Escuela de Español para Extranjeros Epifania

Study Abroad in Costa Rica at Epifania Spanish School At Epifania – Costa Rica Spanish School (Your Learning Spanish School), spanish students of all ages will enjoy a truly rewarding, fun and exciting experience of learning spanish as a new language. With stimulating spanish teachers, interesting fellow spanish students and spanish language improvement your time with us will be very productive and gratifying. Whether you are an absolute beginner or you are at a more advanced level you will receive our full attention so that your commitment to time and expense is as effective, rewarding and productive as possible.

Epifania – Costa Rica Spanish School (Your Learning Spanish School) is a medium size Spanish language school with a team of highly qualified and dedicated spanish professors. All our spanish teachers are University graduates and possess the required qualifications to guarantee a good quality of spanish language teaching. Their interactive and motivating spanish lessons respect the personalities of each individual. Their experience in teaching Spanish coupled with their friendliness and strong interpersonal skills enable them to adapt to the specific needs of each spanish students group. Their skills will enable you to progress at your own speed in a friendly, warm and inviting atmosphere.

Class sizes are small, usually two to four spanish students and never more than four per qualified spanish teacher. Small classes are the perfect environment for you to learn Spanish in a more efficient manner allowing you to receive the benefits of individualized instruction.

Our main priority is to give the most attention to each spanish students specific needs. As a result, our expert team has carefully put together educational learning spanish packages consisting of high quality Spanish courses and accommodations as well as a widely varied leisure learning spanish program Epifania – Costa Rica Spanish School (Your Learning Spanish School) is located in the quiet suburb of San Pedro, Costa Rica, a ten minute bus ride to San Jose. We are a ten minute walk to the modern Mall San Pedro, a four story shopping mall featuring restaurants, shops, and discos.

Should you decide to study with us and learn to speak spanish or to brush up on your skills, you may choose to stay with a Costa Rican family. There you will have your own private room, two meals per day and laundry service. Each host family is carefully chosen and has clean, comfortable and secure homes close to the school.

The team at Epifania Costa Rica Spanish School (Your Learning Spanish School) looks forward to welcoming you and making your stay with us both productive and stimulating.

Costa Rica Spanish School Information

Costa Rica Spanish School Address

Epifania is located in San Pedro, a suburb of San Jose.
The address is as follows:
75 meters south from Machu Pichu restaurant.

Learning Spanish Classes Schedules at Epifania Spanish School

MONDAY TO FRIDAY
Costa Rica Spanish School, Epifania Learning Spanish School will open at 7:30 am each morning.
The most common schedule is at morning, however we recognize that there are many NON SPANISH SPEAKING people living and working in Costa Rica that want to learn spanish as a second language. For this reason we open to Evening and Night Classes.

Costa Rica Spanish School classes schedules are as follows:
Morning and Evening Spanish School Classes
8:30 – 10:15 am
10:15 – 10:30 am
10:30 – 12:15 pm
12:15 – 1:15 pm
1:15pm – 3:00 pm
03:00 pm – 03:15 pm
03:15 pm – 05:00 pm

Night Spanish School Classes
06:00 pm – 08:00 pm

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
Costa Rica Spanish School, Epifania School offers weekend spanish classes for those unable to attend spanish classes during the regular school day.
The Spanish School will open at 8:00 am each weekend.

Morning Spanish School Classes ( Saturday )
8:30 – 10:15 am
10:15 – 10:35 am
10:35 – 12:15 pm
Morning Spanish School Classes ( Sunday)
8:30 – 10:15 am

Internet use at Costa Rica Spanish School

Internet access and use of computers is available to all learning spanish students free of charge during regular school hours. A wireless network is available at the school for those wishing to use their own laptops.
There are also many internet cafes nearby where learning spanish students can have access to the internet for a small charge.

Money
The currency in Costa Rica is the Colon. As of January, 2007 there are approximately 515 Costa Rica colones to one U.S. dollar.
Most restaurants and stores accept credit cards and U.S dollars while very few accept travelers checks. However, travelers checks may be changed at local banks. There are also many ATM machines where you can get dollars or colones.

Climate

There are only two seasons in Costa Rica, the rainy season and the dry season. In San Jose, the rainy season is normally from May through November and the dry season is from December through April. Even in the rainy season the mornings are normally dry and warm. It normally rains every afternoon for 2 or 3 hours and the rest of the day and evening is usually dry and cool. Temperatures do not vary much from month to month. The average temperature in San Jose is 75° F (24°C). It is warmer at the beaches and cooler in the mountains.

Telephone use at your Learning Spanish School

Local calls are free at Epifania – Costa Rica Spanish School and learning spanish students may make long distance calls at the spanish school by calling collect or by using a telephone card. Epifania Spanish School also sells calling cards for international calls.

Clothing

Dress at Epifania Spanish School is informal. Learning Spanish Students usually wear jeans, shorts, or T-shirts.
For evenings you might need a sweater or light jacket. Slacks and a sport shirt or blouse are appropriate for evening wear.
For the rainy season, there is no need to bring a raincoat. Few Costa Ricans have one. It is better to bring, or buy locally, an umbrella.

Local Transportation

Local transportation is plentiful and much less expensive than in the U.S. For example, a bus ride from near the school to San Jose will cost approximately 35 cents. The same trip in a taxi from the spanish school to San Jose will cost less that $3.00.

Costa Rica Location –

Costa Rica borders with Nicaragua to the North, with Panama to the Southests, with the Caribbean Sea to the East and with the Pacific Ocean to the West. Its territorial extension is approximately 51.100 square kilometers and about 589.682 km2 are of sea surface, although is small in size, 25% of its territory is protected by National Parks and Reserved Areas.

Costa Rica Climate

The climate is pleasantly stable and there are only two distinguishable seasons, the dry season and the rainy season. The green season starts in May until October and the dry season starts in November and ends in April. The average temperature is 22.5 ºC during the dry season, and 21 ºC during the green season.

Language in Costa Rica

The official language is Spanish, however English is taught as a second language in primary and high schools. In tourist areas and establishments English is almost and official language.

Currency in Costa Rica

The official currency is known as the Colon and it can be found in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100 and 500, in coins, and in denominations of 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10.000 in paper bills. The exchange rate regarding the dollar is variable and can be transacted at the Juan Santamaria International Airport, in any of the state or private banks, exchanges houses, Hotel and even in some commercial establishments. Credit cards such as American Express, Visa or Master Card are widely accepted in most establishments.

Taxes in Costa Rica

In the majority of establishments, there is a 13% sales taxes charge and a service tax charge that is 10%. Hotels charge an additional 3% tax.

Population in Costa Rica

The population is slightly over 4 million habitants and life expectancy is around 77 years of age. The average age is 23.2 years.

Government and political situation

Since the year 1948, Costa Rica abolished the army as a permanent institution, differing itself from the rest of the countries in the area and sustaining its social and economic growth in a democratic tradition. The current Constitution was established in 1949 and the states that Costa Rica is a democratic, free and independent Republic. Its Government is based on the division of powers, the Executive Power, lead by the President, two Vice-presidents and its team of Ministers, the Legislative Power composed of 57 representatives elected by popular election through a universal vote, and the Judicial Power, formed by the Supreme Court of Justice, its four Courts and Ordinary Tribunals.

Costa Rica’s Public Holidays – Costa Rica Spanish Language School January 1st (New Years Day), Holy Thursday and Good Friday, April 11th (Day of our Hero-Juan Santamaria), May 1st (Labor’s Day), July 25th (Annexation of Nicoya), August 2nd (Virgin of the Angels Day), August 15th (Mother’s Day), September 15th (Independence Day), and December 25th (Christmas Day)

Non statute holidays in Costa Rica

Other festivities that are celebrated throughout the year are: October 12th (Arrival of Christopher Columbus to America, Cultural Encounter Day)

Electric Power
In Costa Rica the electric power is 110 volts, however in some areas you can find power sockets of 220 volts.

Water
In Costa Rica practically all the water is drinkable, however if you are traveling to isolated places it is advisable to carry bottled water.

Costa Rica National Symbols
The national symbols of Costa Rica are recognized by the Flag, blue represents the sky and the sea, white represents peace, and red stands for the blood shed by the Costa Ricans in defense of their country, the National Insignia, which does carry any warlike elements; the Guanacaste Tree (Enterolobiun cyclocarpun) which in Nahualt means ear, the name originates from the shape of its fruit; the Yiguirro (Turdus grayi) or Robin which is the national bird since 1975 upon request of a citizen named Eliseo Gamboa; the Guaria Morada (Cattleya skinneri) or Purple Orchid is the national flower that grows in rain forests at low altitudes reaching altitudes of 2000 meters. The National Anthem is the work of two distinguished Costa Ricans: Manuel Maria Gutierrez composed the music in 1852; José Maria Zeledon composed the lyrics back in 1903.

General Information of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is especially interesting as a tourist destination due to its natural beauties, friendly people, its climate and geographic location. The country has a coastline of 1.228 km, of which 212 km are on the Caribbean Coast and 1.016 on the Pacific Coast. Because of its geo-morphological features, there is a wide variety of micro climates that offer an extraordinary diversity; you can travel from altitudes at sea level up to altitudes of 3.820 meter above sea level; you can find volcanoes, caves, primary forests, rivers, rapid currents, lakes, mangrove tress, plains, channels, coral reefs, waterfalls, white sand beaches, peninsulas, islands, crystal clear water, and infinite sceneries that guarantee an unforgettable stay. “Ticos” are very friendly and warm people by nature; they are cultured and educated through tradition.

In addition to its natural and humane richness, Costa Rica shows pride with its advanced technology in the feels of communication, industry, infrastructure and transportation, this allows you to combine tourism with business and vice versa.

Interesting Facts about Costa Rica
– San Jose was the third city in the world to have electric lighting.
– Costa Rica declared war against Germany, Italy and Japan, even before the United Sates did, when the Second World War began.
– Scientist, Clodomiro Picado, discovered penicillin before Fleming did.
– It is one of the countries with the most protected environmental area in the entire world; National Parks, Biological Reserves or Uncultivated Areas form 25% of its territory.
– It has approximately 850 species of birds, of which 600 are indigenous and the rest are non-native.
– The crater of the Poas volcano is one of the largest in the world, and it was once the largest geyser in the world.
The Epifania Learning Spanish Method was developed by Guiselle Quesada, a highly innovative individual with over 30 years of teaching Spanish as a second language.

Epifania Spanish School Learning Spanish Method places a strong emphasis on conversation while at the same time introducing applied spanish grammar. Your learning spanish experience is based on the four principles of learning, meaning, motivation and practical application.

Your first day of spanish classes will include a brief indoctrination to our school and team and each student will be given a written and oral test to determine their level of knowledge of Spanish. We will then set up the groups in different levels.

Epifania- Costa Rica Spanish School Levels are as follow:
Complete beginner/Elementary
Intermediate
Advanced
Complete Beginners and Elementary Spanish Language School Level

A complete beginner student has no knowledge of Spanish. An elementary level student has an extremely limited knowledge of Spanish. Epifania Spanish teachers will basically use only Spanish when interacting in the classroom allowing the students to begin to use the language immediately. Visual tools and the use of body language will help in the spanish language understanding.

At this level our spanish language teachers will teach basic grammar and start building a vocabulary that will allow our spanish students to express simply. Spanish Students will be encouraged to use a few colloquial phrases to help quickly develop their speaking skills. These lessons are designed to familiarize each spanish student with everyday Spanish to cope with everyday situations. Each spanish student is encouraged to interact during the spanish class sessions.

Intermediate Spanish Language School Level

The spanish student at the intermediate level will have a basic knowledge of Spanish. You are encouraged to make use of the skills you already have. The goal at this level is to develop an automatic response to verbal communication and to help each spanish student express ideas in Spanish by learning to construct more complex sentences. Spanish grammar is an essential part of this program to help the spanish student properly structure the spanish language. The new language will begin to acquire a meaning and the spanish student will begin to feel confident in speaking basic Spanish in real life situations.

Advanced Spanish Language School Level

This level is for spanish students with a good to very good knowledge of Spanish language. At this stage you will work on your oral skills enabling you to speak fluently and express yourself clearly. You will become familiar with idiomatic expressions and the rhythm of the spanish language. We will utilize local periodicals to help you with your reading and writing skills.

Manuals and Teaching Materials

A grammar manual developed by the Epifinia teaching staff will be given to each spanish student. Several textbooks used by Costa Rican students to learn correct Spanish grammar are also used. Tape recorders, CDs, DVDs and other audio visual items may also be used.

Each room is reinforced with posters, pictures and other visual items.

Another tool used is boards with information related to the topics reviewed in class each week.

We will stress the importance of pronunciation for which games, puzzles and other teaching aides will be utilized.

Each spanish teacher will keep a file for each spanish student and with weekly meetings they will create strategies to help the spanish student with their problem areas.

Pronunciation Exercises
Pronunciation exercises will be held for 15 minutes after the first break.

Language Lab
On Wednesdays there will be spanish language labs where each spanish student could prepare a speech or listen to songs or stories or participate in various other activities.

Dance Classes
On Fridays from 11:15am until 12:15pm a dance class will be held in which all spanish students may participate. We will teach basic Latin American dances. For those spanish students who do not wish to attend dance classes may continue to study Spanish by participating in alternative activities such as games, puzzles or charades.

– Costa Rica Homestay
Most spanish students will choose to stay with a Costa Rican family while attending Epifania. Each family is carefully chosen based on their friendliness, cleanliness and willingness to help our spanish students. By staying with a Costa Rican family, you will be able to practice your Spanish Language as much as you like, while experiencing a traditional Costa Rican lifestyle. Homestays begin on a Sunday and will end on a Saturday of your final week of spanish classes. If needed, someone will pick you up at San Juan Santamaria International Airport and take you directly to your Homestay family. Someone from the family will go with you to the learning spanish school on the first day of spanish classes to show you the way.

While you are staying with a family you will have your own private room, breakfast and dinner and laundry service.

MEALS
Your Costa Rican family will serve you two meals daily, breakfast and dinner. Please indicate on the registration form if you prefer only vegetarian dishes and if you cannot eat certain foods. Costa Rica has an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that you will enjoy with your family.

LAUNDRY in Costa Rica Spanish School – Costa Rica Homestay:
Your family will provide laundry service and will change your bedclothes weekly.

HOUSE KEY in Costa Rica Spanish School – Costa Rica Homestay:
A front door key will be provided for you if you are over 18 so you will be free to come and go. However, if you are going to be late or go away for the weekend please let your hosts know so they will not worry.

AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION Spanish School Homestay:
Someone from Epifania Spanish School (Your Learning Spanish School) will pick you up at the airport and take you to your new home. You will also be provided transportation to the airport when you leave. Please keep us informed of any changes in your travel plans.

YOUR FAMILY in Costa Rica Spanish School – Costa Rica Homestay:
Epifinia Spanish School (Your Learning Spanish School) is located in a residential/commercial section of San Pedro, a quiet suburb of San Jose. While we are located in a quiet secure area, it is only a 15 minute walk to the Mall San Pedro and less than that to many other shops and restaurants. A 10 minute bus ride will have you in the center of San Jose.

Each family is selected by the Epifinia Spanish School (Your Learning Spanish School) Homestay coordinator and will have clean, secure homes. Our families enjoy hosting foreign spanish students for the experience of sharing their homes and culture and learning of the culture of the students as well. As long as the host family is looking forward to hosting a spanish student and the student is also friendly and considerate, your stay will be very pleasant and educational.

Spanish School Homestay CHANGES:
Living with a Costa Rican family can be very rewarding and pleasant. Your host family is carefully chosen to provide a friendly and productive stay. However, things change such as family illnesses, problems at work that could affect the Homestay experience. Should you have any problems with your family, please inform the staff at Epifinia Spanish School (Your Learning Spanish School) so we can make the necessary changes.

OTHER ACCOMMODATIONS: If you prefer to stay on your own in a hotel or bed and breakfast please feel free to do so. If you wish, we can help you with arrangements.
We have furnished apartments available for the week or month. These apartments are located next to the school and include internet access, TV with cable, stove, refrigerator, and microwave. These apartments rent for $225 weekly and $450 monthly.

The SOS program is designed for all those people that wish and need to have the necessary tools to communicate in Spanish during its stay in our Country, for those on vacations or work related issues. Even though that fact that most Costaricans speak English or other language, we know that the visitor does experience frustrations and situations that could have been avoided if the visitor would have known a bit of the Spanish language and a little bit of our Costarican idiosyncrasy.

For this reasons a couple of month ago, Epifania School launched the SOS Program (Spanish of Survival for Tourists), since most of our students commented about the necessity to know Spanish in real life situations in Costa Rica.

SOS Program.
One day Class:
* Important Phrases. Greetings, Small Talks, Personal Information, Handy Expressions, Slangs.
* Daily Situations: Costarican Idiosyncrasy (How we are? How do we consider ourselves, which treatment are we used to? ). The Metric System, etc.
* Basic Tourist Information: Most famous places in Costa Rica.
* Themes of Security: What to do in case of an emergency? Credit Card Issues, Important Phone Numbers, Accidents, Police, Ambulance, Customs, Embassies, etc.
* Plus lots of expressions of basic Communication.

The program is definitely an initial phase; however, the participant may initiate a complete program of Spanish Learning afterwards.
Characteristics of the Program:
Name: S.O.S Program (Spanish of Survival for Tourist)
Course Duration: 1 day. (6 hours of class).
Schedule: Monday to Friday. (The students choose the desired day)
* 08:30 am to 10:15 am: SOS Program Class. * 10:15 am to 10:30 am: Break. * 10:30 am to 12:15 pm: SOS Program Class. * 12:15 pm to 01:15 pm: Lunch. * 01:15 pm to 03:00 pm: SOS Program Class
What does the program include?
* 1. Spanish of Survival Program for 6 teaching hours. One day Course. From 08:30 am to 03:00 pm, any day from Monday to Friday.
* 2. Book of Spanish for survival in Costa Rica. Pocket book edited in both English and Spanish for usage in any situation that the visitor may face. Written by Christopher Howard. (Well known for his studies in the Costa Rica Spanish Language and Culture)
* 3. Coffee within the Breaks. The program does include coffee, tea or any natural beverages.
* 4. Lunch based on Tropical Fruits. During Lunch time, a fresh and balanced fruit salad will be served based on Tropical Fruits, honey, granola, ice cream, etc.
* 5. Full Usage of the facilities on the free time. During breaks and/or lunch or any other free time, the participants may also enjoy our facilities which have a beautiful garden, rounded with different type of birds, threes, flowers, etc. We also have rooms for relaxing, for reading, and for watching television (always in Spanish). There are computers with internet available for the participants to use as well as secure wireless connection, in case they bring laptops.
* 6. Facilities protected by Emergencias Medicas (Emergency Assistance) Our facilities and every one inside them are protected by Emergencias Medicas (Emergency Assistance), so in case of an emergency, a doctor and an ambulance will be dispatched to the school and a doctor`s evaluation will take effect. In case the emergency requires taking the patient to the hospital, the transportation to the hospital will be covered.
* 7. Transportation. A pickup service will be provided to take the participant from the place he/she is staying (hotel, hostel, family, etc) to the school and then to take him/her back after the classes end. Eventually, a meeting point will be coordinated to meet the participants there and take them to the school and from the school after the class. All transportation does have all insurances requested by law to operate providing good service to users.

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