- Refine your spoken and written Spanish with tailored language classes
- Immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture and improve your Spanish language skills by living with a local Costa Rican family
- Take part in extracurricular activities to improve your Spanish and learn a new skill - like Latin dancing!
- Feel like a member of the community whilst living with a local family, and get to test out your spoken Spanish whilst out and about
- Discover the natural beauty of Costa Rica travelling through the country in your spare time
- Make friends with other students and learn and explore together
A fantastic opportunity to learn a new language, or simply brush up on your current skills, our Costa Rica Spanish School programme is an excellent mix of classroom learning and extracurricular activities like Latin dancing, as well as exploration and culture immersion - with the help of your wonderful and welcoming host family. One of the most beautiful and naturally diverse countries in the world, you'll get to enjoy your incredible surroundings just as much as the warming community spirit. If you’re looking for an authentic learning experience, not just to learn a new language but to truly absorb the culture and atmosphere of your surroundings, this trip ticks all the boxes.
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Download more trip information and detailed itinerary
What to expect at the project
Before you even head out to Costa Rica, our Spanish teachers will assess your current language abilities with a written and verbal test. This is simply to determine which Spanish class you'll be placed in once you arrive at the language school. There are four levels of Spanish class: Beginners I, II & III; Intermediate I, II, & III; Advanced I, II & III; and Specialised courses.
Beginner courses have all been designed for those looking to acquire a basic level of Spanish to make travel in Spanish-speaking countries easier to navigate. Your lessons will cover things like appropriate greetings, asking for/giving directions, ordering food and drinks, and be able to talk about yourself.
Intermediate courses cover grammar and pronunciation, allowing you to communicate more fluently and confidently as well as improve your written skills. On completion of the intermediate levels, you should be able to hold conversations on a number of topics with native Spanish speakers.
Advanced courses will focus predominantly on perfecting advanced grammar leading to the students' fluency of spoken and written Spanish and also with the aim of learning how to address more complex conversations in unrehearsed situations.
From day one, on your arrival to Costa Rica, you'll be met by friendly, helpful people. You'll be picked up at the airport by our lovely local team who will take you to your homestay accommodation and introduce you to your host family, who will be waiting for you and greet you with the warmest welcome.
You’ll attend a welcome meeting, where you'll receive information on your placement and get to find out a bit more about San José. You'll receive a school ID card, a list of important contact information, and practical tips about living and travelling in Costa Rica, from safety information, rules and etiquette, to what to expect on your Spanish course, a briefing on school facilities, and information on afternoon cultural activities. You'll also be given a map of the area, a bus timetable, information on banks and money issues, and tourist information.
On your first day of school, you'll be placed into your relevant class level and begin learning almost immediately. Lessons will run from 9am to 2pm Monday to Friday, with included afternoon activities to help you improve your Spanish skills in a less formal setting.
Day in the life
Try and arrive at the language school at 8am on your first day so the staff can retest your language skills and make sure you're placed in the right class (your host family will accompany you to the school on your first day, and collect you afterwards). Once all new students have been assessed and placed in the relevant classes, lessons will begin at 9am.
From Monday to Friday, you'll study Spanish between 9am and 2pm, with a lunch break between 12pm and 1pm. In the afternoons, you can always head back to your homestay accommodation and get to know your host family a bit better, go and explore San Jose, or stay at school for some extracurricular activities. Cultural classes are inclusive, so no need to think about how much they cost, and run from 3pm to 5pm each day. They include:
- Latin dance classes, every day, from 3pm to 4pm, and 4pm to 5pm
- Cooking classes, on Wednesdays, from 3pm to 4pm
- Conversation classes, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 4pm to 5pm
Please note that during the covid pandemic, the cultural activities will not be included due to social distancing requirements.
All cultural classes are conducted in Spanish, which is a fantastic, informal way to improve your conversation skills and fluency.
In your free time, you'll have the chance to discover what Costa Rican living is all about. Spend time discovering the local markets, clubs, restaurants, bars and theatres close by, visit dance clubs with your dance instructors, or take a weekend excursion to the beach, rainforests, volcanoes and National Parks. There are also several cultural activities laid on at the school throughout the year, such as folk dancing, museum visits, football matches, craft fairs and the annual Independence Day celebrations, all designed to make the most of your cultural experience in Costa Rica.
Please note that all activities, inclusions and itineraries are subject to change.
Purpose and aim of the programme and how do you benefit the programme
The aim of this programme, no matter what your current Spanish language level, is to introduce you to or improve your conversational and written skills, and at the same time offer you a real insight into Costa Rican culture, making you feel like part of the community. At the language school, you’ll be taught with other students, but in small enough classes to ensure your individual needs are met, offering you a fully comprehensive learning experience.
The lessons at the language school are designed to be fun and interesting, helping you learn the language quickly and easily, with the added bonus of trying out extracurricular activities, like Latin dancing and conversational classes to further improve your language skills - not to mention what you’ll learn about Costa Rican culture from your host family and your own travels around San José in your downtime.
You’ll gain a full understanding of the Spanish language, whether you’re a beginner starting from scratch, or a pro looking to refine your grammar, as well as a unique and personal glimpse into everyday life in Costa Rica. You’ll leave the programme with a fond and authentic taste for Costa Rican life and, having been part of a genuine Spanish community, the only problem you'll be faced with is that you might not want to leave!
Want to stay longer?
4 weeks not enough? We can arrange longer durations if you want to spend more time learning Spanish in Costa Rica. Contact a Travel Advisor for more information.
- Spanish lessons (4 hours a day, Monday to Friday)
- Arrival airport transfer from Juan Santamaria International Airport
- Homestay accommodation
- Breakfast and dinner – provided by your host family
- Optional weekly Latin dance classes
- Weekly conversation classes
- Weekly Costa Rican cooking classes
- Books and class materials
- Extra ‘level adjustment/ability upgrade’ Spanish classes (if you require them)
- Internet service at the school
- Luggage storage while you travel
- Full support from your in-country co-ordinator
- 24/7 emergency support
- Travel insurance
- Transport from your homestay accommodation to the language school
- Return transfer to the airport
During your Spanish learning experience, you will be staying with a local Costa Rican family in their home, immersing yourself in Costa Rican culture and improving your conversational Spanish at the same time. Living as a member of the family, you’ll be kept safe in a clean but homely environment with your own room, unless you’ve specifically chosen to share with another language student or are travelling with a friend. Free to come and go as you please, you’ll be provided with a door key, but be sure to let your host family know when you’ll be out so they don’t worry about you unnecessarily.
All of our host families live in nice residential neighbourhoods, and are only a 10-20-minute bus ride from the Spanish school. You can let us know on your application what type of family you would like and any preferences you may have (pets, diet, smoking, etc.) and we will make every effort to place you with the best family to suit your needs.
Though your accommodation may be a little more basic than a hostel or hotel stay, it will still be safe, secure and comfortable - and the perfect place to experience real Costa Rican life and language in a loving and hospitable environment.
During your stay you should bear in mind that the majority of our host families don't speak English, but they are used to accommodating students who don't speak Spanish and are always very patient. One of the advantages of the homestay is the opportunity to practise your spoken Spanish and improve your language skills outside of school lessons.
Breakfasts, dinners and a laundry service will be provided by your host family, and they’ll be happy to cater for any special dietary requirements as long as you let us know from the start when you book your place. A weekly change of bed linen will also be provided, though you’ll need to bring your own towels.
You will need to arrange your flights to arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport, San José (SJO) on the first day of your itinerary, where you'll be met by the in-country team who will take you to your accommodation. You can depart any time on the last day of your itinerary - a return transfer to Juan Santamaria International Airport is included.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
It is important that once you have booked your flights you add these details to your online account or alternatively you can contact us with your departure date, the flight number and arrival time at your destination.
The minimum age for this programme is 18 years.
British nationals aren’t required to have a visa to enter Costa Rica and can remain in the country as a visitor for up to three months. You will however need at least six months validity remaining on your passport following your planned departure from Costa Rica as well as proof of onward travel or return home. Please note, there is a 29USD fee payable on exiting the country.
If you are travelling in to Costa Rica from a country at risk of Yellow Fever you must ensure that you obtain the required Yellow Fever vaccinations and bring a Yellow Fever certificate with you when you enter Costa Rica. Please consult your GP for more information.
How Fluent Does My Spanish Need To Be Before I Travel?
You don’t need to have any Spanish language skills prior to this programme. Every student will take an assessment at the language school so your lessons can be tailored to your skill level.
How Much Spending Money Should I Bring With Me?
The majority of your meals are included in the cost of this programme, and general costs in Costa Rica are pretty reasonable, so you won’t need a huge budget to get by comfortably. Just make sure you plan for travel and optional activities in your own time as there’s plenty you’ll probably want to do while you’re out there. You can expect to pay between 3,000CRC-10,000CRC/£4-£14 for a meal and between 800CRC-2,000CRC/£1-£3 for drinks, so a weekly budget of around 75,000CRC-115,000CRC/£100-£150 should be a good amount to keep in mind, minus any costlier activities.
How Do I Get Back To My Homestay From The Language School?
After the first day, you will make your own way to and from the school from your homestay location. Public buses are very easy to use and cheap, and they run every 10-15 minutes from 5:30am until 11:pm. Taxis are also very cheap and recommended if you're travelling at night. Transport to and from the school is not included in your programme.
Can I Travel With A Friend?
Yes! We can’t guarantee you’ll be placed with the same host family, but if you let us know that you’re travelling with a friend when you book, we’ll make sure you’re close by, if not in the same accommodation.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.