Learning Spanish in Panama can be as fun as it is useful, and is easier than ever these days thanks to its popularity. Spanish is an important language to master, even if you don’t live in Panama or Latin America. More and more, multinational businesses need these types of language skills for their employees, making it a high demand skill for both the North American and European job market. Schools weigh language tools upon acceptance. And more importantly, learning Spanish helps bring people in the Americas closer together, and gives us greater empathy towards one another in a growing globalized world. If you live or work in Panama (or anywhere in Latin America), learning Spanish is also a practical skill that’s invaluable in everyday life.
Where to start
If you’re planning on learning Spanish in Panama, the best way to know where to start is to know what level of Spanish you’re going for, and how much time you have to study it. If you’re planning on retiring or relocating to Panama for work, you should make learning Spanish a priority, and dedicate as much time as possible to getting as fluent as possible as soon as possible. You should plan on taking a class as soon as you’re settled and on the ground here, and supplement that learning with home learning apps and practice tools, even before you’ve stepped foot here on the isthmus. Find a Spanish language school that fits your budget and is convenient to get to from where you live or where you’ll be staying. Also, try to make at least part of your learning experience a group one. Speaking and sharing with others is a fast way to learn, and can also be a lot of fun.
If you’re visiting Panama just to learn Spanish, it changes things a bit as far as time and level of proficiency you can achieve. That doesn’t mean it can’t still be fun and highly beneficial. For this type of learning (short term) find an immersive Spanish language program that includes group activities, travel, and many concentrated hours of study in practice. After all, you’re traveling not just to learn a new language, but to also have fun and experience something completely different.
Find a Spanish school or Spanish language program
If you’re looking for a program to get started with, you’ve literally got dozens of options all over Panama, especially in Panama City. Some of the most popular schools are Berlitz, EF, Habla Ya, and Casco Viejo Spanish School. At each of these organizations, you’ll find language programs for people of all proficiency levels, and for both short and long-term durations. It’s all about how much immersion you’re looking for, how much you want to spend, and how long you’ll have to learn. We recommend also looking for private tutors to supplement your learning experience, especially if you have limited time, or need to become proficient quickly.
Aside from classes and institutional learning, another great way to learn Spanish in Panama is to practice (even at a novice level) basic conversations with locals, and at local businesses. Listening to the rhythm of how locals speak and interact will trigger your subconscious learning, which will have tangible and definitive results long-term. If you’re moving to Panama, this is a must, but even if you’re just visiting, you’ll find this to have way more benefits than simply getting by. You’ll endear yourself to the local culture, and that has immeasurable value.