The InterExchange Spanish Immersion Costa Rica programs in San Jose and Manuel Antonio are opportunities to improve your language proficiency quickly while exploring a beautiful country in the process. You will take 4-6 hours of Spanish per day, have the option to join free English-Spanish exchanges with locals, and interact with your Spanish-speaking host family members while enjoying home cooked meals!
Programs begin every Sunday with pickup at the San Jose Airport (SJO) and transfer to your host family. If you are heading to the Manuel Antonio location an extra night is included on Saturday and you'll have a bus ticket (Sunday) provided to Quepos to join your host family there. Your host family will help you navigate to the language school Monday morning for your orientation session and placement exam. Classes start the same day and will take place each day Monday through Friday.
You'll have plenty of time to enjoy the beaches and the park if you choose to study in Manuel Antonio. You might also consider joining a group rafting or hiking trip, a sunset sail or a bit of kayaking. For those in San Jose the list of excursions is extensive: canopy tours, volcano hikes, rafting, beaches, rainforests and more. We recommend taking at least one weekend trip and perhaps adding a bit of time after your immersion program to explore!
Spanish classes start Monday morning and you can choose group or private classes or a combination of both. Teachers have master's degrees and/or certification in teaching Spanish and 5+ years of teaching experience. They will create ample opportunities for you to practice speaking and listening. Textbooks are provided at no extra cost.
You'll meet plenty of other Spanish students, but the schools also support local English learners, with whom you will have the option to connect for one-to-one language exchanges (to help with their English for 30 minutes and practice your Spanish for 30 minutes). Also, your host family will provide breakfast and dinner, which often create additional opportunities for language practice.
Standard accommodation is a shared room with 1-2 other students/volunteers of the same sex, in the home of screened, middle-class host family (private rooms available for an additional $50/week). You will receive a key to the home and can come and go as you please, provided you respect the space and routines of your hosts. Your host family's home will either be within a 10- to 25-minute walk or a short taxi/bus ride from the school where InterExchange's partner offices are situated.
On the Manuel Antonio program host families live in the town of Quepos and you'll take a short bus ride to the school each day. The beach is just another five minutes down the hill! Those in San Jose will stay in the San Pedro part of town (not far from the University of Costa Rica). Family members are caring and always happy to help you during your program.
All families must partake in a formal application, vetting and interview process before becoming hosts. You'll receive your specific host family information with your arrival packet.
Hostel stays can also be arranged, or apartments for placements four weeks or longer. Please inquire for details.
English-speaking program staff work from both school locations seven days per week and maintain a 24-hour emergency phone, so support is always available. The staff can assist you with logistical questions, or give you tips for exploring the area before and after class and during weekends.
The school campuses have spaces to study, computers and free WiFi, free coffee and tea, and great hang-out space for meeting friends and making new ones. The program also organizes weekly free activities like salsa or cooking lessons, and you can check the monthly activities calendar for other ideas on connecting with students and travelers.
Support from InterExchange begins the moment you inquire and continues beyond your program when you become a part of our alumni community! Have questions now? Ask away!
Photos courtesy of James Bridge
All prices include host family accommodation with breakfast and dinner, airport pickup and support throughout your program.
|Duration||Small Group||Private||6-Hour Combo|
|Duration||Small Group||Private||6-Hour Combo|
Above pricing includes standard host family accommodation in a shared room. For private room with a host family, or accommodation in a hostel or apartment, please give us a call at 1.800.597.3675 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
With just a few web forms and uploads our sign-up process is simple, and we're always here if you have any questions. Sign up by signing up now.
Once you complete your application and make a $250 partial payment (refundable if you cancel before your program is confirmed) we'll reach out to address any lingering questions, review a few key points, and get the ball rolling with your placement!
If you would like to earn credit we will need to know in advance. Please note that additional fees will incur for this option, which go to the accrediting school. Please contact us to request a syllabus.
San Jose is central and an ideal leaping off point for weekend excursions. Coasts, mountains, rainforests and volcanoes are all within 2-4 hours driving. Many participants also add a few days after programs to travel. If you stay in Manuel Antonio you'll no doubt spend lots of time lounging at the beach! There are also kayaking, rafting and sailing day trips at your fingertips. With other students and volunteers around and weekly activities either planned or suggested by the program, it's not difficult to meet new people if you are so inclined.
Yes. Please let us know in advance and we'll get you placed with the same host family.
Yes, host families have experience with vegetarians, but please let us know in your application so we can find you the right placement.
Walking is a great, free option, but buses are also very inexpensive and support staff will provide info on using public transportation or taxis. Your host family can help you with this as well. If you plan any excursions during weekends or after your program, buses are usually the way to go.
You'll have access to computers and high-speed internet at school. We recommend bringing a tablet or other personal device, as computer access can be limited during busy hours, but WiFi is available. There are also internet cafés available throughout San Juan and Quepos. Many host families have WiFi at home, but this is not guaranteed.
If your phone is unlocked for use with a foreign SIM card, you should be able to get onto a local phone plan while in Costa Rica. We're happy to speak with you about other options for staying in touch.
Yes! InterExchange offers volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica, with Spanish language classes included. Please check out our Volunteer Costa Rica program and sign up there to start the process!
InterExchange was very helpful! They helped me set up my trip with just a few week's notice. I was very happy with my Spanish class. The office staff were very friendly and flexible, and my teachers were great. Jane
I know if I need anything I can send a quick email and be assisted right away. I feel secure with [InterExchange] staff and am grateful for the extensive information that has been provided. Keirsten
Improve your Spanish at Manuel Antonio beach or in San Jose, Costa Rica!