Spanish Program Policies (Term & Conditions):
During your stay you will be staying in the small city of Heredia and you will be taking your Spanish classes at the ASUL Academy. Home stays are located in urban neighborhoods close to the building, most of them within walking distance. The first day of class, a family member will show you the way to the Academy in the morning and will pick you up in the afternoon to show you the way back home.
The Institute Facilities:
The ASUL Institute hours are from 7:45AM to 5:00 PM; students cannot remain in the center after these hours.
Wi-Fi is available for students who bring their laptops.
The building contains a smoking zone but alcohol is not allowed. IMPORTANT: According to Law 7098 in Costa Rica all public spaces are declared one hundred percent (100%) free from exposure to smoke snuff, including the workplace, schools, shopping areas, transportation, etc.
While on field trips or walking trips, you are living in a variety of settings and therefore, for your own health and safety, you must agree to follow the directions of the coordinator of the trip or your professor.
If you consistently do not meet these culturally acceptable norms, you will be asked to leave the program early. Please refrain from the following:
- Activities or behaviors that interfere with the learning process of the group.
- More than 3 tardies to classes or events
- Unknown whereabouts on tours, more than once
- Non participation in activities
- Alcohol abuse
- Use of illegal substances
- Not respecting curfew on trips and in-home stays.
In Spanish class, the following is necessary:
- Attendance, participation, effort, progress
- Demonstration of knowledge, understanding, practical application, expression, and/or ability as related to course objectives.
- Depth (synthesis, analysis, critical thinking) or quality of work as related to stated course objectives and expectations.
- each Spanish professor will have a record of your progress. You should make a journal containing your assignments and homework.
- Quizzes will be executed according to the discretion of the professor but when the student changes his or her sublevel or level there is an oral and written examination.
While in Costa Rica, you will be hosted by local families who will happily open their home to you. You will be a member of the family and as such, you must make sure that your activities and behaviors are culturally appropriate.
Living with a Costa Rican family is an important experience; not only do they protect and take care of you, but they also play a key role in practicing Spanish and in learning about the culture.
All the houses have regular facilities (electricity, running water, telephone and access to public transportation). You will have your own room and your host mom will do your laundry. Only breakfast and dinner are included.
- Home Stay Policies:
- The student must live with a family so as to learn about our culture and practice Spanish. It is preferable that no member of the family speaks English. If this is not the case, the family shall not speak English with the student, being that one of the main objectives for living with a family is for the student to practice Spanish.
- Families will provide a private room, breakfast & dinner and laundry services. On weekends, and holidays, they must give students three meals. They do not have to provide lunch on weekdays. If they do so, it will be under a separate arrangement between the student and the family. In such case, the school suggests a $6 fee per lunch, which the student could pay from their monthly stipend as given by the academy to cover lunches.
- If a family or a student experiences any problems, students are encouraged to first try to resolve it with the family. If the problem cannot be resolved or the student or family feels that it is better to switch families, the Academy will place student with another host family.
- Costa Ricans are famous for their diplomacy. If you have a problem never display your frustration, raise your voice nor act disrespectfully. Remain calm. Explain that you have a problem and that you would like to discuss it (“Tengo un problema que necesito discutir con usted”). Exceptions to this would be any illegal act or any serious situation that places the student’s or family’s well-being at risk. Any such serious situation must be reported immediately to the Academy Director so that appropriate action may be taken.
- If an emergency takes place whilst the student is at his/her home stay, this must be immediately reported by the host families and/or the student using the designated number for that purpose: Number (506) 2237 2439.
- Each family is required to keep a basic stock of food, a first aid kit and other emergency supplies.
- The student will have access to the home phone to make and receive LOCAL calls daily, for purposes other than just calling a taxi or a classmate to meet up.
- Students can make international collect phone calls or using a calling card. They can also receive international phone calls. International collect calls to the home stay are not allowed.
• Students must inform their families whenever they are going to get home later than usual and/or if they are not staying home for any reason.
- Students may not bring home friends without asking the host family first.
- If the student loses, breaks, or damages something in the house; she or he must pay for it. The same applies if someone from the family breaks loses or damages something that belongs to the student.
ADJUSTING TO LIFE IN A DIFFERENT CULTURE
The symptoms usually appear when a person is uprooted from the safe and secure surroundings of home and transplanted – voluntarily or otherwise – to a totally different cultural setting. The majority of travelers residing in a foreign country for an extended amount of time encounter physical and psychological reactions to a culture unlike their own. These reactions can be disorienting.
Culture shock is a rite of passage for many people – a time when the initial intrigue of foreign surroundings wears off and the realization sets in that you are going to stay in this situation for a long time. Frustration, homesickness, loneliness, depression, irritability, and loss of appetite are the major signs of this ‘traveler’s disease’.
Some common causes of frustration are:
- Goals that are not realistic in a different culture
- Not being able to see any results after striving hard
- Being involved for too short a time
- Using the wrong approach to reach your goal, one that does not fit the culture in which you are living.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Taking into consideration that ASUL’s team promotes a friendly environment with a high level of satisfaction and efficiency in the implementation of the programs; likewise, students that register or get enrolled in any of our programs, agree to behave and act according to all of the terms and conditions explained below.
ASUL will send in advance, the names and telephones of the corresponding host family to the student. It is responsibility of the student to hand it at the moment they reach Costa Rica’s airport.
If you arrive from 6:00am until 11:00pm, between any days from Monday to Saturday, a member of the host family will receive you, otherwise the lodging and transportation will need to be covered by the student. In the fortuitous event that the student can’t find the family member, please call the host family phone number or the Academy. Remember that once in Costa Rica you could use the free phone number 1110, which is free for the caller and billed to the receiver. Do not take a taxicab or get out of the airport without have talked with an ASUL’s representative or family member, if the student do not obey, he or she will take full responsibility, taking care of the costs and risks involved.
On the first day of classes, students will take a Spanish level test and will be place in a class according to the language knowledge. If the student requires to change from one group to another do to its level, it is necessary to complete a request on the administration department between the first 7 days of the program explaining the reasons and it will be ASUL’s decision to accept or not the request.
Under very special and justifiable cases, students could request a change on the host family from one of the families on the ASUL’s hosting program list by contacting the administration department. ASUL will analyze and determine if there is fundament on the solicitation, and will communicate to the student the decision of approving or not the change.
On the group classes, the assigned teacher will do the best effort to assure that all the students complete the program stablished on time, if by any reason a student feels behind because of different learning abilities or lack of discipline, the teacher is no obligated to break the program to attend him/her, due to the delay the whole group will receive. In this cases, it is highly recommended to take additional private classes to level yourself with the rest of the students in the program.
Only for a group of students: When a group of student get enrolled in any of the ASUL’s programs, it is highly recommended to make the deposit of 20% from the total cost within at least 60 days before the program stars, and complete the rest of the payment (80%) with no less than 7 days before the group arrives Costa Rica.
Partial or total cancellations will proceed without any sanction if it’s made 30 days before the program stars. If the cancellation request is sent with less than those 30 days prior, the reimbursement will not be process due to the expenses ASUL incurs in logistics. In the case ASUL approve the reimbursement, all the changes and fees corresponding to the bank transfer will be deducted from the original amount. ASUL could accept the 20% deposit within less than those 60 days prior in very exceptional cases and it will be entirely an academy decision.
Only for individual students: when a student completes the enrollment on ASUL’s website, he/she will need to deposit the 20% of the total cost within at least 40 days prior the beginning of classes to assure his/her place into the program. The rest of the amount (80%) will need to be paid when the student reaches Costa Rica, at ASUL’s academy.
Cancellations will proceed with the correspondent reimbursement if it’s made 20 days or more before the program stars, when the cancellation request has been sent within less than those 20 days, the reimbursement will no proceed. In the case ASUL approve the reimbursement, all the changes and fees corresponding to the bank transfer will be deducted from the original amount.
In the fortuitous case that a student who already began the program, decides to suspend it due to a serious health problem or personal issue, will need to agree on presenting to ASUL’s administration the corresponding documentation to back it up, which will be analyze and value to decide if a reimbursement proceeds. In the case that it applies, the amount of the reimbursement will be define by the academy, it could reach a top of 75% of the unspent proportion.
To do the best for safeguard the student’s health, ASUL highly recommends to the student that notify each medical condition, physical impartment, medication or any special situation on the enrollment process or once you reach Costa Rica.
If a student stops the medication, eats or drinks something that could interfere with the drug’s effect, or takes risky behaviors that could result in health problems forcing the student to quit the program, ASUL will not make any reimbursement.
The students that enrolls on a weekend tour should pay it at the latest on the Tuesday of the previous week. All the students that request to pay after that date, will be charge 30% more, and it is conditioned to the tour’s availability.
Students should compromise to behave appropriately and practice good manners in classes, with the host family and all the other activities that complements the program.
If instead, the student practice inappropriate behavior or breach the basic demands of the academic program, compromising the program itself or the other students, ASUL’s CEO could ask the student to quit the program without any reimbursement, and the student should covers the expenses caused by the early departure of the program. It is important to highlight that ASUL’s team promotes good relationships between all parts involved, by the use and promotion of trust and service culture, consequently the decision of quitting the program is an absolutely unpleasant, unusual and far from our intention.
On Costa Rica’s holidays ASUL will no impart classes, this dates are already contemplated in our programs, and in consequence there are no reimbursements or discount for those dates.
Usually ASUL takes photos or videos of the students to be used on our website as a publicity material, with the purpose of promote our programs. At first, you accept this condition, but you have the right to ask the removal of any video or photographs you’re involve, and we will be in the best disposition to remove it.
The student accepts and agrees that during his/her participation in any of the ASUL’s programs of Spanish for foreigners that includes the residence in Costa Rica, earth and/or aquatic transportation, lodgment, tours, use of ASUL’s facilities and other activities provided by the academy, it is possible to be exposed to some kind of risk like minor or lethal accidents, illness and others caused by nature, robbery, assault or any others. In consequence ASUL’s absolutely recommend that all students take a personal insurance that will covers all the risks involved before travels to Costa Rica. Otherwise the student will take full responsibility and releases ASUL, its owners, directors, employees and contributors for professional services of any guilty.
In the fortuitous case of an emergency or another extraordinary circumstance will occurs, the insurance company or the student will cover all the expenses associated, in the understanding that ASUL won’t assume any cost.
I agree __
Let’s go to ASUL, Costa Rica!