Activities and Opportunities
Costa Rica is known for its mild climate and its national parks, volcanoes, fine beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, rain forests, and wildlife refuges. Students visit the sites during day and weekend trips.
Housing is an important part of the Intensive Spanish Program. After airport pick-up, the Conversa housing coordinator will place students in a Costa Rican homestay - usually one student per family - in the surrounding neighborhoods. Lunches from the campus lunchroom are included in the program cost and transportation to and from the school is provided.
Conversa will take care of all housing arrangements. On-campus lodgings are available in lodges, La Casona and La Casita, but are at an additional cost. Conversa urges students to opt for the Costa Rican homestay; it offers insight to Costa Rican culture and everyday life and the opportunity to use and practice Spanish. Santa Ana offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, a dining hall and lounge, swimming pool, tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts. All on-site program coordinators are bilingual, and arrange airport pick-ups, arrangement with host families, and all cultural excursions to museums and markets. Conversa also offers student discounts on weekend tours, such as white-water rafting, excursions to volcanoes, biological reserves, and private island tours. Students who choose to study at the center in San José may choose either a homestay (breakfast and evening meal only) or other housing options.
"From the first day I arrived in Santa Ana to the day I left I was immersed in Spanish-- not only in school with the professors, but also with Roma my host mom, Venado the taxi driver, Dennis the dance instructor, the woman at the bakery, the people sitting next to me on the bus, the pastor at church. I went from knowing how to read and write some Spanish to being able to understand and communicate. I know the time I spent at Conversa was the best possible thing I could have done for my Spanish, and I can't wait to get back some day."
- Dios lo Bendiga
"I started at Conversa not knowing how to speak a word of Spanish. After only five weeks, most people I encountered assumed that I had been speaking for years. The common phrase I got when I was ¬complimented¬ on my Spanish was ¬Usted puede hablar bastante!¬ After five weeks, I will take that compliment in a heartbeat. What I really enjoyed about Conversa was the fact that classes were so flexible and so customized to each student. The professors had the skills and knowledge to relate the theory of Spanish back to the theory of English. I had taken French in high school and college for a total of 7 years, and there is no way I can speak French nearly as well as I am able to speak Spanish."
- Ajay Narula
"During my recent one month stay in Costa Rica, I visited erupting volcanoes, swam under beautiful waterfalls, walked on idyllic beaches and salsaed until dawn. It was thirty days of a dream life, and it was made all the more wonderful by my experience at Conversa. The staff there were always friendly and helpful, the teachers were fantastic, the host family I stayed with really made me feel welcome and the friends I made will last a lifetime; to anyone looking to learn a lot of Spanish while having the time of their lives, I would definitely recommend the CCIS Conversa program in Costa Rica."
- John Bisges