Thanks to its fantastic weather, welcoming people, and affordable living, Colombia is a popular destination for those looking to be immersed in another culture while learning Spanish.
With the amount of culture, the variety of schools, and the great use of the language and its grammar, many of the country’s cities have become a popular destination for those who are looking to learn Spanish while living in a country that has it all. Here are the top Spanish schools for those who are looking to learn this beautiful language while traveling, making new friends, and getting the most out of their experience.
Let’s start with the best-rated school (based on Tripadvisor and Facebook). Whee institute is a fun-looking school located in Teusaquillo, a very traditional part of the city popular for its location, which is close to the center, La Candelaria, Chapinero (trendy part of town), and the main universities in Bogotá. It’s very well connected with loads of transport options and plenty of opportunities to practice your new Spanish skills. The whole methodology of the school is based on the understanding of their students’ needs and providing a fun, interactive lessons that tailor to these needs. Students say that they are picking up Spanish in a shorter time and in a happy and easygoing environment. Whee Institute understands that not everyone enjoys spending loads of time in a classroom. Therefore, they make the most of the students’ time by providing a fully immersive experience that goes beyond the classroom walls, using the city, landmarks, museums, and real-life day-to-day activities to make the learning experience as real and usable, and guarantees to be as fun as possible.
You can select the type, of course, that best suits your time frame, needs, and budget. The school offers group lessons starting every Monday with a maximum of 5 students per class (smallest max. class size of all the Schools). The lessons are a choice of 15hours/week (the only school to offer 15hour group classes & Whee promise you will learn at least the same amount of Spanish in 15hours with them, compared with 20hours in another School/Institute) or 20 hours/week all depending on what you would prefer. You can select the morning (9 am to 12 pm /1 pm) or afternoon (2 pm to 5 pm / 6 pm) slot for your classes. If you have some specific needs (e.g. business Spanish or specialty subject matter), you can go for private lessons starting at 10 hours per week and have the choice of taking them at the school or meeting your teacher at your place or even do it via Skype! The Institute classes follow the Common European Framework (CEF) structure so there are 8 levels.
Whee Institute also has some accommodation partners that can provide you with some options and loads of daily activities (dance lessons, language exchange, tejo, chiva, coffee tasting, fruit tasting, to name a few) so you always have the opportunity to meet new people and create your own Colombian family while getting more immersed in the culture.
You can click here to register and book.
Find the school here.
Bonus: Whee Institute now offers free Spanish lessons in Ciudad Bolívar in south Bogotá. It’s an experience like no other! For bookings and more info, read our article about it here.
Nueva Lengua school has its main branch located in Chapinero, one of Bogotá’s most iconic localities. The school is on a cool street filled with nice restaurants and loads of public transport nearby. Their Spanish courses are structured to allow their students to enjoy the culture and spirit of the country which is why Nueva Lengua has 2 other branches in Medellín and Cartagena, where you can travel and continue with your learning process.
The school offers 6 levels of Spanish, with accredited teachers that will make an assessment once you arrive to determine your level and place you in a small classroom where you will study modules like general Spanish, Spanish for the professional environment, and conversational classes. This school is accredited by the Common European Framework (CEF) and the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). It also offers some free activities like hikes, dancing, and cooking lessons.
Click here to find the directions to get to the school in your preferred city.
Toucan Spanish At Toucan Spanish, all levels start every week and with small classes, giving the students the opportunity of learning at a faster pace while practicing 20 hours per week. The school has branches in Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena. Toucan Spanish has its own educational curriculum that focuses on grammar, listening, writing, and speaking with special attention to day-to-day Spanish and Spanish for travel. You can start your class in Bogotá and then move to Medellin, and continue your journey in Cartagena! You’ll get to see 3 completely different cities while learning a new language… what else can you ask for?
At Toucan, they believe that learning Spanish doesn’t only happen in the classroom. On the contrary, they also take their students outside class so they can experience real-life situations where they can practice what they have been learning by providing daily cultural activities like volunteering, salsa lessons, dinners, movies, and more. The branch in Bogotá is strategically located in the Chicó neighborhood, a place surrounded by loads of high-end restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs where you can go after class and practice your Spanish. At Toucan, you can join a class and meet new friends, get a private 1-on-1 class for faster results, or if you are traveling with a group of friends, you can book a class just for you and your mates so you can reach your language goals together!
Spanish World Institute
Spanish World Institute is located in Bogotá and Cartagena. This school focuses on providing a deeper understanding of the local culture through a cross-cultural education with dynamic teaching methods in the small-sized classroom, where students can focus on learning Spanish while also learning amazing stuff about Colombia. Located in the cool neighborhood of Chapinero in Bogotá, the school lessons take an hour and are guaranteed to get you the results you want faster.
At Spanish World Institute, you can select from taking general Spanish courses, starting every Monday, one-on-one classes for those with specific goals and special requirements, business Spanish perfect for those whose work or study requires them to have some knowledge of the business lingo, and even a DELE exam preparation course, ideal for people who are interested in getting the DELE certificate. In addition to all of this, students can sign up for weekly activities like cooking classes, hiking, dinners, concerts, and more!
Centro Catalina is located in Cartagena and Medellín. This school has tailored Spanish courses for those looking to learn some skills while enjoying the amazing tropical weather of these two cities. With an average of 5-6 students per classroom, every class lasts around 50 minutes and focuses on making the most out of the time and learning potential of each student. They offer 6 levels based on CEF, going from A1 (beginners) to C2 (advanced), and you can select between standard Spanish courses (20 lessons per week), intensive Spanish courses (30 lessons per week), or if you want, you can also take private lessons with a teacher that will tailor a program to your particular needs. On top of this, Centro Catalina is the only school in Cartagena that can prepare you for the DELE (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera) exam.
The schools also offer weekly activities at no cost, like bike tours, movie nights, and dance classes, but you can also book tours to other places near the city or pay to do cool stuff like water sports and dinner nights through them. The school also provides a great accommodation service where you can choose between staying with a host family, sharing a flat with other students, getting your own private place, or even getting a room in the school’s student residence!
Why you should learn Spanish?
Spanish is the official language of over 20 countries across four continents and it is estimated that the number of native speakers ranges from 350 to 400 million people and the number gets bigger every second. Being the second most-spoken language in the world with more native speakers after Mandarin and the second most studied language after English, it’s safe to say that learning Spanish is a must especially for those looking to travel to a South American country. By being the first country at the top of the continent, Colombia has become a popular destination for those looking to learn this fantastic language, and thanks to the neutral accent, Bogotá has become travelers’ first pick for learning the language. If you are looking into learning Spanish, I encourage you to give one of these schools a try; there is nothing to lose!
Also, check our article Where to study Spanish in Bogotá (university edition) here.
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