Nosara Spanish Institute in Costa Rica

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Located in the Pacific Northwest in the Guanacaste region, Nosara has been founded on the pillars of environment, conservation, wellness, education, yoga and surfing. Nosara also boasts two world-class international schools which has positioned it as a premier family destination in Costa Rica.

Nosara's recent media attention includes:

-Nosara- World’s 20 Best Surf Towns – National Geographic
-Nosara- Top Places to go in 2013 – New York Times
-Playas de Nosara, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica: Officially approved beaches- CNN

Our Spanish as a second language program includes options for group, private or custom class options. Our intensive program includes 10 or 20-hours of study per week which utilizes the communicative approach to language learning where the main objective of each program is to improve student communication skills and competencies, encouraging spontaneous and creative use of the language in real life situations.

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9.33 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 91.67%
  • 7-8 rating 8.33%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Instruction 9.5
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.2
  • Value 8.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 12
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Yes, I recommend this program

A month at Nosara Spanish Institute

I have studied Spanish at four different language schools in Central America, but for only one week each during my spring break. I have had a variety of language learning experiences. I was looking for a Spanish language immersion experience in Costa Rica and found Nosara Spanish Institute.

This January and February I studied Spanish for a month at Nosara Spanish Institute. Nosara Spanish Institute is located in Guiones where most tourists are surfers and yogis and speak English so that is the language you hear in the streets. During that time, I had two different teachers for two weeks each with distinctly different teaching styles. Ana carefully planned each lesson integrating listening, speaking, reading and writing activities at the group's level. I appreciated her attention to detail and explicit explanations.

The school provided a variety of cultural activities in the evenings and on weekends. Sometimes transportation was provided at a cost. Other times the students needed to figure out their own transportation.

Volunteer activities were limited. I had emailed the directors before coming to Costa Rica to set up a volunteer experience prior to my visit, but I was encouraged to wait until I arrived. After my first week, I emailed the directors again looking for volunteer opportunities. They sent me two names, and I started working with one of the nonprofits teaching English in the evenings in Nosara which is a 20 minute ride in a tuktuk on a very dusty road. The cost is about $10US round trip. Even though I was teaching English, I was also learning Spanish from my students. This volunteer experience was one of the highlights of my trip.

Accommodations in a Spanish immersion setting are limited here. There is a group homestay about 20 minutes walking from the school. While I was at the Institute, the students that stayed there spoke English together because most were at a beginning level. While the host prepared delicious meals, the family did not join the group to enjoy them. Consequently, little Spanish was spoken there. One fellow female student had a homestay in a fishing village and had a great immersion experience, but had to hitchhike to and from Guiones to the Spanish Institute each day. Hitchhiking can be a risky form of transportation especially for women.

Nosara Spanish Institute is located in a beautiful beach setting, and the teachers work hard to provide a good language learning experience. The directors need to find ways for the students to be more immersed in the Spanish language through volunteer opportunities and home stays. Providing transportation options for students would be a start.

What would you improve about this program?
The school needs to provide more immersion and volunteer opportunities.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

3 months at Nosara Spanish Ins

I attended Nosara Spanish Institute to improve my Spanish for a uni course I had to take thereafter. I stayed almost three months. Every teacher is magnificent, patient and interested; they have their individual styles but the high quality is consistent among all. The class sizes are small allowing equal opportunity to engage with practical and theoretical content. The lesson plans are adapted to your needs/wants. Admin goes above and beyond to provide a holistic experience (cooking/dance classes, social outings, and if the season is right excursions to see turtles nesting at sunrise). The school is set among trees near the beach, creating a calm learning environment.

My host family were beautiful, generous and genuine people and I will remain close friends with them always. I owe at least half of my Spanish to their gentle and patient guidance!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Four weeks of great learning

This was my second time attending the Nosara Spanish Institute (2014 and 2015) and I have nothing but praise for all aspects of the school: Organization, value, professionalism and teaching.
My teacher was Marco Mora who did a great job of understanding where my level of Spanish was and helping me advance. Classes were a fun mix of direct grammar instruction, poetry and short story readings, movies and documentaries, music and conversation. Marco did a great job of keeping the class interesting.
If you have the good fortune of being in Nosara, don't miss out on NSI!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Very well run school in a great setting

The instruction, teachers and support was excellent, the school was nice, and the town is great. I didn't have housing through the school but couldn't leave it blank so I put '5', but pretty much 9s across the board otherwise. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

What would you improve about this program?
it would be nice if there was more support material in terms of printouts or a booklet or something; other programs i have done in the past had these study materials and i found them helpful for review before/after classes.
Response from Nosara Spanish Institute

Hola Chris,

It was wonderful to have you here at the institute and in Nosara. Also, thank you for the input on the materials, they are being created and updated as we speak. We hope to see you back here!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent value

Our profesora was excellent, patient, mixing a blend of immersion with clear English explanations on grammar and structure. We had fun with some games and also had light homework. Overall excellent experience Brock and the gang are good people.

What would you improve about this program?
I like the coffee that was nice. really can't think of anything I'd change!
Response from Nosara Spanish Institute

Hola Gerald,

It was wonderful to have you here at the institute. Best of luck on the building of your new house and I'm sure we'll be seeing more of you!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

excellent language program

Nosara Spanish instituit offers a good learning opportunity and makes my trip so much more fun! The teachers are experinced and funny. It is a place to meet some friends with your fellow students too. Anybody is interested in the program should try the home stay too. The host family is exceptional nice. The place is very comfortable and it makes you feel home away from home.

Response from Nosara Spanish Institute

Hola Claire,

It was a pleasure having you at the institute and in Nosara. We hope you have adjusted back to life in Canada and that you're doing your best to keep warm. We hope to see you again later this year or next year.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great course

The course was grew, our instructor was really good with the students and managed to determine what best would suit our learning abilities and levels. The school provided a clean and quiet learning learning location and everyone involved was extremely helpful. Not only that but I was in school with a couple of great people and the small class size enabled a really good learning environment.

Response from Nosara Spanish Institute

Hola Wade,

It was a great to have you at the institute and an inspiration that you rode your bike to class all the way from Ostional twice a week! We hope you are enjoying your new position working with the turtles there and we hope you keep in touch.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Surf + spanish

First of all: the school is located five minutes walk from some of the funnest surf in my life.

As it was relatively quiet, I got some private and the rest of the days almost-private instruction. The course, 4 hours a day + homework, was really intense. However it was fun also, and for the first time ever I would actually learn why and how the rules work. After this it was easier to pick up words from conversation and understand why the language is used at it is.

All the staff was very efficient and professional. For the first time ever I actually enjoyed learning a new language.

What would you improve about this program?
Focus maybe a little bit more on the vocabulary also. I got a very good understanding on the grammatical issues, but have trouble having enough words to use them
Response from Nosara Spanish Institute

Hola Mikael,

Thank you so much for coming to study with us. You were an excellent student and found a great balance between study and surfing. Best of luck on your travels and your new position in Asia.

Also, thank you for the input on expanding vocabulary components.