The 12 Best Spanish Immersion Programs Worldwide

Hav Cesar Romero Csu Fullerton In Havana Fall 2019

The 12 Best Spanish Immersion Programs Worldwide

Most people know that the experts recommend “immersion” in a language to learn it as quickly and as well as possible. 

In this article, we summarize some places where you can do just that to begin – or perfect – your Spanish proficiency. 

Plus, we have chosen places that are interesting to spend your time in – we bet you haven’t considered some of these.

Why do a Spanish immersion program?

Demand for Spanish 

First, let’s look at the importance of the language itself. Spanish is an official language of the US, and companies need Spanish-speakers on their staffs. 

Why? 

More than 20 million Spanish speakers are living in the US, and the US does extensive business with Latin America. Boost your employment options or improve your value to the company!

Learn faster through immersion

When you study and live the language, your progress is quicker. While you’re doing simple things such as shopping and eating with a host family, you’re internalizing the language and learning to think in Spanish.

Experience life!

Learning a language through a travel experience is so much more rewarding than just sitting in a classroom in your hometown. Experience the culture, taste the food, see the local sites, chat with shop owners … you don’t regret experiences like that.

Spanish Immersion Programs in Spain

As the country where the language emerged, Spain is often the first and only choice of travelers who wish to learn Spanish through immersion. 

Spain offers many regions with temperate climates, a lower cost of living than much of Europe and a long tradition of teaching and promoting their national language.

Spanish Immersion Program: Center for Cross-Cultural Study

Svq Keosha Cosby 2019 Seville Intl Studies Usev Fall Semester
  • Program Location: Seville
  • Required Spanish Level: Intermediate
  • Program Terms & Dates: January (various programs), May (short-term), June (short-term), July (short-term), September (semester programs)

The Immersion Program

The Center for Cross-cultural Study has a long history in Seville, providing for-credit programs for North American college students. Students have a wide range of courses that can be applied to their US general education requirements or Spanish majors. CC-CS also provides support for universities taking faculty-led trips throughout Spain.

There are also so many opportunities to immerse yourself in Spanish in the local community, thanks to activities run Spanish Studies’ partner language academy, the Centro Norte Americano. They offer language exchanges, tutoring children opportunities, teaching practicums and more.

The Center hosted so many events throughout the semester that helped us get to know other people in our program while also being immersed and learning about Sevilla.

Susana Guerrero, Saint Mary’s College ( Indiana)

Who is it for?

Most are US university students studying for credit, either in summers or short-term, intensive courses in January, May, June or July. Beyond just language courses, university students can enroll in courses at two area universities for credits in additional areas of study.

With 50 years of experience with university students, CC-CS has launched a new summer program for high school students at a reasonable cost. The program includes morning immersion classes, homestays with nearby families and activities and excursions. 

What's Seville like?

Seville as a destination provides a warm-weather destination that is filled with all the iconic culture that you’d expect in Spain as well as delicious cuisine and nightlife. The city is not as diverse as its larger cousins, Madrid and Barcelona, so the Spanish language surrounds you at all times – great for learning and practicing! CC-CS is located in the heart of the oldest part of the city, with narrow streets that date back to Roman times.

Why choose this program?

  • 50 years of experience; many universities accept CC-CS courses for credit
  • Center is located in the historic heart of the city - very interesting environment
  • Historic building with classic touches from the south of Spain - interior patios with a fountain, beautiful ceramic tiles and natural sunlight
  • Extensive programming offered such as cooking classes, dance, parties and more
  • Many classes take students out into the city
  • Long-tenured and highly skilled teaching staff
  • Warm weather and culture of the Andalucia region
  • Wide range of programs including even taking classes at two of Seville’s universities.

Where can I find out more?

Spanish Immersion Program: Universidad de Alicante

universidad-alicante
  • Program Location: Alicante
  • Required Spanish Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Program Terms & Dates: January (for one month or semester), May (short-term), June (short-term), July (short-term) and September (semester).

The Immersion Program

Spanish Studies Abroad collaborates for on-campus classes at the modern and spacious Universidad de Alicante. CSI offers intensive morning classes at the Escuela Superior de Idiomas in the structure of the language and afternoon specialization classes in areas such as conversation and vocabulary. Spanish Studies Abroad provides excursions, speaking partners and homestay accommodation.

The university itself is surprising for those accustomed to European-style campuses – it is a large and modern campus that offers amenities such as basketball courts, fitness equipment and sports fields.

My largest class has ten students in it, which means we have many opportunities to practice and improve our Spanish. In particular, my grammar class has six people in it, and it always feels like we meet to have conversations. In reality, I am utilizing and developing the Spanish rules I have been learning.

Alison Cooperrider, Lake Forest College (Illinois)

Who is it for?

North-American College Students, adult learners or high school students (minimum age 16; summer only)

What's Alicante like?

Lesser-known as a destination, Alicante provides a low-key, Mediterranean lifestyle that is affordable and comfortable.

Alicante Spanish Immersion Program
Alison Cooperrider on Spanish Immersion Program in Alicante

Why choose this program?

  • Study on Spain’s Southeast Mediterranean coast
  • Warm climate and access to beaches
  • Beautiful and modern university campus
  • Excellent homestay families
  • Professional and systematic approach of UA’s CSI courses

Where can I find out more?

Spanish Immersion Program: LITA

Svq Elena Guillen 2019 Seville Fall Integrated Studies
  • Program Location: Communities throughout Spain.
  • Required Spanish Level: Beginner to advanced
  • Program Terms & Dates: 3 to 5-week programs beginning in late June or early July​

The Immersion Program

LITA provides unique experiences in the summer in locales around Spain for high school students. Students stay with local homestay families and have Spanish classes and local activities and excursions. Typical programs are two to three weeks in length. LITA also has an option that includes soccer training for those who play fútbol.

The most outstanding part of the trip was the three-week homestay. Living with my host family, experiencing their daily life, and interacting with their friends allowed me to expand my horizons in a way I never had before.

Ila K.

Who is it for?

High School Students

Why choose this program?

  • Effective immersion program for high school students
  • Chance to experience a new culture through homestay programs in small communities
Spanish Countryside

Where can I find out more?

Spanish Immersion Programs in Mexico

As the country where the language emerged, Spain is often the first and only choice of travelers who wish to learn Spanish through immersion. 

Spain offers many regions with temperate climates, a lower cost of living than much of Europe and a long tradition of teaching and promoting their national language.

Spanish Immersion Program: Livit Immersion Center, Puebla

Spanish Immersion Program in Puebla
  • Program Location: Puebla
  • Required Spanish Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Program Terms & Dates: Intakes happen nearly every Monday of the year until early December. Due to the size of the school, some weeks close due to volume.

The Immersion Program

Located in the heart of this beautiful, colonial city,  Livit offers intensive morning classes and afternoon conversation practice. In between is a family-style lunch for students to practice their Spanish. This is a boutique-sized program in the heart of a city that has over 2000 buildings considered UNESCO world heritage sites.

Really great program. I enjoyed everything and learned a lot of Spanish. I am planning on returning next year for more. I can't wait!

Herman T.

Who is it for?

Adults who want to live in a residential immersion center and there is a summer program for youth.

Why choose this program?

  • On-site accommodation
  • Professional teaching staff
  • Daily cultural activities; Thursday afternoon cultural excursions
  • Located in colonial center of Puebla
Mural in Puebla, Mexico

Where can I find out more?

Spanish Immersion Program: Amigos del Sol school, Oaxaca

Spanish Immersion Program in Oaxaca
  • Program Location: Oaxaca
  • Required Spanish Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Program Terms & Dates: There are weekly intakes throughout the year; students choose their number of weeks.

The Immersion Program

This is a small language school in the fascinating city of Oaxaca. Amigos del sol provides personalized instruction in the Spanish language to students from all over the world.  Class sizes are small – limited to three students at the same Spanish level, as well as one-on-one lessons tailored to the individual student’s needs and goals.

I was 3 weeks at Amigos del sol and had a great time. I had 3 hours of Spanish lessons every day and lived with a family. The teachers are very nice, funny, helpful and I learned a lot. The family was great and very friendly and the food was amazing. It is a very nice atmosphere and the whole team gave me tips to have great experiences in Oaxaca. I can fully recommend Amigos del Sol as a great, and flexible Spanish school! Thanks a lot to the whole team!

M. Jozic, Engineer

Who is it for?

Students are primarily adults for short-term programs

What's Oaxaca like?

Oaxaca, located in Mexico’s south, is a fascinating cultural destination where pre-Columbian indigenous cultures blend with Spanish colonial influences. The city is known for its interesting museums, architecture and cooking (including Mexico’s famous mole sauces, deriving from the cacao plant).

Amigos del Sol provides an inexpensive place to study in small groups (maximum of 3 per class). Its school is located fewer than 3 miles from Oaxaca’s historical center. Somewhat unique to the program are the choices of having conversation partners or volunteering to teach English on Saturdays to local children.

Why choose this program?

  • Oaxaca is an interesting city with a mix of Spanish and indigenous cultural influences.
  • Small class sizes are ideal for practicing the language
  • The “Spanish for Everyone” option is suitable for adults who want to combine seeing the area’s culture with a bit of language study (12.5 hours per week)

Where can I find out more?

Spanish Immersion Program: Encuentros, Cuernavaca

Mexico Spanish Immersion Program
  • Program Location: Cuernavaca
  • Required Spanish Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Program Terms & Dates: Weekly intakes

The Immersion Program

Through its application / questionnaire, Encuentros personalizes its programs, depending on your needs. Students stay with homestays and benefit from the center’s wide range of creative activities to practice the language and learn about the culture.

I just returned from studying at an Encuentros for 8 weeks and could not have been more impressed with the school.

Austin

Who is it for?

Students are primarily adults for short-term programs

What's Cuernavaca like?

Cuernavaca is a popular destination for North Americans seeking to study Spanish, due to its safety, charm and proximity to Mexico City, where most international flights arrive. Encuentros is located in a lovely area of the city’s outskirts. 

Encuentros offers personalized programs with good options for working professionals with short timeframes to learn. They also offer cultural excursions and conversation exchanges.

Why choose this program?

  • Wide range of cultural encounters and activities
  • Experienced teaching staff
  • Wide range of nationalities - fun way to make international friends.
  • The state of Morelos has honored the school for teaching excellence
  • Safe, suburban location

Where can I find out more?

Spanish Immersion Programs in Cuba

Cuba?? Yes, Cuba. This Caribbean island is well-suited to host visitors from around the world in its warm climate and friendly atmosphere. It is also a place where people happily – and patiently – practice Spanish with foreign guests. Havana is known as one of the safest places in Latin America, and it teems with culture and music.

Spanish Immersion Program: University of Havana

cuba-la-havana
  • Program Location: Havana
  • Required Spanish Level: Intermediate
  • Program Terms & Dates: January (short-term and semester), June (short-term) and September (semester)

The Immersion Program

Spanish Studies Abroad (SSA) partners with the University of Havana’s FENHI program for a high-quality, immersive experience. Students travel there from around the world; most of SSA’s participants are university students from North America who are seeking for-credit academic courses in Spanish and related culture and history classes. SSA provides a support office, excursions and housing with well-screened local families. All students have air conditioning and 2 delicious daily meals in their Cuban homes.

In addition, SSA is an excellent resource for universities seeking support for faculty-led programs to fascinating Cuba. Cuba is a unique and fascinating place to visit and US citizens are treated well and have no restrictions on traveling for educational purposes.

There are students from different cultural backgrounds in my class. Many students come to Cuba with a strong enthusiasm to study Spanish. Therefore, we insist on speaking Spanish even after the class so that we can make use of every opportunity to improve our communication skills.

Siwei W., Columbia University

Who is it for?

Semester programs are for North American college students; summer program is for 18+. It is also ideal for group programs led by professors because some support is needed when traveling in Cuba.

What's Havana like?

Cuernavaca is a popular destination for North Americans seeking to study Spanish, due to its safety, charm and proximity to Mexico City, where most international flights arrive. Encuentros is located in a lovely area of the city’s outskirts. 

Encuentros offers personalized programs with good options for working professionals with short timeframes to learn. They also offer cultural excursions and conversation exchanges.

Why choose this program?

  • Havana is a fascinating back-drop to learn the language - music, culture, smiling faces and classic American cars!
  • Spanish Studies Abroad’s support team provides wonderful excursions and activities and finds great host families in comfortable homes.
  • An established company like Spanish Studies Abroad has the experience and staff to guide you through visa and logistical issues related to studying in Cuba.
  • Your credits transfer back to your home university.
  • Diversity of students in UH’s Spanish and culture classes - make international friends.
  • The climate of Havana

Where can I find out more?

Spanish Immersion Programs in Costa Rica

This friendly Central American republic is the number one destination in Latin America for US students due to its safety, stability and awe-inspiring nature. Costa Rica is leading the region’s push for sustainability and environmental protection and is well-known for its eco-tourism and outdoor adventures.

Spanish Immersion Program: CPI.

Costa Rica Spanish Immersion Program
  • Program Location: San Joaquin typical town, Flamingo Beach and Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Required Spanish Level: Beginner to advanced
  • Program Terms & Dates: The “standard” program (small group, for adults) is year-round with Monday intakes. Private lessons are year-round as well. Programs for teens are in the (North American) summer.

The Immersion Program

CPI with a 29-year history has grown to include multiple locations and diverse programs for different needs. CPI has summer teen programs in 3 locations – Heredia, Monteverde and Flamingo – and all include accommodation, meals, Spanish immersion classes and what Costa Rica is famous for — outdoor adventures. Depending on the place these can include snorkeling, white water rafting, hiking near volcanoes, ziplines and more.

Throughout all of the adventures, my host families, the activities, the events, I learned.

Jessica H.

Who is it for?

  • CPI has summer teen programs in 3 locations - San Joaquin typical town, Flamingo Beach and Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • For adults, CPI includes programs geared to business, public health, medical professions, social work and even programs for Spanish teachers.
  • They have programs for retirees, and you can even work on your diving certification while studying at CPI.

Why choose this program?

  • 29+ years of experience
  • Access to and activities in Costa Rica’s beautiful nature
  • Specialized programs for some professional fields
  • Small group sizes
  • Their centers are in a “typical” small town, at a beach or near a cloud forest; choose based on your travel preference.
  • Live format online classes either prior or post immersion program

Where can I find out more?

Spanish Immersion Programs in Panama

Panama can be overlooked with the renown of its neighbor, Costa Rica, but this country offers many of the same advantages. Panama boasts the gleaming capital of Panama City, the world-famous canal, tropical landscapes and indigenous cultures.

Spanish Immersion Program: EPA - Español en Panamá

Panama Spanish Immersion Program
  • Program Location: Panama City
  • Required Spanish Level: Beginner to advanced
  • Program Terms & Dates: Starting dates are every Monday for private classes and most small groups. Absolute beginners have 11 starting dates per year.

The Immersion Program

Located in an upscale commercial and residential section of the capital, EPA provides a wide range of options for Spanish immersion, including small group classes and preparation for the “DELE” exam, if you seek certification of your fluency. 

EPA! is a very well structured school, with clearly laid out lessons and learning goals. The teachers and staff were always incredibly helpful and willing to go out of their way to make sure I was comfortable and getting the most out of my experience

Eliza (from USA)

Who is it for?

  • Working professionals who wish to invest in a high-quality program of one-on-one lessons should consider EPA.
  • Adults wanting small group instruction in modern and fast-paced Panama City.

Why choose this program?

  • High standards of instruction
  • Very international student body
  • Offer preparation for the DELE (Spanish proficiency test) and the test itself
  • Carries the prestigious accreditation by the Instituto Cervantes

Where can I find out more?

Spanish Immersion Programs in Argentina

Argentina is often not considered by North Americans seeking Spanish immersion, largely due to the distances. But this South American republic has a proud linguistic tradition and is famous for its many writers, so give it some thought. The economic situation over the last two decades has made Argentina an affordable place to live (and EAT, including think is the world’s best beef).

Spanish Immersion Program: Universidad Nacional de Córdoba

argentina-cordoba-spanish-studies
  • Program Location: Córdoba
  • Required Spanish Level: Upper-Intermediate
  • Program Terms & Dates: February Semester, July (short-term & semester) & Summer

The Immersion Program

SSA’s partnership with UNC’s PECLA provides North American students with an opportunity to take university-level Spanish courses for credit.  

Most college students take a semester program (5 months) and take classes in Spanish language as well as related courses – taught in Spanish – on cinema, history and culture. 

SSA also offers a “summer” (during Cordoba’s winter) program in parts of July and August that can be strictly language study and immersion. Students stay in homestays provided by SSA. All semester-long students take a multi-night trip to another region of Argentina, typically to the northern cities of Tucumán, Jujuy and Salta.

Cordoba itself is a destination for those that love the outdoors. The city is a gateway to two sets of sierras – mountain ranges – to the north where visitors can hike, boat, visit colonial ranches known as estancias and enjoy traditional Argentine barbecues called asados.

  • Most college students take a semester program (5 months)
  • SSA also offers a “summer” (during Cordoba’s winter) program in parts of July and August that can be strictly language study and immersion.

Don't be afraid to go out and make friends with Argentines, they're extremely friendly and social and a great resource both to learn and practice Spanish and to better become acquainted with their culture.

Breezy, Austin College

Who is it for?

  • North American college students

Why choose this program?

  • In our opinion, this is the best program for immersion in the language; you’ll hear very little English being spoken in Cordoba
  • Cordoba is the gateway to wonderful outdoor recreation to the south and north - hiking, swimming, boating, horseback riding and historical sites.
  • The university setting provides many opportunities for making local friends.
  • Many activities and excursions are provided in the program to get to know the area and the culture.
  • Being in the center of the country provides a very “authentic” South American experience.

Where can I find out more?

Spanish Immersion Program: COINED Spanish School

Buenos Aires Spanish Immersion Program
  • Program Location: Buenos Aires
  • Required Spanish Level: Students can start with just a basic level of the language.
  • Program Terms & Dates: COINED generally has intakes every Monday and students only have a 1-week minimum stay required. Their website lists days or weeks of school closures, usually for end-of-year holidays or national ones.

The Immersion Program

COINED’s centrally located language school in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, provides a range of options for adult learners to immerse themselves in Spanish. They offer everything from small groups (maximum of 9 per class) to private instruction. Their qualified teachers are used to a wide range of students whose needs can vary but who all need to immerse themselves in the language. Students can choose morning or afternoon classes from beginner to advanced.

My experience in Buenos Aires was great. The teachers are well-trained for each level. I liked the activities that the school offered. During my 4 weeks studying Spanish, I received a lot of amazing touristic spots info.

Ricardo C. (from Brazil)

Who is it for?

  • The flexibility makes it ideal for adult learners with a limited amount of time.

Why choose this program?

  • Located in the heart of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires
  • Well-established educational company
  • Seasons are reversed - enjoy warm weather during the Northern hemisphere’s winter
  • Intakes almost every Monday
  • Accommodation options of homestays (best for immersion), private apartments or student residences
  • Activities program for students

Where can I find out more?

Spanish Immersion Programs in Puerto Rico

This US territory provides easy and affordable access – and Americans don’t even need a passport – as well as a warm, Caribbean climate.

Spanish Immersion Program: Universidad del Sagrado Corazón

San-juan-puerto-rico-study-abroad-2019-2
  • Program Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Required Spanish Level: Advanced (new options coming in the future)
  • Program Terms & Dates: January (semester), June (short term) and July (short term)

The Immersion Program

Participants take university content courses with local students, in Spanish and can transfer their credits back to their home universities. Doing content work – imagine taking History all in Spanish with native speakers – provides a tremendous boost to vocabulary and comprehension and living in an immersive environment increases your speaking ability immediately.

Definitely reach out to the Puerto Rican students in your classes. I found that they were very willing to help the development of my Spanish and I also formed great friendships!

Juliana Cooper

Who is it for?

  • This is a program for American college students with at least a high intermediate level of Spanish. Students should confirm that their campus accepts Puerto Rico as a study abroad destination.

Why choose this program?

  • Close and convenient Spanish-speaking country
  • No passport required for travel from the USA
  • Perfect your Spanish in a university environment
  • Take university courses that will apply to your US degree

Where can I find out more?

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Spanish Studies Abroad takes the health and safety of our students very seriously. Here you will find information specific to COVID-19.