Tico Lingo Homestay and Spanish Immersion Classes

Instruction: 5
Support: 2
Fun: 5
Housing: 1
Value: 5

My name is Zoe, I am 18 years old--Tico Lingo was my first international trip that I took alone. I did a homestay with a local mother who lived alone. I wasn't really worried about this or getting along with her because I am a very social and outgoing person. However, she was immediately indifferent towards me. My Spanish is not fluent, but intermediate for sure. I came to Costa Rica to learn, of course. My host mother was so cold and frustrated towards me when I could not perfectly understand her. I tried my best and often asked for another way of saying it or to talk slower, and she would literally throw her hands up and walk out of the room in anger. The homestay was one of the key parts that this program offered, yet all my host mother did for me was cook breakfast and sometimes dinner for me, and leave me sitting alone at the table to eat my meals. When we would talk it would be because her friends were over. They were so rude to me. I heard them talk badly about me multiple times, making fun of me when they thought I could not understand. I was called stupid by them while I was two yards away eating dinner. I told teachers and staff at Tico Lingo about this and we joked around, but no one helped or took much interest. Thankfully, I met amazing friends there that kept me going, but If I had not I can easily say it would've been a horrible experience. The lessons themselves were hard for me too. I have mild ADD so I learn a little slower than others. However, a good teacher knows how to teach different kinds of students. My teacher Erick would get mad at me when I didn't get and answer right, and tell me to pay attention. These classes were 4 hours, so I clearly struggled to focus at all times. At a certain point I just wanted to give up and almost ditch classes (I didn't, but I wanted too) because I felt so uncomfortable and shamed in class. Getting answers wrong is part of how you learn. It became clear that my teacher hated his job there and was miserable in class with us. This of course made it miserable for the students. I can say for sure my Spanish got worse during this time because my teacher went so fast through material that I couldn't remember the basics. As far as the city itself, I loved the food but was always being catcalled or followed by men. I was almost kidnapped by a delivery man for a pizza shop, and walking home at night was very scary. There was also nothing AT ALL to do in this city but go eat or drink. My friends and I would take trips to other places in Costa Rica but it was to expensive to do more than once in the two weeks I was there. Save yourself the money and stress, and go somewhere where they enjoy teaching and having you. This was horrible.

Would you recommend this program?
No, I would not
Year Completed
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