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Please visit our website www.universal-edu.com
Instituto Universal de Idiomas

With 25 years of experience, we are among the oldest Spanish Institutes in Costa Rica. Over these years we have developed and refined a program and philosophy that sets us apart from the rest.

At Universal we begin with an environment conducive to learning. There is a warm, friendly atmosphere here. We encourage our students to speak and interact both inside and outside of the classroom and to generally have fun. This way you can practice your Spanish in a relaxed and natural manner. You will find it enjoyable to learn and therefore you will learn faster, and with less effort. While you are practicing your Spanish you will also be making friends.

Our teachers have designed a Spanish curriculum that is suited for your specific level, whether it be beginner, intermediate or advanced. Our small classes of 2-8 students enable teachers to cater to your individual needs and give you lots of opportunity to participate. Our teachers are enthusiastic, qualified and experienced. They provide a positive classroom environment. They act as facilitators, eliciting conversations and are the Spanish experts for all your questions.

small classes of 2-8 students

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***Reservations are made by Universal de Idiomas


Upon arrival you are given a placement test in order to determine your appropriate level. We offer a number of course options, so that you can find the one that fits your needs. Course lengths vary from 3 days to 4 weeks and are either intensive or semi-intensive. Morning group classes can be supplemented with afternoon private tutoring to even further intensify your language learning experience. In addition to our classes, we offer an "Intercambio" Program at night. Here you can be paired with a Costa Rican for open conversation. This gives you the chance to talk and become friends with native Costa Ricans, while helping you improve your proficiency in speaking, pronunciation and listening.

We also offer a home stay program to give you the opportunity to live with selected Costa Rican families that don't speak English. Thus, it is the perfect environment in which to put into practice what you acquire in the classroom. It also rounds out your learning by giving you a first hand experience with the Costa Rican Culture, Cuisine and Warm family life.

the teachers act as facilitators, eliciting conversations and are Spanish experts for all your questions


We are located in the heart of San Jose, where the action is. You will have countless restaurants, discotheques, museums, plays, and shopping, at your fingertips. It is also the ideal place of departure for trips to any place in the country.

Spanish college Credit

Receive Spanish college credit for the classes you take at Institute de Universal de Idiomas, you need to do the following:

1. Complete the class successfully with a grade of C or above.

2. Fill out an application to WSU (no charge). You can request an application by sending an email to tspanos@weber.edu along with a mailing address to which we can send the application

3. Have Institute de Universal de Idiomas send official notification to WSU with the following information:

A) The name and level of the course;
B) The total number of hour per week the class meets and how many weeks the class lasts;
C) The final grade you received in the class.

4. Upon meeting the above criteria, you need to send a check or a money order payable to Weber State University for the credit hours earned in the class. (for a 3 credit hour class, it must meet a minimum of 45 hours; for a 4 credit hour class, it must meet a minimum of 60 hours). WSU charges $30.00 for each credit hour earned. For example, a 4 credit hour course would cost $120.00.

Student will be placed in an appropriate level by Institute de Universal de Idiomas based on their oral and written assessment of the student. Credit for that appropriate level will be granted upon successful completion of the course.

WSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Unviersities. Those who want to know more about WSU can to to http://weber.edu, and those who would like to visit our department homepage can go to http://departments.weber.edu/forlang


To have an international experience by studying abroad is a great way to enrich your college experience. Contact the study abroad office or Spanish language department at your college prior to starting the program. Present your plan and ask exactly what is required in order to be assured that you will earn credits for your studies abroad. Universal de Idiomas will provide syllabi and other documentation typically needed by universities and colleges in order to complete credit arrangements. Students will have the opportunity to receive Spanish college credit in any one of the School’s levels of Spanish while discovering an exotic and bio diverse country. A powerful experience

After studying abroad, most students never view their education in the same way again. It often influences subsequent educational endeavours, including the decision to pursue higher degrees. Surveys show that more than 52 percent of students who study abroad indicated that they had achieved a post-graduate degree, compared to the 9 percent of U.S. Americans obtaining graduate degrees as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau*. More than 80 percent of respondents agreed that studying abroad had enhanced their interest in academic study. Study abroad students return home with a greater vigor for academic pursuits and a renewed interest in lifelong learning. Nearly 63 percent of students said that the experience had influenced their decisions to expand or change their academic majors. In fact, nearly 90 percent of students indicated that their experiences abroad had influenced all their subsequent educational experiences.

For those students who studied abroad to improve or develop foreign language skills, experiencing a language firsthand—in the streets of a foreign city, in a local university course or while living with local roommates—made an indelible impact on their foreign language skills. Nearly 35 percent of the students who studied a foreign language abroad still use a language other than English on a regular basis (twice a month). Spanish was cited as the most commonly used language, followed by French and German.

Launch your Career

Listing a study abroad experience on your resume can also enhance your chances for job success. Having taken this initiative not only says something about your academic achievements, but also about your personal ambition and determination. More and more employers are seeking out culturally aware and experienced employees who can work effectively in an increasingly global workplace. Our statistics show that the influence of study abroad on future career goals and choices is profound, especially for those students who participated in an internship while abroad. Kathleen Turaski (IES London 1992), a University of Georgia graduate, wrote that her internship at The National Portrait Gallery in London was “the impetus to return [to London] in 1995 to attend St. Martin for a master’s in communication design. The international experiences have been a driving force in my design and career.”

Internships are an unrivaled way to experience local culture in the workplace and to improve foreign language skills, as well as to diversify your work experience. Of the 596 students who responded that they had interned while abroad, 70 percent agreed that the experience had sparked an interest in a career direction they ended up pursuing after their experiences abroad. It is becoming increasingly popular to intern while abroad. Eight out of ten students who had interned abroad said that they had acquired skill sets that influenced their future career paths, such as working for a multi-national organization, getting a job overseas or volunteering internationally.

Why Study Abroad?

Academic Advantages:

  • Learn about a new culture

  • Experience a new and different academic system

  • Study subjects that are not offered at your College

  • Improve your foreign language skills or learn a new language

  • Gain an international perspective on an area of study

Personal Advantages:

  • Independence

  • Meet new people and make new friends

  • Adventure and fun

  • Travel and explore new places

  • Grow in self-confidence

  • Gain a broader outlook on life

  • Improve cross-cultural communication skills Career Advantages:

  • Build international links

  • Give yourself a competitive edge

  • Make your resume stand out

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