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Students are always placed in host families within a ten-minute bus ride or a thirty-minute walk to ICADS. Someone from the student’s host family will accompany the student to and from ICADS on the first day of classes to show each student the route. Each student is provided with a map that clearly indicates the location of his/her home as well as the location of the houses of all other students in his/her cluster. The fact that students are placed in close proximity to one another increases safety by allowing them to walk together and to share the required taxi ride when returning home at night, which is quite inexpensive when they can share the fare.

Each student lives with a local host family who not only feeds and supports the student, but also helps to monitor her/his whereabouts at all times. If a student does not return home on schedule for any reason, we are immediately notified. Families also help us monitor the state of the physical health and emotional well being of each student. Families also help us monitor each student’s physical health and emotional well-being.

We work hard to place students with families who represent the typical Costa Rican home to greater enhance students’ cultural experience, while prioritizing safety. We feel that it is absolutely essential that our students always feel safe and comfortable within their homes.

“I would definitely recommend the host family experience to other students. I think that a student should leave their options open because if I had requested a family with dogs or kids I would have missed out on this experience. I truly felt like I connected with the entire family. And I feel very privileged to have met them.”


 Daniel Pinto, Assistant Director of the International Programs Office, Rice University