Intensive Spanish Immersion Program in Heredia, Costa Rica

Video and Photos

Tuanis..🤙🏽
Tuanis..🤙🏽
Zip lining in Barva
Zip lining in Barva
Graduation
Graduation
Playa Langosta
Playa Langosta
Supes beaut waterfall in La Fortuna
Supes beaut waterfall in La Fortuna

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

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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.

Reviews

98%
based on 37 reviews
  • Instruction 9.8
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.7
  • Value 9.7
Showing 16 - 30 of 37
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Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

10's all around

If you don’t have the time or inclination to read this lengthy review, then all you need to know is that it’s time to book your ticket. That said, make yourself a cup of tea and read on.

I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish and never really had the opportunity to do so in school, so I decided that spending four months traveling through Central America would be the ticket. However, being a solo female traveler with no prior knowledge of the Spanish language, I knew I wanted to do an immersion program before I began my travels so that I would be comfortable speaking with locals and getting around, as well as establish some sort of base in the event that I ran into any trouble. After doing some research into Spanish schools in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, I decided on Tico Lingo.

Getting in touch with Chris was a breeze, and he was very timely in providing me with all the information I needed on all aspects of Tico Lingo’s immersion programs. It was especially beneficial to be able to meet Chris and Freddy (el mejor profesor de español) over Skype before I arrived in Costa Rica so that I could get a feel for the school as well as what my Spanish lessons might be like. One of Tico Lingo’s strongest points is definitely communication, which has been consistent before, during and even after my time with them.

As for the program itself, like all of Tico Lingo’s alumni, I cannot recommend it highly enough! I was completely blown away by my incredibly sweet homestay family, the intense yet always fun Spanish lessons, and the calm and cheerful vibe of the school which was embodied by the people as well as the layout and design of the school itself. Even the location could not be more perfect- Heredia is off the tourist track which lends it a very liveable feel and yet there is so much to do and see (and eat) that it will never fail to delight. Also being reasonably close to the pacific coast, it’s easy to catch a bus to some of Costa Rica’s natural beauty if you are ever in need of some respite from the city on weekends.

While twenty hours a week seems like a lot of time to spend in the classroom, Freddy does a stand up job of engaging his students and manages to keep the classes entertaining by constantly switching things up, and ever with a healthy dose of comic relief. The material that you’re given to work on covers all the basic concepts and acts as a springboard to work off of, while class time is spent practicing those concepts through conversation and writing. Freddy really encourages free flowing conversation to practice the concepts as you learn them and has a good sense for what areas each of his students need to work on, and will always tailor the lesson plan to address those areas. The best part is the freedom to be able to take the classes on the road and have a Spanish class on a volcano (believe it) or while eating some of the best food of you’ve ever tasted at some tiny nondescript soda on the street corner. Because the focus is on the individual and not on following a regimented, you will never feel out of step with the material and will really be able to solidify what you’re learning. At least for my part this can explain why after 12 years of French in school I know next to nothing while after just one month with Freddy in Tico Lingo I’m able to travel through Central America with confidence in my ability to order a beer (among other things).

The generosity and patience of my tica familia as I practiced my Spanish was endless and I find myself just a little bit homesick for my tica mamá’s delicious cooking and warm company which always revived me after a long day of blundering through Spanish. One of my favourite memories is still my first day, when after literally dropping my bags in my room my tica mamá and I went grocery shopping to prepare for a big lunch later with my whole tica familia- brothers, aunts, uncles, grandmother, the works. It was slightly absurd to be in a setting that was so familiar to me back home in Canada, but with the exception that I was thousands of kilometers away and neck deep in a language I then knew nothing about. This definitely served as the biggest motivator for me to continually work at my Spanish- to be able to speak with not just my tica familia, but all the friendly ticos I met during my wanders.

Tico Lingo ticks all the boxes in terms of the homestay families they work with, the approach to teaching and the activities they provide at the school, as well as the location itself. They take a genuine interest in all of their students and the result is a really warm community that you will have no trouble integrating into. If you can, try to do at least a month because it will go by fast and there is a lot do in and around Heredia. During the week, your time will most likely be spent scouring town for the best place to eat at (hack: there are many), joining in on either yoga, dancing or cooking classes at the school, practicing your Spanish with locals who are studying English in conversation classes Wednesday afternoons, and most importantly going to mejenga (weekly soccer match with locals) and afterwards to Albino’s for a couple cervezas and some delicious chifrijo Thursday evenings. You will also want to spend as much time as possible with your homestay family to really learn about Costa Rican culture and bond with them. Your weekends are free and you can take advantage of the extra time to see some of Costa Rica’s natural beauty in Monteverde or Manuel Antonio, or if you are totally burnt out from your busy week, then just head to Jacó and lay on the beach. But basically no matter what you do, you will have an incredible time and it will go by too fast!

Gracias a todos en Tico Lingo por una experiencia incredíble! ¡Pura Vida!

Mark
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience at Tico Lingo

I spent a week studying at Tico Lingo and it was enjoyable, as well as exciting to be part of a school that seems to be quietly asserting itself in the field. From the outset, Chris took a very hands-on approach and was diligent in listening to my requirements and kept in regular contact prior to my arrival, fine-tuning the arrangements and keeping abreast as to how my Spanish was improving (I had been attending other schools in Central America).

When I got to Heredia on the Sunday, Chris was there to meet me and we went out for a late lunch (a welcome gesture after 6 hours on a bus). Afterwards, I was taken to my homestay which was definitely the best I had experienced in all the schools I had attended. Mara and her family were fantastic and were only too happy to help me practise my Spanish, as well as providing outstanding meals and a lovely room. They are a special bunch.

Chris also came to collect me for the first day and made sure all was well in my homestay. My teacher was Freddy and I joined a class of 3 other friendly souls who had been at Tico Lingo for some time. Freddy provided a clear and direct teaching style, peppered with humorous interludes.

I joined a relatively established group and therefore I followed their natural course of progression in Spanish which was broadly consistent with my level. I feel that I would have become completely in sync with this this had I stated longer and this is certainly something I would have done if I took the decision in planning my travels again.

Chris was also enthusiastic in organising out of class activities, a common feature in language schools. However, I must say I had the most enjoyable experience in this regard at Tico Lingo where myself and the other students were invited to to play in a weekly game of football with some Ticos. This was right up my street and we were all made to feel very welcome. Afterwards, we went for food and drinks and had a right laugh with the Ticos. A perfect end to the day.

On my last day at the school, we had a small graduation ceremony and also participated in an inter-cambio with some Ticos who wanted to learn English. This was really relaxed and good way to conclude my time at Tico Lingo.

Heredia itself is a great place to learn Spanish. It strikes a balance between having enough to do/a culture of its own and being small enough that it is easy to navigate whilst having a relatively relaxed lifestyle and doesn't have that touristic feel.

For all of the reasons above, I would thoroughly recommend Tico Lingo to anyone.

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John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Authentic Costa Rican Language Experience

When I arrived in Costa Rica, I did not speak any spanish. I had taken classes in high school, but I truly think that it is borderline impossible to learn spanish if you aren't immersed (at least if you're ADD like me.) After 5 weeks of classes, studying for 4 hours every day, I can speak with confidence and travel anywhere without fear.

Tico Lingo, and Heredia itself aren't perfect. Both the school and the city have problems, but they are both warmer and more inviting than any other place I have been. I strongly believe that Heredia is one of the best places to learn spanish in Costa Rica, there are very few tourists in the town and very few people speak english. When living with my Costa Rican family that was arranged through Tico Lingo, I am consistently forced to speak solely in Spanish. I think this has been hugely important in my transition from a helpless gringo to capable spanish speaker.

The highlight of the school is without a doubt Freddy, el profesor de Español. He is extremely professional, humorous, relaxed, and has perfected the art of teaching Spanish. Freddy is the real deal, and the number one reason I will be recommending Tico Lingo to everyone I know.

Right now, I'm going to head to a final conversation class with local Ticos (which is always free and super fun). I could write more and more, but I can't recommend this program highly enough.

What would you improve about this program?
My Tico Familia hasn't worked to hard to provide me hot water, but I've gotten used to it now and in the hot weather cold showers are actually quite refreshing. For a little while the school got a bit messy in the kitchen, but it has been incredibly clean for the last half of my trip.
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alexandre
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
Don't think it can. T'was everything I wanted.
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Crispin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Kimmy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Emmy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Robin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Jonny
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
It was perfect!
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Lisa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Nick
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Ian
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

Dan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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!
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Leah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Gabe
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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