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Spanish Immersion for Adults in Costa Rica & Ecuador

Spanish Immersion for Adults
5.00 out of 5 based on 14 customer ratings

Everyone knows that immersion is the best way to learn Spanish.

So you are left with 2 questions:

  1. What is the most effective way to do immersion?

  2. And who is a partner I can trust?

I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with our Spanish immersion for Adults courses abroad!

–Rory Foster, Immersion Director

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Ecuador Spanish Immersion
Newest Program
Spanish Immersion programs in Ecuador
In Otavalo, Ecuador

1-3 weeks in length

June 11, 2022
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 (pending interest)
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

January 29, 2022 & June 25, 2022
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. Complete the form below 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 personal and/or professional purposes. What are the primary components of our program?

Small Group Conversational Spanish classes

Daily Spanish immersion classes with native Spanish speakers. Classes are 4hrs/day in the afternoons. You’re placed in a class at your level.

Lodging 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

There are several target communities we have long-standing relationships with. We support them with identified needs. Usually these are educational / workshop projects that give knowledge and skills to improve quality of life.

Weekend Adventures

Saturday through Monday mornings we have time off to explore the countries we visit! You can do this on your own or with the CGI group. We speak Spanish on these excursions and help you capture teachable moments as they pop up.

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!

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

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 for educators programs – so you rub shoulders with other professionals as well while you’re on immersion.

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 family business 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!

We offer the best language and cultural outcomes

The primary difference with our adult Spanish immersion programs is that we weave 4 Spanish language components into your everyday experience. In other words, you learn 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
  • You have the option to deliver educational workshops on volunteer projects in order to serve communities with identified needs

This adult Spanish immersion and 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 local 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
Spanish Host Family Immersion in Costa Rica

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 recommend 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
Adult 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
Adult Spanish Immersion with Community Service

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!

Weekend Adventures
Spanish Immersion for Adults in Costa Rica

Work hard Monday through Friday on your Spanish and take a break on the weekends! We put together group travel options for you on the weekends that you can join, or you can venture off on your own.

When we explore with the group, we commit to speaking Spanish on the weekend as well to keep the immersion alive.

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:

Adult Spanish Immersion travel insurance

Brief Intro & Types of Adult Spanish Immersion Travelers:

Spanish Immersion for Adults
5.00 out of 5 based on 14 customer ratings

Thoughts from recent Adult Spanish Immersion Travelers

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

My 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

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

The 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

What can you expect on this Adult Spanish immersion trip?

Out of class learning
Amazing 3-day weekend getaways to the beach
Interesting cultural & historical sites
Meaningful and sustainable community service work
Spanish Immersion Trip for Adults
…and to the rainforests
You meet the coolest people ever
Summer volcano and Spanish immersion for teens
1-2 Week Spanish Immersion in Ecuador

1 Week Programs in June ’22: 6/11/22-6/18/22, 6/18/22 – 6/25/22

2 Week Programs in June ’22: 6/11/22 – 6/25/22

Fly in and out of Quito (UIO). It’s a short drive (that we coordinate) up to Otavalo after that.
Stay with a local host family and experience Ecuador from the eyes of your local family.
Attend 20hrs Spanish classes each week (Mon – Fri)
Develop educational charlas or talleres in Spanish to help underserved communities improve their quality of life
Reserve your spot today to join us!
3-6 Week Combo Spanish Immersion Programs in Ecuador and Costa Rica

3-week Ecuador & Costa Rica Immersion Program:  6/11/22 – 7/2/22, 6/18/22 – 7/9/22

4-week Ecuador & Costa Rica Immersion Programs:  6/11/22 – 7/9/22, 6/18/22 – 7/16/22

5-week Ecuador & Costa Rica Immersion Programs: 6/11/22 – 7/16/22, 6/18/22 – 7/23/22

6-week Ecuador & Costa Rica Immersion Programs: 6/11/22 – 7/23/22

Experience 2 countries in 1 trip!
Fly in to Quito (UIO) and out of San Jose (SJO)
Attend 20hrs of conversational Spanish classes each week (Mon – Fri)
Develop educational charlas or talleres in Spanish to help underserved communities improve their quality of life
Stay with a local host families in each country to experience Costa Rican and Ecuadorian
Reserve your spot today to join us!
Pura Vida Spanish Immersion Programs are immersions in Costa Rica
1-5 Week Spanish Immersion Programs in Costa Rica:

1-Week Costa Rica Programs: 1/29/22 – 2/5/22 | 6/25/22 – 7/2/22, 7/2/22 – 7/9/22

2-Week Costa Rica Programs: 1/29/22 – 2/12/22 | 6/25/22 – 7/9/22, 7/2/22 – 7/16/22

3-Week Costa Rica Programs: 1/29/22 – 2/19/22 | 6/25/22 – 7/16/22, 7/2/22 – 7/23/22

4-Week Costa Rica Programs: 1/29/22 – 2/26/22 | 6/25/22 – 7/23/22, 7/2/22 – 7/30/22

5-Week Costa Rica Programs: 1/29/22 – 3/5/22 | 6/25/22 – 7/30/22, 7/2/22 – 8/6/22

6-Week Costa Rica Programs: 1/29/22 – 3/12/22 | 6/25/22 – 8/6/22

Fly in and out of San Jose (SJO)
Stay with a local host family
Attend 20hrs of conversational Spanish classes each week (Mon – Fri)
Develop educational charlas or talleres in Spanish to help underserved communities improve their quality of life
Work with children on educational projects to support learning
Reserve your spot today to join us!

A few video testimonials from recent travelers:

General Program Itinerary:

Return from Optional ExcursionVolunteer orientationVolunteer prepVolunteer workVolunteer work
1/2 day excursion
Optional ExcursionOptional Excursion
Spanish classes 1-5pSpanish classes 1-5pSpanish classes 1-5pSpanish classes 1-5pSpanish classes 1-5p

First Saturday

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 before your program starts on Monday.

Mon – Fri afternoons

Small group Spanish classes from 1-5pm

Tue – Fri mornings

These are the days we dedicate to community outreach work


Take time to explore the country! We put together a weekend trip every weekend. You are free to join us, stay with your host family, or DIY a weekend excursion!

Adult Spanish Immersion Trip in Costa Rica

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

Family Spanish Immersion Program slider

Any question?

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?

SWhat if I have a food allergy or 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!

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


In the event that the host family situation does not work out, is it an option to be moved to a hotel?

Also, I would be traveling with the adult or teacher program but may possibly take my daughter who is 14. How or what would the accommodations be for the both of us?

Leslie Foster
Leslie Foster

Hola Julie! Thanks for your comment and I will be responding to your other email shortly! Here are some answers to your questions…
1- Yes, it is an option.
2- Great! There is an option for you and your daughter to share a host family. You would each most likely have your own bedroom, and share a bathroom.

Monica Ionis

HI Rory,
I am interested in joining the Adult Immersion trip in June. Is it possible to have one of my high school aged kids join me? They are both learning Spanish. Could we still stay with a host family together?

Rory Foster
Rory Foster

Hey Monica, sorry for the delay in responding… yes it’s absolutely possible for your high schooler to join you on program and in the same host family – and it would be tons of fun!

Desiree Navarro
Desiree Navarro

Is there an option of staying in a hotel rather than with a host family in the Costa Rica program?

Rory Foster
Rory Foster

Yes Desiree, there is that option! You miss a lot of conversational opportunities, but if you feel strongly about it we’ll be glad to support your decision and get you set up in a local hotel. Email me if you want to set up a time to chat.


Hi there

If I wanted to go to the Costa Rica program for 6 weeks, will every week look the same as the last one or will I be taught different things in class so I am advancing my Spanish over the 6 week period? Will I be placed in a specific class with others at my same level? Will we be going on the same excursions every week since there may be new students arriving each week or because I’m there for 6 weeks, there will be different opportunities to explore the country? That’s all the questions I can think of right now. Thank you so much.

Rory Foster
Rory Foster

Great questions Chris! Here are some quick answers for you:

  • You’re definitely in a class of peers at your level and learning new things each week advancing sequentially (and exponentially) with your Spanish
  • The excursions are different every week, so you’ll experience new places every weekend 🙂

We’d love the chance to travel with you, Chris! Let me know if you can think of any other questions. Cheers, Rory.

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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