Frequently Asked Questions

Application

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’re only offering beginner level for now, but we to add intermediate soon!

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.

Groups

The short answer is no. The only two limitations that may exist are

  • there isn’t any more space, in which case you will not be able to register online. In this event, please call us and we will help you find a time slot or add more spots.
  • Members in your group have very different levels of Spanish. Please mind that at the moment we only offer beginner level Spanish.

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.
-Hepatitis A
-Hepatitis B
-Rabies
-Tetanus
-Typhoid
-Yellow fever

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. Below are our rates for the most popular pick-up points. Please let us know if you need to be picked up from somewhere else and we will be happy to help you!

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.

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: [xxxxx]
  • Renting a car: If you decide to rent a car or have another mean of transportation, we trust that you will be able to navigate your way to “La Fortuna de Bagaces”. But if you have a particular question about this, please write or call us.

We recommend that you arrive to La Fortuna 1 to 2 days before your first day of class, which will always be on a Monday. Please take into consideration that the first Sunday of your arrival is already priced into the package, but any day before then isn’t included in your price and would require a daily fee of $25 to pay for your stay with your host family (3 meals a day, laundry 2x a week, room, TV, and internet).

A look into a day in Spanish Language Bootcamp

Upon arriving to La Fortuna, you will be greeted by a staff member and taken to your new home. You will be given a Welcome Package too, filled with information regarding your stay, things to do in La Fortuna, and homework to get you started on your Spanish learning process. Your host family will be anxious to meet you, by the way, and may throw a little welcome party for you! It is recommended that students arrive to the Bootcamp the Saturday or Sunday prior to your first day of class, which will be on a Monday.

It is expected that you will either arrive to the community of La Fortuna either on a Saturday or a Sunday in order to settle in. Classes will begin on a Monday and, like Wednesdays, will have the following schedule:

 

Class schedules for Mondays and Wednesdays:

08:00 – 10:00 am: First period

10:00 – 10:15 am: Break

10:15 – 12:15 pm: Second period

12:15 – 2:00 pm: Lunch break

02:00 – 04:00 pm: Third period

04:00 – 04:15 pm: Break

04:15 – 06:15 pm: Fourth period

 

You will be given homework at the end of each class, and this is in addition to preparatory work you will be asked to do before the activities that you are expected to participate in on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Each activity is designed to encourage the learning of new vocabulary and language concepts. Students will be given activity-specific sheets prior to the activities in question. These sheets contain important homework that are designed to help students to make the most of what these activities have to offer.

 

Fridays are exceptional days. If you signed up for 24 hours of weekly classes, your Fridays will have the same schedule as your Mondays and Wednesdays. However, if you signed up for 20 hours of weekly classes, you will only have class from 8am to 12:15pm, with a break. Students are given the afternoon off so that they can take advantage of the day to travel around the area or country. It’s pretty easy to get around in Costa Rica. La Fortuna de Bagaces, site of the Bootcamp, is about 1 hour away from a cluster of popular beaches, and only just a bit further from some more secluded but wildlife rich beaches and forests. We are also relatively close to other national attractions such as Rio Celeste, Monteverde, Llanos de Cortez. The Bootcamp can help students find needed transportation or bus routes. Students are asked to enjoy their weekends but to be sure that they’re back in time for Monday classes and have homework ready.

The Bootcamp was designed to integrate the student into the community. The community is rather rural and isolated from English influences and language. This rural community is also considerably more affordable than more touristy destinations that tend to charge substantial premium to its clientele. Additionally, Spanish Language Bootcamp charges a very low commission and, as a result, makes sure that the community members providing their services to students (teachers, homestay families, cab drivers, and activity organizers, among others) receive a considerable majority of the program’s asking price. Additionally, Spanish Language Bootcamp is focused on students learning Spanish, everything else comes in second. As such, our prices do not contemplate extra-curricular activities that lie more within tourism activities rather than Spanish activities, a practice that other language schools tend to do to increase their margins. It is for these aforementioned reasons that the Spanish Language Bootcamp is so affordable.

Yes, and you are encouraged to! The area has plenty of beautiful sights and fun activities to do. There is ziplining, thermal ponds and pools, active volcanic craters, volcanic mud baths, forest tours where you can see different animals, river tubing, mountain biking in jungle trails, swim in natural ponds and rivers, dances, rodeos, festivals, and more! There are bikes for rent in the area, there are also inexpensive cabs and friendly neighbors who can take you to where you have to go.