Common Ground International Impacts Communities Through Language - Learn Spanish - Learn English - Spanish Immersion Trips - Translation

Teacher Immersion Trip

Rated 4.96 out of 5 based on 26 customer ratings
(26 customer reviews)

Make your program deposit and subsequent payments for the upcoming Spanish Immersion. The $800 deposit* is the minimum to reserve your spot on an immersion trip. If you would like to pay more than the minimum $800 with this payment, please just adjust the quantity to add more to the payment. After you make a deposit, you may use this same page to enter specific payment amounts by selecting the Remaining Balance Payment*.

***Due to the current political situation in Nicaragua, all 2019 Nicaragua programs have been cancelled and transferred to Costa Rica. We hope to re-open Nicaragua programs in 2020.

Program dates are as follows:

2019 Program Dates:

  • Summer dates: June 29 – August 10, 2019

*As detailed in the terms and conditions, program payments are non-refundable. A portion of your payment may be transferable to a future program. Please contact CGI program leaders ASAP if you anticipate a change in your travel plans to discuss your options.

Summer ’19 Dates

You choose your dates between June 29 – August 10, 2019

What is the registration & trip preparation process like? There are a handful of steps that start with payment today to reserve your spot on the upcoming trip:

Step 1: Reserve your spot by making payment here on this page

Step 2: Fill out your travel registration (Contact information, passport details, emergency contact, program goals, etc). We’ll send you the link.

Step 3: Find flights into SJO (Airport in San José, Costa Rica).

Step 4: Start your pre-departure course to get ready for your trip!

Step 5: Work with your travel team to prepare your outreach projects

 

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SKU: EduImmersion

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26 reviews for Teacher Immersion Trip

Rachel Martin
Rated 5 out of 5

CGI gave me a wonderful opportunity to improve my Spanish. As a Spanish teacher, I was also looking for ideas to help my students in the classroom and I came away with some great ideas. I was also able to improve my Spanish and my confidence in speaking with native speakers. The Fosters were always there if I needed help and they made sure that I felt comfortable. I really enjoyed the opportunity to help out in the community through the camps we held and the work that we did. I also got to experience the Costa Rican educational system. I can now show my students how the educational systems are alike and different. I really enjoyed the trips that we could take on the weekends. They were always well planned and the information was communicated in a timely manner. I really enjoyed this program and I hope that I can return to continue my education.

Kelsey Ouellette
Rated 5 out of 5

Best immersion experience by far! The support from the leaders, community service opportunities, Spanish classes, living with a wonderful host family, and dedication of the other immersion participants to speak Spanish was all amazing. My Spanish has never improved so much so fast. There is also plenty of time on the weekends to plan trips to experience Costa Rica's beauty!

pschlaff
Rated 5 out of 5

Common Ground International's Spanish Immersion Program for Teachers was exactly what I was looking for. As a Spanish teacher, I wanted a program that would help me to practice and improve my Spanish but also meet my needs of someone with significant experience in the language. The language school was tailored to my needs, and my class surpassed my expectations. My class was discussion-based and our professor was top-notch. It was one of the best classroom language learning experiences I've had.

The other unique aspect of this program that set it apart from other immersion programs was the opportunity to participate in community projects as a volunteer. I was impressed the respect and humility with which Rory and Leslie worked with local organizations and institutions. As volunteers, we led a day camp at a facility for adults with disabilities and worked as teacher aids in a local school. We were there not only as volunteers but also—and perhaps more importantly—as open-minded observers and learners, learning from the Costa Rican teachers, leaders and students that we had the privilege to meet.

Arriving in Costa Rica, I was most nervous about my homestay. I should not have worried. My host was amazing—going out of her way to meet my needs, including me in her daily life, taking me to the gym with her, helping me with small problems (like finding a replacement charger for the one I left in the airport), traveling with me on days off... I feel like I've made a new friend and expect that we will continue to stay in contact.

Lastly, Costa Rica is amazingly wild and beautiful and for a tiny country there is so much to explore.

The most I can say about this program is that I would love to return and be a Common Ground International student in the future. I feel like I've grown as a person and as a Spanish speaker, and I'd like to continue the experience.

Shannon Nail
Rated 5 out of 5

Great program! Learned some Spanish, met some cool people, and got to travel and see many beautiful places in Costa Rica!

Erin Allman
Rated 5 out of 5

This program deserves 5 stars from start to finish! This is truly a family-run operation, beginning with the lovely Foster family of 5 and extending to all of their partnering organizations in Costa Rica. I was impressed by the quality of the preparation leading up to the trip and knew exactly what to expect when I landed in Costa Rica. The language school definitely challenged me and helped me gain some much needed confidence in my speaking ability. Last but not least, I appreciated CGI's thoughtful and responsible approach to sustainable volunteer work. I would not hesitate to recommend this experience!!!

Tammy Luce
Rated 5 out of 5

Wow! CGI was everything I hoped for in a program and more. Granada was amazing, my host family was very welcoming, and the classes were exactly what I needed. Rory and Leslie were wonderful and made sure that everything ran smoothly the entire time. The volunteer programs were a great way to learn more about the area and make a difference while working on Spanish skills. I only did the Nicaragua Budget Traveler program, but I have so much more confidence in my Spanish after just that short amount of time. I would highly recommend the program to anyone!

Rachelle Boujoulian
Rated 5 out of 5

I highly recommend the teacher immersion program. The longer you can attend the better! I went to Costa Rica with very little Spanish. I had no class experience prior to attending. I could only stay for 2 weeks but within that time I leaned a lot more than I expected. My professor was great and highly qualified. He was not only patient and engaging but had the experience to teach Spanish as a second language. The cultural experience alone makes it worth going. I was a little nervous about staying with a host family but it was amazing! They were very hospitable and the accommodations were nice.

Carly Woolman
Rated 5 out of 5

My experience with Common Ground International was amazing! I truly feel like it was a life changing experience. I was looking for a serious and rigorous program that would allow me to really improve my Spanish. Not only did my Spanish improve in leaps and bounds, but I grew both as an educator and as a person. That was an expected, but appreciated realization. Leslie and Rory are wonderful at what they do. They have managed to put together a program that is organized, thoughtful, challenging and meaningful. As coordinators they worked around the clock to ensure that all participants were comfortable, having fun and most important progressing in their Spanish. I feel grateful for the opportunity to work with them and experience this remarkable immersion trip.

Emily Parkinson
Rated 5 out of 5

I had an amazing experience this summer in Nicaragua and Costa Rica with Common Ground International. Months ago when I was browsing international summer programs and came across CGI through a Google search, Leslie took the time to speak with me on the phone and answer all of my questions. I could tell that this program was extremely well organized, personalized to individual needs, and well supported for a range of Spanish learners. My experience in Nicaragua and Costa Rica far exceeded my expectations. Rory and Leslie are a dynamic duo who worked tirelessly to ensure a successful immersion program for their participants, from partnering with incredible community organizations, to ensuring effective Spanish classes, to supporting us as we navigated different cultures. Now that the program has ended, I have ongoing relationships with my host families in Central America, my Spanish is better than it has ever been, and I have cultural experiences under my belt that will help me become a more culturally responsive educator. Every aspect of a successful immersion program was present in this experience and I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to participate!

Merrisa Moccia
Rated 5 out of 5

This program is great for building Spanish skills and learning about the educational systems in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. I spent one week in Nicaragua and two weeks in Costa Rica. I enjoyed the excursions, the volunteering, and the classes very much. The various outings and volunteer experiences give many excellent opportunities for practice and application of vocabulary and concepts from classes. I'd love to have the opportunity to do it again.

Emily Cohen
Rated 5 out of 5

My experience with Common aground International was nothing short of incredible, from the minute I called just to inquire through the program itself. Rory and Leslie do a great job of supporting the participants and encouraging learning and growth. I chose the program that spent one week in Nicaragua and two weeks in Costa Rica. I came home with a new lens to see the world through, as well as a feeling of empowerment being able to speak a new language. The classes were rich and focused and the volunteer experience showed me the culture my students come from. I am so excited to use what I've learned to enrich my classroom.

Julia Sudlow
Rated 5 out of 5

I can't speak highly enough about this program! I took part in the educator program with 2 weeks in Nicaragua and 1 week in Costa Rica. Rory and Leslie felt like family and the other trip participants were amazing! Information is clearly communicated in a timely manner and Leslie and Rory were extremely helpful whenever I needed something. The weekend excursions they planned were perfect and they did an excellent job making sure verbal and written information was accessible for all levels of Spanish speakers. In Nicaragua we (teachers) spent time with the medical team and adult program participants. In Costa Rica we were more separated. Service projects in the morning took place with similar program participants and Spanish classes were with similar ability levels and teachers / medical participants remained separated for the most part as well to allow for specific Spanish vocabulary building. Nicaragua was extremely hot and humid, so if that isn't your cup of tea, Costa Rica was perfectly hospitable with weather more comparable to the U.S. If you are up for an adventure I would recommend spending two weeks in each country to allow for the full experience and time for weekend excursions. Both countries have school vacations during the program, so the only time spent in a school is the last 3 weeks in Costa Rica. This program is well worth the cost! Thank you so much, Rory and Leslie :)

Amy Holt
Rated 5 out of 5

I am so thankful for the wonderful experience I had through Commonground International this summer. Leslie and Rory covered every detail from wonderful host families, valuable volunteer experiences, fun excursions, and challenging Spanish instruction. I enjoyed every minute of my time in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. I highly recommend this program. My only regret is that I could not stay longer. My goal was to improve my Spanish skills so that I can better communicate with my Spanish speaking students and families. I met that goal and more. My Spanish has a long way to go, but I have gained confidence and skills that will help me as I continue my studies. Thank you Leslie and Rory for making my trip so memorable!

Matthew Smith
Rated 5 out of 5

I had an amazing two weeks in Granada with Common Ground! I wish I could have stayed much longer! Rory and Leslie were super helpful, the host family was awesome and I learned a ton in my classes. I definitely feel like this trip will help me to be a better teacher and communicate more effectively with my students and their parents. I would recommend Common Ground International to anyone.

John Price
Rated 5 out of 5

I wanted to learn more and I did: vocabulary, grammar, history, and culture. I wanted to speak more and DID, I'd say at least 90% of the time. I wanted to know where I stood as far as fluency was concerned, and discovered(what I might've feared a bit) I've got a lot more time to put in haha. I want to come back for Costa Rica!

I wanted to get outside of my comfort zone. Mission accomplished and it was a highly memorable and intrinsic experience. I just wish I'd been able to stay a little longer

Leslie's an angel and Roy's a machine! They are so good about trying to get everybody involved and helping them to get the most out of the experience. I never once felt pressured, scrutinized, neglected, or discouraged by them.

Emily Wauford
Rated 5 out of 5

This experience was so amazing. The Fosters and Saphire were there every step of the way to help us out, from the moment you start thinking about Common Ground, to pre-departure, to the trip, to after the trip. They are just wonderful, supportive, fun, kind individuals, and they're very good at what they do. I had private Spanish classes every week, great community service opportunities, and an amazing host family. My goal going into the program was to pass the ACTFL test at an Advanced Level. I had never gotten that score before, and thanks to my trip with Common Ground, I passed! Great people, great trip.

Brenda Barnhart
Rated 4 out of 5

I had a wonderful two weeks in Santo Domingo de Heredia with the Fosters. I had one-on-one Spanish classes every day at the Lapa Verde language school and volunteered with local students. While it was difficult to communicate with my very basic Spanish skills, I made friends and was able to feel completely at home with my host family. The program is extremely well organized and I felt well prepared and taken care of the entire time I was in Costa Rica. I would recommend the program to any educator who wants to be immersed in the Spanish language and the welcoming Costa Rican culture. Pura Vida!

Nina Gribetz
Rated 5 out of 5

My three weeks in Costa Rica with CGI were incredible. I loved everything about my experience; from our volunteer days at Palenque (the school), to my amazing host family to my daily Spanish classes, to the morning group runs, to the weekend trips. It has been a year since I left San Isidro and I still think about the experience all the time.

Leslie and Rory make everyone feel like they are part of the Foster family. They help you organize weekend trips, check in with you each day, making sure your classes and homestays are going well. We all came with a common goal of learning Spanish in order to become better educators in our own schools and Leslie and Rory continuously supported us in reaching that goal.

I would recommend Common Ground to anyone! You will meet the most amazing people, learn lots of Spanish and just grow as a person!

Shira Korn
Rated 5 out of 5

I cannot even begin to express how wonderful these programs are. Leslie and Rory are the kindest, most supportive, and encouraging family/program en el mundo and could not be better facilitators of a language immersion program. They set me up for success in every way, from my classes to my homestay, helped me problem solve whenever necessary (in Spanish to boot) and truly welcomed me as part of their family (which is surprisingly necessary in an immersion situation). I essentially learned conversational Spanish in only 6 weeks, a feat that would not have been possible without the unique blend of personalities, structure, and general outlook on immersion that encompass the Common Ground International Programs. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to study with them and would/have recommend(ed) them to everybody!

Samantha Greenleaf
Rated 5 out of 5

I can't say enough wonderful things about Common Ground and the Foster familia. CGI was everything I was hoping for in an immersion program and more! The Spanish classes were intimate and the professors were wonderful. CGI is very intentional about being inclusive with all of their excursions and activities, so you always have fun, cultural, and safe adventures around the corner, but there was flexibility and freedom to explore Costa Rica however you please. My host family was incredibly welcoming, thoughtful, and helpful with my Spanish and getting to know the community. I was amazed at how quickly I learned and used Spanish and how quickly I felt at home in beautiful Costa Rica. Further, the Fosters' intentionality in being a part of the San Isidro community and schools is admirable, and adds to the integrity of the program and the rich cultural experience CGI provides.

From the classes, to excursions, to home stays, to being in the community, I felt a part of the family immediately. My only complaint is that I couldn't stay longer!!! Pure vida!

Katie Delvaux
Rated 5 out of 5

Common Ground International is an incredible organization run by the most amazing people. Leslie and Rory, and everyone I met while in Costa Rica, were so welcoming, helpful, and encouraging. I went to Costa Rica with the goal of learning more Spanish so that I could communicate with the parents of my second grade students. Spending three weeks there with CGI, fully immersed in Spanish, gave me the skills, vocabulary, and confidence to initiate and hold conversations in Spanish with my students' parents. Leslie and Rory provided so much guidance and superb coaching. I absolutely recommend CGI for anyone who wants to improve their Spanish and immerse themselves in the Costa Rican culture. I am forever grateful to Leslie and Rory and everyone involved with CGI.

Lesley Sylvester
Rated 5 out of 5

CGI is fantastic!! It is a family run program and Rory and Leslie truly adopt each participant as one of their own. I recommend this program for any educators who want to experience an authentic Costa Rican lifestyle: improve (or learn) their Spanish, eat local Costa Rican food, take dance classes, and travel throughout Costa Rica. It was all I expected and more! Thank you Leslie and Rory.

Lisa Kropp
Rated 5 out of 5

CommonGround International is a fabulous organization. They are hands-on, professional and extremely supportive in all aspects of the exchange. They made me feel prepared, welcome and supported the whole time I was there. The living arrangements were extraordinary, the language school was amazing and intense and the service opportunities were soooooo rewarding! I am so glad that when I was searching for an immersion program I decided on this one.

Susan Kind
Rated 5 out of 5

I had long dreamed of enrolling in a Spanish immersion program. It was only when I took that first step of sending an email to CommonGround International did that dream become a reality. Leslie made sure I had every detail of my trip well before I left. I especially appreciated the online webinars where I was able to meet Leslie and some of the other participants through video chats. My experience was amazing. The family I stayed with was so welcoming, I loved getting to know them. San Isidro de Heredia was beautiful and I quickly became comfortable getting around on foot or bus. ELEC provided Spanish lessons targeted to the needs of teachers and all of the instructors were patient and caring. We were given wonderful opportunities to learn about the culture of Costa Rica and even had a cooking class! When we found out we would be teaching a class in Spanish to students at la escuela Palenque I was so nervous, but it turned out to be one of the most memorable parts of the program! The weekend excursions provided a chance to explore beautiful Costa Rica, practice our Spanish, and build friendships. I would recommend this to anyone who has ever considered a Spanish Immersion program.

Mary Tuchscherer
Rated 5 out of 5

What makes an amazing immersion program? Great coaches!
Common Ground International's leaders, Leslie and Rory Foster, coached and guided our educators' teams towards success this summer in San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica.
As we teachers prepared lessons and taught classes at Palenque School, they shared knowledge and expertise and encouraged learning, personal growth and teamwork all at the same time!!
* Our daily goals were clearly defined
* We were given opportunities to travel on long weekends and build life-long friendships.
*We were continually challenged to leave our comfort zones; but always in a supportive environment.
* The attitudes of our great leaders in country, our teachers and administrators at La Escuela de Lenguas y Experiencias Culturales, our amazing host families...they were all supportive, enthusiastic and positive. These combined marvelous, attitudes were predictors of the attitude and altitude of the "TEAM". We aimed high and we would all agree, "Common Ground International knocked this summer experience out of the ballpark!" Yay, TEAM!! PURA VIDA

Lisa Lowrance
Rated 5 out of 5

The teacher immersion trip was extremely valuable to me. I had the opportunity to sharpen my language skills through immersion, gather knowledge to bring back to the classroom and network with other educators. I hope to return!

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