Spanish immersion in Quito?

Aug 22nd, 2002, 11:15 PM
  #1  
karyn
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Spanish immersion in Quito?

Could anyone tell me their experiences if they took spanish courses inQuito. How about Simon Bolivar? Thanks
 
Aug 23rd, 2002, 08:07 AM
  #2  
sandy
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I attended Simon Bolivar in Jan '97 and was pleased. My homestay was the best I've ever had (and I've had 5-6), my family was VERY upper-middle class and I lived in almost a mansion--3 stories, lovely bedroom w/tv (I never had tv before!), private bath, gourmet meals, maid. My home was just a couple of blocks away from the school and walking distance to town.

My teacher was good, I had 1-1 for 4 hours a day and we seldom stayed in the classroom . . . we made trips to the equator, to Saquisilí for their weekly market, went all over the city, great experiences.

I LOVED Ecuador . . . on one weekend, I went to Otavalo for their market and then decided to stay on a few extra days in Ecuador and go out to the Amazonia area.

Hope this helps . . . buen viaje,
Sandy
 
Aug 23rd, 2002, 09:31 PM
  #3  
karyn
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Hi Sandy,

Thanks so much. I am 30yrs. old and was wondering if I should stay in their apartments that they offer with a couple of other students or with a family. You stayed in a big house. Worried I would feel too closed with a family if you know what I mean. Guess I'm concerned I'm too old! lol. Did you find it easy to make friends. What kind of trips did they offer on the weekends? What did you do after classes were over? I heard nice things about the school and probably will go next summer. I am just a beginner in spanish and hoping this helps plus I want to experience the culture of Ecuador.
 
Aug 24th, 2002, 06:58 PM
  #4  
sandy
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Hola Karyn,

You too old at 30? Yikes! I was 54. My family was wonderful and not confining at all. My mom was younger than I . . . she was there if I needed her or just to chat (if I wanted) but otherwise, left me to myself. There was another student in the home, she was 21 and from Norway . . . we had a great time going around together.

Most of the students at the school when I went were 20-30 and they didn't act like they noticed my age. I only was in school for one week so only had two free weekends and the extra days I took for the Amazonia adventure (alone). I arranged my trips myself, very easy to do. I, too, was a beginning Spanish speaker (and that's putting it loosely). Everyone was patient and just happy I was trying to speak Spanish.

You'll have a wonderful time!
Sandy
 
Aug 25th, 2002, 10:17 AM
  #5  
karyn
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Sandy,

Thanks. After reading lots of web sites I think I'll choose Simon Bolivar, but might stay with the schools apartment lodging, not sure. Curious, where else did you go.. you said you went to 5-6 schools, and how did you like them and or the country?

-Karyn
 
Aug 25th, 2002, 12:52 PM
  #6  
sandy
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Went twice to Cuernavaca, Mexico--once for 3 weeks, once for 2. School big, too structured, long story why I went and went twice.

Also went to La Ceiba, Honduras (school no longer there, had the best teacher I ever had at this school, school was held right on the beach, nothing to do in La Ceiba).

Went to Quito; went to Antigua, Guatemala . . . also had a great family stay, stayed with a little grandma/grandpa couple, she cooked awesome meals, others in my school were eating beans/tortillas and I was eating gourmet. Had a good teacher, LOVED Guatemals.

Went to Heredia, Costa Rica, worst family stay, even worse school, would not recommend to anyone.

Haven't been but know people who've been to Oaxaca and loved it . . . I might consider going there next. I went to Oaxaca last summer and had wonderful time, might be fun to go to school there.

Sandy
 
Jul 15th, 2003, 10:04 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi. Just wondering if there's any more recent info on schools in Quito. I was also thinking of the Simon Bolivar school in either late September or late November. Thanks.
Vita is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 02:51 AM
  #8  
 
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The only real downside to Simon Bolivar is it is owned and operated by a European rather than an Ecuadorian....I preferred to study in a school owned by a native, to support microenterprises by Ecuadorians....check www.guayasaminschool.com....Luis Mena is the owner......his school is in a safer area than is Simon Bolivar. His staff is excellent....as are homestays offered through the school....other options are available as well....
drdawggy is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 11:51 AM
  #9  
 
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I studied at Simon Bolivar about 6 months ago. The neighborhood is quite safe and the teachers are personable and knowledgable. I loved the eclectic mix of people who were there -- other gringos plus a LOT of Europeans. The prices are very reasonable and there are plenty of outside activities to keep you busy evenings and weekends. My experience with Simon Bolivar was absolutely first rate. I highly recommend them.

I didn't do the homestay though. I like my creature comforts, so I opted to stay down the street in an upscale small hotel called La Cartuja. The rates were around $50 a night, but it was just a block or two walk from the school and the room was spotlessly clean and comfortable and the service second to none.

Hope this helps,
Mark
www.tiogringo.com
TioGringo is offline  
Jul 26th, 2003, 01:25 AM
  #10  
 
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Mark,

I, too, stayed at La Cartuja on my first trip to Quito....Enjoyed it a great deal....beautiful place and delightful owners BUT....the entire Mariscal Sucre area has become dangerous at night...I was robbed at knife point by a group of teen thugs just a block or so from la Cartuja, literally on the edge of the McDonalds parking lot..at 7PM, not late at night....they used the cover of the park across the street to retreat...

So, be wary anywhere in Gringolandia....
drdawggy is offline  
Dec 13th, 2003, 07:14 AM
  #11  
 
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Can you guys tell me how much the fee was for these schools? What was included in them?
Tina_NYC is offline  
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