I arrived at Maximo Nivel intending to improve my Spanish, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was so happy to find that there is so much more going on than I had anticipated. I found myself a part of a beautiful and unique community that was made up of the staff, volunteers, and students in the program. I made close relationships and countless memories. The Spanish classes exceeded my expectations, and I improved so much!! I even was starting to get the hang of Salsa dancing by the end of it. I chose to spend, a more than conventional, four months with Maximo Nivel, and honestly every second was worth it. I would travel outside the city some weekends or take advantage of really cool stuff happening in San Jose. By the end of my experience, I was leaving three families. My host family, who genuinely are like parents to me. My Maximo family, all of the awesome people who I would say hi to every day and get support from often (including great teachers). And finally, the weird mixed up group of people I met along the way from air force groups to people on gap years like me to the Costarican friends I am going to miss so much. I will never forget my time in Costa Rica, and what it has done for me, I owe a lot of that to this great program.
I do have one thing I would like to share, and it is feedback that I think Maximo may have received before. It concerns accommodation with money. The majority of the time I was in CR, this was not a problem, although each time there was a holiday or day off from classes, I was surprised to find that I was each time paying the full week price. It seemed to me cold, from the company, to offer a kind of 'cop-out' that did not provide nearly as much as a day in class, rather than just offering a 20% discount for the week. There were multiple times where this was the case.
I came to Maximo with a homestay already in place, but I refused to sign up for volunteering with my Spanish classes because the housing fee couldn't be dropped. That's ridiculous! You nearly lost a client I have talked to others who agree that it sends an odd image of Maximo when it seems to only be about money. I think the language school and volunteer programs would benefit from policy changes that allow people to only pay for what they think they're paying for. I hope you understand where I am coming from and take it into consideration.