Ratings and Comments for IPED Spanish School
Student ratings for IPED Spanish School
Evaluation from ajohnson:
David and Zaida helped us to arrange for the care of our children and were a great help in planning our travels in Costa Rica.
Evaluation from hjjohnson:
I would recommend IPED without reservation. The teaching is excellent and people are a pleasure to be with.
Evaluation from jbmiller:
Each of us felt a special connection to this school and its personnel and we have enjoyed cooking and dance lessons as well as numerous social contacts.
Evaluation from olschroder:
IPED is a complete comprehensive learning experience. David and Zaida go beyond providing language training. IPED is a cultural experience.
Evaluation from rgarrett:
I had a great time and learned a lot.
Evaluation from William Sanders:
IPED is professionally run. David and Zaida take a personal interest in helping you succeed. They run interference to solve every problem. The value is great and their interest is appreciated. The Heredia environment is close enough to San Jose to enjoy it but Heredia is a much better location for study. Bright and sunny in the morning and a sweater at night. Loads of great, inexpensive restaurants. Our "Senora" was enormously helpful and we won't forget her. Bill Sanders
Evaluation from patworthington:
David and Zaida were checking in with students at every class break, arranging lunch groups and snack groups at the end of each academic day, helping with weekend and weekday excursions, and checking in after every excursion - I've never seen such extra-curricular support. The host families were friendly and the food in the homes excellent. Heredia is a nice city, close to both San Jose and natural attractions, lots of good restaurants and internet cafes. Classes were very small and tailored to the desires of the students in terms of both emphasis and pace; the teachers were friendly and accomodating. My teenage son and I were happily busy touring, socializing, or studying for our entire three week stay. The schedule, which has morning classes 3 days/week and afternooon classes 2 days/week, gives variety to the week and permits morning excursions to waterfalls, cloud forests, volcanoes etc. during the sunny part of the day.
Evaluation from williamwhite:
This was an absolutely outstanding school. My sister-in-law and 8 of my children attended this school. My wife stayed at the apartment with our other 2 children. The 4 oldest gilrs (14-17) already had 2 years of Spanish. They studied there 8 weeks, and by the 3rd week they already started to "click." That means they were able to listen and respond without thinking. When you learn a foreign language, the "click" is very important. That is why you go to a language school instead of just staying in the US to study language. The other 4 children had little Spanish experience and no formal training. They were all responding well and understanding well by the end of the 8 weeks. We previously had attended language school in Guanajuato, Mexico, about 3 years ago for 11 weeks. IPED in Costa Rica school was superior. The instructors were much better, and no one "clicked" at the other school. I was not expecting much for the younger children, but I was very delighted and surprised at how much they learned and could interact in Spanish. I would highly recommend this school to anyone. The owner is American and speaks English well. He and his wife are completely aware of how each student is doing and do a terrific job of arranging everything (like housing), finding things you are interested in, and matching the students very well with the instructors. Best school we have ever attended.
Evaluation from Miss_Maria_Moore:
Top 10 reasons to avoid IPED 10. There is a serious lack of communication between the owners, their teachers, their "tour guide" and the website. 9. Classes never start on time. You pay for 4 hours of instruction and get about 3 and a quarter (if you’re lucky). (Reason being doors to IPED don’t open until 9:10 ish, there is a half hour break and then end of class. So without the BS that’s 3 1/2 hours off the top-again your paying for 4.) 8. The text books are in English. (Their refund they promise you…..is hard to get.) 7. No one speaks Spanish on breaks. 6. The instructors are extremely immature! One drew sexual drawings of me on the board, while the other was too busy with her social life (aka flirting) to start class on time. 5. My classes were constantly interrupted, for needless things. 4. You are not allowed to be in the school unless it’s class time or “event” time. The school is not open before 9:00 or 9:10. 3. Coffee isn’t made before 11 2. EVERYONE pushes the overpriced trips by the “tour guide” 1. The Tour Guide has 24/7 access to you, which he takes full advantage of. The owners don’t even know whose house your staying at! + 1. While I was there, 3 people almost left (Myself, my friend and the mother of two children). What makes this interesting is that the week or two before I got there, another person actually did leave for Intercultura. I’m going back to Intercultura myself. NEVER AGAIN IPED! You get what you pay for.
Evaluation from asastar:
Most of the schools in Heredia charge about the same amount. The facility is old with dead rats in front of the building. The homestay was great, though the bed was a bit small. The program is solid with great teachers. I am not so sure about the directors who push the expensive tours. The school is student friendly and can be fun depending on the teacher, but most teachers seem terrific. I plan to try Intercultura next time because that program seems to offer much more ie: free dance lessons, cooking classes and some tours.
Evaluation from AllenL:
October 2013 – A friend and I just returned from three weeks at IPED. Both of us enjoyed our stay and heartily recommend it. Now, speaking for myself in more detail, I spent my career teaching English to adult foreign students and have studied at three Italian language programs in Italy. IPED excels. The principals (David and Zaida) and the two teachers I had (Maritza and Ana) were wonderfully competent, caring, and efficient. The homestay (with Tere) was superb. The middle week of the 3 at the “beach campus” in Puerto Viejo was a great mixture of fine classes in the mornings, afternoons exploring forest preserves and swimming or snorkeling, and evenings dining out.. Accommodation and breakfasts there at the Hotel Agape were very good, and Zaida phoned me twice to be sure everything was going well. In Heredia two dance classes and two cooking classes were included in the program fees, as was airport pickup (but not return). I paid for 2 extra, optional nights at the beach and for one with our host family. Having essentially no time in Costa Rica apart from the 3 weeks with IPED, I also opted for four extra activities from Heredia, two facilitated by IPED and two arranged by Guido, a part-time freelance guide. Costs for all four seemed reasonable, all things considered. I would certainly return to IPED! Allen from Oregon, USA
Evaluation from Walt_Tashnick:
My experience studying at the IPED was far better than I expected. The owners are terrific people. Since I met David, I could sense his concern for my learning. The facilities were OK but what makes this school outstanding are its teachers. I still remember my "profesora" Carla she was very dedicated, she encouraged me to do my best and that is a reflection of the professionalism IPED has to offer. We never know what would tomorrow bring but if in the future I come back the IPED will be my option.
Evaluation from Spanish_student:
A great place to make friends while learning Spanish in Costa Rica. Curriculum is very flexible according to student abilities;teachers are friendly and fluent native speakers. I learned a great deal of grammar and gained tremendous confidence in speaking. The school is very homey and convenient to the town.
Evaluation from junkmmw:
I spent two weeks at IPED in Heredia, Costa Rica, and had a great experience and would definitely recommend. I was pleased to be in Heredia. Even though I am not a city person, it was a lovely city and convient to San Jose (to catch buses elsewhere) and airport. ALso not touristy, so lots of people will speak Spanish with you in restaurants, market etc. As a women, felt safe alone, but I was also smart and didn't stay out late at night etc alone. My home stay was great, the mom was very patient, spent time with me every day over meals, even battled a rude taxi driver for me. Made plantain empenadas specially for me- need I saw more :) Invited me on a family outing to the mountains. The owners of the school were wonderful, checked in with me every day. VERY welcoming, making sure I was settling in, helping me with travel plans, going to the bank with me TWICE to help with transactions. Way above and beyond! We went for lunch often, also pool one night. David (one of owners) helped me with a weekend trip plan (bus details, hostel reservation) not through a tour guide so he had NO financial incentive, just wanted me to enjoy my stay. I was also welcome to use the phone at school in the evenings after hours. My classes were good, we went with the flow- sometimes formal lessions, sometimes practicing conversation, sometimes verb flashcards, etc. Only minor critism is the text book- not great for adult learners, but not inadequate either. I bought mine for $1 in the US online. Regarding the other bad review, often in life, it is what you make of it. If you don't want to speak ENglish during breaks- DON'T. If you don't like your homestay, ask for a different place. In general, for folks thinking about a language school in CR: NO ONE accepts travellors checks- dont bother. Bus travel is slow but very cheap, I was glad not to have rented a car for the two weeks I stayed after classes. Bring less warm clothes than you think you need (what can I say, I came from a boston winter and overpacked). I would recommend IPED to a friend, go!
Evaluation from ccnnll:
I studied at IPED for 2 weeks in August with my children, ages 7 and 9, and highly recommend the school. We all learned a tremendous amount of Spanish and had fun! I might not have fully appreciated how much we learned had we not participated in a different immersion experience the prior summer (in another country). The directors met with us before the program to discuss goals and expectations, during the program to make sure we were happy with the course upon completion of the two weeks for feedback/assessment. I found them to be highly interested in satisfying the needs of the students. Likewise the teachers were attentive, warm, personable, flexible with the curriculum, serious about teaching etc. I'd like to specifically respond to the few negative reviews as I read them when researching schools and they gave me unnecessary pause in regard to choosing IPED. It's true that the ofice wasn't open before 9 and there is a half hour break. This was not a problem for us as we welcomed a more laid back lifestyle and wanted a break within the 4 hours. There was no "tour guide" and I never felt pressured to do extra activities. In fact, when I asked about a rescue center I discovered online, the directors drove our family 30 minutes each way to check it out with us! When we did a weekend excursion to Manuel Antonio the director had suggested a hotel which was inexpensive and in a prime location. The hotel worked out beautifully and on checkout I learned that the hotel owners were only vaguely familiar with IPED. I had assumed there was a relationship and some kind of benefit to IPED for referring so much business but truly it was a referral based on helping their students enjoy Costa Rica. As far as the physical school building - it is located in a central, safe, nice part of Heredia, within a couple blocks of many restaurants, banks, pharmacies, pool, soccer stadium, etc. It's not fancy (no screens on windows which is very typical for Costa Rica) but it's comfortable with 6 or so classrooms of varying size - all clean, equipped, etc. I'm one of the rare non coffee drinkers but I think coffee/tea and light snacks for breaks would be a nice touch that they could add. I bought the textbook (used) ahead of time on Amazon for $4 and while I didn't love it (somewhat old and I prefer a workbook style) - in my class we only used it as a reference and my children learned through creative projects like writing songs and stories, creating games, setting up a pretend restaurant, etc. My primary objective was for us to learn a ton of Spanish and to enjoy being there and that was certainly the case for us! I hope that gives you a better picture of what the school is about and that you have a great experience too!
Evaluation from lotahart2:
I study Spanish at IPED every summer with my son, who is now 13. The teaching staff is excellent, for both adults and children. Their teaching method is so effective, that you can't help but improve! Even my ADHD son, who doesn't work at it like I do, gets better every summer. Their teachers have also been very patient with my son and made many special events happen for him. I don't know how Zaida does it, but she always manages to place me in the perfect class for my level, even though my fluency fluctuates from year to year. Both Zaida and David have gone above and beyond the call of duty to assist us when our luggage was lost by the airline, my son needed someone to play with, I wanted to find a home for a stray cat, etc. We stay with the same homestay family every year and really feel that we have a home and family in Costa Rica. We have plans to have our "Mama Tica" come and visit us in Utah this year. Both my son and I love our stays at IPED. We love the learning, the adventures and the people of IPED. We plan on going back for a three week stay next summer, and many more summers after that! Julie
Evaluation from jimgilmore22:
I came across this page just by chance and was pleased to read all of the well deserved comments for David and Zaida and IPED. Then I was taken a back to read the one and only negative comment and realized that I was at IPED when this person was there. I remember she was taking medication for depression and I think her comments reflect her state of mind and not what was happening at the school. They invited her to do the many activities and she always refused. It is a shame becuase even one student said that that comment made her take pause about deciding to go to IPED but then had a great experience with them. I have looked at many of the reviews for the other schools and the positive ones all talk about how good the teachers are or the staff but they almost never mention particular names. If you look at the comments for IPED you can see that almost every one of them refer to David and Zaida in particular and their dedication and personal involvement in their school. That personalized attention to each student is what I think makes their school different. I was at IPED in 2009 and again in 2010 and will return next year. I love my homestay family, my teachers and David and Zaida's friendship and constant help they gave me on a daily basis from going to lunch to planing my weekend trips and beyond. I will be back
Evaluation from amberfreeman26:
love learning because u make it so easy thanks
Evaluation from calikush:
Although I did enjoy my experience in Heredia at IPEDs Heredia campus and had an amazing homestay; I saw that some fellow students in another class were not learning much because peole were being put in their class of a much lower level. ALSO I spent 3 weeks in Puerto Viejo which was the most unproffesional school experience of my life. I was not provided any sort of classroom or a ny tranquil environment for learning. They told me to just have class at my homestay but I was living with several toddlers who made much noise and the construction in my neigborhood went on all day. They told me I would have to pay more for a place at the hotel where they provided space for class most of the time. Overall I liked Heredia and Puerto Viejo, but Puerto Viejos beach program is more expensive with WAY LESS education. My teacher never even met david and zaida. quit after I figured out how much they were paying my teacher and that they were pocketing 170 dollars from me a week and wouldnt even provide a classroom, they basically just sent me on a bus there.
Evaluation from bstanforth:
My kids attended the program, and this was by far the best program they've attended (we've done this twice before). The teacher was both great with kids and a great Spanish teacher. She made it fun--so much fun that they loved it. They also made real progress in their Spanish learning. The directors do a great job of placing students appropriately and they also create a very friendly, fun environment. David (one of the directors) will absolutely help you with anything you need.
Evaluation from evanvalenzuela:
Evaluation from scoobyvsfeek:
Evaluation from lblacklock:
We met great people and went on a tour of the city. There was a coffee tour as well and the director gave us some valuable things to do on our own, which I appreciated. The main problem with this school is that all the instructors and the director of the school all spoke English-- a lot. I would be speaking with my teacher in Spanish and suddenly he would initiate conversation in English. This was not a plus with me, as I am trying to train my ears to understand spoken Spanish. Our family was great and were a big help when my daughter got sick; they had the family doctor come to see her at home. They also had a party for us in their back yard and made us feel very welcome in their home. They took us to the market and helped us navigate around. I always enjoy the homemade meals.