San José, the capital Costa Rica, is home to several excellent museums and many of the country's best hotels, restaurants, and nightlife options. The city's other great assets are its location and mild climate, as San José enjoys pleasant weather yearround and stands in a broad fertile bowl ringed by jagged mountains, some of which are active volcanoes.
Downtown, the grid-plan streets are lined with an pastiche of mirrored high-rises and elegant bungalows; in the affluent suburbs at the eastern and western ends of the city, middle-class Ticos (as Costa Ricans call themselves) tend their tidy gardens, while sprawling barrios stretch to the north and south.
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Students will need to select 2 choices for the volunteer
Study & Volunteer in San Jose
This Study & Volunteer program combines a minimum 1 week Standard Group Study program followed up with a 2 week minimum volunteer placement in the community.
All opportunities will work in partnership with local people in a variety of community-based projects.
This unique program offers exciting hands-on volunteering opportunities, meaningful cultural immersion, and an enriching language program.
The Study Program has a minimum of 1 week in duration and includes 20 hours per week of Group Spanish classes. Maximum number of students per class is 5, with the average being 2 students. Groups are organized in a way that each will always consist of students possessing the same level of Spanish.
The method is based on the 4 language skills: listening, grammar, oral and written comprehension. No English will be used in class.
Classes are 50 minutes in length. Students may enroll for as many weeks as desired. In order to make sufficient progress and gain the maximum benefit from the course, the following program duration ranges are recommended: Beginner (4-12 weeks), Intermediate (2-12 weeks) and advanced (2-12 weeks).
The school uses its own text materials which represent well-established language acquisition programs providing live, meaningful situations in which students can acquire communicative competence in speaking and reading Spanish. Performance objectives for language structures, culture, and pronunciation are clearly delineated as well as functional conversational goals.
After the minimum 1 week study program, students will be placed in a volunteering position in community for a minimum of 2 weeks. Volunteer work can be classified as environmental or social. Placement opportunities can include the following examples:
-Working in national parks -Taking care of trails and beaches -Recycling projects -Orphanages -Retirement centers -Drug rehabilitation institutions -Special education schools -Hospitals -Museums -Teaching English
Program Cost Includes
• Group 20 hours per week • Homestay - Single Room • 2 Meals Daily (breakfast and lunch) • Arrival and Departure transfers. • Placement Testing . • Orientation. • Class Materials. • Laundry once per week • 1-2 Organized Activities Weekly* • Certificate of Completion • Pre-Departure Information • Planning Guide • Medical, Accident and Sickness Coverage ** • Medivac Coverage • Other Travel Coverage (repatriation, baggage, personal effects, accidental death and dismemberment etc.) • 24 Hour Emergency Multilingual Hotline (call collect from anywhere in the world)
* Entrance fees, transportation, etc. may be at additional cost
** See policy for definitions and exclusions
Families participating in the homestay program have been carefully chosen for their friendliness and willingness to help the students practice Spanish and acquaint themselves with the Costa Rican way of life. The host families are from the Costa Rican middle class and most have had foreign students as guests before. Our local coordinator will make every reasonable effort to match you and your interests with an appropriate family.
Homes are within easy commuting distance from the school. Students will be placed one student per family. The homestay will provide the student with experience in handling real language situations and will help the student acquire insights into local culture and customs, all of which add meaning to the language learning process.
The homestay includes a private room, and laundry service plus a good breakfast and a main meal. Student lodging with the family begins the day the student arrives in Costa Rica, typically the Sunday before the program begins.
The NRCSA Center
The campus is conveniently located in a quiet residential suburb just off a main bus route and within easy walking distance from bustling downtown San José. The University of Costa Rica is just half a mile away and there are restaurants, stores, theaters, and malls in the surrounding area. The dynamic approach to teaching Spanish through constant conversation practice is made possible by the high level of its teaching staff. Teachers have university degrees and are selected on the basis of their teaching experience and alert, active personalities.
Over the past 17 years, students have come from all over the world to study at the NRCSA Center in San Jose, principally from North America and Europe. They are college students, teachers, business people, missionaries, military personnel, and diplomats, among others. The participants arrive with different language backgrounds and expectations: some have no experience with Spanish at all; others have studied formally but have limited conversational skills; while still others are fluent but want to improve their interaction with native speakers. Students may receive and send faxes from the school with incoming faxes being free of charge, and e-mail access is available.
Cultural & Social Activities Since the San Jose location also teaches English to Costa Ricans, there is ample opportunity to meet and converse with native speakers at the school. Many students arrange informal conversation exchange sessions.
Weekday Tours These focus on attractions relatively close to San Jose such as museums, coffee plantations, nearby volcanoes, and botanical gardens.
Weekend Tours These offer the best opportunity to visit Costa Rica's tropical beaches and lush national parks. Active volcanoes, white water rapids, rain and cloud forests, coral reefs, and tropical jungles are some other options. Activites are generally available, with transportation and entrance fees payable locally.
Spanish & Volunteer: 20 hours per week Spanish plus 15-20 hours per week Volunteer. Two semesters of college level Spanish (or equivalent), introduction letter and resume required.
HOW TO APPLY Send your registration with your resume and an introduction letter describing yourself, your background in the Spanish language, and the type of internship you are interested in/why you are qualified for that type of position.