Ratings and Comments for Academia Latinoamericana de Espanol, Ecuador
Student ratings for Academia Latinoamericana de Espanol, Ecuador
Evaluation from janderson:
We had an exceptional host family. Everything was just perfect! They made us feel part of the family.
Evaluation from jthomas:
I was pleasantly surprised by the school's rapid and detailed response to my request for information.
Evaluation from skjackson:
Everyone is well organized and professional. I highly recommend this school.
Evaluation from sischneider:
I am very impressed by the exceptional trip organized by the school for several professors and many students of our university. We intend to return next year with more students.
Evaluation from vrichter:
Every year we take a group of students abroad to study Spanish. Academia Latinoamericana is the best school we have ever worked with and this is reflected in the progress of the students.
Evaluation from gthomas:
My instructor's teaching abilities are much better than the professors who teach language at my university.
Evaluation from tamiller:
The school administrator is fantastic. She makes every student feel special.
Evaluation from tom_delgado:
Patty the school director and her husband Santiago run an excellent school. They choose professional and competent professors. All the acitivities were well planned and coordinated. All the professors took part in the school activities. The professors made it a great experience. Paola, Wagner, Gonzalo, Gina, Raquel, and Lidia are just a few of the professors. Although the professors could have changed since I was there in 2010 aug-sept. The school set me up with a great host family that at the time lived a 30 second walk from old school. They included me in family activities, going to parque carolina, jogging in parque metropoliana, and going to there childrens' school.
Evaluation from clambrix:
I spent a month studying at this school. I had several excellent teachers. They rotated them weekly so I would learn to hear different accents. The teachers were extremely knowledgable and well-trained. The school had a super assessment on which to base your level. All the staff was professional. I can't say enough wonderful things about the school!!!
Evaluation from khutala:
Education – This school gets a number of students who are doing a semester abroad through their university. The universities have many requirements for their students such as giving a 10 minute presentation, exams every week, etc. Even though we do not need to fulfill such requirements, we are in classes with people who do, so everyone does the same thing. That made this course fairly rigorous and heavy in the grammar. I spent 3 hours a day conjugating irregular verbs. Then the last hour was more conversational. We joined together with another class to play vocabulary games etc. Extras - On Monday we went on a tour of the city with the school director. It was great to learn about the history and culture of Quito. It was also really helpful to have someone help us figure out the layout of the city and how the bus system works. Every afternoon they offer activities and excursions. Only the aerobics is free. All the other things involve going to a local attraction, such as the cable car, orchid gardens, museums etc. You have to pay for the cost of transportation and the entrance fee. Amenities – The school building itself is a gorgeous Spanish style building. They have a nice patio to hang out on and a snack bar. They offer free wireless (but many people told us very contradictory information about how to use it, including a $20 fee to have a guy from the company come out and put in a password. Finally, the director was able to give us the password for free and it worked fine. They have about 10 computers with internet, but you have to pay for it. There is a lady who is in charge of activities and tours. If you want to do the things she organizes, it is great. She can also help with buying plane tickets and other activities, but her English was so so and our Spanish is even less, so the conversation was confusing at times, and we tended to get information about things we weren’t interested in. Recommended? – It depends on what level of Spanish you are at. If you are a complete beginner, I would say no(Costa Rica Language Academy is a better choice). I was probably at the bottom of the barrel at the school. They put me about a week ahead of what I had just finished in Costa Rica and I struggled. There were only 2 of us in that class. My husband, who is at a more intermediate level, was fine. There were many more people at the higher levels of Spanish, so the classes could accommodate them a little better. I did like this school a little better for social relationships. There were only 13 of us new compared to the 35-40 new in CRLA. So, everyone was friendly and welcoming of each other rather than making little pockets of friendships. Host Family – We did not stay with a host family in CR. We did stay with one in Quito. They were very nice. A family of 4 (mom, dad, 19 year old daughter and 10 year old son) with a little dog. I am glad we were able to go there and experience a little bit of middle class Quito life. But, I did feel a little like we were putting them out. The daughter had to sleep in the same double bed as her little brother because we were in her room, and they were a busy working family. So, I was happy to stay there for a week, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be there for 1-3 months like many of the students are. For 2 of us it is about $250 to stay with a host family per week (7 days) including breakfast and dinner. That means you are paying double if you are frequently gone on the weekends. That breaks down to about $40 per day ( for 2) if you stay 6 out of the 7 nights a week. We could probably pay rent and food for more like $35 a day (for 2) eating well. So, it is probably a little more expensive with a host family, but the benefit is the Spanish interaction.
Evaluation from dak9779:
This country has so much to offer for visitors. The school is very elegant with it's arcitecture. Sometimes it is hard to hear because of the planes over the building but that could be a problem anywhere. The homestay I had was amazing. I've heard bad stories of other though. It just depends on what you get and you can change always. The staff is helpful. And you meet people from all over the world. The ecuadorian language is very clear. Good for first timers.
Evaluation from runnerrox:
This is a wonderful school with wonderful teachers. The students are friendly and the staff is extremely helpful. My Spanish improved so much in just the two weeks that I was there! December is a good time to go because there aren't quite as many students there as there are in the summer months, and Quito is still fairly temperate in late November/early December.
Evaluation from tonylouis:
The description of the programs does not match what is delivered. I signed up for the Activa program which is described as "Every weekly rate includes 5 days of classes (from Monday to Friday), 20 hours of group classes and 15 hours of individualized activities" which are to be 1 on 1 with a teacher in Spanish. The first day they give all students the same orientation and do not start the special programs till day 2. Even though you have paid considerably more for 5 days of the special program, you in reality only get 4. I just started today expecting 3 hours of conversation in the afternoon as promised on the website, only to discover that the program does not start till tomorrow.
Evaluation from AnthonyLouis:
This is my second post now that I've completed two weeks at the school. PROS: Excellent teachers who pay attention to student needs and individualize the teaching. An international atmosphere. A chance to interact with friendly Ecuadorian students who are attending Equatorialis University. Quito is an inexpensive city. There are many interesting places to visit in and around Quito. CONS: - Large class size (the website and the email I received promised no more than 4 students per class but there were 5 students in my class during week 2). - Home stay - a mixed experience. The family was friendly but I stayed in a very small room with poor lighting, which made it hard to study in the evening. - No teaching on the first day. Although I signed up for the Activa program at twice the cost of the regular program to get an extra 3 hours of 1-1 instruction daily, there was no teaching on day one, just orientation and a city tour. I had to argue with the administration to get what I paid for (3 hours of individual instruction every afternoon for 5 days - they only wanted to give me 4 days, though I had paid for 5). The same is true for the Intensive program. They charge you for 5 days the first week but only provide 4 days of instruction. I was given the 3 extra hours I had paid for later in the week, but only after arguing with the administration that I should receive what I paid for. - A discrepancy between the description of the program on the website and what was actually delivered. (See above point) but also the Flavors of the Andes program, which I took the 2nd week, is described as 3 hours of individual instruction every afternoon (including lunch) but the school wanted to cut it to two hours only "because the description on the website was in error". - The school seems more geared for college students doing a semester abroad than for older adults (like me) with limited time who want an intensive exposure to Spanish. - The administration seemed unaware of what was promised in the website and took the position that I should have to pay for their mistakes (which they did reverse after some argument on my part.) - The school could do more to help students plan activities on weekends when the school is closed. - Quito is a somewhat dangerous city. Many students got robbed (but not injured). There are pickpockets and thieves everywhere. Most major establishments have armed guards at their entrances. Many taxi drivers try to cheat foreigners by not using their meters. ADVICE: This is a good school with excellent teachers, BUT get in writing exactly what you will receive for your money. Ask for a detailed schedule and what will happen each hour of the day. Otherwise, you may get there and realize that you are not getting what you paid for.
Evaluation from misterkriegier:
Evaluation from Ximenakat:
Evaluation from HarvestRose: