Synopsis of Two-Week Spanish Immersion Program
Nurses in Costa Rica

Language and Cultural Competency

Spanish is rapidly becoming a widely-used second language in the United States. In some areas as much as 40% or more of our population is Spanish speaking. Every day there is a greater demand for nurses to increase their cultural competencies. What better way to enhance cultural competency than by attending a language and cultural immersion program specifically designed for nurses?

A Program for Nurses and Students

This Special program for nurses is designed to improve Spanish skills rapidly, with small classes (4 students/ teacher). The program will enhance their knowledge and understanding of the Latin culture and help them apply this knowledge in their nursing practice. Attendees are encouraged to stay with a host family to participate in a multitude of classes and activities.

The Academia Centroamericana de Español (ACCE)

The school is located in Grecia, Costa Rica, which is about 30 minutes north of the capital, San Jose. The school offers private and group language classes year round along with special programs for business executives, health professionals, and college students. Costa Rica is a beautiful and safe tropical paradise that offers friendly and welcoming people and breathtaking scenery.

Program Objective

To give nurses the opportunity to improve their Spanish language skills, enhance their cultural competency, and learn about the nursing profession in Costa Rica.

Program Goals

  1. Improve language skills.
  2. Enhance cultural understanding by offering lectures regarding the Latin culture.
  3. Offer the opportunity to live with host families near the school.
  4. Provide information about the nursing profession in Central America.
  5. Give attendees the opportunity to experience nursing by scheduling visits with local agencies.

Program Curriculum

Lecture Topics (a) Costa Rica: An overview of the country and culture
(b) American and Latin Cultures: Difference and Similarities
(c) Medicine in Costa Rica: Difference and Similarities
(d) Nursing in Latin America
Guest Speakers Speakers will include local medical professionals and educators.
Planned Visits Visits will be made to agencies located within an hour drive from the school.
Assist local doctors in clinics.


The primary text for the class is organized in a progressive format that is designed to introduce and develop language in the most naturally cognitive way. Beginning with basic verbs and vocabulary, the exercises increase in intensity as the student begins to acquire language. Homework exercises include sentence and paragraph writing. Topics are focused on the medical profession so that students get additional practice with relevant topics. The medical text is specifically designed to address the language needs in the work place and therapeutic situations. It provides a lexicon of vocabulary needed in any medical setting and is a great resource to have available in the office.


Students are grouped with no more than three others who are at a similar level. Grammar, vocabulary and pace of each class depend on the level of the students in that class. If a student progresses faster than another there is a possibility to be placed in a different level class at the end of the first week.


Extensive practice with general and medical vocabulary and phrases continues to equip students for their field. Lists of verbs, nouns, and adjectives in the class and in the text cover the breadth and depth of language necessary for this field.

Program format

This program is scheduled for a two-week period with specific days and times for curriculum related activities providing a total of 40 hours of language classes and 16 hours of cultural classes and activities. Each class has a maximum of four students and the emphasis is on conversational skills.

First Saturday Students arrive
First Sunday Evening Placement assessment
Monday-Friday Language classes (20 hours per week)
Tuesdays & Thursdays Cultural classes and activities (8 hours per week)
Final Friday Evening Closing celebration
Final Saturday Departure day

This is an intensive program, which is aimed at rapid improvement of Spanish skills. A typical class day consists of 4 hours in the classroom and several hours of homework; there is still time to do some local tourism on the weekends and a few afternoons.

ACCE Contact Information



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