From pristine Canada in the north to diverse Chile in the south, the Americas is a virtual goldmine when it comes to studying foreign languages. Learn English in Vancouver, French in Montreal, and Spanish in Havana. Explore the length and breadth of the South American continent that’s home to the steamy Amazon, the Andes, and the arid Atacama desert.
How do you pick a language school? First, you need to decide what foreign languages to learn. In Canada, most schools teach English to prep international students for university entry. On the other hand, South and Central America are the best places to study Spanish and Portuguese and to properly learn the rules of fútbol (not soccer), the region’s obsession.
Second, decide which country appeals to you: Portuguese in Brazil, Spanish in Argentina, or Papiamento in the Caribbean? Do note that Spanish accents differ across the Americas, so best practices is to pick a place with an accent you want to emulate. Third, pick a learning environment that suits you best. For instance, do you prefer formal classes at a local university or more hands-on immersion programs with a local homestay?
With that said, GoAbroad’s incredible users have spoken. Here are the 10 top trending destinations in the Americas for language schools in 2018 according to meaningful travelers.
Cuba is the millennial traveler’s darling at the moment and with good reason too! It’s also one of the best places to learn foreign languages in the Americas. This Spanish-speaking Caribbean island is known for being Hemingway’s favorite getaway and the land of the best cigars on the planet. Learn Spanish from the locals while sipping on rum and coke in Havana, dancing the night away in Santiago de Cuba, or stepping back in time in perfectly preserved Trinidad.
Recommended program: Learn Spanish with Jakera Cuba
2. Puerto Rico
Even though it’s technically part of the US, life is way more relaxed in Puerto Rico. Study Spanish or other foreign languages in America in the capital, San Juan, while exploring its blue cobblestoned streets or its sandy beaches. In your free time, wander the depths of the US’s only rainforest, El Yunque, or marvel at the bioluminescence in the bay at Vieques. Before long, the island nation will work its magic on you and you’ll never want to head back to the mainland again!
Recommended program: Study Spanish in Puerto Rico with SSA
You can find the best colleges for foreign language education in Brazil. When it comes to an exceptionally vibrant culture, this country takes the cake. This South American behemoth gave the world samba, Carnaval, and cachaça. Study Portuguese with a Brazilian twang in Rio de Janeiro, the largest Portuguese city outside of Portugal. Practice those language skills with the locals on Rio’s famous beaches or in its lively bars. During downtime, get into the local spirit with futebol and bossa nova too!
Recommended program: Study Portuguese in Brazil with ESL - Language Studies Abroad
4. Dominican Republic
The DR is one of the top destinations in the Americas for language schools. Study Spanish in a country that shares half of the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The DR promises miles of beaches, merengue parties, and hiking destinations to make your head spin. Not only that, the low cost of living makes it one of the cheapest places to learn foreign languages in the Americas. Study in the bustling capital of Santo Domingo, the final resting place of Christopher Columbus, or Sosua, for high coral cliffs and underwater worlds.
Recommended program: Study Spanish in Santo Domingo with ISA
Mexico is one of the perfect places to study foreign languages in the Americas. Learn Spanish outside of Spain or pick up indigenous languages like Nahuatl. Mexico has something for everyone, whether you choose to study in a sprawling metropolis, beachside, or high in the mountains. Practica tu español while noshing on regional moles and tamales in Oaxaca, Mexico City, and Guadalajara.
Recommended program: Study Spanish in Oaxaca with Sol Abroad
Canada is one of the top destinations in the Americas for language schools. It’s home to not one but two official languages: English and French. With so many cities to choose from, you’re bound to find the best places to learn foreign languages in the Americas. If you dig French, head to Quebec City and Montreal for ooodles of French-influenced culture and poutine! If English’s more your thing, find great schools in Vancouver and Toronto.
Recommended program: Learn French in Quebec with Edu-inter
7. The Caribbean
You’ll be hard pressed to find a region as linguistically diverse as the Caribbean anywhere else in the world. Sandwiched between the South and North American continents, the Caribbean is one of the best places to learn foreign languages in the Americas. Best beaches in the world aside, you can learn Dutch in the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao), Spanish in Cuba, DR, or Puerto Rico, French in Haiti, Martinique, or Guadeloupe, and English or patois in Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago.
Recommended program: Study a language in the Caribbean with Projects Abroad
If you’re intimidated by the notion of fully immersing yourself in a Spanish-speaking country to learn the language, head to Belize. This country is super special because although Spanish is commonly spoken, English is its official language! Base yourself in one of the best places to learn foreign languages in the Americas. Enjoy the best of both worlds in Belize because it’s considered both a Central American and Caribbean nation. Belize is also home to the region’s best biodiversity, punta music, and its very own barrier reef!
Recommended program: Learn Spanish in Belize with TEP
Are you a Pablo Neruda fan? Head down south to his birthplace, a country of extremes. From glaciers to deserts, immerse yourself in one of the most fascinating Spanish-speaking countries on the planet. Study in Santiago, the capital, while sipping pisco sours and roaming the Mercado Central or La Chascona. Choose UNESCO World Heritage favorite Valparaiso to learn foreign languages in the Americas and check out awesome street art, colorful houses, and coastal Viña del Mar.
Recommended program: Study Spanish in Valparaiso with GoAbroad Chile
Argentina is not only the home of Patagonia, Buenos Aires (the Paris of South America), chimichurri sauce, and tango. It’s also one of the top destinations in the Americas for language schools. Its identity is pretty mixed, with Spanish, Italian, French, and Amerindian influences, so you’re bound to pick up a new language in no time. Study in Buenos Aires, Bariloche, and Cordoba.
Recommended program: Learn Spanish in Buenos Aires with Mente Argentina
A note from GoAbroad
We’d like to thank our community for not only inspiring us daily, but for also giving us enough insight to share accurate predictions for meaningful travel in 2018.
Learn more about our research methodology, recommended programs, and links here.
Browse more of this year's report on top destinations for language schools
- Best Destinations for Language Courses Worldwide in 2018
- Best Destinations for a European Language School in 2018
- Best Destinations to Learn an African Language in 2018
- Best Destinations for Language Courses in the South Pacific & Asia for 2018
- See ALL top destinations for ALL travel