I studied at Intercultura for 5 weeks in the Spring of 2016. I attended class at both the Heredia and Samara locations. The facilities at both schools were nicer than I would have expected. The school in Heredia has a beautiful courtyard that will make you want to spend all day on campus. There is complimentary coffee and tea all day, a clean kitchen to use, a dance studio, and plenty of good study areas for after class. The staff was competent, pleasant, and always eager to help in any way they could. They even helped me find a reputable physical therapist. Even the door man will brighten your day with his good humor. I learned more Spanish in the 5 weeks of classes than I ever could have imagined was possible. Although I'd like to take all the credit, I would have never had the opportunity to learn as much as I did without the clear instruction and patience of the professors. Class sizes were always small and there was lots of personal attention. Now that I am back in the United States, I still review my work books and pick up new vocabulary. Marcelo, the director, was very accommodating and always approachable to talk about any issues. Aside from being an excellent teacher, he keeps the school running like a well oiled machine. I always felt like both the students and professors were happy to be on campus and eager to learn or teach.
Heredia is a perfect setting for a language school. It is safe enough to walk around, there are excellent restaurants(and a central market), and plenty of opportunities to make friends with Costa Rican university students. Also, because Intercultura is an English and Spanish school, there are opportunities to do extremely helpful intercambios every day.
Samara is a different world than Heredia. In my opinion, it is one of the best beach towns in Costa Rica. It is still preserved from tourists and all of the negative externalities they bring to a small beach town. Everyone knows everyone, and the community is diverse in Samara. Intercultura quite literally could not be any closer to the beach. The campus is gorgeous with hammocks, outdoor showers, and lots of wildlife. The classrooms are the same as you will find in Heredia.
I did not have a host family in Heredia, but Intercultura provided me with a family in Samara. As if I didn't already feel at home on campus, my mama and papa tica went beyond the call of duty to open up their home to me. I ate a balanced breakfast and dinner everyday which was nourishing and healthy. The house was always clean. My mama tica did laundry everyday and changed the sheets often which is very important in Samara's hot and humid climate. Never once, did my family get frustrated at me for trying to speak Spanish. They supported me, corrected me, and were always willing to practice for as long as I wanted.
I wrote this thorough review for Intercultura because I want to give back something for all I learned at their schools. Furthermore, I hope others will choose Intercultura instead of making the mistake I did by registering for a different program; which cost me more and ultimately turned me over to Intercultura once I arrived because they couldn't place me at their school. Intercultura will accomodate their students, even if they have to run a group class with only one student. Pura vida!