Tica Life: Total Immersion at Estelar

As an English teacher at Estelar Bilingue, I have met many international Spanish students that come for our Immersion Courses. I was curious how the “class in the AM and beach in the PM” lifestyle was for some of them and, fortunately, I had the pleasure to take one of the courses! In one week, I have already observed a HUGE advancement in my language skills.

Estelar offers 15 levels, which take you from beginner to advanced language skills. I am on one of the lower levels, taking on basic tenses in the past and future, but after just one week, I already feel more confident in my conversation skills. Getting past my comfort zone was really easy in this class because my instructor, Caroly, was very patient and answered any and every question I had. There is a lot of material to go over each class but the grammar is broken up with fun games and activities. If you are a shy person, which some of my classmates were, this course and the other students and professors can make you get out of your shell. If what you’re looking for is a low-pressure environment, this is it! Of course, staying on top of the homework and doing some outside practice is essential, but overall the time required is very manageable and allows you to have the rest of your day free. Plus, there are a lot of free practice opportunities at the school like Latin dance classes, Costa Rican cooking classes, and language exchanges that you should definitely take advantage of in order to practice what you’re learning.







There are so many great ways to practice the Spanish I’m learning at Estelar. I love spending time with my Tico students outside of class and invited some Spanish students to join our outings in Liberia. I have attended our Spanglish night at Maria Juanas Restaurant almost every Wednesday and love seeing teachers and students in a cultural and language exchange. The restaurant-bar has amazing food, as well as some craft beers (and good specials if you’re lucky). One of my students even participated in my Teen-Conversation-Club to encourage some of my Tico students to practice English by playing games and getting to know each other. Other activities we did outside of class were making patacones (a traditional dish made with fried plantains) by scratch (que rico!) and checking out the town of Liberia in a walking tour. Conversations with the avocado-man, learning to dance bachata at the lively LIB bar and escaping the heat to the neighboring beaches have made the experience truly Pura Vida!

Blog post contributed by Brenna Fowler, an English teacher and Spanish student at Instituto Estelar Bilingüe in Liberia, Costa Rica.