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Spanish Immersion in Costa Rica - Instituto Estelar Bilingüe
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Spanish Immersion in Costa Rica - Instituto Estelar Bilingüe

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Intensive learning experience!

I have learned so much with my classes. I took 4-hour classes every weekday for two weeks. 4-hour classes are not for everyone but for me personally, they did wonders for me. I cannot believe how much Spanish I've learned in such a short period of time! My teacher is absolutely amazing! She is so great at explaining things and speak in a way that you can always understand the words she is using in Spanish. Her teaching style was really great. I hope to take private classes with her in the future. It was nice to be shown the different places around town. We went to the farmer's market as well as a nice restaurant down the street.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Community

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Academics

    10

Positive experience at Estelar

They did a good job of evaluating me and placing me in the right program. The program seems well matched to my level, and moves at a good pace for me. The teacher Ana is exceptional. She is very organized and makes excellent use of class time. She is highly skilled, enthusiastic, and always positive in every interaction. She holds us to very high standards, but at the same time makes it enjoyable. The amount of homework seemed appropriate. The cooking class and trip to the farmers market and the cafe were all very interesting and helpful. The staff was always friendly and helpful.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Community

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

The best Spanish class ever

Ana was such a wonderful teacher! She spent time learning about us and adjusting the class to include things we are passionate about. She was always very patient and took time to explain anything that we were confused about. She was really really helpful always giving great advice and correcting us when it was necessary. She assigned homework but it wasn't overwhelming. I learned so much! I really enjoy the time that I spent volunteering with Club A. The kids are wonderful!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Better than expected!

The program was fantastic and exactly what I was hoping for (only better)! I learned so much, and for the first time in my life I felt comfortable really talking in Spanish (despite years of Spanish classes in high school and college).
Ana is defenitely the best Spanish teacher I´ve ever had. I realized really quickly working with her that so many of the classes I´ve taken before really failed to facilitate Spanish convesation. But Ana did a perfect job of making me feel comfortable enough to talk, but correcting me or helping me just enough so that I could keep improving without being too self-concious. I've been so impressed and surprised by how much I've improved working with her.

The extra activites were great, and I'm so glad they were available even though it was just me and Molly. Marta is awesome!

I really appreciated the help setting up my two visits to Rincon with Ofe--I did an excursion through a hotel over the weekend and my trips with him were much cheaper and much more fun!

All the teachers and staff were so friendly. This was my first time traveling alone abroad, and I really felt comfortable and welcome at the school.

Yelba was wonderful. I'm so glad I decided to stay with a family here. They were patient with me, generous, and Yelba was insistent that I practice my Spanish whenever possible. They included me in family activites and even took me to the beach on Mother's Day. I think two weeks here was not quite enough time for me to form a sort of lasting, permanent relationship with them, but I expect that I would have had I been here longer. I think it really helped that Yelba and David have children about my age--I met all of them (and their adorable nietos)--and it helped me feel like I fit in at their house. Oh, and Yelba's cooking is fantastic!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Loved it

Beyond my expectations; I'll tell everyone I know how great the Spanish immersion and homestay programs are! Dorita and her family are very nice. I have learned life lessons by living with them that I could not learn anywhere else. They make me feel at home, and only talk with me in Spanish. The house is clean. The food is plentiful and delicious. I could not have received a better host family. I will forever appreciate my experience with them.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Fun, engaging class!

Very helpful. Merlyn was fun & engaging. Enjoyed her teaching style. Too much homework- Just kidding! :) Everyone was very helpful- glad most spoke English very well! I am recommending Estelar to everyone I know, and plan to take skype classes with Estelar in the near future.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Enjoyable experience

Teacher Ana was awesome! I so enjoyed my time here! I learned a lot. Fun and interactive. I stayed in Playa Hermosa and drove a rental car each day to class. Everyone was very helpful, and I was glad that most spoke English very well.

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

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Facilities

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

Good experience!

It was a good experience. We came for only a week and having the school as a focal point made it fun and efficient. I feel that my Spanish improved and I got to know the city and area pretty well. I recommend Estelar.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Facilities

    10

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • 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

    N/A

  • 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!