Questions and Answers
How do I get from the airport to my accommodation?
We pick our students up from the airport and bring them to their accommodation.
Which currency is used in Ecuador?
Ecuador uses US- Dollars ($)
How old are the students?
We have students between the age of 18 and 65 years, but the majority are between 18 and 30 years old.
Where are the students from?
Most of them are European, mainly from Germany and Switzerland. However, we do have students from other countries.
When do the Spanish courses start?
You can start any day of the week, any week of the year.
How many students are usually on the school?
That depends on the season. Sometimes there are 3 but at times there are up to 10 students taking lessons at the same time. A lot of the time students are volunteering in and around Quito or are on excursion as part of our learn&travel program.
How do I access my money while in Ecuador?
Most ATMs allow cash withdrawals but charge from $3- $10 on withdrawals with Cash, Credit or Debit Cards. Traveller cheques are accepted as well. $50 and $100 bills are very difficult to get change for and are often not accepted at all. It is therefore recommended to take no higher notes than $20 on your trip.
I want to volunteer or do an internship but I don’t speak Spanish
Without any knowledge of Spanish working as a volunteer or doing an internship is impossible. Therefore, it is necessary to take Spanish lessons at Atahualpa Spanish School, before starting your volunteer work or internship.
I already speak Spanish and would like to volunteer or do an internship
without taking a Spanish language course .
We offer Spanish courses for all levels. However, volunteering or doing an internship without a Spanish course is not possible.
How long can I stay in Ecuador?
Without a special visa up to three month. If you want more time, you will have to apply for a visa at the Ecuadorian Embassy. This is possible without much hassle and you will only have to hand in a form stating the motive for your visit. Another possibility is to apply for a student visa.
How many hours of Spanish lessons are recommended?
That depends entirely upon what you want and your abilities. Usually students opt for courses taking three to six or more weeks, and sometimes they accompanied with some activities like Quito Cultural, volunteering, Dance classes which further helps your Spanish language skills. Our learn&travel program is a further well liked opportunity to learn the language while getting to know the locals and their culture.
How safe is Quito?
Quito is a very big city and that is represented in the dangers faced within it. Special caution is required due to the pickpockets that are encountered in Busses, Malls and everywhere else where tourists are likely to be found. When riding a taxi make sure that the driver is using his taximeter and if this isn’t the case, request him to do so.
What is the weather in Quito like?
The weather in Quito is nice all year round with temperatures around 20-24°C during the day and as low as 7°C during the night. In the Jungle the climate is tropically hot and at the seaside it depends on the season whether the weather is hot or mild. Rainy season is between November an March, even though the last years have shown that is not always the case.
Phone calls and Internet
Internet- Cafes and phone cells can be found everywhere. Most of them allow international phone-calls. In Quito an international phone call can be as cheap as 6 cents per minute. Internet access is around 48 cents per hour. Also Atahualpa Spanish School offers free wifi.
With how much anticipation do I have to apply for voluntary work?
Most of the time we are able to find you a volunteer position on very short notice. However it would be best to allow us at least a month in advance in order to plan and coordinate your stay.
With how much anticipation do I have to apply for an internship?
At least a month in advance in order to plan and coordinate your stay.
Do the teacher, host families and contact personnel in the volunteer work
places speak English?
Usually they don’t and therefore it is important that you use your Spanish. But we will able to assist you or help you, we will give you our phone number and all the information necessary so we can be in communication if you need anything.
Where do I leave the rest of my luggage when I go on a learn&travel program?
If you live in a host family, you will be able to leave your luggage in your room. The same applies with the students residence in Quito and the Fundacion Aliñambi. Your will not be charged for your room during that time.
What means DELE?
DELE (Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language) is the official accreditation of the degree of fluency of the Spanish Language, issued and recognized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain.
The DELEs are divided into six levels depending on the language level:
➤ Diploma de Español A1
This accredits the sufficient linguistic competence to understand and use daily expressions frequently used in any part of the Spanish-speaking world, aimed at satisfying immediate needs; asking and giving basic personal information about yourself and daily life and interacting on a basic level with speakers, whenever they are speaking slowly and clearly and are willing to cooperate.
➤ Diploma de Español A2
This accredits that the candidate is capable of understanding daily phrases and expressions frequently used related to areas of experience which are particularly relevant to them (basic information about yourself and your family, shopping, places of interest, occupations, etc.).
➤ Diploma de Español Nivel Inicial - B1
Intermediate-mid/threshold level. This accredits sufficient knowledge of the language to allow control in situations which require an elementary use of the language.
➤ Diploma de Español Nivel Intermedio - B2
High-intermediate level. This accredits the necessary knowledge of the language to allow communication in everyday situations which do not require specialized terms.
➤ Diploma de Español C1
This accredits the sufficient linguistic competence to cope in common situations of daily life which require a specialized use of the language. (November 2010).
➤ Diploma de Español Nivel Superior - C2
Superior level. This accredits an advanced knowledge of the language allowing communication in all situations requiring advanced use of the language and a knowledge of cultural background.