Frequently Asked Questions
During the day, absolutely. Students are encouraged to spend the afternoon exploring the many nooks and crannies that Heredia has to offer. From local coffee shops and boutique clothes stores to historic churches and the local soccer stadium, the city boasts many activities that are very safe to do. At night, there are many bars and restaurants that open and are easy to get to. Just like any other city though, it become a little more dangerous at night and we encourage students to go out with a buddy.
A typical lunch in Heredia will cost you around 3000 colones ($5.25 USD). There are fancier options for the food lover in Heredia, but the regular cost of a meal doesn’t range more than 5000 colones ($8.75 USD).
*Note that tipping is not customary in Costa Rica
Heredia is about an hour and a half from the nearest tourist beach called Jacó beach. Students can take a bus from Heredia to San José and then to Jacó for a total cost of about 4000 colones ($7.00 USD). If a taxi is preferred, Tico Lingo offers direct transportation to Jacó – simply inquire at the front desk!
Everything is walkable in Heredia. You can walk the diameter of the city in about 25 minutes. The tallest building in Heredia is about seven stories. It’s also all on a square grid making it easy to navigate! 🙂
About Our Homestays
Each family must first apply for the program. The application consists of a written portion that confirms their citizenship, legal status, and local address. Additionally, the written exam tests for basic English language understanding (greetings, names, basic verbs, etc.). We also conduct an evaluation of their home and confirm they have working hot/cold water, laundry services, functioning electricity, and a warm environment for students.
Once allowed in the program, we provide families with written guidelines so everything runs smoothly with our students. Once a student departs, we receive written and verbal feedback from students on the quality of their experience. Yearly, we conduct a re-evaluation to confirm home upkeep and satisfactory facilities.
Amongst the highest in Latin America, the standard of living in Costa Rica fares well compared to those in highly developed countries. Although high, an open mind and pura vida attitude is needed though when moving into a family’s home. Homes may not have cable TV, a microwave, or a dishwasher – but don’t forget guys, a true cultural experience may require certain sacrifices. These sacrifices will broaden your horizons and make you appreciate what you have back home!
Often times, students find they want to stay longer than the initially arranged time. At Tico Lingo, we pay families on a weekly basis from Sunday to Sunday but are happy to arrange additional day rates for students looking travel or further explore the area.
If your extended stay goes beyond an additional week, we ask that you speak with a staff leader directly about your travel and housing plans. Normally though, nightly rates are $25/pp.
If for any reason you feel uncomfortable with your homestay family please do not hesitate to let us know and we will be glad to help. We aim to place students with suitable families however, because each student is different in personality, tastes, and habits, things might not work out as planned. In rare cases, families can face tough situations like sickness in the family or issues at work which might affect their ability to host you sufficiently.
Keeping all this in mind, if for any reason you do not feel completely welcome or content with your family, please inform a staff leader so we can make the necessary changes or arrangements.
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