Spanish Immersion Program

Video and Photos

About

Our Spanish Immersion Program is perfect for serious students who want progress quickly, experience authentic Costa Rica off the beaten path, and make a difference in the local community. We offer intensive Spanish courses with highly-trained teachers, homestays with local families, cultural activities, bilingual events, volunteer opportunities, and more!

In one week, students are able to advance one level and speak with fluency, accuracy, and confidence. The immersion program is available year-round, starting each Monday and ending the following Friday. Students can sign up for one week minimum. There are 15 courses in our program from beginner to advanced, and each course has grammar focuses, conversational themes, TPRS storytelling, and Survival Spanish chapters.

We also offer private Spanish classes at our school in downtown Liberia, on Skype, or in a private home at a beach in the Peninsula Papagayo. Our classes are fun, interactive, and conversational.

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 29 reviews
  • Academics 9.9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.9
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 15 of 29
Default avatar
Jordan
10/10

Bella experiencia

Después de haber vivido esta bella experiencia de la cual ustedes han sido parte, quiero darles las gracias por todo lo que han hecho por mi, realmente lo aprecio mucho. Gracias por ayudarme con mi sueño de mejorar mi español, ser paciente, y por todo tu apoyo. Los extrañaré mucho a mi familia Tica y toda la gente en el Instituto Estelar. Espero que podamos seguir comunicandonos desde Virginia, especialmente con mi familia Tica. Quiero visitarlos nuevamente cuando regrese a Costa Rica. Los quiero y los llevo en mi corazón.

How can this program be improved?
There could be more activities for students to do, although I was never bored because my host family was so great to hang out with.
Yes, I recommend this program
Katie
10/10

Amazing experience! Would definitely recommend!

I had the pleasure of learning Spanish at Instituto Estelar Bilingue for 2 weeks in beautiful Costa Rica! I learned a lot about the culture, saw many beautiful places and also improved in my Spanish immensely. I really loved the warm atmosphere created by the school and the teachers. Caroly and Merlin were really helpful in answering any grammar questions that I had or just on life in general in Costa Rica! They made the lessons fun and engaging making grammar something that I actually looked forward to in my lessons. Thank you to both Spanish teachers and of course to Bethany for making me feel so welcome at the school. I also, took part in some of the extra-curricular activities such as cooking and have found my new favorite guilty pleasure- Patacones and can somewhat dance the salsa after a quick class… Thank you for making my experience great!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Theresa
10/10

5 weeks of Spanish immersion - and I'll be back!

I have loved studying Spanish at Instituto Estelar. I took five weeks of the immersion program and can't believe how much I progressed! The staff is warm and friendly, and teach in a way that is practical and easy to understand. I love being in Merlyn's and Caroly's class because they provide ample opportunity to converse and practice what we are learning. I really enjoyed going to the Farmers Market: Caroly made it fun and educational. Club A is always enjoyable. The children are always happy to see us, and are easy to engage. The staff is great! Estelar's English and Spanish teachers, reception, director, all go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable and allow for a comfortable environment in which to learn. My hostmother, Iris, is extremely kind and thoughtful. She is always giving consideration to what I might need, and is happy to help. She's a fabulous cook. One thing I appreciate about the family, is while they are caring and look out for me, they are not overly protective. While they might offer cautions and advice, they have allowed me to explore and experience Liberia and Costa Rica to the extent of my desire.

How can this program be improved?
It's great the way it is!
Yes, I recommend this program
Alex
10/10

Estoy Tico

Learn English at Instituto Estelar! Simple as that. I can’t begin to describe how much progress I made studying Spanish at Estelar and the crazy thing is it was only for a week! I had Caroly as my teacher and she was beyond helpful. Overall, she was an outstanding teacher and it really showed in her lessons as well because they were always really fun. I mainly enjoyed the open discussions and how engaging the lessons were which were then supplemented by games and extra-curricular activities! The games were directed to learning topics that we had previously covered but also common conversational Spanish that really made me think outside the box. Aside from improving in my Spanish I also felt that I was much more confident coming out of the program and the biggest plus was being able to converse more with the local Ticas. I thoroughly recommend taking Spanish courses at Instituto Estelar Bilingue, you won’t regret it. Thank you all that you did for me.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sholeh
10/10

Positive Experience!

An excellent experience!! It was my first experience of an intensive Spanish class and I loved it. My teacher was very helpful and made the classes very conversational. My experience with my teacher was great, it was really interactive. She was always willing to answer my questions, even after class. She really explained everything well and assigned a reasonable amount of homework to complete, which was great practice. It was awesome, it was great to interact with younger students and start to see their progress. Playing games while incorporating english was a great way to see progress within the students.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Kyle
10/10

Overall great experience!

Both teachers Caroly and Maryln were great because they had such a good attitude about teaching. I was very happy with pace of the classes because I found it challenging. I learned alot in the short stay I had here and believe this has alot to do with how great the teachers were. Club A was Beyond my expectations: a truly unforgettable, rewarding experience! My host parents were awesome. They were very accomadating and hospitable. They only spoke Spanish to me which was awesome!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
J.G.
10/10

Learned so much in just 2 weeks

I did not expect to get to learn Spanish through games as well as casual conversation. It was a pleasant surprise and I hope you continue to have more games! Caroly es lo mejor! Me encanta hablar con ella y la tarea era suficiente para mi nivel. I liked the activities I went to (Mae and the finca) but I wish there were more options, especially to other places. The chocolate farm was the best!

La segunda semana del programa, la profesora Merlyn fue maravillosa. Me gusta que las clases fueron muy conversacional y que ella no diera recomendaciones de cosas para practicar nuestra español afuera de la clase (por ejemplo, nuevas canciones, programas de la televisión, y películas). A veces deseaba que usáramos el libro mas. Me encanta la clases de cocina. Caroly es una maestra fantástica. Tambien Merlyn es un gran guía de tour. Deseaba que hubiera mas actividades. Mi familia es maravillosa! Hablamos en español cada día y la comida es riquísima. Mi mama Tica Annia es un gran cocinera y ella y Luis siempre me hicieron sentir comodo y parte de la familia

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jenette
10/10

What a great program!

Marlyn was very engaging. She did not strictly follow the book. She would go off of whatever topics we were discussing. What I liked most about Marlyn is that she would always encourage me to converse with her in spanish. She made it very comfortable for me to practice my spanish. I had a lot of fun in her class and I can not believe how much I was able to learn and retain! The classes were very informal but it was fun to practice my spanish.
Very friendly staff always willing to help when you need it. They helped me rent a car and arranged transportations for all my trips.

Ania was amazing! She always wanted to please me and cook food that I like. I love that she did not speak English. I remember the first day I could not understand her at all. Now I am able to have a conversation with her. I am grateful for her hospitality.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Linda
10/10

Positive Experience!

The class was wonderful. I came to Costa Rica without any knowledge of Spanish. My instructor was able to evaluate the progress of the class and teach us according to our progress. She used games to help us learn the language which made learning more fun. She was also very flexible in accommodating our needs. The school was wonderful at organizing activities for us. They helped us rent a car when needed. They were so nice, helpful, and friendly. I highly recommend my hostfamily, Luis and Annia. They are such a sweet couple.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Patricia
10/10

Super happy at Estelar!

I am very happy with this program. I have loved having Merlyn as my teacher and learned alot especially since I was in class alone and it could be geared to my needs. Yo amo Spanglish y tiempo con otro gente. Estudiantes de ingles están interesante en viajando y muy interesante. The second week started with a lot of confusion on my part with Spanish. I was ready to give up on Tuesday but after writing out my frustrations for myself I turned a cornerand the rest of the week has been much better than I ever expected. It was the low before the high. Stick with it, it is/you are worth it. Better after Tuesday. I was very lost on Monday and Tuesday in class. I mentioned it to Caroly on Wednesday and she complimented my ability and then made it more clear which is really all I needed.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Victoria
10/10

Loved it!

Caroly encouraged myself and my classmate to engage in class activities. Always open to answering my questions, and was always willing to explain in another way if i did not understand. We got through alot of content throughout the week and we were able to this in a very interactive way.

Yes she made the class one by always incooperating different games in which we able to practice vocabulary, pronoms and putting sentences together using both forms of the past tense. I can finally say I have a much better idea how to use both past tense now.

This week I had a great time participating in the cooking class, where I was able to participate hands on as well as practicing my spanish. Food was delicious. I was able to participate in a music class, which was also a lot of fun.

I always have lots of questions in terms buses, directions around liberia, or about meeting new poeple. Everyone has always been very helpful.
My Tico family experiece has been great, always offered 3 meals, house is always clean, I also get my own privacy. I am lucky because I erally get to improve my spanish there because we only speak spanish and its great.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Hana
10/10

Fabulous experience

My last week was great. My brain was really tired but I know that I have improved so much since my arrival. I can not only speak complete sentences but carry on long conversations. There was a lot of fun activities this week .... both organized at the school and organized by Bethany. Both Merlyn and Caroly are such great teachers and have a lot of patience with the students. I have loved my time and would definitely recommend to anyone. I had Merlyn for my second time this week and she was great. She gave us a lot of homework but it was doable. She was flexible and more concentrated on conversation which is great practice. She always asked us what we wanted to talk about or things to share with the class. This week was fun. I liked the movie and the hand gestures class. Sometimes it is hard to stay for the whole class, especially if there are other activities/tours for the day. But it has been great. I HIGHLY recommend the chocolate farm and sloth tour. I´m very thankful that Bethany went out of her way to coordinate. It was well worth it. She answered all of my questions and made sure I had a great trip. Johnny and Iris are great. They only talk to me in Spanish and are so accomodating. I love their family and Im so glad that I got the opportunity to stay with them.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Colin
10/10

Fantastic Spanish Immersion Program!

I completed the 2-week Spanish Immersion Program at Instituto Estelar Bilingue and I was thrilled with the quality and care the staff offered. I completed a Spanish level-testing exam which the staff used to place me in the appropriate class. My Spanish teacher was helpful and friendly. I had issues with conjugations and when to use each tense. I improved in the 2-weeks and was able to use my new grammar in everyday situations. I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to venture to Costa Rica. Well done!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Danon
10/10

An amazing week

I just completed my first week of Spanish class. I am an English teacher at Estelar, and so taking advantage of the Spanish classes was at the top of my list. This week was amazing. My Spanish is not strong and in 5 days I am so much more confident. A lot of words came back to me from high school. Lol. But best of all were the small classes with great teachers, the field trips and learning how to cook a Costa Rican favorite. I can't wait to take on this opportunity again. Gracias Merlyn!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jennifer
10/10

Great Experience in Liberia, Costa Rica!

When I came to Costa Rica, my Spanish was intermediate and I was much better at reading and writing than speaking and listening. I signed up for tutorials at Instituto Estelar to work on my language skills. The school uses Costa Rican teachers, so I not only improved my Spanish, I also learned more about the local culture. Walter was an excellent teacher, very patient and fun. I would definitely recommend this program. They are flexible, so you can plan your own schedule of classes or join a full-time immersion program.
I also like the location in Liberia. It is close to fun tourist activities and beaches, but it is not a tourist town, so you get a more "authentic" experience of Costa Rica.

Yes, I recommend this program

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

About Instituto Estelar Bilingüe

Located in the Guanacaste region in northwestern Costa Rica, Instituto Estelar Bilingüe is committed to helping people of all ages and backgrounds learn a new language and improve their lives. Becoming bilingual is a challenge that takes time,...