First feature: travel to a Spanish speaking country
Being immersed in Spanish means encountering the language 24/7; as such, the first feature is that you are in a country where Spanish is spoken. Considerations for where to travel include: cultural opportunities, proximity to home/ease of travel, length of stay, hobbies & interests, as well as openness to visitors.
Second: take classes at a Spanish language institute
Spanish immersion in a foreign country entails various hours of class each week day in the Spanish speaking country of choice. Details to investigate as you plan include: reputation & experience, maximum class size, assistance in securing accommodations (homestay being the best option for full immersion), service-oriented bilingual staff, and support services. Most Spanish institutes offer daily classes of 4 hours during which time you are meeting other like-minded travelers with whom you can spend time out of class exploring the local offerings. Typically, too, there are options for extended, super-intensive class scheduling for those students interested in fast tracking their language learning. Many wonder what classes are like? Spanish immersion classes should be extremely interactive, with a lot of participation on the part of the student, with the goal being that each person increases their confidence and skill set – classes at CPI Spanish are engaging, with an ambience of acceptance promoted by our professionally trained professors.
Third: what specifically do I do outside of class?
With a daily 4 hour class schedule, each day can be coupled with exploration of the local community, making for a rapid advancement in your language skills. Imagine applying your newly learned Spanish ordering a freshly brewed cup of locally sourced coffee or integrating into a soccer scrimmage with the kids in the Plaza, shopping in local stores for different products, walking along the streets and through towns with wonderful colors full of history which deepens understanding of the culture, and, therefore, the language.
Fourth: who can study in a Spanish immersion program?
Spanish immersion is for all ages – typically teens through retirees – although a few select programs receive young children, which makes for a wonderful family adventure. CPI Spanish Costa Rica receives students as young as 4 years old. Goals for taking Spanish classes range from general interest in the language & culture, to preparation for special exams at the high school or university level (AP/IB or DELE) to professional development, to just plain fun!
Fifth: where do participants live?
Home stay with a Costa Rican family while in Costa Rica provides the perfect way to immerse yourself in the culture and practice daily your learned skills. Many of our students find they now have a second family in Costa Rica; the locals – affectionately known as Ticos - love to host our students, sharing their culture, language, and even some culinary secrets! But if homestay is not for you, the CPI Admission's team can recommend alternatives.
Sixth: what are the benefits?
Being immersed in the language means that your abilities with Spanish will increase significantly, especially owing to the need of communicating with those around you. Little by little your understanding will increase and your production in the language will start to feel natural in all the linguistic capacities: the ability to communicate orally, your written Spanish and reading will become part of daily life, with you noticing progress each day. All these features meld into a single positive experience, which is essence of cultural and language immersion.
And there is an added bonus - seeing another country! Here Costa Rica delivers big, especially if you take advantage of dividing your time between CPI’s 3 campuses: the quaint, typical town of San Joaquin de Flores, the Monteverde Cloud Forest, and Flamingo Beach on the golden coast of Guanacaste. Our three locations offer many interesting options, such as: a Heredia walk about, hiking in the cloud forest or flying like superman in the canopy, museum visits, snorkeling, sailing and more at each location.
Come to Costa Rica & give CPI Spanish a try -- you won’t regret it!