Language Programs in Costa Rica

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A Guide to Language Study Abroad in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, which literally means “Rich Coast”, offers a level of natural beauty that renders it worthy of its name. Located in the heart of Central America and among the most progressive and stable countries in the region, Costa Rica is a treasured travel destination. With its accentuated, slow, accurate and clear pronunciation, Costa Rican Spanish is regarded as one of the best spoken in the world, making the country an ideal destination for Spanish language study abroad. Language learners will love the Pura Vida lifestyle of Costa Rica and the warm Ticos who truly embody their national mantra.


Costa Rica abounds with Spanish language schools and numerous opportunities to gain Spanish language fluency. Those who want to study Spanish in Costa Rica will be able to choose between programs in a city, a small community, or even a beach town, which all offer an intensely Costa Rican experience.

San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica and the hub of economic and political activities. The cityscape does not always offer the best of views, with its decrepit infrastructure, outdated commercial buildings, crumbling sidewalks, and potholed streets. But nevertheless, beyond this gritty downtown facade, San Jose unveils a charming maze of quirky spots, sophisticated boutique hotels, refined international restaurants, contemporary art galleries, colonial mansions, and historic neighborhoods.

Monteverde is a small community in Puntarenas, and is an important ecotourism destination in Costa Rica. Nestled between two primary cloud reserves, Monteverde is a lush mountaintop paradise. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve boasts multi-century old strangler fig trees, virgin rainforests, and a rich biodiversity with its share of endangered species. The reserve attracts wildlife lovers, bird watchers, and scientists from all over the world.

Playa Flamingo. Located in the vacation province of Guanacaste, Flamingo Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica, offering an ideal vacation getaway, with fine white sand, pristine blue waters, lush vegetation, refreshing lagoons, and a rich variety of outdoor activities. Language students in Flamingo Beach will have access to several secluded lagoons and beaches amidst incredible mountain formations. 

Language Study in Costa Rica

Spanish is the most prolific language offered by language schools in Costa Rica. Language students can choose to take private, semi-private, group classes, or a combination of all these options. Some courses taught at language schools in Costa Rica provide transferable University credits. Most language programs in Costa Rica are offered throughout the year, and tend to be flexible to the needs of each student. Students will find courses taught by a variety of instructors, from university professors to local college students or elementary teachers.

Almost all language programs in Costa Rica are highly immersive, taking advantage of the colorful Costa Rican culture and the surrounding natural beauty to help individuals get a well-rounded learning experience. Therefore, language students will have plenty of opportunities to practice their Spanish outside the classroom, all while exploring numerous beaches, volcanoes, national parks, traditional Costa Rican towns and farms, and other incredible local attractions.

Along with exploration and learning through experiencing the country and culture, some language schools in Costa Rica offer cultural classes and excursions, such as traditional Costa Rican cooking classes or salsa and merengue dance lessons, and even surfing lessons. Taking learning even further, some language programs give participants the chance to earn various other certifications on top of their language skills, including yoga and scuba diving certifications, or participate in volunteer projects.

Costs & Affordability

Students can find Spanish language programs in Costa Rica for less that $200, with discounts often available for long-term programs. Additional costs usually mean additional benefits, activities, or course components, so you will get what you pay for! Most language study programs in Costa Rica offer reasonably affordable packages that include basic essentials, such as meals and accommodation.

The cost of living in Costa Rica is generally lower than that of the United States, but it is not as cheap as you might expect. While you can enjoy a vacation-worthy lifestyle in Costa Rica that is much more affordable than what you can have in the United States or other comparable countries, it is a noteworthy fact that Costa Rica has the highest cost of living in Central America and the rest of Latin America. To put this price difference into perspective, a Big Mac costs about $4 in Costa Rica, compared to less than $3.50 in Mexico, Colombia, and Peru and about $2.50 in Venezuela.

Language learners in Costa Rica can easily learn some tactics that will help ease any budget constraints and lesson overspending, like skipping chain franchises or fine restaurants and opting for sodas, which are small, tico-run eateries that offer meals for $2 to $4 as opposed to $10 to $15 at larger restaurants. It is also best to utilize local markets for fresh produce and baked goods if you are looking for a deal; you can buy a large pineapple for only $1, a bunch of bananas for less than $0.50, and a fresh loaf of  bread for $1 to $2 at local markets.

Accommodation & Visas

Most language programs in Costa Rica offer participants the opportunity to live in homestays with local Costa Rican families, an arrangement that fosters deeper cultural immersion. Some programs also offer accommodations in student apartments, private apartments, hostels, and hotels, which can be ideal options for students who want more privacy or independence.

Citizens with a valid passport from most nations can stay in Costa Rica for 30 to 90 days without a visa, although evidence of onward travel is typically required. You may be refused entry to Costa Rica if you are unable to furnish evidence of return or onward travel, which may come in the form of a return ticket or a ticket for travel to another country.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

The Pros of a Higher Price Tag. The cost of living in Costa Rica may be higher than that of other countries in Latin America, but its higher standard of living offsets the extra monetary costs. With slightly higher costs comes plenty of options, in terms of consumer goods, amenities, services, and housing. During your language program in Costa Rica, you can choose to go easy on your budget and live like a local, or spend a little more and live like a king.

Safety. By choosing to attend a language school in Costa Rica, you will also be choosing to study Spanish in one of the most politically stable, safe nations in the entire region. Costa Rica has a reasonably low crime rate, especially in comparison to other nations in Latin America.

Reliability & Structure. Although you may have to deal with rough roads (literally) to get from point A to point B, strolling along a secluded, untouched beach or hiking through Costa Rica’s cloud forests will make all the transportation woes worth it. You may also have to deal with an overall lack of punctuality, in terms of language classes starting on time or appointment times being abided by, but eventually you will come to love the laid-back, slow-paced pura vida lifestyle. Through studying Spanish in Costa Rica, you will learn how to live simply and worry-free.

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A Guide To
Language Study Abroad in Costa Rica


 Find Language Courses in Costa Rica


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Spanish Immersion—Be Fluent in Costa Rica!

Maximo Nivel offers Spanish immersion programs at our institutes in San Jose and Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Our Native Spanish Program is ideal for students, professionals, and adventure seekers. Basic to Advanced levels are available. Expand your studies with optional service learning and internship programs. University credit is available via our School of Record: California State Universtiy...

Maximo Nivel Costa Rica

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Learn Spanish with Intercultura – City & Beachfront Campuses

Take the most out of your Spanish studies with Intercultura Spanish language school at two special locations – Vibrant Historic Heredia and Tranquil Tropical Samara Beach. We offer year-round Spanish and Cultural Immersion Programs for all ages and interest groups. Combine both locations in order to experience the best of Costa Rica and the diversity of activities offered at each campus.


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Intensive Spanish classes in Costa Rica from $199.00

Learn Spanish in a national refuge on the Pacific Ocean in Nosara. Our intensive Spanish programs are designed to teach practical Spanish skills in a safe, modern and comfortable environment. We also offer homestay options, sport and cultural activities and much more. Come see why National Geographic and The New York Times rate Nosara as one of the top travel and surf destinations in the world.


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Spanish in Costa Rica with the Internship & Volunteer Option

• Academia Tica is proud to be one of the first Spanish schools in Costa Rica. After more than 25 years educating people from all over the world, we can say that we know our business very well. • Academia Tica is recognized for its quality by Instituto Cervantes and accredited by ADES and many other language institutions. • Special programs - Academia Tica offers Volunteering and Internship P...


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Adult Spanish Immersion Program

Tico Lingo's Spanish immersion programs encompass its philosophy to give students linguistic fluency through cultural immersion. The program includes four hours of language instruction per day, with homestay accommodation in the home of a Tico Lingo Homestay family. The program also includes yoga classes to calm the mind after a long day of Spanish classes. Students are encouraged to play aroun...


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Teen Language Camp in San Jose, Costa Rica with Greenheart

Learn and improve your Spanish skills through full language and cultural immersion on Greenheart Travel’s summer language camp program, in San Jose or Manuel Antonio! We welcome teen students of all skills, including beginners! Live with a Costa Rican host family and make international friends from around the world, all while learning about the country and culture of Costa Rica. Program-a...


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Spanish Immersion in Costa Rica - Instituto Estelar Bilingüe

Come learn Spanish quickly while seeing the amazing sights of Costa Rica! Our school is located in downtown Liberia, a safe, mid-sized city in Guanacaste, the cultural and nature-rich center of Costa Rica. The international airport is just 10 minutes away, and everything in town - supermarkets, gyms, restaurants, homestay families - is within walking distance. Why choose Instituto Estelar B...


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Sol Abroad: High School Study Abroad Program in Costa Rica

Explore the verdant cloud forests and tropical coastlines of Costa Rica, while immersing yourself into the local language. Learn Spanish in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, located in the heart of Central America. Our programs are located in either Heredia, a picturesque Costa Rican city located in the central highlands, or in Atenas, a traditional Costa Rican community. Hig...


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Central America Immersion - Carpe Diem Education Gap Year

Learn about sustainable development and catch waves in the small coastal community of El Paredon. Practice Spanish with welcoming host families in rural Nicaragua. Get SCUBA certified in the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean island of Roatan. Explore the diverse traditions of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Roatan in the tropical haven of Central America. Note: This is a 3-mont...


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Spanish Language Immersion Program.

The Spanish Language Immersion program is designed to address the personal needs of the students. With our 2-to-1 student teacher ratio you will get the attention and support that you need to reach your highest potential, more encouragement to participate in class, connect with the professor and get the most out of our courses. The program is structured into seven courses, from Beginning ...


Expand Horizons, Broaden Knowledge, Master Spanish!

While taking up electives in Costa Rica's Universidad Veritas, participants may also take Spanish language courses. In this program, American and Canadian students will delve deeper not only into the Costa Rican culture but also into the language in order to have a more meaningful experience. Language courses are available throughout the year.


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Spanish Immersion Gap Year with Cross-Cultural Solutions

Soak up the Latin American culture and learn the Spanish language. Our Spanish Immersion Gap Year is specifically designed for a full language experience, all while making a real impact. Each country promises to astound you with it's ecological diversity, off-the-beaten-path destinations, rugged coastlines, bustling markets, and delicious food! For two decades, CCS volunteers have traveled aro...


Master Spanish in Costa Rica!

Learn more about the Spanish language by taking a language program in Costa Rica with Language Vacation. Participants attend intensive classes that may consist of about 20 to 30 lessons per week. Furthermore, students gain a deeper appreciation of the Costa Rican culture and traditions as they partake in various social and cultural outings as well as weekend excursions.


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Spanish Immersion in Costa Rica

Second-language proficiency is more important than ever, but not just for the obvious benefit of communication. It also opens doors to new ways of thinking about the world that may be more readily expressed in the target language. Spanish remains an obvious choice for U.S. citizens for its wide utility in the States, and as travel to neighboring Latin American countries increases. With arriv...