Students should try (the emphasis is on the word try... it's not mandatory) to start their home stay on the Saturday or Sunday before their Spanish course begins. BUT IF THEY CAN'T, NO WORRIES... WE ARE VERY FLEXIBLE! Once Habla Ya has the student's arrival details, a pickup is arranged. In Panama City we will pick you up at Tocumen Airport, Albrook Airport or at the Bus Station. For Boquete we can pick students up at the airport or at the bus station in David. In Bocas del Toro we can pick students up at the dock or at the airport. After the student is picked up, a short visit to the school takes place (as long it is open) and afterwards, they'll be taken to their host family.
If students plan to arrive between the Monday and Friday before their course begins we ask them to please let us know in order to make sure that their intended host family is available beforehand (another student might still be at it). And if students intend to arrive on the Saturday or Sunday before their course begins, we also need to know their arrival details so that we can arrange their pickup.
If students were to arrive to Panama City, David or Bocas del Toro out of office hours (before 8 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m.), a pickup can also be arranged for an additional $15 on top of the home stay setup fee. If on their first day in Panama City, Boquete or Bocas del Toro, you arrive too late (after 8 p.m.), you might have to spend that night in a hotel or hostel of your choice (again, we can help!). With certain host families it could not be considered polite to start an Immersion Program so late a night.
Once they know, students should inform us about their travel arrangements and estimated time of arrival to Panama City, David or Bocas del Toro as this will avoid the family having to wait at home unnecessarily. Families also like to receive their new family member with a special meal so they highly appreciate knowing when you intend to arrive.
Please remember to specify all these details in our Pre-Program Interview but if you still don't have your exact travel details, don't worry: we will ask you and remind you to give them to us because we need to know them =), but it's better if you fill out the interview as long as you already know the weeks in which your Spanish Immersion Program will start and end because in that way we will be able to reserve the most adequate host family for you.