how to choose a spanish school

Study Spanish Ecuador

Some tips for choosing a Spanish school in Ecuador

We know how hard it can be to choose a Spanish school in Quito or Cuenca or anywhere else in Ecuador!

Below are some pointers and tips that we hope will help you in making your decision. Please let us know if you have any particular questions.


Things that are important to take into account:

  1. Is the school legal? Is it registered with the Ministerio de Educación? - A surprising number of schools are not registered, which means that they do not adhere to the legal requirements nor minimum conditions to qualify as a Spanish language school. There are Spanish Schools in Quito that do not even have a sign outside for fear that local authorities will pay them a visit!
  2. Does the school have its own location (not using part of a hostel or other non-dedicated school space)? - Sometimes a "Spanish School" will open in a hostel, taking advantage of the fact that foreigners stay there to offer them Spanish classes. But they have no dedicated space, materials, or oversight.
  3. Is the school a professional school with a well-defined methodology and professional, qualified teachers? - The great majority of Spanish schools merely leave the teacher to figure out what to do with the student, charging the student a fee and paying the teacher a minimal amount and pocketing the difference.
  4. Do they pay their teachers an appropriate wage? - There are always people looking for work and who are willing to work for any wage rather than having no wage at all. Some Spanish schools take advantage of this fact.
  5. Does the website give you a good idea of what the school is like – does it look like an inviting place to spend time studying? Does it have internet access? Is it central enough to activities and the life of the city? - Searching out recommendations from previous students can be an important part of the search.
  6. Is the social aspect important to you as a a first-time visitor; does the school offer programs and activities that will allow you to mix with other students and explore as part of a group? Will there be enough students there during your visit to make a social atmosphere? - The great majority of schools may only have one or two students at a time at certain times of the year, which does not lead to great opportunities for social interaction.
  7. Is the touristic aspect important to you as a first-time visitor; does the school have programs and activities that will make it easy for you to explore the city/country? - The most professional schools have programs that integrate Spanish courses with cultural excursions and activities that help their students immerse their Spanish classes in a wider context.
  8. Are the payment processes well enough defined and refund policies easily accessed? - We have heard stories of Spanish schools that offer cheap prices only to try to add on charges at a later stage to make up for the cheap prices.
  9. Are all materials and registration included in the price?
  10. Is there flexibility in the scheduling – can you change your planned itinerary once you are studying? - We have heard of schools that try to charge everything up front at the start of classes, which makes it hard to make changes later on. A school that is confident in its services will not need to insist on charging everything up front!
  11. Is the school part of an association of Spanish schools? or does it have any wider associations that would validate it as a reliable Spanish language school? - Any serious Spanish school will seek associations to promote its value as a professional institution.


Things that may be important to you personally:

  1. Are you interested in the social and touristic aspects of the school as well as the purely educational?
  2. Would you like to travel and sightsee while you study Spanish?
  3. Do you have special learning or other requirements that the school will need to take into account?
  4. Is the school a for-profit or non-profit? What are their connections to the development and social needs of the country?
  5. Does the school adequately prepare you for your experience in their country – safety briefing, cell phone rental, etc.?


Things to look out for:

  1. Schools that are not legally registered - All Spanish schools should be registered with the Ministry of Education to ensure that they meet certain minimum standards in terms of professional certification, school space and facilities, etc. The principal reason for not being registered would be failure to meet minimum standards and avoidance of paying the relevant fees and expenses to qualify as a professional Spanish school in Quito.
  2. Schools that do not have a dedicated school space -(some hostels for example hire a couple of Spanish teachers to take advantage of the fact that they receive foreigners and then say that they have a “Spanish School” although there is no curriculum,  methodology, or proper school space)
  3. Schools that are very cheap- some pay their teachers very low wages (as low as $1.50 per hour!). There are always people who will work for this as they are desperate for a job. Supporting a cheap Spanish school promotes these practices!
  4. Hidden extra costs and complicated fee structures 

If you have any questions or need any help at all in figuring out how to choose your Spanish school please contact us.

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