Spanish Immersion in Costa Rica | Summer 2021
You will live and study in beautiful Alajuela, located just 30 minutes from the capital, San Jose. Alajuela is a small town surrounded by coffee and sugar plantations. Courses are held at the Instituto de Cultura y Lengua Costarricense (ICLC), Costa Rica’s premier language institute. ICLC language school is set on a hillside surrounded with tropical flowers and fruits in the outskirts of Alajuela.
Costa Rica is a land of many natural wonders: Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, luscious rainforests, abundant animal and plant life, and volatile volcanoes. Immerse yourself in language and culture while surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty and the warm, welcoming people of Costa Rica. The Costa Ricans (Ticos y Ticas) are dedicated to promoting harmony between nature, community development, and economic growth. They have made a major commitment to protect the nation’s natural resources and beauty while preserving its long tradition of political democracy and stability. Costa Rica offers you a safe and accessible place to study and to explore the peaceful beauty of its natural treasures. It offers reliable public transportation, the highest literacy rate in Central America, and an excellent healthcare system. Whether studying Spanish or researching rainforest ecosystems, the congeniality of the people along with the steaming volcanoes, pristine beaches, virgin forests, plus the unique birds, mammals, and ocean life all combine to make Costa Rica an idyllic place to live and study.
To learn more about Alajuela, Costa Rica, visit http://www.iclc.ws/where-is-iclc.html
Costa Rica, land of many natural wonders: Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, luscious rainforests, abundant animal and plant life, and volatile volcanoes. Immerse yourself in language and culture while surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty and the warm, welcoming people of Costa Rica. The Costa Ricans (Ticos y Ticas) are dedicated to promoting harmony between nature, community development, and economic growth. They have made a major commitment to protect the nation’s natural resources and beauty while preserving its long tradition of political democracy and stability. Costa Rica offers you a safe and accessible place to study and to explore the peaceful beauty of its natural treasures. It offers reliable public transportation, the highest literacy rate in Central America, and an excellent healthcare system. Whether studying Spanish or researching rainforest ecosystems, the congeniality of the people along with the steaming volcanoes, pristine beaches, virgin forests, plus the unique birds, mammals, and ocean life all combine to make Costa Rica an idyllic place to live and study.
View ICLC's Youtube video introducing the area and environment of Alejuela.
For FAQ's, click here.
To apply, please fill out and submit this application to the Study Abroad office at Snohomish Hall 301. You will also need to turn in the following documents:
- Two letters of recommendation
- A one page essay
- Your unofficial Edmonds College transcript
Our office will review your documents and let you know if you have been accepted to the program and how to proceed. Please note that students that have been sanctioned by the college are disqualified from applying to, or participating in an Edmonds College study abroad program.
Set up an appointment with us here if you have any questions!
You will take 5 credits of Spanish immersion at Instituto de Cultura y Lengua Costarricense. Classes are taught by qualified ICLC instructors. Spanish classes meet for 4 hours per day, 5 days a week and generally have no more than 5 students per class, allowing plenty of time to improve speaking and listening skills. There will be special cultural activities offered by ICLC and WCCCSA, in addition to mini-courses and optional day-trips and excursions that will be offered during weekday afternoons and on weekends. In 4 weeks, you will earn 5 credits of Spanish (specific dates TBA).
Please contact your campus study abroad coordinator at for more information about spending the summer in Costa Rica!
Orientation Tour: Enjoy a familiarization tour of Alajuela and a walking tour to Grecia. The tour will include traveling from ICLC through the homestay neighborhoods and onto Alajuela where you can locate services and amenities like parks, malls, and stores and will include a visit to the Juan Santamaria Museum (tour and lunch included).
Excursion: 3-day, 2-night trip to Manual Antonio National Park (transportation, lodging, and breakfast included).
Day-Trip: Tour of Doka coffee plantation, visit to Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfalls (transportation, entrance fees, and lunch included).
Optional Mini-Courses: Topics vary but may include a dance class, a cooking class, traditional games, the Costa Rican healthcare system, the Costa Rican educational system, etc. (these are included in the program fee).
Optional Cultural Activities: Activities vary but may include a visit to the local Farmers Market, Tropical Bird Zoo, Pre-Columbian Gold Museum in San Jose, a hospital, a private school, a daycare center, etc. (entrance fees and transportation (usually a small bus fee) is not included in the program fee to allow for program flexibility).
Optional Excursions: Tortuga Island Pacific Cruise day-trip, overnight visit to Arenal Volcano and Baldí Hot Springs including a canopy tour (12 zip lines, Tarzan swing, and superman cable), and Pacuare River class IV rafting day-trip (these optional excursions are not included in the program fee).
Independent Travel: Use your free weekends to explore Costa Rica’s many attractions. There will be a travel coordinator at ICLC to assist you with travel plans. Student favorites include Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Jaco Beach and the Caribbean coast, visits to rainforests and butterfly farms, day-trips to San Jose to visit the MADC art museum, the National Museum, the La Salle Museum of Natural Sciences, and a train ride to Puntarenas, among other destinations.
ICLC has been very careful to place participants in each family for more than 28 years, the selection of the host family is a serious, formal and careful process.
You will live in homestays with a local Costa Rican family. You will have a private, furnished room and 2 meals per day, breakfast and dinner. Homestays are located within a 30-minute bus ride from ICLC. Laundry service is included, You are encouraged to interact with homestay families as much as possible to facilitate learning the Spanish language and culture, and to get to know the host family. You are expected to respect the norms and customs of your host family.
Learn more about host families here.
Learn more about Alajuela our partner provider here.
How to get to ICLC from the host family:
Every day at 7:35 a.m. at a meeting point in the town, there is a local bus that picks
up the students and takes them to the main door of the ICLC.
After classes, students take a taxi (3-4 participants per cab to split the fee). Transportation to and from ICLC is not included in the program cost.
Cost per cab from US$2.5 to US$ 3 split it for four passengers = US$ 0,7 per person)
Extension or extra nights with the host family:
If a participant desires to stay longer with the host family, she/he needs to inform us about the extension and pay ICLC front desk the fee:
- An extra night with the host family US$ 35
- An additional week with the host family: US$ 245
The fee per person will be $3,136.00
Airport pick-up by host families (if arriving before 10pm)
Private room in homestay (1 student per family)
Breakfast and dinner 7 days a week
On-site arrival orientation
Welcome reception with lunch
Tour of Alajuela and museum visit
Doka coffee plantation tour
Visit to Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfalls (transportation, entrance fees, and lunch included)
3-day, 2-night excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park (transportation, lodging, and breakfast included)
Afternoon cultural presentations and activities
Medical and travel insurance
Does Not Include:
Edmonds College tuition and fees
Passport fees (and visa fees, if applicable)
Lunches (approximately $7 per day)
Taxi to airport after the program (approximately $20)
Costa Rican departure tax (approximately $29)
Field trips included in the program cost:
1. Monday August 24th: Walking tour to Grecia. After classes on the first day, the student will participated in this activity. It is part of the orientation. A representative from ICLC will accompany the group (lunch and public transportation fee are not included).
2. Tuesday August 25th: Welcome lunch and Alajuela cultural city tour. The second day of the program, after classes, the group is invited for a typical Costa Rican lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch a representative from ICLC will take the group to Alajuela, to learn about local transportation, services and attraction of the downtown Alajuela (lunch, private transportation and tour guide are included).
3. Saturday August 29th: Doka coffee tour, Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfall. Includes tour guide, private transportation, entrance fee, breakfast and lunch. Cost included on the program fee.
4. Friday Sept. 4th to Sunday Sept 6th: Manuel Antonio Beach (3 days, 2 nights – only transportation and breakfast) Cost included on the program fee.
Excursions not included:
1. Sunday August 29th: One day tour to Tortuga Island Pacific Cruise (Additional cost: $135). Can be paid at ICLC
2. Saturday Sept. 12 and Sunday Sept 13th Optional overnight trip available to Arenal Volcano and Baldí Hot Springs.
Price: $180 per person (special group price for students, based on 15 participants). If there are less than 15 participants the price will increase. Cost includes: private transportation in/out, shared rooms, escort, canopy tour and breakfast on Sunday.
For quarter-long WCCCSA programs, WCCCSA awards two $1,000 scholarships to selected program participants. Complete this application form and attach the requested documents, then turn in to Emily Schifferling at the front desk of Snohomish Hall, room 301.
WCCCSA Scholarship Rules:
- You must have applied to a WCCCSA study abroad program and paid the deposit in order to be eligible to apply for this scholarship.
- You must write an essay on a topic chosen by the WCCCSA Scholarship Committee. You will find more information about the essay on the WCCCSA Scholarship Application Form. The essay must be typed and submitted by 5pm on or before the application deadline for the program.
- Scholarship recipients will be announced at the Pre-Departure Orientation.
- Each scholarship recipient must agree to help WCCCSA promote the study abroad program after they have completed their program. The assignment given to them will require no more than four hours of work and will be a project mutually agreed upon by both the award recipient and the WCCCSA campus representative.
Projects may include (but are not limited to):
- tasks such as sharing of photos and personal reflections of your program
- help with orientation of the next program
- talking with classes on your campus to help promote the program
- making a video to help promote study abroad
- visiting other nearby campuses to talk about the program, etc.
Program Dates: August 17 to September 14, 2021
WCCCSA Application Deadline: Friday, May 17, 2021
Online Enrollment Form Due: Friday, June 14, 2021
Tuition Due: Check academic calendar
Program Deposit Due: $250.00 due Friday, June 14, 2021
Program Balance Due: $2,886.00 due Friday, July 12, 2021
For information on deadlines contact email@example.com
Saturday in July (DATE TBD) at Bellevue College
What to Bring:
A signed copy of the Student Guidelines, a copy of your passport, flight itineraries, a notepad to take notes, and questions.
You should also invite parents, guardians, or whomever you feel should attend with you.
Coffee will be provided in the morning and lunch will be included.
Make an appointment with your study abroad advisor and begin the application process!
To find out more, make an appointment with your study abroad advisor!