Although Ecuador is the second smallest country in South America, it offers the largest natural and cultural diversity in the world!
Quito is Ecuador's capital and the second largest city in the country. It is situated high in the Andes amongst dramatic volcanoes and mountains. Quito is a beautiful city full of historical monuments and architectural treasures. Its jewel is the historic center, which has been declared World Heritage by UNESCO. The 17th century facades, picturesque plazas, and magnanimous churches are some of the features that make this beautiful site a great place to learn about our history, culture, and language.
We know what we are doing: we have been teaching Spanish to foreigners for 29 years and are one of the most experienced Spanish schools in Ecuador.
Our school in Quito is located in the historic district in a colonial style building in the historical center. Besides our classrooms you will find a common room to relax during your break on a big, cozy sofa. Shared areas include the balconies, a kitchen and bathrooms. For sure we have Wi-Fi throughout the whole school, a library, a reading room and there are computers for you to use. Next door you will find a lot of shops, restaurants, markets, supermarkets, bus stations and banks. The President's Palace is in walking distance. A lot of important sights are just a few steps from our Spanish Institute.
Our well refined teaching methods have been continuously developed over the last 29 years. Quito is one of the best places in Latin America to learn Spanish because Quiteños speak a clear, moderate speed, and easy to understand Spanish.
Our classes focus on vocabulary, grammar, conversation, reading, pronunciation and grammar exercises, combined with practical communication skills, which our students can use outside the classroom right away. Our effective programs contain listening, verbal and written exercises. Every week the progress of our students is evaluated and students switch soon to a next level of Spanish.
Your Spanish-learning classes in Quito can take place in the morning or in the afternoon for a minimum of four hours a day. Teachers will usually set a short exercise for homework each day. We offer classes for the following levels: beginner, elementary, intermediate and advanced.
Living with a host family gives you a real insight into the Ecuadorian lifestyle and you will find your Spanish-learning progresses to faster as you spend time with local people. All of the host families live within a 15-45 minutes walking distance or a 10 minute by bus from our Spanish Institute. Staying with locals is the perfect way to accelerate your knowledge, as you will be able to practice Spanish with the family outside of class.
You will also get to know the culture and traditions of Ecuador through sharing everyday life experience with your hosts. You can share up 2 meals a day with the family (breakfast and dinner), and you can arrange to spend time with them in the afternoons and on the weekend. The host families always give their guests a warm welcome and enjoy the opportunity to share Ecuadorian life and culture with someone from a different country.
Single, double and twin rooms are all available. Each host family has a shared living or dining room where you are welcome to relax, study, and chat with your hosts and their family or friends who come around. You will feel like a member of the family.
If you prefer to stay in a hotel or hostel, we are happy to offer suggestions or help you make arrangements. All of our recommended locations present a variety of accommodation and price range, and are within easy research of ISE.
If you don't like to feel obligated to improve your Spanish and to stay in the same accommodation with other Spanish students but still feel like staying with a family, we offer the option to stay at a lovely student residence.
Of course, if you want, you can always speak Spanish at this home.
The manager of the student residence is a very nice bilingual and professional girl involved in cultural activities which includes art, music, etc. she has experience in receiving Spanish students at her home. Her mother started receiving Spanish students as a family when she was 12 years old.
Accommodations at the student residence are offered as a private room, a double room and a dorm. All of these options include breakfast.
In Quito, ISE recommends a couple of first class and luxury hotels and hostels located in Colonial Quito around 10 minutes walking distance from our Spanish School, which according to our experience with former Spanish students were the best in the area.
A few minutes distance from our Spanish Institute, also in Colonial Quito are several options to stay in lovely hostels and very well recommended from our students.
Hostel Friends offers 20% discount to our Spanish students. It's very well located and former Spanish students told us that it's a nice place to stay.
ISE invites all students to be part of its social program. It includes extra-curricular activities to suit a wide range of interests, tastes and budgets. You can make the most of your time in Ecuador, socialize with other students, practice your Spanish with locals, learn about the history and culture of Ecuador, Have a go at different sports and activities:
Excursion to the Middle of the world Equatorial Line Monument
Cable Car to the top of the highest mountain of Quito
You can enjoy complementary Salsa lessons twice a week
Every Thursday you can learn to cook ecuadorian dishes
In our entrance hall you will find a list to sign up for the activities you are interested in. The activities vary from week to week and throughout the year. Some may depend on the weather and the availability of equipment. Some of the activities are free, others have a cost depending on the type of activity.
- Weekend trip
- 2 hour drive through the Cloud Forest
- Beautiful valley, that offers nature and adventure activities
- Orchid gardens
- Waterfall tour
- Tubing, canopy, and cable car ride
- One-day trip
- A Lagoon, located inside of a volcano crater
- Height of 3800m
- Route passes through canyons and indigenous communities and farmlands
- Visit an Indigenous market
- Hike to the lagoon shore
- Visit the village of Cotacachi where leather is produced
- One-day trip
- Visiting a great view point on the way
- Famous indigenous market
- Great varity of handcrafts
- Visit of local leather workshops in Cotacachi
- One-day trip
- 4800m volcano hike
- Visit Interpretation Center to learn about flora and fauna
- Downhill – biking
- Bilingual guide available
Quito is not considered the safest place on earth but for sure it is one of the safest capitals in whole Latin America. In order to offer a warm and welcoming arrival to our country for all our Spanish students, we always want to pick you upon arrival (free of charge).
If you arrive at any day of the week or at any time of the day or at night, please don't worry, we will always be at the airport in time. Of course the arrival times at night are more comfortable because the streets are very safe and very calm. If students provide us their arrival information, we will be waiting for you at the airport's only exit with a sign of the "Instituto Superior de Español". Then we take our students to their accommodation in the city.
If you stay with a local family or at the student residence, it will be great for them if we take you directly to them. In case our students will stay in a hostel, hotel or in another self-organized accommodation, we will also be very happy to take them to their accommodation.
For the first morning of Spanish course you'll be accompanied to school and back home by either a family member or an employee of our Spanish Institute. Thus our students will get some orientation to be able to find the way to school on their own.
At our Spanish school we will offer an additional orientation and we'll provide a map of the city, explaining where the school is located and how to get back home. Of course, students are able to also check all necessary locations on their smart phones.
Quito won south americas leading destination 2014 and is in the finals this year again. The colonial center is World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.
With a population of 2,671,191 according to the last census in 2014, Quito is the second most populous city in Ecuador, after Guayaquil.
Otavalo is surrounded by the three volcanos Imbabura, Cotacachi and Mojanda. But no worries: They’re not active anymore!
Temperature: 18°C annual average temperature
Languages: Spanish and Kichwa
Climate: high altitude and situated right on top of the equator provides the city with spring-like weather all year round. Two marked seasons: dry season and wet season. The wet season – or summer – is from June to September and the dry season – or winter – is the rest of the year.