When do programs start at Ideal?
Programs start every Monday of the year (Except on holidays).
How long do Ideal’s programs last?
You decide how long you want to study, depending on your time constraints and the level of proficiency you want to achieve in Spanish. We recommend at least 4 weeks in order to achieve noticeable progress. Classes in Ideal are in weekly basis (Except private classes).
Private classes is a very flexible program, you decide the number of hours, days and weeks you want to study, under your own schedule.
What level of Spanish do I need to participate in Ideal’s programs?
You can enter Ideal’s programs with any level of Spanish proficiency, even as a total beginner. Our teachers and staff are prepared to communicate with you even if your Spanish is rudimentary and will encourage you to start practicing the language from your first day here. Help in English is possible any time.
How will I know my level of Spanish proficiency?
On the first day of classes we conduct an evaluation (Written and/or oral) to measure your Spanish proficiency and place you in the appropriate group. Since 2017 we used to make interviews in advance in Skype, to save time the first day of class of the students, and organize groups every Monday. You can ask also a written evaluation in advance.
When do I have to enroll?
You can enroll in programs at Ideal up to one week before starting classes. For classes during our peak season (May to August), we recommend enrolling at least one month in advance.
How do I enroll in Ideal?
Just send us an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. After we receive your enrollment form we will contact you to tell you what the next steps are.
Can I receive academic credit for my studies at Ideal?
It is possible to receive academic credit. Ideal does not offer credit directly, but almost all colleges and universities grant academic credit for studies with us. Ask whether your college or university accepts studies at Ideal and what their prerequisites are. Usually, inquiries should be directed to the department of Admissions, Foreign Language, or Study Abroad. For our part, we will be glad to help you obtain credit by sending your school any documentation it may need, such as syllabus, study plans, academic reports, transcripts, etc. We do not charge extra for doing this, but Ideal has requirements for academic achievement and attendance that will determine your grades in Spanish.
A VERY IMPORTANT POINT is that we are recognized by the Mexican Ministry of Public Education (Code: SEP – 17 PBT 01451).
Is Ideal open all year round?
Yes, we are open and running all year round, except on holidays!
How much does a week of classes at Ideal cost?
One week costs $245 USD for the Intensive Program, plus a one-time-only $100 USD enrollment fee (lifetime and nonrefundable). There are other programs with other prices per week.
Note: Ask for our seasonal discounts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
How much does a week’s housing in Cuernavaca cost?
One week (7 nights housing) with a host family in a private room with 2 meals per day (Half board: breakfast and main meal) costs $224 USD. If you are coming with a roommate, it is $182 USD, per person, in a shared room and two meals.
Note: This is just an example. Remember there are other options for housing and lodging in Cuernavaca: hotels, apartment rentals, Airbnb.
So, how much will I spend each week on tuition and lodging?
On average, depending on the program and lodging options you choose, you will spend $435 USD plus the one-time-only $100 USD enrollment fee (nonrefundable). For more information check out Ideal’s prices.
Note: The $100 USD enrollment fee is separate, as its relative cost is less the more weeks you study.
When do I have to pay for my classes?
Independent students who enroll directly may make all their payments at Ideal on their first day of classes. Registration fee is made in advance. For other students who come with groups, or through agencies, payment dates are varied.
What forms of payment can I use?
Independent students (not coming from agencies or groups) who enroll in Ideal may pay with cash in our office in US Dollars or Mexican Pesos. Paying in cash in Mexican pesos we consider the exchange rate of the day you pay. We use the website of Bancomer bank (www.bancomer.com) to know the current exchange rate, checking “Dolar venta” fee.
It is also possible to pay with a bank transfer or deposit to our account; ask for details in: email@example.com
You can pay also through PayPal and credit card (All credit cards are accepted) . We charge an additional fee using PayPal or credit card. To pay with credit card, the payment is in pesos (Paying in Mexican pesos we consider the exchange rate of the day you pay, using the website of “Bancomer” bank (www.bancomer.com), to know the current exchange rate (Check “Dolar venta” fee).
Are there any discounts?
Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org to know our seasonal promotions
Are there other expenses at Ideal?
Yes. Our fees do not include field trips, some optional activities (such as dance and cooking classes, impromptu parties, etc.), personal expenses for transportation and restaurants during planned outings in Cuernavaca, and workbooks used in class. An additional $80 USD a week should be sufficient for students participating in optional activities.
Take in mind buying a travel insurance, which is not expensive. Even we can help you to get it in Mexico, we recommend buy it in your country. Is necessary having a travel insurance to study in IDEAL.
How much will I spend in addition to tuition and lodging?
Extra expenses depend on your style of traveling and personal tastes. On average, $25 USD in daily pocket-money should be enough for a student to live comfortably in Cuernavaca, including frequent trips downtown, restaurant meals, shopping for small souvenirs and postcards and occasional trips to the movies or museums.
Does Ideal have a refund policy?
If you decide to cut short your studies ahead of schedule, you will be refunded your remaining tuition and lodging costs minus 25% for administrative expenses. The enrollment fee is nonrefundable.
Where can I stay in Cuernavaca?
We strongly recommend staying with one of the host families chosen by Ideal, as they are the perfect complement to your Spanish program. With your host family you can practice Spanish, ask everything about Cuernavaca or Oaxaca, participate in the daily life of a Mexican family, get advised about safety matters, and many times, get a lifetime friends.
There are other options for students who want more privacy and independence, including hotels, hostels, rented houses and apartments; these options could be more expensive (hotels) or involve more daily work and preparation (rented departments, or houses). Airbnb is available in Cuernavaca. Is necessary to say that IDEAL has no relationship with hotels, rentals, or Airbnb.
How much does lodging cost?
The average cost for a week’s lodging with 2 meals a day (breakfast and main meal) in a private room in a host family is $224 USD (7 nights). If you come with a roommate is $182 USD in a shared room, two meals.
What does lodging with a host family include?
Lodging with a host family includes a room and your choice of meal plan (2 meals a day or just breakfast).
What does lodging with a host family not include?
Laundry, telephone calls, and use of the host family’s kitchen.
Do host families provide bedclothes and towels?
Yes. The rooms reserved for students have clean towels and sheets, which are changed at least once each week. We recommend bringing a towel for personal use away from the host family’s home (for swimming or gym use, for example).
IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT HOUSING IN HOST FAMILIES:
- Host families try to meet special diet needs of students, such as vegetarian and vegan diets; however, it does not provide food that is not in the regular diet of an average Mexican family (for example, it does not provide wines, organic food, international foods that are very expensive in Mexico, etc.). Students can buy the special food they require on their own. Please tell us (in your registration form) if you have a special requirement in your diet, and we will tell you if it is possible to satisfy them by your host family.
- The host families have all the comforts typical of an average middle class family, such as adequate and comfortable rooms, cleanliness and security; however, they can not provide some things that are considered luxuries in Cuernavaca or Oaxaca, such as: air conditioning or heating (fortunately the climate of Cuernavaca and Oaxaca is temperate), special mattresses or pillows, refrigerator in the room, beds to take the sun, etc.
Travel to Cuernavaca or Oaxaca
How do I get to Cuernavaca or Oaxaca?
Going to Cuernavaca: The best option is to arrive at Mexico City Airport (MEX is the airport code) from your country of origin, and then travel to Cuernavaca by public bus or private transportation which you can arrange for with Ideal. Ask Ideal about schedule of the buses from the airport to Cuernavaca.
The best option to get to Oaxaca is flying to the the airport of Oxaca City (OAX is the code), which is located 25 minutes away from downtown. Ask for private transportation of Ideal or get a cab. There is not a public bus from the airport.
An other option to get to Oaxaca is arriving in Mexico City’s airport and then take a public bus to Oaxaca. Here you need to go from the airport to TAPO (Everybody knows the terminal under this name: TAPO, which means: Terminal de Autobuses de Pasajeros de Oriente). Here you will find a lot of options to go to Oaxaca. The trip in a public bus is about 7 hours and costs around $45 USD, depending the company and category of the bus. Ask Ideal for more detailed information.
Important note taking a taxicab in the airport in Mexico City or Oaxaca: Do not flag a taxi cab outside the airport; in both airports you will find booths of the taxi cab companies to buy your tickets.
What does the private transportation service from Mexico city Airport to Cuernavaca or Oaxaca City that Ideal offers consist of?
In this service, an Ideal representative – with a yellow sign with your name on it – meet you on the international Arrivals concourse at the Airport, and drive you directly to your host family in Cuernavaca or Oaxaca, or the place you choose for lodging.
Please bear in mind the following policies:
- Request the service preferably 3 days in advance to allow us enough time to confirm the service.
- If you need to cancel the service or make changes in the date or time, please notify us at least 2 days in advance.
- For last-minute changes and emergency cancellations, use the telephone numbers that we send you with the confirmation of your transportation.
- IT IS IMPORTANT TO CLARIFY that cancellations are accepted at least 12 hours in advance calling the cell phone numbers we send you; otherwise we will charge the full service fee.
- Ideal’s representative will wait at the airport for up to 1 hour and 30 minutes after your flight lands (allowing for minor delays that may arise). Ideal’s representative will check your flight status with the airline. If, after arriving at the airport, you have problems getting to where Ideal’s representative is waiting for you, call one of the telephone numbers we send you and the representative will wait for you. Each additional hour costs $12 USD.
How do I get to Cuernavaca from Mexico City’s Airport by bus?
Please ask for this information to: email@example.com. We do not post this information because used to change bus schedule and depends which terminal you arrive.
Note: Upon arrival to Cuernavaca, buy your taxi ticket INSIDE the terminal; if the ticket window is closed – late at night – agree on the fare with the taxi driver before you get in. During the day, a taxi in Cuernavaca costs between $50 and $70 pesos; at night, expect to pay between $60 and $80 pesos. You do not need to tip taxi drivers unless they help with your luggage, in which case $20 or $25 pesos is sufficient.
RECOMMENDATIONS for students arriving at Mexico City Airport:
- Preferably exchange your money to pesos before you go through Customs; there are currency exchange offices opposite the baggage claim belts.
- There are several currency exchange offices in Cuernavaca that offer good exchange rates.
- Like any other airport do not lose sight of your luggage.
What documents do I need to enter Mexico?
Different documents are required for each nationality. To be sure, check the requisites with your travel agent or visit the Mexican National Institute of Migration website.
For travelers entering Mexico from: USA, Canada, Germany, Switzerland (Europe in general) Japan, and some other countries; the only requisite is a valid passport.
Important: keep safe your visa of Mexico during your staying in the country (It is the small paper the immigration officer gives you at your entrance). You will require it to leave Mexico.
Do I need a student visa?
You do not need a student visa to study at Ideal; a tourist visa is fine.
Do I need insurance?
Yes. You will need medical insurance, especially in case of emergencies.
What clothing and accessories should I pack to come to Cuernavaca or Oaxaca?
Light, comfortable clothing, a sweater and/or windbreaker, bathing suit, towel, a change of formal clothing – if you think you might need it – and comfortable shoes. If you need to take any medications, bring them with you in sufficient quantities, as you may not find them in Mexico. You will need a doctor’s prescription to bring them into the country.
During my Stay in Mexico
What is the weather like in Cuernavaca and Oaxaca?
Cuernavaca and Oaxaca have similar weather: During the months between October and February, temperatures can drop to around 10ºC at night and in the early morning, but daytime weather is mild, with temperatures of up to 30ºC. March, April, and May are warmer, with highs of 35ºC in the afternoon and lows of 15ºC at night. During the months between May and October, which is the rainy season, temperatures are mild, remaining between 20ºC and 30ºC. Usually, the climate in Cuernavaca, more than Oaxacas, is stable, but bear in mind that if you plan on traveling to other parts of Mexico, it can be much hotter or much colder.
Is there a place to exercise?
There are good gyms in Cuernavaca and Oaxaca, some of them, near to Ideal, where you can exercise. The gyms have weight and cardio equipment, aerobics classes, changing rooms and saunas. It offers daily, weekly, or monthly rates.
For jogging and running, the best option in Cuernavaca is the local stadium, which is open to the public when there aren’t any events being held. The stadium is called the “Centenario” and is 20 minutes from Ideal.
In Oaxaca, The “Parque Llano” is the most popular place for runners in downtown, however, now there is a really good remodeled place named “Polideportivo” which has a running and bicycle trail, a stadium and a gym . If you prefer a more challenging route, going to “Cerro del Fortín”; it will be an experience.
Is Cuernavaca and Oaxaca safe?
Cuernavaca and Oaxaca are a safe cities. As in any city you should follow certain rules of common sense, which we will explain as part of your Orientation your first day here.
Can I travel outside Cuernavaca and Oaxaca on my own?
Of course you can. At Ideal, in addition to encouraging students to travel, we provide the information they need, including bus schedules, prices, tourist information and practical advice.
Money in Mexico
What currency is used in Mexico?
In Mexico we use the Mexican Peso (MXN).
How much money should I bring?
This depends on your traveling style, but we estimate that, in addition to tuition and lodging, $85 USD to $100 USD a week should be enough for you to live comfortably in Cuernavaca or Paxaca and visit other, nearby places. We strongly recommend using ATM machines to get money. Take in mind that personal and traveler’s checks are not easily accepted in Mexico.
There are numerous ATMs in the cities of Mexico that dispense cash in pesos. It is important to bring your debit or credit card with your personal identification number (PIN). Most ATMs accept VISA, Master Card, Plus, Cirrus, Red and others; ask your bank about using your cards in Mexico before coming.
How do I exchange money?
Now, the only place to exchange money – in cash – is in the currency exchange business. In Cuernavaca or Oaxaca there are many of them, and it is a good idea to check the exchange rates at two or three places before deciding on the best one. To change money it is important to bring an original identification with you, like your passport.
Are personal and Traveler’s checks accepted?
Personal and Traveler’s checks are not usually accepted in Mexico. We do not recommend using them in Mexico.
Will I have internet access in Ideal?
Yes, you will have internet access at Ideal totally free in your laptop with a wireless modem, Ipad, Ipod, Iphone, etc. Normally you will have also internet access in your host family.
What is the best way to call my country from Mexico?
The best option is through Internet. Skype is a good option.
Will my cell phone work in Mexico?
At present many cell phones from other countries work well in Mexico. Inquire with your cell phone service provider. It is important to know the rates your company charges, as international service is usually very expensive. Another option is to buy a cheap cell phone in Mexico, with prepaid cards.