Admissions: Common Questions (FAQ)

How many students are placed in a class?

Classes are taught in groups of 3 to 6 students for conversation class, and 3 to 10 students for grammar class. The average during most of the year is five students per class.

If I stay for just one term should I get a student visa?

The Institute processes visas for students staying longer than six months. Those who come for more than 90 days have the option of leaving the country for 72 hours before their 90-day visa expires, or simply overstaying. In the latter case, they will need to pay a fine only if they wish to re-enter the country sooner than the end of the waiting period required by law.

Where are the houses located?

Houses are located in the same neighborhood as the Institute is, and are no more than 20 minutes walking distance from the school.

Can I come as a beginner in any course?

Beginning, intermediate and advanced levels are offered in all courses. Students will be given an entrance examination to aid in placement.

The time I have available does not fit with the schedules for intensive programs. What can I do?

You can always apply for the tutoring program. We offer one-on-one tutoring to help you take advantage of your time here. This is a flexible program where you can choose the schedule, hours and areas you want to work on.

How early should I arrive before classes start?

If you are coming with your family to join the Regular Program, we suggest arriving at least 3 to 4 days before Orientation starts to get settled in.

If you are coming for the Intensive Course or Tutoring, you should plan to arrive 1 to 3 days before classes start.

What is the weather like?

San José is located 3,500 feet above sea level. Temperatures range from the 60's at night to the high 80's in the early afternoon, year round. There are two seasons: rainy (May-November), and dry (December-April).

The heaviest rains are in September and October. Even during the rainy season, most mornings are bright and sunny, with rain in the afternoon.

Can I drink the water?

San José has one of the most modern water filtration systems in all of Latin America. Water is potable and normally tastes quite good. However, there are those, including many Costa Ricans, who do order bottled water. There are companies who will deliver to your door on a weekly basis.

How do I apply?

To apply to the Spanish Language Institute, use our online application form:

Melissa Wood with a group of children

Melissa Wood
(Class of '11)

These last nine months at the Institute have truly been nothing but a joyous experience. I came to the Institute with absolutely no Spanish background and will be graduating in December with the ability to not only speak, but to write and read in this beautiful language, as well. The faculty and teachers as a whole have such vision and passion to see the students succeed and take personal interest in seeing this come to pass. The atmosphere is a blessing to come to each day...and I thank God for the opportunity to study at a school that strives for excellence and to be surrounded by such positive influence pointing me towards Christ in my learning.



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