Spanish Immersion Program in Panama City, Panama

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Win FREE Flight to Panama, $500 USD + 3 Week Spanish Immersion Vacation with Classes and Active Pursuits

Learn Spanish and have the vacation of your lifetime:
- Daily Yoga Lessons
- Surf Course
- PADI Scuba Diving License
- Rock Climbing
- Ziplining
- Whitewater River Rafting
- Horseback Riding
- Island Hoping
- Sailing


Panama City is home to a rich diversity of cultures and inhabitants from all over the globe. Whether in pursuit of exquisitely renovated colonial neighborhoods, a flamboyant skyline bordered by the Panama Canal, the Pacific Ocean and dense tropical rainforest, or simply in search of sophisticated nightlife and unique cuisine experiences, Panama City is packed with art, culture, history and contemporary comforts of all kind.

An Official DELE Examination Center, Habla Ya is right in the heart of modern Panama City on the border of El Cangrejo and El Carmen, only a couple of blocks from the Subway in Via Argentina, surrounded by loads of bars, hotels, casinos, gyms and shops.

Following the tradition of Habla Ya Boquete and Bocas, Habla Ya Panama City has dozen of effective Spanish Courses customized to your learning needs that'll get you speaking Spanish in no time: Spanish for Business, Legal Spanish, Spanish for Travelers or a General Spanish Course with Group or Private Lessons

Questions & Answers


based on 23 reviews
  • Instruction 9.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.4
  • Value 9.1
Showing 1 - 15 of 23
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for students researching your options; I recommend Habla Ya Panama City

[1] Cost – tuition for the Spanish lessons at Habla Ya will appear reasonable in comparison to most European or North American countrys' standards, but know that for Panamanians, it is on the pricey side. An average monthly rent for one person in Panama City ranges widely from USD$200-700. The school is located in a safe neighborhood. There is air-conditioned classrooms, clean facility and dependable/wonderful front desk staff in a relatively newer building. One facility complaint I would make is the inconsistent wi-fi connection for the students. It is usable when in the lobby area but in the classrooms, it is not dependable. By no means, Habla Ya’s facility is not in a bad shape; in fact, I would rate it B+. The followings are suggestions given in hopes for the school’s continuous success. Given the high-end tuition, I hope that the school’s decision-makers consider upgrading the school’s wifi and its IT equipment. In my opinion, any school must keep up with the technology changes. Students no longer use the ‘book’ dictionaries; we use the dictionary app on our phones that requires wi-fi access. Teachers can enhance our learning experience by utilizing videos and other interactive applications but I think outdated laptops and weak wifi hold them back. The student lobby can use some comfy chairs/sofas. The lobby isn’t in bad condition but do not let “the lack of amenities” or costly tuition be the reason for students to leave and switch. Keep up with the neighboring competitions by maintaining a student friendly lounge and equip the school with technologically enhanced educational tools [strong wi-fi in the classrooms, faster laptops to play videos/musics for audio/visual teaching aids]

[2] Room & Board – this is handled separately by the front desk team prior to your arrivals. At first, I was randomly placed with a host family that didn’t fit my ultimate need. I needed to be with a family who would be around during the meal times so that I have opportunities to mingle/speak. Once I spoke up about my needs, changes were made almost immediately and I spent 3 wonderful weeks with an awesome host family. In hindsight, I wish that I had shared my expectation up front; perhaps, I could have avoided the unnecessary stress in the first week. Other options besides host family exist: Panama House (hostel plus hotel w/restaurant) is right across the street. Best western and mainstream hotels are near by. You can also search extended-stay or apartments with flat-mates independently. Let the front desk staff help you navigate through the available room&board options. They will know which area is safe, close to school, affordable…etc. They are a great resource and help with planning for afternoon/morning/or weekend activities. **If you want to be with a host family for the purpose of learning the language, then I would recommend a family with kids, more people or a host parent who is home most of the time. Panamanians work long hours and if you are paired with someone who is not at home much; you may be better off by staying at a hostel or B&B places instead. You will be forced to go out and buy food…in return, learn some Spanish during the process.

[3] Group class vs. Private Lessons: Habla Ya courses are organized in accordance with DELE / CEFR: A1-2, B1-2 and C1-2. I think their teaching material structure is helpful in estimating one's level and time needed to progress. I started at the level A1 and ended in A2. I began with a group class but switched to private lessons for 20 hours per week to address my needs better. With that said, there is a large difference in the group class and private one-on-one. Obviously one-on-one is much easier to meet the student’s needs; for instance, if student needs to work on speaking more than reading. The class can be designed to dedicate more time for such activity. Such flexibility is not present in group classes; there are certain objectives the teacher must go over for each group class. I spent 3/4th of my time learning in private mode. I liked the flexibility and the focus on improving my deficits. I could learn faster. As for Habla Ya Panama teachers whom I have interacted, (Yarixell, Juan and Jesus) they all have an excellent mastery of the Spanish language. Some teaching methods are utilized by all teachers: using the visual aids--white board, noting new vocabulary list when prompted, starting the class with daily course objectives. Regularly, the class is designed so that students are given opportunities to read, speak and converse in class. This occurs in both group and private classes. Teachers do have slightly different teaching styles but I actually enjoyed encountering the variety; as I found myself preferring one learning style over another. Eventually, we figured out a few styles that worked for me the best and used them in class. To share my preference, I liked reading a story, learning new vocabularies from the story, using workbook to apply the grammar rules learned. The workbook exercises became my way of confirming my deficits & knowledge. Based on my performance on the exercises, I could gage on what to review after class. I was actually very impressed by how my teachers figured out the best way for me to learn. Each teacher monitors the effectiveness of their teaching, documents daily/weekly progress of each student and look for student feedbacks. The teachers work as a team and consult with one another in regards to: what teaching methods to use [i.e. videos, index cards, interactive games, conversations..etc], assessments of weak & strong points of the student and to plan for the subsequent lesson plans. I really appreciated their attention to details, continuous notes on my progressing skills, resourcefulness with teaching materials [visual, audio, other interactive aids] and their teamwork. I went through many years in school but I never encountered such a successful collaboration by a group of teachers, until now. I think Habla Ya Panama City teachers are remarkable. They come from different backgrounds but with a common goal of teaching Spanish to non-spanish speakers. They are very good at what they do. What I likely most about them is their genuine wish for their students learn and succeed. They are all hard-working individuals who takes their profession seriously. I was lucky to have met this group of great teachers. When not teaching, they work on lesson plans or prepare for class. Of note, the textbooks are uniform throughout the 3 locations [panama city, boca de toro, and Chiriqui]. Both group and private classes are offered in all locations. Based on hearsays among the students, I felt that the school in Panama City is slightly more hard-core in academics than the other sites. There are more natural distractions to explore in other sites. I really cannot comment on Boca de Toro or Chiquiri.

[4] Yarixell is an awesome teacher. Not only did I learn Spanish from her, I also picked up a few teaching skills from her classes. She is calm, patient and understands the needs of a student very well. I can tell that she has taught a diverse set of students with no spanish knowledge to advanced levels. I never felt hurried, bored, or undervalued during her class. Her classes are designed so that each part has its purpose and all parts are equally important: with videos, interactive games, writing, reading...and with a very clear set of directions and daily objectives. She puts in time planning for her classes and her classes are well thought out. When she isn’t teaching, I imagine her sitting at a desk working on a lesson plan or consulting on a student with her colleagues. She is a natural born teacher in my opinion. I want to thank her for being so patient with me. Thank you. Thank you. She is a keeper and deserves a large raise!
What makes her stand out from other teachers is this: when she makes an important teaching point, there is an emphasis, either through a moment of silence, or by calling out the name of the student to gain the attention from the student. Then, the teaching point is explained in a clear manner. She uses Spanish words that the student already knows with least amount of words as possible. So that the student is not wondering about a meaning of a new word instead of learning the main teaching point. If not well received by the student, she goes further by writing out the complete teaching message once again on the board, and by providing a solid example. This really helped me because at times, I may not be able to understand everything just by hearing. I also liked her example that came with it; I can re-enforce the concept multiple times later by reviewing the example. This teaching technique works 100%. Knowing when to utilize this technique for which teaching point would distinguish an awesome teacher from a mediocre teacher. I do hope that this technique be considered by all teachers; especially to the beginner’s level group classes.

[5] Juan is also an excellent teacher. He is calm, nice and patient as well. He enjoys teaching the grammar and knows a lot about it. He is quite good at evaluating a student’s level of Spanish. This helps determine when to introduce new topics, in appropriate ways where the learner feels neither overwhelmed nor under-challenged. He took a part in challenging me by introducing new aspects of the language one step at a time...based on my progress. When I felt comfortable with the present tense, he would start to speak in past tense. This encouraged me to look up the unknowns and ask questions. In doing so, I learned new materials naturally and actively. This made learning Spanish fun for me. He is a good listener, intelligent and a natural born thinker. One would end up having random conversations about politics, education, literature/history or culture. It was a great way to speak the language, and also to learn about the Panama.

[6] Jesus is another a great teacher. Of course, he also is very patient with us. He has a pleasant and outgoing personality and is interested in learning about other cultures. We often discussed Korean food and culture, which became a nice way for me to speak Spanish. He is natural at making the students feel comfortable, less self-conscientious thereby allowing students to speak Spanish naturally. His classes are always full of energy, pleasant atmosphere and interactive. He genuinely enjoys teaching Spanish. He will be well received by younger students of primary & secondary schools. He prepares for his lessons and I really appreciated his readiness. Once he is ready to teach, I know that I will definitely learn something worthwhile. He is actually very good at explaining hard-to-grasp materials. Clear cut answers are provided so that I do not get confused later on. I really liked this part. This made my Spanish learning easy and I could move on to the next topic without any hesitation.

How can this program be improved?
I would not recommend picking out the confused students and repeatedly ask if the student understands…that can be stressful.
I do not advise doubling up on the number of sentences to explain a concept. The truth is “less is more”.
Use a different teaching method instead: switch from audio(verbal) to visual aid (write on the board), or show a short video or picture explaining the same concept, or have student work on the workbook exercises to apply what is being taught.
Communicate slowly as if you are only going to say the instruction once, using words students know and writing out the sentence.
Slowing down can actually help you save time because you may not need to repeat your instructions over and over again.
Embrace the silence and allow students to catch up or digest mentally on what you just went over.
Take a deep breath yourself!
Once a common ground is established, it is much easier for students to follow. The class pace will pick up its speed once everyone is on the same page.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Habla Ya Spanish Immersion

I completed intensive Spanish immersion classes with Habla Ya over 1-week. My instructors were Yesus and Ana. I learned a lot over 4 days, was able to explore the city (with my instructors) which gave me opportunitities to speak in a natural environment. I love Panama now, and throughly enjoyed working with Yesus and Ana at Habla Ya. I would recommend this program to others who prefer learning in an open and flexible environment.

How can this program be improved?
Awesome program! Defined going back.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Memorable Experience

My 2 weeks at Habla Ya in Panama City included a wonderful language learning experience as well as many fun excursions. I had private lessons with Esther for 4 hours each day. She was a great teacher and helped me to increase my language skills, especially my vocabulary. The front desk staff were warm and welcoming and helped me to plan tours to the Panama Canal, San Blas Islands, and Monkey Island. I would definitely return to Habla Ya.

Yes, I recommend this program

Spanish classes with Leidys

I first met Leidys during my time at Habla Ya in Boquete. She's absolutely lovely - so I was very excited to hear that she was going to teach my online classes.
Leidys is a very professional teacher who focuses on the aspects that are most helpful to me. I particularly asked her for listening and speaking practice and there has not been a moment where she wouldn't come up with great topics to work on. She makes sure to always have advice how to avoid common mistakes and how to specifically improve my Spanish. I'm very happy to have her as a teacher and can definitely recommend her as a teacher.

Yes, I recommend this program
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I was only at hablaya panamá city for one week and I feel like my spanish has gotten better already!

I was only at hablaya panamá city for one week and I feel like my spanish has gotten better already. I took clases from 2:00 – 6:00 pm from Monday – Friday and I enjoyed every momento of it. My profressor was very attentive to each students’ needs and used a pace that was very helpful. Every day of class was so much fun! I stayed with a very awesome host family where I got to practice my spanish even more. I can’t wait to return to hablaya and continue learning!

Yes, I recommend this program

Spanish Course in Boquete

Habla Ya is a very good choice to learn Spanish in an effective way. The classes are small and everyone is really helpful und there are also nice activities organized by the school which is a good way to meet more students in your free time. Learning with Spanish Professor Leidys im Boquete is a lot of fun and she is really patient and can easily pick up your level and helps individually to improve your Spanish :)

Yes, I recommend this program

una experiencia extraordinaria

Todos sabemos que el español es el tercer idioma más hablado en el mundo, por detrás del inglés y el chino mandarín. Estudiar español me ayudará a disfrutar de la obra de maestros de la literatura, el cine, y la cultura. En ese sentido, siempre a traves de internet buscando una escuela que tenga una reputacion y con la suerte encontre la escuela" Habla ya Panama (Panama city)" alla son los profesores nativos y profesionales que tienen mucha experiencia en la enseñanza de su idioma. Aprendi espanol con mi profesora Stella Orfa en el nivel B2 , ella es una senora simpatica, amable y responsable!!! Yo tuve muchas dificultades de gramaticas sobre subjuntivos (subjuntivo pretérito imperfecto, subjuntivo futuro imperfecto,subjuntivo pretérito pluscuamperfecto etc.) y ella siempre me enseno , explico con paciencia y detalladamente. Su actitud me dio muchas ganas de manejarlo bien el espanol y de disfrutar aprendiendo espanol.
Despues de dos semana de clases intensas logre una gran paso. Le agradezco mucho!! Muchas gracias!!!
Si quieres tener una aprendizaje activo, Habla ya Panama (Spanish School) es tu mejor opcion !!!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Excelentes clases de español

I am a frequent student of Habla Ya Boquete. This year I took my group classes and private lessons with Leidys. The classes are a mixture of grammar, tasks, communication. Leidys prepares her classes buenissimo and adapts her teaching speed to the student levels. Besides, the classes are always fun too. In private classes it is possible to work more individually, so I recommend taking group classes and some additional private classes. Thanks for the experience!

Yo soy una estudiante frequente de Habla Ya Boquete. Este año tube mis clases de grupo y clases privadas con Leidys. Las clases son una mezcla de gramatica, tareas, communicacion. Leidys prepara sus clases buenissimo y adapta su velocidad de enseñar a los niveles de los estudiantes. Ademas las clases siempre son divertidos tambien. En las clases privadas es posible trabajar más individual, por eso recomiendo tomar clases de grupo y algunas clases privadas adicional. Gracias por la experiencia!

How can this program be improved?
The school offers extra activities. However, they could promote these activities more, so that more students participate.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Komptenz und Spaß dabei (Competency and fun)

Having been enthusiastic about the Habla Ya language school in Bocas, I also visited them in Panama City. Again, I had a competent and entertaining teacher who could teach me the Spanish language in a fun and understandable way without the boredom or learning stress even in the approach had a chance, which is not a matter of course with my difficulty learning languages. I made good progress and had fun ... what more could you want ?!

Nachdem ich in Bocas bereits von der Habla Ya Sprachschule begeistert war habe ich diese auch in Panama-City besucht. Auch hier hatte ich einen kompetenten und unterhaltsamen Lehrer, der mir die spanische Sprache auf spielerische und verständliche Weise vermitteln konnte ohne das Langeweile oder Lernstress auch nur im Ansatz eine Chance hatten, was bei meiner Schwierigkeit Sprachen zu lernen keine Selbstverständlichkeit ist. Ich habe gute Fortschritte gemacht und hatte Spaß dabei... was will man mehr?!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Recuerdos de Habla Ya.

I maybe among the eldest students to occupy a class room at the Habla Ya Boquete Campus. The age range and nationalities of students varied. The sense of community and passion for learning remained constant.
Raised in the Canal Zone during the 1950s, I was familiar with the curative powers of Ceviche de Corvina and chicha. I had wandered some of the fern and waterfall lined hiking trails, but I was not prepared for the excellence of the teaching and administrative staff at Habla Ya. Professora Leidys, known for her patience and humor, served as a cultural attché with her knowlege of Panamanian history, customs, folklore and family life. Her command of Spanish grammer and linguistics presented in her entertaining and innovative teaching style, made each class an adventure.
The family living program reinforced our class work and privided a near- total inmersion experience. The abuelito my household enjoyed discussing politics and events forgotten by most. The host mother cooked with cariño. I was handed the house keys and accompanied by family to festivals and outings. What I found particularly remarkable about Habla Ya was the return rate. Class mates from Canada, Belgium, Germany and elsewhere talked of classes from years past. Folks keep coming back for refresher courses.
That says something!

Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent teachers

I spent a week in Boquete and a week in Panama City taking classes at Habla Ya. All my teachers in both cities were excellent with clear diction. The teachers in Panama City were more formal while the teachers in Boquete were more relaxed - typical cultural difference. My teacher in Boquete, Leidys, was excellent and very fun to learn from. Our private lessons were like visiting with a friend. I had very wonderful homestay families in both locations. Personally I preferred the Boquete experience as it is a more manageable environment (the big city is hectic, and hot, and the campus in an older building, while the mountain town is charming and everyone is friendly) - if I could do it again I would just spend a couple days solely as a tourist in Panama City and more time as a student in Boquete.

Yes, I recommend this program
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I’ve tried taking Spanish at college night school, using online tools and listening to educational CDs. Nothing truly worked before immersing and attending three weeks at Habla Ya, and particularly working with my professor, Leidys Pitti. Leidys is not only extremely patient, but has the ability to recognize the level of each student’s ability and progress and meet them where they are. My first week of class was with three other students, and Leidys skillfully engaged each of us in asking questions, writing, and practicing new learning in fun ways in class. The second week, I was a solo with Leidys, and we had the opportunity to have real conversations every day. I’m amazed at how well we each understood each other and enjoyed the discussions and practice. The third week, there were two students. With Leidys teaching and a lot of practice, we had gained confidence in remembering not only many, many words, but in understanding how to put them into sentences and improve on grammar usage (verbs, adjectives, possessive, plural, etc.). I cannot recommend Habla Ya and Leidys enough. These three weeks have been game changing in building a solid platform for my ongoing use of the Spanish language. I’m thrilled to be going back to Los Angeles to practice with friends and look forward to returning to Habla Ya to continue building my skills to speak this beautiful language.

How can this program be improved?
More profesoras like Leidys.
Yes, I recommend this program

Belle experience

Belle expérience à l école Habla Y’a bien tructurer.
Professeure Leidys très professional avec expérience.
Pour la ville d’en Boquete très charmante température.
Un peut fraîche avec un peut de pluie.
Les villageois très gentils.
Je recommande Boquete école Habla Y’a pour cours d espagnol.
Pour la nourriture très bon et abordable, avec beaucoup de Variété.
Transport facile d accès et peu honnereux.

No, I don't recommend this program
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4 weeks in Boquete, 1 week in Bocas del Toro

I spent four weeks at Habla Ya in Boquete and one week in Bocas Del Toro studying Spanish with Habla Ya. In Boquete, I took group classes with Yubal and he is excellent. He made class fun and was clear with the material so me and my classmate learned a lot! He also speaks very good English which was very helpful in times of confusion for clarification, and he was sure to review anything we weren't clear about. I looked forward to going to class every day.

Also in Boquete I took private classes with Kimberly and Jeremy. Kimberly is incredibly sweet and very good at creating conversation with her students which lets us help practice when we don't even realize it. I really enjoyed my time with her! I spent less time with Jeremy but he was also helpful in going over new vocabulary and helping me remember it. Both professors were sure to help reiterate what I had been learning in group classes.

I got to stay with the Miranda family in Boquete which was a complete gift! All were extremely kind and fun to talk to, and their house is like a garden oasis that is beyond peaceful.

For one week in Bocas del Toro I stayed with the Morales Campbell family, who were very hospitable and easy to talk to. Their house is right in the middle of town which made walking easy as well. My professor was Benita, who I loved so much! She treated me and my other classmate like daughters, and her direct teaching style helped us advance faster in the level we were in. Benita wanted to know how we learned best so that she could teach accordingly, which was also so cool. She made my short time in Bocas very fun and made me feel immediately welcome.

Yes, I recommend this program

1 week in Boquete

I studied Spanish for a month in Bocas and Boquete. I spent 3 weeks in Bocas fell in love with the place and the people. My time in Boquete was tranquil and an amazing end to a incredible trip. I was lucky enough to have awesome teachers in both locations but in Boquete I had Leidys (also had Kimberly for private classes). Leidys was friendly and provided a variety of activities in class to enhance my skills. I recommend that if you'd like to learn Spanish - Panama is a great option. If you like to go out at night and enjoy beaches Bocas is certainly for you - or if you prefer a laid back hiking town you should check out Boquete.

Yes, I recommend this program

About Habla Ya Spanish Schools

Learn Spanish by the Caribbean Sea, in the cloud forest, in Latin America's most cosmopolitan city, or at the three of them!

With locations in Panama's most exciting destinations by the beach (Bocas del Toro), in the mountains (Boquete), and in...