About Costa Rica

The region

The program alternates between San Jose and Manual Antonio State Park.

Pura vida, a characteristic Costa Rican phrase, literally means pure life, with connotations that suggest translations such as "full of life," "real living," "going great," or "this is living!" The phrase can be used as a greeting or a farewell, as an answer expressing that things are going well, as a way of giving thanks, or as a way of showing appreciation. It's a way of life. It is a perspective to life that evokes a spirit that is carefree, laid back and optimistic.

The School and schedule

In San Jose: The school is located in San Pedro—the university district of San Jose. Spanish Camp participants study in a separate area of the institute and are not mixed with adult program participants. There is 24/7 supervision of all Spanish Camp students. Spanish classes take place from 9:00am to 12:00pm daily. Lunch is catered at the school every day.

Manuel Antonio: Spanish classes take place just a 5 minute bus ride from the beautiful Manuel Antonio Beach and National Park.

The Classes

Your classes will be held for three hours every weekday morning at a local private school. With no more than eight students per class, you will have plenty of opportunities to participate and practice. The focus of the classes is to take your communication skills to the next level and help you speak Spanish more fluently outside the classroom.

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Cultural Activities and Excursions

Spend your afternoons exploring waterfalls, working on community service projects, or trying your hand at Costa Rican cooking. Weekends are reserved for full-day and overnight excursions.

Depending on the week of your stay, you may visit the fiery Arenal volcano, the beautiful sand beaches of Isla Tortuga, or the Punta Leona rain forest. All activities are designed to give you deeper insight into Costa Rican culture and to let you explore the natural beauty of the country.

Community service activities may take place at public schools, orphanages, nursing homes, recycling projects, or environmental conservation projects. You might teach basic English to children, help maintain the facilities, work in the school's vegetable garden, or help out in other ways, depending on current needs.

Sample two-week schedule

Activities will vary depending on your time of stay. Other activities may include: indoor soccer games, karaoke (in Spanish, of course), a canopy tour, roller skating, bowling, a visit to a local amusement park or country club, a beach cruise to Isla Tortuga, or a movie.

Week One

Monday: dance class

Tuesday: walking tour of the capital

Wednesday: community service project

Thursday: cooking class

Friday: butterfly farm tour

Weekend: Arenal volcano and hot springs

Week Two

Monday: art workshop

Tuesday: coffee farm tour

Wednesday: community service

Thursday: bird sanctuary tour

Friday: shopping

Weekend: Punta Leona beach (with surfing lesson)