Maren Elise Hovet Norway
WAYRA Instituto de Español website
he time at WAYRA has been a great experience. I always enjoyed the Graduations on Fridays with the whole group and the great typical Food they served.
Samuel Métraux Switzerland
WAYRA Instituto de Español website
The schools relatively small size helps to create a great atmosphere. Living in a host family has given me a nice insight into the Costa Rican way of living.
Jeremy Shane Canada
WAYRA Instituto de Español website
My experiences while studying Spanish at WAYRA were most beneficial for me as they were for all the other students I met during my stay in Tamarindo. This is why I can honestly state that all the teachers at WAYRA have a thorough understanding of the Spanish language, and an incredible ability to share that with their students. I went there not knowing a single word of Spanish. After a few weeks of in-class studying as well as applying my skills with locals and practicing in the student house I left Costa Rica with a more than adequate ability to effectively communicate in the Spanish language.
There were many other conveniences such as Internet access, and numerous weekend excursions to other parts of Costa Rica. These excursions led by one of the Professors of WAYRA enriched my understanding of the Costa Rican culture as well as enabling me to practice more of my language skills.
I recommend this language school not only because of its excellent language program but because of the mystical tranquillity of Tamarindo that emanates in every smile.
Tom Blanchard United States
WAYRA Instituto de Español Facebook page
We live in Tamarindo every summer and this year our son (6.5 years) attended Wayra for 2 weeks. He thrived in an excellent academic environment with loving staff who encouraged him and had a set curriculum for him. Wayra is Cervantes Institute Certified, which means they have passed specific academic criteria that represents quality and a higher standard of school. Their children's program is exceptional and the staff invest in their students from start to finish. We highly recommend Wayra over any of the other camps advertised heavily but that do not follow through on any quality such as ISLS. "The proof is in the pudding" as the saying goes and this pudding is high quality, dedicated staff and professional services to help anyone of any age meet their goals. I am a Spanish professor in the USA and if anyone should have any questions about Wayra, please e-mail me, Colleen, at Queens University in Charlotte.
Colleen B. United States
We live in Tamarindo in the summers and immerse our children in Spanish every summer. The staff at WAYRA has always been very professional. The lessons are very well organized and specific to what the student needs to learn. We were not pleased with ISLS because they charged 500 USD per week and the entire time our children were in classes with eight to 10 other speakers with were only English speakers at many different levels. The lessons at ISLS were not immersion lessons at all. At WAYRA the staff has a history of teaching Spanish in an immersion-style manner. In addition, WAYRA is certified by the Cervantes Institute, which is very well-known in Europe.
I spent only two weeks at WAYRA, but I learned a ton and had a bunch of fun. I attended four hours of morning classes and one hour of private lessons for medical Spanish each afternoon. Class sizes are small - I had three peers the first week and only one the second - and the curriculum is geared entirely toward communicating effectively (a welcome change from the vocabulary-heavy class structures in the US education system). In addition, they teach Spanish in Spanish, from the lowest levels onward. Some teachers don't seem to speak English, which is an advantage. Everyone remains extremely disciplined about speaking only in Spanish throughout class time. The instructors I had were truly gifted educators. They adjusted their class plans on the fly and seamlessly integrated our priorities into their lessons. Teachers kept each class fresh by maintaining a balance of different pedagogical techniques, from games to hard grammar to shooting the breeze. They even assign homework - not necessarily something you need to do, but a testament to their interest in your education. The administration at WAYRA was really effective as well. They hold after-school activities on Mondays and Wednesdays, and really do their damnedest to solve any problem you might have. I wasn't satisfied with my surf lesson, so they spoke to the owner of the shop and got me another one for free. My classmates provided an awesome (mostly Swiss, not sure why) community to go out with to the bars. Tamarindo itself is maximally touristy, but you're insulated from that vibe by the relationships you forge with fellow travelers and your teachers. On the free weekend, I rented a car with four pals to go to Monteverde. Really has the hostel vibe - everyone's friendly and everyone has a story. Most students stick around for at least a month, so there are certainly ties that bind. If medical school allows, I hope to go back again to continue to bolster my Spanish abilities. I endorse WAYRA wholeheartedly.
Kay E. Spain
WAYRA is located about four blocks from the main street of Tamarindo, so it is very easy to get to. Lodging is available with host families and at the school, but if you really want to learn Spanish, you want to live with a host family. The families that host students for WAYRA are great and take much care to ensure that students feel at home. Families provide breakfast and dinner and laundry service and live in the nearby towns of Villareal and Santa Rosa. WAYRA provides transportation to the school every day, but only back from the school on days they have activities- Monday and Wednesday. Students need to find their own transportation home the other days. There are 'colectivos' or private taxis everywhere, so it is easy to get home for about 1 USD. However, if you are part of a larger group, the school can arrange a private bus for 40 USD per day. With 20 people, that's 2 USD a person and is well worth it since public busses are not 100% reliable may be full. The classes themselves are high quality and the teachers make learning fun and expect 100% Spanish in the classroom. Students really get to know their teachers well and teachers care about each student's progress and provide input regarding what students need to do to improve. There is a also a nice café there with a reasonably priced (5 USD) and delicious lunch. All in all, WAYRA was a very good experience and I would definitely consider going there again but I would make sure to arrange transportation beforehand if I was traveling a group.
Peter M. Switzerland
After studying at WAYRA in 2005, I decided to go back to Tamarindo to brush up my Spanish and I can say that I had again a great time there and was able to improve my Spanish quickly. This time I decided to stay in a student house where I was able to live together with other students. I can highly recommend this school and I hope to come back again in the near future!
Kristina J. United States
I attended Wayra for two weeks. I had taken one year in Spanish before in high school about 10 years ago. The classrooms are in open air beautiful gardens with about five or six students a class. They are taught pretty much all in Spanish so you are fully immersed in the lessons. At first it was a little overwhelming but I was surprised how much Spanish came back to me. They switch teachers times and classrooms every week which gives you a good variety and all the teachers are great! The first week I stayed in a home stay in Villareal (about five miles out of town) with a local family who were very sweet. They cooked breakfast and dinner for me and we also went out to local dances and soccer games. It was a great way to practice my Spanish. The second week I stayed at the house at the school which houses about 10 students or so and is very close to the beach. Everybody was very helpful with each other and happy to be in such a beautiful atmosphere. All the staff at school were very friendly and helpful. I had a great time, learned a bunch, and wish I had had longer to stay.
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