Costa Rica Learning Spanish, Teaching English and Sports Coaching

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1. In Brief

Costa Rica, situated in the heart of Central America, is surrounded by the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans and is considered to be one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. At only approximately 19,000 square miles, Costa Rica is a small country, but punches above its biodiversity weight with about 5% of the existing biodiversity on the planet located within its several national parks and reserves.


The main language in Costa Rica is Spanish, however the secondary language for a large proportion of the population is English. English allows individuals and communities to access better business opportunities and to participate in the tourism industry meaningfully, which provides the livelihood for many Costa Ricans. There are a number of communities in Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose, who do not have access to language classes and may not be able to afford them.


Being based in San Jose you will take part in a 4 week cultural immersion program which will allow you to not only learn the Spanish language, but to explore the diverse aspects Costa Rica has to offer, through cultural activities, educational field trips and helping within the local communities. Such a program aims to give each participant a more, well-rounded and hands-on approach in understanding the Costa Rican culture, and in turn the Spanish language.

      

    

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Learn Spanish from qualified teachers
  • Immerse yourself in the Costa Rican lifestyle
  • Teach English as part of a language exchange program
  • Explore the local culture, history, wildlife and environment
  • Work within the local community to help others

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • Basic Spanish recommended, but not compulsory

FAST FACTS

Location Costa Rica
Activities Teaching English
Learning Spanish
Coaching sports
Getting involved in extracurricular activities
Help out on holiday programmes
Transport Airport pick-up
Accommodation Shared volunteer house or homestay

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas & equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)
In-country Accommodation
Food
Airport pick-up
Local orientation and training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup

QUALIFICATIONS

A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

2. The project

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

The project aims to help improve the social and economic well-being of some of the poorest children in various communities, within outlying areas of San Jose. The number of people living below the poverty line in Costa Rica is on the decline in recent years, though individuals and communities still face barriers to full participation in economic activities which can help to improve their well-beings. You will contribute to the improvement of the future of communities by helping to provide basic education and conversational English. You will also be playing games and doing arts and crafts with children in the school. The project will allow you to not only contribute towards the well-being of underprivileged children, but also quickly improve your Spanish language skills, through interacting with the local community members and making new friends, staying with your local host family and exploring the all that the region of Costa Rica has to offer!

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

The four week program will give you the opportunity to travel and experience the culture, environment and linguistic aspects of Costa Rica, as well as contribute your time to volunteer work helping the underprivileged children within the local communities of San Jose.

Working in a host school or centre, you will improve the lives of your students and be encouraged to have a positive input in your classes, by putting forth your own creative and inspirational ideas, whilst developing your teaching skills and techniques. You may teach a variety of ages which will depend upon the needs of the school at the time. Your work will involve marking pupils' work, producing new teaching strategies, preparing homework and assembling lesson plans. The sports coaching aspect will give you the opportunity to put your own experiences and interests to good use, whether that be working with local teams in soccer, volleyball, basketball or swimming. Working with the local teams and coaches you will develop structured training sessions and set development targets and goals for the improvement of sporting infrastructure in the local community.

As well as teaching during lesson time, you will have the opportunity to help with a multitude of extracurricular activities which will vary depending on your personal skills and interests.

(If you are arriving during school holidays you will be able to help students who are struggling or even adult learners in holiday programmes.)

Below is brief overview of how the four week program is structured.

Week 1
Your first week will be spent at the language centre where your focus will be on learning Spanish, helping to lay the foundations for the rest of trip. During your time on the Spanish course, you will be living with a local family, giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself within the culture and vibrant community, helping improve your Spanish skills further.

Week 2
At the beginning of this week, you will take part in a group tour into the mountains to experience some Costa Rican wildlife and rainforests, before returning to complete the week volunteering at you allocated location.
Week 3

This week includes a jungle boat tour and will also involve more volunteer work. You are able to try a alternative location if you want to.

Week 4
This week there will be a number of activities which might include volunteering, white water rafting, trekking, volcano visit and hot springs.

3. What to expect

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

You will picked up at Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose and taken to your assigned family home stay. Since your Spanish course will start on the Monday, we recommend you to arrange your arrival for the Sunday so that you have time to relax, settle in and get your bearings before your language course starts the following day.

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

You will stay with a local family in a quiet, residential area of San Jose. You will have your own room and have a laundry service included. While the accommodation might be simple, it will be clean and comfortable.

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Whilst you are staying at the homestay you will be provided with 2 meals per day (breakfast and dinner), made from fresh locally sourced fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, and of course gallo pinto, the national dish of beans and rice! You will be able to go to local restaurants for your lunch or prepare it yourself.

4. The reviews

Costa Rica, Pura Vida!!  | 5 May 2012
I was a student here about two weeks ago and I cannot thank you enough for the awesome experience...

Read more


So many opportunities  | 10 Mar 2010
I had some basic Spanish from school before I went to Costa Rica but have come back feeling much ...

Read more


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5. Gallery

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6. Extras

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

In your free time you can stay local in San Jose, which offers year-round social and cultural activities, including concerts at the national theatre, music festivals, university fairs, dance clubs and all types of restaurants, bars and casinos. There is plenty of opportunity to venture further out to the other local towns and surrounding areas to explore the natural side of Costa Rica through climbing, trekking, snorkelling or experiencing white water rafting on the famous Florida river!

7. Dates and Costs

COSTS

4 weeks $2,395

Extra week $495

DEPARTURE DATES

Monthly  (orientation is at 8am on the first Monday of the month so please try to arrive on the Sunday before)

The typical school year takes place from March to November so please check dates when applying.

School holidays are as follows:

Easter holidays:  Thursday and Friday (April 13 & 14)
Christmas-New Year 2017-2018: Friday December 22nd   through December 29th, 2017

First two weeks in July

Additional bank holiday dates are:

May 1st (Monday) - Labor Day

August 15th (Tuesday) – Mother´s Day

September 15th (Friday) - Independence Day
October 12th (Thursday) - Day of the Americas

These dates may vary from year to year and between different institutions but in general these dates can be used as a rough guide as to when to expect disruptions to the teaching programme.

DURATION

You can join this project for a minimum of 4 weeks

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Advice on visas & equipment
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)

In-country

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Airport pick-up
  • Ground transfers & in-transit accommodation
  • Local orientation
  • Project training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ backup

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): San Jose Juan Santamaria Apt (SJO)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

8. How to apply

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.


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