12 Wonderful Spanish Schools in Mexico (2019)

Interested in learning Spanish in Mexico? Trying to choose a Spanish immersion program can be overwhelming. Here are 12 of the best Spanish schools in Mexico, broken down by region. These are all programs I’m personally familiar with, or that have outstanding reputations.

Cost of Spanish Immersion in Mexico

Costs are very reasonable by North American and European standards, with group classes starting as low as US$105 for 20 hours per week and private lessons from $15 per hour. Schools can arrange homestays with meals for around $20-30 a night.

Additional costs commonly include registration fees and extracurricular activities.

When to Study Spanish in Mexico

Puebla - Spanish schools in Mexico

Altar, Día de Muertos, Puebla

What is the best time of year to study Spanish in Mexico? North American and European summer is high season for Spanish schools — a good time to avoid unless you only have summers off.

Research the seasonal climate; try Googling “best time to visit ____.” Keep in mind that central Mexico can be chilly in winter, and homes and schools are often unheated. On the other hand, the Yucatan can be incredibly hot and humid outside the months of November to February.

Perhaps you can time your stay to coincide with one of the special holidays for which Mexico is famous? Semana Santa and Día de Muertos are incredible celebrations to experience, and schools will often hold special workshops and outings related to the holiday.

Where to Take a Spanish Course in Mexico

Central Highlands

Blessed with a mild climate and studded with spectacular colonial cities, Mexico’s central highlands region is a prime location for Spanish immersion programs.

Puebla

Puebla, a city of 1.5 million inhabitants, is famed for its traditional food and opulent colonial architecture. Despite its charms, Puebla attracts few foreign tourists, facilitating Spanish immersion. The proximity of the charming village of Cholula plus easy access to Mexico City make it a great choice for studying Spanish.

Enjoying the view over the plaza with a cold beverage on a Livit Spanish school excursion to Atlixco

Enjoying the view over the plaza with a cold beverage on a Livit excursion to nearby Atlixco

Excellent small language school in the cozy atmosphere of a historic home near Puebla’s gorgeous colonial center. Provides a full immersion experience with family-style lunches after class followed by two hours of conversation practice in a fun, relaxed setting with a local university student. Many diverse activities and excursions included.

While Livit only teaches adults, in the summer a nearby private school offers an inexpensive camp where kids can have their own immersion experience while their parents are at Livit.

For more details, read about my experience attending Livit in 2017.

Accommodation: Homestay, on-site apartment, or hotel
More reviews: TripAdvisor, Yelp123 Teach Me
Best for: Students wanting a full-day immersion experience with a thorough grounding in grammar as well as conversation practice in a small, intimate setting
Zócalo (main plaza), Puebla

Zócalo (main plaza), Puebla

This highly regarded institution has provided an intensive Spanish immersion program for more than 30 years. Both SIP and Livit feature a similar daily program of four hours of instruction in the morning coupled with two hours of afternoon conversation practice with a local guide. However, SIP has set start dates every three weeks for group classes, whereas at Livit classes start weekly.

I have communicated with SIP several times and each time they were extremely responsive. They even graciously gave me a tour of the premises the last time I was in Puebla. The school is atmospherically located in a 17th-century ex-convent not far from the main plaza.

Accommodation: Homestay, apartment, or hotel
More reviews: TripAdvisor, Yelp123 Teach Me
Best for:
  • Adult students wanting a full-day immersion experience with a thorough grounding in grammar as well as conversation practice at a medium-size school
  • Students with a minimum of three weeks to devote to a group course
  • Students preparing for a formal exam like DELE

Guanajuato

This gorgeous colonial gem makes an ideal place to study Spanish. A lively university town, Guanajuato offers an endless variety of cultural events as well as colorful festivals.

Outside the classroom, you can explore its picturesque cobblestoned alleyways and lovely tree-filled plazas, as well as take day trips to Pueblos Mágicos like San Miguel de Allende or Dolores de Hidalgo.

Escuela Mexicana

This highly rated school has provided Spanish courses in Guanajuato’s historic center for more than 20 years. Escuela Mexicana offers students a flexible schedule and a variety of different programs to suit individual needs.

Students have from two to four different teachers a day, with a new schedule weekly. Specialized classes such as literature, history, dance, and cooking are also available. The school organizes optional cultural and learning activities as well as weekend trips.

Accommodation: Homestay, rooms in school residence, or apartment rental
More reviews: TripAdvisor, 123 Teach Me
Best for:
  • Budget-minded students wanting a flexible schedule with a variety of instructors that still provides a structured curriculum
  • Families with kids
Escuela Falcon

An excellent budget-priced option in Guanajuato with a welcoming and warm atmosphere.

Spanish-language schools in the same town often tend to have similar offerings and prices in order to compete with each another. Like Escuela Mexicana, Escuela Falcon (EF) offers students a flexible schedule tailored to their individual needs, with each subject taught by a different instructor.

In addition to standard classes like grammar and conversation, you can spice up your schedule with more than a dozen fun electives like Mexican cooking, Latin American literature, Mexican muralism, salsa dancing, or painting.

EF also organizes an extracurricular activity every day and on most weekends. For more details, read about my experience attending Escuela Falcon in 2016 and 2017.

Accommodation: Homestay, room, apartment, or house rental
More reviews: TripAdvisor, 123 Teach Me
Best for:

  • Budget-minded students wanting a totally customizable schedule with a wide variety of instructors and creative, hands-on electives
  • Families with kids

Mexico City

As one of the world’s cultural capitals, Mexico City offers an endless variety of things to see and do. However, for a city of its size, it is strangely lacking in high-quality Spanish immersion programs.
CEPE – UNAM
UNAM's spectacular Biblioteca Central

UNAM’s spectacular Biblioteca Central

The Centro de Enseñanza para Extranjeros (CEPE) at the prestigious Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México offers both Spanish classes and cultural courses.

The main UNAM campus is in Coyoacán in the southern part of Mexico City; there is also a smaller campus in the posh district of Polanco that attracts mature students.

CEPE’s intensive Spanish courses are taught in six-week blocks. Fascinating cultural courses on art, history, social science, literature, and creative writing are also offered as both intensive sessions (30 hours in six weeks) or semester classes (60 hours in 18 weeks). These cultural courses are also attended by native speakers. The student population is highly international with most students from Europe and Asia.

CEPE hosts many cultural activities on campus as well as weekend excursions. A placement test is required the Friday before sessions start.

CEPE also has a campus in Taxco spectacularly located on the grounds of a historic hacienda.

Accommodation: UNAM does not have student dormitories, but CEPE can provide a list of rooms for rent with Mexican families close to the university. You can also opt to find your own accommodation in a hostel, hotel, or apartment.
More reviews: It’s surprisingly difficult to find official reviews for this prominent institution, and CEPE’s website is lacking in information. Try Googling “CEPE UNAM review” (without the quotes) as there are many mentions in various forums and blogs.
Best for:

  • Students wanting a more traditional academic environment with a minimum of six weeks to devote to a course
  • Students seeking university credit, a certification, or a Spanish teacher diploma
  • Advanced students with a preference for cultural courses
La Salle University
The leafy Condesa neighborhood in Mexico City

The leafy Condesa neighborhood in Mexico City

Universidad La Salle is a private Catholic university with campuses throughout Mexico. The Mexico City branch has a student population of 10,000 and is centrally located in the beautiful bohemian neighborhood of La Condesa.

La Salle offers year-round three-week and five-week Spanish language modules as well as Spanish for kids and private lessons. The school also has a three-week Summer Language and Culture Program that features 45 hours of Spanish instruction, Mexican history and culture courses, and cultural activities.

La Salle also provides Service Learning opportunities, in which you can improve your Spanish while volunteering with local non-profits in areas such as education, healthcare, the environment, economic development, and agriculture. These placements last from six to 16 weeks and allow flexible start and end dates.

Accommodation: La Salle does not have student dormitories, but they offer homestays with two meals included with selected Mexican families. You can also opt to find your own accommodation in a hostel, hotel, or apartment.
More reviews: I’ve heard excellent reports about La Salle, but it’s difficult to find official reviews. I recommend contacting the school and asking to be put in touch with a recent graduate of the program you’re interested in.
Best for:

  • Students wanting a more traditional academic environment with a minimum of three weeks to devote to a course
  • Students seeking an intensive summer program
  • Students wishing to improve their Spanish while getting hands-on volunteer experience working side-by-side with locals at an NGO

Morelia

Morelia is a lovely colonial city that sees few foreigners and a great place to study Spanish. Consider timing your stay to coincide with Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), as the nearby Pátzcuaro area (see next section) is internationally famous for its celebrations. From November to March, you can also take a trip to witness the monarch butterfly migration at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán.

Instituto Baden-Powell

This cozy school in the heart of Morelia’s historic center has been offering Spanish instruction for more than 30 years. I met Baden-Powell’s director and got a tour of the school while in Morelia in 2016 and was impressed by the school’s organization and friendly atmosphere.

Classes are small and individualized. Interesting elective subjects include Mexican literature, Latin-American literature, Mexican history, Latin American studies, short stories, phonetics, medical and business terminology, Mexican art, and Mexican studies. Courses in Mexican cooking, salsa and folk dance, guitar, and arts and crafts are also offered.

The school also hosts a daily language exchange on the patio with the Mexican students learning English there, a unique opportunity to meet and chat with locals.

Accommodation: Homestay or some truly excellent apartments nearby owned by the school
More reviews: Like many smaller and less Internet-savvy Spanish schools, it can be difficult to find online reviews. See TripAdvisor (reviews for the school’s apartments mixed with school reviews) and 123 Teach Me. Also try Googling “Baden-Powell school Morelia” (without the quotes) as there are many positive mentions in various forums and blogs.

Best for: Students wanting to study at a small school in a beautiful city off the beaten tourist path

Pátzcuaro

This picturesque colonial village with deep pre-Hispanic roots is spectacularly sited on a lake surrounded by mountains. The area is world-famous for its artisan traditions and colorful Day of the Dead celebrations.

Center for Languages and Ecotours of Pátzcuaro (CELEP)

CELEP is a non-profit organization whose earnings fund the Center for Social and Ecological Studies (CESE), which promotes rural projects in education and environmental conservation in the Lake Pátzcuaro area. CESE is dedicated to fostering cross-cultural understanding of the indigenous Purhépecha people, culture, and homelands with sustainable tourism.

CELEP offers small classes and an abundance of cultural activities in addition to interesting lectures and workshops. Two-week course sessions begin every Monday throughout the year. Consider attending in November during Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), as the local Purhépecha celebrations are regarded as the most unique and beautiful in the country.

Accommodation: Homestay, hotel
More reviews: As a small non-profit, CELEP does not have a slick website or social media presence, and it can be difficult to find online reviews. Try Googling “CELEP Pátzcuaro” (without the quotes) as there are many positive mentions in various forums and blogs.
Best for:

  • Students interested in studying in an area of natural beauty with rich indigenous culture and artisan traditions
  • Students with a minimum of two weeks to devote to a group course

Southern Mexico

Oaxaca

Oaxaca Mexico procession

Oaxaca procession

Famed for its colonial architecture, rich cuisine, and colorful crafts, Oaxaca is unsurprisingly popular among Spanish learners. This relaxed and friendly destination is well-known for its indigenous peoples and cultures, and the state’s legendary folk dance festival Guelaguetza takes place in July.

Amigos del Sol Spanish School
Traditional costumes, Oaxaca, Mexico

Traditional costumes, Oaxaca

This highly rated school offers small classes with a maximum of three students with a focus on conversation; a half-hour of daily grammar practice is included.

Classes start any day Monday to Sunday; there’s no minimum duration or registration charge.

Amigos del Sol is housed in an attractive building in the peaceful residential San Felipe del Agua neighborhood about 4 km north of the center. The school offers free transport to and from the city center.

The school offers the opportunity to participate in language intercambios with Mexican students or to teach English as a volunteer on Saturdays as part of their social program. Optional paid cultural activities include tours and cooking lessons.

Accommodation: Homestay, apartment
More reviews: TripAdvisor, Yelp
Best for:
  • Students wanting to focus on conversation practice
  • Students seeking a friendly, good-value school with a flexible schedule in a rich cultural setting

San Cristóbal de las Casas

This lovely colonial mountain town surrounded by pine forests is a terrific place to learn Spanish in Mexico. San Cristóbal is a major cultural and political hub for the indigenous peoples of Chiapas. Its cultural diversity and beauty have long made it a favorite among travelers, but there are still plenty of opportunities for language practice with patient, friendly locals.

Instituto Jovel

This top-notch school ideal for serious learners provides a lovely learning environment, with classrooms arranged around a beautiful courtyard. Class sizes are small.

Interesting electives include cooking classes as well as courses on the indigenous cultures of Chiapas, salsa and merengue dance, and history. Regular intercambios (language exchanges) with locals are also a possibility. Jovel also offers special programs for professionals like teachers and healthcare providers who need Spanish for work.

In addition to Spanish, Jovel provides language classes in English, German, French, Italian, and the Mayan languages Tzotzil and Tzeltal. This linguistic diversity attracts an interesting community of students and teachers with a wide range of ages and backgrounds.

Accommodation: Homestay, posada (guesthouse), apartment, or hotel
More reviews: TripAdvisor, 123 Teach Me
Best for:

  • Students seeking a serious language school with high-quality teachers and a commitment to immersion
  • Students interested in indigenous history and culture
  • Professionals who need Spanish skills and a knowledge of Mexican and Latin American culture for work

Yucatan

Mérida

Merida’s tropical climate and reputation as the safest major city in Mexico attract many snowbirds in the winter months. This delightful town has become justifiably popular as an expat mecca and a hotspot for Spanish learners.

Merida offers many cultural activities as well as interesting possible day trips. Recommended excursions include the pretty yellow Pueblo Mágico of Izamal, the Mayan archaeological site of Uxmal, the flamingos of Celestún, and the spectacular cenotes of Homún.

Zócalo (main plaza), Merida

Zócalo (main plaza), Merida

Habla’s students rave about its family atmosphere and deeply supportive, immersive approach to teaching and learning. Small, personalized classes balance the four blocks of language learning: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

While Habla might not be the cheapest school in Merida, it represents excellent value for money. For example, a delicious daily home-cooked breakfast and lunch at the school are included.

Habla also offers frequent cultural outings as well as special thematic courses at different times of year on topics such as Day of the Dead or Mexican cuisine. A summer Spanish immersion course for kids is also available.

Accommodation: Homestay, hotel, hostel, apartment
More reviews: TripAdvisor, Yelp
Best for:

  • Serious students seeking a meaningful learning experience in a warm and supportive atmosphere with a focus on cultural understanding
  • Families with kids
La Calle

This relaxed, friendly school owned by a Mexican-French couple is centrally located in a gorgeous remodeled colonial house featuring a lovely tropical patio with pool. Group classes are from 9am-1pm each day; private lessons are also available. An on-site chef prepares a tasty gourmet lunch daily for a reasonable extra charge.

Excellent short city excursions and budget-priced weekend outings are available. Other optional school activities with a small fee include cooking classes and a weekly movie night on the patio.

For more details, read about my experience attending La Calle in 2018.

Accommodation: Homestay, hotel, hostel, or apartment
More reviews: TripAdvisor, Yelp
Best for: Budget-minded adult students seeking a sociable learning atmosphere in a relaxed, beautiful environment with the option of interesting excursions

Note: My blog does include ads, but I never accept any compensation or freebies for my reviews. If I recommend a business, it’s because I loved them and think you will too.


Photo credits:

– Escuela Mexicana: Photos by kind permission of Escuela Mexicana
– Instituto Jovel: Photos by kind permission of Instituto Jovel
– Biblioteca Central, UNAM: Carlos Alvz. Cor. on FlickrCC BY-ND
– La Condesa: By Marianasies [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons
– Banner (Traditional costumes, Oaxaca): perceptions (on holiday) on Visual hunt /CC BY-ND
– 
Monarch butterfly at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve: jiuguangw on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA
– 
Pátzcuaro street: Timothy Neesam (GumshoePhotos) on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-ND
– 
Night of the Dead, Pátzcuaro: mickou on Visualhunt / CC BY 2.0
– Pátzcuaro sunset: Armando Maynez on VisualHunt.com / CC BY 2.0
– Oaxaca procession: perceptions (back in the universe) on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND
– Traditional costumes, Oaxaca: perceptions (on holiday) on Visual hunt / CC BY-ND
– San Cristóbal street: Rod Waddington on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA
– Street vendor, San Cristóbal: www.adachphoto.wix.com/portfolio on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA
– Embroidery, Chiapas: Pasha Kirillov on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA
– Pinterest image (Bougainvillea, Yuriria, Guanajuato, Mexico): Cristian Newman on Unsplash


Have feedback about studying Spanish in Mexico or a Spanish school recommendation? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Great Spanish Schools in Mexico

72 Comments on “12 Wonderful Spanish Schools in Mexico (2019)”

    • Hi Cardie, none of the private Spanish schools in Mexico City have consistently good reviews. UNAM’s CEPE seems like a very good program, but it’s difficult to find current student testimonials. I’m planning to research this more and add CEPE in a future update of this post.

      • Hola, Thanks for this great information. Do you know what schools might qualify for one to use 529 educational dollars? That’s money in the USA a parent can set aside tax free, usually used for a child’s college education. Our child got his 2 year degree and has no interest in going on to more years in college. so we have quite a few dollars we can use. The program has to have some kind of certification.

        • Hola, the schools that I know of that partner with US universities and give credit are Spanish Institute of Puebla and UNAM in Mexico City. You might start with SI Puebla as it’s a private for-profit school with an American director and will be more responsive than a public university. Good luck, and hope you can use those funds!

    • Hi Cardie, I’ve added a section on Mexico City. Please check it out. Would love to hear about your experience if you go to CDMX.

  1. Great list!! I’ve been learning Spanish for years and would love to get back to do an immersion course somewhere. Especially somewhere I love like Mexico 🙂 Which is your fave school??

    • Hi Rebecca, my personal favorite so far has been Livit in Puebla. On my next visit I’m considering Instituto Jovel in San Cristóbal or CEPE in Mexico City, in part because they’re in places I’d like to spend an extended length of time. 🙂

    • None came up in my research (I think the best schools are inland), but I’m certain you could find reasonably good schools in popular places like Puerto Escondido or Playa del Carmen. Search on TripAdvisor or 123TeachMe. I would avoid the chain schools though and go for privately owned.

  2. Thank you so much for your wonderful post. Would you recommend any of these schools for an advanced level of Spanish?

    • Hi Rachael, that’s a great question as I’m an advanced student myself. I’d definitely return to Livit in Puebla, and plan at some point to spend six weeks in Mexico City or Taxco taking cultural courses at CEPE. Spanish Institute of Puebla, Instituto Jovel in San Cristóbal, and Habla in Mérida are other schools catering to the serious or advanced learner.

      Suerte and please let me know how you get on!

  3. Your list is great! I studied for 2 weeks many years ago in Playa del Carmen but I’ve got the bug again. I’m a pastor by profession and want to improve my Spanish especially for conversation & communication. I’ve got the basics and can hold my own when conjucating verbs; have had very little teaching of past tense and no teaching of future tense. I love learning more about the culture, but at 49 years old and married for 26 years, I’m beyond the partying scene if you know what I mean. Would probably prefer to not stay with a host family again (just set in my ways now) but that’s not set in stone. I would enjoy salsa dancing again; would love cooking classes; and am thrilled with history & ruins! What would you suggest from your list?

    • Hi Bradley, that’s wonderful you’ve gotten the Spanish bug again! I think several schools on this list could be a good fit. Both Escuela Falcon and Escuela Mexicana in Guanajuato offer diverse electives like cooking and salsa. Lots of history in Guanajuato and the surrounding area as well as a minor archaeological site. Instituto Jovel in the lovely colonial city of San Cristóbal offers dance and cooking, and you can visit the Palenque archaeological site from there. Habla in Mérida is a wonderful school (although perhaps best left for the winter months if you are heat-sensitive) and offers workshops in dance and cooking. There are many fascinating Mayan sites nearby to explore, and the colonial city of Mérida is a gem.

      All schools will help you find a nearby apartment or hotel, or you can find an Airbnb on your own near the school (that’s what I did last time in Mérida and it worked out well).

      I would recommend writing to the schools that interest you and going with the one that impresses you most! Buena suerte and please let me know how you get on!

  4. Hello!
    Thank you very much for this informative post!
    Which school could you recommend a student eithout experience, needing to get on the level B1 for a certificate?
    Greetings 🙂

    • Hi Lorelei, if it’s the DELE you need to pass, I would suggest a school with DELE preparation courses. Most of the schools on this list are focused more on conversational Spanish, but Spanish Institute of Puebla and CEPE in Mexico City are two that do offer DELE prep. You may also want to consider schools in Guatemala like Ixchel that offer DELE courses (I haven’t taken classes in Guatemala, but I know there are many excellent schools, and the costs are much lower). ¡Suerte! 🙂

  5. I’m so glad google led me to your blog! Great detailed information but it just left me wanting to go to all of them! As a single 40s woman who speaks French but now wants a 2 week jumpstart to learn Spanish, which school do you recommend? Livit sounds great, but I’m also intrigued by Escuela Falcon and the other ones that have cooking classes too. I’m planning on going this December.

    • Hi Erin, glad you found it helpful! It can be hard to choose, as each school has its pluses and minuses; that’s part of the reason why I keep going back and trying different schools! One thing to consider is the weather in December… central Mexico can be chilly at night, and houses do not have central heating, so that is something to consider if you are sensitive to cold. Places like Oaxaca or Mérida would be warmer, of course. What I would suggest doing is writing to the schools that interest you most and asking detailed questions. Usually you can get a better feel for the school from their responses, and one school will stand out as the best fit. Buena suerte and let me know how you get on!

  6. Thanks. I’m from Oregon so the cold doesn’t bother me! I’m deciding between Livit and Escuela Falcon. Which school do you think is better for total immersion and conversation time? The class schedule at Escuela Falcon is so different than the other schools. Did you feel like you learned enough taking a different class each hour?

    • For me personally I think I learn better taking four continuous hours of class from one excellent teacher, like the experience I had at Livit. I enjoyed the diversity of subjects at EF and being able to take fun classes on cooking and culture, but for focused language study for me Livit was better. Livit also has those two additional hours of conversation in the afternoon with the student guide, which are great for practicing speaking in a relaxed setting and providing an all-day immersion experience. Livit does cost more than EF, but you get 50% more class time for your money. I hope that helps.

  7. Muchas gracias! You provided excellent information on the options you presented. I want to try at least two weeks of immersion program but I’m uncertain whether any are suitable for an absolute beginner like myself. I know a few words of “survival Spanish” but that’s it – and of course, no grammar or written. Are there programs (I’m interested in smaller places but anywhere is good) you would recommend? I’m newly retired so cost is a consideration but I want to ensure I learn as much as my tires old brain will take in! I do appreciate that you are answering questions! Thanks so much.

    • Hola Jane, I think any of the private language schools on this list could accommodate an absolute beginner… language schools always have English-speaking staff, and the vast majority of students are beginner or intermediate. Smaller schools I would personally recommend for a first-timer include Escuela Falcon and Escuela Mexicana in Guanajuato, Livit in Puebla, or Habla in Mérida.

      Escuela Falcon and Escuela Mexicana would probably be the least expensive, since you mention cost as a factor (and Guanajuato is just amazing!). If you are sensitive to heat and humidity, I would avoid Mérida outside of the winter months.

      May I add also that although the school will of course accommodate a complete beginner, you may find you get more out of your immersion if you do a little study beforehand, like a community college class. Mexicans are so wonderful and friendly, and you’ll have many opportunities for little conversations with your host family (if you decide to stay with one) and the locals. It’s one of the best parts of the experience to be able to connect with locals outside of class. 🙂

      • Thanks so much for your recommendations, Ingrid! I’m having fun researching. We love Oaxaca city and there is an appeal to exploring Mérida in the winter (and being warmer!) as we’ve just stayed there for a few days. However, Guanajuato sounds really nice (if chilly during winter nights!) and o love experiencing new places.
        Gracias!

        • When it comes to options for beautiful cities and good Spanish schools in Mexico, we are certainly spoiled for choice! Do let me know what you end up deciding! Suerte and enjoy! 🙂

  8. Thank you so much! Your info was wonderful! I would like to start my immersion program in February/March and yes I’m always cold so the weather might alter my decisions. It’s between Cali Colombia and Mexico for me. I really love Guanajuato but the Livit immersion looks wonderful too bc I am trying to learn as much as possible. So the idea of going to school all day doesn’t bother me. But I’m getting confused bc Guanajuato is so beautiful but I am also there to study. What do you suggest? Thank you!

    • Hi Shila, that is a tough decision. I think both cities are great for Spanish study in their own way (although you are right, Guanajuato is extraordinary). Ideally, I would recommend studying in Mexico more than once, so you could experience both. If that’s not possible, though, maybe you could add on a few days to your Puebla stay to visit Guanajuato and maybe San Miguel de Allende? Best of luck with your decision, and keep me posted!

      • Thank you! I have narrowed it down after more research. Spanish institute of Puebla ( very responsive ) . I can’t seem to get a hold of anyone at livit. Spanish interactivo in Oaxaca ( very responsive) or Academia Hispano Americana in San Miguel. Thoughts?

        • Hi Shila. I did two weeks at Livit in December. I know they went away for the holidays. It’s a great school, very relaxed, and Puebla is beautiful, although cold this time of year. Feel free to email me any questions.

        • Shila, Erin is right, Livit is a small family-run school, and they typically close up over the holidays for their only vacation. I’m not familiar with Academia Hispano Americana, but there are many excellent schools in San Miguel… I just personally prefer to study in a city with fewer English speakers.

          • Agreed! I don’t want to be around a ton of English speakers. I know I will relapse haha. Thanks!

        • Agree on San Miguel! It’s a great town with a lot of creative people, but it could be too tempting to fall back into English.

          Spanish institute of Puebla and Livit are both great. Livit is smaller and more informal, so it depends what style you prefer. I have not been to the school in Oaxaca but it gets rave reviews from everyone which is why I included it. Oaxaca will also be warmer that time of year which would be a bonus!

          • Thank you! Talk to the people at Livit today. Scott ? Seems great! I might try Livit for a month and then the otra school the next! Thanks again! And I’m so jealous of your travels hahah. How wonderful! I will be following your blogs!

        • Academia Hispano Americana in San Miguel has never responded to me! I have tried to contact them three different times.

    • Yes, Scott and Maru run Livit… they are both great. Sounds like you will have lots of time to study and achieve fluency – how awesome. Let me know how things go… Que disfrutes mucho!

  9. Ingrid, thanks for such good review of these schools. I was wondering how do you reach Celep? I am not sure the website form is working.

  10. Thank you for this post. I am considering doing 6-8 weeks in Mexico to further my Spanish skills and will be looking into some of these schools. My first consideration actually was AHA in San Miguel but I will look into others. Do you have much experience with homestays and if so,how did you find them?

    • Hi Su, I’ve done homestays five times at schools in Mexico, Argentina, and Uruguay. Generally in Latin America I have found these are with older women who are widowed or divorced, which I prefer to a family with small children, for example, as it’s a quieter study environment. I do love the opportunity for language practice and to get to know the culture, but start missing the ability to prepare my own meals after a week or so! Check out this post I wrote with more thoughts on whether a homestay is right for you: https://www.secondhalftravels.com/choose-spanish-school/#Accommodation.

    • I have done homestays in a few different countries and they are great. But I would consider only booking it for the first part of your stay. This gives you extra language support and some time to look for an apartment or something else if you start to miss your own space.

  11. Thank you so much for this list. It will be extremely helpful to pick my next school. Last year I attended Escuela Mexicana in Guanajuato for a few weeks. Communication for enrolling was poor and took several weeks to finalize enrollment and accommodations due to slow responses. Also, the classes/program were way too informal for me. It is a smaller school with turnover (most are just there one week) so they have to adapt to the turnover rather than having a structured program for those there more than a week. However, classes at Escuela Mexicana are extremely affordable and Guanajuato is one of my favorite cities in Mexico. This list is very helpful since I want to go to a new city and and the two schools in Puebla seem to have the structured program I am looking for. Thank you!

    • Thanks so much for your feedback on Escuela Mexicana, Katie; it’ll be helpful to other students. And agree that the schools in Puebla are more structured, especially SIP; Guanajuato is a really special place, though, and I loved my time there too.

  12. I can’t thank you enough for this well-researched piece! Because of it I organized a trip to Puebla for myself, my husband, and our 9 year old son – my husband and I are now studying at Livit for 3 weeks and enjoying it. This is the school break for local kids, and Livit was also able to set up our son to attend a great (and very inexpensive) camp at a nearby private school so that he has an immersion experience as well. I’d definitely recommend Livit to families looking to all learn Spanish in Mexico.

    • So glad it was helpful, Shannon, and thanks so much for your feedback! I’ve added this information to the Livit section as I think it’ll help other families who want to study together in the summer.

  13. After a spring trip visiting the Monarch wintering sites I decided to learn Spanish and have (in research) read, numerous times, your article “12 Wonderful Spanish Schools in Mexico” not sure I’ll study in Mexico, Calle and Jovel perhaps, as I like the idea of being surrounded by nature so leaning towards a small school in Costa Rica that borders a National Park. On the weekends I’ll go bicycle touring-camping preferred. Of course, I say this, but also looking at schools in Medellin. Not much nature in town, but nearby, and cycling is hugely popular. I probably need to start with private lessons as my linguistic skills are average at best and I’ll need to build confidence. I have up to 8 weeks for studies. So, anyway, I was wondering if you have any ideas about schools that would cater to my needs? Thanks, Jeff

  14. Hi there,
    I want to learn Spanish and have no experience. My college subsides educational classes and trips if there is enough/extensive documentation such as budgeting, travel, and that it is for educational purposes. Which school would you suggest for someone like me that can not communicate at all to the school in Spanish but needs a lot of information?

    • Hi Kay, any of the schools should be able to correspond with you in English, but I would probably start with Spanish Institute of Puebla and Habla in Merida since they both have programs that offer university credits with partner schools in the US, so they are used to providing documentation of this kind.

  15. Thank you for a Very informative and helpful blog. I have immersed my children in Japanese since they were tots and they are completely fluent now. I am planning to do the same now with Spanish and was wondering if you had any information regarding this. You noted a nearby camp for children at Livit. Any further information on that camp or anything else for children

  16. Just finished 6 weeks at Spanish institute of Puebla and it was excellent. Will probably study in Merida next so appreciate your reviews

  17. Many thanks for this list of schools. I am going to be 50 in December and would like to enroll for this January of 2020. I was looking at Playa del Carmen originally, but had someone mention San Miguel. I want to stay for 5 weeks. I have a very basic base of Spanish, ( survival), but want to use my new found ( hopefully) Spanish speaking skills to help families with the language barrier here at home. I am a family support specialist. I love the sun, don’t mind the cold. I am over the party scene, and would want to stay with a host family. I would love to get a recommendation from you. In gratitude. Michelle

    • Hi Michelle, I really need to add a San Miguel de Allende (SMA) section to my list as there are lots of people interested in studying there! It sounds like it would be a good fit for you. Any school should be able to arrange a stay with a host family.

      I’m not too familiar with the schools in SMA, although as an expat hotspot I know there are a number of quality schools. I’ve heard good things about Academia Hispano Americana and also Warren Hardy. AHA has lots of positive reviews on TripAdvisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g151932-d153432-Reviews-Academia_Hispano_Americana-San_Miguel_de_Allende_Central_Mexico_and_Gulf_Coast.html.

      I haven’t heard much about language schools in Playa del Carmen, but Chichén Itzá (https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g150812-d12214922-Reviews-Language_School_Chichen_Itza-Playa_del_Carmen_Yucatan_Peninsula.html) and TAAN get excellent reviews.

      I’d read reviews on Google and TripAdvisor for the schools you’re interested in, and then write them with your questions to get an idea of their responsiveness and management style. Suerte, and do let us know how you get on!

    • Ingrid, I so appreciate your detail to my questions and concerns. I am looking at TAAN in Playa. I will certainly let you how it all goes. I want to start on January 6, 2020. I’m nervous, but that is where one grows, right? Thanks again. Greatly appreciated.

      • I took a closer look at TAAN and it sounds like a good fit if you get bored in a traditional classroom and prefer a more dynamic learning style in a variety of locations. If you’re not sure, you could book just a couple of weeks with them and then try another school like Chichén Itzá to see which style fits you best?

        And travel really does take us out of our comfort zones, especially when we are on our own. Arrivals in a new place are always stressful, and if you’re not used to language school the first day can be nerve-racking (I know this from personal experience and that of other students). Fortunately, that quickly passes!

        Wishing you all the best, and looking forward to hearing about your experiences. 🙂

  18. Hi Ingrid! Love your blog! Also, I went to Livit immersion on your request and stayed for two months. I loved LIVIT. It was a great price for what you get, guias, and traveling once a week and the food! I also checked out another school in Oaxaca on your list and didn’t like it as much and it was wayyy too expensive and it really all depended on what teacher you received and I didn’t care for mine. I recommend LIVIT to everyone. Although, I would like to check out another school that you did attend just for another experience, if you can recommend another? I have a good base but crave more. My time is so limited these days, so I was wondering any tips on really improving on a daily basis when you don’t immerse yourself? And are you taking the tests to pass to get to B1 or c2 status? Thank you!!!

    • Hi Shila, so glad you’ve found my blog useful and that you loved LIVIT. It really is like being part of a family. And thanks for the feedback on the Oaxaca school… I’m going to follow up with you on email about this for more details, but it’s good to know when I decide whether to keep them on my list or not.

      The other schools I went to were Escuela Falcon in Guanajuato and La Calle in Mérida. They are both good schools, but less expensive and don’t offer the full-service immersion experience of LIVIT, for example. If you’re looking for a place more like LIVIT with communal meals, etc. I would look at Habla in Mérida… I have two friends that went there and raved about it, and my contacts with the school were very positive.

      When I’m home, I try to create a mini-immersion environment. I take classes with Mexican iTalki teachers, listen to podcasts, watch TV shows and movies, go to local Spanish Meetups, and read Spanish-language books. I change the system language on my devices (phone, tablet) to Spanish, follow Mexican news and culture pages on Facebook, and chat with Mexican friends online to practice my slang.

      I’m not taking the tests… I don’t need the official certification for academic or professional purposes, so I just use feedback from iTalki teachers and my placements at language schools to figure out what level I am. But I know independent students who successfully used the tests as a metric for personal learning goals and who benefited from the structured curriculum and externally set deadlines. If you’re the kind of learner who finds external structure helpful in maintaining discipline in your studies, it would definitely be worth exploring.

      • Shila, just a quick update that based on both your feedback and that of another reader, I’ve removed Español Interactivo from the Oaxaca section and replaced it with Amigos del Sol. As you observed, Español Interactivo could still be a good fit for some students, but I want to highlight schools that work well for the vast majority of learners. Thanks for your honest feedback; it helps me improve the recommendations for other students.

  19. Hi Ingrid,
    You mentioned having attended a school in Uruguay, which school did you attend and what are your thoughts regarding that school ?

    Thanks,
    Woody

    • Hi Woody, it was Academia Buenos Aires (https://www.academiabuenosaires.com). In 2010 I spent one week at their Buenos Aires location and another at their smaller Montevideo campus in Uruguay. I chose them because of the ability to seamlessly transition between the two cities using the same lesson plans and materials. Since then they have added another campus in Bariloche in Argentina’s Patagonia region. I found them a good school, well-organized and with quality instructors. I think they would be a great option for anyone wanting to experience some combination of those three locations.

Leave a Reply