Since the 1960s, foreigners have been heading to Cuernavaca to learn Spanish and experience Mexican culture. Despite its bad press during the past few years, it is still a safe, quiet and relaxing place to learn Spanish in Mexico. Only an hour outside of Mexico City, Cuernavaca offers the benefit of lots of cultural activities, both within the town and outside. Here are some the city’s most recommended schools from which to choose.
It seems that across the board, the Universidad Internacional (Inter) program at The Center for Linguistic & Multicultural Studies gets the best reviews from locals and students alike. This school offers a wide range of programs. Students can take group classes or sign up for private lessons, and the groups are never more than five students per teacher. They also offer an Executive Program for business managers, where they adapt the classes to individual industries (i.e., specialized terminology), and a semester program that students can use for college credit with pre-approval from a home university. The school will also help you set up homestays with families in Cuernavaca for full cultural immersion.
Another favorite Spanish language school in Cuernavaca is the Escuela Cuauhnáhuac. One of the oldest language schools in the city, the Cuauhnáhuac institution offers a regular intensive and super intensive program (six hours a day). They also have programs that focus on business Spanish, legal Spanish, medical Spanish, and even religious Spanish. The school has developed their own, unique teaching methods approved by Mexico’s Ministry of Education, and students follow a series of four textbooks that the institute wrote themselves. This program is accredited by a handful of U.S. universities, so if gaining credit for your study is important too, it’s best to check in advance.
ASLI Spanish Language Institute of Cuernavaca
If you are ready to step out and explore Mexican culture, the classes at the ASLI Spanish Language Institute might just be what you are looking for. The school organizes specific cultural programs to complement the Spanish you will learn in class, including a salsa track where you will learn to speak and dance and a volunteer track where you will interact with the local community. ASLI also offers online Spanish classes to keep up with what you’ve learned after you leave or prepare for your trip to Mexico.
Encuentros in Cuernavaca
Encuentros in Cuernavaca, as you can imagine from its name (literally “Encounters in Cuernavaca”), is all about putting its students in touch with the locals. For that reason, they strongly recommend homestays with Mexican families as a way of not only improving language skills but also getting a sense of local culture and how people live in the city. Like many of the other schools mentioned, Encuentros offers a lot of field trips for students, taking them out to meet-and-greets at local businesses and other cultural centers. The school also hosts language exchanges on campus between locals and students.
Anders Languages Mexico
The Anders school differentiates itself from the above options by offering a residence stay on-site at the language school in Cuernavaca. The residences have all the amenities of a hotel—private rooms, an on-site cook, free drinks 24/7 and even a swimming pool—while at the same time allowing you to mingle with other students and staff on-site. They also offer programs geared towards cultural interaction; they have a Spanish and golf program, a Spanish and gastronomy program, and a Spanish and culture program. This school focuses on adult and business students, not families or kids.
Ideal Language and Cultural Experiences
The Ideal school offers a wide range of classes from private lessons to small groups and business vocabulary. They have another school location in Oaxaca, and they encourage students to arrange homestays with local families through the school for the full cultural immersion. Ideal will craft a program to the special needs of larger groups of students and also offers online courses for continuing education. Their biggest focus at all language levels is that their students can walk away comfortably conversing in Spanish; therefore, they provide a lot of opportunities to interact with Spanish speakers on a one-on-one basis.