The websites for language schools don’t seem to offer many alternatives to get to your host families house other than to be picked up from the airport.Â Since we were already in Quito, we didn’t want to go back to the airport, so we just met the family in front of the school at a designated time.Â Just make sure to get their phone # in case there is a problem.
Â http://www.latinoschools.com/ecuador/index.htmPrice â€“ varies (based on hours a day, days per week and home stay or not) see website for details.
Education â€“ This school gets a number of students who are doing a semester abroad through their university.Â The universities have many requirements for their students such as giving a 10 minute presentation, exams every week, etc.Â Even though we do not need to fulfill such requirements, we are in classes with people who do, so everyone does the same thing.Â That made this course fairly rigorous and heavy in the grammar.Â I spent 3 hours a day conjugating irregular verbs.Â Then the last hour was more conversational. Â We joined together with another class to play vocabulary games etc.Â
Extras -Â Â On Monday we went on a tour of the city with the school director.Â It was great to learn about the history and culture of Quito.Â It was also really helpful to have someone help us figure out the layout of the city and how the bus system works.Â Every afternoon they offer activities and excursions.Â Only the aerobics is free.Â All the other things involve going to a local attraction, such as the cable car, orchid gardens, museums etc.Â You have to pay for the cost of transportation and the entrance fee.Â
Amenities â€“ The school building itself is a gorgeous Spanish style building.Â They have a nice patio to hang out on and a snack bar.Â They offer free wireless (but many people told us very contradictory information about how to use it, including a $20 fee to have a guy from the company come out and put in a password.Â Finally, the director was able to give us the password for free and it worked fine.Â They have about 10 computers with internet, but you have to pay for it.Â There is a lady who is in charge of activities and tours.Â If you want to do the things she organizes, it is great.Â She can also help with buying plane tickets and other activities, but her English was so so and our Spanish is even less, so the conversation was confusing at times, and we tended to get information about things we weren’t interested in.Â
Recommended? â€“ It depends on what level of Spanish you are at.Â If you are a complete beginner, I would say no(Costa Rica is a better choice).Â I was probably at the bottom of the barrel at the school.Â They put me about a week ahead of what I had just finished in Costa Rica and I struggled.Â There were only 2 of us in that class.Â Chris, who is at a more intermediate level, was fine.Â There were many more people at the higher levels of Spanish, so the classes could accommodate them a little better.
I did like this school a little better for social relationships.Â There were only 13 of us new compared to the 35-40 new in CRLA.Â So, everyone was friendly and welcoming of each other rather than making little pockets of friendships.Â
Host Family â€“ We did not stay with a host family in CR.Â We did stay with one in Quito.Â They were very nice.Â A family of 4 (mom, dad, 19 year old daughter and 10 year old son) with a little dog.Â I am glad we were able to go there and experience a little bit of middle class Quito life.Â But, I did feel a little like we were putting them out.Â The daughter had to sleep in the same double bed as her little brother because we were in her room, and they were a busy working family.Â So, I was happy to stay there for a week, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be there for 1-3 months like many of the students are.Â For 2 of us it is about $250 to stay with a host family per week (7 days) including breakfast and dinner.Â That means you are paying double if you are frequently gone on the weekends.Â That breaks down to about $40 per day ( for 2) if you stay 6 out of the 7 nights a week.Â We could probably pay rent and food for more like $35 a day (for 2) eating well.Â So, it is probably a little more expensive with a host family.Â
The cable car (Telephonico)â€“ absolutely beautiful ($8 including bus to mountain and cable car)
Museo de Ciudad â€“ interesting, but we had a Spanish guide, and I’m just not there yet, so I had a hard time understanding what he said.Â ($1 entrance fee for students.Â $4 for an English guide)
The churches are beautiful and we also visited the building where the Spanish nobility plotted against Napoleon’s cousin who he put in charge of Spain.Â Fascinating history.