What separates ISLS from other Spanish study abroad institutes? Service. We offer our students unsurpassed personalized service from your first contact until after you have completed your Spanish program with us. All of our sales representatives have lived and worked in Latin America and Spain. They have traveled to every one of our countries and every one of our locations. They are all native English speakers who have learned Spanish as a second language through immersion, most of them in our own Spanish institutions. So, they know what it is like to be a student learning the language.
If you would like to learn more about ISLS and our staff, please visit our About Us Page.
ISLS offers many services that are not found with other Spanish abroad institutions. Among our special services are:
All ISLS schools, locations and programs are accredited for graduate level Professional Development and Continuing Education units. These credits are issued by Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. For undergraduate students, we have degree seeking Spanish credit from Brookhaven College in Dallas, TX. Many, but not all of our programs have this accreditation. We also have the only accredited program for Nursing Spanish in Latin America and Spain. Accredited by both ANCC and the California BRN, nurses can receive Category 1 Nursing Contact Hours. For more information, please visit our College and Professional Credit Page.
In San Jose, Costa Rica, the capital and the main point of entry for international travelers, we have our own ISLS Guesthouse and Student Assistance Center. This service and lodging option is absolutely unique in the Spanish study abroad business. Our Guesthouse is a place for students to stay in San Jose when they arrive, during their time in Costa Rica or at the end of their language program and trip. It is a very safe place, centrally located with easy access to San Jose’s international airport (SJO). Best of all, it is only for ISLS students. It has storage for your luggage when you are traveling around the country, free internet access, cable TV, laundry service, shared and private rooms and there is an ISLS staff member available 24 hours a day to assist students. For safety, security and peace of mind, there is no better option in San Jose. To find out more, please visit our Student Guesthouse page.
Airport Pick Up
We have airport pick up available for every one of our locations and countries. This service insures that all new students who would like someone to pick them up, has someone to meet them upon arrival. And not just someone, an ISLS authorized driver who knows where to go and will be expecting you, our Spanish student. This is great for the first time traveler or for parents who are sending their children abroad on their own. In Costa Rica we also have pick up that includes a night’s stay at our Student Guesthouse. This allows students to come in a day or more in advance, have a safe place to stay and get acclimated before they take off to their new school and host family. To find out more, please Contact Us or check out our Airport Pick Up page.
24 Hour Emergency Assistance
In today’s society with instant communication, e-mail and global cell phones, it is much easier to get a hold of someone who is traveling abroad. This does not mean that you can always do it and this is when this service comes in handy. In case of an emergency at home, relatives or friends of any of our students can contact ISLS 24 hours/day and we will get a hold of your loved one as soon as possible. In Costa Rica, we even have a 24 hour cell phone number with a student representative available to help. To find out more about this service, please Contact Us.
Are you a teacher or a group leader? Would you like to take a group to a Spanish speaking country to learn Spanish? We can help you. We have worked with numerous schools, teachers, religious groups and parents to set up individualized Spanish learning tours. Not only can we put together your Spanish program and lodging, we can set up tours, transportation, airline tickets, volunteer opportunities and academic credit. Group leaders and chaperones can travel at a discounted rate or for free, depending on your needs and group size. For more information, please visit our Groups Page.
We are a family run business and so we are a family friendly business. We have a wide array of Family Spanish Programs and lodging options from which to choose. No matter how many members make up your family or what their ages, we can accommodate them. Our Kindergarten Spanish Program is a one of a kind program as is our Summer Children’s Spanish, Art and Sports Camp. In addition to great programs and lodging options, we give every adult in your family 10% off their Spanish language classes. To find out more, please visit our Families Page.
Over the years we have found that many of our students want to give back to those communities in which they are learning Spanish. To this end, we have volunteer opportunities at each of our Spanish immersion locations. Some volunteer options are available just about in every location, such as tutoring English to locals. Others are in specific locations, such as working at an orphanage or helping endangered sea turtles. Please visit our Volunteer Page to find out more.
While we are not a travel agency, ISLS does help its students to make their flight arrangements when asked. We have worked for 15 year in association with Ole Travel in San Francisco to offer competitive airline prices. With the advent of the Internet, students have many more options when looking for a cheap flight. We can help here with advice as to which airline, connection, arrival time and price might be best. To find out more, please Contact Us.
Specialty Spanish Programs
We have the widest array of specialty Spanish language programs in the business. Some of our programs, such as our accredited Nursing Spanish Program and our Teen Surf and Spanish Program are the only ones of their kind in all of Latin American and Spain. The following is a list of all of our Specialty Programs. For more information on a specific program, just follow the link.
From the moment you first contact us to the completion of your travels, ISLS representatives in the US and your destination country are available to help make travel arrangements. If you need to know a bus schedule or book a hotel room or just want some advice as to which tour to take, we can help. If you have relatives that are going to be traveling to meet you, but are not taking Spanish lessons, we can help arrange their itineraries as well. The reason we can do this is because in every country and in every one of our locations we have an associated travel company that can help make these arrangements. To find out more, please Contact Us.
While we are not actively involved with teaching English as a second language at any of our institutions, we are in the language industry and we have a great deal of contacts with such schools. Over the years many of our students have wanted to extend their stays in the destination countries by finding a position teaching English. These positions are usually not well paying, but can help defray living expenses and help students stay longer. While we cannot guarantee you a job, we can help point you in the right direction. To find out more, please see our Teaching English Page.
As our business has grown, so have the needs and complexity of our services. During the high season, we normally need more help and have turned to interns. After all, somebody has to man the phones, send the information, and wheel-and-deal for the greater good. Some of our students also enjoy a chance to sharpen their skills as linguists and discover the depths of their human resources. We have opportunities available at our Student Guesthouse in San Jose as well as at different campuses through our network and with some of our specialty programs, such as our Teen Surf and Spanish Camp. It is easy to qualify for consideration as one of our interns; you just need to be a former student. For more information about this program, please Contact Us.
Welcome to Costa Rica Program
ISLS has put together a Welcome Program in San Jose, Costa Rica for students arriving in country for their first time. This orientation program is designed to give our students the easiest possible transition into the Costa Rican culture. Instead of flying into Costa Rica the day before your program is to start you fly in three days earlier. Also, instead of being picked and taken directly to your host family, we pick you up and bring you back to our Student Guesthouse in San Jose. There are a number of different fun, educational and adventurous activities and tours that are a great introduction to the bounty of Costa Rica. It is also a great way to meet other language travelers from all over the world and make lasting friendships. To find out more about this program, please visit our Welcome Program page.
ISLS maintains a list of links to other web sites we think you might find helpful. Check out the links below. If you have any suggestions for this list, please contact us.
Travel and Language Directory - Worldwide Travel sites and Language resources. Hotel, airline, tourism bureaus, State Tourism offices, Language Schools, Dictionaries and more.
Spanish Language Learning Site - They have an enhanced vocabulary builder, dictionaries, verb lists, grammar articles and a social network.