Spanish Immersion Program—Costa Rica | Guatemala | Peru

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About

Maximo Nivel offers the most intensive and professional Spanish immersion programs in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru.

Our Native Spanish Program emphasizes oral communication and integrated skills development to help you really build your Spanish language proficiency—this is a great immersion experience.

Our native-speaking Spanish teachers are highly qualified professional instructors with years of experience.

Our Tandem Conversation program pairs Spanish program participants with our local English students for free conversation practice.

1. Earn university credit via our School of Record: California State University-Monterey Bay.
2. 1, 2, 3 or 4+ hours per day; Super intensive programs also available.
3. Free Tandem Conversation Program
4. Live with a host family, in an apartment, or in a hostel or hotel.
5. Preparation for the DELE Exam available.
6. Special add-on programs available: Surf School

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 48 reviews
  • Instruction 9.5
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.6
  • Value 9.4
Showing 1 - 15 of 48
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Rachael
10/10

Spanish Classes, San Jose, Costa Rica

I came to Maximo Nivel to take Spanish classes. I took classes for a full month, 6 hours a day. I took a more intensive schedule than most students who come to Maximo Nivel choose to do, but it was worth it. I really appreciated how personalized the course was. There were only two students in my classes, so the course was 100% personalized. Outside of class I was staying with a host family, so I was speaking Spanish most of the day. This is really the best way to learn. I am going home from this program speaking Spanish much more fluently and correctly than I did when I showed up only a month ago. Outside of classes, Maximo Nivel made sure my experience was comfortable in everyway. The staff were ready to help with any and every question I had. I also really enjoyed getting to know the other students here as well.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Scout
9/10

Costa Rica Spanish Classes

I was nervous to take some Spanish classes abroad, since I was going to be traveling by myself. After doing some reserach on Spanish immersion programs in Central America, I found Maximo Nivel. My University has a study abroad program in collaboration with Maximo Nivel, so I knew that if my University found value in sending students here, I would too. Maximo is great for students and professionals because through this institution, they arrange so much for you. I was so happy that through Maximo I found a host family that was amazing. My living conditions were great and I got to practice my Spanish in the household. Maximo is also right next to a travel agency, so it is very convinient to book trips or learn more about the different places in Costa Rica.

As far as my expereince in the classroom, I am beyond happy with how much my Spanish has improved. The class sizes are small, and depending on what time of year you travel, you may be the only one. I was with one other student for a majroity of my time here, but I ended up taking one week of solo lessons. The teaching staff here is expceptional. All of the educators are dedicated and extremely friendly. The class is modeled after a conversational style of learning, which is extremely helpful for learning everyday phrases, and holding your attention for a long period of time. I personally took 4 hour lessons each day, and I highly recommend this amount of instruction for anyone looking to vastly improve their Spanish.

The only downside to my expereince was that, at times, I was the only one in my class or host family. I think this was because I came here towards the end of summer. There were many families that traveled together, and they all seemed to have a great expereince. If you are looking for a solo adventure, this is a great institution to come to, as the staff is super friendly and there are a few outside activites they plan for free.

Overall, I am very greatful for my expereince here at Maximo, and although it can seem daunting to travel alone, I recommened this program to anyone interested!

How can this program be improved?
I came alone, so I was hoping to meet a lot of different people at the school. I liked that there were salsa and cooking classes, but these usually did not align with my schedule. I wish that there were more free activities for the participants to do, during the week and weekend adventures. I also wish that there were more Spanish speakers in the household. Although my host family spoke Spanish, all of the volunteers did not. I wanted to be able to practice what I learned in class, so maybe there is a way that students could be paired with other students.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Garrett
10/10

A life-changing two weeks

I really enjoyed my time in Costa Rica! The host family was always very helpful and hospitable. The staff at Maximo Nivel were friendly and available for any questions we had about the city, the program, anything. Our Spanish class teacher was kind, instructive, and fun. In addition to teaching us Spanish, she was enthusiastic about sharing information about the local culture, which made the class much more personal and valuable.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Matthew
10/10

Maximo Nivel

I had an excellent experience at Maximo Nivel. The entire experience was well organized and well communicated. I thought the Spanish classes were fun and engaging. My Spanish is markedly improved from this experience. The host family was wonderful and the people I lived with were also wonderful. The staff at Maximo Nivel were always available and more than happy to help. I would highly recommend this experience for anyone interested in a Spanish study abroad experience.

How can this program be improved?
N/A
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Josef
10/10

Maximo Nivel

I spent a quick 1 week in San Jose, CR and took one week of 3 hour private lessons. I was very impressed with how personable the staff was, and the community and comraderie at Maximo and between Maximo students and volunteers.

I thought the price, compared to other programs that I researched in the area, was great, especially considering the caliber and experience of my professor, the free activities that were offered on various days, and the comfort of my homestay.

My professor, considering my one week, exposed me to the most practical lessons that I can immediately use and build upon. My homestay family was accommodating, and was deliberate about helping me practice without hovering.

I would most definitely recommend the program.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Christian
9/10

Spanish Classes in CR

People in CR are so friendly. I had such a good time!
In CR you can experience the best of adventures, beaches, wildness and night life in just one place.
People in reception are so nice and welcoming.
You can meet people and have a great time in the best PURA VIDA lifestyle. People that are also like you. And finding good friendships, you can enjoy the most.
The Spanish classes were fun and full of jokes, and for sure, learning. I can completely say I have a experienced a huge improvement in my Spanish.

How can this program be improved?
The material used in class could have a little more content and cover more topics. There could be more free activities offered by Maximo Nivel outside of the class, besides Salsa and cooking classes.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Philippe
10/10

Antonio L Cruz Review

Problably the best time and classes I have completed in years. Effective schools developed and implemented systems for ensuring consistency of judgements between teachers. In these schools, key staff members said, that although establishing effective moderation processes for assessment tasks was a time‑consuming activity, the positive benefits were evident. The professional discussions required to arrive at consensus clarified the rationale for assessment in these schools, and the increase in teachers’ knowledge of their students’ abilities led to a deeper understanding of the curriculum area, and how well their students were learning.

The schools operated ongoing review processes. Teachers were engaged in high levels of professional dialogue about assessment consistency and judgements. They introduced moderation by using exemplars and by sharing portfolio entries. Teachers were involved in professional development in literacy and numeracy assessment.

The senior management team developed a curriculum leaders’ handbook. Curriculum teams were continually reviewing their documentation and procedures to strengthen the consistency and judgements at each level across the seven curriculum areas. Teachers used computerised assessment records to collect student achievement information. Strong moderation procedures were evident as teachers moderated work among themselves and also sought opinions of teachers from other schools and advisors. Summative data were collected to show progress over time. Teachers collected formative assessment data and used the data to set planning targets.

How can this program be improved?
I will make the time longer to impruve the the skills.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Samantha
10/10

An Amazing Experience

Even though I was going to Costa Rica with 3 other people from my university, I was extremely anxious as I had not taken Spanish since I was 10. I was worried that my homestay would be awkward or I would resort to just speaking English while I was there.

When I arrived at my homestay, I already realized that I had nothing to be worried about. I lived with an absolutely amazing family who actively encouraged me to practice speaking Spanish. They spoke clearly and used vocabulary that was at my level. When I spoke, they waited patiently and only when I finished my sentence would they correct anything or figure out another way to express my thoughts. Without my host family, I absolutely would not have come out as confident as I am now with just trying to speak as much as I can, even if I am self-conscious about how I sound or how grammatically incorrect I am. I also shared the house with my fellow colleague and both of us worked together to figure out how to say things and it made the experience that much more meaningful.

My classes at Maximo Nivel were incredible. Not to say that it wasn't hard, at times it was incredibly frustrating as I only had 3 weeks and I was learning a ton of grammar in that short period of time. However, I put time into practicing whatever grammar I had just learned with short narratives about my day with my teacher, Alejandra, and she would patiently listen and work with me to correct anything that was blatantly wrong. This alone helped my confidence and my knowledge considerably. My teacher was incredibly patient with me and changed tactics to fit my learning style. While we did learn from the Medical Spanish book, she made sure that she spent time just conversing with me in Spanish because that was where I wanted to improve the most.

I cannot say enough about how much I loved this experience. If there is time in the future, I will absolutely come back to improve my Spanish more. Even now, I still continue to practice my Spanish with my teacher and my host family, and I think that speaks a lot to what kinds of people are a part of this program.

Yes, I recommend this program
Rose
10/10

3 months, 3 countries, so fun!

I had a great experience with Maximo Nivel, first in Peru and then in Costa Rica. My host families have made me feel like part of the family, the staff is super helpful, and instructors have altered classes to my interests. I knew some Spanish before arriving, which was very helpful for my first few days, but my comfort level has definitely grown the longer I have been here. I still have one month to go in Guatemala, and I cannot wait!

No, I don't recommend this program
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Jonah
10/10

Costa Rica - Home Stay and Spanish Courses

The Maximo Nivel Spanish immersion program in Costa Rica is an incredible experience. From the pre-trip planning communication to check-out, the Maximo staff is incredibly professional, efficient, detail-oriented, and most of all ridiculously friendly. Our trip coordinator Stephen Hakim took care of every possible issue in country and was available for support well above and beyond expected. Our homestay was spacious, clean, comfortable and our hosts were kind and genuinely interested in our lives allowing for some great cultural and personal conversations (in Spanish of course). Regarding the Spanish courses: the amount of vocabulary, grammar, and conversational skill I gained in 3 short weeks was remarkable and no doubt in large due to the well-organized, dedicated Spanish teachers at Maximo. Finally, the social environment at maximo is ideal with activities most days of the week (i.e. cooking and dance classes), tandem-partners practice as an opportunity to meet local students, and the countless outreach projects to get involved with that put you in place with other maximo participants and local community organizers.

If you are looking to study abroad for any length of time in a home-stay, whether individually or as part of a group I could not recommend this program more strongly.

How can this program be improved?
No improvement needed
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jean
10/10

Learing Spanish After 60

I had the most enjoyable experience. I had not used Spanish since college and had only used Duolingo prior to coming to Costa Rica. I traveled here with a friend, at about the same Spanish level. The staff was excellent, and placed us in a class together. There was just the two of each day and the instructor was perfect. I was amazed at how much I could understand immediately. She spoke about 75% to 80% in Spanish during the class. She was willing to adabt the material when we requested. The town of San Jose was easy to manuver walking, but I wouldn´t recommend driving. The people were friendly and all obviously very proud of their country. Our accomodations were good and a short walk to school each day.

I totally recommend this experience.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Debra
10/10

Great travel experience

From beginning to end my experience with MaximoNivel was wonderful. Jesse at registration was very helpful. We had some scheduling problems and she solved our problems without question. On arrival we were welcomed to Costa Rica and Maximo Nivel and given directions and maps so that we could explore on our own time. Our teacher was always prepared for class and welcomed questions and kind about my terrible Spanglish. Im leaving Costa Rica feeling like I learned alot and am motivated to continue studing Spanish. Pura Vida.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Michael
10/10

Job sent me to learn Espanol!!!

I had two wonderful teachers who pushed me to learn more than i could ever believe in my six weeks.
Did no site seeing only studying espanol.
All of the volunters and employee are great and really care about the individual person attending these classes. my recommendation would be to take individual classes if you are serious about learning.
This is a great country with great people.
Great time!!!!!!

How can this program be improved?
Make sure you pay these great teachers what they are worth or you will not have them!!!!
People make a program like this great!!!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Chloe
10/10

My spanish improved so much!

I spent 6 months volunteering in San Jose Costa Rica and had Spanish classes throughout my time here. In total I had classes with 6 of the teachers here and I can honestly say my experience with each and every one of them was great. Although they all have differences in their teaching styles, each taught me a lot. The classes are very conversation based which I think is very important and something that is not always the case in Spanish classes in high school and universities in the United States. I spoke good Spanish when I arrived, but the teachers helped me find my weak points and we worked on those. I feel as though with a combination of Spanish classes and being surrounde dby the language, my spanish improved drastically. I highly recomend the Maximo Nivel Spanish Immersion Program for anyone looking to learn or improve their Spanish, regardless of their current level.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Rachel
10/10

I would do it again!

I spend 3 weeks at Maximo Nivel Costa Rica, of which in the first 2 weeks I did the volunteer program (Childcare) and Spanish lessons (2 hours a day, basic level). The lessons were fun and in small groups so the teacher can focus a lot on a student, which is beneficial for increasing the learning progress. I could always ask my teacher for translation on how to communicate with the kids at the program, and for her it was also fun to teach me other sentences other than what is given in the book. After I finished the volunteer program I decided to follow one more week of Spanish lessons, so I asked the Maximo team if it was possible and they were happy to arrange a new class and teacher for me. Due to some circumstances I wanted to change my class and they immediately arrange something else, so I could learn more. The teachers also asked if you want to learn something specifically, which is also good as they will teach you things based on your preferences! I also stayed with a host family, which made the experience even better, because my host mom loved to teach me Spanish and I helped her with English. So every day during breakfast and dinner we talked half Spanish and English to communicate (also because we were both not fluent in the other language), which was actually favorable because we had to try to speak to each other in the other language. The overall team at Maximo Nivel were very helpful and a great support, they are always friendly and have small conversations with you on how its going, just to make you feel really comfortable and excited to be at their location. (Special thanks to the team!). I am already considering coming back to Maximo Nivel, so I highly recommend it to others too!!! :D

Yes, I recommend this program

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About Maximo Nivel

Máximo Nivel (Maximum Level)—The Intercultural Center of Latin America

Máximo Nivel is a family-owned, social enterprise founded in 2003. Our three intercultural centers are locally-based organizations focused on international education and cross...