These Terms & Conditions apply for all reservations made from June 1st, 2023 onwards.
The site www.interculturacostarica.com is the official site of Centro de Idiomas Intercultura y Sámara Language School (Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools as its official marketing name), hereinafter called the School, used for corresponding payments for the sale of the services which the school offers. These services include among others: Spanish and culture programs which may include Spanish classes, homestay lodging, activities, excursions and transfers etc.
The use of the site www.interculturacostarica.com is governed by the by the Terms and Conditions set forth below and its use indicated their full and unconditional acceptance.
Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish schools reserve the right to make changes, corrections or improvements in the programs and services and Terms and Conditions at any time without notice.
Terms of payment shall be determined by the School. In order that the site will accept your payment, www.interculturacostarica.com should have received the corresponding approval of the of the credit or debit card of the authorizing party. www.interculturacostarica.com does not take any responsibility if such financial institution rejects the credit or debit card for any reason.
Please read the Terms and Conditions of Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools carefully before submitting your application or changes. By submitting your application, you certify that you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. (You, the participant, may also be referred to as “student” or “client”; Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools can also be referred to as “the school”.)
The participant is solely responsible for arranging and paying for their own travel, specifically including all airfares or other transport costs to and from the host country, as well as any local transport costs. It is the responsibility of the participant to research and obtain any visa, vaccines or other documentation necessary for traveling abroad. While Intercultura Costa Rica may provide advice to the participant, we are not responsible for any supporting documents necessary for the participant`s travel needs or other purposes. Participants are responsible for ensuring their travel documents are up to date and valid for travel (passports must have a minimum of 6 months’ validity remaining when travel will ensue).
In case of travel delay, students may start class on Tuesday instead of Monday, but no refunds are available for missed classes (this also applies if a student decides to leave a day earlier in the end and miss the last day of class). It is normally not possible to start the group course later than Tuesday, so if student is delayed longer than that, they may need to wait to enter the classes the following Monday. Group classes will not be exchanged for private classes in this case, and no refund for the missed days of classes can be granted, unless due to a justified medical emergency, presented with proper documentation.
Intercultura Costa Rica does not provide the participant with insurance of any kind: The participant is solely responsible for any health related expenses during his/her program with Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools. Whether or not you have health insurance, you will need to have a valid credit card with sufficient funds to cover any medical expenses, as most insurance plans work via reimbursement.
In the unlikely event of an emergency, all students will need to cover payment for any expenses that may be incurred. Most travel insurance plans require you to pay for any expenses upfront, which will be refunded upon your return based on their coverage policies. Intercultura cannot assist with students’ medical, travel and other additional logistical expenses due to sickness, accident or any other extraordinary circumstances. For this reason, it is mandatory that all students travel with a credit card that contains sufficient funds to cover emergency costs (minimum $5000 available balance).
1. Spanish program only
Travel health insurance is not mandatory in order to be accepted in our Spanish program, but we highly recommend purchasing a good temporary coverage plan before traveling. Ask your doctor/insurance agent for recommendations or look at sites such as https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-insurance
2. Spanish & Volunteer program
All volunteers need to have full comprehensive medical insurance for the duration of their stay in our projects. Travel insurance is mandatory for each volunteer, and the volunteer must purchase this prior to the program start date. The volunteer is solely responsible for evaluating and determining the type, extent and levels of any insurance coverage for their planned volunteer travel period. This must cover their entire travel period. Volunteers must also travel with a credit card with sufficient funds to cover emergencies ($5,000 minimum available balance).
Medical Conditions / Interruption of Treatment
Any mental or physical illness or other challenges/limitations that may affect the student or others, must be communicated to the school upon enrollment. Students must bring any necessary medication with them and must commit to taking this medication for the duration of the program. If a student interrupts or ceases treatment, and if this causes undue behavior or significant disruptions in classes, activities or homestays/lodging, the student may be asked to leave the program at the discretion of the Director. All transportation, chaperone, medical, personal and other costs associated with withdrawal and early departure must be covered by the student, and no refunds will be given in these cases.
1. Deposit payment for Standard Spanish Program and Lodging
Deposit payment (Standard Program)
To guarantee your spot in our program your deposit must be received 4 weeks before your scheduled start date.
If you booked Spanish classes only we charge a $150 non-refundable deposit.
If you booked Spanish classes and also accommodations through Intercultura (Homestay, Apartment, Student residence) then the total non-refundable deposit is $250. In case of travel partners/families, the deposit amounts apply per person. The deposit can be paid via credit card or PayPal (www.paypal.me/Intercultura or www.paypal.me/InterculturaSpanish) upon registration or, at the latest, 4 weeks before your program start date. If you are not sure you will attend the program, we suggest you wait until the deadline to send the deposit, as it is non-refundable in case of a cancellation, nor is it transferrable to another person. However, it may be reserved for 12 months for a future program payment for Intercultura programs for the same person. Programs for which we have not received a deposit the latest 4 weeks before program start date will not be confirmed, meaning your spot will not be guaranteed, until the deposit is received, depending on space-availability at that time.
2. Final payment for Standard Spanish Program and Lodging
The remainder of the program invoice is due upon program start and can be paid in the school reception either in cash (USD or Costa Rican Colones), by credit card, or via PayPal. In case of payment by international bank transfer, the participant must cover his/her banks transfer fees. Also, as an international bank transfer can take several work days to be credited to the Schools account, payments made by international bank transfer need to be settled at least 1 week before program start and payment confirmation must be sent to email@example.com.
Upon program initiation, if you decide to pay for only part of your class or lodging program, the unpaid part will be released for possible use by other participants.
3. Payment & Cancellations for Groups, Teen Summer Camp & Teen Academic Immersion
These programs require a 20% deposit, to be paid at least 2 months prior to their start date. In addition, the balance must be paid at least 2 weeks prior to the start date. Partial or full cancellations may be made with no penalty up to 2 months prior to the program.
Cancellations made with less than 2 months’ notice will retain only the 20% non-refundable deposit. Cancellations made with less than two weeks’ notice are subject to full payment, with no refund available.
D. REFUND & CANCELLATION POLICY (STANDARD SPANISH & LODGING)
If under this section a refund is accepted by the school’s administration, any fees incurred due to method of payment used will be deducted (service charges of bank transfer, credit card company, PayPal etc.). This refers to charges both on the receipt of the initial payment and the amount to be refunded. Refunds are made only via PayPal or in cash (for small amounts and if the student is already onsite). In case an authorized refund payment is not possible, the student also has the option to “freeze” their program and keep the unused part of the program fees to use them during a future visit, within maximum 1 year of the day the program was “frozen”. The program cannot be transferred to another student.
1. Full Program Cancellation (= Before Arrival)
If a participant cancels before beginning the program and has already paid the deposit there is no refund, as the deposit is non-refundable. (Remember: If a deposit is not paid within 4 weeks before program start, the program is not confirmed, and participation in the program can be rejected). If full program payment has been made before program start but needs to be cancelled, we can refund 70% of the program total, less the non-refundable deposit as well as any fees incurred with the refund. Students nay also choose the option is to keep the amount “frozen” as a credit, valid for 1 year (again, less the non-refundable deposit part). Remember, we recommend only paying the deposit, to avoid situations like these.
2. Partial Cancellation (= During Program)
No refunds can be made for program parts cancelled during the program. Remember: program parts that are not paid for in the first week of the program, are not confirmed and cannot be guaranteed at a later moment. If a student is expelled from the program for having broken the rules or any other unacceptable behavior, no refund can be granted.
3. Program Changes
Changes to the program can be arranged, only if availability permits; such as for example extend the stay, pause classes for a week and resume them later, explore our other school campus for part of the stay. For example: Students who decide to take a week off from CLASSES and extend their end date by a week, if space is available to do so. This does not apply to lodging, so an additional week would be charged in this case.
- It is not possible to change confirmed group classes for private classes.
- It is not possible to ask for rescheduling of an already confirmed and scheduled private lesson.
- If a student decides to take fewer private lessons than initially booked and paid for, no refund nor credit may be granted.
In cases where the student has paid for the program in full and decides to switch to classes at a lower rate, the difference will not be refunded. If they change to a program with a higher rate, any additional fees must be paid. In the case where a student decides of their own volition to change from one host family to another, a $75,- change fee will be charged, in order to help the former host family compensate for the lack of income they had planned with and any expenses already incurred. Changes made for emergency circumstances do not incur any change fee (for example, family host mother is not present at the house).
A change from one homestay to the other must always be done on the weekend, which is when the new week starts to count (Saturday or Sunday, depending on the student´s reservation). If a student still prefers to switch the host family mid-week, the student will have to pay for the extra nights, as the families are paid weekly. The host family has the right to terminate the homestay (after having discussed the situation with the school`s administration) if a student breaks house rules and/or exhibits unacceptable behavior. In that case no refunds can be granted. Any newly arranged lodging booked with Intercultura Costa Rica must be paid in full. Depending on the severity of the case, Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools can reserve the right to offer lodging or not for the student, and also reserves the right to expel the student from the entire program. Severe cases include any illegal behavior (drugs, assault, theft, or infringements of national anti-discrimination and anti-sexual harassment laws, for which we have a zero-tolerance policy.
4. Airport Pick-Up Cancellation
SAN JOSÉ (SJO) PICKUPS
Students who request airport pick-up must wait for their families at the airport exit point. If you cannot find your family, please use the emergency contact numbers you have to call the family and/or the school. Do not take a taxi or leave the airport until you have spoken to a school representative or the family. The school will not reimburse students who leave the airport without waiting for their families or contacting us first. It is possible to make a collect (reverse charge) call by dialing 1110, use airport Wifi to call using Whats App, or you can ask someone to share WiFi with you. In addition, we recommend buying an e-SIM before traveling to Costa Rica, so that you will always have connectivity.
LIBERIA (LIR) PICKUPS
If you choose to have the school pre-arrange transportation with a provider from Sámara, they will be at the airport at the time and day you indicate. If you do not arrive on this time/day, for whatever reason, you will be charged the full amount of the pickup, to be paid directly to the taxi, as he will have already made the journey to the airport. NOTE: If you prefer not to be potentially responsible for this charge, you should NOT choose to have airport pickup, but rather take an airport taxi directly, which will cost approximately $15-20 more, but has no cancellation penalty.
E. ON THE SPOT EXTENSIONS
A program extension on the spot can always be arranged provided there is availability for the desired program part the student wants to extend (classes, lodging or volunteering). The weekly group class rate, applied to the student`s initial booking, applies to the extension booking.
For example, if a student has booked 5 weeks and wants to extend for 2 more weeks. The weekly rate of 5-9 weeks applied in the initial booking will be applied as the weekly rate for the extension. The weekly rate for the extension varies if the amount of weeks of the extension booking is larger than the amount of weeks of the first booking and if the higher amount of weeks of the extension booking applies to a different weekly rate. For example, if a student books for 4 weeks (1-4 weeks rate) and on the spot extends for 5 more weeks, the 5-9 weeks rate will be applied ONLY to the extension, with no deduction to the initial 4 weeks already paid. In other words: It is never possible to change the weekly rate of the first booking retroactively.
If a program starts in one year and ends the next year the prices of the starting year are applied to the whole program if they were booked at the same time. However, an on-the-spot program extension made in the new year will be charged at the new rates (as it will be handled as a new booking). For on the spot extensions the school charges a deposit, or the extension can be paid in full on the day the extension is made and confirmed. No refund of the deposit is made if student then cancels the extension.
F. DISCOUNT POLICY
1. Holiday discount
For standard group classes (adult and kids/teen classes) charged at the standard rate (as mentioned in the price list) a $30 holiday discount will be applied if the national holiday falls on a weekday, as no classes will be held. The school reserves the right to observe the holiday on the holiday itself or can switch it to Friday of the week in question. It is not possible to make up the classes of the holiday on another day – thus the discount. Private classes will not be scheduled for a holiday and thus are not affected. If a holiday falls on a weekend, it does not affect the class schedule and therefore no discount will be applied.
2. Other Seasonal Discounts
Only one discount can be applied at a time!
In case more than one discount is published, Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools will apply the discount which is most favorable to the student. At different times of the year Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools may offer a variety of discounts and promotions, which may be published directly through the website or social media platforms. Those discounts and promotions can only be applied if the validity period and other conditions mentioned in the announcement are met. They cannot be applied retroactively. For example – a last-minute promo rate cannot be applied to programs previously booked or in progress when the offer is published. In addition, there may be independent promotions/ discounts offered through third-party websites (for example, directories). Those third-party services may include portals of Spanish programs abroad, lodging and tour services. Please be informed that only one discount may be applied at a time. Should a student reserve with us through a third-party provider, with a discount different from our current special offers, please be advised that only one discount can be applied to his/her Spanish course booking (we always apply the discount that gives the student the better final rate in the situation).
G. SPANISH CLASSES
1. Weekly amount of class hours
Adult group classes are 20 hours per week (4 hours per day from Monday to Friday in small groups of 2-6 students). If there is only one student at any given level, the student will receive private lessons in that week (number of hours pro-rated from group class payment made). This allows us to offer every level in every week.
For minors attending our Kids/Teen group classes the amount of class hours is always 20 hours per week, also if the kid/teen is the only student in the class (we ensure the full schedule to avoid having the minor finish class before the parent).
For teen solo travelers attending our year-round Teen Immersion Spanish program at the Heredia campus, the amount of class hours would be 15 hours per week (3 hours per day) when being the only student in the class.
The schedule for all classes is determined by the Spanish department week by week.
2. Class schedule Sámara campus
On the very first day of the program, each new student will have a short-level placement interview which determines the starting level and therefore the schedule of the week. For the following week/s, the schedule will be published at the school every Friday around noon.
Classes alternate daily between a.m. and p.m. so the schedule will either be Monday/Wednesday/Friday 8 am – 12 noon and Tuesday/Thursday 1 pm – 5 pm OR VICE VERSA.
We try for travel partners to have them on the same alternation, however we cannot guarantee that 100% (especially in high season). Our priority in terms of scheduling are families attending with minor kids, as they cannot be on the opposite class schedule of their studying parents.
Break times for group classes:
- A.M. schedule: 09.30 – 9.45 am and 10.45 – 11.00 am
- P.M. schedule: 02.30 – 2.45 pm and 03.45 – 04.00 pm
Private lessons will also be scheduled alternating a.m. / p.m.
3. Class schedule Heredia campus
In the week prior to starting the program, each new student will have a short-level placement interview conducted over the phone / WhatsApp / Zoom to determine the starting level and therefore the schedule of the week.
(If it is not possible to schedule the interview in advance, it can also be done on the first day directly at the school, but only if necessary.)
For the following week/s, the schedule will be published at the school every Friday around noon.
Classes do not alternate at the Heredia campus, so they are either a.m. (08.30 am – 12.30 pm) or p.m. (01.30 pm – 05.30 pm) for the entire week. We first fill up the a.m. schedule and once it is full we also open up the p.m. schedule for group classes.
Again, our first priority for being on the same schedule is for families with minor kids.
Break times for group classes:
- A.M. schedule: 10.00 – 10.15 am and 11.15 – 11.30 am
- P.M. schedule: 03.00 – 03.15 pm and 04.15 – 04.30 pm
Private lessons are mostly scheduled at p.m.
(In weeks with fewer students, a.m. might be possible for private classes, but cannot be confirmed or guaranteed in advance.)
VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT CANCELLATIONS
No refunds of administrative fees are given for short-term volunteer cancellations. We strongly discourage changes or cancellations for the following reasons: Once confirmed, the organizations plan on having a volunteer for the time and there may not be replacement volunteers available on short notice. Furthermore, if there were other volunteers interested in the placement, they may have been advised that space was not available with the organization and therefore made alternate plans with their second or third choices. If a volunteer does not fulfill their commitment to the placement, then the organization has lost time and resources by training the volunteer. Finally, cancellations and failures to complete agreements discourage the organization from accepting future volunteers.
EXCURSION CANCELLATION FEES
Students who sign up for a weekend excursion must pay by Wednesday of the preceding week. Students who cancel after this time will be charged a 30% penalty fee.
By accepting these Terms and Conditions, you accept that you may be pictured/photographed and that such material may be used by Intercultura and/or Intercltura´s business partners for promotion or marketing of Spanish programs. However, all students also reserve the right to request a picture be removed from advertising at any point, and this request will be honored by Intercultura.
TEEN & CHILDREN PROGRAMS
- Children ages 8-12 and 13-17 can participate in Intercultura`s Kids & Teen Spanish Camp. Children ages 13–17 can participate in Intercultura’s Kids & Teen Spanish Camp or in our chaperoned Teen Summer Camp.
- All parents are required to explain to their children a set of rules, including showing respect for local customs, abiding by curfews, not drinking alcohol, smoking or using illegal drugs. All minors at Intercultura are prohibited from using all tobacco products, alcohol and illegal drugs of any kind.
- The directors reserve the right, at their discretion, to withdraw any minor whose influence or actions are deemed dangerous or incompatible with the school’s rules. If this occurs, no reduction or return of fee, or any part thereof will be made. Parents will be responsible for any extra costs associated with returning their child home early.
- All your child’s personal belongings are their own responsibility. Expensive jewelry, designer clothes/shoes, etc., should not be brought to the camp. The school takes no responsibility for loss or damage to electronics and any other personal belongings.
- Every child and their parents must have an insurance policy valid for full coverage in Costa Rica. The school does not take responsibility for minors’ health during their program at the school.
- Any mental or physical illness or other challenges/limitations must be communicated to the school upon enrollment. Both children and their parents must bring any needed medications with them, and must commit to taking this medication for the duration of the program. If a student changes or ceases treatment, and if this causes undue behavior or other disruptions in classes, activities or the homestay, the student may be asked to leave the program at the discretion of the director. All transportation, chaperone, medical, personal and other costs associated with withdrawal and early departure must be covered by the student, and no refunds will be given in these cases.
- By accepting this Terms and Conditions, parent confirms that his/her child has permission to participate in all camp activities, including in-town and outdoor games and sports, led by our Spanish professors and guides.
- By accepting these Terms and Conditions, the parent confirms his/her acceptance that his/her child may be pictured/photographed and that such material may be used by Intercultura and/or Intercltura´s business partners for promotion or marketing of programs for teenagers and children. However, all parents also reserve the right to request a picture be removed from advertising at any point, and this request will be honored by Intercultura.
BY CLICKING “SENT” ON THE REGISTRATION FORM, I AGREE TO:
I understand that I am agreeing to abide by the aforementioned rules and conditions. I am aware that while participating in the Intercultura program and while in Costa Rica, certain exposures to risk may be incurred. These may include but are not limited to accidents and/or sickness without readily available medical facilities, the forces of nature, travel on the ground and in the air, assault and theft. In consideration of the right to participate in the programs, tours, homestays and all other activities offered by or associated with Intercultura and/or their agents, I do hereby assume all of the risks involved and agree to indemnify and hold Intercultura, their officers, staff, directors, owners, employees and cooperating agents blameless and not responsible for any and all liability.
QUESTIONS AND CONTACT INFORMATION
If you would like to: access, correct, amend or delete any personal information we have about you, register a complaint, or simply want more information contact our Privacy Compliance Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools
[Re: Privacy Compliance Officer]
[Avenida 4, calle 10, Heredia, H, 1952-3000, Costa Rica]