Intern in San Jose FAQ
Is housing included in the price of the program?
Yes - You will have your own room with a Costa Rican family. Also, 2 meals per day are included.
When does my actual internship work assignment begin?
Program start dates are the first Monday of each month. For the first three weeks, you are enrolled in intensive Spanish language classes at University level for about 4 hours per day, 5 days per week. After this intensive course, and after an Orientation at the company where you will be working, you start your work assignment on the third Monday of the month. Plan on arriving in Costa Rica the weekend prior to the first Monday of the month, and plan on leaving the weekend after the last Friday of the month.
Do I have to have insurance?
YES - It is strongly recommended that you have insurance. More and more participating companies and institutions abroad are asking for proof of medical and accident insurance and our various Directors in-country also may ask you for proof of insurance (usually a copy of your insurance card showing dates and coverage is valid). You can use coverage you already have or coverage that someone else carries for you, or you can purchase coverage just for our program. You can also buy insurance online once you arrive in Spain. In the past, we have referred people to Arizona-based ASA, Inc. - they can customize a plan for you based on details you provide. You can call them at 888-272-8288.
Are any of the internships paid internships?
All internship positions are unpaid. On a case by case basis, some positions may offer a small weekly stipend, however there is no guarantee. If you do receive a small amount it will be an added bonus to an already great program, and if you don't, it will be what you expected and budgeted for upon applying for the program.
Is placement guaranteed?
Yes - We screen you once you submit your Application Packet and check references to make sure there is a good fit between what your goals are for participating in this program and what we offer. To date we have been able to place 100% of our candidates in the field they requested. However, if you want to do a Paramedic internship and have no CPR training, no medical education, no EMT training, then chances are good you will not be placed.
Do I need a work visa?
No - You are not working rather you are participating in an apprenticeship program that relates to your studies and / or fields of interest.
How much should I budget for living expenses per month, above and beyond what is included in the program fee?
$300 - $400 per month gives you some breathing room to travel a bit, go to the movies or theatre and have some fun nights out. You can go on a shoestring & make it less, or go shopping-spree-happy & make it more.
Is there an Adelante contact in Costa Rica?
Yes - Alejandra Barahona works at a private university in San Jose as the Director of International Programs. She received her MA and did her doctoral work in the USA. Alejandra has extensive international and educational experience.
Can I contact a past or existing Adelante candidate as a reference?
Yes - Please take a look at our Online Community site to see entries from our candidates past and present. This site is a live resource Adelante created based on requests from our candidates. It is a useful tool for anyone looking to participate in our program or any other trip abroad.
Is Adelante an employment agency?
No - We are a company that offers, among other things, a fee-based placement services program that works with people who are 1) seeking to massively upgrade their resumes, 2) wish to become bilingual and, 3) have a desire to live and learn the Costa Rican culture. Best candidates are flexible and mature individuals looking to experience another culture.
What is the deadline for Application packet submissions?
60 days prior to your desired start date is the ideal. However we are able, on a case by case basis, to place candidates who submit their applications later than that.
When will I know if I am accepted into the program or not?
This happens during our first phone interview, after you have submitted your completed Application packet. This is not a competitive program whereby candidates compete against each other or compete for a limited number of spots. Rather, during the interview process a mutual determination is made to determine that you are the right candidate profile for what you want to do for your internship program in Costa Rica (see the "Is placement guaranteed" question above)
Are only Americans admitted to this program?
No -our only requirement is that you speak English, to be able to communicate with both Adelante Headquarters and our in-country staff who are required to speak both their native language and English. We have placed candidates from all over the world, including Britain, Japan, Australia, India, Canada and more. Please check any visa requirements for your nationality.
When is payment for the program due?
Payment in full is due no later than 45 days prior to your desired start date in the program. Invoices are sent via email about 7-10 days before payment is due.
Is there a cancellation policy?
Any cancellations must be received in writing by fax, mail or email. Phone cancellations are not accepted. If you cancel your participation in the program 45 days prior to your start date or earlier, you will receive a full refund of the program fee. If you cancel 30 - 45 days prior to your start date, you are responsible for 50% of the program fee. If you cancel 0 - 30 days prior to your start date, you are responsible for 100% of the program fee. Also, if you cancel at any time following your arrival in Spain, there will be no refund. The $150 application fee is non-refundable.
Can I be placed if I speak no Spanish at all?
Ideally our candidates have some Spanish language capabilities, the more the better. For candidates who are truly beginner level, the only options available are some of the Teaching English work assignments. Inquire for more details.
Do candidates receive any kind of certificate, letter of recommendation or 'proof of internship'?
While this is not included in the program fee, both the participating companies and the language schools in all countries are willing to create these for successful candidates. You must secure these PRIOR to your return home, as once you are gone it is quite difficult to get these letters. Please request in advance any letters needed and remind as necessary in order to have these documents in order before you leave your intern position.
Can I receive academic credit for participating in this program?
Yes – many candidates choose to receive credit for participating in an Adelante internship program. Credit is issued from the candidate’s own university. Every university or school has different requirements to receive accreditation for a program abroad, so candidates must contact the appropriate person or department (eg. Study Abroad Office, Career Services, Department Chair), to find out what is needed for them to receive credit. For the International Internship Program usually a minimum number of hours must be completed in order to receive credit. In some cases a course number is given to the internship program and credit is issued that way. Adelante will assist with and complete any extra required paperwork or evaluations prior to, during and at the end of the international program, so long as all documentation is received in a timely manner.
Does Adelante Abroad act as a "middle man" or "agent"?
Adelante Abroad, LLC is not a “middle man” or “agent”. Rather, we create proprietary, customized programs for our individual, screened candidates. To do this we use long-standing contacts in our respective countries of operation and with negotiated rates for all services provided abroad, including but not limited to airport pickup services, language coursework and excursion services, and housing services worldwide. More importantly, our staff of Intern Advisors and Directors abroad are professionals in the international education and student exchange industry, used to working with foreign candidates and often times with complimentary professional careers in place as well as their service to Adelante Abroad. For example, our Director in Madrid also owns the language school where International Internship Program candidates will take their Spanish coursework. By design, these representatives are locals living, and many times born and raised, in the city where they work for us and speak both Spanish and English. These are your contacts while in-country for most aspects of the program and all have both day and evening phone access.
Some tips on what to pack:
For your internship, pack casual business clothes such as slacks / skirts, collared shirts and closed-toed leather shoes (comfortable as you will walk and use public transport every day.) No jeans or tennis shoes during any interaction with your Cost Rican company. For your own travel and leisure time, wear what you want and you can visit any number of websites to check on weather for any given month. Adelante provides a detailed Pre-Departure Orientation Packet when candidacy is confirmed.
Special notes on Costa Rica:
This isn't Europe nor is it "home" - Costa Rica is still a third world, although quickly developing, country. Some things don't work as quickly as you might like, or sometimes might not function at all for a while. Mail and phones specifically are notoriously unreliable. If you need wall-to-wall carpeting and slight delays tend to stress you out, then you should choose one of our other programs in another country. The quality of life here is better, slower and warmer and infused with history and culture and respect for one another.
My friend and I would like to do the program together. Can we live in the same housing?
Yes - Usually we can accommodate a request for candidates to live together. It will be dependent on availability, so the sooner your completed application packets are received, the better chance you have of being able to live together.
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