Spanish Language in San Jose, Costa Rica

With 4 weeks of intensive Spanish language on an urban campus, this program provides a great way to improve your language skills while exploring a fascinating country that also happens to be one of the most biodiverse nations on the planet!

Program Overview

Make the most of your university break by studying Spanish language while immersing in a vibrant culture, all set in one of the most beautiful and biodiverse countries in the world!

You’ll enjoy cultural immersion by living with a local ‘Tico’ (Costa Rican) family, who will look after you and feed you. Enjoy the urban environment of vibrant San Jose, and be sure to make the most of your free time by travelling to any of the area’s nearby natural and cultural wonders.

World-class location – The urban capital of San Jose offers students the best of both worlds. From museums and pre-Columbian culture to live music, colonial architecture, colourful markets, live theatre and even a butterfly garden, you won’t be short of things to do!

Magnificent landscapes – To the north of San Jose, tranquil Heredia hosts Braulio Carillo National Park and Barva Volcano, two of the region’s greenest and most beautiful outdoor offerings.

International feel – Your professors will be Costa Rican locals and your classmates from across Australia, the US and the world!

Study Spanish – The best way to learn a language is to be immersed in it. You’ll have the opportunity to not only study Spanish abroad but also practice the language with the locals at cafes, markets or even while learning salsa dancing.

Hello Costa Rica – Exploring will be easy being situated only minutes from the heart of San Jose. Picturesque villages, beach towns and the nearby national parks are all calling your name.

Perfect for all levels – Don’t worry if you’ve never taken Spanish before. This course is perfect for beginners as well as those who are close to fluent.

Exciting excursions – One day trip and one weekend excursion with fellow students are offered on your Spanish language program. You’ll have the opportunity to wander the local markets on a city tour and explore the beautiful nearby rain forests.


Have you always wanted to visit Costa Rica? Then our Spanish Language in San Jose program is right for you! Here are a few of the key highlights that make our program unique:

  • An urban campus in one of the most environmentally diverse countries on Earth
  • Study Spanish in Costa Rica with classes for all levels – there is no language prerequisite
  • Live with a local family and really get to experience the Costa Rican culture
  • Day and weekend excursions offered
  • Study at a private, high-ranking university
  • Experience the real culture with a local host family
  • Live in one of Central America’s most lively cities – minutes from all the best entertainment and cultural amenities
  • Cooking classes, dance classes and sporting events are all at your fingertips – so you can bond with your new classmates in your new international location!

Choose Your Course

Our Spanish Language in San Jose, Costa Rica program is hosted at Universidad Veritas. During your program you can take one Spanish language course over 4 weeks at any level (with 80 contact hours this is usually worth one or two full academic course credits) – giving you time every afternoon to practice your skills and get to know the region.

NOTE: Should a student wish to take a level of Spanish that is higher than Beginner, they will sit a Skype interview with a staff member at Veritas to assess their ability level.

Course load: One course (equivalent to one full-time academic course). Choose from basic, intermediate, conversational, advanced and technical Spanish language courses.

  • Depending on your Australian university, you may refer to “courses” as “subjects” or “units”.
  • Each course/subject/unit you undertake on a CISaustralia program overseas is designed to be a full-time, semester course that has been condensed to fit into an intensive, short-term program. As such, for any 1 course you study abroad, you should receive the credit points for 1 full-time course/subject/unit at your Australian university.
  • Many universities work off of a 1-for-1 equivalency (1 course abroad = 1 course in Australia), but ultimately credit approval is the decision of your faculty and Australian university.
  • CISaustralia strongly recommends that you have any overseas courses pre-approved for credit before you depart for your program. Some documentation that may be useful are the course outline/syllabus, program overview, and the contact hours.
  • It is best to get 3-4 elective classes approved by your Australian university before you depart for your overseas program. This way you will have plenty of classes to choose from and some flexibility in setting up your schedule.
  • Your CISaustralia Program Advisor can assist with any questions or details your university needs to make a decision.


Study Spanish intensively at any range of levels, from basic to advanced and conversational.

Note: 4-week Spanish language programs are offered throughout the year, month-to-month. If the offered dates below don’t suit your availability, please contact CISaustralia for additional dates.

How to choose your Spanish language course: Select the course description that best reflects your current Spanish language abilities. Upon acceptance into the program, we will send you instructions for taking a placement exam online so that Veritas can begin to assess your level of Spanish. Following the online (written) placement exam, you will be assessed orally by staff in Costa Rica via Skype, allowing you to be placed in the most appropriate level of Spanish language before you arrive in San Jose.

View Spanish language course descriptions

NOTE: While Spanish language levels from beginner to advanced are offered, it is assumed that students will have very basic knowledge of the language, even when attending beginner’s classes. As such, CISaustralia recommends that students take the time to learn basic Spanish in advance of the program. This will help greatly when attending first classes and communicating with host families. Past students recommend Spanish-English dictionaries or language apps like Duolingo.

Academic requirement: To qualify students must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 4.5 (out of 7) or equivalent. If your current GPA falls below the requirement please contact us to discuss your situation. We will do what we can to find the right program for you.


Your Spanish Language in San Jose, Costa Rica program offers one day trip and one weekend excursion. Here are a couple of the places you might be visiting:

  • Cataratas – A magnificent 92m (300ft) waterfall that pours into an extinct volcanic crater, creating a truly spectacular sight to be explored! This is one of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets. Cataratas del Toro is located in the Bajos del Toro Amarillo mountains.
  • Poas Volcano – Hike around this active volcano and its two lake-filled craters at the summit. This volcano offers the wonderful opportunity to watch the bubbling, steaming cauldron belch sulphurous mud and water hundreds of metres into the air.
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest – Explore the tropical treetops of Costa Rica on this canopy tour in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. This is a high altitude rainforest with skywalks and 60m-high suspended bridges in one of the most biodiverse areas in the world.
  • Tamarindo – Surf, swim, kayak, horseback ride and more in this relaxing beachside town, not to mention the opportunity to visit the local Leatherback Turtle reserves. Located on the northwest Pacific coast, Tamarindo bay is definitely the place if you are looking for an adrenaline rush, or simply some relaxing in the sun. Plus, when you get into town you’ll discover that Tamarindo is extremely multi-cultural and laid back.


Costa Rica, meaning ‘rich coast’ in Spanish, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Costa Rica is home to a rich variety of plants and animals. The country contains 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Around 25% of the country’s land area is in protected national parks – the largest percentage of protected areas in the world!

With a population of 4.3 million, Costa Rican locals (also knowns as Ticos), are known for their friendly, laid-back demeanour. Costa Rica’s official language is Spanish, though a large number of its citizens are at least moderately bilingual.

Well known for its year-round warm weather, Costa Rica has something for everyone. Are you adventurous? Why not give hiking, white-water rafting or ziplining (flying fox) a go!

Don’t forget to check out the local theatres, markets, restaurants and clubs all easily accessible by public transport – making this a brilliant city to explore.

The University

Universidad Veritas is located in San Jose, the cultural hub of Costa Rica, famed for its National Theatre, busy market life and easy-to-use public transportation. There are plenty of international restaurants, ranging from Lebanese to Italian, in addition to local sodas, where you can eat large helpings of gallo pinto, the delicious national dish. After class, you can head to one of the many local theatres, concert venues, cinemas and salsa clubs.

Did you know?

  • Universidad Veritas is one of the best private universities in Central America and just minutes from the city centre of San Jose
  • The university has approximately 1,500 Costa Rican students and 300 international students from around the world – a truly global campus
  • Strong university reputation for architecture, marketing and design courses
  • Outstanding staff support with academic advising and cultural and personal counselling
  • Small classrooms oriented to advance your Spanish language skills
  • The university offers weekly dance classes including Salsa lessons, intramural sports, martial arts classes, free self-defense class, Costa Rican cooking classes, religious organizations, volunteer opportunities and more!


Accommodation for the duration of this program is a homestay. This gives you the perfect opportunity to truly immerse yourself in the local culture and lifestyle. During your stay, you are provided with bed linen, blankets and pillows. Other homestay inclusions include:

  • Private bedroom
  • Daily breakfast and dinner – what better way to experience true Tico cooking! (Families are accommodating about providing vegetarian meals when asked)
  • Weekly laundry service, including ironing
  • Hot water*
  • Internet connection
  • Towel for the house (please bring your own beach towel)
  • Toiletries: shampoo, soap, toothpaste (if you require a particular brand, please bring your own)
  • Security box/safe in bedroom

*Please be aware that having no hot water is not uncommon in Costa Rica. Most host families should have hot water facilities for their house, but sometimes they may not be the most reliable.

Lunch is on your own. There are many restaurants and cafes in the area where students usually eat lunch. There are also a few restaurant options close to campus. The homestays are located in a residential urban area that is fairly close to downtown (approximately a 30-minute walk) and are within close access to public transportation. There are grocery stores, a mall and other places of interest in the area.

Homestays are allocated with reference to information provided by the student about their level of Spanish and living preferences. The same families have been participating in the homestay program for years and all are vetted and regularly checked. Most families will have 2-3 international students staying in the house.

Students will be treated as an adult during their time with the host family. Please be aware there are no curfews in place for students, but it very important to always remain respectful of your family. Always let your host family know if you will not be attending a meal for any reason, and clean up after yourself when appropriate. Always communicate with them, or your Site Director, if an issue arises. Most host families have hosted international students before and are sensitive to cultural differences, and will expect the same in return.

Try to do your best to spend time with your host family and get to know about them and the Costa Rican culture. The idea is not to act as if you are staying at a hotel, rather that you can share with them and spend time with them as part of the family.

Program Fee & Dates

June 2019: 4-Week Intensive Spanish Language
Note: 4-week Spanish language programs are offered throughout the year, month-to-month. If the offered dates don’t suit your availability, please contact CISaustralia for additional dates.
Application Deadline17 May 2019
Arrival Date01 June 2019
Departure Date29 June 2019
Program Fee A$ 4,999
OS-HELP A$ 6,791
July 2019: 4-Week Intensive Spanish Language
Note: 4-week Spanish language programs are offered throughout the year, month-to-month. If the offered dates don’t suit your availability, please contact CISaustralia for additional dates.
Application Deadline21 May 2019
Arrival Date06 July 2019
Departure Date03 August 2019
Program Fee A$ 4,999
OS-HELP A$ 6,791
January 2020: 4-Week Intensive Spanish Language
Note: 4-week Spanish language programs are offered throughout the year, month-to-month. If the offered dates don’t suit your availability, please contact CISaustralia for additional dates.
Application Deadline04 November 2019
Arrival Date04 January 2020
Departure Date01 February 2020
Program Fee A$ 4,999
OS-HELP A$ 6,791


Program fees include the following:
  • Tuition fees
  • CISaustralia support services before, during and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial advice
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Health and medical insurance (if requested)
  • Pre-departure guide and session
  • Airport pick-up (on specified program arrival date within designated arrival times)
  • Homestay accommodation with a local family
  • Breakfast and dinner with your host family
  • Weekly laundry
  • Program orientation, city tour and welcome meal
  • Universidad Veritas orientation
  • On-campus internet access
  • One day and one weekend excursion (some costs may apply)
  • Optional social / cultural activity – these vary from year to year. Some examples from previous years include a visit to the museum, a dance lesson or cooking class
  • CISaustralia 24/7 on-site support – Site Director
  • Universidad Veritas official transcript
  • CISaustralia Certificate of Completion

What is not included:

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Vaccinations (if required)
  • Meals (unless mentioned above)
  • Extra travel/excursions (other than those mentioned above)

CISaustralia reserves the right to alter fees and inclusions at any time due to currency fluctuations and / or changes made by our affiliates and partner universities.

Dates are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork

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