5 Best Spanish Schools in Panama for Expats and Travelers

Panama has become one of the world’s top tourist and retirement destinations. A lot of people visit the country for leisure or a permanent vacation. Apart from the natural beauty of its emerald waters, verdant highlands, its rich biodiversity, and cosmopolitan capital city, Panama has become the no. 1 choice for many ex-pats as a retirement home for many reasons. For one, it is easy to get a residency visa. It is relatively cheap to live in. Its climate is varied and comfortable. It has a laid back lifestyle. Healthcare is affordable with great medical doctors. Most of all, the locals are very friendly and welcoming to foreigners especially in Boquete, Bocas Del Torro, Pedasi and of course, Panama City.

The culture in Panama, however, is like chalk and cheese compared to the U.S. and other western countries. But before you get disheartened on visiting the beautiful country, the key to roll with things in Panama is by learning its language, which is the lifeblood of any culture. Spanish is Panama’s official vernacular. Learning the language will help you find your way into the heart of the country. Besides, learning Spanish is truly worthwhile. Aside from allowing you to truly immerse yourself to your destination of a potential home, knowing Spanish will allow you to communicate and connect better with over 20 other countries or over half a billion people around the world.

Panama is one of the best places in the world to learn Spanish. It fuses fun in your studies. This is the place where you will not only develop new language skills but experience and appreciate the beauty of the country, culture, and life in this Latin American nation. Here are the top language schools in Panama to learn Spanish.

Habla Ya

Habla Ya, which means “talk now”, is the epitome when it comes to integrating fun, travel, and experience of Panama with learning the Spanish Language. No wonder this school has been featured in many international media productions like BBC and the New York Times. The school is also consistently rated with a perfect score by its students.

Considered amongst the prominent Spanish language schools in Central and South America, Habla Ya is the leading Spanish language school in Panama that is duly accredited by the Instituto Cervantes, the international accreditation agency for teaching Spanish.

Habla Ya has three satellite network schools to study Spanish, strategically nestled in 3 amazing locations namely: Boquete, Bocas del Toro, and Panama City.

If you are into nature adventures, its Boquete branch is the ideal campus to choose from. Dubbed as the country’s eco-adventure capital, this charming mountain town is a place to learn Spanish surrounded by nature and a fresh mountain climate.

If you are into ocean and sands, then their branch in Bocas del Toro is the best choice. This enchanting beach town is popular for its bright green Caribbean waters and beautiful white shoreline.

Finally, if you want to learn Spanish in the trendy cosmopolitan city, then Habla Ya in Panama City is your natural choice. As the capital city, this is where the rich culture of the country converges, which you are afforded to experience when studying.

Habla Ya offers different Spanish courses to cater to the different needs and objectives of students. It offers a basic Spanish crash course for travelers who simply need to travel and tour Panama or South America. It offers Junior Spanish courses for teenagers and special part-time Spanish course designed for ex-pat residents.

For those seeking more serious and in-depth study, they offer Medical Spanish Classes, Business Spanish, Legal Spanish Course and Spanish for Teachers. Other courses offered include Online Spanish Lessons, Group 4 Course, Private Spanish Lessons, and DELE Exam Preparation Course, among others.

You don’t have to worry about your accommodation when studying in Habla Ya. The school can arrange on your behalf with suitable accommodation to fit your different budgets. They can refer you to family homestays, apartments, and other lodging options. There are also plenty of budget hostels, cheap hotels, and swank hotels and resorts available in the different campus locations.

Habla Ya is famous for its Spanish immersion programs, which have been the most effective and fun way to learn Spanish. This program involves learning Spanish by living with a local host family through which you get to practice and enhance your Spanish speaking skills. Variations to their immersion programs include Latin Cultural Immersion, Immersion Vacations, Volunteer and Learn Spanish Program and Family Language Vacation Program.

Fun and adventure is an integral component of the school’s language program. Depending on your choice of campus, among the potential active adventures that await students included surfing, sailing, rafting, scuba diving, spelunking, rock climbing and doing cultural tours. All students, however, will be afforded social-cultural activities including yoga classes, parties, and road trips, among others.

The school implements a proven methodology and syllabus that follows the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages that is facilitated by experienced teachers. Its interactive classes are conducted completely in Spanish that is tailor-fit to the various needs, objectives and learning preferences of individual students accentuating on oral expression and listening comprehension.

School Website: https://hablayapanama.com

Casco Antiguo Spanish School

The Casco Antiguo Spanish School is another top-notch Spanish language school in Panama that provides an engaging and unique experience to students in a genuine and inspiring environment. The school aims to help students learn Spanish in a memorable way by integrating classes with fun and adventure through which students get to explore the country and interact with the locals. Students are assured to be confident in speaking in Spanish after spending time in the school.

The Casco Antiguo Spanish School is situated within Casco Viejo, the stylish and eccentric historical region in Panama City, which serves as the impeccable setting for your language learning venture. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Casco Viejo is a colonialist locality famous for its extensive history, diverse atmosphere, and vibrant life which will become your language laboratory and play area as a student of the school. 

The language center provides language lessons appropriate for all student levels and purposes. If you are a student, traveler or professional who wants to learn Spanish, the school has courses designed for you. They both provide Spanish for travelers and Spanish for business. The school allows for flexible scheduling so students can structure their studies at their own time and phase.

Private lessons are offered whereby lessons are customized to student’s needs, learning styles, and schedule. However, classes are designed to expedite fast and comprehensive learning of the language. This especially pertains to small group intensive and mini-group classes.

Classes are integrated with interactive cultural experience through tours and exploration of Panama whereby students get to interact and practice their language skills. Aside from experiencing Panama’s islands and beaches, you get to learn Spanish in a “real-life” setting.

As noted, the school’s Spanish program is designed to be enjoyable and immersive in real life. Students are indulged in regular activities which gives them an opportunity to apply or use their new language skills in real-life scenarios.

Among the activities that await students included playing sports like beach volleyball, joining happy hour parties, participating in Salsa lessons, exploring different places via biking or walking, and taking adventure tours in the majestic Panama Canal, the primordial caves and jungles of Lago Bayano, and the islands of San Blas, among others.

School Website: https://cascospanish.com

Spanish Panama Language School

Boys having fun and studying at the computer

With over 18 years of experience under its sleeve, the Spanish Panama Language School is another frontrunner in providing Spanish language training to international students from across the globe.

Advantageously located in El Cangrejo, the most expedient district in Panama City, where practically everything is within your reach, this Spanish language school was architecturally designed with international students in its mind. The school neighborhood of El Cangrejo also serves as the students’ Spanish language classroom where they can practice their language skills when interacting with the very approachable locals.

The school features a more traditional and formal class setting. The classrooms feature glass walls and windows that provide students with startling sights of the encompassing street of Via Argentina, which is considered as the most vivacious and energetic street in Panama City.

The classrooms, however, are soundproof and fully air-conditioned to ensure the comfort and concentration of the students. For students who prefer greater privacy, small isolated classrooms for one-on-one lessons are also available.

Each classroom follows a unique Panamanian culture theme. For instance, the “Salón Artesanias” which is equipped with a state-of-the-art audio-visual system features the different indigenous arts and crafts of Panama. Meanwhile, the “Salón Ciudad” provides an expansive and stunning spectacle of the cityscape. The school also has a balcony- terrace where students can lounge and socialize while enjoying the fantastic view of the daily life and nightlife of the city.

Students can have a choice of different programs to suit their needs and objectives. The school offers Spanish intensive courses whereby a student can learn Spanish in an immersive setting. It also provides private one-on-one Spanish lessons.

There are also the executive Spanish classes that are designed for students seeking employment or planning to put up a business in Panama. All classes are handled by a team of experienced and professional teachers who are dedicated to ensuring the successful learning of every student.

While the Spanish Panama Language School specializes in language teaching in a traditional student-teacher set up and classroom setting, the language institute also provides an all-inclusive vacation in Panama Program. Aside from enrolling in its Spanish courses, this program includes tour packages through which students can explore Panama’s diverse wonders and rich culture.

School Website: https://spanishpanama.com/

Spanish at Locations

Group of students sitting around a table with computers

Spanish at Locations is a Spanish Language institute that allows students to learn Spanish while uncovering new places, engaging in exceptional ventures, volunteering on socially relevant causes or interacting in an interesting multi-ethnic community.

The school blends Spanish language learning and cultural experience in different locations in Panama and Costa Rica, chosen for their prominent relaxing ambiance and encompassing natural beauty and cultural richness. The school also incorporates relevant advocacies that are helpful to both the community and the environment.

This innovative approach has a four-fold function: it immerses students into a new culture, allows them to explore the beautiful country, keeps them motivated to learn, and allows them to contribute to society and the environment.

Spanish at Locations offers students five locations (two of them in Costa Rica and three in Panama) to study in a stress-free environment and beautiful surroundings.

The first location is Turrialba, a small town in central Costa Rica known for its picturesque rivers and hazy highlands. As a non-English speaking local community, it supports genuine language immersion while offering adventure opportunities like rafting, swing Criollo dance and live performances.

The second location, also in Costa Rica, is a tiny carefree beach community along the Caribbean Coast called Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Aside from enjoying a laidback life on its unspoiled shorelines, this location is preferred by ocean lovers and surfers.

For students that prefer a more vibrant nightlife along the coast, they can opt to choose the famous location Bocas del Toro, in Panama. Here, they can learn Spanish while enjoying the white sands, vivid coral reefs, and lavish aquatic life in this tropical paradise. However, nature trippers and eco-tourists can opt instead for the peaceful little Panamanian town of Boquete in Chiriquí highlands with its enthralling Caldera river and cooler climate.

Finally, Spanish at Locations also have a learning site in Panama’s capital city. In this location, students are offered the opportunity to learn Spanish amidst its high-rising modern architecture and skylines, the historically rich community of Casco Viejo and sultry jungles that mantles the metro.

Depending on your selected location, you will be learning Spanish while doing various fun-filled activities. Among these activities included bird watching, visiting botanical gardens, cacao and chocolate or coffee touring, camping by the riverside, nostalgic touring in historical sites, catamaran sailing, enjoying the nightlife, hiking, yoga and doing workouts, horseback riding, swimming in the beaches or hot springs, mountain biking, visiting museums and other cultural sites, rafting, kayaking, snorkeling, island hopping, scuba diving and many more.

School Website: https://spanishatlocations.com/

EPA (Espanol en Panama)

Man student writing with a pen on a notebook

Espanol en Panama or EPA for short is a top-notch Spanish language learning center that was established in 2007. As part of the ELS Panama Group, this language institute also provides specialty training for Panama Spanish, Costa Rica Spanish, and Portuguese.

The courses in EPA adopt a formal and traditional classroom structure and instruction in which each class is composed of 4 to 7 students. Students are assessed and categorized in 5 Spanish levels for assignments in appropriate classes.

The center also offers private classes, internship and volunteering opportunities. It also provides specialized classes for DELE (Diplomas de Español Como Lengua Extranjera) exam preparation and support for those seeking Spanish language proficiency certificates. Students can also attend virtual Spanish classes where they can study online at the convenience of their homes.

EPA is centrally located at Av Italia in Panama city, a safe neighborhood with convenient access to transportation. In this way, students are afforded to learn Panamanian culture and traditions while experiencing the warmth and hospitality of city folks and accessibility to modern conveniences and outstanding natural scenery. The courses combine a variety of entertaining activities to allow a student to learn about the country.

For accommodations, EPA can refer students to a variety of duly accredited lodging options that can fit their budgets. Choices include host families, shared or private apartments & hotels. All accommodations are within 30 minutes from the school to ensure travel convenience.

School Website: https://www.studyspanishinpanama.com/

X Change – Panama Spanish School

Student takes notes on a notebook during an online lesson

Situated in the old-fashioned downtown area of Santa Catalina, the X Change – Panama Spanish School provides the seamless setting for language learning and interaction in a soothing ambiance within the Hostel Villa Vento Surf.

The small language training institute is built upon an unpretentious and simple idea – to teach Spanish to travelers and ex-pats in a stress-free, tranquil and delightful environment. This approach results in a two-fold complementary rationale: to deepen a traveler’s experience and connection with the locals and their culture, and to develop yawning social relations of the locals in the community of Santa Catalina through the mutual exchange in practical classes and participation in other enlightening community affairs.

The X Change – Panama Spanish School underscores the fruitful cultural and language exchange of students with the locals. It also specializes in a personalized and customized approach to teaching language because of the diversity of levels, abilities, preferences, and objectives of every student. Each class lesson features a blend of grammar and vocabulary lessons and social interaction with locals through games, music, role plays, and other educational activities.

Studying Spanish in X-Change is also an opportunity for a student to help the community of Sta. Catalina. A part of the school’s proceeds goes as funding for regular community educational events whereby students can participate, share their talents and practice their new language skills.

School Website: https://panamaspanishschool.com/

Conclusion

Panama is undeniably one of the best places to study and learn Spanish. Not only are these language centers accredited by the Cervantes Institute, but they all provide a learning setting through which students including ex-pats and travelers can immerse and experience the rich culture and beauty of the paradise-like country.

Aside from hosting the best Spanish schools that provide the most cost-effective and enjoyable way to learn Spanish, Panama equally has all the advantageous support that makes it a premier hub for learning Spanish. Not only is the country easy to go to with its direct flights from most major cities in the US and other western countries, but it also prides itself of its well-developed infrastructure, safe accommodations, efficient transportation system, and most of all, people who are extremely friendly and welcoming to foreigners.

If you are thinking of learning the Spanish language, Panama has the best language schools to study where learning is an enjoyable and exciting adventure.

Matt Romero

I’m Matthew Romero, one of the guys behind PanamaLifeInsider.com I am incredibly passionate about Panama, its beautiful territory, and all the incredible opportunities which offer to people coming here from all over the world both either visiting and settling. In this blog, I decided to share my passion with you!

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