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Costa Rica 08. Summer Program. Fast Facts. Costa Rica is a democratic republic Capital: San Jos é Currency: Colón $1 US dollar = 500 colones (approximately) Traveler `s checks, ATM, credit cards, cash Pocket money: $500 Climate: May 71F (average), 17 days of rain

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costa rica 08

Costa Rica 08

Summer Program

fast facts
Fast Facts
  • Costa Rica is a democratic republic
  • Capital: San José
  • Currency: Colón
    • $1 US dollar = 500 colones (approximately)
    • Traveler`s checks, ATM, credit cards, cash
    • Pocket money: $500
  • Climate: May 71F (average), 17 days of rain
    • Spring / Summer clothes: sandals, raincoat, small umbrella, one nice dress, towel, personal items (soap, shampoo, etc.), sun block, and insect repellent. Dress conservatively!
Electricity: same as the U.S.
  • Health Information: Amoebas and other intestinal woes. Allergies. Bring medications / prescriptions.
  • Safety: CR is a safe place. Pickpockets. Do not bring prominent jewelry. Be sure not to leave valuables unattended. Do not walk alone in the late night.
  • Drugs: Drugs laws are strict
  • Food: Drink bottled drinks, avoid ice. Eat well cooked food.
  • If you have a question, ask!!! Do not assume! There will be misunderstandings, but that is ok!
  • Culture shock. It is OK!
  • Inform your host family whenever you will not eat or sleep
  • Your family will take you to ICADS for your orientation on the first day of the program. Make sure to pay attention to the route they take so you can learn the way to ICADS.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions or express your concerns to me or to the housing coordinator.
  • Telephone access from your host family’s phone will be limited. Use public telephones.
  • They will wash all of your clothes except underwear. They will show where and how to wash your intimate clothing by hand.
  • You should never feel obligated to clean the house, baby-sit, etc. Of course, do not make a mess, and try to clean your room.
  • Use Usted with your family, teachers and new people you meet. Be polite!!
  • Bring a Spanish dictionary
  • It is OK to make mistakes! Costa Ricans have a lot of patience
  • Practice Spanish!! Not English!
  • Study the vocabulary list!
  • 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. : Spanish classes
  • 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. : Lunch
  • Students usually have lunch in many neighborhood restaurants
  • 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. : Every afternoon, except Fridays, students will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, field trips, or cultural activities. Friday afternoons are free, to allow weekend travelers an early start. Sometimes, special activities may take place during evening hours.
  • We are representing Piedmont College. Therefore, we follow the Academic Integrity Policy and Student Behavior Code (see Student Handbook,
  • Attendance policy (The maximum allotted number of absences is 3 days)
  • We are adult people and not children!
  • I will be there 24 hours/ 7 days a week
  • There are no stupid questions! Ask!
  • I will be there, helping you with your Spanish and making this trip a positive learning experience
useful information
Useful information
  • ICADS address:
          • (Your name)
          • c/o icads
          • apartado 300–2050
          • COSTA RICA
          • 011-506-2225-0508(this is the only ICADS line that receives international calls)
  • Spanish web site: (all the information / gallery)
  • U.S. embassy in Costa Rica [506] 2519-2000
recommended items to bring
Recommended items to bring
  • Two copies of passport
  • Glasses, sunglasses, contact lens
  • Copy of your health/ accident insurance
  • Medication (prescription)
  • Personal items: shampoo, soap, sun block, etc.
  • Cash ($100)
  • Credit cards
  • A notebook
  • A handy Spanish-English Dictionary
  • Cellular??
recommended items to leave with someone in the u s
Recommended items to leave with someone in the U.S.:
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your credit and debit cards
  • A copy of your airline itinerary
  • A copy of health/ accident policy
  • Your host family address
  • ICADS address
  • Spanish section web site:
keep in touch
Keep in touch
  • Please keep in touch with your family here in the U.S. I am not a messenger boy.
  • Use the Internet for communication! E-mail. ICADS has a computer lab with Internet availability.
  • Skype, MSM, AOL (I will try to install these programs over there). I will also bring a laptop.
  • Please give your family the house phone number, in case they need to contact you for an emergency
  • Tell your family to call you at ICADS in the morning. 011-506-2225-0508. They speak English.
  • Use public telephones. In Costa Rica, you can buy calling cards.
  • It is ok to be homesick! Remember, this a unique experience. It is just 4 weeks. Practice Spanish. Enjoy Costa Rica!
  • If you need assistance, please let me know