During the exploration phase of researching and planning your study abroad experience our knowledgeable and friendly Administration & Advising team is here to answer any questions that you may have. Pre-departure advising covers questions about money exchange, health, and safety prior to departure.
For Arcos programs that are 90 days or less, you will travel with a Tourist Visa which is the stamp you receive in your passport upon entering the program country. If you are not a US citizen it is your responsibility to find out whether there are any special visa requirements or length of stay restrictions and assume any related fees.
For programs that are 90 days or more in countries that require a Student Visa, such as Spain and Argentina, we will advise you on the visa process and assist you in obtaining the necessary documentation in order to apply for your Student Visa.
International Medical Insurance
Comprehensive international medical insurance is available to all students enrolled in an Arcos program. Coverage is provided through International Student Insurance.
When you arrive at your study abroad destination, our onsite staff will provide you with a program orientation. This will cover important topics such as health, safety, academics, money exchange, homestays, and cultural awareness. You will also be provided with a city tour in order to learn your new surroundings.
University Tuition & Fees
Our program includes all tuition and fees at our partner universities. You will be registered as a full-time student and have access to all of the campus amenities and services. Classes are taught by local faculty. The Arcos team is available for pre-departure advising to help you choose the right classes for your credit needs, personal interests, and Spanish level.
Onsite Directors & Staff
The Arcos onsite program directors are enthusiastic, experienced, and dedicated to supporting and empowering each student as they explore the country, language, and culture. They organize and lead all activities and excursions, and serve as a knowledgeable resource for academic, homestay, health, and cultural questions.
One of the most impactful and memorable parts of studying abroad is living with a local homestay. Our homestays are vetted and selected by our onsite directors. We carefully review student evaluations to continuously monitor the service our homestays provide. Each Arcos student is hand-placed based on the information they share with us about themselves, such as diet and personal interests.
Meals are provided by the homestay. With advanced notice, our homestays can accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and kosher diets. When you travel for weekend excursions, your homestay will make you a packed lunch. Your Arcos director will let you know which meals are included prior to each excursion or activity.
Excursions are a fundamental part of the study abroad experience. They are led by our Arcos directors and include transportation, guide, and entrance fees. Excursions are included as part of Winter, Summer, and Semester terms.
Cultural activities are selected to deepen your understanding and connection with the country and people of your program destination. Arcos strives to support local, sustainable, and socially-conscious organizations and individuals, while providing an authentic, memorable, and hands-on experience for our students. Cultural activities typically occur on weekdays.
Volunteer & Community Service
Volunteering & Community service is a great way to give back to the local community, and also to practice your Spanish and meet locals. Each location is unique in what is available for Volunteer & Community Service. Often, options of this type are much more accessible during semester programs. Volunteer opportunities may include teaching English to children, working with the elderly or assisting in a food bank.
At each location we provide opportunities for language exchange with native speakers. This is often through a local language exchange club.
After completing your academic program you are issued an official transcript. Arcos Learning Abroad sends the transcript to your home university and a PDF version is emailed to you for your files.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Arcos is proud to support our students by accepting financial aid or scholarships and will assist you in completing any required paperwork.
Ground transportation to and from the program city is included on your established Program dates. Arcos arranges your airport pickup and transportation to your homestay. On the last day of the program you will be provided transportation back to the airport.
Each of our onsite academic partners provides a language assessment. Depending on the location, this may be done onsite, performed via an online assessment prior to your program start date or a mixture of both. This is done to ensure that you are placed in the classes that are the best fit for your Spanish-level and academic needs.
Reception & Farewell Activity
Each program begins with an orientation and welcome activity to get to know everyone on the program. Upon completion of the program we host a farewell activity to say goodbye and reflect on the memories made during your Arcos Learning Abroad experience.
Laundry (Costa Rica, Spain)
Laundry service is provided once a week by the homestay in Costa Rica and Spain.
Books for Spanish class (Mexico)
For our program at the University of Oaxaca in Mexico the Spanish textbooks are included for those students taking Spanish classes.
Preparing for your program abroad is one of the important aspects of the whole experience. To decide to study abroad is a big step and it is even more enriched through reading and learning about the destination before you depart. This helps prepare you for what to expect and have more information about the country, the local culture, and the program itself before you arrive. This is particularly important when it gets time to pack your bags. You will want to pay attention to what the local climate is like and what excursions and cultural activities we have planned for you. In order to help prepare you for your experience we provide a digital Country Handbook. You will be provided with your Country Handbook 6 weeks prior to your start date. This handbook covers information about your program destination that we feel is useful and pertinent to the program. The Country Handbooks are something that we provide to those students participating on our regular programs as the information does not always apply to Custom Programs. This is value-added information that we hope you will find useful.
What's Not Included
You are responsible for purchasing your own round-trip airfare. Our advising team will provide guidance and suggestions when it comes time to book your flight.
Daily transportation costs (such as public transport) are not included in the program price.
Interim Period Housing (Academic Year programs)
Arcos students staying an Academic Year and not returning home between semesters are responsible for their interim housing should they decide to stay in-country. With advanced notice this can be arranged with our homestays for an additional daily fee.
Tutoring can be arranged with Spanish professors for students who need or request it. Most tutoring is arranged at an hourly rate.
If textbooks are required or used for your class these are typically not included. Please be prepared for this expense. The use and cost of textbooks varies per locations.
Laundry (Argentina, Mexico)
It is not customary for homestays to include laundry service at the homestays in Argentina and Mexico. This is often the case for the homestay themselves. Instead, students use a local laundry service. Your homestay will indicate to you where the nearest laundry service is. If you drop it off in the morning it is usually ready for pickup by the afternoon. Laundry can cost $3 - $5 USD per load.
For students participating in one of our programs that is over 90 days and requires a Student Visa you are responsible for any costs associated with obtaining the Student Visa.
Lunch is not provided by the homestay in Argentina. The only exception is on arrival day.
Materials & Supplies for Art Classes (Mexico)
For the Oaxaca, Mexico program, any materials and supplies for art classes (Drawing, Painting, Printmaking) are not included. These can be purchased very affordably in Oaxaca. The teacher often takes the students to purchase materials. Sometimes materials may be leftover to use from previous students.
Immigration Fees (Costa Rica)
For any Costa Rica program that is over 90 days and for which an international excursion may be included, you are responsible for paying any immigration fees at the border crossings.
Airport Departure Tax (Costa Rica)
Costa Rica has an airport departure tax of approximately $29.00 USD. It is possible that this may be included in the price of your airline ticket. If it is not, you are responsible for paying this departure tax at the end of your program.