COINED Spanish Courses

Why choose COINED Spanish Courses?

COINED, active from 1971 is an industry leader in the Latin American educational field. With Spanish schools throughout Latin America from Argentina to Mexico, internship opportunities and volunteer options in fascinating locations on the continent, the organization offers truly life-changing experiences.


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Yes, I recommend this program

COINED Santiago Summer 2014

I had a fantastic time in Santiago with COINED. I really liked my host family--they were quite kind to me and flexible with my schedule. If I wanted to come back late, fine. If went out to dinner, or wanted to eat dinner early, fine. I just told my host mom and everything was fine.

I went to lunch after class with my friends from the school at a variety of restaurants surrounding the school, then usually came back to the school for the activities, where we traveled around Santiago, checking out museums, houses, parks, etc. It was a great way to spend an afternoon and learn about Santiago. On weekends, I took trips to places we couldn't access in just an afternoon, and I made friends from some other schools in the area (as the weekend trips were combined with "sister schools").

The academics were great. The class sizes were small, and the teachers worked with us when we didn't understand. We read articles, spoke solely in Spanish, watched videos, and did exercises. I learned a lot and had a great time, making friends with the other students and my teachers in the process.

What would you improve about this program?
I would encourage a little bit of optional homework be given. Occasionally we got homework, but not too often. I think tips for how to learn spanish outside the classroom, like recording words I didn't know and studying them, conversational tips, etc., would be beneficial.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Inesquecível Chile

Quando fui para Santiago jamais imaginaria que viveria tudo que vivi. Cresci como pessoa e como mulher. Sofri por muito tempo sozinha, mas tudo começou a melhorar depois que fui ao meu primeiro dia de aula na COINED. Conheci pessoas incríveis, tanto pelos profissionais que ali trabalham como pelos alunos que estão tentando aprender ou aperfeiçoar o espanhol. Aprendi culturas diferentes e convivi com pessoas do mundo inteiro! O mais importante foi a preocupação da COINED em fazer planos para que os alunos pudessem se ligar entre si, fazendo com que o espanhol fosse praticado e que a gente conhecesse a cultura, não só de Santiago, mais de todo o Chile.
Resumindo: as pessoas, os passeios, a cidade, a escola e o clima (apesar de muito frio) foram capaz de tornar a minha viagem inesquecível...

What would you improve about this program?
Me gustaria que la profesora fuera más dinamica, para que las clases no sea aburrida.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Two Weeks in Chile

The day I arrived, people were really kind and helpful.
As the minutes passed by, I watched a board with activities for the whole week and it made me even more excited.
At Coined, they have this special Empanada welcome during your first day of class.
If you go, you have to go to the Terremoto Night, it's such a special night because you get to know more people and also get to prove one of their typical drinks.
I really enjoyed my stay and I'm already willing to go back.

What would you improve about this program?
When I discovered coined, I didn't know the name was coined... I thought it was enforex. And it made very hard to find the address. So, I think at enforex site or via email when you talk to the people they should tell you the real name.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience in Santiago, Chile!!

I loved my two weeks at Coined in Santiago, I arrived on a Friday a few days before my first class started on the monday, and my host suggested I go in at midday Friday to meet students anyway! Great suggestion because I made some amazing new friends. In fact the social activities are excellent, especially enjoyed the white-water rafting, walking through Valparaiso and amazing sceneries!! Highly recommend Coined in Santiago Chile!!!!!!!!!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience in Santiago

Very serious and dedicated staff. I enjoyed my time there, the courses were progressive and interactive, the small groups enable people to progress more effectively. Other students were very nice and the school offers great activities.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you decide to study abroad with COINED in Cordoba, Argentina?

I am a sixty-plus year old retired history professor. I've been dabbling in Spanish for a few years, and I got the "itch" to visit a Spanish-speaking country. I don't care for very hot weather, and I don't care to be surrounded by tourists from the US, so I opted for Argentina in August -- their version of winter, which is like a Minnesota September. I also have shirt-tail relatives in Argentina, folks whose ancestors brought our German/Swiss family name from Europe. I settled on Cordoba because of the historical/cultural significance of the city, and because it was small enough to be a "walking city," unlike BA. I researched schools, looked at Google maps street view, and settled on COINED because of the location, good reviews, price, and because COINED is involved in humanitarian efforts in addition to teaching Spanish. I stayed in a home and, as luck would have it, my housemates were German girls, and our "Mom" was a very good cook.

What made your study abroad experience unique and special?

I enjoyed being "alone" in Cordoba, meaning there were very, VERY, few people from the US there. There were two in the school, and I met a man for coffee one day that I had met on Facebook. Other than that, I was in a large Spanish speaking city where few people knew any English -- something I discovered my first day when I was lost, downtown, 5km from my lodgings, and had to navigate a couple of bus transfers to get home.

What fascinated me was the fact that nearly every day a "local" would mistake me for an Argentine and ask me for directions, the time, to sign a petition, whatever. This led to many spontaneous and humorous "conversations!" I also had the opportunity to teach a class to a group of teenagers in an area school, playing music and talking about the social and cultural background of American Rock and Roll music, with some US geography (foto attached). I found everyone to be friendly and helpful, and if I had my camera out someone was always willing to pose, as the guys loading furniture that yelled "Foto!! Foto!!" from their truck (foto attached).

My classmates and I took bus trips to nearby communities, one the birthplace of Che Guevera, and even though I was the "viejo" (old guy) I got invitations to join the young crowd in their activities, from futbol to asados (barbecues attached). I am a walker, and the museums, shopping (street, store, and mall), parks, plazas, zoo, and multitudes of bakeries and cafes provided high entertainment at low expense. I enjoyed simply walking into a hardware store, pet store, book store, whatever and saying that I was from the US and just wanted to visit their store.

Throughout my experience, I felt very safe and welcomed. People were courteous, offered me a seat on the bus if I had my backpack, were patient with my poor Spanish, and, in general, seemed to enjoy the opportunity to chat with a guy from the US. Since coins and small bills are difficult to come by in Argentina, I could "play dumb" and they would cut me some slack when I tried to by a 12 peso sandwich with a 100 peso note. ;)

How has this experience impacted your future?

As far as the future, I am "hooked" on improving my Spanish and visiting Spanish speaking countries. I hope to improve my language skills so I can volunteer to teach or do work projects. I would enjoy returning to Argentina, or Chile -- I very much enjoyed the Chileans I met traveling -- but they are a long way from Minnesota. This summer I plan to spend a couple of weeks in Mexico, learning a different "dialect" of Spanish and living in a society where a blue-eyed, white-haired guy will not be mistaken for a native!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Valentina Carrasco

Job Title
Spanish Language Teacher
Valentina was born in Santiago, Chile in 1987. She is a graduate of the University of Chile with a degree in literature and a minor in linguistics and Spanish literature. She also received a certificate for specialization in teaching Spanish as a foreign language in 2013.

What position do you hold at COINED? What has been your career path so far?

After graduating from the University of Chile with a degree in literature and a minor in linguistics and Spanish literature, I began my work in the education field. My first professional experience was in 2011 when I began to teach Language and Communication classes at Preuniversitario Cpech, an institute where Chilean high school students take classes to prepare for the highly important university entrance exam.

After receiving my specialization in teaching Spanish as a foreign language, I began to work at COINED, which was my first experience teaching Spanish to international students. I have been a Spanish professor at COINED since 2013.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Since working for COINED, I have learned and grown a lot as a professional. I’m now very comfortable in a classroom setting, especially when I can be motivating students to learn or improve their skills in a new language. Even more important than my interest in teaching language is the environment that I get to work in and the “buena onda” (good vibes) that permeate through the school.

The excellent work culture and determined students here give me extra inspiration to teach and do my job well. I feel very motivated, and that is thanks to the people I’ve met here, from my co-workers to the students from all over the world that I’ve had the pleasure to teach.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of the COINED team.

I cannot pinpoint one specific moment at COINED that has made me feel proud. The truth is that I feel tremendous joy, excitement, and pride every time a student who arrived without speaking a single word of Spanish finishes his/her course and is able to communicate and express his/her feelings in Spanish.

At COINED, we try to integrate into our language classes not just the culture in relation to folklore, food, customs, etc., but also to show the idiosyncrasies of the Chilean way of life. I’m proud to be part of a team that cares so deeply about our students’ learning experience, and that has fun while we do it!

Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you?

I think that language learning is a fundamental element of today’s interpersonal relationships, considering the modes of communication that are available to us and the great diversity of people with whom we can communicate. In this sense, cultural immersion is an absolutely necessary aspect of language learning.

Language is a reflection of the world view of a culture, which is why you cannot learn a language without taking into account the culture that uses it as a form of expression. For me, it is unthinkable to learn a language without the cultural component. It would be like reading music without being able to play it.

What was your favorite traveling experience?

This past summer, I went to a beach in the south of Chile that is “off the beaten path” – very difficult to get to and not very well known. The beach is called Colún, and is located in the Valdivian Coastal Reserve in Region XV. It was a wonderful experience. The beach is about 11 km long and to get there you have to take a bus from one town to the next, then walk about 5 hours, part of which was through a beautiful secluded forest.

The beach has lots of dunes, and also lots of cows. (Yes, there are cows on the beach!) It’s a beautiful place – I had never seen anything like it. This was a very significant experience for me, not just because of the beauty but also because getting there was a great feat!