I have written before about how an immersion experience can be a great way to get your kids to learn – and actually speak – Spanish. It makes the language relevant, helps kids get real world practice, and also helps improve cultural understanding.
Most importantly for your children, it’s fun. That gives you a great tool when trying to convince them that this summer, they’ll be learning Spanish. One terrific option is Spanish immersion in Costa Rica.
Why Spanish Immersion in Costa Rica?
As a parent, the first question you are likely to ask yourself about when choosing the best Spanish immersion destination for your child is: is it safe?
As the most established democracy in Latin America, Costa Rica is considered one of the safest countries in the region. It has no army and, unlike its Central American neighbors, it has not yet been plagued by gangs and organized crime.
It’s also very welcoming of tourists. Whether you want to accompany your child, or whether you plan to send your teenager to a camp or Spanish school, be assured that there will be English-speaking guides to help you and your teen.
That said, one of the best parts of an immersion is being able to use Spanish in real-life situations, and Costa Ricans are famous for their hospitality and their willingness help you practice.
Costa Ricans speak a very clear, neutral Spanish, which is easy for beginner language learners to understand.
How to Choose an Immersion Program
Costa Rica offers a number of Spanish language camps, as well as dozens if not hundreds of language schools. How should you choose?
- First of all, consider the age of your child. If you have a young child, consider whether you want to accompany him.
- Define activities besides Spanish for your child to enjoy. Camps for teenagers often combine other activities. There are camps for teens interested in learning to surf, or would he prefer to volunteer on an environmental project?
Finding out what your child is interested in can help you both decide what kind of program to look for. In Costa Rica, Spanish for teens is a growing market, so there is a lot to choose from.
- Define your budget and based on that the time he is going to spend in Costa rica.
- Make a list of the best options and read the ratings, social proof and comments of the children if possible.
- Contact each option you think is a possibility and talk to them via Skype or Facetime. If there is not a contact name or a person you can reach out to I would not feel comfortable.
Where Should You Go?
In this article learn Spanish in Costa Rica I describe very well the areas of the country and how they can play an important role in your Spanish learning adventure.
Now you know “what,” so next up is “where.” Costa Rica is a small country, but it has a variety of different climates. If your child wants to surf, look for schools and camps on the beach. More interested in ziplining? That’s generally in the central part of the country.
You also want to consider whether the location is urban or rural. If your child is not used to big cities, it may be best to look for a school in smaller cities such as Heredia or Alajuela, as opposed to the capital San José.
If you are planning to accompany your child – or take advantage of their Spanish immersion in Costa Rica to make a trip yourself – your tourist options are close to endless. Rainforests? Check. Beaches? Check. Volcanoes? Check.
As with most locations, when traveling to Costa Rica, it’s best to think ahead of time about where you want to go and how long you have.
Tourist sites can be long distances between each other, and roads are not always the best. With forethought, you can plan out a trip that makes sure you don’t miss your must-sees.
Spanish immersion in Costa Rica is a great way for your kids to improve their language skills. And it doesn’t hurt that you could get the chance to tag along on a tropical vacation.