What to look for:
Inarguably the best country for Spanish language study correlates to your travel interests and style. Spain has been receiving students, in particular those at university level, for many decades. There is little doubt Europe is sought after as a cultural and historical mecca of sorts. And few can deny excitement in seeing la Alhambra of Granada, the coast of San Sebastian, the Gran Via of Madrid or the Sagrada Familia of Barcelona.
But, a certain conundrum does exist, when you are hearing a foreign language in these marvelous lands, is it Spanish you are hearing? Many a new learner has encountered a certain amount of confusion in a situation of listening to increase comprehension but not necessarily hearing Spanish but rather Catalan or Euskara – both beautiful languages – but perhaps not the target language at the moment.
Fixing our sites south of the border, South America is often a popular destination for the adventuresome traveler and is an extremely popular destination after having had an introductory - closer to home -experience in another Latin American country. These lovely lands are full of indigenous lore and culture making them a must see on any travel bucket list.
A living lab: Spanish immersion, close to home:
Enter Costa Rica. In our opinion a perfect first-time experience to a Spanish speaking country offering the perfect mix of culture, ecology, adventure, in close proximity to home (a 3 hour flight from Houston or Miami), and where you are assured you are hearing & are immersed only in Spanish – no confusion here - Spanish is the language of the land for this small, welcoming country. A peaceful land with no standing army since 1948, Costa Rica provides an interesting case study in what universal health care and education can provide to a populace = happiness. Costa Rica has been titled the happiest country in the world two years running and any visitor can view for themselves that truth as they interact with the friendly locals.
Want to see a volcano or a sloth? √ How about a see a typical dance show or the Gold Museum? √ Roar down class 4 white waters, zipline through the canopy or surf? √ Perfect your Spanish language skills? CHECK!