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Spanish Immersion in Costa Rica - Instituto Estelar Bilingüe

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Cursos intensivos, interesantes y eficaces

Me ha gustado mucho el instituto durante esta semana y por eso volveré al instituto la semana próxima para aprender mejor. Cuando llegó a Liberia no conocía el instituto estelar, quería aprender español mejor, mejor español y fue bien recibida y los cursos intensivos son muy interesantes y eficaz. Muchas gracias al profesor y los empleados del instituto. Espero que que el instituto vaya a continuar enseñar. Buena suerte!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Expectations more than met!

The classes, instructor and home stay family more than met my expectations. I highly recommend El Instituto Estelar Bilingue. Walter is flexible in his methods and content of his classes. He readily changed the fixed lesson to concentrate on areas I felt I needed to practice. His flexibility and humor made the class both effective and fun.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Excellent school!

Excellent school, welcoming and super friendly teachers. They are willing to share some of their activities with you (yoga). Merlin es muy amable y me gusta que hay mucho tiempo conversar. Nunca tuve miedo hablar o preguntar algo. I have had so much fun this week. It makes learning a pleasure.
Happy to provide feedback for anyone considering coming who may have questions. I have enjoyed a number of extracurricular activities this week and look forward to more excursions.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

I hope to return to Estelar!

I have very much enjoyed my experience at Instituto Estelar. The staff are incredibly helpful, friendly and skilled. My teachers, Merlyn and Sonia, were absolutely lovely and very competent. I learned a lot!! I hope to come back again as this feels like home now.

I was able to participate in all the activities except the language exchange with English students. Spanglish was my favourite extracurricular as I was able to meet many of the teachers who were very friendly. Mariajuana restaurante, where Spanglish Social takes place, has great food and drinks! Club A is fun ... a bit loco with kid energy, and I am happy that the Instituto is trying to help needy children learn English. I will let my friends in Canada know about the fundraising for playground equipment and hope that some may decide to support this worthwhile project! I have been fortunate to take advantage of opportunities for excursions to rivers, falls and parks that were arranged through the school with a specific Spanish guide, Offi. He is very friendly, reliable and trustworthy.

My host family was very friendly and helpful. They welcomed me in and treated my like part of their family. I had my own room with a nice big ceiling fan, which was very helpful! I met other students there and we hit if off. Luckily the family lived very close to the school, for which I was grateful as I have a bad sense of direction.

I would be happy to return to the school for another learning experience. It is great that Liberia is not far from beautiful beaches as well! Thank you to all my teachers, Ana and Bethany, for your warm welcome!! Hasta luego!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

I keep coming back!

I have been to Estelar twice in the last two years. I have been very pleased with the instructors and with the amount of Spanish I have learned in my five weeks here. I highly recommend this school-they have extremely qualified instructors who teach in a fun and effective manner. Marta gave an interesting, educational and fun cooking class.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Excellent teacher

Ana is an excellent teacher. She is challenging, creative, energetic, and keeps her students engaged besides being just a good caring person. This comes from someone who has trained as a teacher,engaged in a variety of education forms, and loves learning. Many thanks, Ana and Instituto Estelar Bilingue!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Amazing immersion program!

I have just finished the one week Spanish Immersion Program and it was an incredible experience! My Spanish has improved so much in such a short time. The Spanish teacher was very charming, likeable and I never felt lost. It also helped me grow my confidence in talking in Spanish. I can take everything I have learnt and use it in real life context, which is awesome. Highly recommended!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    0

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Excellent Spanish classes

I took a series of 2-hour Spanish lessons and greatly improved my ability to have a conversation. I was at the intermediate level and needed to get to a point where I was more functional with the language. Reading and writing comes fairly easily for me, but speaking and listening do not. That's where Walter's expert teaching skills came in! I am communicating with greater ease now. Thanks!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Great immersion experience

Spanish classes at Estelar are so much fun! Adriana is such a fun professor, always organized, and always interesting. It was a pleasure to take her class. Yelba, my host mom, was so kind and welcoming. I felt completely comfortable the entire time, and she was great about cooking and cleaning. She went above and beyond her required activities. Estelar is a great place to immerse yourself in Spanish :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Awesome teacher

Spanish classes at Estelar are so much fun! Adriana is such a fun professor, always organized, and always interesting. It was a pleasure to take her class. Fue excelente y divertido - Adriana es una maestra professional y de calidad.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Medical Spanish program

I loved my experience at Estelar! The teachers are very professional and are very good at teaching. The staff is kind and helpful. We worked at the hospital in the mornings and took Spanish in the afternoons. It was really great. My homestay family was amazing, and my favorite volunteer activity was Club A, hands down. The hike we did was wet but fun. I definitely recommend this school if you are interested in learning English or Spanish.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    0

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

An amazing week

I just completed my first week of Spanish class. I am an English teacher at Estelar, and so taking advantage of the Spanish classes was at the top of my list. This week was amazing. My Spanish is not strong and in 5 days I am so much more confident. A lot of words came back to me from high school. Lol. But best of all were the small classes with great teachers, the field trips and learning how to cook a Costa Rican favorite. I can't wait to take on this opportunity again. Gracias Merlyn!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Hands down, the best program!

Studying Spanish here was wonderful. The school environment is warm and welcoming, and I met a bunch of Costa Ricans who study English there. My favorite activity was Spanglish Social. Actually, I really loved volunteering at Club A too - those kids are amazing and super appreciative. I hope to go back soon, but in the meantime, I'm taking classes on Skype with my favorite teacher, Caroly. I definitely recommend this school!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Great immersion experience

This is a great immersion experience- demanding but if you want to learn Spanish- the classes and entire environment are very supportive. The teacher was very supportive of all learning styles and still managed to make it mostly conversational. Gracias, profesora Adriana!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Awesome Spanish teacher!

I had an excellent learning experience at Instituto Estelar. My teacher, Adriana, was terrific - very professional and we had at least 1/2 to one hour of conversation each class (sometimes more). I thoroughly enjoyed, and benefited from, every minute of class. The time flew by every day as class was so fun. It is hard to believe how much I learned from Adriana while having a good time. I will miss her very much.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

From Japan to Costa Rica!

It was a great experience for me to study Spanish in the Institute for 4 weeks, and to travel various places for 2 weeks in Costa Rica. Thanks of teachers of Spanish and other stuffs in the Institute and my host family, I could enjoy the lesson and the travel. The location of the Institute has an advantage that the beaches are not far away from the Institute, 1 hour by bus. I strongly recommend the Institute to the people who love both studying Spanish and marine sports like diving.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Increased confidence in Spanish

I came here to become more proficient in Spanish and the combination of daily classes, a homestay, and the extracurricular activities have given me increased confidence in being able to converse with people. The staff is very caring, helpful and friendly - always smiling! I feel very fortunate to have had Merlyn as my teacher! She really cared about my experience and made it very enjoyable. I loved the games! She was always very prepared and helpful. We probably spoke in Spanish 85-90% of the time! She even went out of her way to go with me for lunch and for helado! I will miss her!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Welcoming and fun school

Estelar Bilingual School has made my stay in Costa Rica much more welcoming and fun. Everyone is so friendly and helpful! And the classes are well planned and very informative. After just one week I already feel an improvement in my Spanish speaking. I am very happy I made the decision to study here!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Great experience for everyone!

I am very willing to give a recommendation and make many positive comments. Especially for older folks who might want to study outside the US. I also want to say that the family host program, at least with Yelba, is great. I highly recommend this school as a way to learn Spanish at your own pace among other serious students; to experience life in Costa Rica as a native; live with a Costa Rican family if you choose; learn to cook and then to eat your own Costa RIcan cuisine; and, of course, do all this in a warm climate. I am an older American and can assure you, this not just a school for kids, it's a great experience for anybody and everybody.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Great program! I would highly recommend!

Estelar Bilingue offers comprehensive Spanish instruction with knowledgeable and dedicated teachers. The learning environment is very fun and professional. I have a home on the coast, so I did not do the homestay program. I definitely recommend this school and plan on going back for more classes!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Me mucha gusta the school!

My boyfriend and I spoke little to no Spanish but now we have a strong base to work with when we go on to travel other parts of Costa Rica and Central America. The food and hospitality at the homestay was incredible and we loved going to the beach with our homestay family and practicing our spanish on the weekend! A definite highlight was volunteering with Club A, working with the ninos was an absolutly incredible experience.Overall I definitely recommend this school!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Amazing week full of learning!

Estelar Bilingue was an amazing place to learn Spanish. I was only here for one week and learned so much, it made me able to speak basic Spanish for the remainder of my Costa Rican adventure. I would reccomend it to anybody! I think my teacher Merlyn did a great job of helping us speak basic Spanish, which is why we took this class. Also, if it is possible, I think it would be awesome if there was an opportunity to have a homestay at her house in the mountains because it is an amazing and beautiful place. Thank you for helping me learn Spanish! Hasta luego y muchos gracias.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Best experience - they go the extra mile for you

I am a Costa Rican native that live in the US. I wanted my 6 year old son to attend a Spanish class on this year's visit to Costa Rica. He understands Spanish but doesn't speak very well. There are not many schools that provide lessons for children, so I was very happy to find Instituto Estelar Bilingue. We were there at the end of June and they didn't have other children for the class so I was a bit concern that my son wouldn't have other children to interact with him. To my surprise the teacher's niece (a Costa Rican) joined my son for the class. She didn't speak English. It was the best experience for my son. They played together and understood each other in a way that surpassed my understanding. My son's Spanish improved and his confidence went through the roof. He believes that he is fluent. He still has a long way to but we had the best experience there. All the staff there is incredible! We loved loved Merlyn, his teacher, she is fantastic!

My husband also took a class there with Sonia and he enjoyed it a lot. Maybe he gets around to post a review! We would totally do this again!

We stayed in Hotel Boyeros (which we enjoyed) so don't have anything to say about the live-in arrangements.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Skype classes

I am a working professional with a desire to learn a second language. I have been taking classes through Skype with Sonia for 9 months and have truly enjoyed it. Sonia goes the extra mile to make learning fun, even coming up with games to facilitate learning. Her patience with me is truly legendary, especially in the beginning when I wasn't that familiar with Google drive or Skype. I have had times, also when my schedule has changed and she has been incredibly flexible as well. She has become a friend to me. Ana is a great manager of the program, a true professional, responds quickly to questions, and is very helpful. This program is truly amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a second language and only has an hour or two of free time in their week. You don't have to go anywhere, you can learn a language with a native speaker, getting one-on-one lessons from your couch. The price is very reasonable as well.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Me Gusta Mucho!

Spending two weeks in Costa Rica studying at Instituto Estelar Bilingue was an amazing and life-changing experience. My primary goal was to learn enough Spanish to be able to handle simple communication with my students' parents. I did that and so much more. I made friends and got to explore a country and culture very different from my own.

I can't recommend the school enough. The Spanish program director made sure that I was comfortable and got to explore everything from national parks to museums to farmers' markets. The teachers--I had a different one each week--were warm, knowledgeable, and demanding; I learned a lot working with them. The other people at the school--staff and students--made me feel welcome and included me in activities. One of my favorite parts of the program was getting to volunteer with Club A, a program the school sponsors for children in a nearby town. My host family was lovely. They made me feel welcome in their home and included me in family activities.

I was homesick my first few days in Costa Rica--it was a challenge being in a country where I didn't know anyone or speak the language. Thanks to the support and warmth of the people at Instituto Estelar Bilingue, I soon felt at home and was very sad when my two weeks were over. I hope to go back to Costa Rica and to the school one day in the not-too-distant future.