High School Spanish Immersion Programs in Costa Rica & Ecuador | Amazing Summer Student Travel Programs

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Beach & Volcano Spanish Immersion for Teens in Costa Rica
Lowest Cost!
Beach and Spanish Immersion for teens - high school students immersion travel to Costa Rica
2-Week Summer Spanish Immersion

Manuel Antonio & Santo Domingo

June 24 - July 8, 2021 Full!
14 days in country
15 hours of small & personalized Spanish classes
1 week host family stay & experience living like a local in a typical small town
12-15 hours of community service projects at local schools
3 day beach excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park and beach
3 days of adventure in La Fortuna around the Arenal Volcano
Hot springs, zip-line, hanging bridges, waterfall hike & swim
National Park tours
Salsa and Merengue dancing class & cooking classes
Possible to combine with Ecuador program
24/7 leadership, coordination & support by engaging program leaders
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Amazon Science & Backpacking Spanish Adventure
Newest Program
Amazon Science & Backpacking Spanish Adventure for Teens in Ecuador
12 Days Summer Spanish Immersion

Quito & Amazon

June 2022 (+/- 1 day)
12 days in country
12 hours of Spanish Classes
5 days Amazon Spanish and Science backpacking adventure
Work with local biologists and geologists in Amazon
3-4 days host family stay
Soak in volcanic hot springs
Stand on the Equator at "Mitad del Mundo"
Learn about indigenous history and artisan crafts
The ultimate Spanish Adventure: Science, Culture & Backpacking
Possible to combine with Costa Rica programs
24/7 leadership, coordination & support by engaging program leaders

Registration DEADLINE June 4th, 2021

Best Summer Spanish Immersion Student Travel for Teens: Students and Parents Love our High School Spanish Immersion Programs!

High & Middle School Immersion Trip
4.99 out of 5 based on 68 customer ratings

Register TODAY 

  • 12-day Spanish Immersion & Backpacking Adventure in Ecuador: June 12- 23, 2021
  • 2-week Beach & Volcano Spanish Immersion Program in Costa Rica: June 24 – July 8,  2021
  • 3-week Adventure Spanish Immersion Program in Costa Rica:  June 24- July 15, 2021
  • 4-week Adventure Spanish Immersion Program in Costa Rica: June 24 – July 15, 2021

This summer trip is more than Spanish student travel for teens:

Why travel with Common Ground in the summer?

  • We guarantee Spanish growth more that any other program available!

  • Program leaders are onsite with participants 24/7 leading, guiding, debriefing this increible culture experience!

  • Get prepared before you depart in our online, cutting edge pre-departure course so you can hit the ground running to maximize your experience!

  • Trip leaders have decades of experience, so we can focus completely on the student’s safety, Spanish development and cultural experience!

  • High school students gain confidence in speaking Spanish, acquire independence, and an awareness of the global possibilities for Spanish in their futures.

  • Safety, Fun, and Learning are combined. We have a LONG track record of offering the best personalized Spanish Immersion Programs since 2003.

COSTA RICA Spanish Immersion Summer Student Travel Program Description:

Our High School Spanish Immersion trips in Costa Rica are specifically designed to improve your Spanish skills and help you gain cultural understanding. Meanwhile, you earn at least 15 service learning hours and experience the beauty of Costa Rica. The four major components of this student travel experience are:

  • Spanish classes taught by local Spanish teachers
  • Host family living- become part of the family!
  • Community service projects that require you to communicate in Spanish!
  • Adventure travel – explore the biodiversity, wildlife, beaches, volcanoes with local guides in español! Learn more below…

The 4 primary components of our Summer Costa Rica & Ecuador Spanish immersion for teens programs are:

This program is the best because it’s a perfect blend of Spanish Immersion and Adventure. It combines Spanish classes, volunteer work, host family living, and visiting the hot spots in Costa Rica (beaches, volcanoes, hiking, zip lining, waterfalls, toucans, sloths, etc.).

Host Family Lodging with no English – Spanish Only.

Host families keep you speaking Spanish 24/7 during your Spanish immersion program so that  you learn cultural insights that you would never pick up if you stayed in a hotel. Additionally, the host families go through a rigorous vetting process as they are an integral piece of this program.

Community Service projects that we complete in Spanish.

Spanish and humanitarian work mix to create the ultimate learning opportunity, not just about Spanish but about life! This is a fantastic way for you to lend a hand to those in need while speaking Spanish to meet real objectives. Yes, you may find service learning projects on other student travel programs. However, they are rarely are they “language-rich” – meaning you have to accomplish real objectives in Spanish to complete the project. Other student travel programs have a difficult time focusing on Spanish because it’s more difficult. Additionally, their leaders may not be Spanish teachers willing to capture teachable moments throughout the program.

Spanish Classes which are taught by Native Spanish Speakers.

When you participate in a true immersion program, you need daily Spanish classes. They help you sort out all the fast-paced language you hear day to day while on immersion. It’s difficult to make sense of everything as it comes, so we integrate classes into your Spanish immersion program in order to maximize all the day-to-day learning you’re doing. Since most other student travel programs don’t have an intentional language immersion focus, there’s no need for class!

Adventure Travel to hotspots – in Spanish.

Costa Rica is possibly one of the most exciting (and safest) places to travel in Central America. Therefore, every Spanish immersion trip to Costa Rica should include some experiences at the beach, visiting volcanoes, and trekking through the rain forest. This is usually the strength of other student travel programs. However, we add to the experience by integrating Spanish language into every aspect of our adventures.

ECUADOR Summer Spanish Immersion Student Travel Program Description:

This program is for teens that love the outdoors and want a physical challenge while improving their Spanish. Additionally, the students who travel with us to Ecuador are interested in Science!  First, we live with a local host family and attend Spanish classes for 5 days. Second, we put on our hiking clothes and load our packs for an once-in-a-lifetime Amazon backpacking trip. Then, we go *backpacking on a private rainforest reserve in the Amazon with a local mountaineer & trained geologist. Additionally, we include a biologist to learn all about the flora & fauna in Spanish.  If you have a passion for science, love outdoor activities and and want to improve your Spanish, this is the ultimate adventure.  This program is limited to 18 students, don’t delay in contacting us if you’re interested. 

There are two portions of this Ecuador student travel program:

  1. Spanish Classes and Cultural Immersion –> Spanish classes, cultural activities, host family living.
  2. Amazon and Science Backpacking Adventure –> Guided, professional trip in the Amazon with local geologist and biologist in Spanish.

Ecuador Trip Objectives:

  • Spanish Immersion- being fully immersed in the Spanish language while experiencing the outdoor adventure in the Amazon
  • Biology – Learning about and experiencing the Amazon ecosystem, animals, flora and fauna with a local Ecuadorian Biologist
  • Geology – Observe and learn about the Amazon landforms from volcanoes to rivers and erosion
  • To be physically challenged while backpacking in the Amazon 
  • Learn about the culture by participating in unique cultural activities
  • Gain some independence and maturity as you experience life through another cultural perspective.
  • Stretch outside of your comfort zone while traveling in a safe setting

*Participants on this trip need to be okay with getting wet, dirty, sweating and must be in good physical shape!

The primary components of our Summer Ecuador Spanish immersion program are:

5 days of Spanish Classes & Cultural Immersion:

  • 5 days of Spanish classes
  • 5 nights of living with local host family
  • Cultural activities: cooking, dancing classes, etc.
  • Straddle the equator at “Mitad del Mundo”
  • Learn about indigenous history and artisan crafts

5 days of Amazon, Science & Spanish Backpacking Adventure:

  • Guided professional trip to a private, nationally recognized reserve in the Amazon
  • Instruction and hands on activities lead by local Spanish speaking biologist and geologist
  • Learn wilderness, backpacking skills
  • Gain leadership skills
  • Must be in good physical shape to be able to hike and carry backpack!!!

All of our programs include basic travel medical insurance with trip interruption, delays, lost bags, etc. Here is the standard description of coverage for your included travel insurance plan.

If you you have any uncertainties about your upcoming adventure, it might be a good idea to consider a Cancel for Any Reason insurance policy.  We suggest you shop for it here:

Extra travel insurance

Costa Rica and Ecuador Student Travel Program Itineraries

Ecuador Summer Program Itinerary: Registration opening soon!

Check out this preliminary itinerary in order to get an idea of what you will be doing:

Program Day

Summer Spanish Immersion Student Travel Activity

Day 1Arrival day:

  • Travel to Ecuador
  • Meet the group
  • Onsite orientation
Days 2-6Spanish Classes & Cultural Immersion: Spanish classes, cultural activities and host family living. Typical day during this portion is:

  • 8am – 11:30am Cultural Tours
  • 12:00 -1pm Group lunch
  • 1:00 – 4:00 pm Spanish classes
  • 4:00 – 5:30 pm dancing class, cooking class, etc.
  • Dinner and evening with Host family
Days 7-11Amazon & Science Backpacking Adventure:

  • 1st day: WIlderness orientation, gear check and get packs ready
  • 2nd day: Arrive at trailhead & hike to basecamp
  • 3rd day: morning hike & hands on science, afternoon science & Spanish
  • 4th day: morning hike & hands on science, afternoon debrief & solo sit
  • 5th day: morning hike, pack up camp & hike out visit Volcanic Hot Springs
Day 12Return to USA OR combine this program with COSTA RICA
*Ecuador Spanish Immersion and Backpacking Student Travel Program requires physical fitness because it requires you to backpack significant elevation changes on narrow trails

Costa Rica Summer Student Travel Program Itinerary: 2, 3, 4 weeks

Check out this basic itinerary to get an idea of what you will be doing:

Program Day

Spanish Immersion Student Travel Activities

Day 1Arrival day:

  • Travel to Costa Rica
  • Meet the group
  • Onsite orientation
Days 2-4Pacific Beach & National Park Excursion:

  • Team Building activities in order to get to know other students and set program & individual goals
  • Guided National Park / Wildlife Hike so that we can learn about the rainforest flora & fauna with local guide in Spanish
  • Surf lessons / Beach time
Days 5-11Spanish & Cultural Immersion week –> Spanish classes, volunteer work, host family living. Typical day during this portion is:

  • 8am – 11:30am
    • Volunteer work 3 mornings a week
    • Cultural activity 1 morning a week
    • Friday morning guided reflection, debrief and goal status
  • 12:00 -1pm Group lunch
  • 1:00 – 4:00 pm Spanish classes
  • 4:00 – 5:00 pm Cultural class (Salsa & Merengue, cooking class, soccer game)
  • Dinner and evening with Host family
Days 12-14Volcano Adventure Excursion:

  • Hanging bridges tour
  • Ziplining
  • Guided wildlife hike
  • Waterfall visit and swim in pools
  • Volcanic hot springs
  • night time volcano viewing
Day 152 week students depart Costa Rica 3 & 4 week students return to Immersion homebase & host families
 Days 16 – 21Spanish & Cultural Immersion Week –> Spanish classes, volunteer work, host family living.
Day 223 week students depart Costa Rica4 week students optional day excursion OR Host family day
Days 23-27Bean to Bar | Rural Chocolate Farm Experience: Live on a 4th generation organic chocolate farm and learn the art of processing chocolate in SPANISH
Day 284 week students depart Costa Rica
*Costa Rica Spanish Immersion Student Travel Program offers the longest immersion program options

Registration deadline is June 4th! First come, first served and space is limited, so don’t delay! 

Follow the links below in order to learn more about each aspect of our programs for teens:

Quick links for our summer high school Spanish immersion programs for teens…

Register for Summer ’21 Today! I’m interested in a future trip

Fundraising Opportunities Testimonials Facebook Albums Download Flier

As you can see…

Our summer Spanish immersion for teens trips are more than just educational student travel and Spanish summer camps. We are Spanish teachers and intentionally integrate the four components below into our Spanish immersion programs so that our students can actually say they have Spanish as a practical skill for their futures.

Click the links above so that you can learn more about the 4 main components of our summer High School Spanish immersion programs in Costa Rica. You will see how our trips are different than other student travel programs.

For more details from Leslie Foster, director of high school Spanish immersion & student travel programs, watch this pre-recorded informational webinar:

However, our summer trip might not be the right travel experience for you (or your teen student). If you’d like a free guide to figuring out the best sort of student travel experience, then check this resource out!

Follow us on Facebook in order to stay in the high school Spanish immersion program loop!

Summer High School Spanish Immersion Program Videos:

Nora’s student travel video – Sum ’18:

Immersion Program for Teens Summary:

Lessons Learned on Immersion:

Julia’s Student Travel Video

How Our Spanish Improved:

Advice to High School Student Travelers:

High School Spanish Immersion Student Travel Program FAQs:

How many students do you travel with at a given time?

We have a maximum number of around 24 students at any one time on the summer immersion program with us. However, most programs average about 15 – 18 students.

Who are the chaperones for the High School program?

Common Ground has 2-3 staff members who chaperone the high school groups at all times, and they are awesome! However, if our group size nears 20+ students, then we typically add a teacher from a school that has students traveling with us to help with the larger numbers. Usually there are more female than male chaperones.

We have miles that we’d like to use for our student’s program, is that possible?

Absolutely. We can discuss the details about the chaperoned flights and whether or not your miles will put your student on that flight.

Do I get credit for the language school classes I attend?

Yes and no, because most High Schools are not offering actual high school credit for the time you spend in Costa Rica. However, some schools will allow you to take an exam after you return and potentially test out of a year’s worth of Spanish classes. This is particularly an option for those students on the 4-week summer immersion program. Additionally, you can apply the amount of time you spend in community service projects to your school and club requirements. Usually students earn between 20 and 60 community service hours for the 2 and 4-week programs respectively. Additionally, if you are an IB student, you may be able to earn up to 75 CAS hours toward your graduation requirements.

Can my trip length in Costa Rica be flexible? What if I want to stay and study in Costa Rica for more than 4 weeks?

Of course your length of stay can be adjusted. However, we would be happy to work out a custom itinerary with you for those additional weeks. So just give us a call! (888) 879-2575.

What if we’d like to make plans to have a family vacation before or after our student does the Spanish Immersion Program with Common Ground?

Not a problem at all. Usually it’s a good idea to plan a family vacation directly after your student finishes their immersion program so that they’re able to show you around a little. However, we prefer to know your plans as you’re submitting your student’s application, and we’ll make sure that appropriate arrangements are made. Additionally, we’re happy to help you with travel suggestions as well if you’d like some ideas about nice places to spend some time with you family in Costa Rica.

Do you have any fundraising programs in place to help with the cost of the immersion program?

Yes, actually every year we help students who are interested raising funds for the summer immersion program. We recently launched the Immersion Fund, a 501(c)3 organization that exists to help students fundraise for trips in a socially conscious way- we like to call it the Purchase with a Purpose movement. Visit our fundraising options page in order to learn more about selling Case of Hope Jewelry to raise funds for your upcoming trip!

Can you come to my school and make a presentation about this program?

Of course! If you would like to look into scheduling a classroom presentation at your school, just put us in contact with your Spanish teacher or your Foreign/World Languages department head in order to see if we can get something on the schedule. Contact us here.

The ratings & reviews for this high school student travel & Spanish immersion program for teens speak for themselves

3 responses to “High School Spanish Immersion Programs in Costa Rica & Ecuador | Amazing Summer Student Travel Programs

Joanne M Dykes

Do you have any spots open for the 4 week Costa Rica trip for high school students?

Leslie Foster
Leslie Foster

Hola Joanne! Thanks for your message. Our 4 week program is full, but we still have space on our two week July 22nd program. I will send you information about that in a separate email. Thanks!

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