Intercultura Costa Rica: Beachfront Spanish Immersion
94% Rating
(16 Reviews)

Intercultura Costa Rica: Beachfront Spanish Immersion

Widely recognized as one of the top language schools in Costa Rica, Intercultura offers a variety of Spanish immersion programs for all ages: Group / private Spanish classes, family & teen programs, university credit, 50+, 24/7 Homestay Spanish Immersion, and Spanish + Surf, Spanish & Volunteering, providing a total immersion in the Spanish language and culture. Students live with local families (all within walking distance) and can participate in free daily activities including Latin dance, yoga, cooking, zumba, arts, and excursions.

What makes our Spanish school different:
1. Two unique locations which can be combined: Vibrant CITY campus in historic Heredia and tranquil BEACHFRONT campus at tropical Sámara beach on the Northern Pacific Coast
2. Outstanding quality of our academic and cultural programs
3. Our friendly atmosphere, personalized approach, attention to detail
4. Our commitment to sustainable community development (we are part of the United Nations Global Compact)

Locations
North America » Costa Rica » Samara Beach
North America » Costa Rica » Heredia
North America » Costa Rica
Language
Accommodation
Host Family
Weekly Classroom Hours
20
Weekly Fee
$315.00
Weeks Min.
1
Application Fee
$0.00
Currency
USD

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Instruction
    96%
  • Support
    94%
  • Fun
    86%
  • Housing
    88%
  • Value
    86%

Program Reviews (16)

Default avatar
Peter
Male
77 years old
toronto
University of Toronto

great place to learn spanish

8/10

The school is very well organized with a system that fits you to your level of Spanish. There are basically two types of students: younger (usually university level), often European; and older travelers wanting to be able to more fully appreciate Costa Rica. And to top it off Samara is a wonderful place to study: a town but also a beach. And with the alternating schedule--morning then afternoon--lots of time to enjoy the beach.

Default avatar
Renee
Female
44 years old
West Chester, PA

Playa Samara immersion

10/10

I spent two weeks in the Spanish immersion program this summer. I brought my mother-in-law, my 10-year-old daughter, and a 16-year-old friend of the family. We all stayed together in a house with a lovely, welcoming hostess. I took 4 hours per day of small group classes, the first week with 2 other students and the second with 4 others. The classes were very informative on both language and cultural aspects, and the teachers sharp, well prepared, and helpful. The administration was exceptionally helpful and friendly. The price for the schooling and the home-stay were very reasonable. The town is small but with good restaurants and enough fun things to do. The school offers weekend excursions which are outstanding - our group of 12 people from 6 countries, ranging in age from 10 to 70, went on unforgettable adventures one weekend to hot springs, a waterfall, a cloud forest night walk, zip-lining through the canopy, and more! I have previously done a Spanish immersion program in Guatemala, which was also excellent, but this was more social and better organized. One of the students did have a backpack stolen at a beach while I was there, so do follow the common sense guidelines for protecting yourself, which of course you must do everywhere in the world. I did not feel unsafe, even with my daughter. I didn't visit the Heredia campus at all, so I can't comment. I highly recommend Intercultura for learning Spanish and a bit of Tican culture. If you go, book an excursion early in your trip to make friends with other students quickly, and definitely do the homestay to have a more complete experience.

How can this program be improved?

The pace of the class the second week was a bit too slow. I would have liked to cover slightly more material.

Default avatar
Mark
Male
53 years old
San Diego, CA

Great experience!

10/10

This school met all of our needs: flexible scheduling (private for me, group for my wife) to accommodate our kids, who attended Mareas School, just down the road; great location for beach fun with the kids (safer surf with minimal current for youngsters) while still allowing for surfing (at high tide) and SUP for the parents; great home stay and excursions; clean and lovely campus with AC in classrooms and hammocks, internet and shade outdoors; yoga; positive vibe and helpful teachers. We studied there for six weeks, learned plenty and met great travelers from around the world. Highly recommended!

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Natasha
Male
33 years old
UK

Samara Beach

10/10

I took a weeks' course at each of Intercultura's locations, and stayed in an apartment during my time in Samara Beach

The location of the school is fantastic – as soon as you leave the school gates you are stepping straight onto the sandy beach. The building is beautiful, and surrounded by a sprawling garden filled with hammocks. It’s also one of only two or so buildings in the town with air conditioning, which meant I looked forward to lessons all the more!

As mentioned in my review of Heredia, I particularly appreciated the way the curriculum was structured into one-week set programmes with an individual textbook. It’s a really great way to accommodate students who are constantly joining and departing each week, and ensures students aren’t placed in a group that has already been running for some time, or don’t end up repeating things to accommodate new students. I was happy with the quality of teaching and felt challenged by the lessons. Overall, the school in Samara felt ‘stricter’, with other languages discouraged even at break times and lessons more challenging. There were many more students studying Spanish here, and while there was a good mix of ages there were many more university-aged students making the average age lower.

Living standards in Samara are generally lower – facilities and accommodation are quite basic so you need to manage your expectations, but the reason you would choose this location is to enjoy rustic, simple living on a beautiful unspoilt beach.

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Nathalie
Female
34 years old
Switzerland
Other

Pura Vida

10/10

I really liked learning Spanish and discovering Costa Rican customs. The teachers are very patient and everyone at the school is so nice.

The school is really pretty, and I like the books and the conversations in class. I lived a great experience, Pura Vida :-)

Saludos
Nathalie

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Raquel
Female
29 years old
San Diego, CA

Pura Vida Spirit

10/10

My time in Costa Rica was truly a life changing experience for me. I still talk about it with anyone and everyone that asks me about my travels. The constant thread I saw throughout my time in Costa Rica was the beautiful culture of love, laughter and community that was at the center of all my experiences. Riding my bike to school each day and being warmly greeted by locals and tourists alike, made me feel like I had joined this small community instantly. My teachers were wonderful and really helped me to improve my Spanish reading, speaking and comprehension skills. Staying with a homestay family also added to full immersion and authentic taste of the culture that I loved. The gorgeous beaches, breathtaking jungles, delicious food and amazing people made me never want to leave. I will definitely come back some day!

How can this program be improved?

I think I would some kind of alumni outreach group so that people can stay in touch with each other or possibly plan another trip to come back and take classes together.

Default avatar
Nikolaus
Male
24 years old
Germany

Improved my already learned Spanish skills !

9/10

4 weeks of Intercultura Spanish School have helped me to improve my already learned Spanish skills. Very nice and helpful teacher who teach the language in a funny and competent manner. Abolutely recommendable: Pura Vida !

How can this program be improved?

The Graduation ceremony on fridays is a waste of time and money.

Response from Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools

Thank you for the comment. Our graduation ceremony is free of charge for our students and part of the free cultural activities we offer during the week. We thought it best to clarify this information to avoid the impression that we charge anything for this optional activity. Any students who prefer not to attend are of course free to do as they choose, as the activity takes place after classtime.

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Adrienne
Female
24 years old
Canada
Other

Great Course!

9/10

The course was very challenging. I learned so much in the two weeks I was there. Immersion definitely helps in the learning process. You get out of the program what you put in, so if you work harder, talk to locals, and study a lot you will learn more! It is hard work but there is no better place to study than on the beach.

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Rivkah
Female
30 years old
Storrs, Connecticut
University of Connecticut

Great Spanish Immersion Program

10/10

I have done classes at Intercultura numerous times and always have a great time and learn a ton. There really is no better location to learn a language than this school - it is literally on the beach and you can hear the waves crashing as you learn. All of the staff is super friendly and helpful. I have loved all of the teachers that I've had and they all seem genuinely happy to be teaching students Spanish. The homestays are an amazing deal also. I stayed in one for a few weeks and made a lifelong Tico family. The living conditions are basic, but typical of Costa Rica so it's all part of the experience. The classes are on the pricey side, but include cooking classes, yoga, Zumba, salsa lessons, access to the school grounds all day, and more so the price is not just for class time. I would highly recommend Intercultura in Samara for anyone looking to learn a language in an amazing location and meet new people!

Default avatar
Todd
Male
31 years old
Oregon
Other

Teachers Needing Reassessment

4/10

My experience at Intercultura was a very short one (only one week), but my experience was very mixed. The location was beautiful and the administration helpful and organized. Yet, I had a run in with a highly unprofessional Spanish instructor, who's attitude and physical presence while in class was incredibly negative and disrespectful. As a teacher myself, I know good teaching behavior and practice. What I saw exhibited in this one individual was shocking, and in response I complained to the administration and withdrew from that class. The rest of my time there I struggled to get back on track. In my opinion, the administration should take a hard look at its staff and be sure normative teacher-student relationships are upheld. Given the discouragements experienced under said instructor, the program was too costly and not worth my time.

Response from Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools

Dear Todd,

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience with us. We are very sorry that your one week of classes was a less-than-satisfactory experience. In view of your comments and in addition to our weekly staff evaluation we have re-assessed the two teachers you were assigned to during this week. The first one has had an action plan implemented after further investigation of your comments and will be reassessed for suitability upon completion of a further professional development training program. As for the second professor, she is usually in the top tier of student evaluations with a consistent 95% or higher rating from students, so if you could let us know exactly what the issues were in your first two days of class, we will be better able to assess the situation and decide what action may be necessary. Our teachers do in fact undergo a rigorous training and selection process, and have been very highly evaluated by accrediting institutions within the US university systems, including UNC, University of Washington, Duke, and others, so we can assure you that this is not a normal occurrence with Intercultura’s teaching staff.

Again, we apologize that your Spanish learning experience didn´t turn out as you had wished, and will make sure that whatever went wrong with your program is not repeated, as academic quality and student satisfaction are both subjects are extremely important to us.

Best regards,
Your Intercultura Team

Default avatar
Karen
Female
72 years old
Salem, OR
University of Wisconsin- Madison

By the Sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea.

10/10

We were so pleasantly surprised at the lovely campus right on the beach. It was great to meet people from so many different countries in our classes. The support staff was wonderful and gave us many ideas
on places to go and see, and practical information about the whereabouts of the grocery store, the pharmacy etc. The rule on campus is Spanish only and they were very helpful as we attempted to
communicate in Spanish.
Our instructor was patient and personable and very organized. The pace in the classes is a bit fast so be prepared to do an hour or so of homework every day.

We did take the snorkeling/whale watching trip which was basically a
guy in a large speed boat. I would rate that as a little below average.

Unfortunately we registered too late to have a home stay so they put us in a small hotel which was adequate, but we missed the family experience.

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JEAN-CLAUDE
Male
72 years old
Florida
Other

overall experience

10/10

I had not been in school for over 40 years and I was a little worried about total immersion since my Spanish was very basic. But, as soon as I got in the class I felt almost at ease, as the teacher was extremely competent and attentive to each individual personality.
I also enjoyed the environment very mush. It was quite special to come out of the class and have lunch on the beach, so we could practice what we had learned in the class.
Overall, fantastic experience.

How can this program be improved?

I honestly cannot think of anything to criticize.

Default avatar
Alice
Female
29 years old
Wilmington, NC

The Perfect Way to Learn Spanish

10/10

My work recommended that I go to the Intercultura program in order to get a kick start in learning to speak Spanish. . Of course at first I was a little skeptical as to how much I could actually learn in two weeks. But, I have to say the whole Intercultura program blew me away.

My entire experience was absolutely phenomenal and I am 100 percent convinced that there is no other better way to learn a language than to take an immersion course.

The entire staff at the school were extremely friendly and helpful. My teacher was amazing she was full of energy and loved her teaching techniques. She was very patient with all the students and very helpful as well. the school definitely offers and motivates you to participate in various different activities that only help you indulge in more opportunities to learn to speak Spanish.

Classes are only 4 hours long and I loved during my 15 minute breaks to grab a fresh cup of coffee offered for free by the school and just go and stare at the beautiful beach right outside the school gate. The school is extremely well maintained and clean.

The entire neighborhood surrounding the school is extremely outgoing and social. There's a great nightlife out there and I felt safe the whole time. The town is adorable, easy to get around and has all the comforts you'll need.

The homestay offered is great and an educational way to learn the culture and also practice more espanol.

Great big fat thank you and praise to the surf school! Those guys are amazing and very passionate about teaching people to surf.

There's so much more praise to be given to the experience I had at the Intercultura school in Samara Beach. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

How can this program be improved?

Honestly have nothing to complain about except I was of could of stayed longer ha-ha.

Default avatar
MARNE
Female
42 years old
Costa Rica
University of South Africa

Fantastic Spanish Experience

10/10

I moved to Costa Rica in September 2014 where I have a hotel and a rental condo. There was a big need to learn Spanish as I had to conduct business in Spanish. This school was amazing and I will surely recommend it. The classes are a ton of fun and very exciting.

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Elke
Female
57 years old
Hamburg
Other

Enjoyed everything!

10/10

I stayed only for a week in Samara, but got a lot out of it! My friendly home stay family rented me a bike and I felt at once at home in the village!
In my advanced spanish class we were only 4 students and a very engaged lovely teacher, so we could learn and participate a lot. Our learning matter varied from pure grammar to cultural and personal stuff. It was always fun. I became friend especially with one student (a woman my age) and we continued to speak Spanish where ever we met - at the wonderful beach, so to say the schoolyard or having a glass of wine at sunset in one of the nice restaurants at the beach as well!
In the afternoon I enjoyed the latin-dancing classes, which were offered by the school as well!

How can this program be improved?

For me everything was fine!

Default avatar
Charlie
Male
57 years old
Chicago
Stanford University

Excellent School

10/10

I have studied at Sámara Beach Language School twice for five weeks in total. I am going to return to the school next month to study for another week. I like the school a lot. There is a nice combination of pleasant atmosphere and professionalism. All of the teachers are very good or excellent. The community is very nice. There are many nice restaurants.

How can this program be improved?

Most students there do home stay. Most students who do home stay enjoy the experience. However home stay is not for everyone. My only complaint is that there are not many nice hotels near the school so choice in this is limited.

About The Provider

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Intercultura Costa Rica is one Spanish Immersion School with two unique locations. Study Spanish year-round at Vibrant Historic Heredia or at our Sámara beachfront Campus, or combine both locations! We offer Spanish and Cultural Immersion programs for students of all ages: Intensive Group Spanish classes

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