Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools

Why choose Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools?

Founded in 1993, Intercultura Costa Rica offers internationally recognized Spanish and culture immersion programs for all ages and Spanish levels.

Our main goal is to teach the students in a warm, fun yet intellectually challenging learning environment, providing them with the highest standard of service possible.

What makes Intercultura Costa Rica stand out?
Conversation-focused Spanish classes are dynamic and interactive; Our beautiful, custom-designed campuses: One, in historic Heredia, the other, the only beachfront school in Costa Rica! Free daily activities: Latin dance, yoga, cooking, films, zumba, arts and more. All our homestays are within walking distance of school. The outstanding quality of our academics - we are the only language school in Costa Rica recognized by the United Nations’ Global Compact - and have been chose by Duke, UNC, University of Connecticut and others for study abroad programmes. Our friendly atmosphere, personalized approach and attention to detail.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience

This was a very unique experience for me and I made a lot of friends while I was there. The people in the program were of all between 13 and 18, and although the age difference was 5 years, we all got along great and it didn't seem matter. Although I traveled with my family, the teen camp was separate so I had lots of time away from them I loved the independence, but also felt very safe and supported. I have since continued learning Spanish in the US. I have very fond memories of my time in Costa Rica!

What would you improve about this program?
Since it was a few years ago, do not have any specific suggestions.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Homesick for Costa Rica

My trip to Costa Rica for the purpose of studying at the Intercultura center is one of my most cherished experiences. My Spanish improved drastically, and I was seeing things I'd never seen before on the daily. The countryside, the mountains, the wildlife... It was breathtaking, and one would think that I'd be wanting class to end so that I could keep exploring, but I have to say that the school was my favorite part. I loved the Heredia branch of Intercultura. My teacher was absolutely amazing, and my confidence in speaking Spanish grew each day. I took a cooking class and participated in the weekend trips; it was so nice to have those things lined up for us. I think about Costa Rica often, and I KNOW that I'll be returning..Perhaps even to Heredia to continue my studies.

What would you improve about this program?
Things got disorganized with our outings.. we only ended up being able to spend a couple hours at the hot springs and that was pretty disappointing.
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Yes, I recommend this program

March 2018

I spent a week in Samara and a week in Heredia. The school and teachers were all great. The classrooms have electronic white-boards, the number of students in each class is kept small. I was tested when I first arrived and the evaluator put me in the correct level right away. As a school this is a well-run operation where you can easily learn. I studied with students from all over the world.

The campus at Samara is well-kept, right on the beach and the town is small so you can easily walk to shops and nice restaurants. The local beaches are pretty awesome and usually the waves are about right for beginners to learn to surf. The campus in Heredia is a nice oasis in kind of a gritty city. As an older guy I felt relatively safe alone but I would recommend that females keep in pairs or groups. I had to decline offers for drugs twice while just walking around. Just use some street-smarts and don't look for trouble, you should be fine.

I utilized the home-stay program arranged by the school for both weeks. Don't expect luxury, it's not the Four Seasons. It was a great way to be immersed in the culture and learn how people live there. I was greeted warmly and well-fed by both Tica families. I only wish my spanish was better so I could have conversed more.

I went in March and I never saw a drop of rain for two weeks. Samara is quite hot, Heredia is at a higher elevation so is much cooler and plenty windy. If you have never been to Costa Rica I recommend spending time at both to get the beach experience and city experience. Travel from the USA is pretty easy, the San Jose and Liberia airports are modern, clean and have multiple airlines running service.

Taken as a whole this is a worthwhile experience and not particularly expensive. I have recommended it to people I know who are looking for a good way to improve their spanish.

What would you improve about this program?
The website was light on details for planning. It was hard to understand the logistics of travel and my travel could have been better planned. If you are at all in doubt just call them, they are super helpful.

The school arranges excursions, I wish I would have had more info earlier so I could have made better choices, this would be a good website improvement.

If you don't already use WhatsApp then get it, all of the locals seem to use it and it made communicating with both of my host families easy. More than one change in plans was communicated and didn't cause a problem.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Intercultura made my trip the most wonderful time. I'm so thankful

I had the best tima at Intercultura. I made soo many friens, learnt so much spanish and thanks about the country. Even when I wasn't in class anymore I still went there because it really felt like a home to me. I spent time there every day. If I wouldn't have went to Intercultura my trip to Costa Rica wouldn't have been is wonderful as it was. They supported me, they guided me, it really felt like a new home. I want to thank everybody in the Intercultura team once again for everything you do. I hope I'll be able to come back one day and spend more time with you all. I would recommend Intercultura to everybody, I went to Costa Rica all by my self but I never felt alone because of this program.

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe classes in smaller groups sometimes, if that is posible.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Now, my second home. Heredia, Costa Rica

I am an Emergency Room Registered Nurse from Dallas, TX and I have always had an interest in Spanish. My mom's side of the family is Mexican but I was never taught Spanish growing up, however it was always a strength of mine in high school. Since I love to travel, I decided my freshman year of college that when I graduate nursing school and have no other things holding me down (job, family, etc.), I would go somewhere and participate in a Spanish Immersion Program and become fluent in Spanish all by myself. So I did it. I found Intercultura through a friend and I went.
Not going to lie, I was scared to travel alone being a 22 year old woman, but after this experience I 100% recommend it. Something about traveling alone is liberating and exciting. It also forces you to make friends, which is very important at a place like Intercultura. I now have friends from literally world. I went to dance class almost every day (which I never would have done at home) and LOVED it!! I jumped off of waterfalls, ate fruits I had never heard of, watched a volcano erupt walking to school one morning, visited coffee and chocolate plantations, snorkeled, went to a land of stray dogs and so many other fun things. But the best part is, the entire time I got to practice my Spanish.
When I arrived at Intercultura, I had an intermediate level of comprehension, and a beginner level of speaking. When I left two months later, I had an advanced level of comprehension and an intermediate-advanced level of speaking.
My best advice to future participants is don't take this experience for granted. Even if you're just there for one week. Listen in class, do your homework, talk to your familia tica, practice with the locals, try ALL the food, go to dance class, jump off of waterfalls! And most importantly, don't be too hard on yourself. Learning a new language is not easy. Just the fact that you're trying says enough. Keep practicing and with time, you will get it!
Since coming back, I lost some of my Spanish while I was trying to find a job, but since then I have gotten a lot of practice. About half my patient population is Spanish-speaking only, and I am so thankful for all that I learned in Costa Rica. For future participants, if you don't use it, you lose it. Even if it's just going to a local hispanic supermarket, do it! Any kind of immersion helps. I have also kept in touch with most of my friends that I made at Intercultura and have plans to visit some in the near future.
I dream about going back to Heredia all day every day. My experience in Costa Rica would not have been the same without Intercutura. From my amazing teachers, to my amazing host family, I loved every bit of it. 10/10.

p.s. another useful tip for future participants: bring an umbrella. It rains A LOT. :)

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly have no complaints about this program. Some of the classes sometimes felt a little repetitive for me personally, but I could tell I was maybe just learning faster than others at times. The only thing I could suggest is maybe reassessments of a students skill level every week, to see if they might need to skip some levels.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

My school proposed to go learn a new language in another country. I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish, and I love Central and South America so Intercultura was the program with the right criteria for me. The woman who’s in charge of language immersions also told me that the program is really nice and that everyone who goes there wants to go back.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The woman at school reserved my classes, my transport, and my residence. I only had to pay her by credit card or by check. She explained to me what was included and what to bring there. I only needed to book a plane to go, and I could stay in the country afterwards to visit. It was really easy to book the program since I basically didn’t need to do it!

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I think it’s really important to bring sunscreen and a beach towel to sit on. I went in February so it was always hot and sunny. Don’t forget a reusable water bottle because tap water is drinkable, and you will drink a ton of it! Also, bring a real English-Spanish dictionary because there are times when it’s hard to reach the wifi so you can’t make use of Google Translate.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

On the first Monday, you need to go to school an hour before the beginning of classes to take a small test so you can be put in the right class; you only do this once.

Afterwards, you’ll know if your class is in the morning or in the afternoon. Classes switch every day, so if you have morning class on Monday, you’ll have afternoon class the next day. On Fridays, you are given a test to make sure you understood what you learned during the week. There is also a graduation for people leaving.

If you stay for the next week, you can look at the new schedule to know if you have to go to class in the morning or the afternoon on Monday. Then you’re free for the weekend!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I was really scared to not be able to make new friends, and to be all alone for three weeks. I’m really shy, and I never really talk to people first.

By chance, a group is made of only six persons, and they were all around my age. We were in the same group for all three weeks, and we had so much fun! We also went to the beach together and hung out during the weekend. Now, I’m less shy, and I realized I can actually be friends with people from all around the world!

What are your realizations after this program?

I think it’s really important to open your horizon. You need to be open to new experiences. You need to respect everyone because we all have different backgrounds.

You also can’t expect to be friends with everyone. However, if you stay open-minded, you can surely expect to create long-lasting friendships!

Also, you’re in a new country, so it’s impossible that everything is going to be the same from home. You need to accept that. Learn and don’t judge!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you?

Claudia Kiebl

Personally I think it is very important to expand one´s horizon and learn about other countries and cultures as well as learning their language. Also looking at it more globally, nowadays languages play an important role in business life, as business does no longer take place only nationally, if not internationally.

You will always meet people of other countries in your private and professional life, that’s why I think it is very important to know a bit about other countries and cultures. And apart from languages are fun and interesting!

Did YOU study abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?

No, I did not study abroad, but I did an internship in Madrid, Spain, which could be seen as my first experience abroad. My reason to go was to earn more experiences in the working field, to learn another language and meet a new culture.

Being away from home, but still in Europe was kind of a “test-experience” for me, as in case I shouldn’t have liked it, I could have gone home quite fast and easy. But I turned out to like it very much and after that amazing time I decided to go a step further and that`s why I live in Costa Rica now.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I think I learned a lot about myself as well as improved in taking over responsibilities and taking decisions for the company. I feel like an important link in the chain of Intercultura and this makes me happy and motivates me every day.

What language have you always wanted to learn and why?

Actually I know the language that fascinates me the most – German. As a child I found it boring to know how to speak German and not a fancy language like English that almost everyone knew.

But after time I realized that I am lucky to know German and to have it as my mother tongue, as I think it is one of the most difficult languages one could decide to learn as a foreign language. Maybe one day I would like to study Russian, as it is completely different to the languages I have learned so far.