The Centro Panamericano de Idiomas (CPI) has three immersion locations and a medical Spanish program.
Register with CHICLE to attend one of these Centro Panamericano de Idiomas programs. The cost is the same as when you register yourself, but we handle arrangements and payment.
CPI Heredia, founded in 1991, is located in San Joaquín de Flores. San Joaquín, a suburb of Heredia, is popular among those who wish to be away from the traffic, pollution and tension of the city, yet still want the advantage of easy access to Costa Rica's capital. Excellent bus service provides transportation from San Joaquín to both Heredia and San José. An additional advantage of San Joaquín is the opportunity to gain an increased insight into Costa Rican culture in a town that is typically "Tico".
The province of Heredia has a comfortable climate year round. During the rainy season, (May-December) it often rains in the afternoon so an umbrella and/or a light rain coat are essential. During the dry season, umbrellas and raincoats are not needed.
CPI Monteverde was established as an extension of CPI in 1996. The Monteverde zone, which includes ten towns and 8,000 people, is situated on the Continental Divide at an elevation of 5,600 feet. The region is well known for its commitment to the sustainable development of the community and the conservation of the cloud forest reserves. This area is a rural region and is a 5-hour bus ride from San José. Buses travel daily to and from Monteverde at 6:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
The average daily temperature is 18º to 24° C (65º to 75° F). The climate is typically cool and at times wet. If you plan to visit during the rainy season (May - December), we recommend bringing rain gear and waterproof shoes or boots (especially if you plan to visit the reserves) as well as pants, long-sleeved shirts and a light jacket.
In Monteverde, CPI is dedicated to working closely with the community to find volunteer opportunities for interested students. Positions include: volunteering in the Santa Elena Reserve or trail maintenance in one of the forests in Cerro Plano.
CPI Flamingo is your best beach option. It was established in 2000. The Guanacaste coastal area, replete with pristine beaches and scattered mangroves, is known as the golden coast of Costa Rica. With its white sand and crystal blue water, Flamingo is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, sailing, and just relaxing on the beach.
There is a considerable North American community in the town of Flamingo itself; however, the nearby rural towns of Brasilito and Potrero are primarily Costa Rican, and this is where our homestay families are located. Flamingo is a 5-hour bus ride from San José, with public buses leaving the capital daily at 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. The private shuttle service that CPI uses, leaves San José for Flamingo every Sunday around 1:00.
The average daily temperature is 32° C (90° F). The climate is hot with fairly high humidity; we recommend shorts and summer clothing. In Flamingo, students have the opportunity for serious Spanish study in a vacation environment.
Medical Spanish Courses
In addition, CPI offers a medical Spanish course that focuses on medical vocabulary for professionals. A student can potentially become a more effective health care provider to Spanish speakers through this course.
Students can take one or two weeks of the 4 hour-per-day course (Monday-Friday), but the full three-week course (one week in each of the three CPI locations) is recommended. The third week enables the students to put medical Spanish in action at a local clinic in Heredia.
Trips and activities will take place each afternoon of the three-week course, as well. Any level of Spanish student is welcome to take the medical Spanish courses.
Pricing for medical Spanish students is the same as the pricing for the regular CPI study abroad course.
Visit CPI's website for additional information.
From a student in December, 2011:
Hola, chicas, estoy en Costa Rica. Normalemente, no uso email en mis vacaciones, pero.... Descubri que tengo una alergia muy fuerte a las almendras, y he pasado 2 visitas a la sala de urgencia "Linea Vitale". Conozco muy bien el doctor y el paramedico. Y, lo MAS importante, es que hablo unicamente en espanol! EXITO!!!! En la farmácia, en la clínica, con los taxis, con la limpiadora de nuestra casa, Margarida... Todd me dijo que cada dolar que pagamos a CHICLE vale la pena.
No he visto mucho de CR, pero pude usar palabras como comezón, eruptión, anafalóctica, escudrinar, y arado (el restaurante cerca de nuestra casa se llama El Arado). [These words are from a book her class is reading, Cajas de Cartón.]
Muchíssimas gracias a Perla.
And here's a note we received from a UNC student who went to the mountains and the beach during the summer of 2011.
My trip was amazing. The country is beautiful and I had some amazing experiences while abroad.