Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish School

Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish School   Logo

Basic Information

Address: Heredia City & Samara Beachfront, Costa Rica
Phone Number: 2656-3000
Director/Owner: Laura Ellington

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Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish School
Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish School
Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish School
Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish School

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Additional Information

Ages: 8-18 and 18+

We have two beautiful campuses, one in the traditional university city of Heredia, close to the capital, and the other right on the beach in Sámara, Guanacaste, on Costa Rica's northern pacific coast.

School Schedule (Hours in Day): 4 hours per day with two breaks of 30 mins each

Students come from around the world to study Spanish with us and participate in fun, after-school & cultural activities

School Size: 30-90 students at any given time
Classroom Size: 6 students maximum
Student/Teacher Ratio: average 1 teacher to 3 or 4 students

starts at $285 per week

Financial Aid:

Case-by-case basis

Languages used as a Medium of Teaching: Spanish, with English only if strictly necessary
Credit Available: No
Course Levels: Complete beginner through upper-advanced
Experience Required:


Percentage of Graduating Class: 100
Support Services:

Multi-lingual coordinators, tour guide, dance, cooking, yoga and zumba classes, travel planning resources, housing placement, volunteer program placement

Computer Capabilities:

All classes have smartboards, students may bring a tablet, laptop or phone to class

Parking Spaces/Availability:


Admissions Requirements:

Apply through our website at

Admissions Deadline: 1 week before start date, start dates every Monday
Mission Statement:

Intercultura is a language and cultural center devoted to achieving linguistic proficiency in the context of cultural immersion and intercultural education. We seek to cultivate global awareness, empathy, cross-cultural and empowered communication skills through the sharing of cultures and languages. Our program aims not just to teach a new language, but to give participants effective tools to implement responsible change as they learn to navigate, understand and respect the constantly evolving and diverse culture of our world.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

Though a private enterprise, several branches of our business are run on a non-profit basis, including the local family homestay and service learning/volunteer programs. We believe in reinvesting a majority of profits into academic development, professional growth opportunities for staff, improvement of student facilities, cultural extension activities and expansion of our community support projects. A significant portion of our earnings go to regional causes, social development organizations, and to the endowment of our local scholarship funds for at-risk, and socio-economically disadvantaged groups.

School History:

Intercultura is a Language & Cultural Immersion Center with campuses in Heredia and Sámara, Costa Rica. The Heredia center was founded in 1993, and the Sámara campus in 2001, by Laura Ellington and Adelita Jiménez, and we remain with the school to this day. We are helped by a great team in each location, who you will get to know during the training process. We founded the school based on our own experiences studying at and working in schools and NGOs, taking the best ideas from each area and combining them with our own vision of what a
language and cultural immersion program should look like and how it
should relate to the community where it is hosted. Academic
excellence, cultural integration, business transparency, social
responsibility, integrity and sustainable development were some of
the ideals that informed our thinking and the school along the way.
We began as a tiny enterprise, with four classrooms, the reception
and a dance room. Adelita was the Spanish teacher and homestay
coordinator, while Laura was the activities planner, marketing
coordinator and occasional teacher. They were both also
receptionists, cleaning ladies, messengers and any other position
that needed filling! We had a lot of great people help us out along
the way, from our staff and various collaborators to the owners of
both our current properties, who sold them to us purely on trust and the strength of an IOU. Over the years, the school has grown organically from a one story house into a two-story centre comprising four buildings, gardens, a full staff, and hosting Spanish immersion programs for foreigners from around the world as well as low-cost English and Portuguese classes for the local community. Beach Campus: After running week-long beach programs in Dominical and Jacó, we decided in 2001 to look for our ideal setting; one that offered a beautiful safe beach, a predominantly Tico community, and a place where we could make a positive impact with our sustainable development-orientated project model. Sámara was perfect, and we quickly integrated into the community, and by 2004 had expanded the one-week per month program into a permanent campus right on the beach, with the generosity of one of our homestay mothers and the community as a whole, who from the beginning believed in the project and the benefits it could bring the community. In 2005 we co-founded the non-profit association CREAR, offering free supplementary education to local children, and we continue to support the association, to participate on community development projects and serve actively in the social and communal activities that help shape the future of this beautiful area.


“I found a new confidence in my language abilities and discovered a community of incredible people in the wonderful place that is Intercultura.” Zachary Futterer, USA
"I can hardly say enough good things about Eva and my experience at Intercultura. The administration was very friendly and helpful, the instructors were excellent, the course material and use of technology were top notch, the other students were motivated to learn." Robert Higgins, USA.

”Intercultura provided me with an incredible and life changing experience. I was impressed with the quality of the teaching and the friendliness of the teachers. Everybody at Intercultura wants you to have a great time and an enriching experience and they go out of their way to ensure it. You will meet students from all over and feel you are travelling the world while being in Costa Rica. The family stay provides a great opportunity to get to know Costa Rican culture.
The school in Heredia is very conducive to learning. It has a beautiful interior courtyard which provides an ideal setting to meet other students while enjoying good coffee during breaks. As for the beach campus, it is absolutely amazing. Located in Samara, a small typical beach village, you will quickly feel at home and have countless opportunities to meet local new friends to practice your Spanish.
Don’t miss the cooking and dancing classes organized by the school: another chance to meet new friends, learn about the local culture and practice your Spanish. Make sure you keep some extra days to visit the amazing natural sites this small country has to offer: national parks, beautiful beaches, coffee plantations and spectacular volcanoes. Go and see for yourself why Costa Rica is also called the Switzerland of Central America.” Marie-Claude Perrault, Canada

Program Highlights:

- Possibility to study at both beach and city campuses
- Fun & effective Spanish Course with qualified, dynamic teachers
- Exciting cultural and social activities program (Latin dance, cooking, zumba, evening outings, and more)
- Recognized by the United Nations Global Compact (only certified school in Costa Rica)
- Homestays with local families: build community and make friends for life!
- Volunteering and tours available

Visa Requirement:


Travel/Living Accommodations: Homestay families
Notes/School Information:

Intercultura Costa Rica is one Spanish school in Costa Rica with two unique and very distinctive locations. The vibrant, historic Heredia and tranquil, tropical Samara Beach.

Combine the locations in order to experience total immersion and culture from different perspectives. Simply choose the dates you would like to be in each campus.

Each campus has a distinctive flavor, way of life and charm.

Start at either campus and after a week or several weeks you can move easily to the other campus without any disruption in your learning process.

Put the Spanish you learn in the classroom into practice, with Intercultura's FREE daily cultural activities, and on our optional tours of Costa Rica's beautiful natural environment...including volcanos, beaches, national parks, coffee plantations, island boat trips, rafting, indigenous reserves, and more!

Our unique HEREDIA CAMPUS Social Activities Program, led by our two local leaders, offers students the chance to get to know the town, interact with locals and make friends during the fun, diverse outings offered FREE from Monday to Saturday every week (students pay only entry fees or public transport cost).