Family Immersion Trip Payment
Make your immersion deposit and other payments for your upcoming family trip! Please include 1 deposit* per person who will be traveling on your family trip.
ALL TRAVELERS MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED FOR COVID**
After you make a deposit, you will be given access to our Family Spanish Immersion Pre-Departure Course to help you in your planning.
You may return to this page to make your remaining payments by selecting the Remaining Balance Payment* option to enter a specific amount.
*As detailed in the terms and conditions, program payments are non-refundable. A portion of your payment may be transferable to a future program. Please contact CGI program leaders ASAP if you anticipate a change in your travel plans to discuss your options.
**Some exceptions may apply if you are medically unable to be vaccinated. Contact Rory if you have questions about vaccination policy
Family Immersion Trip Payment for the CGI family Spanish immersion trip to Ecuador and Costa Rica!
Common Ground’s Spanish immersion for families in Ecuador and Costa Rica provides a safe yet adventurous time learning Spanish and experiencing another culture.
- How the Family Spanish Immersion program started:
In 2003 Rory & Leslie Foster (owners of Common Ground International) started running Spanish Immersion Programs for professionals and students.
- The next year, in 2004, they had their first child. They knew they didn’t want to stop traveling with clients, nor leave their kids at home. Their only option was to figure out how to include the kids in their work. They began learning all the tricks of the trade to traveling to Latin America with their children.
- After nearly two decades of travel to Latin America with their children, they have put together the trip that’s perfect for the family that wants to weave Spanish immersion into their vacation or travel plans!
What are the steps to register with your Family immersion trip payment?
- Most families want to have a conversation with Rory first to discuss their unique family, experiences with Spanish and goals for a trip like this. Complete the Family Immersion Interest Form to get a call scheduled!
- After your call, Rory will provide a cost estimate based on the experience you’re looking for. You can calculate your own estimates here on the family immersion rate sheet page.
- Once you’ve decided to travel with us, we request that you make your family immersion trip deposit in the amount of $400 per person in order to secure your spot and begin working on the details of your program for you.
Learn more about our Family Spanish Immersion Trips here
Delilah Demers –
Wonderful Trip!!! The CGI family took care of most of the logistics and made this a seamless stress free experience. The prep and planning before the trip was great and let us know what to expect in Costa Rica. The school and teachers were amazing and I felt challenged with class while not being overwhelmed. Staying with a Tica Family was icing on the cake – welcoming families and learned much about the culture and daily lifestyle.
Mackenzie Lupov –
My family spent two weeks in Costa Rica this past summer with Common Ground – including my husband, myself, and my two kids aged 5 and 9. We had a wonderful experience and learned so many amazing things.
We lived with a host family so we were exposed to Spanish in the home and also to the Costa Rica culture. The host family took pride in showing us the Costa Rican way including shopping, food, and futbol.
Each person in our family was at a different Spanish level but the classes were created to fit each of us individually. We all were able to improve our Spanish and meet some amazing teachers. My husband knew no Spanish going in and I had years of experience and we both felt like the program met our needs.
Rory and Leslie were so helpful and went out of their way to help us make the experience the best it could be. We felt very supported during our time. They also coordinate some great excursions and it is nice to not worry and just enjoy.
We plan on returning to Costa Rica in the future – hopefully for a more extended period of time!
Pat H –
Wonderful Program! Rory and Leslie were able to accommodate our large group (2 adults and 5 kids) and we thoroughly enjoyed the family atmosphere of Common Ground. Our one week stay in the Central Valley was truly immersive: meals and conversations with our host families gave us the chance to get to know individuals personally, the Spanish lessons allowed us to explore a new language, and the excursions and community building provided greater cultural awareness each day.
Some of our favorite memories are learning to make empanadas at the language school, playing basketball and soccer with kids in the neighborhood, and singing old country songs with our host family at night.
This was such a powerful experience, and we learned so much together in the course of one week. It brought us closer together as a family and planted seeds for reflection and action as we returned to the United States. Many thanks to all of the folks at CGI and Lapa Verde School for this wonderful opportunity!
Matthew McDevitt –
My wife’s and three children, ages 12 and nine and nine, had a fantastic experience with Common Ground. Their immersion program , combining home stays with families and classroom education is a great model and tremendous experience, and really facilitates learning to speak Spanish. Living with a family in Costa Rica was an amazing experience that I would recommend to everyone. We learned so much and had great conversations, and even put together a Spanish karaoke night at their house one evening!
My husband, 7-year-old daughter, and I spent two weeks in Costa Rica, including one week of Spanish classes in Heredia and a stay with a host family. It is hard to know where to begin because the entire trip exceeded our expectations in every way!
PLANNING: From our initial inquiry, Rory put me at ease with his description of program possibilities and the questions he asked to better understand our needs. We talked a few times, and fairly quickly, I had a sense this was the right fit for us. I was amazed at the extra guidance Rory and Leslie provided beyond the planning of spanish courses. We had a few phone calls/email exchanges to talk about our trip details before and after the course so he could give suggestions on areas to visit, places to stay, restaurants, tips like what it’s like to actually drive in CR, and more). He followed up with a personalized itinerary for the whole trip – what an awesome benefit!. Since it was a Google Doc, we could work together to add details and work out logistics.
CGI provides helpful resources like packing lists, tips for navigating, travel insurance, and more. One area that was particularly helpful was suggesting ideas for host family gifts and the video geared at kids about not petting dogs.
HOST FAMILY: If you are curious or apprehensive about the host family stay, my advice is to just go for it. To be honest, we didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be such a gift to experience local life. Our host mom took me to a Zumba class at a neighborhood rec center, we shared meals, fumbled through language together, and it was just such a special time.
CLASSES: Per Rory’s suggestion, we spent two hours per day in classes. Each of us was in a separate, private class because we are all different levels (my husband is a Spanish newbie, I used to be decently conversational but have gotten very rusty, and my daughter had some exposure in school). Classes were in the afternoon because it was rainy season. This allowed us time to explore in the mornings before the rain.
I cannot say enough good things about our instructors. My teacher was able to gauge my strengths and weaknesses quickly, and I appreciated that she provided some direct instruction in Spanish (e.g., reviewing past tense verb conjugation) and a lot of opportunity for conversation. She also supplemented with tactile and visual aids (like flashcards, games, reading passages). My husband also loved his teacher. They jumped right into beginning conversation and by the end of the week, I was amazed by all he had learned. My daughter’s teacher was warm and friendly and also gave her the structure she needed. To teacher her, they created art, made pastries, sang songs, and played games. It was perfectly exactly age- and level-appropriate.
When we visited, we were the only family studying, along with a group of 8th graders and a group of high school students. Leslie made us feel welcome and included, and invited us to join the students’ activities, like a hip-hop class and a cooking class. The entire staff was lovely and made us feel at home.
If you are considering Spanish classes with your family, I cannot recommend CGI enough. I hope we can do it again soon. On a future trip, we would definitely do the host stay again. My only change would be to go for longer if possible – the one week worked out well this time but I didn’t want to leave!
Michelle F –
Wow! My 2 children and I had the most amazing immersion experience with the Common Ground family. From the moment I decided that we were going to do it, Rory and Leslie were helpful, supportive and patient. They clearly communicated the pros and cons of program options and were flexible in making things work for us. Although our Spanish was limited, I felt welcomed and safe to practice my “best” Spanish with the Common Ground family and other program participants. Everyone was super nice and helpful, especially with my 12- and 14-year old who were overwhelmed and “shy”.
The Common Ground family facilitated a true immersion experience, yet supported our limited Spanish…I learned so much (including to adjust my expectations for myself and my children). Learning another language is challenging, but the Common Ground family helped make it fun and really understood how overwhelmed we were at times.
I can’t say enough great things about our trip … we adored our host Tica mom and our Spanish teachers. We went on amazing trips, exploring the beaches, National parks, and other parts of Costa Rica, with the Common Ground family and on our own. (Rory and Leslie were extremely helpful with our planning for our solo trips.) And, most importantly, we extended our comfort zone and learned a ton of Spanish in the process. My kids are looking forward to starting Spanish at school and want to do the program again in the future.
Thank you Common Ground family!
Loved everything about the family immersion trip!!!
The teacher was perfectly suited for our family! After the first lesson, I asked my 5yr old what she learned, and she replied, “Nothing. We just played.” How perfect is that?–She had no idea that she was learning. The immersion method really works, too. Our children’s Spanish took a huge leap as a result of the classes designed specifically for their ages and interests. The teacher was so kind, and took into consideration my children’s requests to play certain games over and over. (And over. And over. And over again.)
I also loved how we were able to work together with Common Ground to design a class and schedule that worked best for us. They were with us every step of the way and even made changes to the program activity schedule for us after we were already there to accommodate our needs.
Casa Papaya is also very conveniently located, making it exceptionally easy to get around without a car. Everything you could possibly need is within a few minutes’ walking distance. It is a safe, comfortable place to stay and really lends itself to the immersion experience as most of the residents and shop owners do not speak English.
I cannot say enough good things about this program. My only regret is that we couldn’t stay longer. We plan on returning and doing it all again in a few years.