Category: Language School


by Christy Morgan

I had a wonderful month in Medellin, Colombia where I had the pleasure of attending the Spanish Language Course at Flying Tree Yoga. Medellin is the second largest city in Colombia, centered inside a valley surrounded by mountains and tall buildings with the perfect spring-like weather all year round. In November, it was a little bit rainy but that kept it cooled off so you never needed air conditioning or a heater. Medellin has everything you could ever need. It’s totally safe, so you don’t need to worry about that! The Laureles neighborhood where the yoga studio is located was my favorite part of the city. A short walk away were vegetarian and vegan options, all affordably priced. My go-to was Saludpan where I ate tofu scramble and drank delicious Colombian espresso with soy milk. 

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When I arrived for the course I was nervous about being in a big city where everyone speaks Spanish. I had only taken three weeks of Spanish courses in Costa Rica, and used the Duolingo app to brush up on my vocabulary. You will find that very few people speak English in Colombia so be sure to study before you go. It was helpful that three of the five women taking the internship program spoke Spanish along with all the yoga teachers, the house manager and many of the expats I met living in the neighborhood.

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The internship program was well organized. The Spanish course is the first two weeks of the month so you can learn all the body parts in Spanish, verbs, adjectives, etc. You can take just the Spanish course like I did, or do the full month program where you get more opportunities to teach classes and receive feedback, and learn more about topics like building your brand and class sequencing. If you have already been teaching for awhile and want to learn how to teach in Spanish you might want to take just the Spanish language course. The full program is very beneficial for newly certified teachers and anyone who wants to teach in Spanish speaking countries. I’ve committed to traveling more in Latin America while doing work exchange so being able to teach in Spanish opens up so many more opportunities.

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We started the first day learning the body parts placing stickers all over each other as seen above. The course was so great that I was able to form sentences and give directions on how to get into a pose even having only a beginner level of Spanish under my belt. At the end of our intensive 8 days of learning how to teach in Spanish we taught a short class to each other. I had to mostly read from my notebook, but I felt that after teaching a few more times the words would have flown naturally without looking. It was a fun and rewarding experience. I loved watching the other ladies grow in their practice and teaching skills throughout the course of the month.

My favorite part of the course was connecting with like-minded people from all over the world. The community who attend yoga classes at Flying Tree is super diverse. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. There were digital nomads like myself staying in Medellin for a bit of time, eating vegan food, and learning Spanish. I had the pleasure of teaching two cooking classes during my stay and it was so much fun for everyone!

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This course reignited my passion for teaching, both yoga and cooking. I’ve been traveling almost non-stop since I got my certification in India last October, so I haven’t had many chances to teach on-going yoga classes. Attending regular classes at Flying Tree and taking classes from the students in the internship program reminded me how much I love to teach and be part of a community. 

If you are a yoga teacher who would love to learn how to teach classes in Spanish this is the perfect internship program for you. You’ll feel at home in this wonderful yoga community in Medellin!

 



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by Christy Morgan

If you want to learn Spanish there are many beautiful countries to choose from for your immersion program. In my research I discovered that Costa Rica, Colombia, and Ecuador were the best places to learn Spanish because the local people do not have a strong accent, making it easier for new students to communicate.

Immersion is truly the best way to learn a new language. I experienced this for 2 weeks at Intercultura in Costa Rica. If you have the option to do a homestay during your course do it! Not only was this the more economical choice (private room and bathroom, with breakfast, dinner, and laundry service for $175 per week), it gives you a chance to speak only Spanish with your host family. You’ll get to experience amazing local food and have someone that knows the town well.

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Once you choose the country you want to learn in, you then need to research the different areas and choose a location for your studies. Do you want to be by the beach, soaking up the sun and learning to surf in your free time? Or do you want to be in the city, surrounded by more locals, getting to know the culture, visiting museums and such in your free time. I was able to experience both the city of Heredia and the beach town of Samara during my courses with Intercultura. Here’s what I learned, which will help you in deciding what kind of location you want to do your studies in.

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The City

  • More crowded, but this gives you more opportunities to practice your Spanish with locals. Also there are more choices for restaurants, shopping, bars, you name it. If you like people and having more choices the city will be a good choice for you. Though people in big cities tend to be less talkative and social, I found people friendly in Heredia.
  • More professional attitude, so if you are someone that likes more structure and punctuality choose a city location.
  • The cost of things like groceries and food at restaurants was cheaper in the city. There was this amazing outdoor produce market with rows of beautiful fruits and veggies (pictured above). I didn’t see anything like this at the beach.

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The Beach

  • More chill environment, which means people are casual, service is slow, and more partying to all hours of the night. If this is your lifestyle already then head to the beach!
  • Do you love to swim in the ocean and surf? Then the beach is probably a good choice for you, unless it will become a distraction from your studies. You are there to learn, so don’t forget to do your homework! The great thing about the Samara location of Intercultura is many places give discounts to students. The surf school next door lets you have a board for the week when you purchase a surf lesson ($35). If you’ve always wanted to learn to surf I highly recommend trying it there. The lesson was excellent and the waves are perfect for beginners.
  • I found the food to be a bit more expensive at the beach, but more variety and healthy options since it caters more to tourists. In Samara there was local food, sushi, Italian, lots of seafood if you are into that and even a vegetarian restaurant. My cheapest meal was about $4 and most expensive was $20. So you can see there is quite a range.
  • The school offers free classes outside of the language class like Zumba, latin dance, and yoga. Both campus’s offer these but it was really fun to take classes outside overlooking the beach!

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Immersion in general

I found immersion learning to be the best way to learn Spanish. Living in a city of Spanish speakers forces you to use what you’ve learned, and encourages you to practice outside of class so you are able to communicate more easily. It’s like accelerated learning. I had locals tell me the whole time I was in Costa Rica they were shocked I had only a couple of weeks of classes. The program at Intercultura was the best experience. The teachers were amazing, I met so many beautiful people from all over the world, all while exploring a new country and culture. I couldn’t recommend it enough. I’ll be heading to Colombia to continue my studies through immersion in a couple of months!

Have you done immersion learning? What was your experience like?



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