As a huge fan of language learning, I have tried a million and one different ways to make new vocabulary and grammar structures stick. From burying my head in best-selling novels to watching sit-coms in the target language, I enjoy discovering new ways to teach myself Spanish, in particular.
However, from personal experience, the best way to really learn Spanish is to immerse yourself in it. Surrounding yourself by native speakers allows you to enjoy an abundance of opportunities to test out what you’ve already learned or to even pick up new phrases.
For many of us, finding a way to immerse ourselves in Spanish doesn’t seem feasible. If you’re in the middle of studying at college or are well and truly settled in your 9-5 routine, packing up your life and moving to a Latin American country may seem out of the question. However, there is a solution! There is a middle-ground whereby you can immerse yourself in Spanish without overhauling your whole life.
How does a few weeks in Costa Rica learning all there is to know about, not only Spanish, but Costa Rican culture sound? For many, this might seem like a far-fetched dream, an unreachable opportunity. However, enjoying just this is more achievable than you may think, thanks to Instituto Estelar Bilingüe, located in the tropical paradise of Guanacaste.
Instituto Estelar is an international meeting point in Liberia, Costa Rica, only a short drive from world-class beaches, volcanoes and epic scenery. The school offers a stellar immersion programme, where students live and breathe Spanish for a week or more. Immersion classes, with native professors, run every morning from Monday to Friday.
However, the high-quality classes Estelar offers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the school’s immersion programme. With group trips to surreal destinations; the valuable opportunity to stay with a local Tico family and the chance to take part in a range of wider activities (from Spanish movie nights to Spanglish socials with locals) Estelar offers the full package. Without a doubt, through learning in this way, you will probably be surprised by how much you progress in your language learning in the space of a few short days. You might also surprise yourself by making friends for life.
Of course, all of this takes place in the setting of Costa Rica and all that the tropical paradise has to offer as a country. In your free time, you will have ample opportunities to admire stunning scenery, taste local delicacies and lose yourself in the ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle the nation is famous for. Much more than picking up a new language, you may find yourself picking up a whole new way of life, where you appreciate the little things more and learn to fully enjoy the present moment.
So, are you ready to challenge yourself? Why not push yourself this year, this decade? Many of us have started 2020 with a handful of New Year’s resolutions we recite year after year. Why not make this year different? If travelling more, learning about new cultures and learning a new language are high up on your bucket list, Instituto Estelar Bilingue might just be the perfect place for you to tick off all three while making memories to last a lifetime.
This blog was contributed by Katie, from England, who took several Spanish immersion courses in January and February, 2020.