Tico Lingo - Spanish School in Heredia, Costa Rica

Tico Lingo

About

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 students in 4-5 hour classes every day, Monday through Friday in a true, non-touristy Costa Rican expereince.

In addition to Spanish classes, Tico Lingo offers a Homestay program where students live in the homes with nearby families, share two meals a day with them, and continue to further practice their Spanish skills. Additional activities include Latin dance classes, yoga, cooking classes, culture tours, adventure tours, and memberships to our conversational club with English students.

Founded
2015
Headquarters

50 metros sur del Gimnasio de la Escuela de Barrio Fátima, entre las calles 8 y la avenida 11 y 13
Provincia de Heredia, Heredia
40101
Costa Rica

Reviews

Claire
10/10

Tico Lingo offers beyond what any study abroad experience could offer. During my time there, I felt completely immersed and welcomed in Costa Rican culture. I learned so much as I met the locals in Heredia, whether this was cooking the traditional dishes, meditating in yoga, or even dancing bachata after classes. Each person I met there taught me something new all while learning Spanish. This is not to mention the amazing professors who are willing to go the extra mile to help you with any and all questions. I left Costa Rica speaking Spanish a whole lot better and with a heart a whole lot fuller.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jacob
10/10

I had a wonderful time with Tico Lingo. I spent three weeks studying with the school while living in Heredia with a host family they organized for me. The instruction was perfect for me and I spent most of the time learning at a pre-intermediate and intermediate level, although they were able to introduce me to several more advanced topics toward the end. The people running the school, including my instructor, were also a lot of fun and very helpful. I’m mainly satisfied because I learned a ton of Spanish very quickly with them, but it was also a genuinely enjoyable school environment and such a cool place/country. I really think I had a near perfect experience.

How can this program be improved?
This isn’t much of a critique, as the school is young, but I think they will benefit from eventually adding instructors to better accommodate students who are learning at different paces. Nonetheless, the private classes still gave me time to learn and practice more during my three weeks while I continued to study with other students in group class.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Hyalene
10/10

My 18-year-old daughter and I attended TL for one week in April 2017 (all the time we had for Spring break). This place is not only for the young but also for the young at heart (I'm 50 years old). I researched MANY Spanish immersion schools in Guatemala and Costa Rica (Heredia & Liberia). I'm very happy I chose TL. From the beginning, Chris, the director, was timely with correspondence and was very helpful. Everything from start to finish was EASY. About a week before arriving, Karen, the student coordinator, gave me an interview via Skype to see how much Spanish I knew in order to put together a custom curriculum (why waste precious time on things we already know?). Chris and a TL student met us at the airport & drove us to our homestay. We were warmly greeted by our Tico mom and her 2 young children (her husband was part of the Holy Week procession). We were given keys to our room and the house and were told that this was our house. During the week she cooked OH-SO-DELICIOUS breakfasts (she makes the best gallo pinto!) and dinners for us and some days a filling snack after school (school was 8a-12p) if we didn't eat elsewhere. After class we'd normally walk to the central market and have lunch in one of the cafes (they call them sodas). I'd pick up some ripe mangos, the BEST MANGOS I'VE HAD IN MY LIFE!! They were so sweet!! In the short time we were there, we went to San Jose twice by bus & train, zip lining (they call it canopy tours), white water river rafting, to Manuel Antonio National Park (where there is also a beautiful beach!) and a local futbol (soccer) game. Chris arranges everything for the tours---taking care of the driver, lunch, and entrance fee. The people in CR are very patient, helpful, and friendly. Our teacher, Freddy, is THE BEST!! He made 4 hours (with a 15min break) go by so quickly!! He makes sure you understand the lesson and is very patient. We never wanted class to end. Freddy has a FANTASTIC personality!! The school is located in a a safe neighborhood 10min walking distance from our homestay. The school is very comfortable with a small kitchen to make a snack during break, outdoor patios, and a seating living-room-type area with water & coffee. TL is an AWESOME Spanish immersion school; I HIGHLY recommend it and will gladly answer any questions you may have about our memorable experience ([email protected]). I will definitely return but for 3wks this time. PURA VIDA!!!

P.S. The only cons were the humidity and our homestay bedroom (entire house, actually) not having air conditioning, and the fan in our room was very loud. I would still return in a heartbeat!!

How can this program be improved?
Add cost for trip back to airport into fees.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Paul
9/10

I am a 56 year old guy from Texas who has been taking Spanish lessons off and on for over 20 years. Wanting to become more comfortable with Spanish via a full-immersion program, I searched Google and found Tico Lingo. After spending a month in Costa Rica, my Spanish skills improved significantly.
The program is organized well from start to finish. A person picked me up at the airport, drove me to the house where I would be living and introduced me to my Tico family. The family was welcoming, the room was comfortable, free WIFI was available, the meals were good and the atmosphere felt safe. I opted for one-on-one lessons at Tico Lingo which is a converted house in the suburb of Heredia. Most of the other students were in their 20s, but the program seems to work for all ages.
There is lots of free time outside of studying for whatever a student wishes to do. Rather than join others on organized weekend tours, I explored San Jose and the suburbs. Very little English is spoken outside of San Jose - which is good. It rained every single day, so having an umbrella was a necessity. There are good restaurants, excellent coffee places, local gyms, etc. The people in Heredia are generally nice and helpful for travelers. My main method of getting around was walking, but Uber also worked great.

How can this program be improved?
The program is mainly designed to introduce students to Spanish. For those who have some Spanish skills, the one-on-one lessons are a good alternative to group lessons.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Cassidy
10/10

My time at Tico Lingo was absolutely amazing. As a sixteen-year-old high school student, this was my first experience with any sort of study-abroad program (and my first time traveling anywhere on my own), and it did not disappoint! From the moment I arrived to the moment I left, I could not have been happier or more satisfied with this program. Despite having taken Spanish classes in the US for three years, I did not feel at all confident speaking the language-- on the first day, I could barely communicate, let alone understand what my homestay family was saying! However, by the end of the program, my speaking abilities had vastly improved and I could both speak and understand with relative ease.
I arrived in Heredia thinking I would only be there for two weeks. However, by the third day, I’d fallen in love with my homestay family, my newfound friends, and the city itself. A few phone calls later, I had arranged to stay for a month. I found that Heredia was the perfect setting to practice Spanish-- the locals were extremely patient and friendly, and were always willing to strike up a conversation. More importantly, however, my homestay family was incredible. The entire family's amazingly welcoming demeanor made me feel like I was a family member right from the start. Chris and Karen were also wonderful, and were always there to help the students with anything we needed.
The teachers were fantastic. Each had their own style and manner of teaching, and all three were incredibly helpful and friendly. Ana Lorena's kind, patient, and encouraging demeanor was perfect, especially for the first few days, when I felt overwhelmed by my lack of understanding. After I felt comfortable with the material she was covering, I was able to move into Lucia's class, which was filled with discussion, question-and-answer activities, and constant conversation. Lucia's teaching style was a perfect blend of grammar and real-world applications, and she did an amazing job of giving context to her lessons, making them memorable and easily understandable. During my last week at Tico Lingo, I moved into Freddy's class. Freddy was very patient and professional, with a great sense of humor, and his class was far more grammar-intensive than the former two. I learned an incredible amount in just a few days with him, which was perfectly paced after the three weeks spent building a strong foundation for my Spanish. After a month of classes, I found that my Spanish abilities skyrocketed; whereas before I struggled to articulate my thoughts, speaking now came naturally.
This program was a wonderful learning experience. Thank you so much to Chris, Karen, my teachers, and my homestay family! I hope to come back next year! ¡Pura vida!

Yes, I recommend this program

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