Intercultura: Spanish Group/Private Classes Lessons

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About

At both campuses, Heredia and Samara Beach, we offer year-round intensive Spanish group classes in small groups (max. 6 students per class), 4 hours per day and 20 per week. Spanish classes are dynamic, fun and involve a wide variety of authentic learning activities appropriate for all learning styles and students from different cultures and ages. According to your level and the number of students enrolled you either have classes in the morning or in the afternoon at our Heredia Campus, and mostly alternate morning and afternoon at our Sámara Beach Campus.

Our private and semi-private lessons are offered during green season and during high season on a space-available basis. Intercultura´s private lessons are a great option to get some extra practice tailored to your specific needs, pace and topics of your choice. You can take single private lessons only, in the morning or in the afternoon, or add them on to our group classes.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

87%
based on 18 reviews
  • Academics 8.8
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 8.7
  • Housing 8.2
  • Safety 8.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 18
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Emily
8/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Bryan
9/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Avery
10/10

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. :)

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kathy
9/10

Hereditary & Samara

We really enjoyed our weeks at both schools. We ended up staying a bit longer in Heredia so we could take advantage of a long weekend and a trip to Nicaragua, which the school planned. We had a great guide who appreciated doing the fun stuff for a reasonable price. Both schools were great. We were able to move into other classes depending upon our ability and progression. Everyone was very kind and our tica family provided everything we needed- except English!- which was exactly what we needed!! We would definitely do this again.

Yes, I recommend this program
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jennifer
8/10

Intercultura Spanish language school Costa Rica

Great school. Classes were interesting and challenging. Lots of variety in methods of teaching. Lots of social things to do during the day- tours/picnic/dance lessons/yoga on the beach/cooking classes. would be nice if this school and others schools would have evening activities. Sometimes homestay can feel somewhat isolating. A welcome dinner would be nice the first night. Also, for students coming on the weekend, there is no one at the school and if you get there too late to go on weekend tour, you are basically in the town not knowing any other students or what there is to do. Would have been nice to be able to contact other students prior to arrival. Should have day trips on weekends. They do have weekend trips, but they are expensive and you have to be there by Friday morning to go on them. If you get there Friday night or Saturday, you are on your own for activities.
I feel much more confident in all aspects of my life, having travelled alone and been in a foreign country speaking a foreign language. You have to be alert and pay attention and that is so stimulating!
My favorite memory is all the new friends from all walks of life. Still keep in touch!

How can this program be improved?
Would be nice if this school and others schools would have evening activities. Sometimes homestay can feel somewhat isolating. A welcome dinner would be nice the first night. Also, for students coming on the weekend, there is no one at the school and if you get there too late to go on weekend tour, you are basically in the town not knowing any other students or what there is to do.
Would have been nice to be able to contact other students prior to arrival. Should have day trips on weekends. They do have weekend trips, but they are expensive and you have to be there by Friday morning to go on them. If you get there Friday night or Saturday, you are on your own for activities.
Yes, I recommend this program
Shannon
9/10

Above and Beyond

I was 38 yrs old when I had the good fortune of joining InterCultura in Costa Rica in January of 2016 as a complete beginner student. The school is clean and organized and the staff and hosts were warm and patient with my lack of Spanish. Classes were challenging and effective - I learned quickly - and professors were direct, kind, fun, and encouraging. My first housing match was adequate with a beautiful location. Though after three weeks, was clear it was not ultimately a good fit (noise, bugs, more well suited to younger students, etc.). School managers were understanding and open to relocating me to a calmer host-home environment. Most importantly, this change of location proved to me critical for me as during my fourth week I received very sad and tragic news of the unexpected death of a family member. The home-host, school staff, and my student peers supported me with equal amounts of love, respect and professionalism as experienced the initial shock of deep loss in a forgein country. The InterCultura community helped me communicate with family, airlines and arranged my ride to the airport so I could be back in the US as soon as possible (with in 24-hrs) to be with my family. I will forever remember the kindness, joy, and openness of the Tico/school families I met, the beauty of the location, the excitement and challenge of learning Spanish, and I hope to return one day to continue to develop my Spanish language skills and cultural appreciation. I highly recommend this school.

How can this program be improved?
Suggest private lessons for beginners and manage expectations for the mental energy required to learn a new language - especially for those persons who only speak one language. My brain was super tired!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Mila
10/10

Intercltura 17/18

Best experience of my life. Great people, great staff. Best locaton samara is the most beautiful place i’ve ever been. I just fell in love with Samara and Costa Rica. The best place to learn spanish. I ve started with almost no spanish skills and after 6 weeks i was able to have some conversations. after a few weeks of travelling and home coming to samara for 4 more weeks I realt felt like at home. And almost like a Tica! The surf school is an important extra.

Yes, I recommend this program
Ariane
Ariane
9/10

Really nice

I had so much fun on this trip and it’s probably one of the best experience of my life! I would totaly do it again. I learned spanish quickly, the building is nice and has good installations. The location is perfect. I was in Samara and it’s nice for people who like small towns. The classes are interactive and fun. You also learn in small group, witch is nice to meet new people and to make friends! You learn a lot in class and at the end of the course, you will really feel like your spanish is better than before and you will feel way more confident.

How can this program be improved?
The trips they offer are expensive
Yes, I recommend this program
Rachel
8/10

Spanish immersion program for fun

I attended Intercultura in Heredia, Costa Rica to help improve my Spanish. It wasn't a requirement and something I did on my own volition--like the majority of students I met there. I thoroughly enjoyed the program. The classes and professors were great, the extra cultural class options were fantastic. I didn't love Heredia though. We were advised not to be out after dark on the street and to take a cab home if we were out late. I prefer walking around so this wasn't great to hear. I was home every night by sunset at 6pm to avoid roaming the streets after dark. My host family was pretty nice. They hosted a ton of kids. One of the family members wasn't as nice, but she was around the least, so I didn't have to interact with her a ton. The house was nice, too and the cooking was fabulous.

How can this program be improved?
I thought the program itself was great. It was just the city that I didn't click with. If I went back I'd probably visit the beach campus next time.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Janet
10/10

Retiree goes to Costa Rica for Spanish language tune- up and fun on the beach

I wanted a spot to refresh my Spanish and also spend time in a beach community with swimming and outdoor activities. Intercultura exceeded my expectations. The teachers were excellent (I did the private lessons) and were flexible in covering my deficits and making quick progress on the review. The staff, especially Darihana at the front desk were very friendly and helpful taking care of my questions, not only about the program and school but the local community. My husband (not interested in the school) and I rented our own place, and did not do the home stay and she was helpful regarding were to shop, local customs, etc.
The school also offered extracurricular classes in yoga, done in an outdoor covered platform overlooking the beautiful beach with an experienced helpful instructor (Lindsay). We also attended dance and cooking classes, which were fun. The group classes would have worked well had I been visiting on my own, and who knows? Maybe I will return, Samara is a fun, friendly and picturesque small coast town.

How can this program be improved?
No suggestions
Yes, I recommend this program
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Paul
2/10

Good for Swiss Students

I was in an advanced group class in the Samara campus for a week. The campus is beautiful with excellent facilities and is right on the beach. The teacher was very organized and professional, and taught us fine points in grammar that were very helpful. The main drawback was that the other students were almost entirely Swiss, predominantly teenagers on a gap year after completing high school. My class was entirely Swiss and the language around the school outside of class, and within class when the teacher wasn't present was the Swiss dialect of German... It was hard to practice speaking Spanish under these circumstances. If you are an adult who does not speak the Swiss dialect of German, you may find the school is not a comfortable place to study.

Response from Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools

Thank you for your review and we are so sorry that your Spanish learning experience was affected by the group of Swiss-German speaking students. We are going to take immediate action to make sure they abide by the school’s Spanish Only rule, and take steps to make sure that any groups next year, of any nationality, are aware of this situation and do not repeat it.
We would also like to offer you a complementary online Skype Spanish class to make up in some small degree for your experience. Please contact us directly to arrange your schedule, and we hope to see you back soon for a more positive experience next time.

Best regards,
Christiane - Quality Manager

No, I don't recommend this program
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William
9/10

Our daughters studied at Intercultura

We had five children study at Intercultura in the summer of 2015, ages 10-17. The school is well run and professional, and the staff is helpful, down to earth and friendly. The school has cooking, dance and language classes, and they take students on optional field trips. We had the girls go to school at the Heredia school, which we thought was a more authentic Tico experience. The school is located in a small city with all that a small city brings, and we wanted more focus on language than on beach activities. We rented our own house, so we can't speak to the housing or family arrangements, but we heard positive reviews from others. The Ticos in Heredia are friendly people, and they are not out to take advantage of tourists. We would consider sending our daughters back to the school. Pura vida!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Alex
10/10

I got lucky when the other program I signed up for didn't have room for me

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!

How can this program be improved?
There should be wifi on the whole Samara campus.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Olivia
9/10

Intercultura Spanish classes

I recently attended the Intercultura Spanish language school in Heredia, Costa Rica. I chose to stay at a local hotel (Hotel Hojarascas) with a friend rather than choosing the homestay option. A brief interview with the school's director assessed my level of Spanish (basic intermediate) and I was assigned to a small class with two other students. The teacher was great, very professional, personable, and had a great sense of humor. There was plenty of opportunity to interact in the class with the other two students and the teacher, all in Spanish. There is an emphasis on learning correct grammar and much time was spent on conjugating verbs in the past and imperative tenses. And homework was assigned every night! And an exam at the end of the week. I will say that my Spanish did improve.
The school facility itself is attractive and comfortable and all staff are friendly and helpful. The school also offers extracurricular activities, and I did participate in a few. There was an enjoyable cooking class with a very interesting woman teaching the class. There are also salsa dance classes, yoga classes, and various tour opportunities. I especially liked the pretty courtyard settings where students could gather during breaks.
All in all, it was a good combination of learning and relaxation. I would recommend this program to anyone interested in learning Spanish.

How can this program be improved?
In my particular class, I would have preferred more time to become familiar and really comfortable with the past tense rather than moving on to the imperative which I don't think I will find as useful in my life.
Yes, I recommend this program
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François
9/10

Tres veces en la escuela de Samara !

Habiendo pertenecido a Intercultural de Samara durante tres años consecutivos, me gustaría usted aporta mis comentarios y sugerencias que conciernen al conjunto de mis estancias.

La acogida del conjunto del personal durante todas mis estancias, la calidad de los cursos, la competencia de los profesores, todo es verdaderamente impecable y muy profesional. Discutiendo con otros estudiantes que siguieron cursos en otras escuelas de Costa Rica o en otros paises, comprobé que Intercultural de Samara verdaderamente era la escuela la más apreciada por la mayoría de los estudiantes.

El "homestay" fue para mí a cada una de mis visitas una experiencia muy agradable y verdaderamente estuve muy satisfecho. Comprobé no obstante discutiendo con otros estudiantes que la calidad del "homestay" era muy variable de un lugar a otra y en ciertos casos el lugar no era verdaderamente adecuado.

Las actividades propuestas durante los fines de semana y durante semanas son muy adecuadas y pertinentes.

Según el mejoramiento importante que podría ser aportado conciérnele a la adaptación a una clientela más de edad. ¡ A mi parecer, con envejecimiento de la población, la gente como mí (pues un poco más de edad!) les interesan de seguir a cursos de español en un país como Costa Rica. Habría que no obstante adaptarle los cursos y las actividades a esta clientela que es diferente de la clientela actual compuesta de jóvenes. ¡ Puede ser interesante mezclar todas las edades pero se vuelve evidente que la vivacidad intelectual de los más de edad es menos rápida!

El "homestay" podría también sido mejor adaptado lo mismo que las actividades de fin de semana. Pensé decir que ciertas escuelas en país hispanohablante había decidido tomar esta curva …

How can this program be improved?
Estudié en Samara en 2013 (3 semanas), 2014 (3 semanas) y 2015 (2 semanas)
Yes, I recommend this program

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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...