Location
  • Costa Rica
    • Heredia
Length
1 to 24 weeks
Language
Spanish

Program Details

Language Level
BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
Immersion Level
Intensive Standard
Class Size
Private Lessons Small Class (1-7)
Weekly Classroom Hours
20
Housing
Host Family Hostel Hotel
Age Min.
18

Pricing

Starting Price
$290 USD
Price Details
Included in each Spanish program:
- Written and oral exam to assess Spanish level
- Airport pickup from SJO and drop off at homestay
- Orientation tour with map of Heredia and surrounding area
- 24/7 Support and local contact in Heredia
- All necessary class materials: pencils, notebooks, etc.
- Free internet access both at school and in homestays
- Fresh coffee and tea each morning at school
- Conversational classes with locals
- Official certificate of course completion
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Classes Some Meals Wifi
What's Included (Extra)

Laundry
Class materials and local city map
Airport pickup from SJO

What's Not Included
Airfare Domestic Airfare Some Meals
Mar 22, 2021
Aug 01, 2021

About Program

Tico Lingo offers the most personalized and immersive Spanish programs in Costa Rica. We offer students a relaxed learning environment with small classrooms, free coffee, and good vibes.

Our Intensive Spanish Immersion Program aims to give students linguistic fluency through cultural immersion and an intensive Spanish curriculum. We emphasize oral communication and application by connecting students directly to the local community through conversational classes and homestay accommodation.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Flexible start dates
  • Airport pickup included
  • Fun add-ons available like cultural activities and tours
  • Free walking tour of the city

Program Reviews

9.8 Rating
based on 60 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 98.33%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 1.67%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Instruction 9.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.6
  • Value 9.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 60 reviews
Default avatar
Zoe
5/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Tico Lingo Homestay and Spanish Immersion Classes

My name is Zoe, I am 18 years old--Tico Lingo was my first international trip that I took alone. I did a homestay with a local mother who lived alone. I wasn't really worried about this or getting along with her because I am a very social and outgoing person. However, she was immediately indifferent towards me. My Spanish is not fluent, but intermediate for sure. I came to Costa Rica to learn, of course. My host mother was so cold and frustrated towards me when I could not perfectly understand her. I tried my best and often asked for another way of saying it or to talk slower, and she would literally throw her hands up and walk out of the room in anger. The homestay was one of the key parts that this program offered, yet all my host mother did for me was cook breakfast and sometimes dinner for me, and leave me sitting alone at the table to eat my meals. When we would talk it would be because her friends were over. They were so rude to me. I heard them talk badly about me multiple times, making fun of me when they thought I could not understand. I was called stupid by them while I was two yards away eating dinner. I told teachers and staff at Tico Lingo about this and we joked around, but no one helped or took much interest. Thankfully, I met amazing friends there that kept me going, but If I had not I can easily say it would've been a horrible experience. The lessons themselves were hard for me too. I have mild ADD so I learn a little slower than others. However, a good teacher knows how to teach different kinds of students. My teacher Erick would get mad at me when I didn't get and answer right, and tell me to pay attention. These classes were 4 hours, so I clearly struggled to focus at all times. At a certain point I just wanted to give up and almost ditch classes (I didn't, but I wanted too) because I felt so uncomfortable and shamed in class. Getting answers wrong is part of how you learn. It became clear that my teacher hated his job there and was miserable in class with us. This of course made it miserable for the students. I can say for sure my Spanish got worse during this time because my teacher went so fast through material that I couldn't remember the basics. As far as the city itself, I loved the food but was always being catcalled or followed by men. I was almost kidnapped by a delivery man for a pizza shop, and walking home at night was very scary. There was also nothing AT ALL to do in this city but go eat or drink. My friends and I would take trips to other places in Costa Rica but it was to expensive to do more than once in the two weeks I was there. Save yourself the money and stress, and go somewhere where they enjoy teaching and having you. This was horrible.

14 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
keri
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience!

I had an amazing experience at Tico Lingo. The school was so well run, great people, school culture, and very strong instruction. I met interesting spanish-learning travelers and also lovely families who were on the homestay side. This program is also special because it is so central — you live in a real town, being truly immersed in the culture and language, and experience day-day life as Heredian’s do. You walk through town each day on your way to school inevitably see and talk to the same neighborly Tico’s along the way. It’s also super easy to plan great trips on the weekends as the location is central and accessible to almost everything.

If you really want to learn spanish and experience the amazing country and culture of Costa Rica — and, know your school is well-run and everything is seamless, choose Tico Lingo. Stay at a family home, support, experience and learn from these families who open their doors to you — really be in it, and it will come back to you threefold. I can’t say enough about this school only that I wish I had a few more weeks there.

Thanks to Chris, Yenifer, Kevin, Zulma and everyone there! I hope to be back soon.

Keri

12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Natasha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

2-week Language Course

Due to Covid travel restrictions, all of my gap year plans were falling through one-by-one and I had started to lose all hope of being able to get away. I cannot remember how I initially found Tico Lingo but I can honestly say it was one of the best accidental finds. The onboarding calls with Robert and Yeni were exactly what I needed to feel comfortable and happy to travel out to Costa Rica on my own during such uncertain and daunting times, and the support continued once I arrived in Heredia. I had studied Spanish for 6 years at secondary school but the teaching at Tico Lingo was of a much higher standard and I was amazed that Yeni had managed to accurately assess the level I was at over the phone! The classes with Kevin were both engaging and entertaining, and the 2-week course was a perfect way to refresh my Spanish before travelling around Central America. Heredia itself is a slightly odd place (suburbs of San Jose) but the lack of tourists and nearby attractions pushed us to use Spanish far more and we found some beautiful walks in the surrounding areas for the free weekends. A course with Tico Lingo is not just about the classes, it also foregrounds the importance of language immersion with their use of local home-stays. I think this is the part that people would be most apprehensive about, but Yeni puts a lot of thought into the pairings and it was clear that all the families had a very good relationship with the school. My Mama Tica Jeanette went above and beyond to welcome me into her home - I loved our chats over breakfast and dinner (the food was always delicious and homemade), and she kept in contact with me when I set off on my solo travels in case I ever needed her help. I am not normally one to gush but I really do owe a lot to the school, because the experience enabled me to spend 3 incredible months in Central America travelling around with friends I met through Tico Lingo and using my improved language skills. It is for all these reasons that I could not recommend Tico Lingo enough - especially to solo travellers and people on gap years who are looking to meet like-minded people and planning to travel around Costa Rica (and further).

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I have done Spanish exchanges through secondary school in the past and they were some of the worst weeks due to unfriendly hosts. These negative experiences meant that I was extremely apprehensive about the host family element of Tico Lingo, especially the first night when I arrived in Costa Rica and met my host Jeannette. However, I can wholeheartedly say it was one of the best parts of the programme and a wonderful introduction to Costa Rica. It was clear from the beginning that Jeannette didn't want me to be just a lodger, instead she wanted us to actively enjoy each other's company. On the first morning she asked about my food likes and dislikes, and over the 2-weeks she cooked a range of incredible meals that were clearly created with me in mind. I felt extremely lucky to be living with her and we spent hours over breakfast and dinner chatting about all sorts of things, which helped to improve my Spanish massively.
14 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sharon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Had a blast and learned so much Spanish

I did Tico Lingo for three weeks and I'm so glad I did! I learned so much Spanish and had a ton of fun exploring Costa Rica.

The homestay: My homestay mother, Roxy, was one of the kindest people I've ever met. She truly treated me as a part of her family. Heredia is a small, quiet, and safe city. At first I found it hard to adjust to the slow, even sleepy pace of life, but soon I came to appreciate how peaceful and relaxing it was. Plus, my weekends were jam-packed with adventures (visiting volcanos, the beach, national parks, etc.) so it was nice to come back to a laid-back home.

The classes: The classes were challenging, yet also relaxed and flexible. Jimena was a great teacher. The lessons were highly personalized, based on the content that students wanted to work on. Class sizes are extremely small, and students are sorted into classes based on their Spanish level. The first week I was the only person in my class, and in other weeks there were only four students in the class. (New students come in each week, so I will note that sometimes you have to repeat content you've already learned because a new student arrived, but that also works as a review.) I would say that every week at Tico Lingo teaches you as much as an entire semester of high school Spanish. There's also the option to sign up for yoga, cooking classes, or Zumba classes ($7-$10 per class), which were fun and another great way to improve vocabulary.

Coronavirus precautions: Class sizes were very small. The school was quite spacious and airy, and we normally had windows open during class, which made for good air flow. Students and teachers did not wear masks because that would have made it far too difficult for us to understand each other. Other school employees, such as the cleaning staff, did wear masks. We were not required to sit six feet apart from each other, but there was room to do so if you wished. The vast majority of students were vaccinated, but I wish that the school required *all* students to be vaccinated if they come from a country where shots are available. It's not responsible to encourage people to pursue international travel if they purposefully refuse to get a vaccine.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
A member of my host family drove me and my friends to a national park and our car broke down on top of a mountain. We were stuck on the side of the road for three hours. Thankfully, we met a very nice couple who helped us get a mechanic. We ended up talking to them for hours and practiced a ton of Spanish, so what could have been a disaster turned into a great learning opportunity.
20 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Jody
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spanish Immersion

The whole Tico Lingo program is top notch. So glad that I spent 2 weeks studying Spanish in beautiful Costa Rica. I truly wish that I had booked 4 weeks.

The experience was incredible. The teachers and administrators were really invested in helping each student learn and progress. The town of Heredia is bustling and welcoming and the host families are super special. They clearly love opening their homes and meeting new people.

If you are considering Spanish immersion, don’t hesitate to register with Tico Lingo. Without doubt, you will fall in love with Tico Lingo, Heredia, and Costa Rica!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would definitely have reserved 4 weeks instead of two. I felt so much more comfortable with the language and the pace of the town on week two. I can only imagine how much my Spanish could have improved... Regardless, I’m just glad that I went at all. I’ll definitely return!
23 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing 4 week experience

This was a perfect experience and exactly what I was looking for. Heredia is great town and very safe! The fully immersed program is the way to go, including staying with the homestay family. It helps so much but also naturally frustrating. If I go back to learn more Spanish it will be with tico lingo. The best part of the class was that they taught you the basics then slowly worked their way (Freddy) into teaching the material you want to learn. I was seeking business travel and ways to get around owning a travel agency and it was targeted that way. 5/5 stars

What was your funniest moment?
Playing Games with my classmates or with my tico family.
17 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Casey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spanish immersion program

I thought that the course was excellent. The teachers and the staff take care of you from the first contact until the last day. Good Costa Rican coffee every morning! There are optional tours, classes, and weekend activities. The teachers spoke only Spanish in the class for our level and never spoke English unless there was a complete misunderstanding. It was challenging but still at a good speed that I wasn’t left behind. The classes are really what you make it. I definitely improved my language level. I’d go there again!

What was your funniest moment?
I thought that the daily classes were fun. I also liked taking the optional cooking class to learn some Costa Rican dishes.
26 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Dylan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Priceless experience, the best decision of my life

If you’re looking for quality education, adventure, and to see Costa Rica through the eyes and experience of a local rather than a tourist, this is the place to go. I spent 5 weeks with an amazing family in Heredia, more specifically Mercedes Norte, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life. They were so kind and helpful, made me food everyday, and introduced me to the beauty of Costa Rica. For such a priceless experience, it’s incredibly affordable. My professor Freddy was the best Spanish teacher I’ve ever had. He’s a great guy, and he speaks English exceptionally well, so you never have to worry about learning at a faster pace than you’re comfortable with. The owner, Chris, runs an amazing school, and pairs you with a family that’s right for you. He’s fair and a genuinely good person, and I feel lucky to have been able to participate in this wonderful program. What are you waiting for? The time is now! But be warned, once you get there, you might not leave. Buena suerte y pura vida!

22 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Great question! Once you send a message or press Apply Now, the provider of this program will receive your message or application, and guide you to the next step. All you have to do is fill out a few details! The entire process should only take a few days and every message will appear in your personal inbox.

You will know within the next few days.

Wait for the provider of this program to accept you! You will receive an email to your personal inbox as well as your Inbox here on Go Overseas within 48 hours.