Spanish for Groups and/or Individuals

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explore costa rica
explore costa rica
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private spanish classes
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teen Spanish in Costa Rica
Spanish teen program
Spanish teen program
Spanish in Costa Rica
Spanish in Costa Rica

About

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.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 31 reviews
  • Instruction 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 31
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Tiffany
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excelente experiencia!

Translated by Go Overseas:

I feel I learned a lot in Merlyn's class. Elle has very funny stories and we also have many conversations. I would like to see more reading in this class because grammar is advanced and better to see how grammar works in context. I love my mom Tica, Leti. We have many interesting conversations every day. It was very easy to talk with Leticia and she also cooks many different foods. I like that she gave me lots of fruits and natural juices every day. Merlyn is really great at explaining things and because she knows a lot of English it is BEYOND helpful for me and I know others feel the same way too! Club A is great. Very eye-opening and fun! Everybody at Estelar is very friendly and helpful.

Original review:

Siento que aprendí mucho en las clase de Merlyn. Elle tiene las historias muy chistosas y también tenemos muchas conversaciones. Me gustaría ver mas lectura en este clase porque la gramática es avanzado y mejor de ver como la gramática funciona en un contexto. Me encanta mi mamá Tica, Leti. Tenemos muchas conversaciones interesantes cada día. Fue muy fácil conversar con Leticia y también ella cocina muchas comidas diversas. Me gusta que ella me dio muchas frutas y jugos naturales cada día. We had great discussions in the Spanish course and I loved that we talked a lot in class. Merlyn is really great at explaining things and because she knows a lot of English it is BEYOND helpful for me and I know others feel the same way too! Club A is great. Very eye-opening and fun! Everybody at Estelar is very friendly and helpful.

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Meisha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic experience!

I spent just over a week at Estelar and it was fantastic! Everyone I met was super friendly and I learnt a lot. The bilingual nature of the institute is really great as it merges both Costa Rican people studying English and foreigners studying Spanish making it a great cultural experience as well.

I participated in the Spanish Immersion for TEFL graduates and lived with a Tico family as part of the homestay program the institute can organise for you.

The Spanish classes (4 hours per day, 5 days) were great and my Spanish improved so much over a week. Our teacher Merlyn was such a good teacher! Highly recommend the Spanish lessons!

The homestay was a great way to get to know a Tico family. They were super friendly, happy and patient while I was practicing my Spanish. The house was really comfortable, and a short walk to the institute. It was nice to spend some time in Liberia, as most of my travels so far have been in small coastal towns with a fair amount of tourism. It was great to get to know a small Costa Rican city.

Teaching english and getting my practicum hours for my program was a great learning experience. The students were great and I felt supported by the teachers and institute.

Would return to Estelar in the future if I wanted to study more Spanish, or maybe even one day I’ll apply for a teaching job there! Thanks for everything!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Stay for longer! It was an awesome community so it would be great to spend more time getting involved.
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Dayana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Loving it!

I am abolutely loving the experience and the school. Nelly is wonderful and she only spoke to us in Espanol. Class was fun and I learned a LOT this week. I think what I need the most is conversational practice with changing verbs. I think the most effective practice was all the homework where I had to memorize words at night and in the afternoon so I could use class time to practice and speak. This week I have used the school space to study on Monday, done the intercambio on Tuesday, Club A on Tuesday, went to the cataratas y posa on Wednesday, and tried to do the intercambio on Thursday but no one came. I will be going on the trip Sunday. So far, I have REALLY appreciated the extracurriculars of the class. I will be trying the cooking class next week and other trips. I am still really thinking about the experience I had with Club A. For me, it was very helpful to see what poverty cerca de Liberia is like and to think about educational opportunities for kids is so important to me as a teacher. I am not sure the kids got anything out of me going, but I am thankful for the experience. I am vasilating between feeling like a voyeur and being helpful to kids... but that is more of a me thing than an Insituto thing... Naomi was SUPER interesting at the Intercambio, so I was very glad to speak with her. So happy to be here! My homestay family, Leti and Geraldo, are the BEST!!! SO patient and so kind! They have really made this trip incredible. They talk with me for about an hour each night and Leti eats some dinner with me to make me feel at home. It is really lovely and I am SO blessed I am living with them.

What would you improve about this program?
As a single female traveler, I would appreciate a little bit more guidance with navigating the city, taking the bus, and getting settled... but I also have not asked for such things myself (I could be more proactive, but I do not want to be a bother to anyone also). I also understand it is very important for me to get out and try things, but I am a little worried about safety (perhaps this is something I need to work through, but I am a very cautious traveler and typically do not travel alone for this reason).
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Adi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best teacher I've ever had!

I have learned so much and continue to learn so much! Thank you for all the excursions this week, loved the farmers market and am looking forward to the poza de pipa and the rincon de la vieja! I loved Deidy’s review of all the verb tenses. Everyone is great! Irlanny, Marta, Dayana, y Ana are all lovely! It was nice to get to know Frankling on the Saturday excursion. My time with Leti and Gerardo continues to get better and better (which I didn´t think possible). We talk for at least a couple hours each night and the grandkids are great. Love the food, the stay, the cleanliness, and everything!
Merlyn was not only one of the best teachers in my time at instituto Estelar Bilingüe, but one if the best teachers I’ve ever had in my life. She was animated, challenging, clear, and captivating. I learned a lot from her and feel if I was able to do everything she taught this week perfectly, I would be fluent! She packed a lot in!!! Merlyn is beyond words. She was absolutely amazing. I am so grateful for her time, patience, and ideas. This week was amazing- I loved the tour at the beginning and think it’s so helpful for new folks at the school. The trip to Kenna’s de Cortez was lovely and I am excited about the weekend trips. I still can’t believe I did a headstand!! Charlie was awesome. Also- loved the cooking class! The intercambios are exhausting, but so helpful on many levels... not just for my fluency, but to be in an environment where people want to learn to connect and communicate. Love Marta, Yirlanny, y Dayana! Everyone at Estelar has been great! Yo aprendo mucho in la aula de Leti y Geraldo. Mi casa es limpia and los conversaciones ricos. ¡Soy muy afortunada!

What would you improve about this program?
In one of my weeks, the teacher didn't assign as much homework as I would have liked. I wish we had more homework and more time in class practicing verbs. Sometimes, the games take more time than the review. As an adult learner, I don´t really need games and am okay with faster practice without games... but I also understand I am only one learner in the class. Love the intercambios and meeting people here!
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Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

So happy with my Estelar experience!

I took four weeks of Spanish immersion at Instituto Estelar Bilingüe and arranged for my own stay in an apartment through some friends. This first week of the level one class was very satisfying and helpful. I was able to learn more than I thought in one week through the program that Gabriela used to teach me. My experience with my professor was excellent. Gabriela was very parient and allowed me to ask many questions whenever I needed to. She presented everything in a very professional manner and kept the class fun as well. I feel that I could have had more home work each night to challenge me more. This first week I spent time getting to know the town and trying to speak Spanish to the locals on my own.

Mariela the second week was very helpful everyday and challenged me to push myself every night to study in preparation for class. Mostly, she was very good helping me in my conversational skills. She made it fun and relaxing to converse with and enabled me to learn more conversation about my work specifically because she is also very envolved in her church so she was very helpful for my specific area of work as a Catholic priest once I get back to my parish. This is what I had hoped would happen when I first came here. She was a perfect pick for my second week. I did not participate that week in any extracurricular activities at the school due to other obligations. I did do the intercambio conversations with other students and it was fun to help others with their English.

In my third week, Nelly was a natural teacher and able to understand what the students understand. She was able to help us immediately before moving forward to quickly. She was very patient and so far was my favorite teacher here at the instituto. This class was the most difficult and challenging but the teacher was able to keep it slow enough for me to grasp the information necessary to get through this week. The walk through the rain forest was a good experience and gave us an opportunity to practice our Spanish outside of the classroom. It was also a fun and relaxing trip.

Even though the fourth week was difficult, it was still a great opportunity to learn more about the Spanish language. Merlyn was a very good professora and was patient with the class. She was able to teach us with good examples and helped us share about our lives using our Spanish that we have learned. That week I was able to take another trip with the group to the beach and experienced an amazing beachfront and different food than I had in Liberia.

My experience at Instituto Estelar was beyond my expectations. The staff is very helpful and very professional and lived up to all of my expectations and beyond because of their willingness to go out of their way to help in all areas other than just learning. The facilities and staff were exceptional and provided every need that I had. My experience with intercambio was very helpful - speaking with the other students to each other and then help someone else learn to speak English. I felt so happy to be at Estelar!

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Scott
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Family immersion experience: two thumbs up!

Gabriela is a wonderful teacher to me and my children. She exceeded all of our expectations. She laid a strong foundation for our 10 and 12 year-olds for future Spanish learning. Her skills and expertise are invaluable to Instituto Estelar Bilingue. Gabriela has a passion for teaching and making sure she meets her students where their needs are in order to bring them a level higher to obtain their goals. Gabriela took our needs and customized them to reach our goals and objectives in an interactive and engaging manner. We appreciated the extracurricular inside and outside of the classroom. We loved how the first part of class tied into the last part of the class to make it all come to a complete circle for connections and understanding. We were thrilled as a family to be able to donate what we no longer could use to Club A. Southwest Airlines allows for 2 free pieces of checkin luggage. We took advantage of their program and checked in 3 large suitcases full of clothing. Our experience with Estelar couldn´t have been better. Direct communication between the Director was beyond expectations. The staff is very professional and amicable. The teachers are very engaging. The school is very organized and has a great vibe throughout the building. This school provides what one should receive when wanting a truly effective Spanish speaking learning experience with the instruction and the homestay experience available. We loved our homestay with Don Hector and Dona Patricia. Wonderful home cooked meals. Precious family and super hospitable. They treated as if we were their family and made us feel at home.

What would you improve about this program?
My only recommendation is to put more ventilation in the sleeping quarters and an industrial'like fan in the hallway for more air to pass through the bedrooms as it was quite warm.
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Lorrie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience has been perfect!

The program is designed to meet the needs of each student. In my first week of classes, I was so happy with Valerie. Valerie is an excellent teacher she allowed me to learn at my own pace and was very patient and helpful with many examples. I have had many, many professors in my many years of school (Ph.D.) Valerie is among the best because of her understanding of people and the different ways of learning. In my second week, even though there were 2 students in the class, the profesora took time to make certain both of us understood each lesson. Merlyn used life stories to make the use of the verbs and new terms relevant to us. The extracurricular activities also gave us more opportunities to practice Spanish. Merlyn has so much energy and makes learning so much fun! If errors were made in homework or in class work, she went out of her way to help in a nonthreatening way. We were required to only speak Spanish in class and this was reinforced by all the staff here. I will have to come back next year to participate with Club A. All of the other activities were wonderful. It was also very nice to meet and talk to the other students in other classes on the activities. I enjoyed the cooking class and the trip to Llanos de la Cortez as well as the walking tour of Liberia. Going in the taxi to the waterfall was very good because the taxi driver and the guide spoke only Spanish with me and taught me many new words. Bethany and all the other staff are so professional and so kind. I never felt I was bothering anyone with my questions. The campus is super clean and everything in each classroom is well organized. My hostmom Dinora is my friend for life! From the very first day, she made me feel at home. The food was SO delicious and plentiful with a lot of variety.Dinorah spoke Spanish with me always and encouraged her family members to do so as well. I hope when I return that I can stay in this wonderful home again!! Overall, from my first encounter with Estelar by email to my last day in class, my experience has been perfect! I love my host family, the staff and the professors.

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Annise
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

¡Super recomendado!

Estudié una semana en el curso avanzado intensivo de español en Instituto Estelar. El curso cubrió mucho material, pero le presentaba muy bien. Me gusta mucho la profesora! Me encanta el Club A!!! Club A era la experiencia mas positivo por toda la semana! Tambien, me disfruté mucho el intercambio individual y me habría gustado tener mas conversaciones como esto. Todo en el instituto fue fabuloso. Mi mamá Tica Dinorah es increíble! Se escogió excelente para mi porque parece como la mejor opción del mundo. Dinorah es muy simpática y prestaba mucha atención a todo en casa. Cocinaba muchas comidas vegetarianas sin problemas y preparaba mas platos que el mínimo para el programa. También, ella le gusta charlar mucho, y eso me ayuda aprender mucho! Le recomienda con confianza!

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Audrey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Muy linda experiencia

Me quedé en Liberia por 7 semanas y estudié español intensivamente por 5 semanas. La profesora Merlyn tiene historias que son muy divertidas, ella usa los para enseñarnos mucho. Ella tiene mucha energía, ella es la mejor. Aprecio su pasión por la vida. Dance and cooking class with Karen were great! In the Spanglish Social I met a Tica who spent a lot of time with me here in Guanacaste enjoying the beaches and swimming. She is invaluable to me. Club A era un experiencia bonita con los chicos. Siempre voy a recordarlos. Quiero dar gracias a todas las personas - Karen, Diana, Marta, Daniela y Carol. Ellas tienen corazones de oro puro. Muchísimas gracias a Bethany por este oportunidad de asistir aquí en Instituto Estelar. Yo quedado con una Tico familia. Todos mis necesidades fueron satisfechas, pero no me hablaron lo suficiente. Esto fue una gran decepción para mi. Hablar todos los días en casa hubiera sido un gran ventaja. Ellos mejoraron después de que Bethany les habló, entonces eso fue bueno.

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Robert
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Positive experience for a couple!

My wife and I participated in Estelar's immersion and homestay programs for two weeks. I have had various teachers and instructors in Spanish, but Walter at Instituto Estelar was the best I've ever had. He had, of course, a thorough knowledge of the subject, but beyond that, he was energetic and made maximum effort to keep the class engaging and useful. His approach was at once flexible but also adhered to the requirements of the curriculum. I'm very glad to have been his student. My wife enjoyed her instructors, Caroly and Merlyn, who made the lessons fun by using lots of games and were always patient correcting her mistakes. The extracurricular activities were useful and entertaining. It would have been nice to have more participation from students. The fact that only a few of us participated limited their utility to some degree. The individual language exchange would have been improved by having shorter sessions with more people, perhaps in a rotating session, rather than a full hour with one person. It was interesting to talk to local people in the Spanglish Social while playing games. The trips we took were very enjoyable. The trip to the river was amazing - highly recommended! I was very pleased with the friendliness, helpfulness, and degree of commitment demonstrated by staff at Estelar Bilingue. There are always unexpected complications when one travels to a foreign country, and the staff and director were tremendously helpful in managing these minor crises. The campus itself is clean and well-maintained. The materials we recieved by email prior to our journey were fantastic. Everyone is always very helpful and friendly. Our host mom, Iris, is super friendly and a great cook. She does everything she can to make you feel at home. She and Johnny are wonderful hosts and made us instantly feel at home. Their house is super clean and the food was amazing and plentiful. They spoke only Spanish with us all the time and this was very helpful to us with improving fluency. They treated us like family and helped to make our experience here in Liberia wonderful.

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Wendy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Comprehensive, Effective Program!

The Spanish program at Instituto Estellar Bilingue is fantastic. Not only is the program itself comprehensive and geared to promote your learning quickly and intensively, but the extracurricular activities and the involvement in the community are indicative of a school that prides itself in inclusivity. If you would like to learn Spanish, then I highly recommend Instituto Estelar. I came for two weeks. La profesora Caroly es muy sympatica y paciente. She spoke always slowly and clearly, repeating herself many times in many different ways until everyone understands. In addition, her manner in correcting our errors was always kind and comprehensive. I was very pleased with Caroly as my Spanish teacher. The second week, Merlyn was my teacher. She taught with enthusiasm and inclusivity. She also spent considerable time in conversation with her students. Her engaging personality was infectious and she stimulated conversation in even the most shy of students. The school was clean and organized. I was pleased with all of the activities in which I participated. Carmen, my hostmom, is an absolute angel. I could not be happier. Carmen (and Jorge) were very gratious and welcoming. I miss my conversations with Carmen a great deal. She is a beautiful person.

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Janessa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Definitely recommend Estelar!

I really loved my experience here! I learned a lot and feel like I got a truly authentic experience in Liberia with many opportunities to practice my Spanish. I felt so welcome at Estelar and was provided with a great environment for learning! The school felt so welcoming and I appreciated that they took the time to make sure I was placed in the appropriate level in order to learn as much as possible. It was a challenge but one that I was up to! They were also great about giving advice for whatever I had questions about- be it currency exchange, buying a sim card or excursions to nearby beaches. I would definitely recommend Estelar! I loved my teacher - Walter was beyond fantastic! I learned so much with him. I appreciated the way that he always corrected my mistakes but did so in a way that I could learn from and didn´t make me nervous to make more. He kept the classes very interesting and I genuinely looked forward to coming to class every day. I felt that he provided an appropriate amount of homework that complemented my in class learning. I enjoyed going to the Feria and the Reserva Biologica! I really enjoyed the cooking class! Club A was a really interesting experience that I am glad I was able to be a part of. I also enjoyed the individual intercambios. Thank you also for helping me plan extra activities. All of the staff here were very approachable and I felt very welcomed and at home in the community that this school creates. My family was fantastic! They made me feel so welcome and I was a bit sad to leave them. The house was very clean and I had more than enough delicious food. They were patient with me and my speaking and I felt comfortable practicing my Spanish with them. They truly made me feel like a member of the family. They were patient with me practicing my speaking with them and it definitely enhanced my experience having stayed with them!

What would you improve about this program?
My only negative comment for the whole school was for me, I didn´t enjoy when we did a game with the other classes on Thursday. For me personally, I didn´t feel it helped my learning and honestly don´t enjoy being put on the spot in those types of situations but that´s just my opinion. Otherwise, I have loved everything else!
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VJ
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Love, love, love!

I loved this school! Deidy is an excellent teacher. I have never had a person speak so much Spanish to me, and I could actually understand her. Her lessons were very engaging, and I learned more than I could ever have imagined. As a former teacher, I found her exceptional. Great activities to reinforce what we are learning in class. I would have like a little more TPRS in my Spanish course, especially for practice hearing and saying the verbs multiple time. But I understand it is not everyone's cup of tea. I loved the intercambio. The movies were not too good for me because I really need subtitles. Love the staff. Everyone I have come into contact with at this school is fantastic! So kind and helpful, they go out of their way to make you feel at home. Annia and Luis, my host parents, treated me like family. The food was fantastic and I learned even more by practing Spanish with them. I literally cried when I said goodbye.

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Jamie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable Experience!

Spanish class with Merlyn is like falling in love with your first grade teacher, again! This teacher is the best I've ever had! I felt like she was able to cover a lot of useful information in just one week. I enjoyed all of the activities that Merlyn incorporated in our classroom. We had a good balance of movement, writing and speaking. My hostmom Leticia is amazing! Her home was very clean! Her family and even cat welcomed me with loving arms. They speak little Spanish, which made me work at it, and that is exactly what I wanted. Leticia´s cooking is wonderful! Everyone and everything at Estelar was fabulous! The school is very clean, organized and established. This school is a little gem in Liberia. Club A was a truly unforgettable, rewarding experience!

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CG
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Completely loved the immersion program!

The class was small and personable. The teacher taught only in Spanish but gave several examples to be sure we understood. Everone was extremly nice and helpful in the learning and supporting rolls each one played. My teacher was the best! Merlyn was very joyful and proficent. She made the learning experience interactive. I have been in many professional classes and this one was excellent. I am just learning Spanish so it was difficult for me but she made me feel good. When our brain was "fried" she could tell and pulled out games such as jenga and cards to learn in a playing way. I did attend the Spanglish social and that was extremely helpful. The language exchange was wonderful. The staff is always friendly and helpful, and the institute is always in a very clean condition. Our Host family was the BEST!! Iris and Johnny went above and beyond to meet our expectations. The house was exremely clean and well kept and the food, delicious! They helped with my understanding and practice. Completely loved the immersion program! The activities were above average. The staff and building were great: everyone and everything was fabulous!

Location

Location:
Costa Rica
Currency:
Costa Rican Colón
Weather:
Jan-Mar
83 F / 67 F
Apr-Jun
85 F / 69 F
Jul-Sep
85 F / 69 F
Oct-Dec
83 F / 67 F
Airports:
Juan Santamaría International Airport
( SJO )
Limón International Airport
( LIO )
Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport
( LIR )

A pioneer of ecotourism, Costa Rica draws many tourists to its extensive series of national parks and other protected areas. Costa Rica began reversing deforestation in the 1990s, and they are moving towards using only renewable energy. Head to the cloud forest, relax on the beautiful beaches or visit a coffee farm.

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About Instituto Estelar Bilingüe

Located in the Guanacaste region in northwestern Costa Rica, Instituto Estelar Bilingüe is committed to helping people of all ages and backgrounds learn a new language and improve their lives. Becoming bilingual is a challenge that takes time,...