Instituto Jovel

Instituto Jovel, San Cristobal de las Casas: Hours, Address, Instituto Jovel Reviews: 5/5

Instituto Jovel
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
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SPANISH CLASSES: We offer private or small group spanish classes (maximum 5 students per group). Our spanish language classes are designed to develop linguistic competence at every level from beginning to advanced, integrating spanish language instruction with conversation and appreciation of the Mexican cultural context. We offer interesting, relevant and innovative classes; give professional guidance and share our understanding of Mexican culture. All of our teachers are native Mexican spanish speakers, specially-trained as second language teachers; they are also fluent in English, necessary sometimes to explain specific concepts or problematic structures. PROGRAM FEATURES: Private classes for individual attention 15 hours per week, flexible hours Native Spanish-speaking instructors Variety in instructional methods Specialized information and unique materials To register, please fill out our Online Registration Form. We will email you to let you know we have received your request
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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33 reviews
Very good

Debbie K
1 contribution
Jul 2021
My friend and I are both Spanish teachers and were looking for an interesting professional development opportunity; this definitely fit the bill! Instituto Jovel was incredibly accommodating and allowed us to incorporate numerous excursions into our class time. While learning about indigenous culture and Mexican history in Spanish, we were able to visit San Juan de Chamula, Zincantitlan, the local market, the Mayan Medicine Museum as well as the textile museum. Our professor, Reginaldo, was knowledgeable, flexible, and helpful in all aspects of our trip. This experience was far superior to the numerous Spanish classes I have taken in other countries. It will be hard to find another school that lives up to this one.
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Michele V
Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine3 contributions
Feb 2022 • Solo
This language school was recommended to me by a swiss woman I met on an earlier trip. My deepest appreciation for her recommendation because I truly enjoyed the school, the language learning and the physical environment.

I attended 4 hours per weekday for three weeks. 2 teachers per day.

I rate the school a 4 rather than a 5 because I initially had a teacher that didnt fit my learning style well. After a few days I requested a change, and this change was made graciously. After that, I enjoyed each day (the teachers, their method and the learning) immensely.

I feel much better equipped to travel in Mexico, and will continue my studies.

Thanks to Gadi, Reginaldo and the team!
Written February 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New Orleans, LA90 contributions
Mar 2020
I had the pleasure of attending Instituto Jovel 4 hours a day for two weeks. Three hours of grammar and one hour of conversation. All classes were one on one. This was the best present I have ever given myself.

My instructors - Maricarmen, Luis and Anais were all degreed in language and adapted their training to exactly match my needs. I thank them for their patience and understanding as well as their charming personalities.

The school itself has around 12 small classrooms surrounding a park-like garden setting. I can't imagine a more tranquil place to study and build friendships. GIve yourself a present. Sign up for courses at Instituto Jovel and expand your appreciation for the language and people of Mexico. You won't regret it.
Written March 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Student Thank you so much for your comments to Instituto Jovel!!
Written March 24, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

United States6 contributions
Jul 2016 • Solo
This is my third long-term language school experience, and now having tried both "chain" schools and privately run ones, I always opt for the privately run ones. Here are some reasons why I loved my experience at Instituto Jovel:

1) great age range of students - the students range in ages from 18 - 70. Students came from all sorts of backgrounds, which made it a pleasure.

2) small classes - even though I paid for group classes, most of time there I had private teachers all to myself. My largest class had 3 students which meant we all received a lot of individual attention.

3) beautiful setting - classes are centrally located in San Cristobal, and there's a pretty courtyard garden for students to hang out in between classes.

4) flexibility - at one point I had had the same teacher for 2 weeks and felt like I needed a change. No one batted an eyelid. My schedule was changed the following day.

5) personal attention - I had a problem with the housing arrangements I had made (outside the school), so I contacted the director. Within 2 days he found me a beautiful apartment, 1 block from the school, for less than I had been paying.

6) Spanish, Spanish, Spanish - the default language is Spanish. This might seem like a no-brainer, but at the big chain schools, the default language after classes is English. If you're like me, you don't want to pay all that money for immersion classes, only to be surrounded by staff that speak to you in English. Everything here is done in Spanish.

7) Intercambios - the staff will arrange an intercambio every day for you if you like.

The only strange drawback to this school is that you can't pay for classes with a credit card. The high taxes make it difficult for them to accept them, so you have to pay someone in Michigan to a credit union. It's the only thing that makes them appear dodgy, but it reality they're quite trustworthy.
Written July 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pamela B
Virginia Beach, Virginia3 contributions
Jul 2020
I studied at Instituto Jovel twice before and learned so much that I MOVED to San Cristobal de Las Casas to study there every day. Six years in Mexico and five Spanish–language schools later, it is Instituto Jovel where I have some real hope of becoming fluent. All the reviews you are reading here are true. The Director of the Spanish Language School hires and supervises excellent teachers. He models kindness and patience, and everyone - the receptionist, the teachers, the accountant, and the genial gardener are friendly and welcoming. The classes are small or private and are held in airy classrooms open to an amazing and lush garden. Students come from around the world with all levels of Spanish, and all seem to agree that this school is amazing. Say hello when you come – I’ll still be here!
Written August 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

18 contributions
Jul 2016 • Friends
Three friends and I attended two weeks of Spanish classes and a workshop on Indigenous Cultures at this Institute. I highly recommend this school. The teachers were excellent and the co-owner, Reginaldo, was very knowledgeable about the indigenous people of Chiapas and Mexico.
Written August 1, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Aptos, CA11 contributions
Jul 2019
My husband Tim and I just finished studying for a month at Insituto Jovel and we had a wonderful time there. We each took four hours of private classes and we each had three different teachers per day. We liked every one of them. We liked how they structure their program with grammar in the first hour and a half and conversation in the remaining hours. The teachers are wonderful and well-trained and they talked to each other about the things we needed to work on for consistency and continuity. We highly recommend Insitituo Jovel. With professional, intelligent teachers, a beautiful facility in the heart of the city, and friendly and helpful staff, it makes for a high quality Spanish learning experience.
Written August 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Anchorage, AK53 contributions
Nov 2018 • Solo
I spent 2 weeks at Instituto Jovel in late Nov/early Dec 2018. I wish I could have stayed longer, and plan to return. I loved the classes and the town. I took 4 hours of classes a day with three different instructors, all of whom were wonderful. I was the only one taking classes at my level (intermediate), so I ended up with private classes for the entire time at the group rate.

I stayed with a family for the first week, arranged by the school. I was a little nervous about that aspect, but they were a wonderful couple and the house was very nice, with my own bedroom and bathroom and a large courtyard with flowers and fruit trees. I was able to practice my poor conversational skills during meals, and they graciously put up with my grammatical errors and limited vocabulary. I have to admit, though, that the 4 hours of classes along with speaking Spanish outside of the school was rather exhausting. I had planned to stay in a hotel for the remaining part of my trip (I left after class on Friday, so not a full week), and this combination worked out well for me since it provided some down time. If you don't want to stay with a family, the school has other options to practice Spanish outside of class. In the evenings, you can spend an hour talking with a student who is taking English lessons; 30 minutes in each language. There was also at least one evening session, led by an instructor, where people could informally meet outside of the school for conversation, but I did not attend this.

The school grounds are beautiful, with well tended gardens, sculptures, and a fountain. The classrooms are comfortable and nice, with lots of windows. The courtyard is a great place to sit and do homework on a sunny day. There is plenty to do after class. I spent hours wandering around town, visiting the museums and markets, and exploring the different shops. There are lots of good restaurants and cafes, and I saw some good bands- I was there during a jazz festival. On the weekend, I took a day tour to Sumidero Canyon, which is beautiful and worth going to. The school has a booklet with tour options and the tour company will pick you up at the school. Many of the tours required a lot of time riding in a bus, so for my other weekend day I opted to hike at Huitepec Ecological Reserve; took a cab there and walked back. After my last class, a took an overnight bus to Oaxaca, which was convenient. I highly recommend this school- I know I'll be back!
Written March 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Luc J
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg16 contributions
Nov 2016 • Solo
I stayed in San Cristobal de las Casas in November 2016. My trip to Mexico was the first thing I did after retiring from my job (aged 60). I wanted to improve my Spanish and, at the same time, learn a little more about Mexico in general and Chiapas in particular.
Positive reviews and recommendations in forums and blogs guided me to the Instituto Jovel. I booked for 3 weeks of Spanish language courses, 2 x 1,5 h. per day of grammar and conversation, and for a 1,5 h. a day weeklong course on indigenous cultures. The individualized course formula is very flexible and allows a perfect adjustment to any needs and interests. My teachers, Eva and Anais for Spanish and Reginaldo fir indigenous cultures are highly motivated professionals, excellent teachers and very pleasant company.
Not only did the courses improve my language skills, they offered me first hand information and insights into this amazing part of the world and its people. The school’s management and staff were extremely helpful in organizing excursions, giving tips for everyday life and finding solutions for the less everyday wishes (like visiting a village cemetery during the Day of the Death celebrations or meeting indigenous coffee producers in their highland community).
I warmly recommend the Instituto Jovel and its courses. Don’t get put off by the humble street side appearance. Behind the entrance door, you will find a friendly and functional building, a peaceful patio + garden, high quality teaching and an interesting, international mix of fellow-students of all ages.
Written December 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your nice comments!! We are happy we were helpful for your stay with us at Instituto Jovel and we met your expectations!! All the best!! Reginaldo Gomez
Written May 28, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

52 contributions
Jun 2016 • Couples
Me and my partner attended a 1 day cookery course through this institution. We were surprised to find it was only the two of us booked onto that days course, so we got a private class!
We were shown around the nearby food market where our teacher explained all the different types of chilies and other spices, as well as pointing out another other strange fruit and common vegetables to us. She even bought bits for us to try if we hadnt tried them before!

We returned to the institution house which was in a lovely setting, where we cooked for 3 hours!
We ate a few things bought from the market whilst we cooked such as tamales and chicharones, and our choice was to cook the three types of Chilie Rellenos. Other options to cook for the day included tamales, mole, tortillas and salsas, and traditional mexican soup.

We finished with a plate full of food, which we devoured between the 3 of us in half an hour!

The cost was 550 mexican pesos which was around $18. It was cheaper if you didnt do the market tour at the start.
1 negative would be that we did feel the teacher was doing alot of the cooking and wasnt delegating tasks for us to do that much - we were quite capable and would have liked a little more hands-on experience, rather than just watching her doing things - something to improve on maybe?
But all in all a very good day and nice experience
Written August 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Instituto Jovel

Instituto Jovel is open:
  • Mon - Fri 8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
  • Sat - Sat 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM