When you think of Honduras do you think “fantastic place to perfect that second language?” Because you should. Honduras is centrally located (literally - in Central America!), with plenty of history and beautiful scenery to explore, and Caribbean beaches and breezes to boot. With a growing economy and several types of Spanish and English courses to choose from, now is a great time to attend a Honduras language school. If you’re looking to work hard and play hard, learn a language in the morning and jungle zipline in the afternoon, language programs in Honduras have got you covered.
Language courses in Honduras provide you with access to some of the most incredible natural wonders of the world right out your back door (and after class, of course). Between glistening caves, cloud forests, and coral reefs, you’ll never find yourself at a shortage for adventures!
La Ceiba is just the ticket if you’re looking for an action packed experience around every turn. With quick access to beaches, parks, and waterfalls, it’s next to impossible not to fall in love with this location. Spend your mornings in class and your afternoons wandering La Parque Nacional Pico Bonito. Don’t forget your bug spray!
If you’re more a history buff, consider mastering Spanish immersion in the quaint town of Copan. Located along the Honduran-Guatemalan border, Copan is best known for its ancient Mayan ruins. While they can be explored in a few hours, to really know the landscape takes days or weeks. Consider perfecting your español in town so you can fully explore the ruins in your free time.
More in the mood to get your feet wet? A 90-minute ferry ride from La Ceiba will find you in the Bay of Islands. While there, take advantage of incredible diving, including the world’s second largest coral reef, several shipwrecks, and the Great Blue Hole.
Language Programs in Honduras
While Honduras’ official–and most commonly spoken–language is Spanish, English is the second most popular language, with a large number of native English speakers living primarily on the outlying Bay of Islands. As such, a Honduras language school is a great location to hone BOTH English and/or Spanish skills.
Most programs in Honduras provide anywhere from one week to three months of language classes. Courses usually consist of 20 hours of class per week, either in small groups or through one-on-one instruction.
Small group instruction will allow you to connect with your instructor and other students while you learn from each other in a collaborative environment. Meanwhile, with just one student, your individualized lesson instructor will have greater freedom to work with your specific strengths and weaknesses and to craft lessons to your interests. You can learn Spanish in Honduras the easy way — full immersion.
One of the most unique aspects about studying in Honduras is that many programs are closely connected with volunteer opportunities. Several programs utilize student’s language skills to work with disadvantaged populations. Volunteer opportunities range from teaching in schools to working at orphanages to increasing HIV awareness.
If you’re still looking for ways to connect with locals and perfect your second language, consider finding speaking buddies through Couchsurfing.com. Aimed at connecting individuals across cultures, couchsurfing provides a way to meet people you might never otherwise would have -- to share meals, stories, and intercultural knowledge and awareness. Be sure to search their groups to find native speakers in your area!
Costs & Affordability
If you’re looking for a foreign language opportunity that won’t leave you broke, a Honduras language school will be right up your alley. Even though it’s one of the cheaper options for language study, that doesn’t make it free (unfortunately!), but there are ways to make it even more affordable.
Through Honduras language programs, students have the flexibility to choose exactly how long they would like to be away and weigh that against the cost of their program. Concerned about cost? Find a one or two week program to help you hone your language skills. Flexible schedules make Honduras a great location for individuals looking to experience time abroad without breaking the bank.
Additionally, most classes can begin pretty much any week of the year! This is perfect for students looking to brush up language skills over winter break or the summer, but who may not be able to afford to go abroad a full semester.
Many language programs in Honduras include living accommodations, meals, activities, and even airport pick-up in their up-front costs. Be sure to look at your program’s website for details on what’s included in your program, or contact your provider directly with questions.
If you’re still looking for ways to alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with studying in Honduras, check out scholarship opportunities, either through your home university, or local community clubs such as Rotary International or Key Club. Also, don’t forget about GoAbroad’s scholarship directory which has resources for studying both Spanish and English in Honduras.
Accommodations & Visas
Before diving headfirst into your language studies (you studious student!), you need to ensure you’ve covered all your bases, including the less glamorous issues like visas and accommodations.
Honduras allows nationals of most countries to enter without a visa for up to 90 days. After 90 days, you can either extend your stay by an additional 90 days, OR you can leave the country for 72 hours (or more) to any country that is not a member of the Central America-4 Border Control Agreement (Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua). Since 2006 these countries have allowed free movement between their borders, meaning you are free to visit these areas without additional visas. Vacation anyone?
Now that you’ve figured out how you’re getting INTO the country, it’s time to enjoy BEING in Honduras. Since most programs provide accommodations and meals in up-front costs, usually in a homestay, you can most likely expect either a private or shared bedroom with a Honduran family during your time abroad. Homestays are a great way to increase your language skills. Not only will you study Spanish or English five days a week, but you will have the opportunity to practice with native speakers around the clock, both at home and in your neighborhood. There are few things more thrilling than utilizing your newfound language skills to seamlessly integrate into your new community...and nothing that will make you feel like you are truly home, faster.
Benefits & Challenges
While Honduras has tons to offer, there are many factors to consider when choosing where to study. One thing to always be cautious of while abroad is your safety. While many programs are located in safer areas, Honduras does have a relatively high crime rate; aggravated assaults, kidnapping, and robbery occur with some frequency. Honduras also has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. While these attacks could potentially happen to anyone anywhere, it is important to stay alert and mindful of your surroundings. Always travelling with a buddy, carrying pepper spray, and avoiding late nights out are good ways to help ensure your overall safety.
These facts are not meant to scare you, but rather to inform. Honduras is a beautiful place with so much to offer. Keeping your head up and using common sense will help to steer you in the right direction and keep you safe.
While it may sound like now isn’t the time to visit Honduras, consider its growing economy. Honduras’ infrastructure has been strengthening since the 2008 economic crisis. That said, most meals out will still cost you less than a Big Mac and fries, making Honduras an ideal place for students. Additionally, its abundance of free/cheap outdoor activities means your dollar goes a long way in Honduras.
If that’s not enough to sway you, Honduras boasts an incredible array of diverse ecosystems. And did I mention it’s one of the cheapest places in the world to get scuba dive certified? Time to don your snorkel and fins!
If your ideal foreign language study destination involves perfecting a second language while enjoying outdoor recreation, gorgeous views from your porch hammock, and enough adventure to keep you on the go, Honduras Spanish immersion (or English classes!) may be just what you’re looking for. So hunker down, fill out those applications, and find your own adventure in Honduras today!