Ideally I wanted us to stay with a host family so we were really immersed in the language and culture. That didn't really work because the hubby needed a space to work and he did feel that he would be totally comfortable working in someone's house. I could understand that. So we went with an apartment. Our apartment is super nice and comfy (minus the whole break-in thing). It's in the center of old Panama, cafés and restaurants. We can walk to a grocery store and catch a cab for about 5 dollars to anywhere downtown.
We started class the day after we arrived. 8-12pm. They weren't joking when they said intensive. My coffee hadn't really set in before I was listening to my instructor speak only in Spanish. "Come se dice" and "Que.?" where probably my most spoken phrases by me that first week.
Pretty much instantly I was reminded of high school. I hated school. I hated waking up in the morning, I hated sitting in class. I hated it all. And now, now I'm paying to go to school? I kept reminding myself that this will be an awesome experience!
And it was. Even though I may of wined every morning, it was awesome. The teachers we so kind and patient. The subjects were interesting and we even had a teacher with a good sense of humor. After he got comfortable with us he began teaching us bad words. A true sign of a good teacher.
I can say the hubby and I do pretty well rapping in Spanish to the locals. It's hard starting a conversation off the cuff, but that is what google translate is for :). If anyone is thinking about studying Spanish abroad I recommend doing so. Not sure I would recommend Panama though. But that is another post entirely!