Spanish Immersion Program in Costa Rica

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Tamarindo Sunset
Witch's Rock
Independence Day!
Explore Costa Rica
Explore Costa Rica
Learn Spanish in Liberia, Costa Rica
Learn Spanish in Liberia, Costa Rica
Learn Spanish abroad
Learn Spanish abroad
Spanish immersion in Costa Rica
Spanish immersion in Costa Rica
Volunteer in Costa Rica
Volunteer in Costa Rica

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.

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 39 reviews
  • Academics 9.9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.9
  • Housing 9.9
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 16 - 30 of 39
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Kyle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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

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

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Jenette
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Linda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Patricia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Victoria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Hana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Colin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Danon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Jennifer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Richard
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
Put back the soda pop vending machine.
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Brittany
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Maggie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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!
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Adam
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Sharai
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
More trips!