During my time in Costa Rica I was lucky enough to spend a week studying at Intercultura Spanish School in Heredia. This is a foreign language school where people from all around the world come to learn a new language while being immersed in the culture. This was my first time ever in a country where English wasn’t a first language and I needed some basic understanding of Spanish.
About the School
Located in the heart of Heredia lies a beautiful desert orange and green building home to the Spanish School. Heredia is a town with a large colonial influence and very few tourist. Though, don’t let this scare you. At the school everyone is in the same boat in this foreign country. Intercultura has excellent facilities to make your experience one to remember. You might have Spanish class in the morning, salsa class in the dance studio after lunch, and cooking empanadas in the kitchen for the afternoon.
One of the great aspects of learning Spanish at Intercultura is how passionate the teachers are. They love sharing their language, but also very understanding if you are a beginner like I was. Everyone has a joke with each other and have such welcoming personalities. You will be placed in a class with those who have a very similar level of Spanish as you. This way everyone can learn at the same rate and assist each other.
Another great thing is the classes are small, containing a maximum of six students. This means no one in the group will be left behind and the teacher can focus on everyone. Seriously, you will not move on from a topic until everyone has perfected it. Even if that means pronouncing anos wrong twenty times. There is a great sense of atmosphere here which just enhances the learning. You get to know your class mates extremely well. Also, you all become so proud seeing how much you have learned since day one.
That being said, school wouldn’t be school without some social aspect involved, and Intercultura have this aspect perfected. Along with amazing teachers and like minded students, they also organise many extra circular activities. This might be a night away at Monteverde, a weekend in Puerto Veijo or even simply an evening dancing away in a discotek. Also, they will organise all the details. This includes the transport and the accommodation to ensure it all runs smoothly. All you need to do is sign up and get ready for a good time.
I was lucky enough to spend a week at Intercultura. This was due to being enrolled in International Student Volunteers Spanish immersion program. This is something I highly recommend for anyone visiting Costa Rica, whether you have previous Spanish skills or not. It is an excellent way to meet people and an awesome introduction into the tico ways. Most importantly, it will give you confidence when communicating in a foreign language. Not all Costa Ricans speak English so it is best to partake in a Spanish course either for a refresher or to learn some necessary basic phrases.