So you’ve renewed your passport. You’ve already picked the country where you’re going to study Spanish. In fact, you’ve probably been filled with anticipation for weeks. Although there’s always lots to do before you go on a trip, here are some basics that you’ll definitely need to know before your arrival.
- Know your coverage.
For starters, make sure you have insurance that covers medications, lost or stolen possessions, and sudden accidents or illnesses. Check with your regular insurance providers at home to see if you’re covered when you’re travelling. Also, it’s a good idea to check with your school about what kind insurance packages they may offer to their students who study abroad. Lastly, there are well-established and reputable companies that offer quality travel insurance packages. Not all of them are priced equally, so be sure to shop around.
- Know what family you’re staying with.
The last thing you want to do when you’re studying Spanish in Costa Rica is isolating yourself in a hotel room. Be sure the school you’ve selected offers a homestay component and sign yourself up well in advance. Top language schools in Costa Rica, for instance, have experienced and trusted host families with a long record of successes when it comes to welcoming, assisting, and orienting the students that stay in their homes.
- Study the country and its regions.
When you’ve selected a program, study the areas where you’ll be traveling. Be prepared for seasonal and climate changes. Make a list of opportunities for hiking and exploring, for visiting sites of national, historical, or natural significance, as well as for enjoying the beautiful beaches and other recreational areas that Costa Rica has to offer. The more you acquaint yourself with the regions where you’ll be spending time, the more fun you’ll be ready to have.
- Do your cultural research.
When you’re abroad it’s time to place a real effort in understanding and respecting the lifestyles of the people there. So read up beforehand on the culture and customs you’ll encounter once you arrive. In your research pay attention to social norms, and get a feel of how people may conduct themselves in different situations. When you finally arrive and interact with the locals, they’ll respect you for your efforts — and you’ll be more likely to make connections that last.
- Be prepared to live Spanish out loud.
Finally, before you arrive at your destination, promise yourself that you’ll speak Spanish as possible. Concentrate on making friends, communicating with the locals, and using Spanish all the time. Be ready to try new foods, attend cultural events, and take public transportation. In other words, give yourself permission to step outside your comfort zone.
Based in Costa Rica, CRLA has been serving students globally for over 25 years. We have a team of expert teachers, our own methodology, and a well-established homestay program. In short, we help our students learn Spanish fast while having the time of their lives.
Come study with us! For more information about our customized classes, our homestay program, or anything else, please contact us.