Quito Spanish School - © Unknown

Questions & Answers

Do your frequently asked questions go frequently unanswered? At Ailola Quito we’re committed to providing you the detailed information you need to confidently study Spanish with us in Ecuador. Read on to find out more!

Language School Questions

  • What makes Ailola Quito different from other language schools?

    The pioneers of Spanish language programs for foreigners in Ecuador, we’ve got over 20 years of experience under our belt! In this period, we've consistently kept sight of our vision that the best way to learn Spanish is through immersion and practice. Indeed, we combine volunteering opportunities and homestays with our language courses, and can take you there with a team of warm, personable staff whose knowledge of local culture is second to none. We’re also the only language school in Ecuador with classes all over the country – 7 locations in fact.

  • What qualifications do the teachers have?

    Ailola Quito is generally staffed with 15 teachers, all of whom hold University degrees in fields like Spanish Language Studies and Latin American Literature. Aside from just top-notch qualifications, our team comprises native Spanish-speakers who are more often than not local Ecuadorians.

  • When are program start dates?

    Our language classes begin every day, but in general we prefer that new students start classes on Monday. This makes it easier for us to coordinate teachers and activities for our orientation program, which introduces you to both the school and the city.

  • Should I bring any materials to class?

    Included in your course fees is just about everything you need to learn Spanish, including textbooks, photocopies and a notebook. The only thing we ask you to bring is a dictionary!

  • Am I too old for a language school? Too young?

    No and no! While the majority of our students range from 18 to 35 years of age, at Ailola Quito we welcome students anywhere from the ages of 4 to 70 and above. (That probably means you!)

  • How do I get from the airport to my accommodation?

    Since February 2013 all international flights to Quito arrive to Mariscal Sucre International Airport around 14 miles (25 kilometers) northeast of Quito. Included in your course fees is an airport transfer, which we will arrange with you prior to your departure. We strongly recommend you take us up on this offer, considering issues relating to travel time, cost and safety for first-time visitors to Quito.

  • Is there someone I could speak with about your schools?

    Of course! We have an administration staff and a full-time student coordinator on hand at Ailola Quito to answer any additional questions or concerns you may have. Contact us today via e-mail, phone or Skype.

Quito & Ecuador Questions

  • Why should I choose to study abroad in Quito?

    Quito is one of the best places on earth to study abroad, with it's UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, it’s foreigner-friendly citizens, amazing authentic cuisine, plus an endless selection of travel and adventure opportunities that you can easily reach from the city. Find more reasons to learn Spanish in Ecuador today!

  • Do I need a visa to travel to Ecuador?

    Citizens of European countries, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to enter Ecuador for up to 90 days, and will be granted a T-3 tourist stamp in their passport on arrival to Ecuador. As always, check with your closest Ecuadorian consular authority for updated information about visas before you leave. If you want to stay longer than 90 days in Ecuador you will need to apply for a visa. Contact us today for advice on visas!

  • Do I need any vaccinations to enter the country?

    The Ecuadorian authorities require proof of yellow fever vaccination if you’re arriving to Ecuador from an area with risk of yellow fever. This includes some of Ecuador’s neighboring countries, and regions of the world with tropical climates and documented cases of yellow fever. Check with your local doctor or consult the Ecuadorian consular authority near you to make sure you have the right yellow fever documentation for arrival.

  • What assistance does the school offer in case of emergency?

    We watch out for our students 7 days a week, 24-hours a day, from the time they arrive, to the time they leave! If a problem arises you can contact us on our 24-hour emergency hotline. We do ask that all our students purchase international travel insurance before traveling to South America. Ailola Quito does not take responsibility for students in scenarios of any kind of accident or illness.

Language Course Questions

  • What level of Spanish language classes should I take?

    When you register for a program with us we’ll make sure you’re in the right course level with our written and oral placement test. There is no minimum Spanish level required, as our teachers are trained and well experienced with beginner’s Spanish.

  • How many weeks should I study?

    Your time commitment for a Spanish course in Ecuador will depend on your aims and motivation to learn. For example, if you want to learn Spanish to travel in South America we recommend a 1 to 3 week course. But again, this will depend on you, your current level of Spanish and your personal goals. Generally speaking, our courses run anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks.

  • What is a typical day like?

    Our traditional group courses run for 4 hours in the morning, including a break. In the first part of the class we focus on new or on-going topics, before working on them later in the class with activities, conversation and group work. For all other courses, a typical day will depend on the type of course you choose to take and the location.

  • What is the average class size?

    At Ailola Quito we guarantee a maximum of 6 students per class, so the average group class size will be anywhere from 2 to 6 students.

  • How do I choose between the group and individual Spanish programs?

    Group classes are great for those who like to learn in a group atmosphere, practice with their peers, and want to study in an intensive setting. On the other hand, individual lessons are ideal for beginners or for students studying for only 1 to 2 weeks, as the one-on-one attention can help to accelerate your progression through levels of Spanish.

  • What is the focus of the advanced classes?

    Advanced classes take your Spanish skills into the realm of real-life, practical scenarios with a focus on local culture and the more advanced elements of Spanish grammar like subjunctive tense. Advanced courses are a great way to prepare you for complex conversations, professional scenarios and travel.

  • Is the continuity of teaching ensured if I take lessons in different locations?

    Yes, continuity is guaranteed! Our teachers report on each student and their learning progress before they start classes with another teacher or at another location. Our programs are coordinated in Quito by our Academic Director and all of our teachers follow the same teaching methodology.

  • Until when can I change my study plans? Can I change plans during my stay in Ecuador?

    Yes, it’s always possible for you to change locations or programs with us. We need one week advanced notice to change locations and at least two weeks advance notice for you to transfer to Galapagos Islands.

  • Can I get university credits from taking these Spanish classes?

    At this moment in time, we do not work with any organizations that convert your Spanish course with us into university credits. However, this may change in the future.

Volunteering Questions

  • Do you offer volunteer programs?

    Simply put – yes, we do! The Ailola Quito Volunteer program is your way to compliment your newly acquired Spanish skills with positive, hands-on experience interacting with a community or environment in need. We work with partner organizations based in the Amazon, Quito and Otavalo in areas of social and community development, plus environmental protection. Find your project today!

Activities Questions

  • Do you offer any additional activities besides Spanish courses?

    Yes! Ailola Quito offers a wide range of optional after-school activities like cooking classes and cultural tours to museums and historic sites. We also offer add-on activities like yoga and dance classes, plus weekend excursions to nearby nature hotspots. Check out our activities page for more!

Accommodation Questions

  • What accommodation options do you offer?

    At Ailola Quito our focus is on the practical elements of language learning, which can be facilitated through immersion in local culture. That’s why we’re excited to be able to set you up with a range of accommodation options in which you’ll not only accelerate your language learning, but get to know a bit more about local culture. We’ve got a forever-expanding network of contacts for homestays, shared or private apartments, plus much more. Find a full description of our accommodation options here!

  • Do I need to book accommodation in order to attend Spanish school?

    No. You can book your Spanish courses in Quito without booking accommodation. Keep in mind, however, that some options like a local homestay or shared apartment are highly recommended for Spanish language practice.

  • Can I move into my accommodation before classes start? Can I stay longer than the duration of the course?

    Yes, you can move in with your host family or other accommodation before your course starts and after it has finished. Extra days will be charged on a daily basis and should be arranged well in advance to ensure availability.

Amazon Questions

  • Is the Amazon safe?

    When traveling, one should always be aware of their surroundings, especially in public areas such as the bus. In the Amazon Eco-Lodge safety boxes are provided for your valuables. In general, the area our students live in is very safe. In the Amazon, mosquitoes will be your biggest hassle... so remember your bug repellent!

  • What’s the weather like in the Amazon?

    In the Amazon the weather is tropical and the average temperature falls between 27 to 29 degrees Celsius (80 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit). It rains and can be humid.

  • What should I bring to the Amazon?

    We recommend that our students wear long pants and bring appropriate clothes to be protected against mosquitoes. It is also necessary to bring a light rain jacket. Bug repellent is absolutely necessary!

Payment & Registration Questions

  • What does the course price include?

    The course price includes enrolment, course materials, and classes with our teaching team of University-educated native speakers. We offer a free airport transfer, 24-hour emergency assistance, the personalized attention of our full-time course coordinator, free afterschool activities, plus assistance with travel, volunteering, accommodation and our Traveling Classroom.

  • When should I pay for courses?

    Courses must be paid for in full before the program start date (either the first day of housing or the course start date, whichever comes first). In order to reserve the Spanish Program, the student must pay a deposit of 25% of the total price two weeks before the program start date. If the program cost is less than US$500, the total program balance must be paid. One week before the program start date, any remaining program balance must be paid in full.

  • What payment types do you accept?

    Payments for Spanish programs can be made by credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express), via PayPal or with a bank transfer before the program start date. Current students who want to extend their programs can also pay in cash (U.S. dollars) in person at the school.

  • What is your cancelation policy?

    Group courses or lessons cannot be canceled, and students will still be charged for cancelations. Students will not be charged for private lessons if they cancel with at least 24 hours notice. All cancelations with less than 24 hours notice will be charged. If the student wishes to cancel, refunds are as follows:

    • For cancelations made 15 days or more prior to arrival, Ailola Quito will refund 80% of the total program cost.
    • For cancelations made 10 days prior to arrival Ailola Quito will refund 50% of the total program cost.
    • For cancelations made less than 10 days prior to arrival, Ailola Quito will refund 25% of the total program cost.
    • After a program has started there is no refund for any course, accommodation or other item booked.
  • How do I register for a course?

    To sign up for our Spanish courses, click here. Complete our registration form, verify that you have read and agreed to our Terms and Conditions, and then submit the form. Once we receive your registration form, you will be sent a confirmation email with an attached invoice, along with a Spanish level test (beginner-advanced students).

  • How far in advance must I register?

    To guarantee a spot in our schools, we recommend you register at least four weeks in advance. We cannot guarantee a place in a group class or in a homestay for registrations less than four weeks before the start date. However, we encourage you to contact us regarding availability so we can do our best to accommodate you.