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Visit the Real Costa Rica With AEC Spanish Institute!

Featured Programs

Study The Language
  Standard Language Program
Accredited Spanish Language
  Adventure Tour Information
  Photo Gallery of Tours
  Accredited CEUs
Family Spanish Programs
  Waldorf, ages 2-12
  Kindergartners, ages 2-7
  Children, ages 8-13 Teen
Summer Spanish CAMPS
  Teen Spanish & Surf
  Teen Spanish & Adventure
  Teen Spanish & Volunteer
  Teen Extreme Adventure & Spanish
  Children Spanish, Art, Sports & Adventure
Spanish & Surf Program
  Green Season

AEC AccreditedTeachers & Staff

Students in a 2:1 ratio class

Experience weekend adventures with our Deluxe Adventure Spanish Program!

Students in Spanish Cooking Class.


Dominical Sunset.









Do you want an even more immersive experience? Book your trip with a Costa Rican host family!

Montanas,de Aqua

Near beach cabinas










Standard Language Program

The Standard four hour Language program at AEC Spanish Institute is four complete hours of language a day. Class hours in Turrialba are from 8:00am to 10:00am and from 10:30am to 12:30pm. There is a half-hour break in the middle and classes are no larger than six students. In Dominical they start and end an hour later and the maximum class size is six students. .Arenal hours are determined by agreement of student and teacher. Each week all will also have the option of participating in two different afternoon activities: Latin dance and cooking classes except in Arenal as this campus does not offer those activities.

  • Standard Plus 8:

    • Same structure as the Standard program but with 2 extra hours of private lessons in the afternoon four days of the week.
  • Intensive 20 Hour:

    • Same structure as the Standard program but with one extra day of lessons on Friday.
  • Super Intensive 28 Hours:

    • Same structure as the INTENSIVE but with 8 additional hours of language in the afternoon four days of the week Monday thru Thursday.
  • Standard 16 Hour + Medical Program or Nursing Program:

    • Four hours of language in the mornings four days of the week with the Medical component following in the afternoon four days of the week.
  • Intensive 20 Hour + Medical or Nursing Program:

    • Five days of language lessons in the mornings with four days of the medical or nursing component in the afternoons.


Over the years many students have verbalized a desire to have more time seeing the beauty that is Costa Rica. With the unique locations of the AEC campuses they allow a deeper relationship for this to happen. So, for 2014, AEC Spanish Institute has created a new Standard program with a 16 hour a week schedule Monday thru Thursday. With Friday's as an off day to further explore or make a long weekend. To take advantage of the 16 hour per week Standard language program's schedule, AEC is offering a selection of unique Adventure tours on Friday's. As a student in Turrialba run the Pacuare River on that Friday. The Turrialba valley is home to the Pacuare River listed in “Outdoor Magazine” as one of the Top Ten rivers in the world to white water raft. Not only are its class 3 and 4 rapids some of the best but it's natural beauty is what really earned its claim to fame. Experience real excitement with 18 miles of wild rapids and enjoy some of the most pristine rainforests Costa Rica has to offer. Lunch included. The other Adventure option in Turrialba is to jump into the world of Canyoneering and end the afternoon with a nighttime canyon hike. Rappel down waterfalls, zip through the tree tops and cross a 132- foot hanging bridge suspended over the canyon- and unforgettable adrenaline- packed experience in the perfect rainforest setting. Experience the rainforest in all it splendor at night with it unique sounds and visual exposure. Be prepared to visit another world. Both of these options are $85.00 which can be added to your language program when you register. Playa Dominical will soon have added options for Friday's as well so we will update that information as it develops for 2014.

Accredited Spanish Program Information

As a participant in an AEC Spanish Institute, Spanish Immersion program in Costa Rica you have the opportunity to earn undergraduate Spanish credit from Brookhaven College in Dallas, Texas . This institution is accredited by SACS, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

These are undergraduate, degree seeking Spanish credits for college and university students wanting to fulfill their institutions Spanish requirements. Obtaining advance approval from your institution is necessary, as each district, college, or state has its own policies regarding the types of credit it will accept.

Also, as a participant in an AEC Spanish Institute, Spanish immersion program in Costa Rica you have the opportunity to earn Professional Development Credits from Loyola Marytmount University of California, accredited by WASC, the Western Association of Schools & Colleges. These courses have graduate-level accreditation and are designed primarily for students who have baccalaureate degrees & appropriate teaching credentials. These semester hours of credit are used for professional advancement and to satisfy certain degree and credential requirements. Obtaining advance approval from your institution is necessary as each district, college, or state has its own policies regarding the types of credit it will accept. For more detailed information concerning college credits and a description of the courses offered through Brookhaven College or Loyola Marymount College please contact us via our e-mail address.

Survival Spanish Language Program

Our Survival Spanish Program is crash courses for those visitors looking to jump start their visit to Costa Rica with a quick two day refresher course. The course is available each week, Monday and Tuesday, six hours each day at both of our campuses in Playa Dominical and Turrialba. The first four hours of each day are level appropriate group lessons. The final two hours students go out into the community with their teacher and learn situational specific terms, phrases and vocabulary. You will visit the local bank, supermarkets, the bus stop, souvenir shops and restaurants. Survival Spanish can be added to the first week of the Standard 4 hour Spanish Program for $95. The Relaxed Spanish Program is specifically designed for longer term visitors who would like a less intense Spanish language option. The program consists of 6 hours of classes a week, three afternoons; Monday, Wednesday and Thursday for two hours/time. These programs are a great avenue for both travelers and especially surfers in Playa Dominical looking for some Spanish but not committing to a more intensive language program.

Start Dates:

Classes begin every Monday of the year except on Costa Rican National holidays and the last two weeks of the year in Dominical are closed. In the case of Monday holidays, classes will begin on the following Tuesday. The following Costa Rica Holidays are observed by the school; January 1st, April 2nd, 3rd, May 1st, July 25th, August 2nd 15th, September 15th, October 12th and December 25th. The school is closed Thursday, April 2nd and Good Friday the 3rd.

Program Outline:

Classes begin each Monday and last through Friday. During periods of peak enrollment, some students will be placed in afternoon sessions in order to preserve the optimum class size. At Turrialba classes begin at 8:30 am, while in Dominical they start at 9:00 in the morning. Both schools take two 15 minutes breaks in between lessons. Classes then end at 12:30 p.m. in Turrialba and 1:30 p.m. in Dominical. Students receive four full hours of instruction in classes no larger than six students. In the event that we are unable to place you in a group class because of differing skill levels, you shall automatically be provided three hours of individual private lessons instead. If the following week a group class does become available, you will be switched back to the group classes. Once in Costa Rica if one wishes to relocate from one campus to another any changes are subject to a $25.00 processing fee.

Main Points About the Adventure Education Center

  • Small intensive groups classes of no more than 5 students at Turrialba with 6 students at Dominical.
  • Campuses in three completely different locations, each with its own cultural feel and outdoor activities.
  • The Turrialba campus is in a picturesque location on the Atlantic Slope, with the best aspects of the city, countryside and mountains.
  • The Dominical campus is right on the beach with lots of wildlife in the surrounding countryside and in the town itself.
  • Dominical is one of the best surfing beaches in Central America. • The area surrounding the Turrialba campus is very rural with lots of farms, ranches and coffee plantations.
  • Arenal/La Fortuna is the gateway to Northern Costa Rica's most famous natural splendors; the spectacular Arenal volcano and hot springs, Monteverde Cloud Forest and Cano Negro wildlife refuge.
  • Dominical and Turrialba campuses have great afternoon and weekend activities such as: dance and cooking classes, kayaking and horse back riding.
  • Arenal students have the chance to view the awesome, nighttime natural splendor of one of the worlds most active volcanos up close and personal.
  • The best Adventure program in Costa Rica from mountain biking down from the top of a volcano to sea-kayaking and snorkeling in Marina Ballena National Park.
  • Extra benefits for those on the Adventure program include- airport pick up assistance and daily Internet access.
  • Comprehensive Medical Spanish programs, combining in classes curriculum with afternoon clinical visits.
  • Extremely safe area, perfect for families and those traveling on their own.
  • AEC Spanish Institute is a small school so it is very flexible and willing to set up special programs or group packages.
  • Turrialba is a fun and lively town, both by day and by night with a definite country feel.