Spanish Immersion for Adults in Costa Rica & Ecuador

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Ecuador Spanish Immersion
Newest Program
Spanish Immersion programs in Ecuador
Based in Quito, Cuenca & the Amazon

1-3 weeks in length

Sum '22 Dates TBD
Consider 10 days to have a full weekend to explore!
Host family, hotel, or hostel
20hrs/week Spanish Classes
Optional 1:1 private lessons
Tuesday – Thursday community service outreach projects in Spanish
Great day trips to the equator, hot springs, etc.
Optional Wilderness Medicine Course at Reserva Alto Coca
Learn Spanish with other professionals from all walks of life
Open to Adults, Families, High Schoolers, Undergrads, Grad Students, Teachers & Healthcare workers
24/7 leadership, coordination & support by Common Ground program leaders
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Costa Rica Spanish Immersion
Easiest Travel
Spanish immersion Program in Costa Rica
In Santo Domingo de Heredia

1-6 weeks in length

June 26, 2021
Host family, hotel, or hostel
20hrs/week Spanish Classes
Tuesday – Thursday community service outreach projects
Amazing beaches, Volcanoes, Nat'l Parks, etc.
A great place to include your family or significant other for a post-trip vacation!
Interprofessional mix of fellow travelers
Open to Adults, Families, High Schoolers, Undergrads, Grad Students, Teachers & Healthcare workers
24/7 leadership, coordination & support by Common Ground program leaders

All Spanish Immersion Programs have space limits and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Us to reserve a space for 30 days w/ no obligation.

*If you are a teacher or a healthcare worker, you may want to consider our specialized Spanish immersion programs:

Medical Spanish Immersion
Medical Spanish Immersion Trip

Learn Medical Spanish in small group classes.

Volunteer in the community health setting

Earn CME / CE credits

Learn More Here
Spanish Immersion for Teachers
Teachers Spanish Immersion Trip

Learn Spanish for the classroom and communication with parents

Volunteer in community schools and organizations leading educational camps

Earn Continuing Education & PDU credits

Learn More Here

This Spanish Immersion program for Adults in Ecuador and Costa Rica is perfect for the adult learner who wants to improve their Spanish skills for professional and/or personal purposes.

Register Today! Host Families Optional Excursions Testimonials

Objective and unique aspects of this Spanish immersion program for adults:

Program goal: This Immersion program is specifically designed to improve your Spanish communication skills for professional and personal purposes.  This opportunity is for the active learner with the goals of gaining Spanish proficiency and cultural knowledge. All levels of learners are welcome from beginning to advanced. Whether you are a business professional that could learn Spanish as a tool to better serve your clients, a stay-at-home parent that has always had this goal, or work in a community with a high percentage of Spanish speakers, this program is for you!

Please note, if you are in education or the  medical field, we have programs designed specifically for those professions. If you are an educator or Spanish teacher, please check out our Spanish Immersion for Educators program. If you are medical professional or student, please check out our Medical Spanish Immersion program.

Why should you choose the Common Ground Adult Spanish Immersion Program?

We offer the best language and cultural outcomes:

The primary difference with our Spanish immersion program for adults is that we weave 4 Spanish language components into your everyday experience to help you learn conversational Spanish through everything you do Mon – Fri. Here is how we do it:

  • Learning Spanish in daily Spanish immersion classes with native Spanish speakers
  • Staying with a local host family (one student per family) so that you’re immersed in speaking Spanish 24/7 and acquiring Spanish as you relate to your host family and experience daily culture in Central America
  • Participating in volunteer projects to target communities with identified needs
  • Working with a seasoned Spanish instructor as your guide 24/7 to help you capture those teachable moments as they pop up.

You’re not alone:

  • When you travel with Common Ground is that you are not on your own. At a very minimum, you have the CGI program coordinator with your during your whole trip. Additionally, your adult Spanish immersion program overlaps with medical Spanish immersion and Spanish immersion for educators programs – so you rub shoulders with other professionals as well while you’re on your immersion trip.

We prepare you before you travel:

  • Preparation is essential for establishing clear expectations for your trip, staying safe while you travel, knowing the day to day plan, and positioning yourself and your Spanish for maximum success on your program. Our custom pre-departure course is an amazingly effective online course that connects you with your fellow travelers and prepares you for every single detail – including culture shock!

You know where we live:

  • We’re a Colorado-based organization with a clear track record of amazing Spanish immersion programs. You can call us up at any time, speak English (or Spanish), and get your questions answered immediately. That’s worth its weight in gold!

As you’re starting to see, this adult Spanish immersion experiential learning opportunity provides adults with intensive Spanish language and cultural learning in its natural context. Experience tangible results in your Spanish speaking skills and cultural understanding while:

  • Attending small and intensive Spanish classes differentiated by ability, so that you’re guaranteed to learn at your level
  • Gaining cultural understanding through living with a Costa Rican or Ecuadoran family
  • Participating in relevant, sustainable and language rich community engagement projects so that you learn while you feel good about the help you give
  • Exploring the beauty of Costa Rica and Ecuador while visiting national parks and beaches in your free time


In both countries, you have the option of staying with a host family for the duration of the program or staying at a local hostel or hotel. We prefer host families so that you have that 24/7 immersion experience. Your host family will take care of all of your basic needs: provide you with a private bedroom, share breakfast and dinner with you, and be your cultural guides during your trip.

Spanish Immersion Classes:

Our intensive Spanish classes are just that, intense and super-relevant!

  • INTENSIVE because they are with native Spanish speaking teachers trained in second language acquisition and the class sizes are small (max. 6 students per class).
  • RELEVANT because they are designed with your goals in mind and allow for many communicative opportunities to practice the Spanish that you need to know! Four hours of Spanish classes a day will strengthen and support the foundation of a rich immersion experience. You will take a Spanish placement test upon arrival to ensure that you’re working on exactly the grammar and vocabulary items at your level.

Community Service Opportunities:

Community service is a vital component in the Spanish Immersion for Adults program. Our “collaborative community engagement projects” allow for a deeper level of Spanish and cultural learning that most travelers do not get while visiting other countries. In addition to filling a real need in the local community, our service-learning projects are designed to greatly improve your Spanish! Helping others has the potential to take your Spanish to the next level!

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

Brief Intro & Types of Adult Spanish Immersion Travelers:

Top 10 Suggestions for Adult International Travel:

Adult Spanish Immersion costs and Inclusions…

Spanish Immersion for Adults
5.00 out of 5 based on 10 customer ratings

Everyone knows that immersion is the best way to learn Spanish. Our Spanish Immersion program for adults is for people who are invested in building Spanish proficiency and cultural competency though living, studying and engaging with the local culture. Our programs are in a small non-touristy Costa Rican town or a capital city and colonial town in Ecuador. Join us on this incredible personal and professional growth opportunity, you won’t be disappointed!

-Rory Foster, Immersion Director

Thoughts from recent Adult Spanish Immersion Travelers

Spanish Immersion Program for Adults

This was exactly what I was looking for! I wanted a program where I could use my large base of Spanish knowledge to practice and reinforce my skills. I wanted the opportunity to use the language as much as possible and relate it directly to professional development. It was flexible and exactly what I wanted!

-H. Abullarade, Minnesota

adult Spanish Immersion in Costa Rica and EcuadorMy Common Ground International immersion trip was challenging, inspiring and satisfying in all the right ways. I grew personally and linguistically in leaps and bounds. The people I met and the experiences I had will live forever in my heart and will inform every aspect of my professional life as well as my personal life. I will definitely be back!

-L. Kropp, Illinois

Spanish Immersion Trip for Adults

I found the Spanish immersion to be a wonderful experience. The benefit of a full immersion is not an opportunity that should be overlooked when learning another language. I feel that being immersed in a native country and having to be pushed to speak the language, hearing it all around you encourages you to reach deep and pull out what you already know as well as learn more. Experiencing the culture and people also help you to appreciate the history of the language you are learning and the people.

-L. Virgil, Bermuda

Spanish Immersion Program for Adults in Costa Rica and EcuadorThe pre-departure Spanish material was excellent. Wish I knew more when I got there, but that’s why we went. The leadership could not do a better job. Anything we wanted to do any time. Hard to beat. You can’t dip your toe in the pool. This is the cannonball version of getting in the pool. Don’t miss it. They’re waiting for you!

-M. Rucks, Nevada

What can you expect on this Adult Spanish immersion trip?

Out of class learning

Adult Spanish immersion in Ecuador and Costa Rica includes out of class learning with your Spanish teachers

Interesting cultural & historical sites

Learn Spanish in Nicaragua and Costa Rica while you experience Central American culture

Meaningful and sustainable community service work

volunteer with the local community while on Spanish immersion for adults

Amazing 3-day weekend getaways to the beach

Spanish immersion on the beach or weekend excursions to the beach while learning Spanish on adult Spanish immersion

…and to the rainforests

Spanish immersion program for adults in Costa Rica and Ecuador

You meet the coolest people ever


Registration is open for 2021 Adult Spanish Immersion Programs…

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1-3 Week Spanish Immersion for Adults Programs in Ecuador: 

1 wk Ecuador Programs: June ’22: Dates TBD

2 wk Ecuador Programs: June ’22: Dates TBD

  • Fly in and out of Quito (UIO)
  • Attend 1-2 weeks (Mon – Fri) of Spanish classes including travel Spanish and general Spanish focus
  • Visit various precarios in the outskirts of Quito or Cuenca in order to develop educational charlas that help the communities improve quality of life.
  • Provide education in conjunction with existing local efforts in these communities in order to help without hurting

Travel: Fly in and out of Quito, Ecuador (UIO)

Reserve your spot with $500 deposit

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3-6 Week Combo Spanish Immersion for Adults Programs in Ecuador and Costa Rica

3-week Ecuador & Costa Rica Immersion Program: June / July ’22 – Dates TBD

4-week Ecuador & Costa Rica Immersion Programs: June / July ’22 – Dates TBD

5-week Ecuador & Costa Rica Immersion Programs: June / July ’22 – Dates TBD

6-week Ecuador & Costa Rica Immersion Programs: June / July ’22 – Dates TBD

  • Experience 2 countries in 1 trip!
  • Fly in to Quito (UIO) and out of San Jose (SJO)
  • Attend 1 – 5 weeks (Mon – Fri) of Spanish classes (mix travel Spanish and general Spanish)
  • Visit various precarios in the outskirts of San José, Quito & Cuenca in order to develop educational charlas that help the communities improve quality of life.
  • Provide education in conjunction with existing local efforts in these communities in order to help without hurting
  • *Take an optional wilderness medicine course while backpacking in a private reserve in the Amazon cloud forest

Travel: Fly in to Quito, Ecuador (UIO) and out of Costa Rica (SJO)

Reserve your spot with $500 deposit

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1-5 Week Spanish Immersion for Adults Programs in Costa Rica:

1-Week Costa Rica Programs: 6/26/21 – 7/3/21| 7/3/21 – 7/10/21 | 7/10/21 – 7/17/21 | 7/17/21 – 7/24/21 | Feb ’22 dates TBD

2-Week Costa Rica Programs: 6/26/21 – 7/10/21| 7/3/21 – 7/17/21 | 7/10/21 – 7/24/21 | Feb ’22 dates TBD

3-Week Costa Rica Programs: 6/26/21 – 7/17/21| 7/3/21 – 7/24/21 | Feb ’22 dates TBD

4-Week Costa Rica Programs:  6/26/21 – 7/24/21 | Feb ’22 dates TBD

5-Week Costa Rica Programs: 6/26/21 – 7/31/21 | 7/3/21 – 8/7/21 | Feb ’22 dates TBD

6-Week Costa Rica Programs: 6/26/21 – 8/7/21 | Feb ’22 dates TBD

  • Fly in and out of San José (SJO)
  • Attend 1-6 weeks (Mon – Fri) of Spanish classes including travel Spanish and general Spanish focus
  • Visit various precarios in the outskirts of San José in order to develop educational charlas that help the communities improve quality of life.
  • Provide education in conjunction with existing local efforts in these communities in order to help without hurting
  • Working with children and their families on general health and hygiene practices

Travel: Fly in and out of Costa Rica (SJO)

Reserve your spot with $500 deposit

*The dates listed above are Saturday – Saturday dates. Official program start days are on Mondays, but we request that you arrive on the Saturday prior to the Monday start.

Adult Spanish Immersion costs and Inclusions…

A few video testimonials from recent travelers:

Adult Spanish Immersion classes in Costa RicaGeneral Program Itinerary: Each week will consist of:

    • Saturday is generally the day we ask you to arrive in country so that you can get settled in with your host family and have Sunday to get to know the town.
    • Tue – Fri mornings community outreach work
    • Mon – Fri afternoons (20 hours) Spanish instruction in small classes (2-6 students/class)
    • Planning and language preparation for service learning activities
    • Service Learning/Community service projects
  • Free weekends (+ Monday mornings) to travel and explore the country

Adult Spanish Immersion costs and Inclusions…

Thinking about traveling with your family? Check out our Family Spanish Immersion Programs in Costa Rica!

Spanish Immersion for Families

Adult Spanish Immersion Program FAQs

What happens in case of an emergency?

Our trip leaders will seek the attention of a health care worker and make decisions along with parent/guardians/emergency contacts back in the US. We will be in touch with parent/guardians/emergency contacts as soon as possible. We will also help the participant initiate the process for claims on the travel/medical insurance policy that was purchased.

What if I have a food allergy or dietary restriction?

Usually this is not an issue. We have several host families that can accommodate food allergies and dietary restrictions. Please let your trip coordinator know ahead of time so we can prepare for this accommodation.

What if my host family does not work out and I need to switch?

If there is an issue with your host family, trip leaders will be very involved and be able to make a quick switch to find a family that is a better match for you.

Will I have access to the internet?

Yes, while most families do NOT have Wi-Fi in their homes, you will be able to connect to Wi-Fi at the language school. There are also 2 Internet cafes in the center of town that you can use for a minimal price.

What type of preparation should I expect to do before going on this trip?

You will take an online pre-departure course that covers all the logistics, expectations and important details for traveling. And we will usually have 1 or 2 video meetings online so that you can meet the other participants, learn specific trip details and itineraries, start working in groups on your volunteer projects, and a number of other things.

What is the weather like in Costa Rica and Ecuador during our summer?

From about May/June through October/November it is rainy season. The sun may shine in the morning (and it will be humid), but it will certainly rain in the afternoon (but it’s usually not a cold rain). December through April is dry season. It will be sunny, humid, and may rain here and there.

What time zone is Costa Rica and Ecuador in?

October – March Costa Rica is on Central Time, and Ecuador is on Eastern Time. April – September Costa Rica is on Mountain Time and Ecuador is on Central Time.

How safe are Costa Rica and Ecuador?

This is actually the #1 reason we chose to have our Spanish Immersion Programs based in these two countries. While Costa Rica has a long history of peacefulness and political stability, Ecuador has been exceeding the international community’s expectations for friendliness and safety. Tourism is a very large portion of both countries’ economies, which means that in general tourists are treated very well.

Where do we stay?

The time you spend in Ecuador will be in the Cuenca and Quito areas. Quito is the bustling and modern capital city, while Cuenca is colonial and quaint. In Costa Rica we are in a town called Santo Domingo de Heredia. This town is about 20 minutes N of the capital city San Jose. The language school where you will walk to every morning is about 600m S of the downtown area on the main road.

What are the host family homes like?

You will be staying in a middle-class home setting. You can expect the home and your bedroom to be small. Your bed probably won’t be as comfortable as your bed is here in the US. Most homes have tile floors, no carpet. Most families do not have dish washers nor clothes driers. You may be given a couple different keys for the home: one for the exterior gate off the street, and another for the actual doors to the house.

Will my host family speak English?

Your host families may speak a little English, particularly if they have school aged children. However, we encourage them to not speak English with you. The best way for you to continue learning Spanish is to have to use it!

Will I have another student from the trip in the same family with me?

In Ecuador, probably. In Costa Rica, no – that’s not likely. We specifically limit the number of students in the host family. This increases your opportunities to speak Spanish. If you’re traveling with your spouse for some or all of the time, we will place you in the same family.

How are host families chosen on this Spanish immersion for adults?

Having a student is a significant boost to our host families’ incomes.  Because there are more families requesting students in the town than we have need for, we are selective in who we employ to host you. The host families that our students stay with are screened for various things:

  • Criminal and/or questionable social activity
  • Suitability of the living quarters that you will occupy
  • General “likeability” and friendliness
  • Availability of a family member at the home during the hours you are scheduled to be there
  • Proximity to the language school

Will I be able to go to church?

Certainly, there aren’t a ton of different faith options in town, but you can always find a nice Catholic church in the middle of town with several service times throughout the week, an evangelical church close to the town center center and several other faith worship options in nearby towns.

Will I be able to shower every day?

Yes, you will be able to shower every day. There is no guarantee that your shower will have warm water, but you’ll certainly have access to a shower.

Is the water safe to drink?

In Costa Rica, yes. You can drink water from the tap almost anywhere in Costa Rica. In Ecuador, no. You’ll want to drink filtered or bottled water everywhere in Ecuador.

Do you have payment plans?

Absolutely. Most of the time the program cost is spread out over 3 payments. If you need other specific arrangements, we can probably be flexible with you. If you’d like to make just one payment, that’s fine too. Acceptable forms of payment are Visa, Master, Discover, Check and Cash.

Will I receive a packing list for my Spanish Immersion for Adults Program?

Yes. Shortly after your register, you will receive access to an in-depth pre-departure preparation course. In this course you’ll find all you need to know about clothes, personal items, donations, and other miscellaneous items to pack.

How long does it take for a passport?

Typically 60 – 90 days. If you have any questions about how to get a passport for your Spanish immersion for adults program, you can find information online at

Do cell phones work in Central and South America?

In general, yes. This depends on your service provider and your specific phone, so check with your service provider first. If your specific phone isn’t capable, most service providers have world phone rental options. You can purchase calling cards when you arrive to Costa Rica. We also recommend Skype, What’sApp, and Facetime for staying in touch back home.

Will we have the opportunity to exchange money?

Absolutely. Of course it’s always a good idea to have a little local cash on you (Colones for Costa Rican or Dollars for Ecuador), but honestly you don’t need much right away when traveling with a Common Ground group. After you get settled into your host family, we’ll make sure you have the opportunity to exchange $US right away. We do not recommend exchanging you money at the airport as they generally have unfavorable exchange rates. Credit & Debit cards are accepted throughout both countries, and ATM machines are more and more common every year. The ATM is convenient, and usually provides a good exchange rate. It is important to notify your bank that you will be traveling abroad, and you’ll probably want to inquire about any foreign transaction and/or currency fees.

Who are Common Ground’s guides and drivers?

Unless we’re doing something especially touristy, Common Ground staff will be your “guide” during the bulk of your adult Spanish immersion program. We contract with a few different local transportation companies to get our group around to different sites, so we don’t always have the same driver, but they always know the roads well, take safety seriously, and will greet you with a smile.

What is the proposed tip amount for guide and driver?

A good rule of thumb is $2-$3/day that our driver is shuttling you around, and $3-$5/day that a guide is leading you. They work very hard for you, and we take great pleasure in thanking them generously at the end of our programs.

What if my family, spouse or partner wants to join me for part of the Spanish immersion for adults program?

Many spouses, fiancées, friends and other family members join our groups for a portion of the program. We’re happy to arrange this for you with both your host family, and any private hotel accommodations that you require while on vacation portions of the program. If this is something you’re considering, we just ask that you let us know early on so that we can make appropriate arrangements for you. This is not a last minute decision that you can make, it does require special arrangements, so we ask that you notify us at the time you submit your application.

How much extra spending money should I plan on bringing?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to not budget enough money for additional expenses. The challenge is that this is a question that depends heavily on your tastes and the specifics of the program you’re applying for. To give you an idea of the typical expenses you may be responsible for: a normal lunch will usually run $5.00-$7.00; dinner runs $7.00 – $15.00. Optional excursions are something you should also plan for, but each program is very different. These excursions really add some amazing experiences to your Spanish Immersion Program. Tips excluded (see tips FAQ question).

If you were to not include any additional excursions, and live as frugally as possible for the time you’re there, you should plan on $150 for a 2 week program and $300 for the 4 week program. The best approach however, is to take a look at the specific itinerary for your program that highlights the expenses you’re responsible for, and begin planning your additional expenses accordingly.

Do I need any special immunizations or take any other preventative measures?

Of course you need to be current on your standard immunizations. Additionally, when traveling anywhere in Central America there is also a risk of Zika, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, and Hepatitis A and B. We suggest you consult both the CDC website and your primary care physician to prepare for your Spanish Immersion Program.

By the way, whether you select our programs or not, if you’re going to go on a Spanish immersion program, you’ll want to make sure you have a copy of the High School Spanish App – it’s the best tool for studying Spanish out there & it doesn’t require an internet connection!

Register Today!

7 responses to “Spanish Immersion for Adults in Costa Rica & Ecuador

Kevin Rencher

My family wants to learn Spanish in equacdor. June 22-july19, 2021.

Leslie Foster
Leslie Foster

Hi Kevin, thanks for your message. We are not offering our Ecuador trip this summer. But we are hopeful for summer 2022. This summer all our programs in Costa Rica are being offered. Here is information about those:

maryame harkani

i’m just 16 years old , can i join by myself?

Rory Foster
Rory Foster

Yes Maryame – welcome!

Carol Mangold

Is it possible to start on Feb. 2nd or Feb. 9th for two or three weeks or is the entire spring session based on a Jan 26th start date? If the program is structured so that a Jan 26th date is required, would it be possible to arrive on Sunday, the 27th? Arrival on the 26th would present a problem for me.

Rory Foster
Rory Foster

Hi Carol, great to hear from you… happy new year! Yes we have consolidated the winter program to the January 26 start date. That said, if you’re able to arrive the 27th or 28th, that will be very easy to integrate you into the start of the program. I’ll send you an email with an update. Rory

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