A unique immersive language
experience with the time to
explore Costa Rica.

AEC’s Spanish language programs are designed for any and all types of students. Our accredited Standard and Intensive language programs allow for options of either 16 hrs or 20 hrs per week schedules. These schedules were created to take advantage of both the immersive language experience and the time to explore what makes Costa Rica so unique.

With the most diverse locations in all of Costa Rica a truly unique, immersive experience awaits. Our patient and nurturing teaching staff combined with our caring host families and our world renowned adventure staff create lifelong learning experiences for all who attend.  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.

Standard Spanish

  • 16-hours of language, four days of the week
  • Classes are four hours in the mornings
  • Cooking, dance classes, welcome drink, orientation included.
  • Small class sizes of less than 6 students

Intensive Spanish

  • 20-hours of language, Monday through Friday
  • Same format as Standard program
  • Cooking, dance classes, welcome drink, orientation included.
  • Undergraduate college credit approved

Super Intensive Spanish

  • 20 hours group lessons + 8 hours of private lessons in the afternoon
  • Same format as Intensive with 2 hours of private lessons four days of the week


Learn medical Spanish in with the
longest running medical program
in all of Costa Rica.

Thr AEC Medical Spanish program lasts four weeks with medically specific classroom studies, medical exercises, and clinical visitations.

The goal of the AEC Medical Spanish program is to build better communication with patients and is the longest running medical program in all of Costa Rica. The cirriculum is based on the medical Spanish program developed by the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Almost all major medical schools in the United States have accepted AEC’s medical Spanish program as a study abroad elective. AEC will be happy to assist any student who wishes to gain such credits from their individual medical school by making available any documentation they may require.

2018 Medical Start dates:

1/8, 2/5, 3/5, 4/2 5/28, 6/25,
7/23, 8/20, 9/17, 10/15, 11/12

Program Details

  • Designed for beginning level language students
  • Kaiser Permanente approved!
  • Supervised by our of our staff of doctors and medical preceptors.
  • 20 weekly hours of our ‘Standard Spanish’
  • Can be combined with ’16 Hour Standard’ course.
  • Class placement is based on a student’s current Spanish fluency level.
  • Students will work directly with a Costa Rican doctor.
  • Students that cannot attend a full four week program can enroll for fewer weeks.
  • The weekly structure of the program is presented in weekly blocs of interrelated subject matter.
  • Each week can then act as a stand alone entity.
  • Beginning language students should be begin on the cycle start date for an easier transition.


Learn nursing Spanish with the
only accredited nursing program
in all of Latin America.

AEC Spanish Institute has designed a special, nurse-specific Spanish program. This ANCC approved program has been carefully tailored to meet the needs of nurses who work with Spanish-speaking patients and their families. AEC’s Nursing Spanish Program is a full immersion program in which working nurses can earn CEU’s while learning healthcare specific language skills in Costa Rica.

This program will give nurses the ability to converse with Spanish speaking patients in a convalescent hospital setting or clinic environment. The program’s goal is to develop or improve a nurse’s Spanish language abilities in the workplace. Students enrolled in the Nursing Spanish Program will learn standard Spanish in 4 hour morning classes each day. They will be placed in one of nine different levels based on their individual Spanish proficiency.

After fours hours of Spanish classes in the morning, the nursing component will proceed in the afternoon. The afternoon sessions will total six hours per week. These sessions are designed to accommodate all levels of language ability.

Program Details

  • Only accredited nursing program in all of Latin America
  • Accredited by both ANCC and California BRN
  • 32 Contact hours per week
  • Designed for beginning level students
  • Can be combined with 16 hr Standard
  • The complete Nursing Spanish Program is offered at our Turrialba Campus.
  • A private Nursing Spanish Program available at our Arenal Campus.
  • Nursing specific vocabulary and terminology
  • Lessons on the Latino culture and its importance in healthcare

The class time is supplemented with the addition of medical site visitations to a local Costa Rican clinic, and/or a senior convalescent hospital. Talks with Costa Rican staff are also scheduled once a week where specific areas of interest to individual students can be discussed.


This educational experience showcases the
unique sights, smells, and tastes
of Costa Rica agriculture.

This is a one week immersion experience designed to immerse teen students in the culture, language and agriculture of Costa rica. Students will engage in 20 hours of Spanish language instruction, participate in many different agriculturally-focused activities and tours, and be immersed in the local culture. Each day is filled with activities and adventure! Costa Rica is a unique tropical country that contains 21 different microclimates and due to this geographical diversity a wide variety of agricultural products are produced. Turrialba is the perfect home base from which to explore many unique agricultural production and processing systems. Overall, the experience showcases the unique sights, smells, sounds and tastes of Costa Rica agriculture.

The program was designed by US school-based agricultural education teacher educators and global learning specialists. The Spanish language instruction is delivered by trained and experienced professionals.

Program Details

  • Designed by US agricultural education teachers
  • Study Spanish, visit small Costa Rican farms
  • Learn about a different culture
  • Chaperone supervised by bilingual staff
  • Experience outdoor activities & adventure tours


A safe, nurturing Spanish program
designed to enrich the language
experience of any child.

The most immersive language experience in all of Costa Rica for children ages 2-7. Your kids will learn language alongside same aged local Costa Rican children. In a safe, nurturing environment a variety of activities await with cooking classes, music, theater arts, swimming and dance classes. Staff has over thirty years of experience in childhood development. Classes occur at the same time frame as adult classes in Turrialba.

Our custom 8-13 aged program is designed by the AEC staff who is trained in secondary language. The program is designed to give students a strong layer of skill and grammar development but also creating a fun experience with the addition of outdoor activities. The program is located at both our Turrialba and Playa Dominical campuses.

At our partner school in Tamarindo join the 2 to 13 age group’s summer program that runs from late June to early August. The program can be participated in weekly blocs with the entire family having a variety of language and activities to participate in. Great vacation destination to make an educational but fun experience for all.

Kinder Program

  • most immersive in all of Costa Rica
  • Kinder is for ages 2-7, safe environment
  • Dance, cooking, music, theater arts, swimming, social interaction
  • Same time frame as adult classes
  • Turrialba campus only

Children’s Program

  • from 8-13 years of age
  • AEC designed program
  • Learning language skills with fun activities
  • Available at Turrialba and Playa Dominical campuses
  • Program runs throughout the year

Kids Spanish in Tamarindo

  • ages 2 to 13
  • Runs from late June to early August
  • Can be done in weekly blocs
  • Great destination for the entire family


A life changing experience
for young adults with an emphasis on
language and Costa Rican culture.

The AEC Spanish Institute’s Teen programs are one of the most eye opening, educational, social, cultural, and environmental experiences that any teen could imagine. With its warm personality and safe surroundings Costa Rica becomes the perfect footprint for introducing international travel to young teens. Coming from throughout the United States and Europe each week becomes a family of young adults looking and sharing treasures of Costa Rica. With the foundation of language development as the core of this experience and then adding the richness of what Costa Rica offers a teen is changed for life.

AEC has five teen programs and they are designed so that students can attend one or all five. Most teens mix and match as they all keep to the same basic schedule of Spanish lessons and activities.

Also, families traveling with their teens can have them join as Day Campers. We have special prices for the day camp option, depending upon camp and amount of days they participate. With day campers, lodging is always with the parents. Please contact us for more information and itineraries on any of these enriching programs.

Teen Programs

These programs only occur in the summer months starting in June and going through the month of July. Five different programs during this time frame are offered.

Spanish and Surf Expedition: 6/18 and 6/25

*In Playa Tamarindo

Spanish & Adventure: 7/9 and 7/23

*In Playa Tamarindo

Spanish & Surf camp: 7/2,7/9,7/16,7/23

*In Playa Tamarindo

Spanish, Service & Turtle Rescue camp: 6/18 and 6/25

*In Turrialba and the Caribbean Coast

Travel Camp: 7/30

*In the northwestern Guanacaste region

“Being emerged into the culture was the best part of the trip for me. Costa Rica was truly a life changing experience.”