You seem like someone decidedly unordinary.
As in unique.
A little “extra.”
You don’t ever settle for ho-hum or hum-drum, do you?
I knew it!
And I bet that goes for every aspect of your life—including your Spanish language journey.
What if I were to tell you that I could show you how to leave “ordinary” Spanish language resources behind and point you in the direction of a Spanish experience that you’ll remember forever?
You’ll learn Spanish—and have the adventure of a lifetime. Nope, I’m not pulling your leg. I know how to deliver on my promise.
Three words: Epic Spanish immersion.
Consider it immersion-times-two! Or Spanish with a plus-one.
For example, you could be surfing, exploring the Costa Rican landscape or following your artistic dreams in Spain while also learning Spanish immersively.
Think it’s near impossible to find a class like that?
Spanish with a little bonus experience for that zing to spice things up?
In fact, it’s going to be near impossible to choose just one option.
In this post, we’re going to explore some Spanish immersion programs that come with a little something “extra.”
Let’s see what level of epic excitement awaits!
Why You Should Go for the Real Deal with Spanish Immersion Courses
Immersion is the way we all have learned our native languages. It works because being surrounded by a language and culture puts us on the fast-track to language acquisition.
In other words, we learn what we hear, see and use. It’s actually very simple, isn’t it?
It naturally follows that the best Spanish immersion programs are a combination of coursework and cultural activities, like dancing, eating and just generally hanging out with native speakers. This provides an authentic language learning experience. And authentic? Authentic is the best way to learn Spanish. Further enhance any immersion course with FluentU.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Speaking of which, no environment is more immersive than the home. Being surrounded by a language 24/7 is a natural way to learn, and fortunately, there are many immersion programs that offer homestay options!
Immersion is also a sink or swim endeavor. Skills grow rapidly when they’re needed—think about how quickly you’ll master “Two enchiladas, please” or “How do I get to the movie theater?” when your stomach is rumbling or you’ve got a date waiting for you at the theater!
6 Immersion Programs to Learn Spanish with “Extra” Features
Living with a Mexican Family in Ensenada: Baja California Spanish School
Located in sunny Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, the Baja California Spanish School keeps a year-round schedule. Their annual learning calendar is so flexible it’s possible for almost anyone to find time to attend one of their programs!
The location of this school makes it an especially enticing option for Americans seeking immersion without having to travel far abroad. A passport is needed to enter Mexico, but anyone living on the U.S. West Coast will appreciate the proximity of the programs offered at Baja California. In fact, they’re accredited by UCSD Extension, which means California students may be eligible to accumulate college credits by taking these courses.
Programs vary in length, from a Spanish-filled weekend to a 6-month commitment.
Classes are very small, with 6 students maximum in any class, although the average class size is 3 students. Teachers are native Spanish speakers who provide individualized lessons according to a student’s learning level.
What makes this immersive experience stand out is that local Mexican families provide lodging to the school’s immersion students. The hospitality and cultural experiences on offer make this more than an ordinary Spanish language program!
Palaces, Bullfights and Tapas in Seville: Centro Mundolengua
Centro Mundolengua, located in Seville, Spain (with additional courses in Cádiz, Madrid and Barcelona) has so much to offer! In addition to Spanish language courses—at all learning levels—they offer culture and cooking classes, too.
Remember, this is Spain so culture is off the charts. Art, music, theater and dance are all highlighted.
Cultural excursions include Arabic palaces, flamenco dance events and bullfights in the Real Maestranza.
Tapas bars and outdoor concerts can be on the schedule, depending on a learner’s specific interests.
They even hold specialized programs for soccer, Spanish literature and community service, to name just a few.
There are options for group programs as well as individualized programs.
Tip: For an even more authentically-immersive experience, homestay with a local family. If you’d prefer, both hostel and hotel options are available, also.
Surfing in Tamarindo: EF Campus Internacional de Idiomas Playa Tamarindo
If I told you that your Spanish language lessons could be taken in conjunction with unlimited surfing opportunities you’d probably think I was telling you a tall tale. I don’t hold that against you, because before I investigated what EF Campus’s Costa Rican Playa Tamarindo program has to offer, I wouldn’t have believed it, either!
But it’s 100% true. You can immerse yourself in Spanish and spend tons of time perfecting your wave-riding abilities!
Courses range from basic Spanish, with 20 lessons each week, to intensive, which offers 32 lessons weekly. The coursework is a mix of language lessons, project sessions, lectures and special interest lessons.
Course goals are at the discretion of students; become conversant or learn quickly for professional or academic purposes—every student is able to decide which experience works best for them.
The campus borders a forest. Horseback riding and adventures to Arenal Volcano or Nicaragua are possible. Additionally, if you’re not interested in surfing, there are canopy tours and waterfalls to explore.
On-campus residence is possible, and with students from across the globe in attendance, campus living is sure to be a memorable experience. Alternately, homestay with a local host family and be surrounded by Spanish language and local culture for the duration of your stay!
Working in Pamplona, Getting Your Fill of Culture All Over: Estudio Hispánico
Estudio Hispánico is a globally-recognized resource for Spanish immersion programs—and with 20 locations in Spain and more than 20 additional locations in Latin America, they’re an industry leader. They make a point of placing campuses in central locations so students are able to explore their environment with a minimum of fuss.
Classes in each city are available for all levels of learner. Also, starting dates, length of stay and number of language classes per immersion experience are flexible. Lodging options vary, from homestay to apartment living.
There are private language lessons available, as well.
Varied locations provide varied cultural experiences. It’s a good idea to check out some of the programs to decide what appeals to your particular personality and situation. Regardless of location, expect a top-notch immersive language experience.
Suggestion: If you want to maximize your in-depth immersion, Pamplona might be the spot for you! The Spanish language lessons will be excellent, and in addition this particular campus offers a work experience option. The school will arrange a position with a local company if your Spanish skills are at least at an intermediate level. Marketing, engineering or administrative positions are open to qualified students.
Making Art in Madrid: AIL Madrid
AIL Madrid offers 24 different Spanish courses! They’re given at 6 levels and begin every Monday. There’s a placement test that determines class level but learners are free to determine how long they’d like to study with this program in Madrid.
Courses have a maximum of 8 students per class and are taught by native Spanish-speaking teachers.
Accommodations vary but range from homestay with a local family, which is suggested for the full immersive experience, to apartment or hotel options. The apartments are both single-person and shared, so there really seems to be something to please everyone!
At AIL Madrid, learners who decide to marry language and art can receive 20 hours of Spanish language classes and 8 art classes per week. Media include ceramics, drawing and painting.
The facility is located in the center of Madrid, minutes from The Prado Museum. It’s hard to find a spot more conducive to perfecting both Spanish and artistic skills!
Volunteering, Cooking and Dancing in San José: Costa Rican Language Academy
Costa Rican Language Academy puts an emphasis on providing more than language lessons in its immersion programs. Life outside the classroom—the experiences gained by using what you’ve learned in a native setting and being exposed to typical local events—is important.
The Spanish lessons are intensive, designed to teach students quickly and without undue difficulty. Homestay with local families is encouraged and time away from classes is spent enjoying or participating in cultural activities.
Cultural activities include Latin dance classes, Costa Rican cooking classes, yoga classes and more.
There are volunteer programs available also, so if you’re interested in working with the elderly or children, that can be arranged. Volunteering on ecological and conservation projects is also possible.
Study Spanish immersively to challenge yourself—but don’t skimp on the extra experiences!
You’re guaranteed to have an adventure to remember forever when you take on epic Spanish immersion.
You’ll learn lots more than how to conjugate verbs!
¡Buena suerte! (Good luck!)