Ratings and Comments for Apoyo Spanish School
Student ratings for Apoyo Spanish School
Evaluation from dischneider:
I am enchanted by the chirping of the birds as I stroll to class in the morning.
Evaluation from juklein:
This is the best teacher I have ever had in my life. She has a great gift for making the language intuitive.
Evaluation from iluvnica:
I chose this school as I wanted to be out of the city and in a rural setting. I was satisfied with that choice and realized that I may have compromised my learning as a result. The teachers are good, though quite inconsistent in their approach. Some give homework, others don't. My teacher was more concerned about making sure she covered all the lessons rather than my need for conversation or whether I had learned what she had taught me. I was also disappointed in that there were no books to refer to or handouts from the teachers. I understand that Nicaragua is a poor country, and resources are limited. The course was $190, the teachers are only getting a few dollars a day - certainly supplies and other things to assist our learning could have been purchased with our payments. My teacher didn't even have a working marker for the white board and instead used an old dried out one that I could barely read. She eventually gave up and used paper and pen instead. Meals were fresh and tasty, but very small portions. I was often hungry. After-dinner discussions with the American researcher who lives there were often quite interesting and informative allowing us to have a further understanding of the area and the country. The setting is lovely and the lake magical.
Evaluation from croesus1111:
First of all, the lake is gorgeous. It is warm, and swimming in it is spectacular. The school is a couple of hundred feet from the lake, in a tiny vilage consisting of a few houses and a few outdoor taverns. The school is in a lodge; but I ended up taking all my classes on the porch outside. My teacher was excellent, patient and friendly. The learning program worked for me. Except for one upstairs room, which is nice, the rooms at the school are a bit dismal, but they are inexpensive. I ended up staying at a hotel down the road for $20 per night. The food at the school is excellent. The staff are very friendly to stand-offish, depending upon the staff member. The place is kind of isolated, so how much fun you have may depend on who else is there taking classes at the moment. You can rub shoulders with other tourists at a couple of hotels a short walk away.
Evaluation from rg1000:
Very good teachers, very good program, beautiful setting. The classes are usually outdoors on a nice patio overlooking the lake. I stayed in a nearby hotel for $20/night. The accommodations at the school--there is one very nice room upstairs. Apart from that room, I didn't think much of the accommodations. Depending upon who is at the school and/or hotel at the moment, your social life can be pretty limited. The lake is spectacular. I liked the food at the school a lot.
Evaluation from MAGEK72:
Evaluation from rgtraveler:
It's a beautiful place. I learned a lot there about nature and Spanish.
Evaluation from ehart:
We are a family of 4 and have used 4 different language schools in Nicaragua. Lorenzo and Jeffrey accomodated us on very short notice (we called on Saturday and started Monday), and they (and Pablo, school administrator) worked hard to accomodate us. Teaching -- Overall, the quality of the teachers was probably the best we have experienced in Nicaragua. Lorenzo heads the school and is great both with grammar and conversation, if you can get him. My 12 year old spoke zero spanish, and was hooked up with Barney, an energetic mid 20s young man who spoke no english but managed to teach him verb conjugations and keep him interested all at the same time. I had Lorenzo, Johanna, and Aura on different days and was happy with all of them. My wife was not happy with the first teacher she got (a young and inexperienced teacher) and they quickly substituted another teacher (actually Lorenzo moved from me to her and I got Johanna, who was probably my favorite of the bunch). My youngest (age 6) was treated well by a variety of teachers, but that said they don´t have much experience with little kids (no one has ever tried to teach him verb conjugations, which he could handle at this point). All teaching was one-on-one. If you want homework -- ask for it. That worked for me every time. Materials -- from an education point of view, this was probably the biggest failing. They had no handouts, no printed materials to give us. The instructors had printed materials they referenced. Overall it felt like they used to have good materials, but that materials have become an afterthought by now. Setting -- The lake is beautiful, as is swimming. The lodge isn´t right on the lake, but it´s very close. The food is great. The rooms are indeed pretty small and grungy, but having 2 rooms upstairs, one for us and one for the kids, worked out well. Sitting in the various outdoor spaces was very pleasant for teaching. They have some cool dogs and animals (including a pet wild boar) that fascinated the kids endlessly. Activities -- Pablo took us for a drive around the volcano, which was the highlight of the activities and really fun. We went one night to the Masaya marketplace, which was OK. We went for a walk one day which was pretty lame-- the teachers came but didn´t say much, and we just walked along the same road we rode on every day - I thought we´d be getting out into the jungle a little, but didn´t. One day we had a video about the ecological projects there, which was interesting. Overall, we learned a lot of spanish. Staying there, swimming there, and eating there, left plenty of time for studying and homework, and we have good memories. Don´t be afraid to ask for a change of teacher if one is needed.
Evaluation from bettyb:
Our advice: Go somewhere else! When we arrived at the school, we were apalled at the accomodations. The bedroom was made of plywood, the head & foot of the bed were against the wall, so we couldn't even straighten our legs. The ceiling was moldy, and the window had no screen & did not close, allowing leaves, moths, bugs, mosquitoes, etc. to enter. There were 2 pet dogs & a wild boar, who all were infested with fleas, and biting them off each other. We had no running water at times, so 10 people using 2 toilets without being able to flush got pretty smelly. No water also meant no showers. Dishes were washed in an outdoor "sink", with standing water. The internet was down. It was like the worst hostel I can imagine! The instructors were fine, but there were no materials or handouts. Another word of advice: Be careful about paying in advance as refunds don't happen as promised, as we learned the hard way! An expensive mistake!
Evaluation from penny7502:
I have visited Lake Apoyo Spanish School in August 2010 to refresh my Spanish. It had been 20 years since I learned Spanish in high school. My wish was to achieve a greater level of proficiency by the week's end. In only five days, I was amazed at how much I was able to accomplish with a native teacher. My teacher, Aura, was extremely thorough. She was adept in quickly assessing my personal skills and deficits. She spent ample time reiterating important verb tenses with me and highlighted topics that would correct my deficiencies. I was very pleased that I could converse with the cook. After all, food preparation is important to me! The staff at the school was very friendly, welcoming and helpful. The accommodations were comfortable. I especially enjoyed the meals. The cook provided the most delicious vegetarian meals daily. In addition to the basic classes, there were also extensions of learning. For example, I was able to spend a a day learning about Nicaraguan legends. This was taught in Spanish in order to improve my overall comprehension schools. The atmosphere is very fun as well. The beautiful Lake Apoyo is just steps away. This lake is magnificently clear with tepid water. Swimming is a pure joy when the view around you is so spectacular. The entire visit is a good value for the money so I highly recommend this experience to college students, families or individuals seeking a vacation that combines fun and adventure with education.
Evaluation from moriarty:
This is definitely the most interesting Spanish school I have attended. It is operated by a Nicaraguan non-profit organization and the staff are all nature conservation professionals. One evening, I helped Aura capture moths for a study. Pablo showed me several tarantulas and a snake another evening on a short walk. The place has had a recent renovation, because of a dispute with a disgruntled former colleague who was fired for misconduct from the project and from his job at the University of Maryland! The guy occasionally showed up and made trouble, it seems that he is a bit of a loony tune, but the staff did not let him come on the grounds. The earlier problems from the school seem to be resolved in large measure by the removal of this guy. The food was very good, a pleasant change from what I had gotten in other places, and the teacher (Leslie) was very patient with my slow learning pace. I recommend this school over the others I have visited in Nicaragua, unless you are into a lot of noisy night life. There were usually intellectual discussions around the dining table in the evening and we even went swimming at night-it's right next to the water.