Total Immersion Experience In Spanish
Have you ever dreamed of having a total immersion Spanish school experience? Maybe the thought has crossed your mind. Wouldn’t it be nice to spend a few weeks, or a month or more in a Spanish speaking country?
However, what if you have a dog? Who will take care of your favorite companion while you are away?
Answer – bring you dog with you! Yes, it is entirely possible to travel with your dog and bring him/her with you to school. It just takes a bit of planning.
Below are the Spanish schools we attended in 2018 with our two dogs – Olivia and Sofia. We spent 3 months in Guatemala and 2 months in Oaxaca attending Spanish school with them every day. It was a great experience for everyone.
Guatemala – Sisai Spanish School, Quetzaltenango (Xela) – VISIT
Did you know that Guatemala is ranked as one of the top places in the world to attend Spanish schools?
The schools are very affordable and all offer 1-on-1 private classes as a standard. Meaning you get personalized instructions to help you learn and exponentially grow your Spanish.
Guatemala is flush with Spanish schools, finding the right school for you can be daunting.
Depending on the experience you want, that will dictate the location of where you want to go. There are three main towns for Spanish schools, each with their pros and cons.
Pros: 1 hour from the Guatemala airport. A charming colonial city with cobble stone streets, nice restaurants and bars plus plenty of shopping. Pet friendly areas.
Con: English is heard and spoken everywhere. It is not a place to get a total immersion experience in Spanish. Very touristy.
Pros: A beautiful lake surrounded by 3 volcanos. Indigenous pueblos dotted along the lake. Very picturesque. Mode of transportation is mainly by boat, tuk-tuks available in the pueblos.
Con: A lot of English spoken here as well. Very touristy in San Pedro and Panajachel.
Pros: English is widely spoken. Not a touristy place. Very professional Spanish schools. A true total immersion experience. Easy walk-able city with public transportation.
Cons: Four hours from the Guatemala airport. Second largest city in Guatemala. Not as charming as the others.
We have attended Sisai Spanish School 2013. We choose this school because we wanted a total immersion experience.
Each student had a private teacher for 5-hours a day for 5 days a week. All the teachers are college educated and very professional.
In 2018 we returned to Sisai Spanish school for 3 months. This time we had Olivia and Sofia traveling with us. The school helped us find a pet friendly place to rent for the three months.
The dogs were warmly welcomed each day at the school and were free to roam around the school.
I would often find them in another student’s lap providing comfort during their classes. We always enjoy our time in Xela and attending Sisai.
Read more about our experience at SISAI Spanish School with the dogs at SecondHalfTravels.com
We decided to go to Oaxaca Mexico and try the Spanish schools in Oaxaca city. I contacted the school Español Interactivo.
The director of the school, Luz, was very accommodating in helping us find a pet friendly place to live.
We found a place within walking distance to the Spanish school. Olivia and Sofia attended school with us each day and had the freedom to roam the school. That was a big plus for us.
Classes at this school are in small groups. The class is from 9 am to 1 pm with a 30 minute break. I liked that we did not have to change classes and teachers every hour like some schools.
We had the same small group with same teacher all week. The director and her daughter are the primary teachers and do a great job.
If you already have a good solid grammar base and want to practice more conversational Spanish, this would be a good school.
We thoroughly enjoyed our 2 month stay in Oaxaca and found many great pet friendly restaurants in the area.
Check out my blog on pet friendly places to eat and stay in Oaxaca city
Interested in attending a Spanish school but don’t know how to select the right one for you? Check out Ingrid’s blog on Choosing The Best Spanish Language School