About Sámara Beach
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In the area of Guanacaste on the sundrenched Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the sleepy town of Sámara Beach or Playa Sámara is a horseshoe bay boasting what Frommer's calls "the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica". It is the perfect long white sand beach with shallow, gentle waters and sheltered by palm trees. The seemingly endless beach affords excellent swimming in an ideal warm temperature, surfing, ayaking, snorkeling, birdwatching, and beyond the coral reef - fine deep water fishing. CNN recently announced: "Forget Disneyland! Costa Rica is the happiest place in the world.”
The town of Sámara Beach itself is tranquil and easy-going, but is has everything a visitor could want: a well stocked supermarket, regular vegetable and fish marts, pharmacies, a variety of restaurants, convenience stores, bars, hotels, gym, spa, and two banks with ATMs. The town is not only a charming beach resort, but it is also a thriving fishing and farming community. There are cowboys, and cattle drives, fishing boats returning at sunset, exotic fruit harvests, organic farming, and tree nurseries.
Sámara's laidback vibe allows for rest and relaxation, an almost universal characteristic of the Nicoya Peninsula. There is magic in every sunset when you can sit under a palm tree, feel the ocean breeze and hear the sound of the waves. On some clear evenings there is a small green light, which shows for an extremely short moment, just before the sun disappears. A very short instant that you will remember for a long time. It is an everyday, but unique sunset show.
It is the perfect example of Pura Vida, the Costa Rican phrase which expresses a philosophy of strong community, good spirits, enjoying life slowly, and celebrating good fortune, whether small or large. Sámara Beach is a quiet place where the traditional culture of Costa Rica is not lost, and it is a perfect place to relax and study Spanish.
Travel – Fly into Liberia International Airport. Pickup is available at a cost for the two hour drive to Sámara Beach. An alternative is to fly into the San José International Airport. There is shuttle service and a public bus between San José and Sámara Beach (4 hours). The school provides a transport package including an overnight stay in San José.
About The School
Intercultura of Sámara Beach is a mid-sized Spanish language school established to offer all the advantages of an intensive Spanish language program at a beautiful Pacific Costa Rican beach campus. The administration and staff have many years of experience through the sister campus of Intercultura in Heredia, Costa Rica.
The school prides itself upon its professional staff and high academic standards. Sámara Beach students are also able to enjoy the school's relaxed and pleasant atmosphere with a variety of opportunities to meet and interact with the diverse staff and student body. The school gives students a challenging academic program while also offering a complete range of daily cultural activities.
Year-round, Intercultura of Sámara Beach offers a wonderful destination for Spanish language enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds who want to experience Latin American and Costa Rican culture to the fullest in a beautiful beach environment.
The school building itself is modern, and your Spanish course breaks will be enhanced by the sound of the ocean waves, as you are directly on the beautiful beach. Classes are held in the custom-built campus close to the town center and services. Each large, airy classroom offers a view of the ocean and has full audio-visual equipment. The school building also offers tropical gardens leading to the sand, hammocks, social areas, TV lounge, kitchen, computers for student use and study rooms. There is an adjoining large terrace for outdoor activities. The beach provides an ideal place for a quick swim during your break. Occasionally, teachers take students outside the facilities to hold a conversation hour in the tropical garden or on the beach under the shade of a palm tree.
Intercultura is affiliated with many professional development training organizations and has received several professional awards. It is the only school in Costa Rica certified to be part of the UN Global Compact initiative, which includes adherence to guidelines on human rights, environmental, labor and anti-corruption. It has a close association with the non-profit CREAR Association which provides free supplementary education to local school children.
Style of Teaching - The primary goal of Intercultura is to teach you the Spanish language in a warm yet intellectually challenging environment. Classes are conducted entirely in Spanish, providing students with a complete and intensive learning experience. Intercultura’s professors have advanced university degrees and teaching certification, as well as being native Spanish speakers. The Communicative Approach which is used actively engages the learner in the classroom. This system of teaching puts the focus of learning on the learner, meaning that he or she is an engaged and active participant in the language acquisition process. Students learn to speak in meaningful, real-life situations that teach them to communicate appropriately in a social and linguistic context.
Levels Offered – All levels of Spanish ability are welcome, from complete beginners to very advanced. You will have both a written and speaking evaluation at the beginning of your course to ensure proper placement.
Class Size and Hours – The maximum number of students per class is 6. Private classes are available except for summer months. Classes are held on an alternating morning-afternoon schedule to allow you lots of beach time!
Materials – Materials are provided by the school and are available for purchase. Intercultura uses its own language textbooks, CDs and DVDs, plus supplementary texts, realia, current events materials, newspapers, films, news programs, literature, and interviews.
Academic Credit – Available for this program
Students – The minimum age is 18, although there is a teen program in summer, and we also welcome teens in organized groups. There is also a Spanish camp program for kids ages 5-17 year round. Coming from all over the world, students’ ages are in a complete range, with the majority of older students coming in fall and winter months.
Calendar - Programs start every Monday, year round. Most students stay 3 to 6 weeks, but shorter or longer stays are also possible. During Holy Week and Christmas Break, the school will be closed, but you may remain on with a homestay. There are no make-ups or reduced tuition for school holidays.
Official Holidays 2017: Jan 1, Apr 11 (National Holiday, expect Banks to be closed), Apr 9-15 (Easter Week), May 1, Jul 25, Aug 15, Sep 15, Oct 12, Dec 17-Jan 1 (Christmas Break).
Official Holidays 2018: January 1, March 25-31 (Easter Week), April 11 (National Holiday, expect Banks to be closed), May 1, July 25, August 15, September 15, October 12, December 15-January 1 (Christmas Break).
Special Note – This school often fills to capacity, especially in January and summer months. Please register early to ensure your place.
Activities – Your first day of class includes an informative orientation. Some activities offered by the school are: Latin Dance Classes, Costa Rican Cooking Class, lectures on culture and the environment, Film Night, Intercambios to practice conversational skills with new friends from the local community, yoga and aerobics classes, and eco-hikes. A typical week of activities would be Mon – dance class, Tues – cooking class, Wed – Film or Intercambio, cookout or sports, Thurs – graduation dinner, Fri – ecology walk to visit turtle hatchery and view the sunset. The school can also help you arrange surfing, kayaking, mountain biking, horseback riding, ultragliding, boogieboarding, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
On weekends the school hosts excursions to many different parts of the country, all at reasonable costs. Possibilities range from studying the complex ecosystems of a nearby national park, to watching the eruptions of a live volcano!
Additional Location – Please see information about Intercultura of Heredia under the Costa Rica choices. This school is a sister school of the beach location. It is very common and easy for our students to combine the two locations in one study trip.