Frequently Asked Questions
Sign up is through our online checkout system. In this system, you will be able to specify the key criteria that should be taken into consideration by our staff when preparing your Bootcamp experience.
You can apply as far as 6 months ahead of time depending on the availability of spaces.
We teach all levels! After setting up a language evaluation call with one of our teachers, you will be placed in a language group according to your fluency level.
There is a maximum of 5 people per group.
There is no maximum age requirement but do please mind that we may not be adequately equipped to address certain medical conditions or physical limitations. We would be more than happy to answer more specific questions or doubts regarding this point. Please call or write us.
The short answer is yes. The long answer is contained in the following three points:
- if you’re under 16 you need to be accompanied by an adult,
- if you are 16 or 17 and unaccompanied by an adult, you will need a signed waiver (we will not make ourselves responsible for you beyond the care and attention that is commonly given to adult students),
- you should consider organizing a trip with several of your friends and an accompanying adult. That would make for a great experience and would help solve several valid worries that your parents may have.
Be it as it may, we love seeing the younger generations interested in learning, especially learning Spanish! Give us a call and let’s see what we can arrange.
The short answer is yes. The long answer will vary depending on your particular situation, child’s (or children’s) age(s), how many of you will be traveling, etc. Do please call us and we’ll find the best way to accommodate your situation.
Yes, it is completely fine. If you are concerned because of your Spanish level eligibility for the classes and the Bootcamp experience, worry not because we our precisely focusing on beginner levels at this moment. If you are concerned for traveling reasons and being able to get around, you shouldn’t worry too much because 1) we can pick you up from the airport and someone can be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it, 2) you will be learning considerable Spanish very quickly even if you have no previous knowledge of Spanish and will learn how to get around on your own, 3) Costa Rica in general is used to tourists and many locals can communicate efficiently in English, and it also helps that Ticos are very kind and helpful.
No, we do not need a police background check. That will not be necessary in order to learn Spanish.
None. The only consideration is to reserve early enough in time to make sure that we have enough space to accommodate your group.
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Mindset and offering
- Bootcamp students have very few opportunities to “cheat” and speak in English with somebody.
- Bootcamp students live with host families and share meals and great experiences together.
- Bootcamp students have to take a minimum of 20 hours of classes a week.
- Bootcamp students have to participate in Spanish language centered activities.
- Bootcamp students integrate with the community and come back home with a lot of new Spanish language skills and great experiences.
Yes, we are working closely with the local Community Development Association (Asociación de Desarrollo Comunal La Fortuna de Bagaces) developing projects for incoming groups to work on. At the moment we have yet to design a formal volunteering program but we will post here as soon as that changes. One of the founders of the Spanish Language Bootcamp is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and even volunteered in that very same community from 2010 to 2012.
That depends if there are students who have signed up for Bootcamp during the same weeks that you have. Though we expect that you will have fellow students, rest assured that your host family will take you to different events, such as rodeos, dances, natural sites, and other experiences, and that you will be having proper immersion and fun.
Health and Safety
La Fortuna de Bagaces is very safe and has close to no crime. You can leave your bicycle out in the street with no worries, and most often when people misplace their phone somewhere, it will be returned to them by a good Samaritan. The use of cannabis does exist in the village, but it is seldom seen and used among a small friendly crowd.
The Bootcamp does not require any strenuous activities. The greatest amount of effort that may exist include hikes in forest trails or walking on uneven earth when exploring the region. The area has great biking trails and open field football/soccer matches that students can partake in, but this is not a necessary component of the language program.
Prior to arriving in Costa Rica we suggest that you visit your physician or a travel health clinic to ensure that you are in good enough overall health for your placement and obtain any suggested and/or required immunizations.
No immunizations are required to enter Costa Rica. However, you should see your physician or a travel health clinic prior to arriving as most doctors recommend at least a few precautionary vaccinations before arriving, including:
-Routine immunizations for polio, measles/mumps/rubella, etc.
The risk of malaria in Costa Rica is very low. However, if you plan to travel throughout Costa Rica after your placement, you should consult a medical professional as there are malaria risk areas in the country.
No, you do not need travel medical insurance, but we do recommend it. La Fortuna is in the country side, 20 minutes away from the nearest clinic, and 35 minutes away from the nearest hospital.
Before your departure we will ask you for general information about your policy if you decide to get one, which will be at your sole discretion. It is your responsibility to determine the adequacy and any associated details like coverage levels and deductibles whether evaluating to obtain travel medical insurance or not.
In most cases yes and, considering the difficulty of meeting dietary restrictions in Costa Rica, we believe we do an excellent job. For example, restrictions related to dairy, eggs, gluten, poultry, meat, nuts and shellfish are generally not a problem.
With that said, there are limitations because of the different resources available in the field. For example, if your allergy is very severe, we cannot guarantee cooking environments that are completely free of a particular type of food product, for example peanuts or seafood. Remember, you are travelling to an environment that may not be built to cater to your requirements.
So, if you have a dietary restriction, simply contact us before you go through the checkout process and ask us about your particular needs.
Travel and Logistics
It depends on the passport you hold. For US, Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens, you can enter at no charge and receive a tourist stamp in your passport valid for up to 90 days. If you are planning on staying in Costa Rica for longer than 90 days, you will have to cross the border and come back in.
Yes, we do. Gas prices have been changing too quickly for us to be updating prices. Please ask for our transportation services during the introductory call to obtain a price.
We offer you three options:
- Order transportation with us: We can pick you up and drop you off from where ever to the Bootcamp. Here are our prices for the two most pickup points, Liberia Airport (Airport code LIB) and Juan Santa Maria Airport aka San Jose Airport (Airport code SJO).
Liberia (LIB) to the Bootcamp (La Fortuna): One-way for $50, Round-trip for $100.
San Jose (SJO) to the Bootcamp (La Fortuna): One-way for $120, Round-trip for $240.
Other travel arrangement: Please call or write.
Please note that the cab drivers are not our employees, but they are from La Fortuna and are very grateful for your business. Spanish Language Bootcamp receives close to no commission, which allows us to offer you very competitive prices.
- Traveling by bus:
From San Jose Airport (SJO):
From the airport, take the cab to the bus station (or to your hotel, depending on the time of day). Please do not try to take the bus to the bus station. It’s not worth the hassle and some of the bus stations are located in higher risk neighborhoods.
There are several bus companies that can offer you the routes needed. We use Pulmitan de Liberia. You can see their schedules, prices, and book a ticket by writing them via WhatsApp (phone number +506 6034 2578). You can also book in person. There is usually space although travelers sometimes can’t get seats so have to spend the trip standing or sitting on the floor.
There are direct (recommended) and indirect buses to La Fortuna de Bagaces:
Direct: There are only 2 direct buses per day from San Jose to la Fortuna de Bagaces. These are the easiest options and worth the savings in time and hassle.
Indirect: This requires breaking your trip into two parts: (i) San Jose to Bagaces (Liberia bound buses) and (ii) Bagaces to La Fortuna (Guayabo or Rio Frio bound buses). Be sure to confirm that the Liberia-bound bus can make a stop at Bagaces. Once arrived at the Bagaces terminal, there are buses that stop in La Fortuna on their way to either Guayabo (Terminal 1) and Aguas Claras (Terminal 2). La Fortuna is one of the stops on the way to either of those two terminals. Please see bus schedules below.