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 16 - 29 of 29
Default avatar
Richard
9/10

Expats learn Spanish in Costa Rica

My wife and I had the great of experience of learning Spanish from the experts at Insituto Excelar Bilingue. Bethany runs a tight ship and her teachers were patient and competent. Also the homework task materials where challenging and educational. Overall, a very good experience.

How can this program be improved?
Put back the soda pop vending machine.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Brittany
10/10

An amazing experience!

I had the wonderful opportunity to teach English at Estelar for over a year. Estelar has an amazing environment of both English and Spanish learners: a diverse cultural experience for everyone. While in Costa Rica, I was not only able to participate in weekly bilingual conversational groups, attend various events organized by the school, and share exchanges with Spanish speaking friends, but I participated in the Intensive Spanish program as well. Classes were dynamic, engaging, and fun; there was never a dull moment. Conversation is greatly emphasized the entire class time, making practicing the language both interesting and entertaining. The grammar taught is intricately designed to be real-life, situational grammar that is applicable and practical. In addition to class time with the creative and energetic teachers, the cooking, dance, and artisan classes were always so much fun! Learning a little bit more about the Tico culture makes the experience of being in Costa Rica and studying the language all the more memorable and enjoyable. I would highly recommend Estelar to anyone eager to learn Spanish (or English!!!) and excited to immerse themselves into a fun, diverse, and educational environment while in Costa Rica!

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

Great Place to Improve Your Spanish and Have Fun!

In the 2 short weeks that I spent at Instituto Estelar Bilingüe, my Spanish improved tremendously. My teachers, Ana and Sonia, were great. They were experienced, prepared, and fun! They were willing to be very flexible to account for what I already knew, and for that I am thankful.

The Instituto set me up with a wonderful homestay family. They screen the families well to know that you're being cared for.

The extracurricular activities were great too-dance, cooking, and artisan classes were a fun way to practice outside of the classroom. They also set up one-on-one exchanges with English students so that you can both practice. I loved these! I highly recommend Instituto Estelar Bilingüe!

How can this program be improved?
This program would benefit from more publication. Their English program is extremely well attended, but the weeks that I spent there, I was the only Spanish student. It's a great program, and more students should take advantage of it!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Adam
10/10

Learn Spanish in an Authentic Environment!

A great school with excellent Spanish teachers, classes at Instituto Estelar never have a dull moment. The classes are always well-prepared, informative, interactive, and fun. The instructors are very knowledgeable and patient, really helping you learn in a comfortable and relaxed setting. I myself have taken five intensive Spanish courses (one week each), which always include extracurricular activities such as cooking the local cuisine and learning how to dance the salsa! An awesome program, do yourself a favor and check it out.

How can this program be improved?
The program is great, but the city is on the quiet side. There aren't a huge variety of activities for those who need a constant and different event every night, but there are enough to get by. The school itself supplements this by planning its own activities, such as a hot springs tour and a hike in one of the many close National Parks.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sharai
10/10

Great experience!

I learned so much at Instituto Estelar and it was just a fantastic experience for me. My Spanish improved a ton, I made new friends, I saw super awesome places, and I learned a lot about Costa Rica! I loved my teachers, my host family, and the staff was awesome too! Highly recommended!

How can this program be improved?
More trips!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Marikay
10/10

Everything I Wanted

The school has a well-rounded curriculum that includes evidence-based language learning techniques, and in-vivo cross-cultural awareness. The homestay and regular interaction with all kinds of Costa Ricans was really a highlight for me. I was a little timid about doing a homestay but I am so glad I took advantage of the opportunity. This experience was everything I wanted it to be.

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

This school is great!

I want to thank the staff and administration of Instituto Estelar Bilingue for the great Spanish classes and cultural learning opportunities. I hadn't studied Spanish in a class for about 39 years, and I really improved a lot. My teacher was excellent and we used a variety of activities to help me learn. I am a professional language teacher and I can attest to the fact that this school is great, is lots of fun, and creates really effective learning experiences.

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

A Unique Experience!

Studying Spanish at Instituto Estelar Bilingue is a unique experience. The school has international students learning Spanish and Costa Ricans learning English in the same colorful environment. I was an English teacher at the school for over a year and thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Spanish program, volunteer opportunities, and weekly language exchange events. Living among and learning from Costa Ricans is both linguistically and culturally beneficial to a living abroad experience. I highly recommend studying Spanish in Costa Rica, and Instituto Estelar Bilingue is the perfect place for a thoughtful and fun language exchange!

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

Highly Recommended

The school is a great place for learning Spanish and English and your learning can be endless here. The staff makes learning easy and fun. There are many ways to learn. I am impressed with everyone here and would highly recommend it to anyone learning a new language of Spanish or English.

How can this program be improved?
It was a little too intensive for me, but it's because I was working and taking the 20-hour course.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Neil
10/10

The best experience I've had

This was my second experience of a Spanish language program, and it was by far the best. Bethany made me feel really welcome and went out of the way to accomodate me at short notice. All the staff were helpful and friendly. I particularly liked the intercambios that were organised with students of a similar ability from Costa Rica. If you want to study Spanish in Costa Rica then Instituto Estelar Bilingue is the place to go. Liberia is a lovely venue. A small quiet city with everything you need.

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

Solid program at Estelar

Loved the academic level of Instituto Estelar. I wish the materials of this high quality were in some other schools - shame it's only one institution. I was the advanced level student and that's the point everyone struggles to get the level better, when you can already converse. Our teacher Rosa really made us work. Proud of her :)

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

Fantastic Experience

Instituto Estelar helped me become more confident in my Spanish language abilities. The intercambios were a great way for me to use what I learned in my advanced course. The cooking class, artesan class, and dance class were also fun ways to practice. The teachers were always open for questions. Overall, I am looking forward to returning!

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

Couldn't ask for more!

My teacher was absolutely great at simple conversation (I was a beginner), and she made every class enjoyable and interesting. Great activities! Dance class was perfect! The faculty and staff at ESTELAR are the best! Everyone is so kind, helpful, and fun. Couldn't ask for more in a school. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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

A Great Experience, Wouldn't Change a Thing!

I loved Instituto Estelar Bilingue! Each day I took four hours of classes that were really useful for me because there was a lot of conversation, games, and activities that made it easy and fun to learn. My teacher was professional and super sweet, I still keep in contact with her and she is a good friend. On top of the excellent classes, there were a bunch of extra events that were really fun - I loved dance class and cooking class but my favorite thing was Spanglish. Spanglish was an event in the middle of the week where Spanish students and English students go to a local restaurant/bar and speak for half an hour in each language. It was fun because I met new people and really got to practice conversation in a relaxed atmosphere. I really loved everything about my experience with this school and I hope to return to visit in the future!

How can this program be improved?
To be honest, the only thing I would change is the amount of time I was there. I wish I could have had another week or two!!
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,...