Here’s a list of 14 of the best Spanish immersion schools in the world!
One of the best ways to learn Spanish is by visiting a Spanish immersion school in a Spanish speaking country.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best Spanish immersion schools in the world!
What is a Spanish immersion school?
Spanish immersion schools typically provide one-on-one Spanish lessons for 4-5 hours per day and they usually also include a homestay component, so that you live with a local family and practise your Spanish even after classes have finished.
I myself stayed five weeks at an immersion school in a small town in Guatemala called San José back in 1996 and it accelerated my Spanish learning no end.
The courses at this school still only cost US$160 per week which includes 4 hours of class per day (20 hours per week) PLUS homestay with a local family!
It’s amazingly cheap and the town is right on a beautiful lake near Tikal. Because nobody in the town speaks much English then you get a great opportunity to practice your Spanish outside of schools hours.
The great thing about this school was that it also supported the local Mayan culture and was committed to looking after the local environment. It was called Bio Itza Spanish School.
Wherever you choose to stay, though, a Spanish immersion school is definitely one of the best ways to learn Spanish.
How to find a good Spanish Immersion School:
- Try to choose one in an area that is off the tourist track. There are many schools in very touristy regions, but the problem with these is that there are so many tourists staying there that after class you’re more likely to speak in English rather than Spanish. Often the locals in these areas are a little more jaded as well, and see foreigners more as just a way to make money than as people to share their langauge and culture with.
- Make sure you get one which offers private classes. Private classes are by far the best way to learn Spanish, as you can go at your own pace and ask as many questions as you like, and you also get more opportunity to practise than you do in a group class (and the more practice the better).
- Definitely stay with a local family. This will improve your Spanish no end, as you’ll start thinking in Spanish all the time. When you start dreaming in Spanish, that’s when you know you’re really starting to absorb it!
- Try to stay for 3-4 weeks at least. 3-4 weeks is really the amount of time you need to get a firm grasp on the language and have it really start to sink in. If you can stay for less time then that’s fine, but try to make sure that you do some Spanish before you go either with a local school or with a Skype teacher.
- Go in the off season. Many students come down from the US to Latin America during the summer for a Spanish summer program. This is obviously not the best time to go, as schools will be full up and also there’ll be so many foreigners around that you’ll spend more time speaking English than Spanish.
- Do as much work as you can before you go. The beauty of an immersion program is that you get to practise, but if you don’t know anything then you won’t be able to practise anything. Learning as much grammar and vocabulary as possible before you arrive will allow you to put it all into practice once you get there!
- Don’t commit to more than a week to start with. If you don’t like the school, then you can always move on!
- If you can, visit the school before signing up, especially if there is more than one school in the town you’re thinking of studying in. Not only will you get to see the school and meet the teachers, but you never know, you might even be able to get a better deal!
Where is the best place to do a Spanish Immersion Program?
My recommendation to do a Spanish immersion program, especially if you’re going for a few weeks or longer, would be Guatemala.
The courses in Guatemala are of a high standard and are incredibly cheap compared to every other country. With an average cost of less than US$200 per week for 20 hours of classes plus accommodation with a family, it’s hard to go wrong!
Not only that, but Guatemalans speak quite slowly compared to people in other countries, making it even easier to learn the language there!
14 of the best Spanish Immersion schools around the world:
Spanish immersion schools in Costa Rica
CRLA – Costa Rican Language Academy is one of the most highly rated schools in Costa Rica. The cost, at around US$500 per week including homestay, is one of the most expensive in Latin America. They do, however, offer some more specialised programs such as college credits and medical Spanish.
However, if you’re going to study in Costa Rica and pay three times as much as you’d pay at a similar school in Guatemala, you might as well make the most of what Costa Rica has to offer and stay at a school on the beach!
School of the World offers surfing plus Spanish plus yoga lessons and a homestay for around US$750 per week. It has fantastic reviews across the web and offers more than just these activities. So if you’re up for an active adventure, then check this one out!
Spanish Immersion schools in Spain
Escuela Carmen de la Cuevas in Granada, Spain is possibly one of the most picturesque Spanish schools in the world! Not only that, but it comes very highly rated and is in a very beautiful area of Spain. Cost for classes is around US$200 per week and accommodation is extra depending on what type you choose.
Spanish and Surf Fuerteventura is another school which offers Spanish, surf and yoga lessons all in one. It’s in a beautiful coastal town of Spain in the Canary Islands, and a week of accommodation and Spanish classes costs around US$400.
Spanish Immersion Schools in Guatemala
Bio Itza School in the Peten region of Guatemala. A small school on a beautiful lake near the ruins of Tikal. Dedicated to helping the local community maintain the environment and the Mayan cultural traditions. US$160 per week includes 20 hours of private classes plus homestay with a local family.
Antigueña Spanish Academy located in the beautiful colonial town of Antigua is a beautiful place to learn Spanish. Learn in the lush gardens of the school which is located in an old colonial building. All their teachers are university educated and provide top-class Spanish tuition. Homestays can be arranged with local families. Contact them for current pricing.
Cooperative of Guatemala Spanish Teachers is located in the town of San Pedro located on the beautiful Lago de Atitlán (lake of Atitlán). This stunning lake is in the highlands of Guatemala and has three volcanoes surrounding it. This lake has been named one of the most beautiful in the world and surrounding it are avocado and coffee plantations as well as native forest. The school costs around US$200 per week for 20 hours of classes plus homestay with a local family, and is renowned as an excellent choice for studying Spanish in the region.
Spanish Immersion Schools in Peru
Peruwayna Spanish school in the Peruvian capital of Lima has got many fantastic reviews across the internet. They offer a 20 hour a week private intensive Spanish learning program including homestay for around US$300 per week. Lima being the capital has plenty of great things to do and especially great places to eat. Peruwayna not only offers classes but heaps of other great activities such as cooking and sporting activities.
Amigos Spanish School in Cusco. If you’re going to Peru then chances are you’re going to Cusco to visit Machu Picchu. While you’re there, why not stop off in this beautiful town and learn some Spanish? High in the Andes mountains it’s one of the most spectacular areas of Peru. And Amigos Spanish school comes very highly rated! The cost is US$310 per week which includes 20 hours (in a group – not private) of Spanish classes and homestay. There are definitely cheaper places to learn Spanish, but Cusco is quite touristy and therefore a little pricey.
Spanish Immersion Schools in Mexico
Adelita Language School is located in the beautiful Mexican colonial town of Guanajuato. This town was once a rich silver mining town, and the grandeur of the good old days can still be seen in the local architecture. These days it’s a very cultural town, housing a well known university and a festival once a year that brings people from all over the world. The cost of the classes here is quite high, though, at around US$300 for 20 hours per week, not including accommodation.
Oaxaca International School is located in beautiful Oaxaca and offers high quality Spanish classes in a beautiful environment. The cost per week is around US$400 for 20 hours of classes plus homestay. They not only offer Spanish classes but cultural activities such as dance and cooking classes, and tours around the city and its surrounds. This school comes highly recommended across the web.
Spanish immersion schools in Colombia
Spanish World Institute is located in the beautiful city of Cartagena, right on the Caribbean coast of Northern Colombia. This is a must see city if you’re visiting Colombia, and in fact many places along the Caribbean coast here are absolutely stunning. The cost of Spanish, however, is not the most economical, and will cost around US$750 per week for 20 hours of classes plus homestay accommodation. My recommendation: learn Spanish somewhere cheaper like Guatemala and come here for a holiday!
Spanish Immersion schools in Argentina
Expanish Spanish school in Buenos Aires is one of the most well known schools in Argentina. Argentina is a beautiful country to visit, but at US$850 per week which includes 20 hours of Spanish plus accommodation, it’s definitely not the most economical place to learn Spanish. Add to that the fact that the Argentinians have developed their own slightly different form of the Spanish language, and it’s probably not the best place to study! Go there for the tango lessons instead!
Spanish Immersion schools in Chile
Ecela Spanish school in Santiago is one of the best places to learn Spanish in Chile. Like Argentina, though, Chile can be expensive, and you should expect to pay around US$800 per week for 20 hours of classes plus accommodation. The Chileans also have a slightly different version of Spanish, and many Chilean words cannot be understood in other countries!