Ratings and Comments for IMAC Spanish Language Programs
Student ratings for IMAC Spanish Language Programs
Evaluation from fwsmith:
This school is really more than I expected and exactly what my soul and spirit needed. Thanks so much for some of the best hospitality I've received in my travels.
Evaluation from crharris:
This school has created a comfortable learning environment. The small class size allows me to learn Spanish quickly. This is a wonderful experience that will help me immensely.
Evaluation from bfschmidt:
The courses at IMAC are exactly what I expected - intense but at a pace I can keep up with. My teacher is thoughtful and energetic.
Evaluation from gjackson:
Extraordinary! The weather was absolutely perfect.
Evaluation from mexicanbobby:
Great place to learn Spanish. Total immersion, good materials and very good instructors.
Evaluation from menglish84:
I was very impressed with the teaching staff at this school, who really made an effort to keep the classes novel and challenging. The class size, while I was there, was never more than six students. They have a large computer lab with good internet connections and the mid-week excursions were very interesting. The school itself is clean and modern, but nothing special and neither is the neighborhood its in. I recommend this school to anyone looking to study Spanish in Guadalajara but you don't have much experience picking out language schools. You won't be dissappointed.
Evaluation from JPLipscomb:
Evaluation from jusdewit:
This was my first experience at an immersion school I didn't realize just how great this school was until I went to another school. Lots of fun, great teachers and Alan the director is one of the most organized and efficent person I've ever meet.
Evaluation from bli05:
Evaluation from Mikelempere:
What I liked about IMAC was that it allowed me to practice speaking Spanish. I especially liked the interchange with English students. The film on the political changes within Mexico was very interesting. Practicing is the most important part. This is strongly yet kindly encouraged.
Evaluation from vincentheins:
The overall experience was super. My second time studying here was all I hoped for and expected from this fine school. I congratulate you on the excellence of your program. It is very professional, organized, and a great environment for learning. I have advanced mi español and I look forward to returning here again soon! Muchas Gracias!
Evaluation from jonashansen:
My experience with the school and the city have exceeded my expectations. The staff at the school is extremely helpful and there is no doubt that they genuinely are concerned that you have a good experience while you are here. I am looking forward to returning for another week sometime next year.
Evaluation from janewells:
Best Spanish ever! The class was fun with new ways to help us effectively learn Spanish. It was a friendly atmosphere throughout the whole school. We adored our teacher!
Evaluation from jstrohman:
Evaluation from chasandjo:
This is a well run school with a professional staff and instructors ranging from extraordinary to adequate but highly motivated. Class sizes were in the 4-6 range and the facilities were top notch. As with any larger school you may want to book some personal instruction time to balance the classes if you're a serious student. I enjoyed the afternoon intercambio with the English students even though straying from the structured subjects proved more interesting as you became acquainted. The school's location is very central to the plazas, museums, restaurants etc. which is great if you want to do a little tourism every day. It is a pretty good (and somewhat adventurous) bus ride from most of the home-stay locations in the suburbs. My home-stay accomodations were comfortable and acceptable but had a bit of a rooming house feel. Not as pleasant and low key as some of my previous experiences.
Evaluation from michaela:
that is a very good school they be nice to you and they give you fun stuff and that school is very euducation
Evaluation from leezlee:
I attended this school twice, and stayed with the same host family both times. The town of Guadalajara is very nice and colonial, and the school is run very well. I also felt very safe there as a woman. My host mother kept a very clean home, and was also very attentive to make sure that my stay was comfortable, and that I had everything I needed.
Evaluation from tahlia:
Evaluation from amberfreeman26:
Evaluation from edwalsh:
Great school. Miriam was wonderful. The school had advertised that gym membership was included, but it wasn't. They had apparently lost their deal with the gym. The weekly excursions were very interesting. The school is mostly Mexican students who are there to learn English, which is great. After school, you have the option to work with the students. They help you learn Spanish and you help them with English. Guadalajara is the most Mexican of Mexican cities. You won't find many Americans there, so you will be forced to practice your skills. IMAC is perfectly located downtown in a good safe area with plenty to do. There are a lot of gay bars in the area, which keeps a good safe crowd there late at night.
Evaluation from Amylou1208:
Evaluation from ElMitchico:
Evaluation from selfstorage:
Evaluation from jlschrock:
Evaluation from jearly:
Evaluation from trevion01:
Evaluation from enriqueclasico:
Evaluation from spanishstudent92:
I'm amazed IMAC has such positive reviews, I have never personally heard a positive word about it and I live in Guadalajara. Their English courses suffer the same faults as those I experienced with my own stay at the Spanish school, and most locals advise you to stay away. I felt I was just a giant dollar big from my arrival, and apologies for forgetting to pick me up at the airport at 2am were totally avoided, and blamed on a 'technical error'. It is not so much the quality of teaching, my teacher was obviously nervous and stressed but in moments showed the ability of a good teacher. As a person, I really liked her. Having spoken to English teachers at the school, I am aware they put tremendous pressure on staff to work long hours and never, ever stray from the book. This is awful! Learning a language, especially over a relatively short period of time (1-4 weeks) should be as personalized as possible, after all, having a strong vocabulary of colours and body parts, whilst useful, is not essential to communication and should therefore not be prioritised in these kinds of environments. Apart from this, I found the social activities expensive where existent, and mostly false promises (guitar and salsa lessons were scrapped after I paid but before I got there..?). The only event I attended was a compulsory talk on sculptures, lessons being cancelled for this. I was unable to understand a word of it, it was clearly at an advanced level, and me and the rest of my beginners class were really confused as to how anyone thought this productive. I left the school after 3 days, more than anything for rigidity of the classes, and clinical 'academic' environment. I moved to Guadalajara language center, a small school in a beautiful area, where classes are small, informal, conversational yet teachers are incredibly adept. I have met 2 other people since I have been in Mexico with the exact same story as mine. Please, do not waste your money. Satisfied or not with Imac, you are missing out on getting so much more from your learning experience.
Evaluation from rfoster:
I attended IMAC for a few months over the summer, and I feel it appropriate to leave this short note to give readers a better idea of what IMAC is really like. Having never been to Guadalajara, I chose IMAC based on the high number of internet reviews that I had read of the school. Having been there for a few months now, I can almost guarantee that many of these reviews are coming from the school administrators themselves, and not from actual students. The school is first and foremost about appearances. Their website is professional and makes numerous promises (movies, gym membership, special classes, large computer lab, etc.), when you arrive they have well dressed staff managing the front desk area, and they are always polite/courteous/accommodating on the phone. For IMAC, image is key. Beyond this image though, they fall short of actually coming through on their promises. When I asked about the gym membership which their website had assured me would be available, I was told that they were having problems and had lost their contract with the local gym. Sorry. "Maybe tomorrow we'll have it, check back then." After 2 weeks of "tomorrows," I payed out of pocket for a local gym. Incidentally, I found out from my host mom that the 'gym problems' had been going on for over a year. Sorry. On their website, they comment about a large computer lab with X number of computers. The truth in this statement is that the computer lab is decent in size, however at most 6-8 of the computers will be on and working which can be somewhat frustrating if you had hoped to study or send an email that afternoon. When I was there, there was also a half-man half-woman (man with breast implants) that enjoyed looking at pornographic images of itself in the computer lab. While I'm not making any comments on personal life choices, I was surprised the school allowed that to continue given that there is a wide range of students there (adolescents to older adults) and it did seem inappropriate to expose everyone in the computer lab to one's personal life in such detail. First off, if this says anything, it should be noted that the teachers I talked with are not happy with the administration (but is anyone ever happy with admins?). There is ONE excellent teacher at this school who actually served as a teacher, and the best are mediocre to poor (to the point that we had to request to not have the other teachers - I think most teachers had a very basic teaching certificate... I would be surprised to find they had a degree or any experience in teaching). All the teachers will follow the book being used at that level with really no exceptions. You will go exercise by exercise, and the teacher really functions more as an audiotape version of the book while you do the work. Some of the teachers are able to explain things to a minor degree, Jose was the ONLY teacher we found who would explain things well and provide us with examples and reasons as to why answers were correct/incorrect. Also, do keep in mind that the books used here are from SPAIN teaching spanish from SPAIN, which is different of course than the spanish used in MEXICO. The teachers will not understand all the idioms used there in the books, and you won't either nor will you ever use them while in mexico. Just something to consider. The living situation is unfortunate and I would not recommend staying with a host family. One student told me that the dad in her host family gave a speech the first night about how he hated 'gringos.' Another friend told me how his host family locks the kitchen except for during meal times. A third friend told me how their host family tried to raise the rate from what he was already paying. I experienced 2 host families. The first was located 50 minutes away by bus (which doesn't sound too bad, but when you're spending 4-5 hours a day in class.... another 2 hours spent waiting for a bus and traveling on it are significant). The host mom was quite nice, but also very depressed and sdidn't work. The apartment itself was run down and while she made excellent food, she would break down crying during every meal when she talked about some aspect of her life. My second host family consisted of a mother and a son. I had hoped to be friends with the son, but he spent most of the time he was home shut away in his room. In his defense, he was quite nice, but not very social. The apartment itself was a mess and was overrun with cockroaches (to the extent that you would see them running over plates in the kitchen or over the bed covers in my room). The food was decent, however the mom again did not work and the majority of her day was spent lying in bed watching TV. If I did not make it home at a certain time, there would be no food that day. Paying for the week's rent was a hassle to say the least. Since the peso fluctuated according to the dollar, I was always paying different amounts. The mom would constantly stress out and blame the US/me for the fluctuating amount of money she would receive, but would also insist that I withdraw the money in pesos so she wouldn't be charged for having to exchange dollars to pesos. If there was a day where the dollar was worth more pesos, she would insist that I pay the rate for that particular day rather than the day which I withdrew the money (I would always withdraw the money, and pay on that same day). On one occasion she refused to give me any change since the rate had been better the day before. When I first arrived, she made a few comments about how students will always pay her 100 USD/week even though the website quoted a lower rate. All in all, it was a mess and was just an added frustration on multiple levels. Then there was the hassle of having to to one's own laundry each week at a laundrymat since most of the host families will refuse to do it and will also not let you use their machines either. In essence, I could not in any good sense of mind ever recommend anyone do this. A brief word on the prices: it should be noted that you will pay about 400 USD for 1 room in an apartment or in a house should you decide to stay with a host family. While those rates are decent for some parts of the US, they are not at all decent for Guadalajara. Other students I met who were going through a different program were paying 5-7 USD per day to stay in a large house together and were cooking their own food and eating it whenever they wanted (did I mention that they house had its own pool?). The classes are also way overpriced for what they deliver (basically an audio version of the textbook that can provide limited examples and explanations) and it should be noted that Mexican students learning English at that school are paying about 1/3 to 1/4 what you pay to learn Spanish... The classroom sizes are decently small - I think 6 is really the maximum the accept per classroom. One problem though is that the school attracts a large Korean population who generally have very limited Spanish and limited English as well, so developing a relationship with the students in the school can be quite difficult. In terms of Guadalajara as a city, they assured me over the phone that it was safe and that a student had never reported having been mugged. In the first week, I found that a classmate and his friends had been mugged a few blocks from the school when they were going out on a friday night. Later I found that a group of mexican students from the school had been mugged in a cafe (which now was a wrought iron gate door) during the daytime about 1 block from the school. About halfway through my stay there, a homeless man died across the street from the entrance to the school. There were also several beheadings by drug cartels just outside of Guadalajara and in March the Tourism Minister was assassinated [http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/heads-found-guadalajara-article-1.1390066]. So yes, GDL probably appears relatively safe to someone from say... Syria.. but one could hardly claim that it is a 'safe' city. There's a reason universities used to send summer groups to GDL and now no longer do (my university is one that had to cut its ties with the city). Overall, I would NOT recommend this program. You'll be better suited paying more to receive classes at a university or another program, preferably in another city or country (if you want to stay in Mexico, I might suggest looking into Puebla/Guanajuato. if you'd like another country - then Ecuador is a very strong choice).
Evaluation from profesorah:
The administration and functioning (lack of function) of this "program" is an insult! They lack all professionalism and should be shut down. I have documents saved of correspondence - them making promises that later were NEVER intended to keep. They stole $345 US dollars - that my credit card actually had to list as fraud. This is how I title their school, a "FRAUD". I've studied in Morelia, Florence, France and Tokyo and this is the worst I've witnessed. Shut them down.
Evaluation from griffin:
I've studied at six immersion schools and this was one of the best. I really liked the facilities which are well located and have lots of space for students and teachers to interact. The school was large and had lots of programs for the students and it was easy to meet people. I had one fantastic teacher and one decent teacher. I thought the teachers could have used more structure and guidance from the school in lesson plans, etc.
Evaluation from carolinacrazy:
Evaluation from phMaloney:
Evaluation from Gregorio:
Attended for one week. The group was quite varied in ability. Some people could not count to 10 while others managed to attempt a conversation. It was disappointing that it was more efficient for them to group us all together to save money than to more appropriately group us by ability. I realize that it would be more expensive for them but our group had about 12 people in it.