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In choosing to go to IDEAL and the experience I had there in the past 2 ½ months, made my choice the very best one! When I went searching for a language school in Cuernavaca, I was overwhelmed with the number of language schools available. My religious sisters had come to IDEAL years ago to study Spanish. So, when I saw the pictures on-line and read the description of the programs and classes being offered and, how the programs could accommodate the amount of time I could stay for, it seemed like it was exactly what I wanted.
My emails with Carlos and my interview with the Director Hermilo, and, then, eventually, with Selene, just made me feel this was going to be a good fit for me. I was excited, especially knowing that I was going to be living with a family…a real immersion experience. Even Evelia turned out to be a wonderful fit. She and I got along very well. What a great cook! She took care of my needs and it was always a joy to sit with her during breakfast and lunch and converse about many things…with her daughters and her granddaughter, also.
When I arrived, I felt the welcoming, caring and ‘feeling- at- home’ kind of presence of both the staff and my two teachers: Maestra Alicia and, later, Maestra Rocio; AND the way I was interviewed and evaluated at the beginning, I felt assured /certain that THEY knew how little or how much Spanish I knew and, professionally, took it from there. It was the BEST learning experience I have ever had! I woke up in the morning eager to spend 4-5 hours a day learning the basics of the Spanish Language, along with a bit of culture and literature.
Before coming to IDEAL, I was living in Amacuzac for 3 years. I was not able to go to language school for very good reasons. So, anything I picked up, along with knowing Italian, made my communication with the people possible. I could defend myself, but I knew I wasn’t speaking correctly.
At IDEAL, however, little by little, I came to the point of being able to auto correct myself and I could carry on a conversation with anyone, but I knew I needed grammar, to know the verbs and to understand the structure of the sentences. I knew I needed vocabulary and to be able to converse with a certain flow.
After 2 ½ months, I was able to finish the Basic 2 book. I would have liked to have stayed for 3 -6 months, if it had been my choice, because, though I was doing better, my Spanish was not solid. At my age, it now takes me awhile to learn something that is repeated to me a number of times. However, my teachers had an abundance amount of creativity and patience with me and with a system for helping me to recall.
If only I could have stayed longer!
I chose not to go on trips, though they were offered, except to Mexico City to see the spectacular Ballet Folklorico de Mexico at the Bellas Artes and for the Desfile de Catrinas there and in Cuernavaca. Also, the beautiful and cold mountain water, the trees, etc. and the new ‘alberque’/ swimming pool at the “Estecas” (I know this is not spelled correctly) …. Because Sister Vicky, the sister I was living with in Amacuzac for 3 years, had taken me to see many placed and States in Mexico…..and, because I was alone as a student most of the time, I was not comfortable to venture on my own.
Also, my teachers were very versatile: there were many activities to help me to understand the Mexican culture: learning how to cook some Mexican tamales, to paint paper maché skulls for the day of the Dead for the ‘Ofrendas’, and learning some popular songs like Las Mañanitas.
I felt safe, relaxed, stress free, there was healing going on within me. I was open to joy, happiness and peace…and whatever IDEAL had to offer.
I am sure I’m leaving out many things I can’t remember at the moment. Nati, for example, was so helpful in many ways and just a joy to be around and always smiling …..as I could say that about each one of you. As well as the attention to details, like when I had my cellphone stolen and Carlos came to me with his daughter’s old cell phone until I got a new one. Or Selene who offered me her carry-on bag so I could fit some shawls that Sr. Vicky had made for our Colombian sisters in NY. I was able to take them back and they are now with our sisters. How thoughtful was that?!
Also, all the personal help my teachers showed me, whether it was to accompany me to the store or introduce me to some religious sisters in the area.
These are some of the benefits I received while at IDEAL….all because of the Director Señor Hermilo who is the driving force at IDEAL.
Sister Ines Gizzarelli
IDEAL Spanish Mexico give us a view into the culture of Mexico that I could never have gotten on my own. I feel like I got a good view into the lives of Mexicans.
I have the chance to speak and have my speech corrected in ways I will be able to apply later. I think I speak much.
Yo estuve en IDEAL y siento muy bien porque es una escuela muy familiar, no demasiado grande o anónimo.
Aumenta la vista general sobre la cultura y las costumbres del país y de la región, y por supuesto aprendí cosas de la lengua.
Noviembre de 2019
I had a great experience with IDEAL. My level of Spanish improved greatly during my time here through the classes, excursions, and interaction with host family. The teachers are very good, and the class sizes are perfect. The city is very accessible and has much to offer.
I received an excellent immersion into aspects of Mexican culture including cuisine, food, and customs. Now I have a better idea of the culture so to better serve Hispanics in my Diocese.
Fr. Rhodes Bolster
I very much enjoyed my 8 weeks experience with IDEAL. The school provided me with every opportunity to apply myself in learning the language. I like their emphasis on the exclusive use of Spanish in the classroom and at the house with my host family. The excursions were well led and also flexible. The teachers did well in applying themselves to my specific level and situation with regard to the language.
I am confident that I have a strong foundation in Spanish after having studied in IDEAL. I know I have the tools to move forward with my Spanish language learning.
Santa Fe, USA
Improved my Spanish skills and I’m empowered and able to really use it to talk to people. I couldn’t have imagined a better preparation for 1 year in Mexico. I got used to talking Spanish and Know more about the culture, the country and the wonderful people. Amazing!
¡Excelente! I really enjoyed my time at IDEAL. I liked the excursions and the cultural and historical learning the most. Carlos and Selene are excellent hosts. The teachers are very professional, accommodating, and adaptable to my learning needs.
Thunder Bay, Canada
My experience in IDEAL Spanish Mexico has been very good one. I have learned a lot and also I have been introduce in a lot of Mexican history and Mexican culture.
Mi experiencia en IDEAL fue excelente. Las excursiones a las piramides, la ciudad de México, y Taxco me dieron muchas oportunidades para aprender sobre la historia de México y para practicar la lengua con personas en la calle. No voy a olvidarme cuando me perdí cuando estuve subiendo hacia la estatua de Cristo. Necesité pedir ayuda 5 veces.
I definitely learned a lot of Spanish this summer. I knew very little Spanish before coming here and I can have a conversation in Spanish. Living with a family was also great, because you get to see what life is really like here.
Obtuve muchos beneficios de estudiar en Ideal, pero lo más importante es que aprendí mucho sobre la cultura y la vida cotidiana de los mexicanos.
I had the great experience as a beginner Spanish student. The teachers are well trained, organized and experienced. The school is both very professional and very relaxed. The material is presented in multiple ways to facilitate learning.
I had the great opportunity to learn Spanish from a native speakers. During my 4 weeks stay, I worked with two great teachers who had their own unique teaching style. It was great to have their different perspectives you learn Spanish with full immersion!!
Mi experiencia fue perfecto. Aprendí mucho. Todavía no he hablado perfecto pero puedo comunicarme.
It was a perfect experience to me!
Yo recomiendo Ideal a todos.
Tuve una buenísima experiencia en Ideal Escuela. Fue comprensiva, profesional y completa. Alicia es una maestra especial, con mucha paciencia y energía. ¡De cinco experiencias en escuelas de español, ésta es mi favorita! Más, Alicia es una guía impresionante.
Enero de 2016
I have taken Spanish classes in the States, but coming to Ideal for 3 weeks I learned a lot more than I ever did in the States. One-on-one classes with Señora Estela every day fro 5 hours was very beneficial. I liked the classes, but I also really liked going to the markets and cooking. I can’t wait to continue learning Spanish online with Ideal and hopefully returning soon!
December & January, 2016
I had a great time here in Oaxaca! The city is really pretty and filled with opportunities to do cool things. My host family was absolutely amazing, doing more than just cooking great meals. Rather, I felt like I was part of the family! I saw some incredible archaeological sites, which I understand not everyone is into, but I really enjoyed them (my favorite being Montealban)! Best part about Oaxaca was probably that it was really easy to make friends because I went to a few “intercambios” per week.
Fue un buen tiempo aquí en Ideal y en Oaxaca. Un beneficio grande era que tenía clase particular y que podía decir que quería aprender. Así es a veces muy duro, pero aprendes mucho más rápido y te ayuda mucho porque los maestros pueden corresponder a lo que tú necesitas. Sin embargo me gustarían más charlas y las clases en donde puedes hablar, así sabes más de país y de su cultura.