Location
  • Costa Rica
Language
Spanish

Program Details

Housing
Host Family

Pricing

Starting Price
$28 USD
Price Details
Our private classes are $28 per hour for individual classes, but if students purchase 20-hours upfront, they get 20% off.

Our group packages vary in price, depending on the needs and goals of the group. We are flexible in modifying the itinerary to meet the group's needs, so don't hesitate to tell us what you want!
Aug 14, 2017
Apr 20, 2021

About Program

Located in the Guanacaste region in northwestern Costa Rica, Instituto Estelar Bilingüe has a solid Spanish program that allows students to learn from highly trained, certified teachers while being immersed in the language and the culture of Costa Rica. We offer special programs for groups, such as Teens and Professionals, and private classes on Skype or at our school in downtown Liberia to individuals.

Our goal for groups is to make sure that each participant progresses significantly in Spanish while also exploring Costa Rica, meeting the locals, and volunteering in the community. We can schedule groups (minimum 8 participants) to come at any time throughout the year, and we are happy to create or modify itineraries to accommodate student needs.

Our goal for private classes is to help students reach personal and professional goals by catering the class to their wishes.

Program Reviews

10 Rating
based on 47 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Instruction 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 47 reviews
Default avatar
Jennifer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Everything was fantastic!

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks here. It’s been a fantastic, Supportive experience all around. I’ve enjoyed the classes, meeting everyone, being in Liberia, and more. I’d definitely come back!

I really enjoyed all my teachers and their different styles. I particularly liked 1) speaking with Deidy on a variety of different topics which helped me understand life in Costa Rica more! And 2) the teaching approach Greivin has, where he uses games, we left the classroom, etc but also he helped me understand some concepts in new ways due to innovative approaches and ways of thinking about things like verbs! Nelly is a fantastic teacher! Given I was the only student, she ensured she used a variety of different techniques, exercises, and activities so I could learn. She is patient, understanding, and creative!

I really enjoyed the activities! I enjoyed the excursions as well, although they were limited because it was a holiday week. I really liked going to the farmer's market.

Everything was amazing! Great place, very welcoming and friendly. Everyone is amazing! I so feel like I am in good hands here in Liberia and cannot thank everyone enough for such a great week! I especially appreciate all the effort that was made given I am the only student! Bethany is incredible in terms of being helpful, making you feel included, and organizing an amazing experience.

6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Wayne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Such a great experience!

My wife and I have learned more than we expected in the first week. The courses have been interesting and fun. I would recommend this program to anyone serious about increasing their Spanish skills.

Mariala has been patient and fun. We have increased our vocabulary and grammar with her help. She is a great teacher.

The Spanglish social and intercambio were fun and helpful.

Great location, people, and facility!

Digna is the best! She is patient and kind. Her meals are incredible and her home is clean and comfortable. She helps us with our communication, pronunciation, and homework (no cheating). We are lucky to have been matched with Digna.

7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Len
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exceptional Program

El profesor Sebastian fue genial. Social de spanglish fue divertido. La feria fue interesante! Family is great, lots of Spanish. Mi mama tica es muy amable, la casa siempre está limpia, comida deliciosa y una perrita preciosa! We had great discussions and I loved that we talked a lot in class, The farmers market was really great. I would recommend to all. Club A is great. Very eye-opening and fun! Everybody at Estelar is very friendly and helpful. Doña Celena is the best! I´ve had such an accommodating experience with her!

7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Lesley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Recommended

Teacher Merlyn made my learning experience very entertaining and enjoyable. I think the extra activities at Estelar were fantastic! Every opportunity to practice speaking Spanish is great, and to have experienced teachers and willing conversation participants is really helpful! My hostmom Iris is very welcoming and the food is varied and plentiful. La casa es limpio. My only problem was it was a little noisy for sleeping, mucho perros. Overall a very comfortable experience, Iris made me welcome and I never felt uncomfortable. Recommended.

8 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Miranda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exceptional Program

I really enjoyed how Instituto Estelar tailored the class to my needs. We worked on the topics and conversations that would be most useful for me in my job as physical therapist, with very specific vocabulary and situations. That being said, I wouldn't necessarily say that this was a 'Medical Spanish' program. For example, the course workbook was more about general Spanish grammar and Latin American culture, rather than being a medical Spanish reference that I could take back home and use later at my job. Thankfully, the professor went the extra mile to make sure that I was still learning the things I wanted to! Nelly was so kind and patient with me in explaining words or concepts I didn't know, correcting my speech, or giving me a chance to talk even though it was sometimes slow and difficult. She was always exceptionally prepared for or lessons, and even took the time on her own to look up physical therapy scenarios that we could go over in class. Thank you for all your hard work, Nelly! I was here in a low season - and honestly, there wasn't a whole lot to do! For medical Spanish learners, I would not recommend observation at the private hospital nearby - there were not very many patients and I spent a lot of time just sitting at the nurses station. These were some of the highlights of the program. I loved the intercambio, and it was truly magical to get to visit the Festival Navideno de Club A. Everyone has been very kind and accommodating of my needs, and helping me make the most of the experience even in spite of it being low season. Beni and Dona Alice are excellent hosts - very welcoming, patient, and went above and beyond to take me on extra outings to make sure that I enjoyed my visit and got to enjoy Costa rica. I also appreciated that they made an effort to speak only Spanish with me, even though at times it would have been easier to switch to English.

8 people found this review helpful.
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John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Immersion works!

The immersion concept, which I have been told is the only way to go, works. This excellent program proves it. I was exceptionally worried about the teacher speaking only in Spanish. But, this concept works wonderfully well, too. I remember it from high school and college when I studied another language. My teacher was excellent. The classes were fun and the teacher was flexible when I was struggling with vocabulary or verb conjugation or use of the proper prepositions (all difficult at times.) The homework was helpful and always forced me to study. That's why I came, without my family - to study. I was ¨drinking from a firehose¨ most of the time, but it works, to force the learning. The teacher´s gentle manner for correcting me prevented me from getting too stressed out. She was knowledgeable, easy to work with, and a fun teacher. The school offers several opportunities to learn the language and experience the culture and the people outside the classroom. Spanglish, movies (with subtitles), interacting with children in the barrios, tours of the city, tour of the farmer´s market, visit to the national park (Rincon de la Vieja). Very interesting, and all optional. I enjoyed them all. Club A showed me, as did so many other experiences here (in the school and elsewhere) that children and families, for the most part, are the same all over the world. Certainly there are differences in the economic conditions in each country, but people are people. Club A was fascinating. The visit and 6 hour walk in the park (Rincon de la Vieja) as fun - long and hard, but that's what long hikes are supposed to be. Conversations with others where English is a second language were a bit intimidating, but fun. The teachers and staff were all friendly, professional and attentive. Could not have been better. I stayed with a family only two blocks from the school. The mother and her son spoke English well; the grandfather not well at all. That was fun, though. The mother and her son were able to help both me and the grandfather when we made mistakes in each other´s first language. I ate several times at the house - some breakfasts and dinners. All the food was wonderful, and not particularly different in many ways than in the U.S.; some local variations, but we eat rice, chicken, beef, pork, beans,yogurt, bread, and desserts, and drink juice, coffee, milk, beer everywhere. House and bedroom were spotless, and overall the family was wonderful!

8 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Josh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Everything was fantastic!

I found Merlyn to be a great teacher. She was able to clearly explain concepts. Her main challenge in this particular class was to manage the different levels of the students, which I think she did quite well. I think the extra activities were fantastic! every opportunity to practice speaking spanish is great, and to have experienced teachers ad willing converstion participants is really helpful! Everyone was truly amazing, being as helpful as possible at every given opportunty. The facility is also great! I love your initiatives to reduce waste (e.g. laminating materials, not writing on the test paper so it can be reused etc.). My hostmom Iris is amazing, she's super patient with my wife and I and takes her time to teach us spanish. She took very good care of us while we were her, cooking and cleaning for us and always making sure we were contento. Johnny was also very patient and helpful in teaching us spanish and making us feel welcome and informed.

6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Mia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A great high school trip

My whole visit with Estelar was wonderful. I came for 10 days with my high school last summer, and the institute did an exceptional job organizing our group of 19 people. Estelar was the perfect combination of service work, spanish immersion and exploration. My host family was very welcoming, warm, patient with my developing Spanish, and helpful. The day trips were incredible and beautiful and the classes were informative but also fun. I absolutely loved Club A - those kids are amazing. Overall a great trip.

8 people found this review helpful.

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