Frequently asked questions

Lessons:

FOR HOW LONG SHOULD I STUDY SPANISH?

The time a students wants to study depends on their aim and their motivation. The time period extends from one week to eight or more weeks of studying Spanish. If a student wants to learn Spanish for travelling in Latin America, we recommend 1 to 3 weeks, depending on prior knowledge and speed of learning. This is a sufficient time to feel comfortable and handle daily life while travelling. If your goal is to study at the University, work in a Spanish speaking country, or become a fluent speaker, you will need to study Spanish for a longer.

We can help you decide the right amount of time to study Spanish.

SHOULD I TAKE GROUP OR INDIVIDUAL CLASSES?

In general we recommend beginners, or for students studying for 1 or 2 weeks, to start with individual lessons. Individual lessons accelerate the learning process.

DO I NEED TO HAVE PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH SPANISH?

No, you don’t have to know any Spanish. Our teachers are specially trained to teach foreigners without precognition.

DO THE TEACHERS SPEAK ENGLISH?

Our teachers speak some English, but normally it is not necessary. The lessons are all held completely in Spanish, in order to accelerate the learning process. English is spoken only if necessary.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT IN A GROUP CLASS?

The most popular courses are intensive or super intensive courses with 20, 25 or 30 hours. These take place in a group of maximum 6 students. Better, however, is a smaller group. Groups with max. 6 students are ideal. How to obtain enough individual attention? Together you develop solutions in small groups or pairs and profit from the mistakes and insights of others. If you want more attention and have little time -perhaps a combination course ideal: Group course + private lessons or just private lessons.

WHAT IS A PLACEMENT TEST?

If you are a complete beginner, you do not need a placement test, since you’re starting at a zero level. The test consists of a small written part and a multiple choice test, as well as insert tasks. After evaluation of the test you will be allocated into a class with suitable language level. The language levels are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

What to do if I feel unwell despite placement test in the class?

If you feel over- or under, please contact as soon as possible the office. We will do everything we can to satisfy you and your stay.

DOES THE SCHOOL OFFER ANY ACTIVITY PROGRAM?

The language school offers a recreational program. Many of these activities are free, such as Cooking class, Salsa lessons…

Our school locations:

IS THE CONTINUITY OF TEACHING ENSURED IF I TAKE LESSONS IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS?

Yes, continuity is guaranteed! Our teachers get a report about each student and their learning-process before they start class with another teacher or location. Our programs are all coordinated in Quito by our Academic Director, Eugenio Cordova. All of our teachers follow the same teaching methods to facilitate the learning process.

WHEN IS THE LAST TIME TO CHANGE MY STUDYING PLANS? CAN I CHANGE PLANS DURING MY STAY IN ECUADOR?

Yes, it is always possible to change the location or the program. We need one week advanced notice to change locations and at least two weeks advance notice for the Galapagos Islands.

I WILL NOT BE STUDYING IN QUITO, WHO WILL BE MY CONTACT PERSON?

The Instituto Superior de Español administrative office is located in Quito. This central location makes it easy to coordinate activities and offer a better service. Our Director, Eugenio Cordova may be contacted at [email protected]

Our students:

HOW OLD ARE OUR STUDENTS IN GENERAL?

The average age of our students varies a lot. We have had students from age 4 to 70. The majority of students range from 18 to 35 years, but there is no reason not to learn Spanish if you do not fit into this age bracket!

ARE THERE MORE WOMEN OR MEN STUDYING SPANISH?

Normally the rate of men and women at our school is even, although this varies.

HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE STUDYING AT THE SAME TIME IN THE SCHOOL?

Depending on the season the number of students varies. On average we have approximately 18 students studying in the morning and 18 studying in the afternoon. Studying time depends on the preference of the student.

HOW MANY TEACHER WORK AT THE SCHOOL?

We have 10 Spanish teachers at the Instituto Superior de Español, all who hold university degrees and are experienced in teaching Spanish to foreigners.

WHERE ARE THE STUDENTS FROM?

We have many students from Switzerland, Germany, Holland, UK, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and a few from other countries.

Accommodation:

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT FAMILY FOR ME?

A home stay means living with an Ecuadorian family. This offers you the opportunity to practise your Spanish outside of the school and to get to know more about the Ecuadorian culture. Our families are middle class and very keen to welcome students into their families and involve them in everyday life. We try to make a perfect match, but in the case we do not, we are happy to change the student to a different family. We want you to be happy and your experience to be comfortable!

WHEN WILL I GET MY HOST FAMILIES PHONE NUMBER AND INFORMATION?

Instituto Superior de Español will send you contact information, addresses, phone numbers, and personal details about your family 3 working days after your confirmation.

MAY I STAY WITH MY PARTNER IN A HOME STAY?

Yes, if you want to stay with your partner it is no problem. Please inform us by filling in the “any other comments”-box on the online registration form.

MAY I BOOK MY OWN ACCOMMODATION?

If you prefer to stay at a hotel/hostel you are free to do so. If you need help or want a suggestion of a good hotel/hostel close to the school do not hesitate to ask.

Administrative Issues:

WHAT CAN I DO IF I HAVE PROBLEMS ON THE GROUND?

In case that turn up problems or discomfort in the language course or at the property (ie a host family), inform us immediately in the school. Ask for help in solving your problem. The language school is very concerned about the welfare of their students, and mostly can also find a solution quickly and efficiently.

WHAT IS THE CURRENCY IN ECUADOR?

In the year 2000 Ecuador adopted the US Dollar. This makes it straightforward for students to withdrawa money and spend money in Ecuador.

HOW DO I PAY FOR THE SCHOOL? WHICH FORMS OF PAYMENT ARE ACCEPTED?

You can send your payment to the Instituto Superior de Español by bank transfer or upon your arrival. We accept only US dollars. We are located near many ATM’s and banks.

DO I HAVE TO STAY WITH THE HOST FAMILY FOR A SPECIFIC TIME?

No, you may stay with your host family before and after your time at the Instituto Superior de Español. Extra days will be brought to account on a daily basis.

WHEN DO LANGUAGE CLASSES START?

Our language classes start every day, but in general we prefer new students start school on Monday. This makes it easier to coordinate teachers and activities to welcome you to our school and city.

HOW DO I REGISTER FOR THE INSTITUTO SUPERIOR DE ESPAÑOL AND WHEN IS THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER?

To apply you only need to fill in the online registration form. Registering is possible until the day before your classes start, but we would appreciate if you register sooner to simplify the administration work.

DO I RECEIVE A CERTIFICATE OF MY STUDIES?

Yes! Every student gets a certificate which includes the duration of study and level reached.

CAN THE SCHOOL HELP ME WITH MY FURTHER TRAVEL PLANS?

Yes, we are able to help you plan your travel in Ecuador and in South America. We can do this before or after classes start. During your stay we offer weekend trips and can always help to arrange other excursions. We have many suggestions of what to do with your time in Ecuador!

DOES THE SCHOOL OFFER INTERNET ACCESS?

Yes, our school in Quito offers students unlimited access to the Internet. We also have wireless Internet. In our other locations Internet is only available in Internet cafes. This usually cost around $1 per hour. Internet cafes are available in nearly every medium-sized city, but not available in the Amazon.
Ecuador

IS THE AMAZON SAFE?

When travelling, one should always be aware of their surroundings, especially in public areas such as the bus. In the Amazon eco lodge safety boxes are provided for your valuables. In general, the area our students live in is very safe. In the Amazon, mosquitoes will be your biggest bother… so remember your bug repellent!

WHAT ASSISTANCE DOES THE SCHOOL OFFER IN CASE OF EMERGENCY?

We take care of our students 7 days a week, 24-hours a day, from the time they arrive to the time they leave! If a problem arises we have a 24-hour emergency telephone available. We do ask that all our students contract external insurance before travelling to South America. The Instituto Superior de Español does not take responsibility for the students in case of any kind of accident or illness.

I AM TRAVELLING ALONE AS A WOMEN, WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE?

As a female traveler you do not need to be concerned more than anywhere else. Our school and house families are in safe areas. In addition, we can give you advice about which areas are not safe and where you should not go. For both men and women, we always recommend taking a taxi after dark. If you take care, as you would in any new place, you should have no problems.

HOW IS THE CLIMATE IN THE AMAZON?

In the Amazon the whether is tropical and the average temperature is between 27 to 29 degrees Celsius (80 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit). It does rain and can be humid.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE AMAZON?

We recommend that our students wear long pants and bring appropriate clothes to be protected against mosquitoes. It is also necessary to bring a light rain jacket. Bug repellent is absolutely necessary!


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What Customers Say


  • The atmosphere in the school is really nice, while the break you can sit next to all the other students and eat, drink tea or coffe and talk. Through the breaks, cooking classes and Salsa lessons it´s really easy to make new friends and get in contact with the others, even if you´re travelling alone. The spanish classes are little (2-4 students), so it´s easier for the teacher to focus individually on the students. I always felt free to ask the teacher and became the right answers in a competent way, we also made jokes throuhout the lessons so it never got boring. I also could ask the employers/teachers how to get somewhere or how to get there with which bus, they always helped. The school is in the centre of Quito, so you can easily do sightseeing or going to a cafe or restaurant alone or with the other students after the spanish lessons if you want. Compliments: Nice atmosphere, patient and competent teachers. Nice tips and trips offered. Your spanish teacher/group is exactly adopted to your level of spanish-knowledge you already have
    Isabell Geidel
    Germany
    -
    Feb. 2017
  • Amazing experience: very professional and dedicated trachers, friendly and helpful staff :)
    Ruta M.
    Germany
  • I'm very satisfied with the Instituto Superior de Espanol Spanish School. Great teachers, great accomodation in host family :)
  • Never made a trip, which was that well organized. You're amazing Eugenio! Sorry for asking you hundrets of questions before traveling to Ecuador. But I finally did it, and it was amazing. I really enjoyed my time in Otavalo. It's such a lovely town and I felt much safer then in Quito. But I didn't hat enough time to visit Galapagos. That's sad :/ But maybe I'll come back next year. And of course I'll aks hundrets of questions :) Saludos Anna de Alemana
    Anna
    Germany
  • had a great week at ISE learning Spanish in the mornings, seeing Quito in the afternoon and then practicing Spanish with my homestay family in the evenings. Immersion was very effective and I am much more confident in Spanish than I was before. Thank you for your time and hard work. I enjoyed learning Salsa, and spend a great day in the mountains with the pupils.  Becky
    Becky
    USA

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