High School Spanish Immersion Programs in Costa Rica & Ecuador | Amazing Summer Student Travel Programs
Manuel Antonio & Santo Domingo
Manuel Antonio, Santo Domingo, La Fortuna & Chocolate Farm
Quito & Amazon
Registration for summer 2022 is OPEN and filling!
Best Summer Spanish Immersion Student Travel for Teens: Students and Parents Love our High School Spanish Immersion Programs!
High & Middle School Immersion Trip
- 12-day Spanish Immersion & Backpacking Adventure in Ecuador: June 11- 22, 2022 Program Full
- 2-week Beach & Volcano Spanish Immersion Program in Costa Rica: June 23 – July 7, 2022
- 3-week Adventure Spanish Immersion Program in Costa Rica: June 23- July 14, 2022
- 4-week Adventure Spanish Immersion Program in Costa Rica: June 23 – July 21, 2022
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!
- The personal development and independence that students gain is invaluable!
- Program leaders are onsite with participants 24/7 leading, guiding, debriefing this increible culture experience!
- Get prepared before you depart in our online, 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: (2022 Program FULL- Get on list for 2023 program)
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. 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. This program requires you to be in good physical shape. Previous experience hiking is recommended.
There are two portions of this Ecuador student travel program:
- Spanish Classes and Cultural Immersion –> Spanish classes, cultural activities, host family living.
- Amazon and Science Backpacking Adventure –> Guided, professional hiking 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:
Costa Rica and Ecuador Student Travel Program Itineraries
Ecuador Summer Program Itinerary:
Check out this preliminary itinerary in order to get an idea of what you will be doing:
|Summer Spanish Immersion Student Travel Activity|
|Day 1||Arrival day:|
|Days 2-6||Spanish Classes & Cultural Immersion: Spanish classes, cultural activities and host family living. Typical day during this portion is:|
|Days 7-11||Amazon & Science Backpacking Adventure:|
|Day 12||Return 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 1||Arrival day:|
|Days 2-4||Pacific Beach & National Park Excursion:|
|Days 5-11||Spanish & Cultural Immersion week –> Spanish classes, volunteer work, host family living. Typical day during this portion is:|
|Days 12-14||Volcano Adventure Excursion:|
|Day 15||2 week students depart Costa Rica 3 & 4 week students return to Immersion homebase & host families|
|Days 16 – 21||Spanish & Cultural Immersion Week –> Spanish classes, volunteer work, host family living.|
|Weekend with host family||Spend weekend with host family as they show you their favorite sights, food, and activities|
|Day 22||3 week students depart Costa Rica4 week students optional day excursion OR Host family day|
|Days 23-27||Bean to Bar | Rural Chocolate Farm Experience: Live on a 4th generation organic chocolate farm and learn the art of processing chocolate in SPANISH|
|Day 28||4 week students depart Costa Rica|
*Costa Rica Spanish Immersion Student Travel Program offers the longest immersion program options
Registration deadline is April 1st or when full! 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…
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:
Listen to what a few of our participants have had to say in the videos below!
Experience the 4 week trip in 30 sec. a day
Trip leader, Julia captures the participant experience!
Lessons Learned on Immersion:
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.
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.