Program & Schedule
Learning Spanish quickly and effectively while experiencing the real-feel of Colombian culture is exactly what this program offers. You will taste the local cuisine and be immersed in the free and energetic lifestyle of Cartagena.
During your Spanish course, you will put a full 20 hours of work into improving your ability to communicate. You will be learning the grammatical structure and practicing the conversational aspects of the language in a group made up of no more than six students, to ensure that you get plenty of time and attention from your teacher. You will have ample opportunity to interact and even bond with fellow students and locals using what you have learned in class, as you navigate your way around neighborhood restaurants, markets and shops.
First timers to our program will be required to take a placement exam on the first day to determine your language level and placement in the most appropriate class suited to your level. The length of time needed for completion of the test is entirely dependent upon your Spanish language skills. After one of our teachers has graded your test, you will be introduced to your class!
Aims & Objectives
- Learn Spanish quickly and effectively to improve your communication skills
- Experience an immersion into Colombian culture, meeting people and enjoying local cuisine
Monday to Friday
You will have four hours of class a day, for a total of 20 hours per week. A typical day may include:
- Leave for morning Spanish class (2hrs)
- Lunch Break back at the accommodation
- Head back for your afternoon Spanish class (2hrs)
- Independent learning or free time
Participant Criteria & Requirements
Minimum age: -
Maximum age: -
Minimum English level: Basic
CRB required: On Signup
Passport copy required: No
Resume copy required: No
Required qualification: None
There are no further requirements for this program.
Living & Location
Welcome to Cartagena City, once known as Cartagena de Indias, it continues to be a majestic shining gem among the other jewels of the Caribbean coast. As the town grew in importance because of the trade riches passing through its’ port, the town erected a barricade of stone walls. Originally used for protection, the walls engulfing the old city add to its distinctive character and old-world charm.
Known for its striking architecture, Cartagena is a city full of life and vibrancy. When you stroll through its streets you feel as though you are moving through a painting, where the sights and sounds of the city have come to life.
Being able to speak some Spanish is definitely a plus, but even if you are a novice to the language, a few gestures and a sense of adventure with attempting what you have learned, will be helpful as you communicate with locals. Don’t forget that smiles are universal and they will likely help get you whatever you need.
You will be enjoying your stay in the vibrant neighborhood known as Barrio Alto Bosque in Cartagena Colombia, from where you can access numerous sites and attractions, as well as your program very easily via public transport or local taxi.
All participants are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with restraint, especially water, paper and electricity. You will be expected to clean up after yourself, and to play your part to keep the accommodation neat and organized.
The food will be typically Colombian meaning lots of corn, beans, rice, chili peppers, potatoes and other grain, all very vegetarian friendly. Keep in mind that some local dishes may be spicy!
There are many local coffee shops and restaurants in the main township within walking distance of our centre. Restaurants & Cafes, the beach, mini-marts, fitness gyms, the supermarket, and shopping mall are all close by.
There is Wi-Fi in common areas at your accommodation, but there are also many internet cafes in the main township where you can access online information.
There are numerous shops and ATMs throughout the town.
Activities & Events
One to two evenings per week
Join your cooks as they prepare meals for you and other participants. Take notes, learn new recipes, traditional food preservation techniques and more! Try not to spoil your dinner as you learn!
Sights & Surroundings
Bicycle day tours
For a change of pace, an exciting way to experience Cartagena and the vicinity, is by hopping on a bicycle or joining an organized group bike tour around the city.
Horse and Carriage tours
Explore walled city of Cartagena via horse and carriage. Travel through narrow cobblestone streets as you venture to historical locations throughout the city, from the quaint comfort of a horse driven carriage.
Once used as local transportation, the Chivas of today are the new colorful life for old wooden buses. They come packed with people, music and good vibes, as they bustle down the streets of Cartagena! Jump on one if you see it coming your way and let the good times roll!
Make your way to La Plaza de La Trinidad in Getsemani for free classes which are offered to the public every weekend.
Centro Cultural Ciudad Movil
The place to be for a variety of live music and dance is the Centro Cultural Ciudad Movil. All types of music ranging from Folk to Cumbia, Rock to Funk, and Champeta to Jazz are performed her live. There are even nights where the DJ is the one pumping up the volume for the crowd. This place is not to be missed when you come to Cartagena!
Islas del Rosario
If you love the sea and all things related to it, then you will love Islas del Rosario. Located about a 100 kilometers away from Cartagena, this archipelago off the coast of Colombia is one of the national parks that is not to be missed. You can take tours, visit the aquarium and open-sea oceanarium or explore the coral reefs while swimming and snorkeling.
Baru, Aviario Baru and Playa Blanca (15 km or 1 hr away)
Playa Blanca offers one of the best beach experiences in the region. You can visit for the day or even stay overnight at one of the hostels or hotels in the area. You can get there by motor boat from the port or take one of the direct buses on Sunday mornings.
A bit further down the way is the Isla Baru which is located in the bay of Cholon. There are tours and packages available which will give you access to kayaks, water sports, boat tours, restaurants and even a private beach.
Parque Nacional Tayrona (Camping trips)
Imagine a clear dark night and a sky that make just about every twinkling star visible. This is more than a wish it is a near nightly occurrence at the Parque Nacional Tayrona. Here you can go camping in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Enjoy mountain views, mangroves, clear water and sandy beaches all in one place. You can partake in any number of outdoor activities here including swimming, snorkeling and hiking. You’ll never be at a loss for things to do in this wonder of nature.
Santuario de Fauna y flora Los colorados
This area of northern Colombia is a small but well kept sanctuary, with a huge ecological significance because of its endemic forest.
Jardin Botanico of Cartagena (Turbaco) (12km, less than 1 hr. Away)
Cartagena’s Botanical Garden is outside of the city limits and located in the municipality of Turbaco. It is home to a rare resource of a virgin native forest and hosts more than 300 different uniquely beautiful species of plants from the Caribbean and other tropical zones throughout the world.
From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.
Name: Republic of Colombia
Population: 48.7 million inhabitants
Language: Spanish, 68 Regional/Ethnic Languages, English (San Andres, Providencia)
Currency: Colombian Pesos (COP)
Time zone: COT (UTC -5)
Colombia has coasts on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and covers about 440,000 square miles (1.14 million square kilometers). It is home to the Amazon rainforest, Andes mountains, and the Llanos ( grassland plains).
Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America and it has several islands in the Atlantic and Pacific (San Andres and Providencia, and in the Pacific, the Malpelo and Gorgona, respectively). It shares borders with Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. Some of the major cities include Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla.
Weather in Colombia can range from desert to tropical to freezing because it contains a variety of climate zones. To experience the most pleasant weather and the most local activity, you might want to visit during the months of December to March or July to August.
Culture in Colombia has been greatly influenced by its diversity. It is easy to recognize African, Caribbean, European, Middle Eastern and Native American impacts on the area as well as that of the Indigenous people of the region. Unfortunately during the colonial era many European settlers decimated the Indigenous population which left the Spanish influence as the most pronounced. What has evolved over time is now a melange of distinctive layers which make up Colombia today.
Early in the 19th century the country gained independence and in 1886 the Republic of Colombia was formed.