica!

¡Bienvenidos!  Get to know your group with an orientation meeting and then meet your tico homestay!

Days 2  Orientation Tour & First Day of Spanish Courses

Embark on an orientation tour of Monteverde and visit to the enchanting Santa Elena Cloud Forest. In the afternoon, meet your Profesor/a and class after a language placement exam.<

Days 3-6  Regular Courses, Elective Activities + Volunteer Service Work

Make a difference with morning volunteer service and elective activities followed by afternoon language and conversation courses. Your journey to fluency has begun!

Day 7  Travel Excursion to the Beautiful Beaches of Isla Tortuga

Discover the amazing Isla Tortuga with its pristine beaches, crystal clear blue water, and postcard-perfect natural beauty.

Day 8  Quality Time with Homestay & Friends + Group Activity

Tico Sundays are the perfect day to take in the local culture, spend time with your homestay, and take advantage of natural wonders around you!

Days 9-13  Regular Courses, Elective Activities + Community Service Work

Be amazed by the progress you’ve made in your language skills and ability to thrive in a new culture!

Day 14  Travel to Playa Flamingo near Liberia

Bid farewell to Monteverde before settling into your new home next to the picturesque Guanacaste Coast. Lounge on sparkling, pristine beaches and swim in the crystal blue waters of the Papagayo Gulf!

Day 15  Quality Time with Friends & Meet Summer 2 Participants

Enjoy a relaxing Sunday taking in the good life, and meet Summer 2 participants upon their arrival.

Days 16-20  Regular Courses, Elective Activities + Volunteer Service Work

Spanish fluency is in your grasp and Costa Rica has become your ‘home away from home’!

Day 21  Travel Excursion to Rincón de la Vieja Volcano.

Discover the awe-inspiring Rincón de la Vieja National Park; marvel at the lush green valley framing the grand volcano at the center.

Days 23-27  Regular Courses, Elective Activities + Volunteer Service Work

Dreaming in Spanish yet?! Your Spanish fluency has allowed you to discover another world!

Day 28  Enjoy a Final Day Exploring the Region

Relish your last day as ticos do by eating un helado while exploring the majestic landscape and culture at your fingertips.

Day 29  Depart Costa Rica for Home

¡Buen viaje! Return home with amazing memories of Costa Rica!

Information for Parents on SPI Study Abroad Programs for Teenagers

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