¿Porqué CRLA?

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costa rica study abroad

Why the CRLA Is The Best Choice

Authentic Costa Rican experience

If you want to learn Spanish in Costa Rica, it makes sense that you immerse yourself in the culture, as this will ensure a well-rounded hands on experience, which the CRLA is committed to providing for each student.

If you wanted to study French in France, wouldn’t you prefer that the school be owned and operated by French nationals? Or if you studied German in Germany, wouldn’t you choose a German-run school? To that end, the CRLA is one of the few schools wholly owned and operated by Costa Ricans. Also, very important is that the CRLA also ensures that the teachers and staff are native Spanish speakers. That being said, we are eager to share our culture with you while providing you the opportunity to learn at our school.

Excellent results

We ensure that you are making the most of your stay in terms of learning Spanish quickly and easily, and at the same time immersing yourself in the culture, no matter what your age, background or Spanish skills are.

Our proven methodology, updated and innovative text books & intimate class size ensures excellent results. We will even offer you extra classes at no cost, if necessary, to make sure that you achieve your language goals.

Highly qualified instructors

In order to teach at the CRLA, we require all of our professors to hold a university degree and have ample training and experience..

Flexibility & Variety

You can start our programs any time, year-round. To that end, you can study for as long as you want and with as many hours of instruction per day as you wish. We offer long term courses as well as intensive short term courses for students with a limited amount of time.

Our students consistently tell us how much they appreciate our flexibility as well as the diversity of our programs, since they are also able to travel and enjoy other activities throughout the country, while learning Spanish.

spanish language immersion programs

Individualized Service

At the CRLA we guarantee that personal attention is provided to each student. From the moment you arrive in Costa Rica we consider you an integral part of our family, and will go out of our way to ensure your needs are met and expectations are exceeded. 

Personal Safety

Your personal safety is of utmost imporatance to us:

  • You will be provided with the director’s home and mobile numbers, which you can call 24/7.
  • Airport pick-up is provided by reliable, and experienced staff members.
  • Orientation and safety tips are given, during orientation, on your first day of classes
  • Storage facilities and safety deposit boxes are available at the school.
  • We are affiliated with a reliable Medical Emergency service and have a list of recommended doctors in case of illness.
  • Although you are traveling on your own, you are never alone at the CRLA: we will even stay at your side at the hospital.

International & Diverse Atmosphere

Unlike most schools who cater to only one type of student, the CRLA works with universities and organizations through out the world, so you will find a diversified student body, in turn creating an interesting international atmosphere.

Our school welcomes students of all ages and backgrounds.

The most for your money

Only the CRLA offers students all the following services for FREE:

  • Daily Latin Dance classes (2 hours per day)
  • Weekly conversational classes
  • Weekly Costa Rican Cooking classes
  • 24-hour airport pick-up
  • Books and class materials
  • Extra “level adjustment” Spanish classes at no cost when required
  • Internet service
  • Wireless internet access
  • Telephone access for local calls
  • Mail service
  • Fresh coffee and fruit refreshments
  • Luggage storage while you travel
  • Wholesaler tour rates for our students
  • Travel arrangements, bus ticket purchase and hotel reservations

At the CRLA there are NO additional fees or hidden costs.

Great facilities and Convenient location

We offer modern and comfortable facilities in a safe, and warm homelike atmosphere.
The CRLA is located in San José, in a quiet and secure neigborhood. We are on the East side of the city, 20 minutes walking distance from downtown, with easy access to museums, theaters, restaurants, stores and bus/train stations.

Warm and friendly atmosphere

At the CRLA our goal is to make you feel at home when you are away from home:

” Wow! What a wonderful place! Learning in a supportive and flexible setting, dancing, cooking. Quality people and a beautiful country! A powerful combination, not only for me but for my children as well. This has been a learning and fun vacation in a foreign country that can´t be beat. We’re already thinking of our return trip. Keep up the fine work! “

Joe Edmiston, USA

Returning to the CRLA
It even gets better the second time around! 

Our family returned to the CRLA two years after our original coursework. Due to our strong CRLA base, we came back at an advanced level and continued to strengthen our Spanish skills even further.Heartening, most of the same friendly and talented staff was still at the CRLA and remembered us. What a pleasant and welcoming surprise! 
As a former CRLA student and parent of a CRLA student, I highly recommend the CRLA because the learning, care, facilities and services are top notch! 

All the best,
Joe Edmiston, USA

“I will never forget my time at the CRLA because it has been incredibly special to me. I know I’ve already said thank you and you probably get about 10 of these letters a day, but I just have to say it once more:

Laura Franklin, England

“As a Spanish Professor and the Study Abroad Coordinator for the Department of World Languages at the University of Arkansas, I have been taking students abroad for more than 16 years. I have initiated programs in Spain, Mexico, Central America, and South America. In 1999 we started sending students to the Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA) in San José, Costa Rica. Our experience with the CRLA has been very positive. Our students return from Costa Rica very pleased with their experience. More importantly, our students without exception have increased their Spanish proficiency during the four weeks they study in Costa Rica. The study at the CRLA is one of the most fulfilling experiences for our students.
The CRLA is run very efficiently with faculty and staff that are very helpful, caring, and well qualified.
…The instructors have proven to be very effective in increasing our students`oral proficiency.
In addition…(the homestay) families have proven to be a valuable opportunity for our students to practice Spanish during their time in Costa Rica. Many of our students keep ties with their Costa Rican host families for years after their experience abroad.
The setting at the CRLA is conducive to learning and ideal to maximize conversation skills and fluency…. conversation classes and cooking classes provide students with a relaxed opportunity for conversation and interaction with students from many nationalities….
I highly recommend the CRLA. It is one of the best options students from my institution have to study abroad.”
Jaime Zambrano, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spanish
University of Central Arkansas
October 8, 2006

“I want to thank you for being so flexible. I also wanted to thank you for the wonderful experiences I had in Costa Rica thanks to everyone there. The personnel at your school was extremely friendly which made me feel very much at home. My only regret was having to return to California.”

Carol Bradley, U.S.A.

” Before coming to your school I was afraid to travel alone to a country so far away from Japan. But from the moment Leonel (the school´s driver) was waiting for me at the airport I felt welcome and more relaxed. My host family was wonderful and everybody at the school was so nice and friendly. My teacher was very patient and all the other teachers and staff were helpful all the time. Thank you for all you did for me and I hope to return soon.”

Mayumi Asawa, Japan

“I felt very supported. Everyone goes out of their way to make you feel at home. I could turn to the school for everything and I never felt alone here. Leonel was wonderful and started my trip on a high note making me feel very welcome. My homestay was wonderful. Beyond comfortable, they made me feel like family. I had intended to stay three days and now, five weeks later, I am devastated over leaving. The school far exceeded my expectations.”

Jonathan van Nuys, USA


CRLA students have the opportunity of contributing to make a tangible difference in our world and to leave something positive for future generations.