Ratings and Comments for Instituto Cultural Oaxaca
Student ratings for Instituto Cultural Oaxaca
Evaluation from lbauer:
Everything was wonderful! The delicious food gave me something to look forward to everyday. The hospitality was incomparable.
Evaluation from aweber:
The instructor is generous, patient, and dynamic. His passion for the language is contagious.
Evaluation from omoore:
I’m very pleased with the school staff; they provide brilliant service.
Evaluation from ptaylor:
I have had the time of my life here, making new friends, seeing the sights, and enjoying life. In many ways, I don't ever want it to end.
Evaluation from yanderson:
The cultural experience has been wonderful. Yesterday I visited a village on market day, which reminds me even more that Oaxaca is like no other place.
Evaluation from glover:
I studied here for two weeks in Feb 2013 as an intermediate. Class was very small (no more than 5 in either week), teacher serious, informed, and rigorous. Campus is beautiful and school seems to have its administrative act very well together. Homestay arranged for me was delightful - a 2 block walk from school, nice big room, and lovely family. Also enjoyed cooking class offered by school and intercambio with local student. Definitely recommend.
Evaluation from Ge0ffrey:
Overcrowded. So crowded they had to bring in a language teacher from Costa Rica. I went to Mexico to study the language with Mexicans. Also, overly political. The history of Mexico lecture began with the instructor extolling Fidel Castro's virtues. Yikes! Also, please note: the picture on the website hides the ugly graffiti marring the outer walls of the facility. The one bright spot? The beautiful family I stayed with. I'd go back to Oaxaca just to stay at Casa Bessy!
Evaluation from benjennet:
Come to this school, you won´t regret it! I also highly recommend the family homestay. Great experience!
Evaluation from blanca:
This is a huge school, in a large, walled campus. The campus is lovely, but being walled in with 200 other people from the USA is more like English immersion than Spanish immersion. Also the classes were large, around 10 students. I think a smaller school, with a less-fancy campus, and guaranteed small classes (2-4 students), or just hiring a tutor, would be better. Many Spanish schools operate out of store fronts closer to the center of town, and I think those unglamorous facilities would provide better immersion. At ICO most of the teachers were very good, but they were restricted by the school's text book and grammar-focused approach, and by the large class size. Perhaps for a very beginning Spanish student, or for someone who is insecure about being in Mexico, ICO would be ideal. But for most students, I recommend signing on for one week only at any school in Oaxaca, then settling in to the city, checking out the other schools and the many inns and posadas, and deciding at the end of the first week whether to switch schools or just hire a tutor. After I completed the weeks I had pre-paid at ICO, I stopped going there and met with a tutor every day. That way I had more time to read and write in Spanish and to wander around town getting into conversations with people. I learned more with my 2 hours/day of tutoring than I had learned in 6 hours/day at ICO.
Evaluation from katwood8:
I have studied Spanish in Latin America five times. My experience at the ICO was by far the best! The professors were excellent! I really enjoyed and benefited from the many activities (intercambios, conversation class, workshops) that the school offered.
Evaluation from Sandy:
Evaluation from susana_mejia-bustos:
Very good for beginning level Spanish. Weak in advanced Spanish.
Evaluation from nomadness:
This may not be the cheapest school in Oaxaca, but the awesome physical surroundings are worth it, in my view. I studied there for 3 weeks in late 2012 and had excellent teachers and made good progress. The homestay they found for me and my friend was wonderful - near the school and very comfortable. The school is fairly big and busy, so easy to meet other students. Activities are organized regularly, and intercambios with local residents were great.
Evaluation from gkashmira:
I really liked my first two weeks at this school. The building and grounds are beautiful, the family I stayed with was fantastic and the classes were good with a smart teacher and a small class size. However, during my third and final week my class was combined with another level and the teacher changed. The class was suddenly 8 students, which drastically reduces the amount of attention a teacher can spend with each person. The "talleres" or workshops in the afternoon were fun except my salsa dancing class got restarted on week two because a large number of new students joined. This would normally be fine except no one told me until after I had paid an additional $25 to take both the salsa class and the cooking class that week. This is a very professional school with a great staff. I think my experience during my final week was the result of a number of different university groups showing up at the same time. I would recommend ICC as it is a good school, however it might be worthwhile to see if any large groups will be there at the same time.
Evaluation from unistudent:
ICO requests that you pay in cash up front, before taking any classes. DO THIS FOR ONE WEEK AT A TIME! during busy seasons, when college groups are at the school, your needs become secondary. class sizes reached up to 11 students despite i belieeve an 8 student cap. I was provided with a teacher who had never taught before - he was expecting to teach children that morning and was tossed in our classroom. he had zero lesson plans, no knowledge of grammar structure, and asked us, his spanish class students, about how to say words in english. if you go to ICO, TEST OUT YOUR INSTRUCTOR before paying them a dime, any money you give them will never be seen again regardless of the service they provide! I was absolutely livid about my experiences with ICO, and it ruined my trip to mexico.
Evaluation from ajtaggit:
The best part about this school was the palm trees. I felt trapped, being there all day long - other language schools have "cultural immersion" programs that take you outside the city or to businesses within it, this school just hires instructors for pottery, dance, cooking etc who are friendly, but have to deal with students constantly flowing in and out of their workshops. Also, finding the right class level for me was impossible. it was more about finding a teacher that could teach than a teacher teaching at my level.
Evaluation from palpet:
Don't let the palm trees fool you, this program is a cash cow for a member of Oaxaca's informal oligarchy. Classes are super lame compared to other schools' - you never leave the grounds. Other schools in the city will get you out of town to see the surrounding culture, and it doesn't cost an extra $50 on the weekends - it's included in the price.
Evaluation from mglatt:
Like most schools, ICO has both good and bad points. The campus is beautiful and the school is extremely well organized with mostly top notch instructors. On the other hand, the high level of organization cuts down on flexibility and not all of the instructors are well seasoned. My particular advanced intermediate class didn’t really meet my learning needs. My instructor was a little inexperienced and my class was fairly large and the membership was constantly evolving (6 people is large in the world of language instruction) leaving me feeling like I wasn’t progressing particularly quickly. I switched to a much smaller school, and for me, the experience was considerably better. If I were sending my teenage daughter to Oaxaca to learn Spanish I would choose ICO where I know she would be taken care of. I’m not so sure it works as well for independent seasoned travelers who want to walk away with reasonable Spanish. General tips: only pay for one week of school in advance. (yeah I know about the discount… stick to this rule anyway) When checking out schools ask to see their materials. Look for a program where you are exposed to multiple teaching styles. Do not choose a program that keeps you busy at the school all day. Take advantage of intercambio programs (check out the Oaxacan lending library), go to cafes, bars, newspaper stands, other pueblos and speak Spanish. Intimidating, yes, but if I can do it so can you. Have fun!
Evaluation from terriholl:
In total I studied at Instituto Cultural Oaxaca for eight weeks in 2009. I found the instruction to be outstanding and highly flexible to that which I wanted to learn given my skill level. Beyond the instruction, the Director, Yolanda García Caballero wanted me to experience the cultural of Oaxaca, which made my experience richer, but which also enhanced my learning the language. I stayed with a local family, organized through the school, which allowed an even greater insight into the cultural, and who supportedly my acquiring the language and made my experience so much more enjoyable by including in many of their activities. I highly recommend Instituto Cultural Oaxaca.
Evaluation from andrewd215:
Evaluation from hans3595:
I have studied at the ICO twice. Once in the fall of 2013, and again this summer. Initially, I had only planned to stay for 3 weeks, but I loved the school and city so much that I decided to stay for 3 months. The school is centrally located within the city, which makes walking to various sites an absolute dream. Aside from that, the teachers are highly qualified - absolute masters of their craft (and speaking as a former teacher, I like to think I know a thing or two about good education). Studying at the ICO is a true immersion experience, and everyone at the school is willing and eager to help you with whatever you may need. They care about you as a whole, and not just your tuition payment. For example, they have a great relationship with a local doctor (who is fluent in English) who works closely with school and any students who may fall ill while traveling. The school has a non profit foundation which provides women in the surrounding pueblos with microloans to empower them to start their own businesses. I have taken advantage of both the Main Program and more than my fair share of private lessons here at the school, and I couldn't have made a better choice. I highly recommend that if you are looking for a language school, that you stop looking, and register at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca today. You won't be disappointed!
Evaluation from Vaucher: