Native Spanish Program — Immerse Yourself in Peru
95% Rating
(40 Reviews)

Native Spanish Program — Immerse Yourself in Peru

Maximo Nivel offers Spanish immersion programs at our institute in Cusco, Peru. Our Native Spanish Program is ideal for students, professionals, and adventure seekers. Basic to Advanced levels are available. Expand your studies with optional service learning and internship programs.

Our Native Spanish Program is the most intensive and professional Spanish language program in Latin America. Spanish classes emphasize oral communication and integrated skills development to help you really build your Spanish language proficiency.

Spanish programs include:

- Airport pick-up
- Spanish language certificate
- All books and materials
- In-country orientation, safety presentation, and walking tour
- Free Office-wide WiFi and computer lounge
- Home-base facilities and multi-lingual team support 7 days/week
- Free Salsa lessons
- Free Cooking lessons
- Activities calendar

University credit is available via our official School of Record: California State University-Monterey Bay

Locations
South America » Peru » Cusco
South America » Peru
Language
Accommodation
Apartment
Guesthouse
Host Family
Hostel
Hotel
Currency
USD

Questions & Answers

I travelled alone to Cusco (and to Antigua, Guatemala another time), and yes, there are always people around to make friends with and the Maximo Nivel staff are terrific! Very friendly and helpful with all needs and wants, from orientation, to where best to shop and sites to see. They will also put you in touch with World Travel (also in their building) and other reputable travel agencies for all...

Program Reviews

  • Instruction
    90%
  • Support
    97%
  • Fun
    90%
  • Housing
    93%
  • Value
    93%

Program Reviews (40)

Default avatar
Sara
Female
28 years old
Italy
Other

amazing experience

10/10

I' ve been in Cusco for one month studing at Maximo Nivel.
I' ve learnt so fast Spanish thanks to my teachers Rosa and Vanessa. Classes were just great.
I am so happy and thankful for the time spent here. Really recommend such an amazing experience!
At my homestay I had the chance to be in contact with the local culture and traditions.
Furthermore I had fun with so many new friends exploring the city and all the attractions here.
Everything was so amazing that I just would like to stay more :)

Default avatar
Vicki
Female
63 years old
Cusco, Peru
University of Houston

Best Ever

10/10

<i can´t say enough good about how positive my experience has been once again (my second time here) the staff are incredibly helpful, they all speak English as well as Spanish and are always very patient and interested to resourceful. My teacher, Vaneza, was the best ever of my different teachers. She knew how to help me build self esteem through building skill levels with the classes. I´d highly recommend this school to any of my friends or family and what a great town to have time to play in !!

How can this program be improved?

A space with carpet and Yoga mats for breaks...

Marilia
Female

Ótima experiência! - Great experience!

10/10

Fui com minha mãe à Cusco para fazer 2 semanas de curso de espanhol e tivemos uma ótima experiência na escola, que tem uma estrutura muito boa e ótimos professores. Está localizada em uma das principais ruas (Av. El Sol) e oferece várias atividades extras como aula de cozinha peruana (que foi dada em inglês, detalhe que não curti, já que estava fazendo aula de espanhol...), conversação com outros alunos (tandem conversarion - estrangeiros x locais) e aulas de salsa (todas grátis). Como perdemos 2 aulas em razão de internação no hospital, devido a aclimatação, nos deram a opção de repô-las, o que achei bem legal. Staff muito bacana - professores de espanhol cusqueños! Recomendo :)

I went with my mother to Cusco to take a 2 week Spanish course and had a great experience at school, which had a very good structure and great teachers. It is located in one of the main streets (Av. El Sol) and offers several extra activities such as Peruvian cooking class (which was given in English, a detail that I did not enjoy since I was doing Spanish class ...), conversation with others students (tandem conversation - foreigners x locations) and salsa classes (all free). As we lost 2 classes due to hospitalization (due to acclimatization), they gave us the option to replace them, which I found to be very just. Staff very nice - Spanish teachers from Cuzco! I recommend :)

How can this program be improved?

Ficando mais claro que COINED e Máximo Nível são/estão na mesma escola e aula de cozinha peruana em espanhol !

Default avatar
Cynthia

Incredible Experience

10/10

Maximo Nivel is an incredible program. I had a fantastic teacher (Yenny), host "mom" (Amanda), and a great experience meeting everyone at Maximo (for example, Sylvia and Eveline in the office and Ruth who works concessions). Each and every person treated me and the others in my group super well, and it's obvious they love what they do. They will go to great lengths to provide each student with the best experience. For example, they rearranged our classes more than once and allowed all of us to use a room one night to have a dance party with our new Peruvian friends.

I not only learned a lot of Spanish, but most importantly, I felt welcomed into a new culture and family...one that I love and hope to return to soon. Gracias a todos por su apoyo!

How can this program be improved?

Great question...I'm not sure at this time.

Default avatar
Lee
Female
38 years old
United States
Auburn University at Montgomery

Awesome program!

10/10

I came to Cusco, Peru BECAUSE of Maximo Nivel - because they offered everything I was looking for, and the program was SO flexible. I wanted to stay for 4 weeks, but I wasn't sure I wanted to take classes the whole time. That was NO problem for Maximo - they let me pick and choose what I wanted to do, and make those decisions on a week to week basis. It was great!!

Not only that, but the Maximo Nivel "headquarters" here in Cusco became like a second home - everyone was SO friendly and welcoming, and I always felt like there was a place to go. People there remembered my name!! And with hundreds of students in and out, that's no small thing. I give it a TEN! :-)

Default avatar
Dayna
Female
32 years old
Perth, Aus
University of South Australia

Well run, professional language school

10/10

My experience with Maximo Nivel in Cusco was fantastic. My husband & I did group Spanish classes (basic level) for a week. We learned an enormous amount in one week and are now confident holding basic conversations in Spanish for the remainder of our Latin American travels.

After the first couple of group classes we elected to do an additional 2 hrs private to cement what we were learning. Both teachers we had were fantastic and seemed well qualified. Group classes were small (4 people) and great to bounce questions / learnings around.

I was impressed by the professional service offered by Maximo Nivel staff, the extra social activities offered, the family homestay arrangements... We were satisfied with it all! The value is phenomenal for what you receive.

For anyone looking to learn / solidify their Spanish language skills, I highly recommend Maximo Nivel Cusco. We only wish we could have stayed longer!

Default avatar
Kenneth
Male
63 years old
Cusco, Peru
Other

Maximo Nivel Peru

9/10

I enjoyed the city of Cusco and my time was well spent learning Spanish as a second language. I had planned on a month course and ended up extending it another month to get a basic knowledge of the language. I find learning a new language at my age of 62 is difficult but the teachers and staff were very helpful as I can be difficult and frustrating at times. I tended to ask lots of questions. Other students told me to try and learn Spanish not try and change it. I got it finally. after the first week and I truly appreciate the teachers and fellow students for the patience for that week. I highly recommend this school.

How can this program be improved?

I have no problem in the way it is managed and ran at this time.

Default avatar
Wendell
Male
49 years old
Reno, NV
University of Oklahoma

One Week Immersed

10/10

My Spanish is very basic. I am not a teacher, at least by profession or certification. I was not sure what to expect. But I took Spanish classes for the one week I was there and taught English at a shelter every night. It was a little scary at first. But the students that showed up were so genuinely interested in learning that a little effort in daily planning and a heart to help were sufficient to make a difference! I wished I could have stayed longer! There were a number of "gotcha" moments that made me feel I was making a difference, even though I was only there one week. I can only imagine if I could have stayed longer. If you have a week or two, consider going and making a difference in the lives of those who need you! You will not be disappointed! I promise!

How can this program be improved?

You guys are awesome!

Default avatar
Sally
Female
28 years old
Greensboro, NC

Wonderful experience!

10/10

I spent a week in Cusco volunteering with Maximo Nivel on a medical project. I had never taken any Spanish before this trip and was very worried, but the Maximo Nivel staff were extremely helpful, the homestay was wonderful, and everything went smoothly. I had a lot of fun taking Spanish classes at Maximo Nivel and was able to immediately use what I was learning in my volunteer placement in the medical clinic. In addition to taking Spanish classes and volunteering, I was also able to take Salsa lessons at Maximo Nivel and explore different parts of Peru through their partner travel organization. The trip was wonderful, but one week was not enough! I hope that I am able to go back to Peru soon!

Eleanor
Female
23 years old
Calgary, Alberta

Two months more important than four years

9/10

I went to Peru for a medical internship at the end of my university studies. I lived in a homestay with a few other girls and was able to take the local bus or walk to my clinic the whole time I was there.
I've taken four and a half years of Spanish classes and my two months in Cusco made me feel more comfortable with the language and improved my vocabulary and fluency more than all of those years combined!
Not only is Maximo Nivel really good about providing excellent Spanish teachers, but the people of Cusco are so friendly and helpful that it seems like you have a whole city of Spanish teachers. Maximo is also great about providing social opportunities so that you can get out there and get connected. I especially loved the Tuesday night Salsa classes.

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Jl
Female
63 years old
Fayetteville, AR
University of Arkansas- Fayetteville

Great Program, Wonderful Area

9/10

It is a life goal of mine to become reasonably fluent in Spanish and I also had always wanted to visit Machu Picchu, so language school in Cusco was perfect! After age 60, the University in my city allows one to take classes for free, so I had completed Intermediate 1 and 2 before arrival. At Maximo Nivel, I was in the high intermediate group and graduated into advanced. The instruction was excellent. Our professor knew her grammer inside and out and gave great explanations. We also had lots of time to practice talking on a wide range of topics - all in Spanish, of course! I feel my ability level advanced considerably.
The Salsa dancing classes were also a lot of fun!
My homestay was wonderful. A warm, funny middle aged woman who was an excellent cook and treated us all as her children (even those of us older than her!) I had a chance to meet and interact with folks of various ages from all over the world which to me is a large part of the joy of travel.
I had already booked a week around Lake Titicaca (do a home stay on Taquile Island if you get a chance!) and my trek to Macchu Picchu through another outfitter, but the tour company associated with Maximo Nivel set me up with several day trips (inexpensive!) on the weekends in between which gave me an excellent chance to see many of the incredible sites around the area. In Cusco itself, I had plenty of time to explore museums to my heart's content and enjoyed the large variety of excellent restaurants as well.
Hope you get a chance to visit this amazing place some day!

Default avatar
Katelyn
Female
26 years old
Portland

My Cusco experience with Maximo Nivel

10/10

Such an incredible, worthwhile, life changing experience. The staff at Maximo Nivel go above and beyond to make sure you are enjoying yourself, safe, and getting the most out of the culture in Cusco. The Spanish courses were key to my cultural experience in Peru. I had never taken a Spanish course in my life prior to visiting Cusco. In 9 short weeks I felt much more proficient. Being able to better communicate with the people in Peru was so valuable. I learned more about them, and they learned more about me. My host family were the kindest people and helped me with my homework and practiced with me daily. The Spanish I learned from the courses with Maximo has been very useful since I've come home to the US. I've been able to encorporate those language skills into my daily work. Couldn't recommend Maximo Nivel and the Spanish courses enough!

Default avatar
Kristi
Female
26 years old
Snohomish, WA
Colorado State University

Amazing agency that gave me a wonderful experience

10/10

Maximo Nivel is an awesome agency. I loved my experience volunteering with them and taking Spanish so much that I even have gone back again! Maximo staff was always very supportive of giving you the best learning experience based on your own goals and interests. Beyond this, the Spanish was awesome, with great teachers. The teachers integrate in cultural experiences for the students which means there were several times where we got to leave the classroom to experience a festival or have an experience that made me feel more connected and understanding of the culture. Its also awesome that they offer free cooking lessons and salsa classes, so you get to take some new skills home with you! Thanks Maximo for an awesome experience.

Default avatar
Angela
Female
22 years old
Westbury
Binghamton University

Máximo Nivel, Cusco

10/10

Overall, the program and my experience with Máximo was both positive and excellent. Academically, I learned more Spanish than I had in my undergraduate experience as a Spanish major. My host parents were cleanly, friendly, and motivated my learning by communicating only in Spanish. I am still in contact with my host mom, Ani, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet her and her family. Máximo was also beneficial in the entertaining services that they provided: salsa classes, sports, etcetera. My only complaint is that the paragliding sport was slightly more expensive than rates at outside travel agencies. I would definitely work with Máximo again and feel comfortable doing so.

How can this program be improved?

Honestly, N/A.

Default avatar
Natalia
Female
21 years old
Athens, Greece
Other

The most fun and efficient experience!

10/10

One of the best opportunities we had during our 3 weeks stay in Cusco was the Spanish class! Kathy, our teacher is definitely one of the best teachers I have encountered in my whole life as she managed to teach as in such an efficient way that we began at the basic level and ended up with a certificate of intermediate level only in 2 weeks!! It really makes your experience more complete being able to communicate in Spanish while in Cusco!! Moreover, Kathy taught us about the local culture and she took us to local spots in the city that we would not have discovered on our own! For me, getting to know the culture in this way was extremely important! Finally, we also participated in the salsa and cooking classes which were incredibly fun - totally recommended! The Native Spanish Program in Maximo and each member of the staff individually made my experience in Cusco unforgettable and also left me with a very important tool - a new language!

Default avatar
David
Male
24 years old
Rochester, NY
Binghamton University

Excellent teachers, excellent experience

9/10

One of my favorite parts of the program was when my teacher, Yesi, on top of helping us go from knowing almost no Spanish to being able to carry simple conversations and at least survive on our own in Cusco, took us to the parade outside Maximo. It was for the carrying of the statues of saints to the cathedral right before Corpus Cristi. It was an amazing experience, and I was so thankful our teacher shared it with us.

Default avatar
Liz
Female
32 years old
Binghamton, NY
Binghamton University

Supportive staff and family

9/10

My host mom was amazing and I had a perfect experience staying in her home. The school was very helpful, too in finding local places for different types of activities-- which as someone who is not local or knowledgable about the area this is extremely helpful and made me feel safe and looked after.
Language classes were very helpful, but I felt like I needed a more rounded out language lesson since I needed certain vocabulary to get by in town. My professor wAs awesome about that though and made sure we learned what we wanted to learn.
Overall, Maximo Nivel was so helpful in many ways and accommodating to us as visitors. Their program was very well run and executed. Thanks for everything!

How can this program be improved?

Language immersion tailored to getting by in the city. Need to know info for Shorter programs.

Default avatar
Anton
Male
24 years old
New York
Binghamton University

Spanish Teachers

10/10

The professors are very good- they are incredibly helpful and fun and exciting. They have all sorts of methods of engaging the class in a positive manner and it is enjoyable to be in the classes. I had a great experience there

Default avatar
Sarah
Female
24 years old
Binghamton, NY
Binghamton University

Highly Recommend!

9/10

Traveling to Peru was amazing, but going abroad is always a little nerve-wracking. Maximo Nivel provided me with support that made my transition to life in Cusco seamless and stress-free. I really appreciate how much the staff cares about the people who utilize their services, and I would recommend Maximo Nivel to anyone who was traveling in Peru, especially if you are alone or an inexperienced traveller.

How can this program be improved?

I wish my Spanish class had been more challenging and more conversation based. I would have liked to be more comfortable conversing in Spanish outside of the classroom than I was.

Default avatar
Elizabeth
Female
24 years old
New York, New York
Binghamton University

Love it!

10/10

The staff is so friendly and helpful. They are extremely easy to talk to and have the answer to any question you can think of! Also they genuinely care about each student and try their best to get to know everyone. I always felt like I had a family while I was in Cusco.

Default avatar
Betty
Female
42 years old
Sydney Australia
Other

Great spanish lessons

10/10

We undertook 3 weeks of spanish lessons during our volunteering. We had Tania as our spanish teacher. She was amazing. The lessons were practical, fun and relevant. The material supplied was relevant and easy to follow. We had a lot of fun and learnt a lot during our 3 weeks stay.

How can this program be improved?

There was a lot of focus on grammar. This is very important for building a foundation. Perhaps more conversational phrases incorporated into the lessons would be great.

Default avatar
Nizar
Male
32 years old
Toronto
University of Waterloo

Spanish Program

9/10

The experience was incredible! The people were always very friendly and encouraging. Staff was always supportive during all aspects of the volunteer experience. The spanish lessons were lots of fun and it was great to share them with someone of similar skill level to assist with the learning process. My teacher was patient and knew how to keep lessons interesting. The house moms in our volunteer house always had a smile on and looked out for us. The people was the best part and I can't say enough good things about them.

How can this program be improved?

More activities that allow for reflection and developing your character, to help get more out of the experience.

Default avatar
Emily
Female
32 years old
Chicago, Illinois
Rush University

Fantastic

10/10

I just got back from a 3 week medical volunteer program at the Centro de Salud in Urcos, about 1 hour outside of Cusco. It was absolutely incredible. The staff at the clinic were amazing and welcoming, my host family was lovely, and everyone at Maximo was extremely helpful. I worked some long hours to make sure to get the most out of the trip, and it was so worth it. I went on rounds with the doctors, did sutures and dressing changes in the emergency room, and learned all about the health system in Peru. The highlight was definitely helping deliver a baby just hours before my own birthday.

On my last day I had the opportunity to drive out with the team at Urcos in the ambulance for just a fun day of lunch and volleyball. I am so happy I got to meet them. The other volunteers were also really cool people, and there was always something to do and someone to do it with. I will remember our big boat trip on Lake Titicaca forever. I had a tandem buddy as well and loved hanging out with him. My Spanish lessons with Ricardo and the field trip to the zoo were a lot of fun. All in all, I can't imagine a better way to get ready for intern year. Be brave and humble, make connections, speak Spanish, and be a sponge soaking in an incredible learning experience. Magical experience, magical country.

How can this program be improved?

The other volunteers at CS Urcos dropped out of the clinic after a few days because they felt like they weren't helping enough. It is a government clinic and well-staffed, so as students we were well supervised, not given free reign. While they didn't necessarily "need" volunteers to run the clinic, I felt I learned so much and hopefully gave back a little knowledge about pathologies I've seen more of in the states (diabetes, decubitus ulcers). The other volunteers were also frustrated I think by the language barrier. I fully enjoyed the experience by speaking Spanish fairly well, and you will be somewhat limited if you don't. There were days where all I did was weigh and measure babies or fill out government forms, but as long as you don't consider this beneath you, you will be helpful.

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Alex
Female
32 years old
Toledo, Ohio
Ohio University

Maximo Nive

10/10

This program was absolutely fantastic! They were easy to work with, extremely supportive, and placed me with a wonderful host family. I enjoyed the activities they set up for the volunteers and my Spanish classes were very useful.

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Nathanael
Male
24 years old
Cusco, Peru
Brigham Young University- Idaho

Spanish Review

9/10

I enjoyed the Spanish classes, but I felt like their price point was higher than many things found in Peru (currency converted).

Default avatar
Rachael
Female
32 years old
Cusco Peru
University of the Incarnate Word

A wonderful experience!

10/10

I throuroughly enjoyed my time at Maximo Nivel and would come back again! My teacher was patient and helpful, my host family was incredible, and the support staff made my stay in Cusco very smooth and comfortable. Thank you for a great time!

Default avatar
Becky
Female
57 years old
San Francisco, CA
Southern Methodist University

Nice time in Cusco

7/10

My experience with Maximo was great. The staff there are so caring and really helped me out of a few binds on my first and last days.

Working at Salame, the boys' orphanage near the office was humbling. Clearly Maximo is picking the right places to use their resources as these little boys need so much love and attention. I do wish I could have done more for them but two weeks isn't very long to affect change. If I had known more Spanish, I could have interacted with them more effectively but we still managed to have fun.

Speaking more fluent Spanish would have helped me with my host family. I spoke much more Spanish than they did English but we still had a hard time communicating and had some real dusie misunderstandings!

Under these circumstances, I would have preferred to have been placed in a volunteer house where my language capabilities wouldn't have been such an issue. And I would have had more company. Eating alone in the dining room is not that fun when your host family eats in the kitchen.

Just a few suggestions for next time!

How can this program be improved?

See what I wrote above about my living situation. That's really the only suggestion I have.

Thanks for having me, Maximo!

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SStellhorn
Female
42 years old
Redlands, CA
Loma Linda University

Wonderful trip to Cusco via GVN and Maximo Nivel

9/10

Way to go, Peru Maximo Nivel Team. Your staff does a great job of educating, encouraging, and caring for the students and volunteers with lots of project options and resources, in addition to classes, for learning the language! My homestay family was terrific! Pilar is a super nice and accomodating! And it worked out great to do my homework and go to classes in the morning, and then to work in the afternoon. The 40 minute busride was a bit long for work everyday, but I understand the limitations for Hogar de las Estrellas living location. As a Physical Therapist in the US, the setting was pretty heart-wrenching on a daily basis without the resources that I know that the kids need. But that way I also know that the efforts for fundraising through Chelsey's GoFundMe website are so very much appreciated and well distributed to the kids! Thank you especially for the folks who are the daily welcoming committee with warm smiles every time I went upstairs to the office: to Ninoska, Silvia, Gabe, Tanja, Medy, Jack, and Chelsey! You all do a wonderful job of greeting, listening, problem-solving, and trouble-shooting. Love you guys! :-)))))) I would and am absolutely recommending this experience to many of my friends!

How can this program be improved?

Decrease the distance to the project. But please do NOT stop the volunteers from going to Hogar de las Estrellas! They need volunteers!

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Liliane
Female
42 years old
Teresina, Brasil
Other

La experiencia de vivir en otro país

10/10

Mi experiencia en Cusco fue muy interesante! Desde mi llegada hasta mi salida, fue todo como yo esperaba, quizá mejor! Las personas que trabajan en el Maximo Nivel son muy atentas e amables; aprendí mucho con mi profe Karla: el español, la salsa y también oí muchas historias del lugar! Además, visité a Machu Picchu, Puno y a otros lugares fantasticos!

Estudié todos los días, pero yo estaba siempre entusiasmada para aprender más, más y más... Sí tuviesse alguna dificultad, no la sentiría, porque las personas estaban siempre listas a ayudarme!

Gracias Maximo Nivel, Karlita y Patricia que me acogió en su casa!

How can this program be improved?

Sólo una cosita: yo quería un tandem, pero no fue possible... creo que el curso podría nos ayudar cuanto a este tema!

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Helânia
Female
42 years old
Contagem, Minas Gerais, Brasil

Las clases fueran estupendas!!!

10/10

Hola!! Parece que fue ayer. Cuatro semanas de clase espanolen Cusco/Peru. Por fin puedo devir cuanto vale la pena! Y como! Entonce quiero agradece toda equipo de Máximo Nível!! Gracias por tudo!!!

About The Provider

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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-cultural experiences. Our programs include: Volunteer Abroad, International Internships, TEFL Certification, and Spanish Language

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