Travel Opportunities With Maximo Nivel
Maximo Nivel offers a variety of programs at its institutes in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Programs are created with the intention of providing participants a cultural immersion experience that includes unique opportunities to volunteer or intern abroad, study Spanish, teach English, and more. Participants experience more than just a vacation – they experience life-changing educational travel. These programs run from as short as one week and for as long as one year, and they can be focused in one specific area, or can be customized to include a combination of activities.
Maximo Nivel’s programs include:
- Volunteer Abroad
- International Internships
- TEFL Certification
- Spanish Immersion
- Gap Years
- University Courses
- Spanish Camp (teens)
Join Maximo Nivel’s Volunteer Abroad program and choose from a number of social issues and projects where you can work to help make a difference in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Choose to work with programs ranging from childcare, teaching English, sea turtle conservation, jungle reforestation, organic farming, beach conservation, construction, animal care, medical and healthcare, and working with indigenous communities.
Volunteering with Maximo Nivel allows you to live and work in Latin America, immersing yourself in a new culture while helping to support local development efforts. Fees for these programs are affordable and transparent, and allow the organization to ensure your safety, pay for your housing and food, and employ the in-country team that supports all volunteers.
In addition to personal enrichment, if you’re a US citizen, you can receive the United States’ President’s Volunteer Service Award when you complete 100 hours of service. This honor includes your award pin, certificate, and letter from the president.
Volunteer Adventure in Latin America
Maximo Nivel makes it simple to combine a volunteer expedition with fun and exploration. The Volunteer Adventure program is a two-week cultural experience that places you on an international community service program for five days, with the next six days focusing on exploration. You can choose Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru, and the program includes housing and food with a family-stay while volunteering, and at a hostel or hotel while traveling. Private rooms and apartments are also available for an extra fee.
Some of the adventures that you’ll embark on include:
- Costa Rica: Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall and coffee tour, Tortuga Island tour, and three days at Manuel Antonio National Park
- Guatemala: Volcano Pacaya hike, surf lessons on the beaches of El Salvador, and zip-line tour
- Peru: Cusco city tour, Sacred Valley tour, Machu Picchu overnight tour, two-day tour of Lake Titicaca and Puno
Consider one of Maximo Nivel’s international internship programs if you want college credit for a volunteer experience, or if you’re seeking a professional development opportunity abroad. There are a variety of opportunities available, from teaching in a public school, to working with a micro-business, or contributing to an NGO or government agency as a part of the human rights internship. Or choose a medical program if you’re interested in the field. And Maximo Nivel’s hospitality and tourism program lets you gain valuable experience in client service, sales, and marketing. There are even special education internships for those hoping to work in the field of special needs.
Available in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru, your internship program is personalized from the beginning. When you live and work internationally, you’re showing employers that you are a flexible person, able to adapt, and an effective communicator with people from other backgrounds. As an intern, you’ll get practical, professional experience, and develop your Spanish language skills and cross-cultural expertise.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language provides English speakers an exciting opportunity to travel, live, and work abroad. And volunteers can expand a Spanish speaker’s opportunities by playing a part in their English education. But tackling a placement overseas teaching English is daunting if you’re a recent graduate, or even an experienced teacher.
Maximo Nivel offers you the chance to build your career skills and expand your knowledge and techniques with a TEFL certification course – this option prepares you for the formal, rigorous review process of TEFL Accreditation. It meets all global standards for the exam, and Maximo Nivel even guarantees lifetime job-finding support.
The organization also offers some of its TEFL graduates paid work as teachers in its Native English Program in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. When you graduate from Maximo Nivel’s TEFL program, you’ll receive resume assistance, lists of language schools in your preferred destination country, access to job boards with ESL positions, introduction to Maximo Nivel’s ESL teacher recruitment partners, a letter of reference, and much more.
Scholarships Available for TEFL Certification
If you’re a previous participant with volunteer program through Maximo Nivel, and interested in the TEFL Certification program, you’re invited to apply for the Nicholas Epstein memorial TEFL scholarship, provided by the Loudin-Epstein family in memory of their son. Nick taught English as a second language at Maximo Nivel before becoming its graphic designer in 2013, then its creative director in 2014. He worked with Maximo Nivel until 2017. The scholarship is a full ride for the Maximo Nivel TEFL Certification program and covers tuition, books, housing, and meals in Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru.
Intercultural Exchange through Tandem Conversations
Creating opportunities for people to interact with and learn from each other is part of Maximo Nivel’s mission, and its multi-program, multi-language institutes serve as gathering places for people from around the globe. The institute “melting pot” invites international travelers and local English language learners to connect in a positive way, sharing tandem conversationsand exchanging stories and cultural traditions in a free atmosphere.
This is a flexible program that allows people to participate as time allows – from one hour to 10 hours per week, sharing conversations, helping others improve their vocabulary, and learning about each other over coffee, during a walk to the market, while hiking or playing soccer, having lunch, or touring local sites. It’s a great way to move your language comprehension to the next level.
If you’d like to become a Spanish speaker, Maximo Nivel customizes its courses to your specific Spanish learning requirements, including Spanish for Specific Purposes (SSP) courses, such as Medical Spanish and Spanish for Business. The organization offers small group classes to learners of all levels, or can tailor your instruction with a private tutor and one-on-one lessons. Group classes are organized based on your results on Maximo Nivel’s free Spanish Placement Exam. If you’re ready to become fluent, you may want to check out Super Intensive Spanish courses, which place you in a small group class for four hours, followed by two hours of private lessons.
Gap Year Programs
Transform your life with a gap year, becoming more focused and aware of what you want to do when you attend university, or if you’re a graduate and seeking inspired change. Spend time on a Maximo Nivel gap year program designed to help you discover new skills and interests through work, study, and travel. Connect with others and get involved in community service. Spanish classes include all levels from Basic to Fluency, and the variety of volunteer options is varied.
Your 24-week itinerary is pre-planned, while being flexible, with weekends free and two-week vacations for treks, tours, and time to relax. This gap year program includes:
- 12 weeks of Spanish language classes
- 20 weeks of volunteering, divided between three or four programs
- One-week surf school
- One-week scuba certification
- Two-week break with housing
If you’d like, you can split your gap year program between countries with Maximo Nivel’s Country Jumper program. This takes you from Costa Rica to Guatemala to Peru, spending eight weeks in each of the countries. This program includes:
Costa Rica: eight weeks of Spanish language classes; four weeks of volunteering with kids, and one week of surf school
Guatemala: eight weeks of Spanish language classes; four weeks of volunteering with kids, and four weeks of volunteering with eco-agriculture
Peru: four weeks of Spanish language lessons; four weeks of construction volunteering, and four weeks of volunteering for jungle conservation
University Credit Abroad
University credit is available for gap year programs, including Spanish language studies and service learning. Maximo Nivel offers opportunities for you to receive university credit toward your major, minor, or elective requirements through Spanish Immersion, volunteering and service learning, or through an international internship. The organization partners with California State University-San Marcos (CSUSM), as the official School of Record, or you can work with your own university to arrange credit.
High School Abroad
Maximo Nivel’s High School Abroad program is a Spanish Immersion program in Costa Rica. Spend a semester or an entire year at a fully-accredited high school in Latin America, and you’ll become a bilingual speaker. This program is taught in English and is open to high school students from 9th to 12th grade – you’ll take AP classes, general education, sports, and more, while earning credit toward the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.
Tuition includes all textbooks, workbooks and computer lab fees, and extra tutoring is available. Fees vary based on the school you choose. Students live with host families, and have a private room.
If you’re more interested in adventure, consider a Mini Adventure (or two) through Latin America. This trip could be your entire journey abroad, or you can tack it before or after a volunteer program. You’ll zipline through the jungle, hike a volcano, explore Machu Picchu, or learn to surf when you sign up for Maximo Nivel’s Mini Adventure program. All trips include housing and food. Here are some examples:
6-Day Beach & Jungle Adventure in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica: Includes a visit to Manuel Antonio National Park, rainmaker jungle tour, canopy zipline, whitewater rafting, and Nauyaca Waterfall hike
6-Day Mini Adventure in Guatemala: Includes volcano Pacaya hike, three days on the beach with surf lessons, two days in Tikal (airfare to Tikal included), and zip-line tour
6-Day Mini Adventure in Peru: Includes a Cusco city tour, Sacred Valley tour, Moray Ruins, two-day tour of Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca and Puno tour