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Arenal Campus

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Welcome to Arenal!

AEC’s Arenal program is not a typical Spanish language school. In fact, there is no school building or campus. There are no extra curricular activities and no school director. This is a special one-on-one experience with you and our teaching staff that is designed to give you the highest level of Spanish immersion possible. Classes are held either at your host family or at a multipurpose office building in the center of town where we rent classroom space. For those on the Medical Spanish program, your medical Spanish lessons and clinical visits will be one-on-one with AEC’s director of medical Spanish programming, Dr. Arias at his clinic. This is not a program for students looking for a conventional Spanish school experience. These private programs are for those students who really want to learn the Spanish language, while at the same time being located in the adventure capital of Costa Rica. If you are a serious language student who is independent and not looking for a lot of bells and whistles, this program and locations might be the right fit for you.

Our materials, curriculum and teachers are of the same high standard as our other more traditional campuses. Students can still receive undergraduate and post-graduate college credit along with nursing CEU’s for their time in our program. Please be aware that there is very limited space with these programs, early registration is a must. Students will receive support from our San Jose office and staff. Emergency contacts and assistance will be provided along with airport pick up, our Student Guesthouse and our Welcome Program.

Program Outline

The Private 4-hour Language Program is four complete hours of one-on-one Spanish classes a day, Monday through Friday. Class hours are from 8:00 am to 10:00 am and from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, with a 30 minute break in-between. All materials are included. This is the most intensive Spanish option offered in Costa Rica. The student and teacher will create an individualized lesson plan that will work on the aspects of the student’s language ability that need most improvement. All classes are strictly in Spanish as is all course material.

Private Lessons at your Hotel. This is a program where our teacher will meet you at your hotel for private lessons. You decided the number of hours and the schedule of your classes. Students must sign up for a minimum of 10 hours for this program and all materials are included. A second student can be added in the same class for an additional $15/hour. This is a great way for those on vacation who want a short but intense language option while they are in the Arenal area.

We offer a comprehensive Medical Spanish Program, as well as our accredited Nursing Spanish Program where students can receive nursing CEU’s for their time in the program. In the Medical Spanish program doctors and medical students have private instruction two afternoons a week by our in house physician Dr. Arias at he own clinic. He goes over medical terminology, patient interviews and clinical procedures. One other afternoon a week student will shadow Dr. Arias during patient interviews and appointments. The Nursing Spanish Program is set up the exact same way, but is taught by a nursing professional at Dr. Arias’s clinic. These additional Spanish classes as well as the visits to the local clinics are all done as private lessons. You are one-on-one with our local medical professional.


Homestays are with local Costa Rican families in the town of Fortuna. There is only one student per family and each student will have a private room with a shared bathroom. Couples can stay with the same family. Weekly laundry service is provided along with two meals a day, breakfast and dinner and all homestays are within a 10-minute walk from the center of town. The families are of middle income and usually professionals. Many have children and all can accommodate students with special dietary needs, such as vegetarians.