Language Schools

10 Great Short-Term Spanish Courses Around the World

Anna Pedersen

Anna is a freelance writer and editor, currently based in Portland, Oregon. She has traveled to 40+ countries, lived on four continents, and called the United Arab Emirates home for over two years.

The longer you’re immersed in a language, the better you learn it, but unfortunately life doesn’t allow us to fit in lengthy jaunts overseas whenever we want. Luckily, there’s a lot you can accomplish in even a short amount of time when you’re willing to put in the effort. There are excellent language schools around the world that have short-term options for adults of all ages.

If you’re looking to improve your Spanish and travel, you can find short-term programs in multiple countries. We’ve narrowed down your many, many options to 10 great programs. They all offer week-long programs, but you can sign up for longer lengths of time, too. Even a short stint is enough time to make progress – and probably motivate you to keep learning!

1. Agualivar Spanish School: Málaga, Spain

  • Program Offered: Year-round, starting every Sunday
  • Duration: From 1 to 5 weeks
  • Cost: Starts at $1,540 for a week-long, all-inclusive 15-hour course

Agualivar Spanish School offers Spanish-learners an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the language while enjoying a luxurious beach-front vacation. All participants are required to speak only Spanish for the duration of their stay which means that after only 1 week, many students see substantial improvement.

Not only will you have 15 hours of lessons through out the week and 10+ hours of Spanish immersion each day, but your experience will be all the more immersive with cultural excursions that are catered to your interests. The cost may seem high, but it includes accommodation in a beachfront villa and three meals a day, so if you have the funds, this is a great way to combine a vacation with language study!

Read more about Language Schools in Spain.

9.94 Rating
based on 32 reviews
  • Instruction 9.8
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.9
  • Value 9.8

2. Na’atik Language and Culture Institute: Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Mexico

  • Program Offered: Year-round
  • Duration: Starts at 1 week
  • Cost: Starts at $599 for week-long, 18-hour course

The Na’atik Language and Culture Institute makes it easy by including a homestay and three meals a day in participants’ program fee. Students spend their time in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, a small Maya city. There, you’ll take 18 hours of classes per week and immerse yourself in the language and culture.

You’ll have the use of a bike during your time in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, and you can take free cooking classes if you sign up for at least two weeks of language study. The program also includes a city walking tour, a welcome dinner, and a trip to a nearby Maya lagoon for kayaking and swimming.

Read more about Language Schools in Mexico.

9.89 Rating
based on 35 reviews
  • Academics 9.7
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.9

3. Casco Antiguo Spanish School: Panama City, Panama

  • Program Offered: Year-round, starting every Monday
  • Duration: Starts at 1 week
  • Cost: Starts at $249 for a week-long, 20-hour course

Spain and Mexico may be two of the most popular destinations for Spanish learners, but Panama has a lot to offer, too. Casco Antiguo Spanish School’s program in Panama City will set you up for success with tiny class sizes, interactive learning, and free daily activities.

As a Casco Antiguo student, you’ll get to live in the UNESCO world heritage site of Casco Viejo, one of the safest neighborhoods in Panama City. You'll have the opportunity to explore your surroundings through daily activities such as sunset bike rides, brewery tours, and salsa lessons. This will all be on top of your 20 hours of Spanish classes a week, where you'll get personalized attention and lots of opportunities to practice speaking. They cap class sizes at 4 students, so no matter what you'll get lots of 1 on 1 time with the instructor!

Read more about Language Schools in Panama.

10 Rating
based on 9 reviews
  • Instruction 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Value 10

4. Maximo Nivel: Cusco, Peru

  • Program Offered: Year-round
  • Duration: Starts at 1 week
  • Cost: Starts at $140 for week-long, 20-hour course

Peru is considered an excellent place to study Spanish given that locals speak in a way that tends to be easier for Spanish learners to understand. You can take advantage of this through Maximo Nivel’s program in Cusco. Plus, you’ll be in a gorgeous setting, surrounded by fascinating history.

The language school itself happens to be located across from the sacred Inca site Q’oricancha. You’ll be enrolled in a program tailored to your skill level and goals, and you’ll also get to participate in free salsa and cooking lessons. If you wish to further enrich your experience, you can sign up for service learning and internship programs.

Read more about Language Schools in Peru.

9.33 Rating
based on 60 reviews
  • Instruction 8.9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.1
  • Housing 9.2
  • Value 9

5. JAKERA Adventure: Habana Vieja, Cuba

  • Program Offered: Year-round
  • Duration: From 1 to 4 weeks
  • Cost: Starts at $345 for a week-long, 15-hour course

JAKERA Adventure’s Spanish school is located in the heart of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You'll stay with a Cuban family amidst a maze of beautiful neo-classical buildings in one of the most vibrant (and safe) parts of Havana.

If the location isn't enough of a sell for you, you'll also be fully immersed in the language, taking up to 15 hours of classes a week, still leaving you time in the evenings to explore the city. The price includes accommodation and two meals a day, so you'll only need to budget in the cost of dinner and incidentals.

Read more about Language Schools in Cuba.

9.43 Rating
based on 30 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9

6. Instituto Estelar Bilingüe: Guanacaste, Costa Rica

  • Program Offered: Year-round
  • Duration: Starts at 1 week
  • Cost: Starts at $320 for a week-long, 20-hour course

Costa Rica is another perfect place to work on your Spanish and have access to incredible scenery and outdoor adventure. Instituto Estelar Bilingüe is located in the beautiful northwestern region of the country, with easy access to waterfalls, beaches, hot springs, and even mud baths!

As for your Spanish course, you’ll be learning from highly trained, certified teachers who will help you master the language at whatever level you're at, from beginner to advanced. You'll also have the opportunity to go on two extracurricular activities per week which include options such as a Costa Rican cooking class, Latin dance lesson, or a walking tour of Liberia. You can also take advantage of an opportunity to volunteer in the local community to enhance your immersion and cultural experience.

Read more about Language Schools in Costa Rica.

10 Rating
based on 40 reviews
  • Instruction 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Value 10

7. Yanapuma Spanish School: Quito or Cuenca, Ecuador

  • Program Offered: Year-round
  • Duration: Starts at 1 week
  • Cost: Starts at $130 for a week-long, 20-hour course

Yanapuma Spanish School has campuses both in Quito, the cosmopolitan capital of Ecuador, and in Cuenca, a historic and tranquil Andean city. Both schools offer fully-immersive programs for beginners and intermediate learners of all ages.

Aside from the academics, you'll also be able to take advantage of an array of cultural activities, many of which are free. Plus, the Yanapuma Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to promote sustainable development in marginalized indigenous communities in Ecuador, so your tuition fees will be going to a good cause.

Read more about Language Schools in Ecuador.

9.71 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • Instruction 9.7
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 7.7
  • Housing 8.7
  • Value 9.1

8. Escuela de la Montaña: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

  • Program Offered: Year-round
  • Duration: Starts at 1 week
  • Cost: Starts at $247 for a week-long, 20-hour course

Escuela de la Montaña, the Mountain School, is located in the highland mountains of southwestern Guatemala. The campus is rural, located on an old coffee farm, and this setting serves as the backdrop to not only learn Spanish, but also learn about the politics, history, and culture of the country.

Aside from one-on-one Spanish lessons every day, you'll also get to share meals with a local Mayan family and participate in field trips and extracurricular activities to better get to know your surroundings. Additionally, Escuela de la Montaña is committed to supporting the local community, and part of your tuition will go towards community development projects.

Read more about Language Schools in Guatemala.

9.75 Rating
based on 16 reviews
  • Instruction 9.7
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.1
  • Value 9.8

9. Habla Ya Spanish Schools: Boquete, Bocas del Toro, or Panama City, Panama

  • Program Offered: Year-round
  • Duration: Starts at 1 week
  • Cost: Starts at $600 for week-long, 20-hour course

Whether you're hoping to stay in the mountains, a beach town, or a bustling city, Habla Ya Spanish Schools has an option for you in one of their three locations in Panama. These 20-hour per week Spanish immersion courses combine intense language instruction with interactive cultural activities.

The program fees include your Spanish courses plus a homestay with a local family. You'll also have the option of signing up for various excursions, such as surfing, SCUBA diving, horseback riding, and more. You can also put your new-found Spanish skills to use by volunteering in the local community.

Read more about Language Schools in Panama.

9.54 Rating
based on 68 reviews
  • Instruction 9.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 8.9
  • Value 9

10. Tico Lingo: Online

  • Program Offered: Year-round
  • Duration: Starts at 1 week
  • Cost: Starts at $115 for a 5-hour block of time

If traveling isn't in the cards for you right now but you're eager to boost your Spanish speaking skills, Tico Lingo has the solution for you. Their online Spanish courses offer you the opportunity to learn from a local Costa Rican Spanish professor from your very own home.

These one-on-one courses are fully customizable and flexible so you can take as little as 1 hour of lessons each week up to 20 hours per week. Plus, since these are private tutorials, the course can be catered to your interests and areas of specialization, such as conversational Spanish, Spanish for business, Spanish for medicine, and more. With an online course, you choose what works for you!

Read more about Language Schools Online.

9.94 Rating
based on 16 reviews
  • Instruction 9.9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.9
  • Housing 9.9
  • Value 10

Buena suerte y... disfrútalo!

Spending time in a Spanish-speaking country and taking classes is an invaluable experience. Whether you find yourself in a bustling city, a rural retreat, or on your own couch, a week of intense immersion is sure to pay off and you’ll likely see huge progress in your language skills. Before you know it, you’ll be speaking Spanish better than ever!

This article was originally published in October 2014, and was updated in May 2019 and October 2020.