Need to learn Spanish, is Costa Rica the place?

Old Feb 15th, 2009, 06:31 AM
  #1  
chu
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 23
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Need to learn Spanish, is Costa Rica the place?

I have a need, and am motivated, to learn Spanish. After much research, I have developed a few reservations about going solo to Mexico to do so; enter Costa Rica.

Although I have several friends who travel there for holiday, none of them can recommend a Spanish language school. Please, can you?
chu is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 06:41 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,230
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A few times on forums the Montaña Linda school in the Orosi valley has come up. If you go to www.123teachme.com you'll find a list but take the ratings with a grain of sand. I've been heading to CA in the summers to study Spanish (6 programs so far) but have chosen Honduras and Guatemala (and not Mexico or Costa Rica) for these reasons:

:: Guatemala and Honduras are innately much more interesting to me (I'm a culture junky with a special interest in current and historic Maya culture)

:: The Honduras and (esp.) Guatemala schools are cheaper

:: It's hard to find 1-on-1 instruction, especially in the summer months when I can travel in CR and Mexico; when available, it's really expensive. I have no interest in being part of a group, even a small one. I want my own learning level and style and interests to be the focus.

If you have an interest in Honduras and/or Guatemala schools let me know. Sorry I can't help more with CR. My photos with travelogue and blog links are below. I've just started another language thread you might want to check out. Happy trails and keep us posted!

http://flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
hopefulist is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 06:42 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,230
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oops - meant to say "grain of SALT".
hopefulist is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 07:18 AM
  #4  
chu
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 23
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Which California school do you recommend?

Thank you for the link to 123teachme.com ! It's great!

You talk about both Honduras and Guatemala. Are you going to both, or "just" Guatemala this summer?
chu is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 07:31 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,019
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Chu,

I don't think CA is for California in this case CA stands for Central America.
cgenster is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 07:31 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,230
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm probably confusing matters responding to you in 2 threads at once. By CA I meant Central America, not California - sorry for the confusion.

I plan independent study trips for credit to Honduras and to Guatemala but this summer I'm only leading a group to Guatemala.
hopefulist is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 07:37 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 378
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Chu:

I have used langlink.com for 6 different study trips. They have several schools in Costa Rica. I went to the one in Heredia. I was very pleased with it.

I have also done Ixbalanque(based on Hopefulist's recommendation) in Honduras and liked it very much as well.

nonstop is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 08:43 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 135
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Try CPI in Playa Flamingo Costa Rica.. GREAT SCHOOL!
bfish is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 08:47 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 909
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have to defend Mexico a little bit. From personal experience I think Oaxaca is a really good place to study Spanish. Prices are a bit higher than Guatemala,yes, but lower than further north in Mexico. 1 on 1 classes are easily available, culture is abundant. Also cheaper than CR. San Cristobal is another possibility. Food for thought anyway.
Dude is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 08:53 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,230
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dude - If you have recommendations for schools in Oaxaca or San Cristobal with 1-on-1 available in the summer at a reasonable cost with homestays I'd love to hear about them. I haven't had any successful leads in years of looking.
hopefulist is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 11:28 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 150
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have to second the recommendation from the Dude. Oaxaca is a wonderful city to emmerse yourself in the language. I think we have both had very positive experiences using the Becari language school there. I have taken groups also to Costa Rica and have use the CPI language school, which has three locations. I would not recommend the beach location as it is too much of a party scene and there is no culture. Mexican Spanish also is so prevelent in the US that it makes sense to learn their slang and common phrases. Finally, if you go and really want to learn you must do a homestay and this is where the Ticos shine. In Oaxcaca they are nice, but you can tell that they are just doing it for the money, while in Costa Rica the families invite you into their lives. That has been my experiences in recent visits.
SrFlojo is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 11:30 AM
  #12  
chu
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 23
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dear Nonstop,

Thank you for your reply! I have visited the Language Link homepage and contacted the school. After three months of searching, this may be the one; how exciting!

In your experience, are the safety and water concerns similar to Mexico? I am a blonde, female, traveling solo. I have traveled solo throughout Europe, but have been warned by gringo and Mexican friends alike about the dangers of Mexico.

Dude, I was really excited about Oaxaca, but even the Fodor's travel guide has reservations about it at this time. Sad, it looked beautiful.


chu is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 02:08 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 96
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are not studying during the summer (when lots of high school and college kids participate), I'd suggest CPI--terrific. 3 campuses: Playa Flamingo, Monteverde, San Joaquin de Flores (my favorite). I'd be glad to hook you up with a fabulous homestay family. They are my very dear friends since 2003. . .I can't imagine a better experience.

[email protected]
motmot is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2009, 02:33 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 378
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Chu:

First of all, I am always amazed at the number of female solo travelers that have studied in the schools where I have been.

There may be better people to answer your questions, but like any cities outside where you live, it always is a good idea to use extra safety precautions just because the area, customs, etc may be a little unfamiliar. This is the same advice I personally follow. Having said that, I have never met any females that have had problems if they are careful.

Water is usually an issue. I don't take any chances and always drink purified water and the homes I have stayed always supply that for the students. People that go outside normal food safety concerns are asking for problems even though I have skirted the edges at times.

If you do langlink schools they will give you plenty of written advice and instructions before you leave. They are very helpful.

I have done Becari in Oaxaca and they are one of the Langlink schools. You should ask them what their current recommendation is. They will steer you straight.
nonstop is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
LynnieD
Mexico & Central America
15
Oct 18th, 2010 08:22 AM
fiveholmes
Mexico & Central America
9
May 2nd, 2007 07:47 PM
fleate
Mexico & Central America
6
Jan 2nd, 2007 01:44 AM
seetheus
Mexico & Central America
5
Dec 24th, 2006 04:16 AM
ashlash
Mexico & Central America
6
Jul 20th, 2006 07:10 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:32 PM.