What is the average age of the students?
We have had students at the school aged between 16 and 70.
However, the majority of the students learning Spanish with
us are between 18 and 35 years old.
For how many weeks do most people take Spanish lessons?
The amount of time students attend Cristóbal Colón Spanish School varies greatly
and depends on students' travel plans and
level of Spanish. The amount of time one spends in class each day can also vary. It is up to you to decide how long you want to stay with
us and what level you would like to reach. However, we recommend
that Beginners take at least 20 hours of classes, and Intermediate
and Advanced students take 40 hours.
Do I have to take classes at set times or particular days?
Absolutely not! We tailor our classes to your needs so that you can take
as many hours of classes as you want and when you want. Just ask us
and we will find a teacher that suits your needs.
Do you offer group classes?
Based on our extensive experience, we have seen significantly better results when students work with a teacher on a one-on-one basis. This method of teaching ensures that our teachers can effectively attend to your learning style and pace. However, group classes are possible for a pre-existing group. Please have a look at our SPANISH COURSES page for more details.
Do I have to speak Spanish before taking classes?
No, you don't have to speak or understand Spanish before joining.
Our teaching methods are designed to help you with the first steps
of learning a new language all the way to the advanced level. If you are already familiar with the language, we will ask you to do a preliminary written test before starting your
classes which will allow us to tailor your course to your needs from day one.
Do the teachers speak English?
All of our teachers speak some English, but we teach all the
lessons in Spanish only which obliges you to learn faster
(English may be used as a last resort!)
I am thinking of taking lessons in more than one location. Will this affect my learning?
Your progress is tracked and the academic director José keeps a record in Quito.
A personal record of your progress is updated
and communicated to all teachers regardless of your location.
Furthermore, all teachers follow the same basic
teaching structure which ensures uniform progress from week to week.
Can I change school locations after arriving?
Yes! We encourage you to make full use of the different school locations around Ecuador. Normally, we require
a week's advance notice regarding any changes. For more information, please have a look at The Other Schools in Ecuador.
How many teachers do you have?
We currently have 15 teachers. All of our teachers are qualified with many years of experience
in teaching students of all levels in Spanish.
Where do your students come from?
They mostly come from the U.S.A., Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan. But we have also had a few students from other countries around the world.
Can you recommend any accommodations?
We have a variety of HOST FAMILIES adjoining our school (3 block and less far) where many of our students
stay. This allows for a wider social group as you can mix with
both students in the school and those who stay in the House.
Also please have a look at our TUTAMANDA HOSTEL website. The hostel is located right next door. Do not feel obligated to stay there. You can stay
at the hostel or in at the Host Family without taking classes, and take classes without
staying at the Tutamanda Hostel or at a Host Family.
Homestay - Is there a choice of families?
Our homestay option is very popular because it improves your
Spanish and makes it much easier to find new friends. Our homestay families are all middle class and are very pleased to have
students stay with them. They enjoy helping students with their immersion in the Ecuadorian culture.
we will try to match any specific requirements with the families
that we work with. If, for whatever reasons, you are unhappy with
your particular family, please let us know and we will move you to another family.
Will I get the host family's address and phone number?
Yes, shortly before your departure we will inform you of your
family's name and contact details.
Can I organize my own accommodation?
Of course! There is no obligation to stay with a family or
in our hostel. All of our locations offer a range of hostels/hotels. We would be happy to help organize something for you if you'd like.
What forms of payment are accepted by the school?
We accept travellers cheques or cash. Credit cards can be used to withdraw cash at most banks and ATMs in Quito.
Do I have to stay with families for a set time?
No. Although our prices are quoted per week, you can stay additional days.You will be charged a daily rate based on a pro-rated weekly rate.
When do language courses start?
We understand that you are a traveller and that you cannot be restrained by a timetable. You can start
lessons any day of the week, at any time. We want to work alongside your plans to help you have the best experience possible in Ecuador.
What is the application procedure and is there an application deadline?
No, we do not have an application procedure. However, in order for us to arrange a teacher for you, we need at least 2 hours notice. For example, if you want to start your lessons on a Monday at 9 am, we need to know about your intentions at 7 am at the latest on Monday morning. You can just send us an email or call us at 00 593 2-2506508 or 00 5932 2222964. Emergency calls to José's cell phone : 00-593-998784872.
Do I receive a certificate upon completion of my course?
Yes, if you wish. The certificate will state the period of time studied and the level obtained.
Can the school help me with my travel plans in Ecuador?
We have extensive experience working with travel agents offering
tours throughout the country. We will also be happy to offer independent advice to our students and to facilitate bookings when requested.
Does the school offer internet access?
We have a free WiFi connection at the school. You can also use our computer at the school.
Is Cristóbal Colón Spanish School a legally registered school with a legitimate professional background?
Cristóbal Colón Spanish School has been authorised to operate as an educational establishment by Ecuador's Ministry of Education since 1996, Nª 029-SD-DINEPP. Moreover, our Ecuadorian founder and director, José Aguirre, is a professional in the field of education, especially in the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language, with over 15 years of experience in different Latin American & European countries. Click here for a look at his profile.