Covenant Christian Academy

 Costa Rica


Colegio Técnico Profesional San Rafael de Poas

January 15-29, 2020 


Host Family FAQ


What are the responsibilities of the host families?

  • Plan to meet your exchange student at the airport on the day of arrive and bring your exchange student to school on the day of departure to the designated meeting area.

  • Make transportation arrangements to get your exchange student to and from school every day.

    • If you intend to send them on the bus, you will need permission from the school to do so

    • If your sons or daughters have their driver’s license, the exchange student may be in the car with them when they drive

    • If you require assistance with transportation, please reach out to other parents on the contact sheet who can carpool.

  • Send a packed lunch everyday with your exchange student

  • Include the exchange student in your daily activities so they have a greater understanding of American life!

    • Show them local attractions

    • Cook meals with them or go to popular restaurants with Mexican, Chinese, or Thai food, or popular steakhouses! Don’t forget to take them to a good hamburger spot!

    • Take them to the movies or watch TV with them (don’t forget to put English subtitles on, just in case!)

  • Exchange students bring their own spending money

    • Take them shopping! Exchange students love to shop at outlet malls and stores such as “Marshalls,” and “Target.” Most of them have an idea of what they would like to buy so ask them and they will tell you.

  • Provide an authentic cultural experience in which students actively use the English language.

    • Most exchange students must take English as a foreign language in school. It is a requirement to graduate. Communication has rarely been an issue during the hosting experience.

  • Supervise your exchange student and your own child with great care

    • They will have teachers traveling with them, so any questions or concerns should be shared with them and their teachers.


What will the students be doing all day?

  • Exchange students will travel to school with their host every day. They will either be shadowing your student at school or will be going on excursions to the local area attractions

  • On the days the exchange students shadow their hosts, they will have a chance to learn what an American school is like

  • On excursion days, exchange students will see the local and popular sights. They will leave from the school and travel with a private coach. French teachers accompany the students on all of their excursions.

  • Weekends will be spent with the host families.

  • You will receive a day-by-day program including an agenda with flight details, sights the students will be visiting and their return to school. We kindly request that you make arrangements to pick up your student at the times indicated on the program or to make alternative arrangements for him/her.


What if there is an emergency/problem/concern?

  • All exchange students are covered under medical insurance and will have a copy of their insurance with them.

  • If it is a life-threatening emergency, please take them to the hospital and call A La Carte Travel immediately! If it is not life-threatening, call A La Carte  Travel and we will determine the best course of action.

    • The students are traveling with two chaperones who can also assist if there is a problem.

    • If there is any sort of problem, you need to contact A La Carte Travel immediately. We will do everything in our power to help the visit go smoothly. If we are told at the end of the stay that it was unpleasant, it will be too late for us to do anything.


Who is A La Carte Travel?

  • A La Carte Travel has specialized in educational group travel to and from Europe, Canada, and Latin America for over 20 years.

  • We are committed to providing educational institutions affordable access to a priceless opportunity and the chance to experience other cultures and languages. Our goal as an organization is to promote the values of understanding through experiencing and learning about other cultures.


Daily Itinerary

*Please Note: Host Families must pack lunch for host students daily. Host Families will also bring the students to the school daily OR the students should take the school bus with their host students*

Day 1: Wednesday, January 15th, 2020- Arrival

Students will arrive at Washington Dulles and host families will meet the students at International Arrives to begin homestay 

Day 2: Thursday, January 16th, 2020- School Day 

Students shadow hosts at Covenant Christian Academy to learn more about American High Schools! 

Day 3: Friday, January 17th, 2020- Washington DC

In the morning, the students will arrive at school and take a private coach bus to Washington DC where they will visit popular landmarks like, the Lincoln Memorial, the national monument that honors the 16th President of the United States. They will enjoy a walking tour of memorials like the Vietnam Memorial, World War II Memorial, and others, as well as the White House! They will have lunch at the National Mall and then have the opportunity to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of American History before returning back to school for pick up.

Day 4-6: Saturday, January 18th-Monday, January 20th, 2020- Homestay 

Students will spend the long weekend with their host families 

Day 7: Tuesday, January 21st, 2020- Washington DC

Students will arrive at school and take a private coach bus to Washington DC where they will visit the Smithsonian museums. In the afternoon, they will have a guided visit of the Capitol Building, home to the US Congress and located on the National Mall. They will also visit the Library of Congress. In the afternoon, they will return back to school for pick up.


Day 8: Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020- Liberty Mountain

Host families will bring students to the school and a private coach bus will transfer them to Liberty Mountain, Pennsylvania, a resort town that offers skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing! The students will enjoy a morning of snow tubing before having time to eat lunch and exploring the town. They will return back to the school for pick up in the afternoon.

Day 9: Thursday, January 23rd, 2020- Leesburg Outlets

Students will arrive in school and take a private coach bus to the Leesburg Outlets where they will have the day to spend shopping at typical American stores. They will eat lunch before returning back to school for pick up.


Day 10: Friday, January 24th, 2020- School Day

Students shadow hosts at Covenant Christian Academy to learn more about American High Schools!


Day 11-12: Saturday, January 25th-Sunday, January 26th, 2020- Homestay

Students will spend the weekend with their host families

Day 13: Monday, January 27th, 2020- Reston, Virginia 

In the morning, the students will take a coach bus and visit Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center, or the National Air and Space Museum, and visit the museum on their own. In the afternoon, they will drive to Reston Town Center and have free time for shopping and ice skating!

Day 14: Tuesday, January 28th, 2020- National Zoo

In the morning, students will arrive at school and take a private coach bus to the National Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the United States and part of the Smithsonian Institution. They will spend the day at the zoo before driving back to school for pick up.


Day 15: Wednesday, January 29th, 2020- Departure

Families will bring students to Covenant Christian Academy in the morning and they will transfer to the airport with a private coach bus for their flight back to Costa Rica. 


Colegio Técnico Profesional San Rafael de Poas


This is a medium size public technical high school located in San Rafael de Poas, in a very mountainous (4,160 feet), rural area of Costa Rica’s Central Valley. It is mostly an agricultural town. It is approximately 40 minutes from Juan Santamaría airport and 1 hour northwest of the capitol city of San José. Teachers in this school are very engaged and proactive with a strong emphasis on teaching English.