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Spanish schools, how long?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Spanish schools, how long?

1. Posted by xcape (Budding Member 15 posts) 9y

Hi there

Does anyone know what is the best length of time to enrol into a spanish school for?

2. Posted by CanadaKid (Full Member 71 posts) 9y

It depends on what you want out of it. For 2 or 3 weeks you will have a basic knowledge of Spanish, enough to get by. For 2 or 3 months, you will be basically fluent. I went for 2 weeks and was satisfied with the amount I learned as it was useful for basic travel. I found by the end of 2 weeks I was ready to move on and try my skills as I travelled. But if you want to become fluent, depending on your ability to learn, it will probably take 2 to 3 months. It also depends on how much time you spend studying and immersing yourself in the language versus hanging out with people who speak your language and partying all the time.

3. Posted by xcape (Budding Member 15 posts) 9y


Thanks. 2 weeks is probably what I'll do. I'll do it in Mexico as that is where my travelling in Central America starts. Thinking of Playa Del Carmen as I'll more than likely fly into Cancun from the Caribbean.

4. Posted by CanadaKid (Full Member 71 posts) 9y

you know what? i did mine in Guatemala and i HIGHLY recommend it. Playa del Carmen (i've been there too) its soooo touristy. plus Guatemala language schools will be way cheaper and you will learn way more. Also, it wouldnt be too far into your trip... especially if you go through Belize, you wont even need spanish. Another option would be southern Mexico... San Cristobal type area. i've heard good things about the schools there as well. you can get there from Cancun in a day or two. just a suggestion :)

5. Posted by xcape (Budding Member 15 posts) 9y


Thanks for the advice. I will bear it in mind.

Am I better off booking something in advance or is it best to wait till I am out there? Wether it be Mexico or Guatemala. There is a minefield of info on the net!

6. Posted by CanadaKid (Full Member 71 posts) 9y

well, if you book something in advance, you usually have to pay a fee. and the worst case senario would be if you got there, the language school sucked, and so you lost that money. on the hand, depending on where you are going, but in either of those places there are quite a few, so if you showed up a couple days before you started, you could go visit some and pick one right on the spot. it might be a better idea. many of the websites are misleading because great schools can have really poor websites. i'm sure there would be room for you at the schools, and in my experience, if there wasnt room, they would find you a teacher. many times, people just show up monday morning and are placed with a teacher.

so, i guess what im saying is that it really doesnt matter. if you are a person that tends to get stressed out and want the piece of mind: book it. if you are more flexible and would like to find the best school available: choose when you get there.

7. Posted by kael (Budding Member 15 posts) 9y

I spent 3 weeks at the Costa Rican Language Academy in San Jose, and it was the most wonderful, fulfilling experience. Although I loved the style of teaching in the classroom and felt that the conversations really built up my confidence, the part that really pushed my brain on with the Spanish, was the homestay. Having to communicate at 7am over the breakfast is a brilliant way of throwing you in. I would highly highly recommend a homestay. The 3 weeks went by so quickly and I wanted to stay longer. But it really set me up well for actually conversing in Spanish for the rest of my trip. I'm back now and just dreaming of it all now. A wonderful wonderful experience to be communicating with people in another language, I think it enriches your view of the countries you go to so much more. Have a great time.

8. Posted by xcape (Budding Member 15 posts) 9y

Hi Peeps

Thanks again for the great advice. Am normal a bit of a planner which in itself can be stressful. I'm going to through caution to the wind and probably book something when I am out there....she says

With regards to homestays, do they have to be booked in advance?

9. Posted by CanadaKid (Full Member 71 posts) 9y

nope. even if you book in advance the school will probably set you up with a family on your first day of classes. throw caution to the wind with that one too! haha. i totally understand your situation.. that's how i felt my first trip... but now.. i hardly plan at all, and i promise it will be so rewarding! let me know how it goes :)

10. Posted by xcape (Budding Member 15 posts) 9y

Will do! See am stressed already as I have just noticed my typo in my previous message. I meant "throw caution to the wind"...Doh!!