Intensive Spanish Immersion Program in Heredia, Costa Rica

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About

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.

Highlights
  • Flexible Start Dates
  • Non-Toursty Environment
  • Fun Add-ons Available

Questions & Answers

Tico Lingo would definitely be worth your time and money. I am 58 years old and did not feel out of place even though most students are in their 20s. Rather than participate in the school's weekend and evening social activities, I did my own exploring of San Jose and surrounding areas. Also did some fun things with my Tico host family. Being young at heart is the key to success.
I'm so glad I decided to stay with a family during my studies at Tico Lingo. I can be pretty introverted at times, so I was nervous about living with a family that expected me to socialize. My homestay mom was super outgoing and friendly, but she always respected my space and wouldn't get offended if I didn't take up her offer to go out to karaoke. But really that was kind of the best part- she...

Reviews

98%
based on 34 reviews
  • Instruction 9.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.6
  • Value 9.7
  • Academics 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 16 - 30 of 34
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alexandre
10/10

Awesome, no text book, great people, very effective teaching

I was travelling through Central America and I realized my Spanish really wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. I found me in a bunch of tourist spots and felt bad not speaking REAL Spanish. Sooo I made my way south and I sought out a Spanish program in a city that was a little less touristy.

I found Tico Lingo and I just texted them on Whatsapp. I talked to the program director, chris, and he gave me a lot of details about the program and the prices and the philosophy of their teaching style.

I signed up for a week and ended up doing three. I loved my homestay family and the food and the amount of practice I got to have with locals. I loved conversing with people! The school was small, and I liked that. It didn't feel like a big university campus. It felt more personal and more specific to my needs. My professor WAS GREAT. He focused on what I needed and on the grammar points on wanted to focus on. No text book is awesome.

Overall great experience. Would come back. Loved everybody there.

How can this program be improved?
Don't think it can. T'was everything I wanted.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Crispin
9/10

A Jump into Costa Rica

Coffee and fried chicken. Each smell reaked into the myraid of other oders in Heredia--diesel, bread, cigarettes. I expected Costa Rica to be different from Boston in climate, people, food, I could go on and on, but what differed the most was how everything smelled. On my walk to school, began to associate each landmark with a different smell. Take a left at the bakery when you smell warm bread, walk down the street past the oily fumes of the gas station, switch sides of the street at the pizzaria so you don't annoy the people in the line for the bus...Everywhere I went I began to associate with the smell. In the market, the sickly sweet smell of tropical fruits runs into the wet smell of Turibulla cheese and cement from the workers repairing the floor. The smell of fresh fish wanders into smell of fried plantains making it slightly revolting yet mouth-wateringly appetizing in a wierd way. Even the bank had a smell (money and cleaning spreay from the janitor who went around wiping sweat off the plastic seats from the people waiting for a teller). Every smell was magnified by the warm air and the constant wind sweeping through the streets blowing ash and oder around like confetti in a tornado. One could smell sizzling meat from a local soda (like a tiny restaurant) down at the train tracks where oil and smoke went hand in hand. I know this isn't your typical review of a language program but in all honesty, I had a great time. I will remember the smells and sights for the rest of my life. I encourage you, go book a ticket. Just go. You won't regret this.

How can this program be improved?
Consistency across all publications for Tico Lingo. For example, on the website, it lists a tour of Heredia's Central market and an introduction to the area as items included in every Language Program, however I found that if you don't ask, you don't receive. So, if you want to learn the area, be sure to ask.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kimmy
10/10

Where are the sloths? Where are the monos? En Costa Rica, mae!

It's been a solid ten years since I opened a Spanish dictionary and attempted to break down a language barrier. This January, I spent 4 weeks studying the spanish language at Tico Lingo and could not be happier with my experience. Tico Lingo provided me with everything I needed to learn how to speak spanish and successfully communicate in Central America.

I was placed in a beginner's class with two other students who were at the same spanish speaking level as myself. We reviewed basic vocabulary, regular and irregular verbs, how to conjugate past, present, and future verb tenses, and so much more. Freddy is an incredible professor and knows how to meet the students' needs. I feel so comfortable with my spanish skills and I can actually hold my own in most conversations!

Heredia is a cool city and it really feels like you are learning spanish in an authentic tico spot. My favorite place in the city was the central market which was filled with produce, meats, dulces, and sodas. Most days after class were spent walking around the town and observing the daily hustle n bustle of the ticos. Puedo practicar mi espanol, por favor?

Lastly, I can't rave enough about the Tico Lingo actividades. I loved that weekend tours to local attractions, like volcanoes, city parks, and canopy tours were offered to students. Everyone should definitely experience a dance class with Fleur, the queen of the dance floor. And Friday cooking classes were the perfect way to end the week of immersion learning.

The staff at Tico Lingo set the perfect environment for me to learn spanish and I couldn't be more grateful that I had this immersion experience in Costa Rica!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Emmy
9/10

Fun time learning Spanish in Heredia

I was traveling in Costa Rica and realized my Spanish was terrible and that it was probably important for me to learn some and speak some. So, I found Tico Lingo online and emailed them two days before I wanted to start a program. I got a response and was quickly meeting the Program Director are a local café where he led me to my Homestay mom and family.

I immediately felt at home with them! They were so nice and fed me so well!

I took some yoga, dance, and cooking classes, but what I really enjoyed were the Spanish classes with professor Freddy. He and I worked together for two weeks and I really enjoyed his teaching approach. He was clear and worked with the things I needed help with.

Likewise, the rest of the faculty at the school were super nice! Chris, the program director, walked me through Heredia and invited me to different activities around the city.

Overall, I really enjoyed the time I spent in Heredia with Tico Lingo!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Robin
10/10

Glad I Went...

My Spanish abilities improved greatly. Freddy taught our class a bunch of grammar and vocab. We laughed a lot and had fun along the way. Dance classes got me up and ready to bust some Latin moves, mastered the plank in Yoga, and I'm still making some of the dishes that I learned in the cooking classes. My host mother was warm and friendly and I got to enjoy some great Costa Rican food! I enjoyed my trip.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jonny
10/10

Tico lingo was awesome!

Freddy and Chris we extremely awesome! They were both inviting and fun. We became family right from day one. Both my fiancé and I could not have asked for a better experience. We both took the private class together and we learned more than we could've ever imagined. Some of the best times that we had were drain field trips with Freddy as well as playing soccer. Freddy went above and beyond his role as a professor and really showed us what is is like to be Tico!

How can this program be improved?
It was perfect!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Lisa
10/10

Amazing immersion experience! Perfect place to learn Spanish in Costa Rica

I can’t say enough about my experience with Tico Lingo. I have studied at 4 other Spanish schools but have never received the amount of support and encouragement that I did here. I really felt that the director, Chris, and my teacher, Freddy, took a genuine interest in my experience here and in my progress with learning Spanish. For me, the fun and supportive atmosphere at Tico Lingo was very conducive to learning the language. I had only planned on staying for one week at Tico Lingo, but ended up staying for 4 weeks!
I really enjoyed the classes-they were very interactive and engaging. I was never bored and the time always flew by. I was so impressed and grateful for Freddy’s patience with me and especially his energy and passion for teaching. I felt that he genuinely cared about his students and wanted to see them succeed. That was very motivating for me.
I stayed with a wonderful family during my homestay for 4 weeks. I highly recommend a homestay-my family was so kind and the homestay was a fun way to learn more about the culture and to practice speaking with locals. Not to mention, the meals were always delicious!
The city of Heredia offered several opportunities to practice Spanish in the markets and parks, and its location made it easy to experience the beauty of Costa Rica during weekend trips.
My Spanish improved immensely and I left with much more confidence in my ability to communicate with others and continue my travels. I am very happy that I found Tico Lingo and highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about learning Spanish! You won’t be disappointed!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Nick
10/10

Greatly improved my Spanish

Overall Tico Lingo was a great experience and I can't recommend it enough. Travelling alone is always scary, but Chris at the school and my home-stay family were extremely welcoming. The classes focused heavily on conversation. My confidence in Spanish really went up. With the excursions offeres I learned a ton about Tico culture, got to view some of the most beautiful sights the country has to offer, and above all had fun. Anyone who wants to experience Costa Rica and increase their Spanish proficiency should definitely sign up. Pura vida!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Ian
9/10

Awesome tico expierence

On a saturday night, july 25th. I had finally arrived in Alajuela,Cosa Rica. I was so excited to see what the country had to offer and what life is like outside the United States. I remember stepping off the plane and into the costa rican airport thinking "wow this is finally it i am actually doing this."it felt so surreal every little detail was different, from the way the building was desighned to even the smell. I was so excited yet so nervous because it was the first time me and my brother had traveled to another country without our parents. I thought getting through customs and immigration would be complicated but it was quite easy really. Sounds more confusing than it really is. It was around 10 o'lock costa rican time and I dont think it is that big compared to o'Hare so everything went by rather quickly. When we had finally stepped out of the airport to look Walter our driver and a friend of chris, it had hit us. Costa Rica. Nothing says central america like people shouting at you in spanish and reggeatone and latin music playing in the backround. Whoa. This is awesome. And it was farley cool out, around 60s maybe? I had expected costa rica to be incredibly hot since you know, its central america. But it was perfect. We found Walter ( more like he found us) and went to his car. They had reggae stations here, how awesome is that? Crusing theough Alajuela lisenting to.some reggae on our way to start the tico adventure. I will be back for more.

Yes, I recommend this program
Dan
10/10

Not Your Average Immersion Experience

I had always wanted to participate in a homestay program and after speaking with Tico Lingo's director Chris the marriage between classes and the immersion experience sounded perfect. I moved in with my host family and started classes several days after arriving in Costa Rica. Classes were intense as I had not had any experience with studying Spanish since highschool. Going home to a place where English cheats were not available I was forced to pick things up quickly! After a whirlwind of weeks a month of class had already passed. I was understanding full on conversations between my family and being able to chime in with my opinions on car brands, food, and a plethora of other things was truly enthralling. In just a month of hard work and plenty of class I gained a solid base to further grow my Spanish abilities.

How can this program be improved?
I would have a giant schedule board so students can see what the week/or month looks like. I know things change frequently but this would be nice to see all activities or trips available!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Leah
10/10

Incredible experience, super helpful instructors, overall AMAZING.

When I was looking for Spanish schools in the San Jose area, Tico Lingo's website immediately stood out to me as somewhere I would like to be. The format is easy to use and it was super helpful in finding the exact information I needed. After spending 3 weeks at Tico Lingo I can say without a doubt that I made the correct choice.
The class sizes are very small so there is a lot of one on one time with the teacher. I always felt heard when speaking in class and every student's questions were always answered to the fullest extent of the teacher. By the end of my three weeks I felt my Spanish skills had progressed by years. I learned the most I ever had in a classroom thanks to the amazing teaching style of my teacher Freddy. The after class activities were fun, inclusive and a super good way to connect with the other students and staff. The culture tour is a superb way to explore a bit of the culture and scenery around Heredia. The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about the places we went and knew the coolest places to show us.
Chris, (the program director) is always ready to help students in any way they need, and is passionate about creating a very comfortable and welcoming environment. I had an incredible experience at Tico Lingo and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a perfect place to learn Spanish.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Gabe
9/10

A really good way to learn spanish and experience a new country

The month that I lived with a homestay family in Costa Rica was one of the best of my life. It's really a once in a lifetime experience and I can honestly say that my spanish improved a lot. I can now hold a conversation in spanish whereas before I couldn't, even though I had taken spanish classes in high school. The locals are extremely friendly and so it isn't hard at all to make new friends. The country is beautiful and the beach isn't too far away, maybe an hour or two, perfect for day trips. The Tico Lingo school hosts weekend day trips like whitewater rafting, tour guides and going to the beach. So there's plenty to do. The staff of Tico Lingo are helpful, friendly, and easy going, which makes for a low stress learning environment. The whole thing was great 9/10 would do it again

Yes, I recommend this program
Kel
10/10

Mi vida en Costa Rica

Before coming to study Spanish in Costa Rica, I had never traveled outside of the United States. Naturally, I was a little nervous because it had been two years since I took my only intro level Spanish class in college, and I wasn't sure how well I would adapt to the language and the culture. Thankfully, I was welcomed to Costa Rica with open arms by Tico Lingo. They picked me up at the airport, showed me how to board and pay for the local bus, and set me up with a fantastic homestay family. Even though my Tica mom spoke barely any English, she was extremely hospitable and did everything she could to make sure I was comfortable and enjoyed my stay.
My classes were fabulous and were so much more helpful than I expected them to be. Instead of staring at a book or whiteboard all day, we actually practiced speaking the language and getting comfortable with both speaking and listening. We spent more time speaking in my 7 weeks than we did in my four months in university, and I am walking away with the skills I sought for, plus more. I couldn't be happier with my decision, and I urge any student to spend at least three or four weeks in an immersion program. There is so much to do and see, so the more time the better!

How can this program be improved?
Offering a time slot preference would be helpful, to accommodate students who wish to have earlier or later classes tailored to their learning style.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Felix
10/10

My spanish Pura Vida adventure @ TicoLingo

I spent four weeks at TicoLingo and had an amazing time. Let me explain why.

I arrived in Costa Rica with zero Spanish. Had one week of intensive Spanish course back in Germany ... But that lead to nothing.

This four weeks really pushed my Spanish! At the end I was able to have conversation with locals and my family. Though it was easier for me to talk and use my words rather than to understand people ;) But that came with the time. And especially my guest family was very pacient with me. Thanks for being so pacient Maes ;)

I went to another language school in Argentina a couple of months later. These was one of the big language schools, they had several schools in South America that u could switch between. At first I thought that these big schools were better or had more experience, but it was the other way around. These big schools have there fixed schedules, textbooks and programs. So they stick too much to that and do not really meet ur personal needs or the needs in the class.

The experience at TicoLingo was so different. The classes were small, I was together with just one american girl, and our awesome teacher really interacted with us. I remember that he even prepared text for us where we were the main persons in ;)

Also the school was much more integrated in local activities. I loved the cooking with a friend of the schools manager and they took us out to an amazing salsa/merengue/kizomba party at the weekend with heaps of locals of every age dancing like crazy.

As I was travelling through central and south america afterwards, I can state two things.

- the school really gave me a good basic language pack for travelling in these countries. I could manage all my travels, speak to locals, order in restaurants, even argue with taxidrivers

- Costa Rica is perfect for learning the language! as I've seen a couple of other Spanish speaking countries in the Americas I can definitely say that Central America, especially Costa Rica or Guatemala are the perfect countries to study Spanish. People speak relatively slow and the pronunciation is nearly perfect. When u come to Chile or Argentina u know what I mean ;)
And obviously it is one of the nicest and most secure countries in that region.

So all in all I can totally recommend TicoLingo. At that point thanks to the staff at the school, especially my amazing teacher Freddy ... He did such an awesome job and really helped us to get into the language. And also to Chris, the manager. He did everything he could in advance to plan my stay as perfect as can be and while I was at the school he was so helpful and nice ... Thanks Mae! Pura Vida for all of you ;)

Yes, I recommend this program
Brittany
10/10

Welcoming host family, friendly locals, outstanding Spanish teachers and extremely helpful staff!

I was looking for a program in Central America that would help me brush up on my Spanish skills. I had always heard great things about Costa Rica but I did not realize it would end up being as wonderful as it was, and honestly it was all thanks to TicoLingo.

The school director was prompt and really helpful with his responses. He helped me choose the best program type based off of my interests and goals. I really wanted to stay with a host family because of my previous positive study abroad experiences in college. One down side was that the house I stayed in was a bit far from the school but he put me with the most caring family who went out of their way to accommodate me in every way possible, especially with rides to and from class. I had a host brother and sister, both teenagers who definitely felt like my siblings ;P, and the family was always going on outings together which I had the option of joining when I wanted to.

That was what I really enjoyed about this program and everyone involved - everything and everyone was really flexible. It all depends on what you want your experience to be and I can attest to the fact that everyone involved with TicoLingo can and will and wants to help make that happen.

Speaking of flexible, our teacher was one of the most creative language teachers I've ever had. Every class was filled with digestible information, new material unique to me and my classmate and the option to take our conversations on a field trip, even if it was just to the cafe or market down the street. This style of language immersion was crucial to strengthening my Spanish skills and I must admit that I learned so many phrases and words that I never learned in my 5 years of Spanish in the states - Not to mention how much more fun it was!

As for unforgettable natural and cultural experiences, CR has it all, and almost every Tico and Tica(the nickname for locals) is more than willing to show you the best stuff their country has to offer. I can't recall how many people I met, even brief encounters, who invited me to dinner at their homes, to learn Tropical dances at the local dance halls, to see their team's fútbol game, to pick fresh coffee beans at their family's farms and plantations or to explore the jungles and beaches that are so easy to travel to(Montezuma, Manuel Antonio, Volcan Arenal...). Being the yes person that I am, I said yes to everything that I could. Just one example was when my friend, and fellow student, and I were invited by one family to go mountain biking just outside of San Ramón. We said yes and were pleasantly surprised when they outfitted us with everything from bikes to gloves to the whole spandex get up! We stayed in touch during our stay and were able to make plans to meet them at the hot springs in La Fortuna. They invited us back for Christmas and I honestly think they would have been our host family if we'd let them! The best part was we were able to help the parents with their English and they were able to help us with our Spanish. They treated us like family and we still keep in touch :)

My list of amazing times with TicoLingo is much too long for this small space but I can proudly say that every day was a new adventure that left me feeling happy and full(not just because of food but also because SO MUCH GOOD FOOD). Seriously though, I learned to cook plantains during my stay and when I make them in the U.S, it's a little reminder of my Costa Rican home, friends and family. It warms my heart, but I gotta admit, it just isn't the same...Looks like I'm gonna have to go back... :)

How can this program be improved?
More mascotas for the school! ;P (bunnies maybe?)
Yes, I recommend this program

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About Tico Lingo

Located two hours from the Pacific ocean and three hours from the Caribbean, Tico Lingo offers a complete Spanish immersion program curated by our expert Spanish professors. Utilizing groups of no more than six students per class, we submerse out...