9 Best Spanish Schools in Medellín, Colombia

Comuna 13

As anyone who has backpacked through South America will tell you, knowing some Spanish is really useful! Of the 14 countries in South America, nine of them speak Spanish as their first language so having even a basic grasp of the lingo will make your trip easier and help you better connect with the country’s culture and people.

Colombia is widely regarded as one of the best countries in which to learn Spanish. This is because the locals speak clearly, with a neutral accent and at a relatively slow pace. After travelling through Colombia for more than two months learning Spanish, I’ve no doubt that taking a class at a Spanish school is the best way to get ahead in the language-learning game. 

With so many schools to choose from, researching your options can be a bit of a headache. Luckily for you, we’ve done the hard work and listed the best Spanish schools in Medellín below!


A Guide to the Best Spanish Schools in Medellín

Medellín Spanish Schools Map & Resources


Why Study Spanish in Medellín, Colombia?

Once known as the most dangerous city in the world, Colombia’s second-largest city has undergone an impressive transformation to become the tourist hotspot it is today. 

Aside from its status as one of the must-visit destinations in Colombia, there are many reasons why Medellín is the perfect place to kickstart your Spanish-learning journey. Here are a few of them:

  • The local dialect is easy to understand – Colombians generally speak slower and more clearly than many other Spanish speakers, which is great for learners of the language. Within Colombia itself, locals in the Andean region (including Medellín), are easier to understand than their Caribbean-coast countrymen, who tend to speak more quickly.
  • It has great weather – Medellín is known as ‘The City of Eternal Spring,’ thanks to its year-round warm climate. Rarely too hot or too cold, the weather offers the perfect balance of sunny days and sweater-worthy evenings.
  • The cost of living is low – Colombia is one of the continent’s more budget-friendly destinations and Medellín has a relatively low cost of living when compared with other countries in South America, and even some other areas in Colombia!
  • There’s lots to see and do – Outside of classes you’re sure to want to explore the city and there is plenty to keep you occupied in Medellín. From graffiti tours to museums, to football matches, and even hiking and paragliding, you’ll never be lost for a way to spend your time off.
  • It’s ideally located for exploring – Medellín’s location makes it easy to explore more of wider Colombia. The colonial towns of Guatapé and Santa Fe de Antioquia are both within day-tripping distance. A little further afield lies the coffee region, where the small towns of Jardín or Salento make a great weekend escape to the country.
  • There’s a good nightlife – Medellín’s popularity among travellers means there are plenty of parties and language exchanges, which are great places to socialise and put your new language skills into practice!
  • The locals are friendly – Medellín’s locals are friendly and welcoming. Many identify as Paisas, a cultural group prominent in the Antioquia region of Colombia. Medellín’s residents are fiercely proud of their city and want to show visitors all the great things it has to offer.
  • It’s easy to navigate – One of the most challenging things about arriving in a new city is working out how to get around. Medellín’s modern metro and cable car system make getting from A to B a breeze, and extremely affordable too!
Medellin from the sky
Medellín is a great place to learn Spanish.

Best Spanish Schools in Medellín – Quick Answers!

  • Best All-Inclusive Spanish School in Medellín – Blink
  • Best Budget Spanish School in Medellín for Group Classes – Toucan and Colombia Spanish
  • Best Budget Spanish School in Medellín for Private Lessons – Colombia Spanish
  • Best Spanish School in Medellín for Socialising – Elefun
  • Best Spanish School in Medellín for a Study Abroad Programme – OLSA International
  • Best Spanish School in Medellín for Subject-Specific Learning – Nueva Lengua
  • Best Spanish School in Medellín for Extra-Curricular Activities – Total Spanish

Top Spanish Language Schools in Medellín, Colombia

1. Toucan Spanish

  • Location: El Poblado
  • Type of lessons available: Group, private or duo lessons (private classes for couples or friends)
  • Group size: 3-6 students
  • Hours per week: 20 hours for groups; 10 hours for individual lessons (recommended but flexible)
  • Course length: 1 week+
  • Price: Around 600,000COP (approx. $154USD) per week for group classes; 80,000COP (approx. $20USD) per hour for private lessons
  • Cultural activities included: Weekly activities may include salsa classes, fruit tastings and language exchanges (some activities may have an entry charge)
  • Highlights: Great value for group classes; free Conversation Club to practice speaking 

Toucan Spanish School is perfect for you if:

  • You’re looking for good value group lessons. Toucan Spanish offers some of the most affordable group Spanish classes in Medellín.
  • You want to learn from a local. The teachers at Toucan are native Colombians, meaning that they are best placed to help you learn the local lingo and teach you about Colombian culture.
  • You love a good chat! Toucan’s free Conversation Club is a weekly event where students can practice speaking Spanish. There are different time slots suitable for basic, intermediate and advanced-level speakers.
  • You would like to explore beyond Medellín. Toucan can help arrange tours to nearby must-see places such as Guatapé, local coffee farms and Santa Fe de Antioquia.

Other locations: Toucan Spanish School also has a campus in Cali, Colombia’s salsa capital.

Guatape, Colombia street
The colonial town of Guatapé is just two hours from Medellín.

2. Colombia Spanish

  • Location: El Poblado
  • Type of lessons available: Group, private and duo classes
  • Group size: 3-7 students
  • Hours per week: 20 hours (group classes); 10 hours (private and duo)
  • Course length: 1 week+
  • Price: Around 600,000COP (approx. $154USD) per week for group or private lessons; 900,000COP (approx. $230USD) per week for duo classes
  • Cultural activities included: Free weekly language exchange and salsa classes
  • Highlights: Great value for both group classes and private lessons; experienced instructors; one-day survival Spanish course

Colombia Spanish School is perfect for you if:

  • You’re on a budget. Colombia Spanish’s classes offer the best value for money for all the options they offer (groups, privates and duo lessons).
  • You want a one-day crash course in Spanish. If you’re short on time, the one-day Spanish Language and Culture class at Colombia Spanish is the ideal way to pick up some ‘survival Spanish’ to help you get around the country and enjoy the local culture.
  • You like to learn with experienced teachers. All instructors at Colombia Spanish have a degree and a minimum of four years teaching experience. 

A Note About the Curriculum

While each of the schools listed here uses its own curriculum, all (with the exception of Nueva Lengua) are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This framework is considered the best standard in modern language tuition and divides the learning process into six levels, from A1 (beginners) to C2 (advanced).

3. Elefun

  • Location: Laureles and El Poblado
  • Type of lessons available: Group classes or private lessons
  • Group size: 3-6 students
  • Hours per week: 10-20 hours
  • Course length: 1 week+
  • Price: Around $11-12USD per hour for group classes; $19.50USD per hour for private lessons
  • Cultural activities included: Daily free activities after class
  • Highlights: Flexible, students can opt for the number of hours per week that suits them; range of different class types (from intensive to conversational); free daily cultural activities

Elefun Spanish School is perfect for you if:

  • You need flexibility. Elefun prides itself on being affordable and flexible. Students can choose to take 10, 15 or 20 hours of classes per week. 
  • You would prefer to study in Laureles. Elefun has a campus in the trendy El Poblado area, but its original campus is based in Laureles – a friendly neighborhood popular with expats offering a more local experience.
  • You want a less formal learning experience. Elefun’s Conversation Classes are designed for students who don’t want to attend formal classes but would like to improve their Spanish through structured conversations with native speakers. 
  • You love to socialise. Elefun runs free activities after class every day, including salsa lessons, local food tastings, language exchange and yoga.
Traditional Colombian food
Make sure to try some traditional Colombian food while in Medellín.

4. Blink

  • Location: El Poblado
  • Type of lessons available: Group classes plus 1 private lesson per week
  • Group size: 3-6 students
  • Hours per week: 20 hours (+ 1 hour private lesson OR 3 hours of Master Class)
  • Course length: 1 week+
  • Price: Around 969,000COP (approx. $250USD) per week for all-inclusive packages or 694,000COP (approx. $178USD) for study-only packages
  • Cultural activities included: 2-3 per week; example activities include Tejo, salsa dancing, hikes and football matches (some activities may have an entry charge)
  • Highlights: Ethical business model; 20 different levels of Spanish taught; Master Classes to help with problem areas

Blink Spanish School is perfect for you if:

  • You want an all-inclusive package. Blink offers great value packages that include tuition, accommodation and food for students booking stay-and-learn packages.
  • You struggle with a particular aspect of Spanish. Master Classes at Blink are focused lessons designed to address a specific topic, enabling students to tackle individual problem areas and accelerate their learning.
  • You like the idea of a social business model. Blink’s unique mission means that the staff share in the business’ profits and also receive two free meals per day.

I really enjoyed my time at Blink and learned a lot. I also liked that the teachers are well looked after and given free meals and a share of the profits. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it!

Emma – South America Backpacker Community Member
Group playing Tejo
Spanish students enjoying a game of Tejo, Colombia’s national sport.

Study Longer, Pay Less

Many of the courses listed here become cheaper the longer you study. (Prices noted here are for the minimum course length.) Discounts and pricing varies from school to school, so be sure to check what offers are available at your chosen Spanish school.

5. Nueva Lengua

  • Location: El Poblado
  • Type of lessons available: Group, private or combo classes
  • Group size: 2-8 students
  • Hours per week: 15 hours for general Spanish course; 20 for intensive Spanish
  • Course length: 1 week+ or 4 weeks+ for courses with volunteering
  • Price: Per week: around $240USD for general Spanish; $250USD for intensive Spanish; $530 for private lessons (20 hours); (speciality courses vary)
  • Cultural activities included: Free weekly dance and cooking classes plus other organised daily cultural activities (some may have an entry charge)
  • Highlights: Variety of different classes that include other areas of interest; opportunity to focus on a specific topic

Nueva Lengua Spanish School is perfect for you if:

  • You want to combine learning Spanish with another area of interest. At Nueva Lengua, students can take Spanish lessons whilst enjoying another passion. Some classes combine learning Spanish with dancing, music or volunteering.
  • You are learning Spanish for a specific purpose. Students can opt to focus on a particular subject and choose between Spanish for business, medicine, or another specific area of their choosing.
  • You’re a diver (or want to learn)! At Nueva Lengua, there is the option to add on a mini diving course or PADI-certified diving course in Cartagena.

Other locations: Nueva Lengua also has schools in Bogotá, Cartagena and Ibague.

6. OLSA International

  • Location: Laureles and El Poblado
  • Type of lessons available: Group classes
  • Group size: 3-4 students
  • Hours per week: 12 hours
  • Course length: 9 weeks 
  • Price: Around $5,215USD for the study abroad programme; $997USD for tuition-only course
  • Cultural activities included: Regular free social events are scheduled throughout each month
  • Highlights: Highest-rated school in Medellín; study abroad programme; free twice-weekly language exchange

OLSA International Spanish School is perfect for you if:

  • You’re looking for a study abroad programme. There are six available courses (levels) at OLSA International, each lasting nine weeks. Students taking courses for a total of 6 months (or more) qualify for a student visa.
  • You want everything taken care of. OLSA International’s study abroad programme includes everything from classes, accommodation, and meals to visa processing, airport pick-up and monthly excursions.
Spanish School Medellin
Don’t forget to do your homework!

Know Your Place!

All Spanish schools listed in this article use placement tests to assess students before the course begins. Don’t be put off by the word test! These are simply a few questions designed for tutors to understand your level of Spanish (even if that is zero). Don’t be tempted to cheat – it is in your interest to be placed in a class of the right level! 

7. Valley Spanish School

  • Location: El Poblado
  • Type of lessons available: Group, private or duo classes
  • Group size: 2-7 students
  • Hours per week: 20 hours (group and duo classes); 10 hours (private)
  • Course length: 1 week+
  • Price: Per hour: around $9.50USD for group classes; $19.50USD for private lessons; $12.50USD for duo classes
  • Cultural activities included: Two free hours of dance classes per week
  • Highlights: Volunteering opportunities; exceptional reviews

Valley Spanish School is perfect for you if:

  • You are interested in volunteering alongside learning Spanish. Valley Spanish School partners with Volunteers in Colombia Foundation, an organisation that supports women in Medellín’s poorest neighbourhoods. Students can volunteer to teach English, maths, or even boxing!
  • You value the reviews of previous students. While all the Spanish schools on this list are highly rated and have excellent reviews, the reviews for Valley Spanish school are outstanding, with students raving about their experience. 
Comuna 13 street art
Students in Medellín can explore the famous street art in Comuna 13.

Good to Know!

Colombia ranks among the countries with the highest number of national holidays globally, boasting 18 annually (and 20 for residents of Barranquilla)! On national holidays, Spanish schools and other businesses close so make sure you check your calendar in advance when reserving your spot to see if your plans will be affected!

8. Total Spanish

  • Location: El Poblado
  • Type of lessons available: Group, private, combo or duo 
  • Group size: 3-7 students
  • Hours per week: 20 hours (group classes); 10 hours (private and duo)
  • Course length: 1 week+
  • Price: Per week: around 700,000COP (approx. $180USD) for group classes; 750,000COP (approx. $193USD) for private lessons; 930,000COP (approx. $239UD) for combo classes; 950,000COP (approx. $244USD for duo classes)
  • Cultural activities included: Activities such as tejo, market tours, Comuna 13 and city centre walking tour available at additional cost
  • Highlights: Combo option for group lessons plus individual sessions

Total Spanish School is perfect for you if:

  • You like to mix group learning with private sessions. The combo option at Total Spanish allows students to complement group classes with four hours of weekly private sessions, so you can enjoy both a group dynamic and individual attention to accelerate learning.
  • You want to explore some of Medellin’s ‘must-do’ attractions. Comuna 13 tours are run by local teachers and are much cheaper than the standard tours. Plus, they are all delivered in Spanish (catered to beginners) so it is another opportunity to put everything you’re learning into practice! 
  • You’re a foodie. During class break on Fridays, students can take part in food and drink tastings, allowing them to try some Pasia specialities!

“I spent two weeks at Total Spanish. Everything from the placement test, sent ahead of time, to enrolling on the course, was quick and easy. During my time there, I was able to really develop my language skills, making the following two months I spent in Colombia much easier! I also loved the group tours, delivered in Spanish. Being able to understand some of the complex topics made me really feel like I’d made progress!”

Sheree – Editor at South America Backpacker 
Total Spanish school in Medellin
Total Spanish offers a mix of group classes and private lessons.

9. EAFIT

  • Location: El Poblado
  • Type of lessons available: Group classes or private lessons
  • Group size: 3-8 students
  • Hours per week: 15 hours
  • Course length: 2.5 weeks
  • Price: Around 1,833,000COP (approx $471USD) for group classes; 5,540,000COP (approx. $1,424USD) for private lessons
  • Cultural activities included: The opportunity to participate in cultural and academic activities at the university, including exhibitions, films, talks and conferences
  • Highlights: Well-established course; university setting

EAFIT Spanish School is perfect for you if:

  • You’d like to experience a more academic learning experience. EAFIT’s Spanish programme allows students to attend some classes in the University’s undergraduate course so they can access language learning at an academic level.
  • You’re looking for a well-established Spanish programme. EAFIT’s Spanish course is one of the oldest in the country, established in 1997.

If you’re looking to learn some local lingo on your South American journey, a Spanish school is the way to go. Whether you already have a good understanding of the language or are a complete beginner who doesn’t know your tengo from your tango, everyone can benefit from taking a Spanish course, and there’s nowhere better to learn than in the City of Eternal Spring!

So, dust off that dictionary, pick up your pencil and let’s get learning. ¡Vamos!

Have you been to any of the Medellín Spanish schools listed here? Tell us about your experience in the comments.


Contributors

South America Backpacker is a ‘travel diary for everyone’. This article has been written with the help of backpackers and local experts. We would like to thank…

🙏 Sheree Hooker | Editor at South America Backpacker
🙏 Emma R South America Backpacker Community Member

Lisa-Barham-author-pic
Lisa Barham

Lisa is a writer and traveller who left her nine-to-five in London for life on the road. Today, she spends her time solo backpacking, navigating through life and unfamiliar streets. After eating, hiking and surfing her way through Southeast Asia, she headed for a new adventure in South America, to travel through the continent learning Spanish, and a few other valuable lessons along the way!

Follow her on: Instagram

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