Intercultura: Spanish Immersion with Local Family

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About

If you are looking for a constant Spanish immersion and instruction throughout their stay, in a comfortable home with modern amenities, this is the right Spanish study program for you. You receive 20 hours per week of private instruction by a highly qualified professor in your homestay house, in an area conducive to learning, to ensure continuance of the complete immersion concept.

Families are genuinely interested in the cultural interchange experience of hosting a 24/7 immersion student. Price includes 2 local tours per week, which are done with your family, in private transportation, all costs included. Check out all details of the program by clicking on "Visit Site"!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 13 reviews
  • Academics 9.2
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 13 of 13
Gina
10/10

Spanish Teacher

I have led two student trips to Intercultura's Immersion program in Heredia. Each time the school, coordinators and teachers paid attention to all details in the planning of the trip and then while we were there. I felt comfortable and safe and like a part of the Intercultura family. Teachers tailored classes to what our students needed. Our excursions were fun and cultural. I look forward to going back in the future. My favorite memory has been the people I met both at the school and my host mom. Plus as a teacher, it's been wonderful to see the impact this trip has had on my students. Some said it was their favorite high school experience.

How can this program be improved?
Just continue to do what they are doing!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Pamela
8/10

Beautiful setting, excellent teachers, great options

I spent the first 3 weeks of May 2018 at the Intercultura in Heredia. In my estimation, I was an “advanced beginner” in Spanish, but for a number of reasons, was placed in advanced classes. The teachers were great, and I enjoyed the other students who were almost universally college aged students from the USA. (I am Weekly options included yoga, dancing, and cooking classes. Weekends presented options for inexpensive travel within country—to national parks, volcanoes, and beaches. Glad I stayed with a “family”—a single older woman. All in all a good, safe experience. Wish I had more opportunity to simply speak Spanish rather than focus on book learning. If I return, it will be in “off-season” when fewer groups of college students reign supreme.

How can this program be improved?
See above.
Yes, I recommend this program
Sheila
10/10

Great language and homestay program

Class time is well-organized and the homestay option adds to the total immersion in Spanish. Other services, such as opportunities to have conversations with other students (language exchange) give students another forum in which to practice what they've been learning. Intercultura's fees are very reasonable, including two meals daily through the homestay. My Mama Tica provided great vegan and gluten meals for me. So, dietary needs can be met for any student who opts for homestay. Faculty, administration and staff all are very friendly, accommodating and professional. Extra-curricular activities made the program feel more like a vacation!

How can this program be improved?
I sometimes felt instruction could go a little slower with perhaps more review time allotted before going to the next lesson.
Yes, I recommend this program
Jessica
10/10

A month in Costa Rica

I came to Costa Rica knowing very little Spanish, so the first few days were quite stressful! However, once I got used to the culture and the language, I started to understand more and more Spanish. The Intercultura Spanish classes were very helpful in giving me a good start with useful words for daily life. Living in Costa Rica was wonderful: the weather was always perfect, the people were friendly, and there was a ton of natural beauty to explore. I loved zip lining in Montezuma

Yes, I recommend this program
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Molly
10/10

Be ready to have a smile on your face the whole time!

I have never studied abroad before in my life, so getting the opportunity to go to Intercultura as my first experience was the greatest treat. The program was set up very wonderfully ! The teachers made the classes as much fun as possible with activities in the park, group improvisation, and games to improve our vocabulary and speaking skills. The weekend excursions were also amazing! I did so many new things that I will always remember. Getting to go zip-lining, rafting, and seeing monkeys all in one month? Can't beat that! Overall, I would do to this program every year if I had the time!

How can this program be improved?
The classes could be slightly more challenging, however I had a diverse class who were at different levels of Spanish, so I think the academics were good since my class fluctuated a lot, and if I had it even more difficult, others may have found it too hard. But overall, it was great!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Randi
10/10

Maravilloso! Wonderful en español

I enjoyed a wonderful two week immersion with the best teacher (Monica), and a welcoming family (Jeannette). Many activities: The Nutcracker ballet at the Teatro Nacional in San Jose, the capital. Two films at the San Jose International Film Festival 2015. Two cooking classes and an coffee planation tour. A weekend at the Parque de Nacional Manuel Antonio with parasailing, jet skis and surfing. And fascinating walks through the towns and cities. Plus I learned the verb endings for past tense and future tense!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Eric
9/10

Good start....

Really enjoyed my host family. Mi professora was great. The staff were all very kind and helpful. I should have stayed longer.....only one week. The city is beautiful and very easy to get around. Only problem was if there is rain, you will get wet.

How can this program be improved?
In my particular class, there was one man who monopolized the time. That was a bit frustrating. The teacher did what she could to stay on track but it was not very easy or effective.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Natasha
10/10

Homestay in Heredia

I took a weeks' course at each of Intercultura's locations, although I only stayed with a host family in Heredia.

The host family experience was fantastic and I thoroughly recommend it! I was impressed by the high standard of the home; the family were really fun, warm and caring and made time to talk to us each day. They spoke almost no English with guaranteed a fully immersive environment and kept me thinking in Spanish all day! Having meals included was really convenient and saved a lot of time (handy when there’s homework to complete!) and allowed us to sample traditional every day Costa Rican food.

I was happy with the facilities at the school and quality of teaching, and I particularly appreciated the way the curriculum was structured into one-week set programmes with an individual textbook. It’s a really great way to accommodate students who are constantly joining and departing each week, and ensures students aren’t placed in a group that has already been running for some time, or don’t end up repeating things to accommodate new students. Having someone arrange excursions was also a huge bonus, as it made it so much easier to get out and about and see the local sights – especially when the school has it’s own transportation.

I really enjoyed Heredia as a city, personally probably more than Samara beach as I prefer urban living to the outdoors. My favourite art was probably going to see a football match – what an atmosphere!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Blake
10/10

Caring host, excellent class

My host mother or "mama tica" was a real joy and went out of her way to make me feel at home. We would literally start the day dancing to "Bailamos" on the radio at breakfast. She also took my friend and me to a family friend's house for a traditional epiphany gathering, which was very thoughtful. And I actually loved Heredia--it felt like a very manageable, safe city with fun places to eat and hang out, and it's a short drive to many other destinations in the country. I was also really impressed with the quality of instruction and the use of smart boards in the classrooms at school, I appreciated the complimentary coffee/tea each day, and I sampled delicious pastries from several nearby bakeries during our breaks. Best Spanish class ever.

How can this program be improved?
I have a strong head on my shoulders, so I didn't feel undue pressure to sign up for any of the extra-cost excursions, but I can understand why a few people were put off. People from the U.S. in particular, I think, are sensitive about feeling ambushed into buying something. That said, I enjoyed every extra activity I took part in, even the touristy restaurant and show at the top of the valley.

I also cannot comment on the Samara program, since I didn't enroll there (though the town is nice).
Yes, I recommend this program
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Bruce
9/10

Good Times

Instruction was very good, the school is very well organized, very professional. Homestays are very nice - I recommend it if you are thinking of making the trip. The families I've stayed with are helpful, friendly, and they don't speak English! Weekends can be great fun if you take advantage of the activities & tours, which are also very well organized. There are also extra acivities throughout the week (dance classes, cooking, movie nights). I've been there twice and I'm thinking about a 3rd trip this winter (2015-16).

How can this program be improved?
Better coffee.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Cecelia
10/10

Intercultura

This school and homestay was such a pleasure to experience! The school had a cozy, comfortable, and cultural atmosphere and offered amazing courses in not only Spanish, but also dancing and cooking! My friend and I stayed in a warm and welcoming home a few blocks away, we even looked forward to walking to school because it was a safe route that offered a fun view of the city. We also loved the trips planned by Intercultura for experiencing Costa Rican night life! The school is in the perfect spot and is not more than a 10 minute walk from anything you could possibly need!

How can this program be improved?
I think the placement process for deciding what Spanish level the students need should be a little more thorough. I was in a level that was more review than anything, I feel like I would have benefited more from a level that focused on past or future tense Spanish than present. It was a good review and the teacher was amazing, but I really wish I had been in a different level. I would have been challenged more.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Helen
10/10

Homestayin Costa Rica

I adored my time in Costa Rica. Having a homestay was wonderful as I was able to use my Spanish at home as well as at school. Also it is so interesting to see how other cultures live their day to day lives.
The school helped me improve my Spanish and give me confidence speaking. I enjoyed every class.
I would definitely return to the same school but I would like to stay longer than the one week I did stay.
Do not hesitate to go alone as I did as everyone was helpful and friendly.

How can this program be improved?
I enjoyed every aspect of the program. I would have liked to stay longer.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Arpad
10/10

Beach and City Spanish program

In September 2012 I signed up for 4 weeks of Spanish classes at Intercultura, first 2 weeks in Heredia and then 2 weeks in Samara. I had a great time, both in the classes and living with the homestay families. I think the 2 campuses are relatively similar, both with skilled teachers and attentive staff, but the surroundings are quite different (urban vs. the beach). For that reason I'm happy I chose to experience both of these places. As for the language course itself, even though interesting and fun, I wouldn't exactly call it laid-back.

There are 4 hours of classes each day, but you also need to practice a little bit on your own and there's usually some homework too. Thanks to this relatively quick pace you can feel the difference and see your progress each week. I had no Spanish before, but after these 4 weeks I'm able to understand a whole lot and I can express myself to a degree. Obviously you can't become fluent in a new language in a month, but you'd be surprised how much one can advance in only a few short weeks.

Staying with a homestay family is also a great way to be more exposed to the local culture.

The families in Heredia and Samara are different, and the living environment in the latter is often basic, so you need to be a little open-minded and not expect 5 star hotel amenities. With that said I can report that I've enjoyed my time with both of my tico families, learning about their lives and especially eating all their delicious food (though truth to be told there's a lot of rice and beans involved). All in all, I can recommend Intercultura without hesitation to anyone wanting to up their Spanish skills and being immersed in the Costa Rican way of life at the same time!

Yes, I recommend this program

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Meet the Staff

About 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...