Galapagos Spanish School Student Reviews - © Miralex

Questions & Answers

Questions and answers, frequently asked questions. Call them what you like – when choosing the right Spanish school for you, you're bound to have questions. Find the answers you've been looking for, with our Galapagos Islands Spanish school Q&A below!

Language School Questions

  • What makes Ailola Galapagos different from other language schools?

    Our Spanish school is the only officially recognized language institution on the Galapagos Islands. We've been around for over 15 years, and in that time have mastered the teaching methodology and course structure necessary to achieve results for and with our students. Our extra curricular activities are second to none, including the unique Traveling Classroom model and our volunteering program.

  • What qualifications do the teachers have?

    Ailola Galapagos is generally staffed with 3 teachers, all of whom hold University degrees in fields like Spanish Language Studies, Journalism 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 everyday, but it is always advisable that you contact us as soon as possible as peak seasons on the Galapagos Islands can limit availability (July to September, December to January)

  • 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 pocketsize 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 Galapagos 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?

    Included in your course fees is an airport transfer, which we will arrange with you prior to your departure. As our teachers travel from our fixed school in Quito to the Galapagos Islands, you may travel with your teacher to either Santa Cruz or San Crist´bal Islands, or meet them at the airport. The teacher will then accompany you to your accommodation.

  • 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 Galapagos to answer any additional questions or concerns you may have. Contact us today via e-mail, phone or Skype.

Galapagos Islands & Ecuador Questions

  • Why should I choose to study abroad on the Galapagos Islands?

    The Galapagos Islands are a second-to-none destination for study in general, not just for Spanish. For decades, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed archipelago has welcomed visitors, including and especially academics and students, to take part in conservation efforts and to enjoy the supreme beauty of the islands. As a result, the Galapagos Islands are a well-established study and tourism hotspot, with a world of options for you to choose from in both regards.

  • Do I need a visa to travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands?

    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. The Ecuadorian government requires visitors to the Galapagos Islands to pay a US$10 departure fee (before boarding a plane to the Galapagos Islands) and a $100 entrance fee for the National Park. Finally, as always, check with your closest Ecuadorian consular authority for updated information about vistas 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 Galapagos 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 on the Galapagos Islands 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 Galapagos we guarantee of a maximum of 6 students per class (some courses even less), 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 on the Galapagos Islands?

    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 mainland Ecuador.

  • 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 Galapagos 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 across the Galapagos Islands in areas of social and community development, plus environmental protection.

Activities Questions

  • Do you offer any additional activities besides Spanish courses?

    Yes! Ailola Galapagos offers a wide range of optional after-school activities and add-ons, like scuba diving and open water diving (both of which can lead to qualifications if you choose). Check out our activities page for more!

Accommodation Questions

  • What accommodation options do you offer?

    At Ailola Galapagos we offer premium hotel and guesthouse options on Santa Cruz and San Cristóbal islands. If you're looking for something other than the accommodation options we offer, please feel free to contact us so we can see what alternative accommodation we can find for you!

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

    Your accommodation is included in your course fees. Again, if you're looking for something other than the accommodation options we offer, please feel free to contact us (preferably well in advance) so we can see what alternative accommodation we can find for you, remembering that accommodation can be hard to come by during peak times on the Galapagos Islands.

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

    Yes, but we ask that you let us know well in advance so we can arrange the extra days for you. The additional days will not included in your course fees, so you will have to pay your chosen Galapagos Islands accommodation provider directly.

Galapagos Islands Questions

  • What's the weather like on the Galapagos Islands?

    In terms of weather, the Galapagos Islands are a great destination to visit year round. That said, the seasons are divided into two: the rainy seasons (December through June), with temperatures in the range of 72-90°F (22-32°C), generally characterized by sunny days and afternoon showers; and the the rest of the year, which is the dry seasons, with temperatures of 60-75°F (15-24°C) and generally characterized by cooler temperatures but more overcast days than in the dry seasons.

  • What should I bring to the Galapagos Islands?

    The Galapagos Islands is a tropical destination and as such visitors should bring items such as like sunscreen, hats and sunglasses, beach equipment, loose clothing, and insect repellent, as well hiking boots and any specialist equipment you need for you favorite adventure activities.

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 program.

  • 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 US$500 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 Galapagos will refund 80% of the total program cost.
    • For cancelations made 10 days prior to arrival Ailola Galapagos will refund 50% of the total program cost.
    • For cancelations made less than 10 days prior to arrival, Ailola Galapagos 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.