Spanish for families and couples
WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE FOR LEARNING SPANISH?
Spanish Immersion Experiences
Spanish Exploration – 3 weeks
- Designed for people at any level of Spanish who want a more concentrated and intensive learning schedule and who want to explore the Spanish language and Costa Rican culture.
Spanish Launch – 4-8 weeks
- Designed for people at any level of Spanish who want a more concentrated and intensive learning schedule and who want to launch forward with their knowledge of the Spanish language.
Fearless Talk – 12 weeks
- Designed for people at any level of Spanish who want a more concentrated and intensive learning schedule and who want to be able to speak the Spanish language with confidence and ease.
Boundless Fluency – 24 weeks
- Designed for people at any level of Spanish who want a more concentrated and intensive learning schedule and who want to be able to speak the Spanish language with fluency.
Motivational Fitness Adventure & Spanish Immersion Experience – 4 weeks
- This experience is ideal for those who would like the opportunity to focus on their health and wellness in a natural environment with little distractions, as well as be immersed in the Costa Rican culture to learn Spanish.
Online Spanish Tutoring – 4 weeks or more
- For students who would like to learn Spanish, but do not have the time or resources to study in Costa Rica, the On-Line Spanish Tutoring Experience is an ideal fit.
What can we expect at school?
The weekly schedule of classes are from Monday to Thursday – 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Families with children
- Parents: Parents are in their own class and placed according to their level.
- Teens (13-17 yrs): Teens are placed together in the same class, although at times could be with adults.
- Children (5-12 yrs): Children have their own classes, using age appropriate curriculum.
- Babies – Toddlers (0-4 yrs): Babies and Toddlers receive Daycare. They do activities in the class with emphasis on Spanish vocabulary
- Couples are placed in a class according to their Spanish speaking level.
Classes in the afternoons
Families and Couples have the option to take the following classes in the afternoons:
Intensive lessons (adults /teens) – 4 hrs/week; 2 times per week
- This class involves taking more formal lessons, as an extension of your morning classes.
Family Cooking Class (adults/teens/children) – 1 hr/week
- This student favorite takes place one day a week in the CISA Kitchen. Students are taught how to prepare local Costa Rican dishes. They take a hands on approach – cutting the vegetables, prepping the food and learning new vocabulary, etc., and then get the bonus of sampling the food at the end of the class!
Bible Terminology Class (adults/teens) – 1 hr/week
- This class is very useful for learning Biblical terminology in Spanish. Students work through bible verses, have discussions and also practice their listening and speaking skills
Natural Adventure Fitness Class (families & couples)– 1-3 times/week
- This class incorporates low impact group exercises and can include a combination of; playing soccer, volleyball, etc., or running, hiking, weight training, functional movement, Rustic Fitness (a form of Crossfit), either outdoors or at the local gym.
- Families with children enjoy being able to be active together!
- The class is a great way to stay in shape, practice your Spanish listening and speaking skills and have fun while doing it!
Medical Terminology Class (adults/teens)– 4 hrs/week
- Available for medical students and medical professionals to be able to learn specific Spanish vocabulary within the medical field. The schedule can vary. Please ask for more details.
Spanish for Teachers class – 4 hrs/week (or more)
- A special curriculum designed for Spanish teachers who want to refresh their own Spanish language skills and at the same time learn new second language teaching techniques.
First day at school
- You will arrive on the first day at 8:00 AM and begin your Spanish Assessment.
- Children will not be assessed. They begin classes immediately.
- Depending on the results of your Spanish Assessment, you will be placed in a class that is appropriate for your level and given a CISA Spanish Workbook as well.
- Class sizes are from 2-5 students.
- We typically use the first few days of classes as an evaluation period, if it appears that you are at a higher or lower level of Spanish than what your Assessment reflected, then we would move you to another class that is best suited for you.
- The first day also includes an Orientation session with the parents/ couple and after Lunch, the new students go on a guided bus tour of Turrialba to get to know the area.
- Helpful hint: Bring your own workbook to write extra notes in class.
First day - Turrialba Tour
- As a couple or as a family you will take the Public Bus with our CISA guide in order for you to experience and be familiar with the public transportation system of this area.
- The bus will leave Tuis from the main bus stop and then you will head towards the main bus terminal in Turrialba. On the way, you will see the town La Suiza which is close to Tuis that has a pharmacy, Internet café etc.
- From the main terminal in Turrialba, you will walk around the city to become familiar with key places and landmarks: Central Park, banks, coffee shop, and Internet cafe.
- It will also be an opportunity for you to exchange some of your US dollars to Colones. You will need to bring your passport if you are going to use the teller. If not, your interac card should work at the ATM machine. It is preferred that you take money out of the ATM machine, as the line-ups at the banks in Costa Rica are very long.
- After the tour, you will go back to the bus and head back to your homestay.
- Helpful hint: Bring your passport to CISA, so that you don’t have to go back to your homestay to pick up it before the tour.
- The Directors designed CISA's curriculum. It has been divided into levels. You will receive a book that corresponds to your level and class.
- As you work through the book and depending on your length of stay, you will move on to the next level and book.
- The teachers use the books as a guideline and also have extra handouts, homework, and teaching tools that they use in the class.
- For those that want to learn specific vocabulary for example; doctor's, teachers, businessperson, Pastor's, missionaries, we can cater the class to your learning needs.
- Helpful hint: Students who study/review their notes after class tend to remember more vocabulary.
Certificate and Graduation
- Upon completion of your classes at CISA, each student has a small Graduation.
- All of the students gather together to honor the student that is graduating. The teachers speak, as well as the student is able to say his/her thoughts, reflections.
- The student is also presented with a CISA Certificate, which includes the number of hours studied.
Wireless and Internet access
- Students can feel safe to bring their laptop and use the wireless Internet provided at CISA. Some of the homestay families have Internet. The Rental Homes have internet, which is charged extra.
Program coordinator guidance
- Students can be rest assured that they can contact the Program Coordinator (English speaking) at any time to discuss any concerns or questions they have during their Immersion Experience. The Coordinator is available to guide and provide insight on the cultural differences and how to best integrate and maximize one's time at CISA.
What to do after classes?
The afternoons and weekends are available for:
Volunteering with the VQC Mission
The Voice of One Crying Mission. Families and couples are welcome to join the VQC Mission Sunday church services in Tuis with their homestay families. It allows them to take part of the Costa Rican style of worship. It also gives opportunities for students to meet other local families.
CISA is able to organize group trips that want to come and combine Spanish classes and community service through the VQC Mission. Work projects, ESL, VBS, kids activities, arts, etc. are examples of possible activities.
Students and families studying at CISA are able to volunteer with the VQC Mission. Guidance is provided and projects created depending on the areas of interest of the students.
The VQC Mission is a not-for-profit mission that began in 2003 in Tuis. It was founded by two Costa Ricans from San Jose. It also has the nonprofit status of 501(c)3 in the United States. Donors are able to receive a tax receipt for financial contributions mailed to our US office.
The Mission focuses on facilitating church services, Bible studies, kids activities in the community. They also work with the Cabecar Indigenous who live on a reservation in Chirripo Mountain.
Students who are interested could join the Mission on a 3 day trip to the mountain to help provide food, do building project, health clinics, activities with children. This trip is always weather pending and the dates vary.
CISA facilitates tours via the ‘Rainforest Experience’, which arranges special Tours for students.
Some of our most popular tours are:
- Coffee Tour
- Caribbean Coast -Cahuita Beach
- Pacific Coast-Jaco & Manuel Antonio Beaches
- Turrialba Volcano & Irazu Volcano, Arenal Volcano
- San Jose shopping & movie tour
- CATIE Botanical Gardens
- Hacienda Experience – macadamia, coffee, sugar cane Estate
- and more!
Students bring a blank check or cash and pay for the tours once they are at CISA.
Payment is made at the end of your stay once you are given the invoice of all of your expenses.
Other activities can include:
- Going to the Gym in Turrialba (if not participating in the Natural Fitness Adventure Class),
- Activities with your homestay family,
- Attending the VQC Mission Sunday church service.
The Homestay Experience allows you to live in a safe family atmosphere and be able to build friendships.
CISA homestay families have been carefully screened and selected to attend to the necessities of our students. All of the families are Christians and are trustworthy.
Even though the styles of homes are very basic, they are always equipped with clean running water, a private bedroom for the student, shared bathroom with thermal water heater for the shower, equipped kitchen, and high cleanliness standards.
The students are accepted as part of the family and share with them in their daily activities. The homes are located either walking distance or a short bus trip away from the school.
The Homestay Experience includes:
- Laundry service
- All meals
- Shared bathroom
- Private bedroom
Before arrival, students will be emailed a profile of their Homestay Family, which contains a picture and description of the family.
CISA House Rental
An economical option for families, a CISA Rental Home is available for those who would like the benefit of living within a Spanish speaking community, but also have the convenience of maintaining their privacy and family routine.
Meals are eaten at the house and groceries are responsibility of students, as well as utilities. (Electricity, phone, internet, food & cleaning supplies, garbage pick up),
Housekeeping service (Monday to Thursday 7am-1pm) is highly recommended and is available for an extra fee. The housekeeper prepares 2 meals, does the laundry and cleans the home.
First day at Homestay in Tuis
If you as a couple or as a family have chosen to stay with a Homestay family, after arriving to your homestay from the airport, you will be given a chance to settle in, unpack, get to know your family and rest.
All of our homestays are carefully screened and have been approved to host students. They are Christian families who can be trusted. They enjoy hosting students and getting to know each person that stays at their house.
You will be given a fantastic opportunity to practice speaking Spanish, as none of our homestay families speak English. It is a real immersion experience!
Before arriving to Costa Rica, you will have been given a profile of the homestay family that includes a picture. So you will already have a sense of who they are, their names, ages, etc.
Depending on your day of arrival (on a weekend or weekday), you will have your Orientation at CISA the next day or a couple days later.
Helpful hint: Bringing your own family photos helps your homestay family get to know you more and learn about where you are from.
Interaction with the locals of Tuis
The unique aspect of CISA is the constant interaction that one can experience with the locals of Tuis.
With the town being only around 3,000 people, it is a very close knit and friendly community. Students can feel safe and secure walking the streets.
It is not uncommon for students to be invited over to a house of a relative or neighbor or friend of their homestay. Even if the student doesn’t speak a lot of Spanish or even know the family, we encourage students to go on these visits, as it allows them to know more about the community and Costa Rican culture.
And of course, one can practice speaking more Spanish! As the town is not a tourist place, the locals do not speak English. So the immersion experience is very authentic!
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AT THE AIRPORT?
Juan Santa Maria Intl. Airport, SAN JOSE
Students can expect to arrive at a moderately sized airport with a small customs area and small luggage pick up area.
After getting your passport stamped in customs, you go down some escalators to get your luggage. After you have your bags, you walk no more than a few meters towards a large wall of windows and two sets of exit doors.
Through the windows you will see many people waiting for family, friends, as well as Tour companies holding signs with names on it.
We have our CISA driver holding a sign as well that says CISA as well as your name.
Just look for the sign through the window and the driver will then help you bring your luggage to the van.
Helpful Tip: The carts provided in the airport for your luggage are not allowed outside unless you give money to the luggage helpers that are waiting inside. Suggested tip: $3-$5
Drive back to the airport
Depending on the time of your flight, the CISA van will bring you to the airport so that you are at the airport at least 2 hours early.
Some students choose to stay in a hotel in San Jose the evening before, if their flight is very early.
In some cases there are other students who are leaving the same day, so it may be that you will have to go earlier than your own flight in order to accommodate for the other students.
Once you have checked in your luggage and gone through the security check, you can enjoy the shopping experience in the airport, with great souvenirs to choose from. They also give away free Britt coffee samples and chocolates!
Our clients are important! You can be assured we will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.
We always strive to do our best to meet your expectations.
We specialize in tailoring our programs to meet your needs!
We are here to answer your questions and concerns.Contact us for more information!