Arenal (La Fortuna)
The town of La Fortuna has 10,000 inhabitants and is in the north central region of Costa Rica. Just to the north is the world famous Arenal Volcano, hot springs and lake. This is a great destination for those seeking a place to be immersed in the language and culture of Costa Rica, but at the same time have a great vacation. Because of its location it has so many different things to do and see, from the famous volcano and hot springs, to wind surfing, spelunking, hiking, sailing, horseback riding, zip lining, rafting and much more. It is the home of our Medical Program and our Nursing Spanish Program which is accredited by the State of California for continuing education nursing units.
Heredia (Santo Domingo)
Located in the foothills of the Central Valley, Santo Domingo de Heredia is a small colonial town just 20 minutes from downtown San Jose. This location combines the best aspects of the small rural town feel with the big city and all that goes with that. During the day and after classes you can walk to the center of town and feel like one of the community and hang out and have coffee near the central park. At night you can take a cab into San Jose and visit the many casinos, restaurants, night clubs and bars. There are also many different museums and theaters to visit, as well. Our brand new facilities are modern and our apartment option is a great lodging alternative to host families.
Located at the top of a mountain 6000 ft above sea level in the tropical cloud forest, Monteverde is famous for its nature preserves and cheese. People come from all over the world to walk along the trails of the Monteverde preserve. There is a community of Quakers that has lived and farmed on the mountain since the mid 1950’s and they make great cheese. We have a 5.5 hour group program that is very popular and allows students to take more classes without taking up all of their afternoons. Volunteer opportunities are abundant, especially for those that want to work with nature and the environment.
This sleepy little beach town located off the beaten track on the central Pacific coast is in the tropical rainforest with stunning beaches and great surfing. The campus is a five minute walk to the beach, situated along the Rio Baru. Across the river is the Hacienda Baru Nature Preserve that has over 1000 acres of protected rainforest. It is not unusual to see toucans in the trees at the school and monkeys along the preserve’s paths. The Medical Spanish Program offers students and professionals an opportunity to work with rural patients and clinics. If you ever wanted to try surfing or are already an expert, this is the best beach break in all of Costa Rica.
Playa Manuel Antonio
The most famous beach resort in Costa Rica and its oldest, is a lively town of about 8,000 with fun night life and a great national park of the same name. In the National Park is the south facing beach Manuel Antonio. This was once rated as one of the top five beaches in the world by National Geographic. Even though the park is small area wise, it is still filled with abundant wildlife and is a great place to relax and study after classes. The campus of the school is located on a cliff overlooking the Pacific with beautiful views up and down the coast. The town of Quepos, where the host families are located is a bustling sea port just north of the resort town.
Our only beach campus located in the tropical dry forest, Playa Tamarindo is on the northern Pacific coast with long white sandy beaches and the most sunny days of the year. This section of Costa Rica is considered to be the Gold Coast because even during the heart of the rainy season, it still gets less rain than elsewhere else. Beach activities abound with snorkeling, scuba diving and surfing. The culture of the region is also slightly different as they were once part of Nicaragua back in the 1800’s and more closely resemble the hacienda lifestyle of the north. The campus of the school is located just 1½ blocks from the beach and is easy walking distance to everywhere in town. Classes are held in our new open air school building, next to our student apartments.
San Jose (San Pedro)
San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and San Pedro is one of its nicest suburbs. Located just two miles east of downtown, near the University of Costa Rica, it is a lively and fun neighborhood. This campus is for those students who want to be in a big city, as San Jose is the only big one in the country. There are great museums, restaurants, theaters and clubs. It is the heart of the political system and a city on the go. Because it is located right smack dab in the middle of the country geographically, it is easy to get to anywhere in the country by public transportation. The school facilities are the most extensive in the country with a computer lab, business center and restaurant.
Our most immersive location is this mountain valley town of 35,000 people. Located 1½ hours from San Jose, Turrialba is a safe and beautiful location with only Spanish speakers in the area. This is a great place for families with children of all ages. Our Kindergarten program is the only one of its kind in Central America for children 2 to 7 years old. This is also the location where our Medical Program is affiliated with the local government hospital. We have a medical clinic at the school, which is located on the grounds of the tropical research center CATIE. This is a 2000 acre preserve with rivers, lakes, primary forests and botanical gardens. All of which are accessible to our students.