Who We Are
The Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA) is a private institution specializing in Spanish language instruction. Since 1989, more than 15,000 students from all over the world have studied at CRLA.
We believe that to effectively learn and speak a foreign language, it is important to have an understanding of the culture where it is spoken. CRLA goes beyond the textbook by including cultural activities and educational trips to create a more well-rounded understanding of the Costa Rican culture and the Spanish language.
CRLA is one of the few schools in Costa Rica completely owned and staffed by Costa Ricans, therefore ensuring a genuine cultural experience. Our immersion programs provide students with the opportunity to experience the language and culture of Costa Rica first-hand.
Our Six-Fold Mission
To offer high quality and effective Spanish language instruction through dynamic teaching methods, developed by our professional team.
To provide students with a total immersion program so that they are exposed to an authentic Costa Rican cultural experience.
To center our courses around students and their individual language goals and needs providing an intimate class size and a variety of programs and schedules.
To have knowledgeable staff dedicated exclusively to the well-being of each student while living and traveling in Costa Rica.
To create an environment where the student will feel constantly encouraged to practice their language skills. In our home-like atmosphere students will also have the opportunity to make long lasting friendships with Costa Ricans as well as with students from many countries.
To lend a hand to the local community by providing a livelihood to Costa Rican families as well as by coordinating volunteer work in social and ecological projects.
CRLA also makes regular donations to various local community organizations.
To accommodate individual needs and offer students more flexibility we have a wide variety of programs and schedules.
The school has a permanent teaching staff of 25 native Spanish-speaking instructors. During the high season our staff increases to 35 teachers in order to ensure small groups and personalized attention.
Our teaching staff is accredited with the Costa Rican Department of Education holding university degrees in Spanish, Education, Linguistics or Philology, from either the University of Costa Rica or the Universidad Nacional (the two most prestigious universities in the country).
To meet some of our teachers, click here.
Administrative Staff & Support Staff
Cristina Soto and Laura Cordero, co-owners and Directors of CRLA, along with their professional team, are fully committed to meeting and exceeding the needs and expectations of our students.
Each member of our staff is devoted to the success of your trip, making sure you:
Ö Learn Spanish
Ö Enjoy our culture and country
Ö Return home safely
From the moment you first contact CRLA we will take care of everything.
“It is our sincere goal to give our students
in every moment the highest level of service, personal attention and professionalism.
We are committed to make your stay at CRLA a memorable learning experience.
A professional Costa Rican administrative staff, knowledgeable instructors, well designed Spanish programs, carefully selected host families, the excellent location of our modern facilities, stimulating extra curricular activities – all contribute to the best environment to learn the language and enjoy the country.”
Laura Cordero & Cristina Soto
“At any moment, while you are deciding, once you enroll, before you arrive; contact us and you will receive prompt answers and reliable and useful information.
I understand that planning to learn a new language and live in a foreign country can be daunting, so please feel free to ask as many questions as you want.
I look forward to hearing from you!”
Enrollment / Communications
“All of our Spanish programs are geared towards individual attention and fast results. Our system allows me to follow the daily progress of each student and to decide what is more convenient for reaching his/her language goals. We have designed our own books and materials to ensure that students can communicate effectively and express themselves with confidence.
On your first day at the school, I will be here, together with our instructors, to determine your Spanish level and assign you the most appropriate classroom. During your stay do not hesitate to come into my office at any time to discuss your progress, your schedule, or any concerns you have regarding your learning experience.”
Academic Director/ Spanish Class Coordinator
“We consider the students personal friends visiting our country. That is why we will gladly assist you with anything you might need to make this a wonderful and hassle-free experience. We will give you information and advice, make your reservations, get you the best deals in hotels & tours and help you make the most of your stay in Costa Rica.”
Laura Campos & José Pablo Sancho
Front Desk / Student Services
Hazel Arriola & Pilar Alvarez
Host Family Coordinator & Assistant
“We strongly encourage you to stay with a host family. Students constantly tell us what an important part of their program this experience was.
Rest assured that we take the outmost care in selecting and maintaining our families. You will find a clean, safe, comfortable home and a loving, caring family, plus the opportunity to practice your Spanish as much as you want.”
Leda Gutierrez & Moisés Badilla
Volunteer Work Coordinators
“We believe that a small group of motivated people can change the world.
We invite you to do some volunteer work after completing your Spanish course at CRLA. There are several options available to CRLA students: national parks and reserves all over the country, as well as several social projects. Visit our Volunteer Work Center; we have ample information, will make necessary arrangements, and send you off on a wonderful, rewarding adventure which allows you to expand your language abilities, learn more about Costa Rica, while making a difference.”
Gerardo Ramírez, Isabel Gutierrez & Fernando Hernández
Security & Manteinance
“Your comfort and safety is our priority.”
Ronny Arauz & Cindy Castro
Latin Dance Instructors
Latin American Songs Instructor
“We hope to see you in the afternoon cultural activities!”
Cándida & Brenda
“¡Buen provecho! Enjoy our typical food at the cafeteria.”
| Airport Transportation Coordinator & Assistants
“It is our pleasure to greet you at the airport. We have complete information on your arrival and will wait for you al long as necessary, if your flight is delayed, to ensure safe transportation to your host family. Before you arrive you will receive my cell phone number, available 24 hours, so you can call me if your flight is cancelled or changed.
Upon arrival you will find a friendly face and reliable service.”
The personal attention we provide, in addition to the professional service offered, sets us apart from other language schools.