Cosi - San Jose, Costa Rica
About San Jose Campus
In the city, the school is located between San Pedro and Zapote, in a safe, quiet suburb of San José which is about a ten minute bus ride from downtown. The capital (San Jose) has many museums, theaters with music performances and plays, international restaurants, discotheques and bars. There is an active night life during the week and it gets better on the weekends.
About the School Program
Classes normally consist of two or three students. It is rare that a class size reaches the maximum of six students.
We offer mini group classes, private tutoring, or a combination of mini group and private tutoring.
There are two ten-minute breaks between classes in which students and teachers enjoy coffee, juice, fruit and other snacks. Classes emphasize oral communication to achieve specific goals. Teachers are rotated to ensure that the student is exposed to a variety of Spanish accents.
The pace of the class is set according to the student's language skill development progress.
Mini group: 4 hours a day
Students meet for four hours from Monday through Friday in mini groups of six students or less. These classes take place in the morning from 8 AM to 12 noon or in the afternoon from 1 to 5 PM according to the student's preference. Most of the students prefer morning classes; nevertheless, during the rainy season (May to November) it is usually sunny in the morning and rainy in the afternoon. Thus, it is more advisable to take afternoon classes. Groups may be divided whenever a student demonstrates a different pace of learning.
Private tutoring: 4 hours a day
One-on-one instruction is designed especially for people who want to advance at their own pace, work on specific vocabulary, have special needs or who have limited time. We recommend this program for students who are taking classes for only one week. These classes take place according to the student's preference, in the morning from 8 AM to 12 noon or in the afternoon from 1 to 5 PM.
Mini group 4 hours + 2 hours private tutor a day
This program is designed especially for people who want to reinforce what is being learned in the group classes or who want to work on specific vocabulary. The schedule for this program is: mini group class in the morning from 8 to 12 and private instruction from 1:15 to 3:15 in the afternoon.
The offers the opportunity to live with a Costa Rican host family. A private room, keys to the house, breakfast, dinner and laundry service are all provided. The school chooses the families according to their interest in sharing with foreigners and to the evaluations we have received from previous students. Some families can accommodate students who are traveling with children. Host family accomodations are available in San José.
The school can rent fully furnished apartments which are located just one block from the facilities in San José. Each apartment has a computer with internet access through cable modem, refrigerator, stove, microwave oven, cooking utensils and TV. Room cleaning service is provided. Each apartments has 3 bedrooms with a double bed in each room. It is possible to rent the whole apartment or just one room.
If students do not want to stay with a host family, there is a wide variety of hotels near the school.
Meringue and salsa dance lessons are also offered once a week. There are visits to museums, presentations of movies and other cultural activities which change every week. Students can also participate in cooking classes. Once a month, students bring typical dishes from their country to share.
Students travel to Manuel Antonio by public bus. Buses leave San José every day at 6AM, 12:00 noon and 6 PM. It is a 3 and a half hour bus ride. The school buys the bus tickets in advance for your trip. If you choose to fly into Manuel Antonio or to rent a car, we will be happy to assist you in making any arrangements. It is recommended that participants arrive in San José on or before the Saturday prior to the start of classes, stay the first night in San José, and travel the following day to Manuel Antonio. SFS can arrange for your stay in San José, either with a host family or in a hotel.
(Tours listed below are additional (prices) to the program prices. )
City Tour (transportation and guide)
Students will see the main buildings in and around downtown San José and hear a brief history of the city.
Visit to Cartago city (transportation)
Founded in 1563, this former capital is the most historical city in the Central Valley. Students leave COSI at noon and visit the Lankaster Gardens, a beautiful orchid garden run by the University of Costa Rica.There is an arboretum that has a variety of Costa Rican ecosystems. You will also enjoy the view of the Orosi Valley, where there are many coffee plantations. In Cartago, students will visit La Basílica, the most important and famous church in Costa Rica and Costa Rica's patron saint La Negrita virge
Heredia City (transportation)
Heredia is a small but historical city founded in 1706. It is called the "city of flowers" and still retains some of its colonial character. The Parque Central is the best place to see the older buildings, such as the church of La Inmaculada Concepción, a colonial tower called "El Fortín" and La Casa de la Cultura which houses art and historical exhibits. Leaving at noon, students will be able to appreciate the great view from Monte de la Cruz, a famous look-out point.
The Butterfly Farm (transportation and entrance)
This is a great place to visit. It is located outside of San José. Students will learn about the relationship between the beautiful winged insects, their host plants and their predators, as well as the amazing transformations that take place within their life cycle. The price includes transportation, entrance to the garden and guide service.
Coffee Tour (transportation and entrance fee)
Students will visit the coffee farm (finca) and see a bilingual presentation that describes the historical importance of coffee to Costa Rica. The tour also shows parts of the production process and finishes with coffee-tasting sessions.
Aerial Tram (transportation, lunch and entrance fee)
The Rain Forest Aerial Tram is only one hour away from San José. It is located on a 450 hectare (1000 acres) private reserve of virgin forest that borders Braulio Carrillo National Park, one of the biggest and most biologically diverse parks in Costa Rica. The Students experience will include transportation in an open air vehicle to the Visitor Center where they will be shown a video about the project. They will then go on a guided walk on the trails (which bird lovers will really enjoy) and then an aerial excursion through the tree-tops.
White water rafting (transportation, breakfast, lunch, guide and equipment)
Rafting on Costa Rican rivers will bring you an unforgettable experience. The tour company will choose the most appropriate river according to your level of expertise. The most common ones are the Reventazón or Pacuare Rivers. This trip includes transportation to and from local hotels, breakfast, lunch and all rafting equipment required for the rivers such as rafts, lifejackets, helmets and paddles.
Isla Tortuga (land and boat transportation, breakfast, lunch, guide)
Isla Tortuga is a romantic place with white sands located close to the Puntarenas seaport. You will pass through small towns, sugarcane fields and green coffee plantations. The adventure continues on the ocean where you will admire the Island of Negritos, San Lucas, Gitana and the National Bird Santuary of Guayabo. The ocean at Tortuga Island is quite calm and safe for swimming and kayaking ($10). You can also go on a canopy tour.
Volcán Poás (transportation, park entrance)
The National Park of Volcán Poás lies about 37 km north of Alajuela. It is one of the oldest and best-known national parks in Costa Rica. The centerpiece of the park is Volcán Poás which has been active since 1828. The volcanic activity has resulted in acid rains and occasional closures occur depending on gaseous emissions and wind. The volcano is surrounded by a cloud forest abundant in flora and fauna. It also has a beautiful lagoon that is worth visiting.
Volcán Irazú (transportation, park entrance)
Volcán Irazú is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica measuring 3432 meters high. The last major eruption was a memorable one: March 19, 1963, the day that US President Kennedy arrived on a state visit. The park features several craters and on a clear day, it is possible to see both the Pacific and Caribbean oceans from the summit.
(2 days, 1 night; boat & land transp, all meals, hotel accommodations)
One of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica is the area of Tortuguero. You can get there only by boat. The beach is protected because thousands of turtles come here to nest their eggs from May to October. It includes an afternoon tour to town of Tortuguero and a morning tour to the Caño Palma reservation. You can see monkeys, crocodiles (caymans), sloths, toucans, parrots, morpho butterflies and other animal species.
Volcán Arenal (hot springs spa entrance and dinner)
The Volcán Arenal National Park is relatively new because it was founded in 1995. Visiting the active volcano is an unforgettable experience. The best time to see it is definitely at night. You can watch it from the Tabacón Resort area, a natural spa close to the volcano. The Resort uses hot water that springs from the volcano.
Services in Zapote:
In Zapote, there are many different types of stores, gyms, hotels and restaurants. In addition, communicative services such telephones, faxes and internet access are available. Public transportation is inexpensive with buses and taxis.