Frequently Asked Questions about our Homestay Program
1. What kind of family will I be living with?
- Warm and kind families are chosen to meet the needs of the students. Many have had years of experience catering to students by providing the comforts of home. These cozy and well maintained houses are within short distance of the school or have easy access to public transportation. In addition a house key is given so that the student has the freedom to come and go as they please. Breakfast and dinner are served daily along with weekly laundry service.
2. Will I have my own privacy?
- Yes, these homestay families are great about giving privacy to the students. You will have a key to the house, so you can come and go as you please.
3. What type of food will I be eating with my host family?
- You will be eating well-balanced and nutritious meals home-cooked by the family that includes a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and meat.
4. What if I have special needs or food requirements?
- If you are allergic to something, do not like certain types of foods or are a vegetarian, there is not a problem. Simply let Universal de Idiomas know prior to arriving and the proper accommodations will be made. Also, let the homestay family know as well.
5. Will someone pick me up from the airport when I arrive in Costa Rica?
- Airport pick-up is optional and costs USD$35. Our driver will directly bring you to your host family. You can also choose to arrange your own transportation.
6. How far away is the home stay from everything else?
- The homestay is a few miles away from San José and you can use public transportation to get to the school within a few minutes. Buses in San José are cheap, safe, reliable and easy to use. Your host family will show you which bus to take and how the system works.
7. Who will show me my way around San Jose?
- Your host family will take you on a tour of the city in one of the first days you arrive. They will show you how the taxi and bus systems work and how to get to and from school.
8. Do the families speak English?
- More often they speak broken English or there is one person in the family that speaks English. They are very patient and try to communicate with the student as much as possible. This is a great opportunity to practice what you have learned in class with the families. Total immersion is one of the best ways to learn a language. Students who have lived with homestay families say that it has really helped to improve their speaking and listening skills. You may share a homestay with other students, giving you an opportunity to speak English if you must.
9. What if I don't speak Spanish?
-This is not a problem. Our host families are very patient and accommodating when it comes to you learning Spanish. Homestay families are there to help you with your learning experience. The families are very outgoing and will try to communicate with you as much as possible. Have patience and you will soon be holding meaningful conversations with your Costa Rican family!
10. Do the families have pets?
-Some families do have pets such as cats and dogs. If you do not like pets, make sure you let Universal de Idiomas know in advance, so that we can make the proper arrangements.
- Usually there are teenagers or adults that live in the house. Again, let us know your preference ahead of time so that we can try to fit you with the right family.
12. Do they smoke or allow smokers?
- The families do not smoke, however they do allow the students to smoke outside of their houses.
13. Would I have my own private bathroom?
-You will have your own private bathroom. At times, if there is more than one student that lives with a family, then the students share a bathroom.
14. Shall I bring towels and bed linen?
- No, you will get towels and bed linen from the family.
15. Can I drink the water?
-Yes, the tap water in almost all areas of Costa Rica, especially in San José is safe to drink.