Instituto Estelar Bilingüe

Program Reviews

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Jennifer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Everything was fantastic!

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks here. It’s been a fantastic, Supportive experience all around. I’ve enjoyed the classes, meeting everyone, being in Liberia, and more. I’d definitely come back!

I really enjoyed all my teachers and their different styles. I particularly liked 1) speaking with Deidy on a variety of different topics which helped me understand life in Costa Rica more! And 2) the teaching approach Greivin has, where he uses games, we left the classroom, etc but also he helped me understand some concepts in new ways due to innovative approaches and ways of thinking about things like verbs! Nelly is a fantastic teacher! Given I was the only student, she ensured she used a variety of different techniques, exercises, and activities so I could learn. She is patient, understanding, and creative!

I really enjoyed the activities! I enjoyed the excursions as well, although they were limited because it was a holiday week. I really liked going to the farmer's market.

Everything was amazing! Great place, very welcoming and friendly. Everyone is amazing! I so feel like I am in good hands here in Liberia and cannot thank everyone enough for such a great week! I especially appreciate all the effort that was made given I am the only student! Bethany is incredible in terms of being helpful, making you feel included, and organizing an amazing experience.

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Wayne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Such a great experience!

My wife and I have learned more than we expected in the first week. The courses have been interesting and fun. I would recommend this program to anyone serious about increasing their Spanish skills.

Mariala has been patient and fun. We have increased our vocabulary and grammar with her help. She is a great teacher.

The Spanglish social and intercambio were fun and helpful.

Great location, people, and facility!

Digna is the best! She is patient and kind. Her meals are incredible and her home is clean and comfortable. She helps us with our communication, pronunciation, and homework (no cheating). We are lucky to have been matched with Digna.

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Len
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exceptional Program

El profesor Sebastian fue genial. Social de spanglish fue divertido. La feria fue interesante! Family is great, lots of Spanish. Mi mama tica es muy amable, la casa siempre está limpia, comida deliciosa y una perrita preciosa! We had great discussions and I loved that we talked a lot in class, The farmers market was really great. I would recommend to all. Club A is great. Very eye-opening and fun! Everybody at Estelar is very friendly and helpful. Doña Celena is the best! I´ve had such an accommodating experience with her!

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Lesley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Recommended

Teacher Merlyn made my learning experience very entertaining and enjoyable. I think the extra activities at Estelar were fantastic! Every opportunity to practice speaking Spanish is great, and to have experienced teachers and willing conversation participants is really helpful! My hostmom Iris is very welcoming and the food is varied and plentiful. La casa es limpio. My only problem was it was a little noisy for sleeping, mucho perros. Overall a very comfortable experience, Iris made me welcome and I never felt uncomfortable. Recommended.

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Miranda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exceptional Program

I really enjoyed how Instituto Estelar tailored the class to my needs. We worked on the topics and conversations that would be most useful for me in my job as physical therapist, with very specific vocabulary and situations. That being said, I wouldn't necessarily say that this was a 'Medical Spanish' program. For example, the course workbook was more about general Spanish grammar and Latin American culture, rather than being a medical Spanish reference that I could take back home and use later at my job. Thankfully, the professor went the extra mile to make sure that I was still learning the things I wanted to! Nelly was so kind and patient with me in explaining words or concepts I didn't know, correcting my speech, or giving me a chance to talk even though it was sometimes slow and difficult. She was always exceptionally prepared for or lessons, and even took the time on her own to look up physical therapy scenarios that we could go over in class. Thank you for all your hard work, Nelly! I was here in a low season - and honestly, there wasn't a whole lot to do! For medical Spanish learners, I would not recommend observation at the private hospital nearby - there were not very many patients and I spent a lot of time just sitting at the nurses station. These were some of the highlights of the program. I loved the intercambio, and it was truly magical to get to visit the Festival Navideno de Club A. Everyone has been very kind and accommodating of my needs, and helping me make the most of the experience even in spite of it being low season. Beni and Dona Alice are excellent hosts - very welcoming, patient, and went above and beyond to take me on extra outings to make sure that I enjoyed my visit and got to enjoy Costa rica. I also appreciated that they made an effort to speak only Spanish with me, even though at times it would have been easier to switch to English.

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John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Immersion works!

The immersion concept, which I have been told is the only way to go, works. This excellent program proves it. I was exceptionally worried about the teacher speaking only in Spanish. But, this concept works wonderfully well, too. I remember it from high school and college when I studied another language. My teacher was excellent. The classes were fun and the teacher was flexible when I was struggling with vocabulary or verb conjugation or use of the proper prepositions (all difficult at times.) The homework was helpful and always forced me to study. That's why I came, without my family - to study. I was ¨drinking from a firehose¨ most of the time, but it works, to force the learning. The teacher´s gentle manner for correcting me prevented me from getting too stressed out. She was knowledgeable, easy to work with, and a fun teacher. The school offers several opportunities to learn the language and experience the culture and the people outside the classroom. Spanglish, movies (with subtitles), interacting with children in the barrios, tours of the city, tour of the farmer´s market, visit to the national park (Rincon de la Vieja). Very interesting, and all optional. I enjoyed them all. Club A showed me, as did so many other experiences here (in the school and elsewhere) that children and families, for the most part, are the same all over the world. Certainly there are differences in the economic conditions in each country, but people are people. Club A was fascinating. The visit and 6 hour walk in the park (Rincon de la Vieja) as fun - long and hard, but that's what long hikes are supposed to be. Conversations with others where English is a second language were a bit intimidating, but fun. The teachers and staff were all friendly, professional and attentive. Could not have been better. I stayed with a family only two blocks from the school. The mother and her son spoke English well; the grandfather not well at all. That was fun, though. The mother and her son were able to help both me and the grandfather when we made mistakes in each other´s first language. I ate several times at the house - some breakfasts and dinners. All the food was wonderful, and not particularly different in many ways than in the U.S.; some local variations, but we eat rice, chicken, beef, pork, beans,yogurt, bread, and desserts, and drink juice, coffee, milk, beer everywhere. House and bedroom were spotless, and overall the family was wonderful!

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Josh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Everything was fantastic!

I found Merlyn to be a great teacher. She was able to clearly explain concepts. Her main challenge in this particular class was to manage the different levels of the students, which I think she did quite well. I think the extra activities were fantastic! every opportunity to practice speaking spanish is great, and to have experienced teachers ad willing converstion participants is really helpful! Everyone was truly amazing, being as helpful as possible at every given opportunty. The facility is also great! I love your initiatives to reduce waste (e.g. laminating materials, not writing on the test paper so it can be reused etc.). My hostmom Iris is amazing, she's super patient with my wife and I and takes her time to teach us spanish. She took very good care of us while we were her, cooking and cleaning for us and always making sure we were contento. Johnny was also very patient and helpful in teaching us spanish and making us feel welcome and informed.

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Tesia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Such a great experience!

I spent a month in this Spanish immersion program, and all of my teachers were awesome. My profesora Nelly was amazing! Gabriela was also a fantastic professor! She was patient, kind and was willing to answer questions. Gabriela is fun and knowledgeable! Class was dynamic and efficient. I learned a lot in one week! The class was fun, and I liked the different learning styles like conversation, dialogue, playing games and writing. The class with Merlyn was awesome too! The class was intense and there was a lot of new information to learn. Merlyn made it interactive, easy, and fun. She answered questions as needed and was willing to give additional examples. Merlyn often shared stories of her own which made her easily relatable and allowed opportunity for conversation. Homework was assigned daily.

I enjoyed the activities during that week that allow me to practice my Spanish. I attended intercambio, spanglish social and a cooking class. I enjoyed the planned trips. It was unfortunate that some of the trips were more expensive or could not be done due to the lack of the number of people signed up to go. The director and staff were helpful. The school was clean and well organized. I appreciated the books available upstairs.

My mama Tica es excelente! My family was amazing - Leti made me feel at home and was willing to change meal plans as necessary. The house was clean and she regularly changed my bedding as well as washed my clothing. They only spoke to me in Spanish and although it was somewhat challenging at first, it became one of the things I eagerly anticipated most when I would return home in the evening and share dinner with the family.

The campus is clean and organized. There are always spaces available for studying and quiet time. 

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Dan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exceptional Program

The class, program and teachers have been exceptionaly helpful, especialy helpful when I was having problems with the study. Gabriela was and is an exceptional instructor. The staffs help with self trips was again excellent. My experience was beyond my expectations. Everyone has been very helpful. The facilities and staff are exceptional and provide every need that I might have had this first week. Andrea Zunigo and her familly were wonderful. The class with Merlyn was my favorita. The discussions were very helpful for my understanding of how to use the language. Having a classmate to engage with in these talks was also most helpful. Merlyn was so great at facilitating the talks while correcting us on the fly. Very, very helpful! The intercambio practice was great. Wish I had done it sooner. Andrea and her familly were, are wonderful to stay and interact with.

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Lucas
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excelente experiencia!

Mi profesora era muy buena e inteligente. Creo que ella me enseno mucho. La clase fue excelente! Todas las actividades eran divertidas y útiles. Los viajes y las actividades eran buenos - especialmente Club A. El personel del Estelar fue muy excelente. Mi familia fue excelente también: doña Iris era muy amable y la comida era suficiente y muy rica.

Beyond my expectations; I'll tell everyone I know how great it is! My teacher is completely amazing...fantastic modeling and gestures. She shows passion in her lessons and compassion with her students.