Frequently Asked Questions. (FAQs)
Following are some of the most commonly asked questions. If you find that you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us and we will be happy to help you!
Why should I study Spanish in Nosara, Costa Rica?
Nosara is the perfect location to study Spanish for many reasons. Not only is Costa Rica a gorgeous country with incredible natural diversity and beauty, but Nosara is a safe and healthy family destination with easy access to many amazing attractions: beaches, biological refuges, national parks, waterfalls, jungles, rivers, nature trails and most important, people and culture.
People of Nosara are friendly and hospitable which makes it easy to meet new people and make new friends. The town has a calm, carefree atmosphere. People are relaxed and spend time in outdoors. It a great place to explore, and really enjoy the pura vida lifestyle.
Nosara Spanish Institute holds a standard of excellence with its language programs and in all the activities and experiences it offers its students. Teachers are highly experienced in the teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language to ensure the highest quality instruction. Our staff is friendly, fun, and always ready to help students with anything and everything!
How quickly will I learn Spanish?
In our experience, we have seen that people tend to underestimate how difficult it is to learn a new language. Learning a language takes time and dedication. Students who possess strong language skills in their primary language, or have studied foreign languages before, have a marked advantage.
Our Spanish immersion intensive program is highly effective and efficient. Besides following structured programs attached to the most up to date standards for the teaching of foreign languages, it motivates our students to participate in extracurricular activities that involve the use of the language. We have found it is possible to advance an entire level in the matter of a few weeks when there is a balanced combination of dynamic and experienced teachers, interactive classes, plenty of conversation practice, and most important: the student’s willingness to learn.
Who are Nosara Spanish Institute students?
Our students, both in our Spanish and English programs, are varied in terms of age, educational background, careers, and motivation for learning a foreign language. Most of our Spanish students come from North America, United States and Canada, given the geographic proximity; but we also have students from all over the world from countries such as England, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia among others. We work very hard to meet the individual needs of all our students.
Getting to Costa Rica
There are two international airports in Costa Rica; Liberia International Airport (LIR) and San Jose International Airport (SJO).
Liberia (LIR) airport which is the closest airport to Nosara, at a 2/2½ hour scenic drive away.
San José (SJO) airport is at 4 1/2 -5 hour drive away.
There is a departure tax of $29 to be paid at the airports when you leave Costa Rica. It needs to be paid in cash (US$ or Costa Rican Colones) or with credit card at the airports on your departure day.
Do I need a Passport?
Citizens of the U.S. and Canada and most European countries may enter Costa Rica with a valid passport. Note that Costa Rican law requires your passport to be valid for at least 90 days after the date you enter the country. Check with your airline or travel agent for more information. If you have any doubts you should check with the applicable Costa Rican Consulate in your country about rules governing entrance into Costa Rica.
Do I need a Visa to visit Costa Rica?
Visitors from USA, Canada and most of the European countries can stay 90 days without applying for a visa. To be certain please check with CR consulate or Embassy in your home country about any requirements to visit Costa Rica.
What kind of electricity is there in Costa Rica?
If you bring anything electrical, Costa Rica runs on 110 Volts, 60Hz. If you want to bring 220V equipment, a converter is needed. If you need batteries, bring only rechargeable ones if possible please.
Are US dollars accepted in Costa Rica?
Yes, almost all businesses in Costa Rica, accepts U.S. currency.
What is the weather like?
The winter season, December-April, is warm and dry with clear blue skies, with average temperatures ranging from 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit (25 to 35 degrees Celsius). May through November is the Green Season. The days from June through beginning of September are usually clear and sunny with occasional light rains. September and October months are the peak of the rainy season, when rains can last all day.
If you arrive in San Jose, long pants and a sweater may be needed, as it is high in the mountains and cooler.
What should I pack?
Below are a few things we recommend:
-Bug repellent (natural if possible)
-Headlamp or flashlight
-A good book
-Journal, notebook & pen
-Tennis shoes (for hiking or running)
-Soccer shoes (for those who want to play soccer)
-Handy wipes (optional)
-Camera and iPod or similar (optional, there is wi-fi available)
-Sarong or beach cover-up
-Rash guard or tight t-shirt (for surf lessons)
-Yoga clothes (for warm weather for those who want to do yoga)
-Sports clothes (for games or sport activities)
-Comfortable light weight clothes (like shorts and tank tops to hang out in)
-Umbrella or light rain jacket (for afternoon showers)
-Medication (if you take a specific medication)
Is Costa Rica safe?
Costa Rica is safe. Violent crime is very rare in Costa Rica.
Nosara is a very healthy community but like any place in the world, is it best to adopt normal precautions and care with your belongings to avoid any possible petty theft.
Is there an ATM in Nosara?
There are two ATM’s in Nosara that accept VISA. One of the ATM’s accepts MASTERCARD, the other one doesn’t. Both ATM’s are attached to full operating banks with cashiers where you can run almost any card and get cash. We always recommend our clients to double check with their banks beforehand to make sure there are no security restrictions of use or to withdraw cash in a foreign country on their credit card.
How much cash should I carry?
It is a good idea to carry around $100 in cash in smaller bills. Dollars are accepted pretty much everywhere but can easily be exchanged to colones at the bank close to the school. Students should be aware of the current exchange rate (about 500+ colones for every dollar – so 1000 colones is $2, 1500 colones is $3, etc.). Credit cards are accepted in most stores, but street vendors only accept cash.
What is the best way to communicate with my friends and family back home?
Most students communicate frequently with their family and friends via email or Skype phone calls. Many students bring their electronics. There is free wireless Internet service at the school, so as at most restaurants in Nosara. There are also a couple of internet cafés in Playa Guiones.
Please note that most smart phones must be unlocked in order to work in another country. If you need for your regular plan to work in CR you should talk to your cell service provider before arriving to Costa Rica.
Do I need travel insurance?
We recommend the following travel insurance providers should the students wish to purchase some before their trip to Costa Rica.
0844 874 0360
Travel Insurance Specialists