Become Part of the Family
By staying with a local homestay family, you’ll experience the culture, eat the food, and have the opportunity to practice Spanish 24/7.
Homestay Accommodation – $180/week
To truly immerse its students in Costa Rican culture, Tico Lingo provides each student the opportunity to live with a local family. Located within walking distance of Tico Lingo, each homestay family offers students endless occasions to practice real-world Spanish.
Beyond the benefits to students, the program also benefits the local families involved with the program. Student payments help struggling families financially with childcare, food costs, and education. Likewise, families apart of the program enjoy free English classes at the school and join our support system for local child care and community support.
Most Costa Rican families have a spare room or two due to children leaving the home for university. Quaint, always unique, and totally private, each room comes with at least a full-size bed, a desk, and a dresser or closet to store clothes.
Fresh fruits and vegetables aplenty! Costa Rican cuisine is nutritionally well rounded, always cooked from scratch, and loaded with the many exotic fruits and vegetables readily available locally.
Traditional meals have a home-cooked, comforting feel to them, and with our homestay program you’ll be given two meals a day, breakfast and dinner.
I woke up to the smell of amazing coffee every morning. My homestay mom greeted me with a smile every day and couldn’t have been happier to see me. She fed me delicious food and I know I will definitely miss her!
It was cool to get to know my “tico brother” and be invited to some local parties and outings. I made a ton of friends and was able to practice so much Spanish! I wouldn’t have had those experiences if I chose to live in a local hostel.
I got to apply everything I learned in class! It was awesome to speak, try out new things, and watch my ability to converse increase day-by-day. The food was great, and I still keep in touch with my family from Belgium.
Each Homestay will come with a private room, desk, and closet to store clothes.
Every Homestay is equipped with wifi so students can contact friends and family back home.
Breakfast and Dinner
Morning breakfast is served at 7am and dinner is usually served around 6:30pm.
Once a week, laundry will be collected, washed, and folded for the student.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I stay longer?
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 $35/pp.
How are families chosen?
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.
What are the houses like?
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!
What if we don't get along?
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.
Can I request a private bathroom?
Some families do offer a private bathroom to students, but unless it is specifically requested, we will place students where we feel they fit best. We’ll take into regard their Spanish level, their age, their prior experience in Costa Rica, their diet, their preferences for children, among other things. But yes, a private bathroom can be provided upon request.
Do most students stay with a homestay family?
Absolutely yes! 🙂 More than 95% of the students that take Spanish classes at Tico Lingo choose to live with a local family. Students as old as 91 have stayed with homestays! You’ll learn the culture, way of life, food, and… most importantly… the language!
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Live with a local family, improve your Spanish,
and experience the true culture of Costa Rica.