Spanish school question for Nonstop

May 16th, 2007, 05:42 AM
  #1  
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Spanish school question for Nonstop

Nonstop,
Shillmac suggested I ask for your guidance regarding Spanish schools in latin america.

In March I spent a week at CPI Heredia in San Joaquin and loved it. My cousin (who joined me there) and I are now planning a trip for late November and are looking to visit a new country.

We only have 1-2 weeks (she's still figuring out her schedule) and we'd like a place with good instruction and homestays, access to culture/nature close to the school (either for the afternoons or the weekend), and a place that will feel fairly safe for two women traveling alone. (We both live in downtown Chicago and have traveled a bit, but mostly to Europe before the CR trip.)

Hopefulist suggested Copan, Honduras, (the school is Ixabalanque, if I got that spelling right), which looks great. But we're still in the early stages of research and considering all options.

Anyone else is welcome to weigh in, too!

Thanks so much-
melissa
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May 16th, 2007, 05:56 AM
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There are tons of schools in Antigua Guatemala. We felt comfortable walking around there all the time. We have been twice but not to spanish schools.
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May 16th, 2007, 06:52 AM
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Thanks for the tip, Suzie2! I've heard lots of great things about Guatemala (Antigua in particular) but was a little concerned about safety after reading the U.S. (and Australian and UK) travel advisory sites.

Did you drive or take buses around the country? (From Guatemala City to Antigua, for example.) How many people were you traveling with?

I suppose I should do a search of the Guatemala forum and I'll probably find discussions of safety--but I'm happy to hear your two cents here if you'd like!
Thanks again,
melissa
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May 16th, 2007, 03:40 PM
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Lots of excellent schools in Guatemala. My concern about studying in Antigua is there seem to be way more English speakers than Spanish speakers there. I don't think I have the will power to study in a place without falling back on English so that would shoot the immersion factor for me which is a really big deal.

Check out www.123teachme.com (take the reviews with a grain of salt) and www.guatemala365.com for more school ideas.
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May 16th, 2007, 06:38 PM
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mmb23:

For a total experience I liked Ixbalanque in Honduras probably the best. Having said that I studied in Antigua at PFLM school last year and liked it very much. the quality of the education was good partly because I requested a teacher I knew would put me through the paces. The quality of the homestays vary a lot in Antigua. Antigua is really gaining popularity with non Spanish speakers which can be a problem. I think there are something like 86 Spanish schools in Antigua. Antigua is very safe for the most part. However, for the quaintness, Copan is hard to beat. The school is a little more casual but fun. We just finished dinner tonight with a couple who asked me where was my favorite place and I said "Honduras". However, I just finished a week in Granada, Nicaragua and also had a very good experience. It was probably the most immersed I have ever been. If you want the e-mail of my teacher there I can give it to you. She is getting ready to open her own school there. she and another teacher did one on one lessons with a friend and me. She was previously with the Cocibolca school but it recently shut down. She also accompanied us on tours every day. Hope that helps. Let me know if you need more info. I felt very safe in NIca and Copan.
nonstop is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 06:50 PM
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mmb23,
Just another note. . .I spoke with a workshop facilitator today who leads workshops to help Texas teachers prepare for the very tough oral exam to be certified bilingually.
She is getting ready to lead a workshop in Cuernavaca, MX. Don't have any experience with it myself, but I do know that it is supposed to be a very good program. This lady, Avigail Vicentes, is a very tough teacher (cuts no slack in that prep process), and I got the impression from her that she thinks Cuernavaca is one of the best.

Why don't you google her? She has a website, I believe. My info on her is at school. She might also be a good person to speak with. Her phone number will be on the website, I think.
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May 17th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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nonstop & shillmac,
thanks so much for the info! nonstop, I'd love the info on your Nica teacher--my cousin (whom I'm traveling with) just got back from a week doing medical work in Managua (she's a nurse) and if she's not intent on going to a new country, I'd be happy to study in Granada.

I also appreciate the info on Copan; it looks pretty alluring on most counts!

Thanks to all-
melissa
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