Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it possible to study in both San José and Manuel Antonio during my time at COSI?

A: Yes. Many students study in San Jose and at the beach in Manuel Antonio.

Q: Does COSI have internet access?

A: Yes. Both COSI schools are equipped with free WIFI and computer lounges.

Q: What kind of tours does COSI arrange?

A: We can arrange canopy tours, white water rafting, Aerial Tram-Rain Forest as well as visits to major cities, volcanoes, and beaches.

Q: Do you offer classes for families? Are there classes for children?

A: Yes. We love families to join us at COSI. Note that in most cases children study separately from their parents. Depending on the age of your children, private classes may be the only option.

Q: Can I stay longer than I originally intended at COSI?

A: Staying or studying longer at COSI is never a problem. 😀

Q: Do I need a visa to travel or to study in Costa Rica?

A: Students from Europe, the United States, Japan, and most other developed countries get an automatic 90 day tourist visa when they arrive in Costa Rica. If you are planning on staying in Costa Rica for more than 3 months, you will have to leave the country for a minimum of 3 days (72 hours) before re-entering the country. If you have visa questions please email us at

Q: Do you offer other programs besides Spanish immersion?

A: Yes. We provide great volunteer abroad and international internship programs through our sister institute Maximo Nivel.

Q: What should I do if I have a question that is not listed here?

A: Please email us at

Q: How far will my house be from the school?

A: Most houses are within walking distance or a short bus ride from the school. In Manuel Antonio beach it is necessary to ride a bus between your host family and the school.

Q: Can I stay with my host family after I have finished taking Spanish classes?

A: This must be arranged directly with COSI prior to the end date of your program.

Q: What are the other possibilities if I do not want to stay with a host family?

A: We can place you in an apartment, hotel or hostel close the COSI schools.

Q: Do you offer homestays in Manuel Antonio?

A: Yes. Our homestays are with families that live in Quepos. Students take a brief bus ride (5-10 minutes) to get to the COSI school.

Q: If I do not feel comfortable with my host family, can I switch to another one?

A: If there are any problems, we happily change families for you at no extra cost.

Q: Who will pick me up at the airport?

A: Our COSI driver picks you up. The person waits for you outside of the airport and he’s easy to find, because he carries are large yellow smiley face flag. 😀

Q: Do you arrange for airport pick up in Quepos?

A: Yes, we do.

Q: How will I get to Manuel Antonio?

A: You get to Manuel Antonio by bus, small plane or by taxi. We help you with the arrangements and bus fare from San Jose to Manuel Antonio is included in your program fee. Note that most people spend one night in San Jose before taking the bus to Manuel Antonio the next day.

Q: When can I start taking classes?

A: Classes start every Monday throughout the year. Exceptions can always be made.

Q: Do I need to take a test before I start my classes so COSI knows my Spanish level?

A: Yes. As part of your program orientation, you take a comprehensive placement exam which lasts approximately 30 to 45 minutes. The placement exam includes Grammar, Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The placement test is free of charge.

Q: I have never studied Spanish before, is it still possible to take classes at COSI?

A: Of course! Some students arrive at COSI without any knowledge of Spanish.

Q: How does it take me to learn Spanish?

A: It depends on your Spanish knowledge before you arrive. Without any previous language experience, you can reach a Basic level in about 4 weeks. You can move from Basic to Intermediate in approximately 6 months, sometimes less.

Q: Can I receive university credit for taking Spanish classes at COSI?

A: Yes. You can receive credit from COSI’s School of Record the California State University – Monterey Bay, or we can help you earn credit through your home university.

Q: Is there a difference between your San Jose and Manuel Antonio programs?

A: The only difference between the two programs is location.