We have the two following destinations in Costa Rica:
The capital city of San Jose is located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica at an altitude of 1,170 m (3,840 ft). The city is surrounded by beautiful mountains with several nearby volcanoes. The San Jose metropolitan area has a population of 1,000,000 people.
San Jose has all the amenities of a large capital city and offers museums, parks, markets, plazas, and theatres, as well as plenty of shopping and nightlife.
Costa Rica is known for its warm tropical weather. Temperatures in San Jose range from 22-32°C (72-90°F) year round.
‘Green season’ lasts from May to November with the wettest months being September and October. ‘Dry season’ is from December to April.
The institute is located in San Pedro —the university district of San Jose. The neighbourhood offers a great student vibe and is surrounded by restaurants, gyms, and malls, as well as great nightlife with live music and dancing. The institute is only a short 10-minute bus ride from downtown San Jose.
Within San Jose, participants can take a city tour, see shows at the National Theatre, visit the central market, and go zip-lining.
Outside of San Jose, participants can hike up volcanoes, go whitewater rafting, and take a trip to the Pacific or Caribbean coasts. There are a variety of travel options right at your fingertips.
Participants stay in Quepos, which is a small village next to Manuel Antonio Beach. The population of Quepos is approximately 12,000 people. Quepos has lots of shops and local restaurants, a central bus station, a great marina, and an open-air market every Saturday. There’s also easy access to the Manuel Antonio National Park—Costa Rica’s largest protected rainforest.
The National Park abounds in flora and fauna and you can see howler, squirrel, and white-faced monkeys; two-toed sloths; coatimundis; iguanas; over 350 species of birds; and lots of other wildlife. The park is wonderful for short walks, full-day hikes, and snorkelling.
Manuel Antonio is hot all year round. Average temperatures are approximately 33°C (92°F) and humidity is always high.
‘Green season’ lasts from May to November with the wettest months being September and October. ‘Dry season’ is from December to April.
There are lots of opportunities to take to the ocean with scuba, surfing, snorkelling, body boarding, and more; or stick to land and explore the National Park—hiking, doing adventure tours, zip-lining, etc.
Accreditations & associations
The Institute is a Global Associate member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators; they are recognized for Bildungsurlaub in Germany and are a member of the Association of Language Travel Organizations (ALTO); they are a certifying organization for the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award.
The Institute offers university credit through their official School of Record California State University–Monterey Bay.
Native Spanish Program
Includes advanced & specialised Spanish courses
- Latin American Literature
- History of Latin American Civilization – Advanced Spanish Grammar
- Advanced Spanish Conversation
- Business Spanish
- Medical Spanish
- DELE Exam Preparation
- ANIMAL CARE
Animal Care projects work with abandoned dogs and cats to provide medical treatment and daily care. Volunteers can also get involved working at local zoos and with exotic animal care facilities.
Construction work is physically demanding, including excavation, painting, mixing and laying cement, and various other activities. All the construction projects are led and organized by our professional local foremen.
- ENVIRONMENT & CONSERVATION
Projects include Sea Turtle Conservation and Eco-Agriculture. Eco-project sites are often based in rural settings away from the Institute.
- MEDICAL & HEALTHCARE
Volunteers work alongside medical professionals in hospitals, clinics, and assisted living facilities. The level of work depends on education, experience, and Spanish language skills, and may involve medical campaigns, triage, check-ups, keeping patient records, and more.
- WORKING WITH KIDS
Volunteers work in community centres, orphanages, daycare programs, and schools to help provide a loving and supportive environment to abandoned children and those suffering from the effects of poverty and neglect. Volunteers act as mentors, teach and tutor, structure playtime activities and sports, help with cleanup, hygiene, and organization.
- TEACHING ENGLISH
Volunteers work alongside local English teachers and/or may also run their own classes at schools and community centres. Projects are with young children and teens during the day or with adult learners in the evening. Volunteers can also get involved in general education programs beyond just English teaching.
Study and Volunteer
Study & Volunteer participants take part in both the Native Spanish Program and the Volunteer Abroad program. All levels of Spanish are available. Expand your cultural horizons and make friends from all over the world by getting involved in the free Tandem Conversation Program, salsa dance classes, and cooking lessons. Volunteer work includes any volunteer program option from pages 7-8.
- 2+2 PROGRAM
The 2+2 Program includes 2 weeks small group Spanish classes 4-hours/day, followed by 2 weeks of volunteer service.
- 4+4 PROGRAM
The 4+4 Program includes 4 weeks small group Spanish classes 4-hours/day, followed by 4 weeks of volunteer service.
Interns work alongside a K-12 classroom teacher in a public or private school observing and assisting with instruction and classroom management. Interns are also assigned lessons to plan and teach. All placements are in English-speaking classrooms within bilingual schools.
- SPECIAL EDUCATION
Interns work with students who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, or developmentally disabled. Interns act as teachers’ aides, observing and assisting with instruction and classroom management.
- MICRO BUSINESS
Internship placements are in small, local organizations. Interns work in either marketing, sales and client service, or accounting functions to help in-country entrepreneurs improve
their businesses and expand their capacity to market to and serve international clients. A high intermediate Spanish level is required.
- HOSPITALITY & TOURISM
Placements are with small tour operators, boutique hotels, and travellers’ hostels. Interns work to help improve international marketing, sales, and service. Work may include website improvements, social media, English language training, and more.
Interns shadow a doctor, nurse, therapist, or another medical professional. The level of work depends on education, experience, and Spanish language skills and may involve triage, check-ups, making rounds, elderly care, materials, and patient records. A high intermediate level of Spanish is required.
The internationally-accredited 4-week, 150-hour TEFL Certification is loaded with fun, intensity, and lots of opportunities for aspiring teachers to hone their skills! The TEFL program focuses on practical teaching, classroom management, lesson planning, and more.
Their TEFL certification is your ticket to travel and work as a professional English teacher anywhere in the world. TEFL graduates secure paid teaching positions in Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and the Middle East and Africa.
University Study Abroad
This program is all year round and includes Fall Semester, Winter Session, Spring Semester, and Summer Session. University students can study part-time or full- time. Some programs qualify to use financial aid.
The Institute with universities in the United States, Canada, and Europe to organize semester-long programs as well as short-term group experiences from 1-4 weeks. We work directly with faculty-led groups, as well as independent student groups, and Alternative Spring Break programs.
They organise everything your group needs from housing and projects to tours and transportation. A variety of program options are available—you can combine university courses and Spanish language classes, university courses and internships, or service learning and Spanish. Each group’s experience is customized to fit the group’s objectives and your specific university requirements.
Faculty-led groups can also reserve classroom and office space directly at the Institute.
Adventure & Culture
- MINI ADVENTURE
The Mini Adventure is a week-long program that takes participants to the must-see sites of each country. The Mini Adventure can easily be added to any other program. Transportation, tours, accommodation, and some meals are included.
- VOLUNTEER ADVENTURE
Participants join the Volunteer Abroad program and study Spanish for the first week. The second week is action-packed with tours to the must-see sites.
- YOGA INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION
Get certified in our professional RYT 200 Yoga Instructor Certification program, which follows all Yoga Alliance teacher training requirements. Join us in 3 of the most beautiful countries in the world and learn to relax, access your inner energy, and share it with others.
- SURF SCHOOL
Surf Schools are professionally-led by I.S.A. certified instructors. Start as a beginner or take your current surf skills to the next level. Programs always include plenty of time to hang out and enjoy the beach while you get serious about surfing.
- SCUBA CERTIFICATION
Participants earn their PADI Open Water Scuba Certification in 4-5 days. PADI credentials are the most respected in the diving community and are internationally recognized. The course includes:
- PADI certified dive instructor
- Course textbooks and materials
- All required diving equipment
GAP year abroad
The GAP year program get you involved and provide some of the best travel and learning experiences in the world! Our programs combine Spanish language studies, volunteer work, and skill-building courses. Spanish classes include all levels from Basic to Fluency. Volunteer program (service learning) options include:
- Animal Care
- Environment & Conservation – Indigenous Communities
- Teaching English
- Working with Kids
You are never too young to start exploring the world, and our Spanish Camp helps young people begin their exploration abroad in a safe and guided environment. Students grow as global citizens, develop a better sense of the world, and discover their passions during our unique Spanish immersion experience—students will remember Spanish Camp for a lifetime!
- DAILY ROUTINE
Monday through Friday, students eat breakfast prior to being picked up and taken to their Spanish class. Spanish classes run from 9 AM to 12 PM daily. After class, a buffet lunch is catered in at the school.
In the afternoon, from 1 PM to 4 PM daily, students breakout and are taken to their elective program tracks. After which, they return to their host family for dinner and showers, and get ready for the camp’s evening activities.
During weeknights, planned activities include salsa lessons, bonfires, karaoke, Costa Rican BBQs, game nights, movie nights, as well as quality time with their host families.
On weekends, students take part in exciting cultural, adventure, and nature tours led by our professional guides and counsellors. Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse travel destinations on the planet and Spanish Camp never disappoints!
High School Abroad
In the High School Abroad program, students spend a semester (24 weeks) or a full year at an international high school in Costa Rica. This program is open to high school students from 9th to 12th grade. There are 4 schools to choose from and all follow an adjusted North American school calendar year—classes begin in early August and end in mid-June, and there is an extended winter break.
Classes are taught in English, and students may be able to earn credit towards the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma. Spanish is studied as a second language. Advanced Placement (AP) classes are available for students from the United States. Special tutoring and study services are available but may entail additional costs.
Students can join soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, and other sports teams; as well as various clubs ranging from guitar and aeronautics to chess and fencing.
Students live with a local host family and have a private room. A cultural advisor from Maximo Nivel works one-on-one to help navigate students through cultural and language differences. Optional cultural activities, social events, and tours are available throughout the program via our approved travel partners.
- SCHOOL TUITION
School tuition includes all textbooks, workbooks, computer lab fees, and basic school materials for the semester or year of study. It also includes vision and hearing exams, individual and class photos, and annual yearbook. Fees may change slightly based on the school(s) where the student applies and is accepted.
A tuition payment plan is available where parents can pay 60% of annual school tuition one week before school starts in August and the remaining 40% of tuition is due one week before school starts again in January.
- INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE
The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum is focused on developing inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who are motivated to succeed in a global environment.
Students are encouraged to think critically and challenge what they are told. They are taught to consider both their local and international environment and to build a better world through intercultural understanding and respect.
An IB school is different from other schools because it is independent of government and national systems, and is able to incorporate best practices from a range of international frameworks and curricula. Read more at www.ibo.org.
For parents and families
The teen programs are designed to teach and inspire young people. They work very hard to provide a safe, supportive, and friendly environment, and our teen programs are carefully supervised 24/7.
It is the parents’ responsibility to determine if your teenager has the maturity level and independence required to join our programs. Please talk to your son or daughter about the importance of safety and self-discipline. All families are required to sign a parental waiver and Code of Conduct when registering.
Consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs is strictly prohibited. Students who violate the rules regarding alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and curfew, and/or those whose behaviour interferes with the safety, learning, or fun of others on the program are subject to disciplinary action including removal from the program.
- SUPPORT FOR PARENTS
We know it can be challenging to let your child fly off to another country. Our team is dedicated to providing great 24/7 support to each parent before and during our programs. This includes:
- 24/7 emergency phone number
- Students call home upon arrival
- Weekly email updates about your teen
- Immediate updates on changes and emergencies
- We immediately relay parental messages to students and student messages to parents.
Family–stay accommodations offer the best immersion experience to practice your Spanish. Private, shared, and matrimonial rooms are available. Keys to the house are provided. Breakfast and dinner are included 7 days per week.
Student residences are managed houses where you live with other international students. Both private and shared rooms are available. Breakfast and dinner are included 7 days per week. Available for groups only.
Apartments offer the most privacy and independence. All apartments are fully furnished with small kitchens, WiFi, and cable TV. Meals are not included, but participants can enjoy shopping in local markets, which are close-by.
Hostels are budget-friendly, safe, and clean accommodations. Shared or private rooms are available. Note that bathrooms are typically shared. Meals are usually not included.
Hotel accommodations are always 3 stars or higher. Hotels options provide excellent privacy, independence, and safety. Shared, private, and matrimonial rooms are available with ensuite bathrooms. Breakfast is included.
Calculate your quotation*
Display or download our brochure to see a more detailed description of the courses offered, its characteristics, possible accommodation and updated prices.Do not forget to add the price of the accommodation if you require it, multiplied by the number of weeks chosen, and the enrollment. Please refer to ask to confirm it.
- Ensuring that Hola People works with the best schools and are inspected regularly by ourselves
- We handle all the paperwork for you
- Avoid risks and bank charges by processing your program directly with the schools
- You have our pre-departure support by email and our emergency phone on arrival for anything you need
- 1-week stays allowed