Spanish Immersion Program—Costa Rica | Guatemala | Peru

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About

Maximo Nivel offers the most intensive and professional Spanish immersion programs in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru.

Our Native Spanish Program emphasizes oral communication and integrated skills development to help you really build your Spanish language proficiency—this is a great immersion experience.

Our native-speaking Spanish teachers are highly qualified professional instructors with years of experience.

Our Tandem Conversation program pairs Spanish program participants with our local English students for free conversation practice.

1. Earn university credit via our School of Record: California State University-Monterey Bay.
2. 1, 2, 3 or 4+ hours per day; Super intensive programs also available.
3. Free Tandem Conversation Program
4. Live with a host family, in an apartment, or in a hostel or hotel.
5. Preparation for the DELE Exam available.
6. Special add-on programs available: Surf School

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 45 reviews
  • Instruction 9.4
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.6
  • Value 9.4
Showing 31 - 45 of 45
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Beth
10/10

A wonderful program

I work in several Spanish-speaking countries and needed to improve my very basic Spanish. I also happen to love Cusco, and was referred to Máximo Nivel by a Cusqueño friend. My experience was way beyond my expectations! The staff and teachers are friendly, effective and are able to tailor classes for individual levels and needs. I hope to return for more classes someday, and would recommend it to anyone! Absolutely first-class!

Yes, I recommend
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Charles
9/10

It was a great experience

I came to Maximo-Nivel for four weeks to learn Spanish but did not do a volunteer placement. The course was intense, thorough and well taught. Since I was able to take the time to study outside of class and also to have the help of a tandem language exchange partner I am amazed at how quickly I have been able to develop a basic working knowledge of speaking and understanding Spanish.

The course was fun and included a field trip conducted entirely in Spanish which we were able to not only understand but which also gave us a deeper appreciation of the Peruvian culture.

My homestay family was jovial, kind and very considerate. They never missed an opportunity to help me with my Spanish. They even included me on a family outing to an archaeological site.

The support staff could not have been more helpful and I'm so glad to have done this with Maximo-Nivel.

Yes, I recommend
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Vania
9/10

4 months of language & internship

My program was 4 months in total. I did one month of intensive Spanish - 6hrs of class a day (2hrs private, 4hrs group) - then had 1hr of class/day for the remaining three months while I did my internship. The class and internship pairing was effective and extremely helpful.

Because I was with Maximo and in Cusco for quite some time, I took classes with three of their teachers, all of whom were excellent teachers. For the latter three months, I was with one teacher, which was extremely helpful in tracking my progress and in helping me with some of the Spanish content/translation for my internship.

I had a great internship experience. Having graduated with my Masters in Social Work, I was very specific with my requests and objectives with regards to the internship. Maximo offered me a very tailored placement and, as I had hoped, I gained valuable experience in the international development and social work fields in Cusco. I also received a great amount of support throughout from Maximo staff and the organization I interned with.

How can this program be improved?
It is relatively costly to volunteer/intern and hence, much more difficult to stay for a longer period of time for those who do not have the financial means. And unfortunately, time does matter for placements, especially when working in direct service/engaging with children in orphanages/schools. If at all possible, it would be nice to offer some sort of discount/package for such placements to incentivize applicants for longer stays. That would benefit the applicant and the host organization.
Yes, I recommend
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Phyllis
10/10

Maximo Nivel is the place to be!

As this was my second time with Maximo, it was great to see all the people we had met last time. It is a great thing to see a low turn over of staff, as it means things are working out well. I enjoyed my classes, and both of my professors, Robert (1 week) and Karla (especially since she was also my previous professor). I had signed up for group lessons and 1 hour of private but, I think I greatly benefited from the three hours of individual lessons time instead. I was able to work on many things, more importantly the pronunciation.
Staying with Ana was awesome, we were able to experience a normal working life in Peru complete with the meals and home stay.

How can this program be improved?
The first week was a bit hard, as Chuck and Kristopher work on construction in the morning and were finished by Noon, were my classes were well into the afternoon. It work a lot better in the last two weeks where we were all done around noon. I did learn a lot of Spanish, but with out the group or volunteer work there was very little interaction with other people, but that was ok also as this was my time to totally focus on the language. (and my husband refuses to dance...so no salsa night for me. perhaps next time.) It was good.
Yes, I recommend
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Carla
9/10

Excellent classes

The classes were excellent! The teacher was very nice and efficient and we learned very fast. The class at Mercado San Pedro was really interesting! We tasted new fruits and learned a lot of vocabulary! The material was also very good.

How can this program be improved?
They could have given me the home address in advance. I would feel better knowing where I'd stay!
Yes, I recommend
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Ryan
10/10

Great Experience!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time volunteering with Maximo Nivel. The spanish lessons were extremely helpful and it was a relaxed, yet productive environment. The class size was small so that we were able to interact continously and make new friends. The overall program was great and very affordable, especially for the unique experience of learning spanish from a native speaker. I have been able to retain the information I learned there, and can now progress further.

Yes, I recommend
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Louise
10/10

Life-changing medical internship

I had an unbelievable experience with Maximo. Their support, my amazing host family and friends in Cusco and the invaluable time in the clinic far exceeded my expectations. Maximo provided me with the resources and recommendations that helped to make Cusco truly feel like a second home. At my volunteer placement I had daily, intimate patient interaction and learned quickly from the friendly, encouraging staff there. The team at Maximo was very involved in making my experience the best it could be, prompting me to make frequent reflections and comparisons and challenging me to go above and beyond. Finally, my Spanish improved significantly thanks to my absolutely incredible Maximo instructor.

How can this program be improved?
Keep being amazing!
Yes, I recommend
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Nicholas
10/10

No better way to learn

During my five weeks in Cusco, I was amazed at how my comfort conversing in Spanish improved. Having never studied the language before, I did not expect to be having 30 minute conversations entirely in Spanish by the end of my fifth week. I especially like my teacher's willingness to modify her lesson plans to assist us with topics and phrases that we encountered elsewhere in the city. Between her and the wonderful support staff at Maximo Nivel, I gained not only comfort in speaking Spanosh but several good friends as well.

Yes, I recommend
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Michael
10/10

Why you should choose to do this program!

Growth, Good times, Great people. You will gain a renewed and broader perspective in the field of your placement area and improve your spanish speaking skills exponentially. You will have the opportunity to build strong and lasting relationships with locals and volunteers. You may even be lucky enough to dance the night away to a mariachi band and sing karaoke until dawn... Do this program!

How can this program be improved?
More planned events with other volunteers and local people could only improve the program.
Yes, I recommend
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Eliza
10/10

Experience of a lifetime - my educational internship

Maximo Nivel is an incredible organization! Not only do they provide amazing volunteer/intern opportunities but they are 100% commited to ensuring your adventure is amazing. The staff are always there for whatever you need and are absolutely incredible. Whenever I needed any guidance, support or even a recommendation on somewhere to eat - they were always there to help. Throughout your time volunteering/interning with them, they will be there to support you and ensure you're experience is awesome. My experience with Maximo Nivel was nothing but positive. I would go back in a heartbeat!!

How can this program be improved?
The tour company that Maximo Nivel is paired with is quite pricey and the guides they use in some tours can sometimes leave much to be desired
Yes, I recommend
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Anonymous
10/10

Highly recommend for improving your Spanish skills

I participated in a 1-week Spanish Immersion course at Maximo Nivel in San Jose, Costa Rica. The daily classes I attended were extremely helpful and thorough. The testing process to determine each student's language level was very accurate and did a great job of identifying the areas we each needed to focus on to improve our skills. My teacher had creative and fun ways to help improve my vocabulary and I really appreciated learning from a native speaker as opposed to an English speaker who also speaks Spanish. The school was very well-kept and secure with a friendly, helpful staff and convenient amenities like an on-site currency exchange service and snack bar. The Maximo Nivel staff were all extremely attentive and helpful - they each went above and beyond to meet all of my group's needs and everyone felt safe whenever we were at the school or around town with the staff members. Our group ambassador was extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the Costa Rican culture, and he truly made the trip worth our while. He organized excursions and paired us with Spanish-speaking students seeking to learn English, so we truly were practicing and learning Spanish every minute of the day - even when we weren't in the classroom. And our group instructor made the learning process fun and exciting, which also made it effective. We all agreed we wish we could bring him back to the States with us to continue our Spanish education at home! Overall, I would rate the Spanish Immersion course at Maximo Nivel as outstanding. I highly recommend this program for anyone with a basic understanding of Spanish who is looking to improve their skills while having a great time learning and experiencing the Costa Rican culture.

Yes, I recommend
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Meranda
10/10

Maximo Nivel Native Spanish Program in Guatemala

I attended Maximo Nivel in Guatemala on a Study Abroad trip with my college. My overall experience with Maximo Nivel was fantastic, we were only in Guatemala for four short days but the staff did their best to pack our days with classes and amazing experiences!

How can this program be improved?
I was only able to attend Maximo Nivel for four days and had a great experience so I don't have any critical feedback.
Yes, I recommend
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T.S.J.
9/10

A Wonderful Experience for Children

During our one week stay in Antigua, my daughters (13 and 11) and I enrolled in a four-hours for four-days immersion program. The one-on-one attention was fantastic. The instructors' command of English was excellent (although it wasn't used during our lessons!). They also displayed considerable patience :). As novice Spanish students (Mom VERY novice) we were challenged outside of our comfort zone-that was a good thing. I would highly recommend Maximo-Nivel. I am considering one of the other Maximo-Nivel locations for next summer. The staff was VERY helpful.

How can this program be improved?
Our classes were in an annex to the main school. I did not realize there more than one building. I was a little apprehensive at first; but I got used to it.
Yes, I recommend
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Peet
8/10

A perfect location with good teachers to learn and improve your Spanish language

For my work I had to learn the language Spanish . I started with some courses in Holland but that was not fast enough, and also not working well.
For that reason I contacted Maximo Nivel and my first visit and experience was in april 2010 with a first course for two weeks , with 6 hours per day . Everyone in my neighbourhood told me that this would be very intensive and to heavy , but in the way they teach you in Maximo Nivel it was really very good to do.

In April 2010 I really could not speak any word of Spanish , but now after 4 courses of two weeks , even with my age of 55 years , I can speak and communicate in Spanish.
These teachers from Maximo Nivel are really great that they fixed it to learn me a new language .
Also the organisation and the friendly surrounding gives you soon the feeling that you are a part of this big (school) family

For sure I will continue in Maximo Nivel with my courses of Spanish to improve the language more and more.
I can recommend this school to everyone who want to learn the language Spanish.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sean
9/10

Spanish Learning Program with Maximo Nivel

In the three weeks, I have increased my fluency and never was "bored" in any of my classes. Everyday was different with different objectives and topics for the classes. I liked having two different professors with different backgrounds; subtle differences in their accents, cultural differences, different views and ways of teaching. If I had chance to change something from the experience would be the location of the host family: the host family was great and provided an awesome environment for living (except for Wi-Fi) but was a little far away from the school (30 minutes bus ride). Other than that, I would recommend the program to anyone who is looking for a foreign language immersion program.

Yes, I recommend

About Maximo Nivel

Máximo Nivel (Maximum Level)—The Intercultural Center of Latin America

Máximo Nivel is a family-owned, social enterprise founded in 2003. Our three intercultural centers are locally-based organizations focused on international education and cross...