Study Spanish in Heredia
The Heredia campus is located in the colonial city of Heredia, approximately 20 minutes by bus from the capital city of San José. Heredia provides all the conveniences of a medium-sized city in an environment, which has escaped, to a large extent, the common urban problems affecting the capital. It is home to the National University, and an important cultural center for Costa Rica. Furthermore, much of Heredia has managed to retain a typical Latin American “pueblo” feel despite increasing modernization.
Heredia’s central location within the city gives students easy access to transportation, shops and entertainment. At the same time, the tranquility and natural beauty of the mountains is only a few minutes away by taxi or bus.
In the downtown area students are usually no more than a 5 minute walk from a variety of services, including: sports center and olympic-size swimming pool; Internet café; gyms; bars, restaurants, discotheques; the National University’s theatre and grounds; the International telephone office; clinics and travel agencies.
The province of Heredia is the coffee-growing capital of Costa Rica, where one can still see loaded ox-carts bringing in the beans from the coffee plantations characteristic of the green mountainsides. In the rural villages you will witness a way of life very different to that of the cities, and see vestiges of the old colonial architecture once typical in the entire Central Valley.
Heredia’s proximity to transportation hubs such as the airport and the central bus stations in San José make it an ideal base for your stay here. Easily accessible from the city are the nearby Poás and Barva volcanoes, and Costa Rica’s numerous beaches and national parks.
About the School Program
The school program uses a combination of immersion teaching methods centered around the Communicative Approach with a solid grammar component. Instead of a traditional grammar program, classes are designed to provide a fully balanced intensive immersion experience for students. This means that they incorporate all aspects of language acquisition: conversation, grammar, reading, writing, general comprehension and idiomatic expressions.
The teacher’s role is seen as one of facilitator, where the students have input into their own learning, thereby making it more meaningful to their own experience. In addition to formal textbooks, they use a wide variety of current materials: newspapers, literature, audiocassettes/CD’s, videos, advertisements, music, short stories and more. Classes also incorporate field trips and out-of-class learning. Thus classes remain interesting as well as educational!
The core Spanish program consists of thirteen different levels, from complete beginner through advanced. After these have been completed, students continue with six additional levels of high-advanced to superior level Spanish, which develop upon the literature used in lower levels and intensify work towards full proficiency in the various areas of language acquisition.
Specialized courses are offered for those who wish to study specific topics such as business, medical or media Spanish.
Contact school for rates
Please observe days the campus is closed:
JANUARY 1: New Years Day
APRIL 11: Juan Santamaría Day (Costa Rica's national hero)
APRIL 10-14: Easter Week
MAY 1: Costa Rican Labor Day
JULY 25: Annexation of Guanacaste
AUGUST 15: Mother's Day
SEPTEMBER 15: Costa Rican Independence Day
OCTOBER 12: "Día de la Raza" Indigenous Peoples' Day
DECEMBER: 11-29 Christmas Holidays
Each month offers new activities and a calendar of special events plus a variety of fun excursions, which are accompanied by a staff member and who encourage all students to participate so as to promote social interaction with the locals. These activities include special dance or theater shows; soccer games; discussion groups; live music; discos and more.
For some of the more important national holidays staff present educational performances relevant to the occasion.
LATIN DANCE CLASSES: From Monday through Thursday students have the opportunity to participate in classes where they will learn salsa, merengue, cumbia and marcado, the most popular dances in Costa Rica. This enables them to go to discos with confidence and interact with Costa Ricans. In Sámara, dance class is once or twice a week.
LECTURES: Periodic talks are given that cover a wide range of subjects and inform students about topics such as the ecology and environment of Costa Rica, Latin-American literature and politics. In addition, there are permanently scheduled lecture series on the indigenous culture, peoples, and languages of Costa Rica.
INTERCAMBIOS: During these cultural exchanges Spanish students meet with Costa Rican students at the school to practice conversation skills in a relaxed atmosphere, and to make new friends from the local community.
COOKING CLASS: Once a week students are taught how to make typical Costa Rican dishes, a nice skill to take home and share with friends and family!
LATIN MUSIC CLASS: In this weekly class students learn traditional and modern songs from different Spanish-speaking countries, analyzing their meaning and cultural significance. Feel free to join in and bring your own instrument!