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We founded our school with the goal of having a positive impact on the communities around us and the country we live in, and we have captured this as a key element of our School Vision. 

For us, ‘Responsible Travel’ means that there is more to a school than teaching and learning a language. At Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools, we are committed to giving back to the communities that host us through our contributions to, and participation in, a variety of local social development and non-profit initiatives.

In addition, our organizational structure aims to provide employment and growth opportunities for local community members and businesses via the implementation of a decentralized and socially-conscious business model.

Intercultura is the only Spanish School in Costa Rica awarded membership in the United Nations Global Compact, a network of organizations recognized for their Corporate Social Responsibility programs and their creation of Human Rights, Environmental Protection, Labour and Anti-Corruption initiatives.

Our vision of responsible travel is to facilitate an integral process of language learning, using the communicative methodology and cutting-edge pedagogical strategies, and also to provide an ideal context for linguistic and cultural immersion in a pleasant and professional environment. Together, we aim to stay at the vanguard of linguistic and multicultural studies with the creation of new programs, expansion of facilities, professional development of our personnel and a productive, beneficial reinvestment into the communities that receive us.



Our immersion programs are designed to facilitate students’ participation in and utilization of local services during their program, thus bringing tangible benefits and real growth to the area. In addition, our volunteer programs provide a venue for foreign students to experience life-changing situations as they grow and learn while working in culture very different from their own. It also enables students to contribute in a meaningful way to the various sustainable development and educational programs we participate in, and to expand their own perspectives and horizons before returning home.

On a larger scale, we hope to promote global awareness and tolerance through this sharing of cultures. We believe that participation in programs such as this one teach not only a new language, but also effective tools for communication and understanding in the constantly evolving world culture in which we live.

Students are part of our community action plan

With Intercultura Costa Rica you are more than just a regular language student.

Intercultura sponsors the non-profit association CREAR in Playa Sámara, offering free educational programs for local children, and Puertas Abiertas in Heredia, a program that gives free English classes, childcare and food to single mothers from low-income areas. In addition, we donate time, resources and expertise to our communities (public schools, community associations, high school, beach cleanup and many other initiatives sponsored by community organizations).



We treat all our team members with respect and dignity, ensuring a safe work environment and conditions, conducive to professional growth and personal satisfaction. Some of our values include:

  • Above- average wages and benefits
  • Multicultural and cohesive teams
  • Paid vacations
  • Paid health insurance and maternity coverage
  • Flexible working options for pursuing educational and other personal needs
  • Learning and growth opportunities
  • Individual empowerment
  • Open and constructive feedback
  • Active team engagement
  • Enriching encounters and voluntary experiences

We assess our impact through annual team engagement surveys, and with an open-door philosophy between leadership, management, and our team.



  • Solar School Project
    • We are proud to announce that Intercultura is 100% solar powered at both the Heredia and the Sámara campuses.
    • The savings generated from the solar panel installation have been used to contribute to funding of community association development projects, such as building sidewalks and speed bumps on the main roads for child and adult safety, improving management of waste waters, rebuilding of roads, increased garbage and recycling collection, and funding of local education projects.
  • Offsetting carbon emissions through Earth Deeds team. You can make a donation and even crowd fund to keep your trip carbon neutral.  You’ll be doing your part to save the planet while helping a local non-profit organization that teaches local kids about the importance of recycling, not littering, reducing the use of limited resources and reusing everyday articles in innovative ways.  The CREAR association works with the children in several local schools and provides after-school programming as well as summer camps, completely free of charge.
  • Sustainable office management: waste, energy, recycling and technology

We assess our impact through our community, staff and student feedback and create awareness through positive examples and success stories.



  • We support and promote partners that are guided by strong ethical values and sustainable principles.
  • We create awareness and steer our partners towards sustainable behavior through making our partner selection criteria transparent.
    • Partners need to be aligned with our homestay program which is a non-profit branch of ours.
    • We do not support commercial volunteering that does not have a meaningful impact in the community. Students who want to be part of our volunteer program need to fulfill certain requirements in order to be eligible.
  • We avoid working with partners who we believe have a negative impact on the local environment or treat the local communities disrespectfully.
  • We refer all tours and excursions to local tour operators integrated into our communities.



  • We encourage local community participation in tourism projects.
  • Our volunteer program is a non-profit branch of our language school. The majority of student payments are used to help fund scholarships and materials for local schools, animal rescue projects, community development initiatives, and programs for at-risk children and youth.
  • We contribute to responsible, sustainable development in the communities that host us.
  • Approximately 3% of students’ tuition fees is used to fund community development initiatives, environmental projects, cultural events, and to provide supplemental educational opportunities to local communities and staff members. Intercultura Costa Rica focuses on supporting local micro-business development and environmental sustainability, and lobbies to improve community-wide infrastructure and working conditions.
  • We encourage the employment of local people through the accommodations (local families) and projects that we support.
  • We operate on the principals of theUnited National Global Compact (certified member) and Corporate Social Responsibility, meaning that we do not simply donate to charities, but rather get involved in meaningful ways to develop projects in literacy, the arts, children’s education, women’s protective services, gender issues, animal rights, conservation and the environment.



  • We are always honest in our advice to our students and volunteers. We try to give them the most realistic picture possible of what their Spanish and Volunteering experience will be like, as it is important that they set realistic expectations for volunteer programs, and realize that they will get just as much out of volunteering as the organization will from them.
  • We provide our students and volunteers with much relevant information about the meaning of volunteering and what they should know before choosing our program.
  • We provide our students and volunteers with a cultural adaptation meeting about each project destination and full access to our school resources including our multilingual in-house support staff.