FAQs

Strongest points: Empathy and Professionalism

Some frequently asked questions by students before coming to Panama City to experience Panama and before coming to Spanish Panama Language School to learn Spanish.

Questions are about our Spanish school, Spanish immersion, regular Spanish courses, facilities, and qualified teachers.

 

Do I need a visa for Panama?

Most countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, and countries of Europe, do not require a visa for Panama. Right now tourist permission is usually granted for 6 months. You do not need a special student visa for Spanish Panama Language School as, unlike most Spanish schools in the world, the enrollment application and process is free and easy.

What kind of money is used in Panama?

Many people are surprised to learn that the currency in Panama is the American dollar. The US dollar is also known as the Balboa. So wherever you are asked for one Balboa that is the same as one dollar. All paper currency is the same as the U.S. but the coins are both US coins and a Panamanian coin issue of the same value. One “peso” is considered 50 cents in Panama. One “cuara” as you here it on the street is 25 cents, and one “real” is 5 cents. Sometimes a one dollar coin is humorously referred to as a “Martinelli” named for the very errrr controversial ex-Panamanian President.

Is the water safe to drink in Panama?

Surprising for many travelers, is that, unlike many places in Latin America where you need bottled water, you may drink prefectly safe water from the tap in Panama City.

No “Montezuma’s Revenge” here!

If you do travel to certain remote areas such as the province of Colon you have to be careful and ask ahead of time. Bottled water is sold in many stores, anyway, and it costs about one “Martinelli” or, a dollar.

Also found in many places is the delicious “agua de pipa” or coconut water. They will break it for you and you drink from the hole!

What vaccinations do I need for Panama?

No vaccinations are needed for Panama City. But if you want to spend time in the jungle in more remote areas of Panama it will be necesary to check with medical authorities on that area before leaving.

What are your opening hours?

SpanishPanama has an amazing record for all of its 16 years as a responsible and well-organized Spanish school.

We are opened from 8:30am to 8:30pm Monday to Thursday and from 8:30am to 5:00pm Friday. On Saturday we are open from 9:00am to 2:00pm.

For business Spanish (or English!) classes our teachers are available outside of normal opening hours and soemtimes even on holidays.

Spanish Panama Language School only closes during Panama’s national holidays. The Panamanian national holidays are:  New Year’s Day (Jan 1st), Martyrs’ Day (Jan 9th) , Carnival’s Monday (Monday prior to Ash Wednesday). Carnival’s Tuesday (Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday).  “Good Friday”,  Labour Day (May 1st), Separation Day from Colombia (Nov 3rd). Flag Day (Nov 4th), Colón Day, (Nov 5th), Shout of independence against Spanish from Los Santos (Nov 10th),  Independence Day from Spain (Nov 28th), Mother’s Day (December 8 in Panama), and  Christmas Day (Dec 25th).

We open at 8:30am and close at 9:00pm, Monday to Thursday. On Fridays we close at 5:30pm.

We are ready and available for online classes in English or Spanish 24 hours  a day and 7 days a week.

Yes! Mother’s Day is actually a national holiday in Panama and we think that’s great!

Do you accept payment by visa through the telephone?

Unfortunately not yet but we do at our office. We also accept bank transfers and Paypal, as well as a issued from a local Panamanian bank.

I have special needs and this would likely keep the others in my class behind too much. What do you suggest?

Send us an email describing your needs and we will do our best to accommodate you. For certain learning difficulties we recommend private classes.

Our “50 Hour FLEX Program” or the “1-1″ Intensive program would be perfect as many of our best teachers are available to provide us with good feedback as to how you can best proceed with learning Spanish.

Why should I study at Spanish Panama? That’s a great question!

Beautiful classrooms, happy students, beautiful learning environment

Spanish Panama 20 years as a Spanish school in Panama, and the staff shows this experience in its professionalism, organization, and serious devotion to teaching Spanish. Over these years Spanish Panama has gained the loyalty of the best teachers that the country has to offer.

We do not push tours as some schools are really more like tour companies rather than putting full emphasis on the actual learning of the language.

Amongst our clients at Spanish Panama we have had corporate leaders from the biggest multi-nationals in Panama, ambassadors, doctors, lawyers, real estate professionals, and serious university students coming to Panama as well as entrepreneurs and people who want to make their best efforts to retire or live and work in Panama. Therefore, we have had to be consistently good over the years, and constantly improving our methods, open to feedback in order to maintain such high ratings.

Our teachers have a deep love of the language and are high in empathy to understanding student needs.

What factors should I consider when choosing a Spanish school

Our students consider:

  • class sizes
  • teacher experience and background
  • the type of students
  • the school’s location
  • the school’s atmosphere
  • the school’s 20 year history and reliability
  • customer service
  • student testimonials
  • cost

Why should I consider factors other than cost when choosing a Spanish school?

On occasion we receive a quick phone call from a potential client considering studying Spanish checking his/her options and their only question is “How much do the classes cost?”. But there is much more than cost to consider when looking for Spanish classes. At other schools you might be paying less money, but there is often a high cost to low prices. There is a popular expression in Panama: “Cheap can be expensive”. In other words, by paying less for lower quality classes, you will most likely have to study longer, and harder.

What are the class sizes at Spanish Panama?

Class sizes at Spanish Panama are generally small: no more than 4 students, who are all at the same level of Spanish.  We find that smaller class sizes allow for more personalized attention for each student and more teacher-student time.

We have found that if you spend 30 hours in a group of 2 or 3 other students, you will likely learn much more Spanish, when compared to 40 or even 50 hours in a much larger group size of students at different levels. We know that your time and money is precious, so this is yet another way in which you get more “bang for your buck” at Spanish Panama.

“Cheaper may be more expensive” if the class size is too big.

Telephone: (+507) 213-3121  Email: info@spanishpanama.com

 

Spanish Panama: maximum class size is 4. Options of classrooms: open or more secluded but always pristine

A concern from a Spanish student from Germany:  I have heard from some people that have done such Spanish language courses that they had people in their classes that weren’t really motivated and slowed down the whole class because they were more concerned with partying than the actual learning of the language. Your website and what I can read there doesn’t look like you have these types of students there, but I would be a little bit more calm if you could confirm me that your students care mostly about the learning of the language. Furthermore, what is the average age of students at your school?

That’s a fair question that you have with regards to students “more concerned with partying than the actual learning of the language”. If you check the websites of many other Spanish lanuage schools in the Spanish speaking world you will often see a lot of photos of young people “playing” and in activities that are unrelated to language learning. Aside from partying many also often seem centered around having some fun on tours. This is often reflected by the fact that they are located close only to touristic sites and the “fun” atmosphere usually means that the Spanish instruction does not have to be so serious.

Our banking, corporate, embassy, and international expats mean we have always had to  to be 100% professional and fully focused on client needs.

As we have been a language school for 20 years, our teachers, school facilities, atmosphere, and Spanish courses have been reflective of our clientele who are much more demanding than the average student that you see in a party like atmosphere in many other Spanish school websites.

This is also an enjoyable neighborhood and there are lots of places to have fun and meet people socially, especially in our beautiful balcony social area over-looking the street life of Via Argentina. But our teachers and staff take your language learning and the money you have spent seriously. As our students are often more mature and professional they have always demanded and appreciated our quality instruction.

What kind of experience do the teachers have at Spanish Panama?

Imagine a Spanish school where some teachers have even written famous works of Spanish literature. Professors Salvador and Danae are 2 published Panamanian authors. Danae is featured on WIKIPEDIA.

Spanish Panama teachers are certified and much more…

Most teachers at Spanish Panama have at least 10 years’ experience teaching Spanish.  However, we know that not only is teaching certification, training and experience important in a teacher, but so are the teacher’s professional life experiences as well as the ability to project empathy towards the student.  We feel that all these qualities combined are essential to enrich your learning of the Spanish language and culture. Therefore, just as we have clients from diverse walks of life, we also have Spanish teachers from diverse walks of life.  Our teachers have a passion for the Spanish language, culture and teaching, and they connect to the students’ needs, often going ‘above and beyond’ to accommodate a student.

Examples of our current and past teachers’ qualifications and experience include:

  • one teacher developed the Spanish program used by the Panama Peace Corps, as she has a Masters in teaching Spanish and 25 years’ experience in teaching Spanish in Panama and also abroad.
  • one of our teachers was selected out of a pool of 40 certified Spanish teachers in Panama City and awarded the contract to teach at the American Peace Corps.
  • one teacher speaks 5 languages and has taught in Spanish schools in the United States as well as Spanish academies in Europe.
  • one of our teachers has a certification from the University of Panama and has been teaching classes at Spanish Panama for 11 years.  She also has her own cosmetic business and co-manages an architecture firm. She has danced in the Panamanian traditional dress (Pollera) since she was 2 years old and has given workshops on this and anything else concerning Panama cultural traditions for SpanishPanama.
  • several of our Spanish teachers have gone on to develop the Spanish programs that have been used or are currently in use at other Spanish schools in Panama and the academic program for a Chinese school.
  • Several of our teachers specialize in DELE and you may contact us for more information on this and the DELE exam dates and times.

Many of our students are pleasantly surprised and grateful for some of the extra (and unadvertised) qualifications and experiences that our Spanish teachers have to bring to the table of Spanish Panama Language School’s Spanish learning coursesFor example, Our teachers have also been selected for their other worldly and important backgrounds in other areas such as being published authors, worked in real estate, owning private businesses, worked or volonteered in medical or therapeutic fields, were actual lawyers, NGO work, community service work, being multilingual, historians, theologians, having been academic directors in other schools, as well as important academic accomplishments in other areas.

 

Teachers Danae and Nicasio (in photo above) are fine examples of some of the best Spanish teachers in Central America, and both are a part of the Spanish Panama family. They are both lovers of Spanish literature and culture, and both are loyal to Panama and Spanish Panama. These are all important qualifications for you to learn Spanish at a language school in Panama.

 

Quote: “We are also proud of “our” school of Spanish as a second language, Spanish Panama. We will continue serving and contributing to its consolidation and improvement”— yours faithfully, Teacher Danae and Teacher Nicastio.

Could you help me with passing DELE and doing the DELE exams?

  • Several of our teachers specialize in DELE and you may contact us for more information on this and the DELE exam dates and times. The DELE Center is only 2 blocks from Spanish Panama school.

Do you use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR/CEF)? And are you limited to that?

At Spanish Panama, as well as other methodologies, we also use the guidelines of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR/CEF)., Cervantes Institute. We have developed a system that takes into account different learning styles as well as respecting the individual capacities and teaching styles of each teacher. We are not limited to one methodology as we have found and adapted well through our 20 year history, to the fact that some students have completely different learning styles and needs so they request programs that are flexible.

Spanish Panama does but is not limited to: Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR/CEF)

 

So when comparing SpanishPanama with other Spanish schools in Central and South America keep Spanish Panama’s incredible teacher backgrounds in mind.  With the longest history of quality Spanish instruction we’ve also been the pioneers of this new industry in Panama.

What kind of students do you teach at Spanish Panama?

Students are diverse, mature, friendly, old and young, multi-cultural

We have a 20 year history of teaching students such as doctors, nurses, teachers, PhD’s, academics, writers, journalists, volunteers in Panama, children, adolescents, retirees in Panama, backpackers, and people with learning difficulties. Our students have come from over 150 different countries all over the world!

Spanish teachers from Canada and the United States have come to Spanish Panama Language School over the years to improve their Spanish language skills!

How do you find your students?

Because the quality of classes at Spanish Panama is so high, most of our students come to us through strong personal recommendations from past students; that is “word of mouth”, rather than aggressive marketing campaigns.  This means that you can be sure our classes are as good as we say they are, because the results and referrals speak for themselves!

What is atmosphere like at Spanish Panama?

We are committed to helping you learn Spanish at Spanish Panama, but we also want to make sure you feel comfortable here. There is a fantastic, leafy terrace at the back of the school, perfect for socializing, watching the comings and goings below on Via Argentina, or just to quietly enjoy our complimentary coffee, tea or water. People love the large social space and the balcony with the view and the compementary coffee and tea. It’s the perfect place to chat and meet other students on a private or more open social level.

How long has Spanish Panama been operating?

Spanish Panama Language School has been in Panama for 20 years . One of our key, long-standing goals is to continue to make Panama a global center for learning Spanish.

What is the customer service like at Spanish Panama?

At Spanish Panama we pride ourselves on the excellent customer service we offer.  We give personalized attention to our students, making sure their needs are met and we are always available by phone or email, unlike some other schools.  For example, we have had students report that at other Spanish schools they visited some days there seemed to be no one available to consult about Spanish classes and they had to speak with the maid or a surfer. (Not that we mean to put down “surfers in Panama”: some surfers may actually make good tutors, who are we to judge?!  But we always make sure that you’ll speak with a knowledgeable SpanishPanama staff member about your learning needs).

Telephone: (+507) 213-3121  Email: info@spanishpanama.com

How do the students feel about studying at Spanish Panama?

Spanish students feel real good at SpanishPanama

Spanish Panama has an excellent ranking on TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, as well as all other Spanish school review systems, and also has two full guest books of positive hand written comments from ex-students (from before online Spanish school reviews were really popular in Panama). We have several thousand hand-written reviews and comments and hand-written feedback forms which actually demonstrates that we are the most transparent and positively reviewed Spanish school.

We’re happy to report that many of our former students are now productive residents and success stories in Panama as well as abroad.

Where exactly is Spanish Panama Language School located?

Spanish Panama Spanish school Via Argentina : Known for its large social balcony ambience

 

Spanish Classes, Via Argentina, El Cangrejo, Panama SpanishPanama.com

Spanish Panama is located in the upscale, fashionable urban environment of Panama City: El Cangrejo. Many love this area, as it also has a European Bohemian feel. It is a very safe neighborhood and there are many cafes, restaurants and hotels nearby. We can assist you in finding accommodation and places to eat.

 

 

The Canadian and Panamanian school directors have lived here on Via Argentina, El Cangrejo for 20 years and would never live anywhere else in the Republic of Panama. This is the best place for people from all over the world to live in Panama….

and to have the most successful Spanish school in Panama.

Spanish Panama is the first building, Building Americana, #1A, on Eric del Valle right at the corner of Via Argentina and Eric del Valle. The neighborhood is called El Cangrejo. Spanish Panama is down from the Albert Einstein head statue known locally as “Cabeza Einstein”.

We are just across the road from Grand International Hotel, and right between Hotel Saba and Hotel Ramada.

And Spanish Panama is only 2 blocks from the Via Argentina metro train subway station. By metro train, get out of the Via Argentina metro station, go over to the beginning of Via Argentina street, and walk up 2 blocks and Spanish Panama will be on your left side, less than a minute walk past Parque Andrés Bello.

Telephone: (507) 213-3121   email: info@spanishpanama.com

FAQs of Spanish Panama Language School, located on Via Argentina in Panama City, Republic of Panama.

Telephone: (507) 213-3121

Email: info@spanishpanama.com