Interview with Spanish teacher Yilliam Valverde

My name is Yilliam Valverde, I am a Spanish teacher for Costa Rican university students and a teacher of Spanish as a foreign language. I work in the academic coordination of Spanish in UISIL, coordinated the Spanish program of Kulturstudier Costa Rica since it began in year 2019. In addition, I am in charge of promoting cultural and social activities, with the purpose of students better understanding Spanish language while getting in touch with our culture. In this way, our goal is that the experience of living and studying in Costa Rica becomes extraordinary and unforgettable.

If I were a student and this was my first day at UISIL university, what could I expect?

UISIL offers excellent facilities surrounded by nature, where it is possible to hear birds singing and, sometimes, see other species.

The warmth of Costa Ricans is reflected in the teaching and administrative staff of UISIL.

On the first day at UISIL, students get to know the facilities and are welcomed with a welcome activity that includes typical (traditional) dances, and popular dances such as cumbia and Creole swing, among others. The next day they will experience a welcome party with Latin music. So the first moments in our program are full of joy and cultural entertainment. 


In your experience, how much do students' Spanish skills develop throughout the semester?

Students from the Kulturstudier program who come to UISIL will be able to speak, write and read in Spanish after a semester here, and those who already have knowledge ofthe language get the possibility of improving it. A positive attitude and the desire to learn is important.


What could future students do to ensure they make the most of the possibilities offered by Kulturstudier?

As I mentioned, the positive attitude of each student is essential to achieve the objective of learning Spanish and the ecology of Costa Rica. The program offers many benefits for them such as excellent facilities, experienced teachers, human quality, cultural activities and the possibility of enjoying the natural beauties that Costa Rica offers. The desire to learn and discipline are essential to take advantage of the opportunities that Kulturstudier provides in its immersion program in Costa Rica. All Spanish courses are integrated with a Sustainability and Nature conservation course, with many excursions to coffee and cocoa plantations, and indigenous territories, amongst others. So, it is advantageous if you like to visit rural settings and pristine nature. 

What is your favorite part of teaching/being associated with this course?

My favourite part of teaching is meeting so many students who are wonderful people. I also love being able to share the language I speak with them, but what fills me most with satisfaction is being able to hear the students speak Spanish at the end of the program. 

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