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Habla Ya - Spanish in Panama City, Bocas del Toro & Boquete

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

3 meses estaba estudiando en Habla YA

I greatly enjoyed my 3 month experience at Habla Ya in Panama City. All the teachers are eager to help and teach you.During my time there I studied with 5 teachers. However, 3 of them truly made an impact on my experience.
My private teachers Bladamir and Judith were exceptional. I had Bladamir first and he made an effort to hone in on my weakness (past tense verbs) and he is very jovial person which helped my timidity my first month there. He also helped me to acclimate to my new home in the fast paced city of Panama.
Judith is a fantastic teacher and she has a TRUE gift to teach. There were somethings grammatically I could not wrap my head around and she made it so easy to understand. I loved being in her class and she is interested in knowing what you would like to study.
Last but definitely not least is ANA! Oh she was my group class teacher but I spent most of my time studying and learning from her. There were many weeks when it was just her and I. Ana helped me to have a conversation in Spanish in various topics, helped me to write better sentences and journal entries, increased my auditory abilities with videos, music, and listening to her, and improving my reading skills. Due to much of the hard work and effort of Ana I returned from Panama able to speak, write, read and understand Spanish, and not only proper Spanish but Panamanian colloquial expressions. I truly enjoyed being her student and building a bond with Ana. I still laugh to myself about some of our lengthy conversations we had. Ana wants her students to learn as well, but she not only helped me with my weakness but also increased my strengths. Ana loves to give homework which helped me to think outside of my classroom studies, which at time was a bit of a challenge. However, those challenging days have helped me return to USA as a Spanish speaker.
I learned to appreciate Spanish and all its intricate grammatical rules that we don't have in English. If you are looking for a school to REALLY teach you SPANISH how to speak, read, write and understand it; HABLA YA is the school for you. They have school outings and elective activities to participate in. They treat you like family and they all try and get to know you; regardless if you are their student or not. Habla Ya was an answer to many years of prayer to understand Spanish and I have come a long way and have the resources to speak to any Hispanic native without fear. I have been using what I have learned to communicate with other Hispanics right here in Florida. Thank you for all you do Habla Ya and your wonderful instructors.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Another visit to Habla Ya

This is my sixth visit to Hablaya and adding all the time together that I have
spent at this school it is 15 months.
Virtually all this time I have had the same teacher Leidys and I always took private lessons. She has helped me to achieve a very advanced level in Reading and talking not just on colloquial level but also on subjects more erudite.
This includes the use of idiomatic expressions, difficult grammatical phrases, use of the subjunctive in all tenses.
It has been hard work but extremely rewarding and I am extremely grateful for Leidys help and for the support from the entire school.
Many many thanks Habla Ya.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    8

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Great immersion experience

I moved to Panama about two years ago, and given that I had done some Spanish in secondary school, I thought I would brave it and figure out Spanish on my own. After a few months of frustrating efforts, I decided to take classes and settled on Habla Ya. I ended up taking individual classes for 7 months, and successfully completed the DELE Exam (Level 5) at the end of my time. Overall, I had a fantastic experience, and there are three things that I want to highlight:

1. Flexibility: I have a very unconventional work schedule, and they were quite accommodating. They worked around me, and not the other way around, for which I was truly appreciative! Additionally, with the one-on-one classes, we were able to tailor a programme that helped me t achieve all of my goals.

2. Teachers: My primary teacher was Sergio William - very professional and dedicated. His philosophy is to ensure that you master each section before moving on to the next, giving you a great foundation to build on. He was also pretty good at reading me and figuring out when I was getting frustrated, switching to another activity like Scrabble or just talking about sports and helping to keep me engaged. Shout out to the other teachers who I had classes with when Sergio wasn't available: Ezequiel, Judith, Ana, Bellalina and Yaritzel.

3. Extra activities: Habla Ya also offers activities such as tours, visits to museums, restaurant trips, etc. I wasn't able to go often, but enjoyed those I was able to attend. They give you the opportunity to interact with Panamanians, and to try to speak at "street speed" rather than "classroom speed".

Great teachers, friendly environment, awesome learning experience!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

The best language learning experience!

The prospect of migrating to a new country is indeed very exciting. New people, new places to explore, a culture that is unlike your own. But in my case, there was also a new language. With only a basic knowledge of Spanish and a healthy dose of trepidation I moved to Panama at the beginning of this year. I attended Habla Ya for roughly seven months and from my very first day I was made to feel welcome. In fact, I would go so far as to say that by the end of my time with there I had found a little family.
I chose a program that initially consisted of a combination of group and individual classes. In this way I was able to not just develop my core skills, but also build a sense of confidence through interaction with other students. When you chose Habla Ya not only are you getting great teachers, but the school utilises a variety of social activities such as pizza nights and outings to places of interest where you have the opportunity to experience the culture of Panama as well as make use of your language to interact with locals.
I have tried to learn Spanish in the past with marginal success. So I never would have imagined that in less than one year I would be able to not only speak, but understand a foreign language at a high intermediate level. Even more amazingly, I obtained my Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera (DELE) thanks to my phenomenal teacher Judith Baret!! Using a combination of unconventional tools and methods she customised a program that focused on my weaker areas and helped me to relax (which I really needed in the weeks prior to my exam). She readily clarified any confusing topics and nurtured my self-confidence. I can honestly attribute my success to the high level of preparation that I attained through her efforts.
Now I can read the Spanish version of some of my favourite books. But most importantly, not only can I do it, I actually want to.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Bocas love!

During the summer of 2016 I enrolled in classes with my girlfriend. Our first impression of the campus was very positive. The staff at reception was very accommodating toward our budget and we loved the options. We took a small group session and were matched with our teacher Ricardo. He went above and beyond to help us gain a comprehensive understanding of the Spanish language and the regional dialect. We also loved engaging in all of the activities offered by the school. Over two months we explored many things that the archipelago has to offer and even toward the end we felt like we were discovering new stuff to do daily. I love surfing and there are many great spots all over the islands. As far as the learning style of the program goes, it is catered toward any level and is very well executed. We definitely learned and improved our Spanish language skills in the program. The one regret we have is not doing a home stay with a host family. We felt that full immersion is the best way to go to gain the most out of the opportunity. One of the most impactful things with our experience was the relationships we formed with the people and staff. We truly are thankful for our friendships we formed with Carlos and Ludo. They are the best!
If you feel so inclined there are also volunteer opportunities. We took part in launching the Bocas Permaculture Project. It is a gardening project aimed to assist and educate the people of Bocas on sustainable gardening by providing self-wicking garden beds to those in need. Please check it out.
This school is very very good and individuals from all walks of life will in enjoy it. We went to school in Bocas, but also visited Boquete and Panama City. I can confidently say you will have a positive experience at any HablaYa campus. Highly recommend.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Best school on every levels!

I chose Panama for my first trip far abroad and selected this school to learn spanish from scratch.. and I didn't regret it! Everything was perfect, from the home stay family, the school accommodation, the reception, the school activities, the professors, the quality of teaching.. really I couldn't have imagine a better school to learn spanish. I also LOVED Bocas Del Toro with it's beaches and cool restaurants, surfing and wow just amazing. I will never forget this experience and if I had to improve one day my spanish, I would definitely come back because it just feels like being home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Experience in Boquete

I've spent the last three weeks in Boquete, studying Spanish at the Habla Ya School. The climate is extremely temperate with a constant temperature of 70ºF and occasional showers in the afternoon. The school itself is wonderful and a perfect place to immerse oneself in Hispanic culture and language. My teacher, Leidys, was extremely kind and accommodating. She adapted the curriculum to suit every of my needs and interests. Moreover, during my week I stayed with a host family I was greeted with open arms and a warm hearth. I'm greatly indebted in the improvement of my Spanish to my time here in Leidys' class. It was a great experience and I recommend the school wholeheartedly!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Habla Ya in Bocas Is something you must experience!!

My boyfriend and I decided to take time off work, and travel to Panama. We really wanted to improve our Spanish and meet people while we were there. We started our trip and decided out of all the schools and language programs available, that we wanted to go to Habla Ya. We were on a tight budget since we were going to not be working for three months, but we still really wanted to learn Spanish. After going to the reception and talking to Carlos, we decided that Habla Ya was the perfect fit for us. He gave us many options of programs we could enroll in that would fit our budget, and allow us to have free time to explore the archipelago, as well as be the most beneficial to us. We decided to do mini group lessons, and they were GREAT! Our teacher was Ricardo, and he was excellent. He helped us learn very quickly and was so helpful with improving our speaking and conversational Spanish. We were honestly astonished by the amount we learned in just 5 weeks of 3 days a week at Habla Ya! My boyfriend has taken Spanish classes for almost ten years in the United States and had the hardest time learning the language because of the way it is taught there, and by the end of this course he was speaking with people in Spanish and now he is confident in starting conversations with native Spanish speakers. I had taken around 3 years of Spanish in the United States and feel equally as confident in my Spanish. The classes are taught in ways that it is easy to learn and retain the language. We even bought book for the next level to take with us so we can continue studying! The organized school activities are so fun, like bonfires, volleyball , sancocho soup night, and more, and they give you great opportunities to practice your Spanish with all of the students and teachers in the school, and get to know people from all over the world. We volunteered with Ludo and helped him with a garden project that he had been wanting to start. It was so much fun volunteering and getting to know the staff at Habla Ya in Bocas. Carlos, Ludo, and Ricardo are so nice and helpful, and made our experience great and unforgettable. We have been and will continue to recommend people to attend Habla Ya, because we had such an amazing time!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Another excellent experience at Habla Ya

Once again I studied Spanish at Habla Ya from 23rd May to 16th June.
This is the sixth visit and again my private teacher was Leidys with whom I have always had a very personal and friendly relationship.
Because of my advanced level I often had questions which she could answer very professionally. This time we worked with the passive voice and used articles with special grammatical points.
As usual I was very happy and this will not be my last visit to Habla Ya.
Thank you to Leidys and all at this school.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

Would highly recorded!

I studied with Habla Ya in Boquete for 4.5 months (private classes, 4 hours a day) and I had a great experience. I worked with Tamara for the majority of the time and I loved her! Her explanations were so clear. If I didn’t understand something, she would always find another way to explain it to me. And she was fantastic at correcting me when I spoke. We also did fun activities together – I love to cook and at the end a few classes, we made Panamanian food! I miss her and Habla Ya. I just got home and now I’m ready to go back to Panama.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • The Campus

    9

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

If you want to learn Spanish, definitely go to Habla Ya

Three years ago I enrolled in online two hour Spanish classes at Habla Ya. I already understood a bit of Spanish and I wanted to learn more and sharpen my skills, and that is exactly what Habla Ya did for me. My online teacher, Leidys Pitti, has to have been one of the best teachers I've had at any school I've been to, and we've only spoken over the Internet! Leidys has been with me for one hundred hours of online classes and I believe my comprehension and speaking Spanish has tripled over just these hundred hours! She's got my respect as a teacher, yet whenever we speak, it feels we're talking on a friendly level. She gets the whole job done while at the same time never hesitating to laugh and have a good time while she's doing it. It's very obvious that she's passionate about teaching language and I definitely recommend Leidys and Habla Ya in Panama for anyone interested in learning/improving Spanish.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Valuable Academic and Cultural Program

I have been taking Spanish classes at Habla Ya for almost three weeks now and I am thoroughly impressed. In comparison to other Spanish classes I have taken, Habla Ya far exceeded my expectations. I usually have a difficult time in a classroom setting but my instructor taught the material in an effective way that helped me learn a lot faster than usual. The school also offers activities to do outside of the classroom that helped me harness everything I had learned, whether that be salsa lessons in the evening, cultural activities in the community, visiting nearby islands, going on different tours, etc. Habla Ya can help you arrange lodging as well with a host family or with a hostel in town depending on what you prefer. I can not speak enough on how impressed I am with their organization academically and how fun the learning experience turned out to be! I will definitely be returning in the future.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    5

Perfect time at Habla Ya in Bocas

I spent 6 weeks in Bocas at Habla Ya and it was a great experience. I went to School every day for 4 hours. I felt totally welcome from the first Moment. It's just a very relaxed and family-like atmosphere.
I loved the classes with my teacher Kimberly. Classes with her were very varied and funny. I've learned a lot with her explications and the hours of conversation. Kimberly was always available for questions after class and was open to just hanging out and speaking Spanish.
I also really enjoyed the activities the school offers. Everyday there are activities, the school organized.
I really loved my time in Bocas and I would defenitly recommend it to everyone

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Great Language School in Panama City

I spent four weeks studying at HablaYa while living in Panama City and the experience was fantastic. Ezequiel , my teacher and Director of the Panama school (I believe) , is unbelievably passionate about teaching and making sure all the students at the school are getting the best experience possible. He is an incredibly enthusiastic and patient person (essential qualities as a teacher!) and always had time for his students when they needed help - both inside and outside of the classroom. The school has activities - including salsa classes, film nights and sightseeing - organised on every single night of the week, and everything is done with a smile. Overall an amazing experience, and I cannot recommend the school or Ezequiel highly enough.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Great School - Great People - Great Location

If you want to learn or improve your Spanish Language Skills and you’re interested in doing that in a beautiful mountain town with an eternal spring like climate year round you won’t find a better place than the Habla Ya Spanish School in Boquete, Chiriquí, Panamá.
Of course you probably won’t be in school all day, so better to be in a place that is beautiful with lots of other activities to keep you busy when you are not studying.
Before relocating to Panamá my wife and I decided it was imperative to learn the language if we wanted to live in the countryside among Panamanian families. After doing a considerable amount of research we chose Habla Ya’s Boquete campus.
We were given placement tests and assigned to classes appropriate to our skill level – I started at the beginning never having been good with languages in my youth. My first class (group) was with Kimberly who is an awesome Boquete native and great teacher. Group classes, which meet four hours daily, are fun as you get to meet students from all over the world and student interactions can be quite hilarious. We’re all there for the same reason and everyone lends assistance when needed; it’s a great way to make new friends.
After a long break for a visit to the U.S. for the Thanksgiving Holiday I returned to Habla Ya and made a decision to take private lessons (2 hours daily) and what a great choice it was. With my new teacher Ladys I found that I was learning much more in half the time. In a private setting Ladys was able to focus soley on me and my abilities. Being the consummate professional, Ladys has the patience of a saint and is a gifted teacher. I am not fluent by a long shot by I can now communicate and get my message across to people that do not speak a word of English. Ladys and Habla Ya have given me the knowledge and confidence to go out in the real world of Panamá improving my language skills as I go.
Everyone at Habla Ya including the front office personnel, administrators and teachers are great… it’s like having a big family here in Panamá. Highly recommended!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

Great Location for School

I only can say good things about Habla Ya in Boquete, a wonderful place to study. The school is well organized,the staff friendly and helpful.
I had both, an individual and a group class for two weeks in January 2016.
My teacher Leidys Pitti was excellent, helping me a lot to improve my Spanish.
Our lessons were all very entertaining having so many topics to speak about.
Leidys, being such an open minded young women taught me a lot about live and culture of Panama and made me practice my Spanish by showing interest in all my concerns.The work in small groups (we were only 2 students for the first and 4 for the second week) was very effective too and the broad range of teaching materials used made it a great fun. I can highly recommend this school. Antje

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

An excellent language school in Boquete!

Habla Ya is a very well-run language school. The instructors are excellent (I spent 4 weeks in class, 5 hours per day) and I was quite impressed. (Full disclosure: I am a Spanish teacher, and I was brushing up on my Spanish while checking out the school for my students.) I spent most of my time with two teachers--Yubal Tapia and Leidys Pitti. Yubal and I read the first 10 chapters of Don Quijote together, and it was fun to explore that classic text with a bright and dynamic native speaker. Leidys and I marched through the C1 course material which allowed us to converse about many current topics. Leidys does a lot to help her students adapt to the culture of Panama and Boquete.
I would highly recommend Habla Ya for students of every level. The teachers, administrators and staff always went the extra mile to help students learn Spanish, explore Boquete, and adapt to life in Panama. Habla Ya is an excellent school!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

ADVANCED SPANISH COURSE

ADVANCED SPANISH COURSE
For the fifth time I attended Habla ya Spanish school for private lessons at the level C1/C2. My teachers were Ericka and Leidys, both of whom helped me enomously in the complex written and oral exercises. Not only in their professional capacity but also in their friendly attitudes did the show their competence. I can recommend this school in all aspects for anyone wanting to learn Spanish whatever their level.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

My experience at Habla Ya Spanish School in Boquete, Panama

This week, sadly, I finished a level one Spanish course at Habla Ya Spanish School in Boquete with an excellent instructor, Yorelys. I’m sad because I wanted to continue. I've learned a lot...and learned I have a lot more to learn.

For me, learning Spanish at Habla Ya in Boquete, Panama, has been an excellent experience and left me feeling it was money well spent. Their course material is very good. My instructor supplemented the course material with her own material (flash cards, handouts). The exercises allowed students to more fully interact with each other. She taught with lots of energy, positive spirit, smiles, and laughter in every class. She made the learning process a pleasurable experience. You have motivated me and given me the desire to continue to learn Spanish. Thank you, Habla Ya…and Yorelys.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Great experience

I have been extremely pleased with my experience with Habla Ya. I have tried several online Spanish tutors and this, by far, is the most professional and organized school I have run across. There method is to balance grammar and conversational skills in a stepwise and logical progression.
I think the world of my instructor, Yaria Muñoz. She is very engaging, patient, and has a good sense of humor. I look forward to our classes together. More importantly she is an excellent teacher. She is able to determine my areas of weakness and then focuses our efforts to improve those skills. I have made fantastic progress with her guidance.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • The Campus

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

Local Resident taking my first Habla Ya course in Boquete

I was extremely impressed with my 10 week course at Habla Ya. The class size was small, 5-7 people, which meant we had a lot of personal attention and opportunities to speak aloud using what we learned. The instructor was fluent in English but she spoke almost exclusively in Spanish. I felt that I learned a great deal and made significant progress from being a beginner to feeling pretty comfortable with the present tense and common conversation. I would definitely take another course with Habla Ya again next year to take my Spanish speaking up another level.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • The Campus

    10

  • Academics

    10

Excellent Language Instruction in Panamá

After 8 weeks at Habla Ya in Boquete and Bocas del Toro, I can speak confidently in Spanish. Two years of university Spanish taught me lots of grammar but no speaking skills. The total immersion program at Habla Ya focused on getting me speaking while also reviewing the grammar I'd learned. Habla Ya is accredited by the Cervantes Institute in Spain so they have a rigorous curriculum, and their teachers are well educated and very well trained. In addition they are very encouraging and very patient, making it easy to start conversing with them. One aspect of their program I really liked was staying with a local host family who spoke only Spanish. My family had been part of the Habla Ya program for several years and we're experienced helping students feel comfortable speaking Spanish in the home, a very natural way to practice. I really appreciated the teachers spending time covering the idiomatic Spanish spoken by native language speakers!
Another plus was the excellent weather in Boquete in Feb, Mar, and April. Warm during the day and cool at night for sleeping. No humidity and no bugs! A benefit of the altitude at Boquete.
Bocas del Toro is on the Caribbean coast so it's weather is more tropical, so the campus there uses air conditioning.
If you want to learn to speak Spanish I recommend Hanla Ya in Panamá wholeheartedly.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Academics

    10

I love it

Learning Spanish at Habla Ya was great experience. I attended group of four. It was so much fun, no wasted moment between learning and laughing. I did not think I could learn Spanish in this short time, but I did. At least I can say, I got general understand of the language which I can build on it.
My Professor Widad M. Jurado is great, very professional and patient. She is one of the best in the school.
I would recommend this school to everybody who is interested in learning Spanish in an enjoyable Vacation.

George Youssef

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • The Campus

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Habla Ya! Vale la pena

Im on the brink of completing my 3 months at Habla Ya Boquete and I must say my experience exceeded my expectations. I have attended other schools in other countries,albeit for shorter periods ,however my experience at Habla Ya Boquete was the best. I ended up selecting Habla Ya because whilst searching the internet for somewhere to go to learn spanish, I came up on this school which only had brilliant reviews and decided that I would have to experience it myself. The learning for the most part is well structured, the teachers professional, the setting intimate and the admin staff extremely helpful. The teachers did a good job in selecting topics for discussions interesting and relevant to everyday life to complement the content of the textbooks. I was travelling alone and taking classes for four hours per day in a group setting. However for more than four weeks of that time I was alone in class with my teacher as there was no else at my level. My classes were therefore the focal point of my day. And at this juncture I must mention my teacher or rather more so my friend, Leidys Pitti. I had Leidys from the outset and therefore we had time to forge a friendship. I am truly grateful for her professionalism, helpfulness, camaraderie , and having the uncanny ability to make me look forward to classes everyday. I enjoyed our classes alone even more than those in a group and Leidys never failed to make me feel like each day I came away with something new. As part of our class experience we went shopping and to lunch together, she provided me with material and tips for my journey throughout the rest of Panama, no subject was off limits, she was always available by phone and just has one of the most pleasant personalities ever; at all times she projected an image of genuine interest and pleasure to be in my company; she never lost an opportunity to provide me with assistance and I because of this had no intimidation to learn, speak, make and laugh at my own mistakes.
Habla Ya isn't perfect, but it might be the nearest you will get to perfection...smile. I hope you too enjoy your experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

exceptional school & teachers

I couldn't speak more highly of my experience with Habla Ya. I took only 1.5 weeks of classes (Intermediate 1) and I definitely wanted MORE!

Before choosing Habla Ya (or Panama, really), I explored severalSpanish language schools online, and initiated conversations with several. In prior years, I had taken semi-private lessons in short stints in Mexico City and in La Paz, Bolivia, and based on those experiences, I knew I wanted something on the more structured side of things.

Habla Ya impressed me right from the start - from the online placementtest, to the phone call I received the day after I submitted my interest. I found the initiation to be extremely supportive, helpful, professional and prompt.

And my Habla Ya classroom experience exceeded my expectations. First, I made it to Bocas barely one hour before my first class was meant to begin - the office staff (Cesar & Dominique) were accommodating and helpful (getting me water, ensuring a safe/trustworthy environment for me to just leave all my belongings while I went to class).

My teacher, Diogenes, was exceptional. He began by understanding my learning goals and my learning style (e.g. do I like to be corrected along the way as I'm speaking or at the end?). Then he shared some things about his style and asked my permission to make some changes to our schedule (I was there over the two weeks of Christmas & New Year).

Diogenes created a super-relaxed, yet well-paced environment encouraging of risk-taking and free of pressure. He is incredibly patient, quite funny, and enthusiastic about his own learning (which created fun opportunities for me to try to explain English phrases in Spanish), all of which resulted in an incredible setting for me.

We would start each class just by chatting, storytelling. This allowed us to make a great connection with each other, and for me to practice conversations as I might actually have with my friends (versus awkward formal rote conversations I had in prior classes with teachers I knew nothing about and with whom I didn't feel comfortable being open about myself). He also used various games/activities and we even went for a walk during one of our classes... all methods to keep things interesting and nurture various styles of learning/reinforcement.

I also had one class with Yaderline who was great, although a bit timid. She took an interest in getting to know me personally as well, and even suggested some fun things for me to do in Bocas.

I can't say enough about my experience with Habla Ya & Diogenes - HIGHLY RECOMMEND.