Rich and Rewarding Experience
My husband and I had a rich and rewarding experience this last four weeks. Not only did we study and speak Spanish for 4-5 hours per day with some of the most patient, involved and professional instructors we have ever had the occasion to meet, but we also had the opportunity to explore the beauty of the land, learn to cook Costa Rican style, and dance the salsa with the champion dancers of the country.
We heartily recommend the school to anyone interested in learning to speak Spanish and in immersing themselves in the culture of a lovely people.
Mary & Tom Burton
Santa Fe, New Mexico - USA
Cherish Experience My Whole Life
Hi! I am just arriving from a three week immersion and training in San Jose. Following the recommendation from your book readers, I chose to enroll at CRLA. My expectations were high. I was not disappointed, far from it. The commitment and professionalism of the professors, the quality and the flexibility of this school is material for textbook in management and education. As the school was closed for Good Thursday and Good Friday in this very Catholic country, and as I wanted private classes for these days, it took thirty seconds to open the school for me and find a teacher willing to take me. Even more, that teacher made sure with my regular teacher that their lessons would be coordinated.
You can see that the whole experience is coordinated and integrated from the moment the taxi driver from the school picks you up at the airport and starts to teach you Spanish! My home stay is an experience I will cherish the rest of my life also.
Thanks for your sound recommendation and for keeping listening to your readers and conveying their experience.
Montreal, Quebec - Canada
The people of Costa Rica won me over. The teachers and staff at the academy became my nuclear family- so much so that a typical day at school for me lasts from 9am-5:30 or 6pm. I just won't go home! I really love this school!
The teachers are A-1 and really know their stuff. I've learned a lot more than just grammar from my Spanish teacher, Gilberto. We discuss literature, history, science, folklore, etc. He really tailored the class to fit my interests and those of the other students (when there were others) and made it a pleasure to learn. In the cooking class (and outside of it, too) I learned to make many Costa Rican dishes. Isabelle is always around to answer questions and give recipes, advice or comfort. And as for the dance class... let's just say that I'm an addict! Not a day goes by that I'm not in the group class- in addition to my daily private lesson. I've danced professionally (salsa) before I came here, but Rafael has significantly raised my level of performance...
All the staff are very generous with their time and resources and are always willing to call around to find out prices, make reservations, etc. for my crazy projects or travel plans. It's a big help. And they're very flexible with scheduling and payment. Nothing is set in stone- unlike some other local language schools. I have friends in two of the larger schools and they can't believe everything that we get here for the same price (or less). I'm just glad that I made a good choice of schools; it's really hard to tell the difference just looking at WEB pages.
Of course, you only get out of it what you put into it. There are many opportunities here to learn and meet wonderful new people, but it's up to the individual to take them. For me, all it was was a small investment of time- 3 months. But really, just 3 months to gain friendships that will last a lifetime. Friendships with people who don't understand english, but don't need to because I speak Spanish now and we understand each other just fine.
I wholeheartedly recommend this school and would be happy to answer any questions that anyone might have. I hope that my letter helps you to make your decision and who knows? maybe I'll see you down there. I plan on going back...
California - USA
In my whole life (I am 42 years old) I have never met better, nicer or more interested teachers than at the CRLA. I had only had 20 hours of Spanish lessons before my visit to Costa Rica, but after 48 lessons at the CRLA I was able to understand almost everything in everyday conversation and I felt a lot more confident when speaking the language.
You find all kinds of people at the school: young, old, couples, singles from all over the world, but most important you find: people who are there for the same reasons as you: to learn Spanish and often also to see beautiful Costa Rica. You will be almost certain to find someone to travel with if you want to. And the school staff offers great service, they will book tickets, trips and hotels for you.
I will always consider both the family and the people at the school as my friends and I already plan to return to Costa Rica, hopefully in November this year. If you have some questions about the CRLA I'd be pleased to answer them.
This is the second time in my adult life, that I can share all my thoughts and my feelings in a real community, aside from my own family. Everyone at the Costa Rican Language Academy : administrators, families, employees, teachers and students all make up a unified family with the main goal of developing the communication ability in Spanish, and for some also in cooking and dancing.
Quebec - Canada
Exceeded Expectations In Every Way
I am writing on behalf of all the pupils and staff from Queenswood School who have just enjoyed 12 superb days in Costa Rica.
It is no exaggeration to say that our visit to your beautiful country exceeded our expectations in every way.
We found the Costa Rican Language Academy to be run extremely professionally, from the provision of free water, juice and coffee to the excellent standard of teaching and the small number of students in each class. I know that every one of our pupils appreciated the enthusiasm and dedication of the teachers and that they thoroughly enjoyed their lessons - whether Spanish language, salsa or cookery.
Similarly, the host families were without exception friendly, welcoming and patient. Several of our students formed close relationships with their Costa Rican 'mamas' and were very sad to have to return home. I, myself, much appreciated my host family - Amalia and Gerardo - and felt fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet such warm and kind people.
We thoroughly enjoyed all the visits that we did and we very much appreciated your flexibility when we asked for last minute changes. All the guides with whom we came into contact were interesting and caring. I would never have believed it possible to learn so much in so short a time.
I firmly believe that our students' experiences in Costa Rica will have changed their understanding of the world for the better and I cannot recommend highly enough your organisation. I very much hope that we will be able to return in the future.
Jane Gandee - Head of Languages
The small size of the classes, often times one-on-one, and the diversity of instructors and students afforded me the opportunity to experience many different accents and teaching styles. Your instructors are intelligent, patient, kind and extremely professional. I can see that you academy has hired the very best.
Without a doubt, the greatest aspect of my experience here in Costa Rica has been your homestay program. I could never have hand-picked a more perfect family to live with. They were wonderful!85 Your homestay program alone is worth the price I paid for the entire program. My Tico family is truly my second family and I am certain that I will come to visit them again in the future.
Edward Joseph Klaas II
Atlanta GA - USA
Rewarding and Extremely Fun
The vigorous program was challenging, yet rewarding and extremely fun. The small classes let us get to know our professors on a one to one basis. They not only taught us but became our lifelong friends. Being at the Academy was like having a second family. Everyone was warm and caring and catered to our individual needs One month at the Academy was like 3 years of high school Spanish. We felt daily progress as we were able to communicate more and more efficiently with every hour at class.
If you want to learn Spanish in a fun and exciting way, The Costa Rican Language Academy is the place. We loved every minute of our stay here and are planning on returning many more times.
Kevin Prehn & Travis Hansen - Students
I was a student at CRLA about two weeks ago and I cannot thank you enough for the awesome experience I had while in Costa Rica . Everything about the program was wonderful, from the home stays to the classes. My Tica family really made me feel welcome. The dinners were "muy rico", the laundry service speedy, and my mom always made sure that my bed was made and my room clean. I also had a lot of fun playing with my little brothers. Being the second oldest of seven, that really made me feel at home.
The staff at school could not have been friendlier or more helpful. They were always willing to answer my questions, no matter how many I had, or how pointless they seemed. The free juice and coffee was great, and now I'm addicted to the stuff. I stocked up on the Cafe Britt for me and my family. The little "soda" was convenient as well, making it possible to have a good but inexpensive lunch.. . . Again, thank you so much for everything. I miss your beautiful country and am definitely planning on coming back. Costa Rica, Pura Vida!!
Tulsa, Oklahoma - USA
To those students who have chosen the Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA) to learn Spanish, I say, Congratulations, you made the right choice! As a former student who has studied 4 months there, I can say this school will meet your every expectation. If students take advantage of all that the school has to offer, they will leave Costa Rica speaking a lot more Spanish than when they arrived. Through its Spanish lessons, cooking and dancing activities, conversational classes, and staff, CRLA has an environment that will provide students a better understanding of Ticos and their friendly culture. In all aspects of the school, quality is premium.
The Spanish teachers are fantastic and very knowledgeable. Professional and well qualified with their degrees from area universities, they make classes fun, productive and effective. They will squeeze every bit of Spanish out of you before you leave! As with all subjects, styles vary among students when learning Spanish. Teachers do a great job to accommodate individual needs to maximize the student's time at the school. Also, not all learning has to take place in the classroom. Often teachers take their classes out to the city, some heading for a stroll to the downtown area of San Jose for sightseeing or great shopping, while walk to the museums or nearby butterfly garden. These "field trips" enhance the learning process as different topics are discussed between students and teachers as well as getting a free personal tour of Costa Rica! For those students who want to hone their conversational and listening skills, extra conversational classes are provided twice a week, and it's free!
After many hours of learning Spanish, students can unwind and relax in the afternoon through the dancing and cooking classes, or catch up on email in the computer room, or just lounge with other students and teachers in the tropical garden. The salsa classes provide another fun part to the learning process while showing off your new dance moves. For those students who want to become chefs, cooking classes will open you to a new culinary delight.
But the best secret at the school are the incredible staff. In fact, it is what stands out at the school. Morning greetings from the security and maintenance personnel to the excellent customer service from the front office staff, to the delicious lunches made by the soda will make your experience relaxing and put you at ease. The from office staff provides countless information for your weekend plans, best spots in Costa Rica to travel, and the always needed bus information. They are professional, extremely flexible and will make sure you have a great time while in Costa Rica!
Students will have everything at the school that is needed to learn Spanish and enjoy their time in Costa Rica. This will be one of the best decisions you have made! Pura Vida!
My Lam Everett - student
Massachusetts - USA
During 10 weeks I was attending Spanish classes at the CRLA in San Jose. Besides studying grammar, discussions about the world, and practicing the language, I learned a lot about Costa Rican culture, the way people live, their cuisine, their mentality. They are very friendly and helpful and at school we were like a big family. For my trips on the weekends they recommended me places to visit and did the reservations. In the afternoon we could choose between dancing, cooking and conversation class.
With my host family I felt very welcome and more like a member. During meals we spent hours of discussing, laughing and getting to know more about the other culture. I know that with my' tico' host family and the CRLA I will always have a second home.
Karin B. - Student
Before I chose the Costa Rican Language Academy, I was the most skeptical person you could imagine. I asked dozens of questions about the program and even e-mailed the available references.
Now that my stay is over, I'm only sorry that it went by so fast. The reason why my experience was so worthwhile is because of the people here. I felt like the entire staff really cared about helping me and making me feel comfortable. Also, it was so easy to make new friends.
There are many different activities available so not only do you learn Spanish, but youLIVE IT and ENJOY IT. I'm returning to my country as a better Spanish speaker, a better dancer, and now I can even cook!
For specific reasons why CRLA is an excellent choice e-mail me