Ratings and Comments for Spanish Institute of Merida
Student ratings for Spanish Institute of Merida
Evaluation from chriscumo:
Great quality, great value. I would come back in a heartbeat! Five stars school!
Evaluation from larry:
I was amazed on how much Spanish I was able to learn in only 4 weeks. Now I can have a regular conversation with Native Speakers.
Evaluation from ndherman:
I paid the down payment in advance for this school, which advertises itself as a medium sized school. When I actually arrived, there were only seven students (the 50 that had been there when I registered had gone home). I was disappointed since I had thought I had registered for a larger school. When I mentioned this, and asked if I could have my deposit back, since it wasn't what it had advertised itself to be, I was told no. Then I broke my wrist and had to come home before my classes were to begin. When I notified the school from home that I had had a medical emergency and had to return to the states and asked for my deposit to be returned, they refused to do this. For obvious reasons, I would not recommend this school to anyone.
Evaluation from danbenson:
I have previously attended several schools in Mexico, Guatemala and Ecuador. This last January I studied at the Spanish Institute of Merida and I can honestly say that it tops them all. It is a mid-size school with great location and nice facilities.
Evaluation from HeatherG:
I am generally a very critical person, so it surprises me that I can't think of any improvements the institute should consider. It's obvious that a lot of thought has gone into how the school is organized and managed. I arrived at the institute already knowing a lot of Spanish but I lacked of confidence in my ability to converse, as well as read high-level written material. I left with the knowledge that I can definitely do both now! Thank you!
Evaluation from PeterG:
The school has a great location, minutes from downtown. I felt the teachers were genuinely interested in their student and the class sizes were small. The host families were very accommodating and friendly. I'd highly recommend this school!
Evaluation from GarryFlorida:
I attended the Spanish Institute of Merida in November of 2012. This was a very pleasant experience for me. Everything turned out to be just as advertised and the the Directors and Staff were not only very professional, but also very nice, enjoyable people. My teacher was well qualified and serious about the academics. Merida is a lovely and fun city with a vibrant nightlife, but not spoiled by excessive tourism yet. And the City is safe. The home-stay was everything it was supposed to be, a nice local family, and I had my own private room & key to the house, air conditioning and private bath with hot water. Ron
Evaluation from sullielef:
Four of us in our family went for a week (mother + three kids) and we really liked it. The school owners made us feel like family, the host family was extremely nice, the meals were delicious, and the teachers were awesome. Everybody was very patient with the children whose ages ranged from 6 - 10. We did a few of the extra activities and it really enhanced the whole experience. And most important of all for a language school: we all improved our spanish!
Evaluation from CarolineQU:
Evaluation from Goldberry:
Evaluation from corollarn:
The directors, the teachers, the atmosphere, the city.....Perfect in every way!! Our host mama was incredible!!!Nothing could ever be a better value or experience!!!The most comprehensive learning experience possible!!
Evaluation from phamaluk:
My 6 weeks at this school was one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. The quality of instruction is unsurpassed. All the staff were very compentent and exceptionally helpful. Not only did I gain knowledge about Spanish, I made new friends and I'm sorry my classes had to end. I would recommend this facilty to anyone retired and looking to enhance their vacation experience! (I don't mean to infer that it is only suitable for retirees, but it provides a great integrated environment!
Evaluation from stevencoz:
STAY AWAY FROM THIS SCHOOL. Despite its flashy website that suggests that the Spanish Institute of Merida is a viable and thriving institution, it isn't. I was a student for 2 weeks starting November 25, 2013. When I arrived in Merida on Sunday evening, November 24, the associate director met me at the bus station. Over dinner she told me that the school had lost its building a month earlier and that I was the only student. It proceeded to get worse. When I went to the "school" on Monday for my first day of class, I learned that my classes were to be held in the back room of a small, run down cooking school, while cooking classes were held in the front of the building. The blackboard was broken, there was no AC, the floor was dirty and the walls were scuffed. You have to understand that this is not a matter of me being dissatisfied with what was offered--NOTHING was offered. There were no numerous classrooms, there was no computer lab, there were no audio-visual aids, there was no internet access, there was no free telephone to the US, there was no overhead projector, there was no big screen TV with 60 channels and there were no snacks during the day. And I was the only student. The Spanish Institute of Merida consists of a table and two chairs, and those 3 pieces of furniture were owned by the cooking school. The Spanish Institute of Merida appears to be run out of the associate director's purse, and my teacher did not even have a key to the building--when we arrived for class in the morning, we had to wait for someone from the cooking school to unlock the door, and he was invariably late. When I paid the balance due, I was told by the associate director to pay by check, and to make the check payable to her, and not to the Spanish Institute. It was a terrible experience. I just visited the Institute's website--ignore what you read and see there and reread this review instead. What is most upsetting to me is this: the Spanish Institute lost its building at least a month before I arrived, yet during that month period, they didn't bother to tell me that what they advertised on the website was not true. I was lured me to Merida and once I was there, my travel arrangements made it pretty much impossible and otherwise very expensive to leave early, so I had no choice but to stick it out to the end. After I got back to Cancun, I wrote to both the director and associate director and asked why no one had warned me about what to expect. Neither the director or the associate director has bothered to respond to me. Yes, I did receive the 1:1 instruction that I paid for, I was provided with acceptable housing with a host family (which I also paid for) and I was provided with transportation between Cancun and Merida and back (which I also paid for) but the overall experience was terrible. My teacher was fine and my guide was fine, but neither can make up for or overcome this experience. In the past, the Spanish Institute of Merida might have been a quality institution that provided positive experiences to itis students, but the Spanish Institute has since fallen on hard times. STAY AWAY!!!
Evaluation from annettem:
Thanks to the previous poster, I avoided a disaster. I had registered at this school for two weeks of study in late January of 2014. I read the previous post the week before I was to leave! I quickly registered at another school – Centro de Idiomas del Sureste – and had a fantastic experience. I walked by this location while I was in Merida and the school is no longer there.
Evaluation from ramirezd7:
(San Diego Group-June 2014) I have traveled and studied Spanish in Mexico for many years now. The Spanish Institute of Spanish of Merida has been by far the worst place I have ever attended. I worked directly with the director (Eva) who initially seemed like a genuinely caring person but after I signed our agreement turned out to be a greedy individual. Not only did she lie about having an actual site for the school but changed the details of our agreement on several occasions. Our trips were horribly orchestrated with little to none information given to prepare for them. When we brought up our concerns she was quick to place the blame on our group and showed no respect. She plays the victim and takes no responsibility for her arrangements. There were countless times where she cheated us out of our money with no reason to spend it. To make matters worse she harassed her employees and her host families daily. The amount of stress this woman caused was unbelievable! The facilities are far away from the center of the city or anything worthwhile and buses hardly pass through the area. The rooms are tiny and the building is always hot. The director will leave you in the hands of her employees for all trips with no check-ins as to how things are going. If you have the chance to study in Merida please DO NOT take your business here, you WILL regret it. Don't take my word for it read other reviews carefully; this is not the first of its kind.
Evaluation from Broke_student:
If you have a chance to check out other schools in the area, I would highly suggest doing so before you commit to taking classes at SIM. I had such high hopes for our month-long immersion in Merida this year, but they were dashed by the unscrupulous management practices of the owner and the strict, inflexible personality of the school that does not allow/encourage students to be active participants in the learning process. As a student I do not have much disposable income, so not only did it bother me on an economic level, but after being swindled countless times for costs (at home stays, the school, and excursions) that were promised to be included, it is my personal feeling that this institute is morally bankrupt. Save your time and energy (and money), help to change the corrupt business practices of the owner, and seek an enjoyable educational experience elsewhere!
Evaluation from allyn:
Evaluation from lstuart:
I did loads of research on Spanish schools in Merida and chose this school (6/2014). I was so happy with every aspect of the school! My teacher was amazing and loved to teach- she explained things over and over to me. I had lunch with my fellow students and Eva, the school's director, every day and practiced more Spanish- and it was delicious! After lunch, I was with a personal guide ofr 2-3 hours daily. We went to markets, museums and Progresso(the nearby beach). My guide was wonderful, encouraging and full of energy! The family that I stayed with treated me like one of their own and showed me around to parks and talked with me until late into the night. My Spanish improved greatly and my experience at the Spanish Institute in Merida could not have been better. Thank you Eva, Astrid and Kimberly!
Evaluation from Angelina1111:
The Spanish institute of Merida provided an amazing experience to my mom and I. I would highly recommend this program to anyone with an open mind seeking an authentic emersion experience. I have been to more than one language emersion program in Mexico and I found this program to be up there with the best even though it was smaller. I went during June 2014 when there was only one other university program group in attendance. The classes were very small and intimate providing a great opportunity to feel comfortable to learn at my pace. The food was very delicious and the people who brought in the food seemed to cook with a lot of love an concern for the student's health and well being. I would recommend that if you have specific food needs that you clearly express that in the beginning to the director to allow time for accommodations to be made. The instructors and staff were very good and caring people who were willing to put in as much as you will. Please keep in mind so many people come to these schools with more of a vacation mentality and don't even do the homework that is asked of them. In these cases, one cannot realistically expect the opportunity for connection to the instructors or even get the full benefit of the program. In addition, please don't go with an expectation of full time "first-world" luxuries. It is important to keep in mind where you are. Merida in general, is hot and humid year round. Something as simple as air conditioning is a privilege and not an entitlement. If you are going with a group, make sure to know the terms of the agreement to fully benefit about how to prepare for what to expect when you arrive and be prepared for the day trips and excursions. I made the mistake of not asking my university program director and was simply told that I would be paying for my entrance fees and drinks on the day of the excursions. As a result, I did not budget enough for entrance into Chichen Itza as well as money for gifts and souvenirs. I barely brought enough to cover the entrance fee (approx $22 US dollars). Again, the souvenirs are a great privilege as the arts and crafts you will see are truly remarkable. I highly recommend telling the vendors upfront that you are a student and try your best to speak Spanish and you will be amazed how the locals open up to you with interesting stories and possibly even a cheaper price on the crafts. It was amazing to see how entitled some people act to demand the best price with no regard for the people hard at work to sell a piece of themselves through their craft. There is a strong Mayan influence in the Yucatan and their culture and stories will amaze you if you are open to it. The program is unique from others that I have tried in that you are in class half a day and then out on the town with personal guides to help you get around town and see things from a local perspective. There is no official format for what you do or where you go with your guides, so do some research and use this opportunity to go and see things that you really care about. It is important to know that you are expected to pay for your guide's bus fares and entrance fees to wherever you have them take you. I personally found this to be fair as my guides were awesome and so helpful and caring to help me do what I needed to do in the city. From the day I was picked at the airport by Eva herself, I was warmly greeted with a hug and kiss and felt like I belonged in Merida. During my stay she was very helpful and even brought in a cake for my mom's birthday to be shared with my classmates. My mom felt so special that day. Perhaps I was very lucky in my experience or possibly my humble attitude and sincere interest in the people and culture I was around helped me to have an attitude that made mine and my mom's experience completely unforgettable. Points to keep in mind before you go... 1) notify the institute of food needs\allergies and pet allergies and make sure your host family is made aware of this before you go 2) communicate with the program director or with Eva to get a clear understanding of the fees and costs to expect on a daily basis and especially your day trips 3)have a clear understanding of how to dress as it is very hot and humid and you also will benefit by trying not to stand out too much 4)the more work you put in during and after class, the more you will gain from the program 5)be open minded and be ready for a possible culture shock as the driving, the poverty you will see and the bad impressions some foreigners have made on the locals can be taken out on you in a passive aggressive way that I saw 6) do your reading ahead of time as it is mind blowing how many ruin sites you can explore not to mention restaurants. I personally recommend a place called Pancho's near the centro. It had amazing food and a beautiful Frida Bar. mmmmm The atmosphere was so relaxed and beautiful as well as great prices. $4 to $12 dollars for a great meal. 7) because it is so hot during the day, it seems the locals come out at night for lively night life. There are so many awesome night time activities, clubs and restaurants to visit and in my experience the locals were very friendly. 8) Be open minded, adaptable, and be amazed at your experience... As I learned at Chichen Itza, "Live Intensely NOW!" Best Wishes! :)