Choosing Accommodations Abroad

After you have finally chosen which Spanish school in Costa Rica to attend, the next step is choosing your accommodations. Most Spanish schools in Costa Rica will have a few options and here’s what to consider for each option.

Homestays: A homestay is an option whereby students live with a Costa Rican family. In most cases students have their own bedroom and share common areas with the family. In addition, homestays almost always include half board (usually breakfast and dinner). The advantages of a homestay are numerous and they are often the least expensive option as well. Another clear advantage is that you’ll have ample opportunity to practice Spanish as well as learn about the culture and cuisine of Costa Rica. It is important, however, to be comfortable with living in more rustic accommodations than you might be back home. For example, you may not have air-conditioning or reliable wi-fi. If you are willing to let go of a few creature-comforts the experience of living with a family will enrich your studies and your time in Costa Rica and you’ll have a lifelong second family in Costa Rica.

Student housing: Some Spanish immersion programs in Costa Rica offer the option of Student Housing. This housing is sometimes right on campus or near to campus and can be in the form of private or shared rooms. The most notable advantage is convenience to campus and living with other students and the ability to book everything at the same time through the school. The disadvantage is that living with other students can sometimes lead to less language practice outside of class.

Vacation Rentals: Many Spanish schools in Costa Rica also offer assistance in securing a private vacation rental. This option is great if you want more autonomy and prefer to spend more time alone or if you are traveling as a couple or family. The upside is that you can pick and choose where you’d like to be and they often offer long-term rates, the downside is that it can be much more expensive during peak seasons/weeks.

Hostels: Hostels in Costa Rica range anywhere from $10-$25 per night and are great for those on a budget. The advantage is that they are often centrally located and a great social resource to meet other travelers. The disadvantage is they don’t offer the level of privacy or a conducive study environment.

Hotels: Hotels in Costa Rica are a great option as many include all the amenities you need and include daily cleaning. Similar to hostels, hotels are also often centrally located and many offer the advantage of onsite amenities like onsite restaurants, pools and more. The disadvantage is they can be more expensive and if you are studying for a longer term they do not often offer long-term rates.

Whichever option you choose be sure to remember that they all have their perks and drawbacks but try to remember to keep your focus on your studies and remember that you’ll likely be spending a fair amount of time away from your accommodations in classes, exploring and enjoying the best part about Costa Rica, the outdoors.

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