FAQ’s Frequently Asked Questions
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 traveling 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 traveling. 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 lesson accelerate the learning process. For more information on individual or group lesson please click here.
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 accelerates the learning process. English is spoken only if necessary.
2. 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?
3. 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. The studying time depends on the preference of the student.
How many teacher are work at the school?
We have 15 teachers 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.
How do you choose the right family for me?
A home stay means living with an Ecuadorian family. This offers you the opportunity to practice 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.
5. Administrative Issues
What is the currency in Ecuador?
In the year 2000 Ecuador adopted the US Dollar. This makes it straightforward for students to withdrawal 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, PayPal, or upon your arrival. we accept traveler’s checks or 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 everyday, 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, in our school in Quito offers students unlimited access to use 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.
Is the Amazon safe?
When traveling, 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 traveling 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 traveling 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 advices 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!