What position do you hold at Intercultura? What has been your career path so far?
Lindsay: I have held the position of Group Coordinator and Student Advisor at our Sámara Beach campus for two years now. Intercultura first hired me to teach a few hours of yoga each week - in Spanish!! I then had the opportunity to chaperone our teen camp and visit many beautiful parts of Costa Rica.
Now, in the administration, I coordinate exciting, educational trips for high school and university groups and help all students settle in and help with anything that comes up. I am much more confident in my Spanish abilities now.
I speak and write fluently and I really attribute that to the excellent classes here and the patience of the staff (teachers and administration) for allowing me to fumble my way through the first and toughest bit. I’ve realized that the only way to master a language is to make lots of mistakes and learn from them.
Did YOU study abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Lindsay: I spent my last semester of college living on a sailboat in the Caribbean Islands. There were 14 students and 4 professors living on an 88 foot schooner for three months. We learned to sail, scuba dive, marine biology and leadership and life skills. It was incredibly enriching, although challenging at times, too.
This experience abroad was the inspiration for further travel and eventually my motivation to live outside of the USA. I also studied Spanish in Spain for 6 weeks one summer while I was teaching and working on my Master’s degree.
My Spanish improved considerably, but I also realized that I would need a more significant time commitment in a Spanish speaking country to become fluent in the language. A couple of years later I decided to move to Costa Rica to really learn to speak Spanish well.
What does the future hold for Intercultura - any exciting new programs to share?
Lindsay: We’ve been developing some special combination programs that are starting to take off. We now offer Spanish & Surf at our beach campus (which is a big hit!), 24/7 Immersion Spanish at our Heredia city campus and a 50+ program at both locations.
Our Teen Summer Camp has been very successful these last few years and some teens have come back for more, even as adults! We are also teaming up with the developers of a new app that are connecting Ticos (Costa Ricans) with former students who want to continue practicing Spanish from home. Our volunteer placement service has also been very successful and it looks like the market for volunteer-travel keeps growing.
What unique qualities does your company possess?
Lindsay: Intercultura is so much more than a language school; it really serves as a platform for the sharing of cultures. Our students come from all over the world and have very different native languages. Our staff members are from different parts of Costa Rica and several other Spanish speaking countries and are all educated and curious individuals.
It makes for interesting conversations in and out of the classroom and provides insight into many different lifestyles and countries. We have students that return to study with us every year and teachers have even gone to visit former students in the USA and Europe. Intercultura is progressive, socially responsible and in constant transformation to adapt to technology and our customers’ interests.