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Spanish Institute of Puebla

35 Reviews
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Spanish Institute of Puebla

35 Reviews
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11 Oriente #10, Puebla 72000 Mexico
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Puebla and Cholula Day Trip from Mexico City
Day Trips

Puebla and Cholula Day Trip from Mexico City

198 reviews
See the Great Pyramid of Cholula and Puebla’s UNESCO-listed historic center on one easy, all-inclusive tour from Mexico City. The largest pyramid on earth by volume, Cholula surpasses even the Egyptian Pyramids. In Puebla, visit historic churches, buildings adorned in hand-painted tiles, and a religious art museum, and get an introduction to the craft of Talavera tile-making. Hotel pickup and drop-off, plus included lunch, make for a hassle-free trip.
$57.00 per adult
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sarahtoby2 wrote a review Feb 2019
Seattle, Washington7 contributions7 helpful votes
I attended SIP in February of 2019. I have attended a number of other language schools in various countries over the years, and would give this one very high marks. My teacher (Angelica) was wonderful, and I had the sense everyone loved their teachers, all of whom seem to be accomplished and dedicated. At the beginning of the course, all students sign a "pledge" to speak only Spanish at any school-related functions.While this is not enforced as such, I think it does dramatically increase the likelihood that students (who ranged in aged from about 17 to over 80) will, in fact, speak Spanish a great deal of the time--during lunch; during outings; during breaks. Although this can feel rather exhausting at times, it is absolutely the best approach for those serious--or even moderately serious- about learning Spanish. My one piece of advice would be to think about what you actually want, and let Antonio know: Antonio, the teachers and afternoon "guides" are very flexible and do their best to accommodate the students' needs: For example, I think the idea of the afternoon "guides" is to show you around Puebla. Sometimes this can be challenging due to the noise on the Puebla streets. So, if, for example, you would rather sit in a cafe with your afternoon guide and just chat rather than visiting sites, that's what you do. If you'd rather watch a (Spanish-language) movie with the guide, that's OK, too. If you want help with pronunciation, tell them. Make this program work for you, because that's what they want it to do. Final advice: If you're going to do a home stay and have strong (or moderate) opinions about what you'd like that to look like (close to the school? With an active family or with a quiet widow you rarely see?), make that known. If you don't, you may end up a 20-minute bus ride away from the school in a neighborhood in which you don't feel comfortable walking alone after dark (this comment is mostly for women). I stayed in an AirBnB close to the center of town, which was perfect for me. Plenty of privacy, and easy access to Puebla's many restaurants and its Zocolo after dark. While this was more expensive than the home stay option, it was well worth it for me.
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Date of experience: February 2019
4 Helpful votes
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Response from SpanishInstitute, Student Services at Spanish Institute of Puebla
Responded Feb 26, 2019
First of all we want to thank you for taking the time to write a review about the Spanish Institute of Puebla, we appreciate it and we know it will help other students in the future. We work hard to make sure the learning experience is rewarding for all our students being the classroom work or the afternoon conversation. We would love to have you attend the Institute again as you continue with your Spanish learning.
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H M wrote a review Jan 2019
New Braunfels, Texas45 contributions8 helpful votes
I attended the Spanish Institute of Puebla for the 2-week session, beginning Monday, Dec 10 - Friday, Dec 21. I arrived a day early and stayed in Puebla until that Sunday morning, Dec 23. The first day, we began with an orientation, which covered the city and things to do, possible excursions that the Institute offers, and general information regarding the culture and what we might be seeing in our homestays. After being given a written test at our homestays on Saturday, we were then tested verbally, and the decisions were made as to what Level class we would be attending. The classes were excellent; our teacher was friendly, interested in her students, and very knowledgeable in Spanish grammar and speech. There were 2 students in my class (myself and one other), and the maximum was 3 students. Another option is one-on-one classes. Classes ran from 9am - 1pm, and we had lunch break for 90 minutes after that. In the afternoons, we each met separately with our own Guide for 2 hours, walking wherever we wanted in the city with a them (or taking an Uber, if it was farther away), and speaking Spanish. Generally, we were assigned a different Guide each week, to be exposed to different native speakers. Some people actually chose not to see the city, and stayed in the school with their Guide. It's totally up to the student. The excursions we went on were excellent. We had Spanish-speaking guides (these were all in Spanish), and they were willing to take their time and repeat whatever we needed to have repeated. Regarding the homestay, my only criteria that I mentioned was non-smoking. Looking back, and if I go again, I will say that I want a family that would like me to be like a family member, and allow me to go places with them, etc. The family I was in (a woman around my age - 60's), was not interested in doing anything with me, so I adapted by hitting up some of the students and doing things with them in the late afternoons, and often into the nights. This meant that I did not eat dinner at my host "mother's" house as often as I could have, but that was my choice. She never ate breakfast or dinner with me, so when I did eat there, I was eating alone. She would sit and (try to) chat with me (my Spanish was only Level 3), but she did not seem interested at all in where I was from, my family, or anything about me. I could have requested to be switched to a different family, but I chose not to (a) because I was able to do things with other people, and (b) I had already unpacked all my things and honestly, was too lazy to pack it all back up and move, so I just never brought it up. It was just fine, but not what I had hoped for. Not the fault of the Institute by any means. All in all, it was a great learning experience, and I hope to go back sometime in the next year or two.
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Date of experience: December 2018
1 Helpful vote
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LKenz2014 wrote a review Nov 2018
5 contributions4 helpful votes
I have been to several other language schools in Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Spain and for me the Spanish Institute of Puebla is in the top spot! (Well, it ties for first with one other, but still!) I was only able to go for one week of individual classes but I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would love to go back. My classes were very good, with a strong communicative focus. The facilities were super clean, good wifi, nice water and coffee machines, full laundry service offered every day, good computer lab and lockers. Two outdoor patios with one on the upper story available for smokers. The school provides all students with a learning dictionary, a Larousse Spanish grammar book and a level appropriate textbook too. I was worried that being in individual classes I wouldn't get to meet other students. That was not the case. Every day at lunch you get to go to one of two restaurants with all the other students from the school. (You choose daily between a typical Mexican buffet or a vegetarian restaurant - both excellent with plenty of healthy options.) Also, the school organizes multiple excursions. I got to attend two over the Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead celebrations and both were excellent, and a good time to connect with the other students. Conversation program: 4/5 stars. In the afternoon every student is assigned a local university student conversation partner/ guide who spends two hours with you. They are there to show you around the city, take you to places you'd like to go and help teach you new vocab/practice conversation. While my guide was very kind, she didn't seem particularly familiar with the city of Puebla and a lot of her answers to my questions were very vague. (As an aside, for your information you are responsible for paying for transportation/food/entry costs for your guide at the attractions you visit.) Accommodation: I stayed in a homestay and was very happy. The family was kind, hospitable, gave me good food (huge breakfasts and small dinners) and accompanied me to and from school on the first two days to make sure I knew my way (this is school policy). The home was 20 minutes away walking plus bus. The home was comfortable. Safety: I felt very safe in Puebla. I took Ubers to get around whenever I was out after dark. In general Puebla was totally lovely and a great destination for studying. For reference, I traveled alone as a young woman in her early twenties. (While there were a few younger people, and a couple middle aged students, the majority of students at the institute were probably 55+. The school had a very nice, calm and friendly vibe.)
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Date of experience: October 2018
3 Helpful votes
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Response from SpanishInstitute, Student Services at Spanish Institute of Puebla
Responded Dec 1, 2018
First of all we want to thank you for taking the time to write a detail review of your experience at the Spanish Institute of Puebla. We are happy that you enjoyed the quality of the instruction as well as the organization of all planed activities. We would love to have you back in Puebla for future studies. Thank you.
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Linda M wrote a review Aug 2018
Woodside, California37 contributions6 helpful votes
I have attended classes at SIP three times since 2002. The instructors are top-notch, the facility is perfect and the location, just blocks from Zócalo, couldn’t be better. One of the highlights of the curriculum for me is the one-on-one time every afternoon with your personal guide . . . to spend time wandering through the city, visiting museums, having coffee and—all the while—honing your conversational skills. My home stays have been uniformly superb and—trust me—this isn’t a given. I attended another school last year and was plagued by an insect infestation in my room and the disappearance of one of my rings, likely at the hands of the maid. I trust SIP implicitly; they have covered all bases, in a routinely superb fashion. Love these guys!
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Date of experience: February 2018
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Response from SpanishInstitute, Director at Spanish Institute of Puebla
Responded Aug 29, 2018
Linda we want to thank you for taking your time and writing a review of the Spanish Institute of Puebla. We look at each student as family and we want them to get the most out of our program. I am happy to see that you have been at the Institute 3 times and it is students like you that encourage us to keep on giving the best. Continua con tu español... te deseamos lo mejor.
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Brian P wrote a review Jul 2018
Denver, Colorado24 contributions16 helpful votes
We were delighted with our three week courses (at different levels) at this school. My speaking improved tremendously. It is the best organized and best run organization I have experienced in Mexico. The premises, a converted convent, is airy and pleasant, with plenty of small classrooms opening onto the two-story courtyard. Classes are carefully formed by skill level. The book series they use, developed in cooperation with the UNAM in Mexico DF, is better than the texts and manuals I have been learning from. It is intense--4 hours classroom in the morning, then a provided buffet lunch in an adjacent restaurant, then a two-hour jaunt to whatever museums, businesses, or attractions you want to visit, one-on-one with a college-educated guide. The speaking and learning opportunities are constant and rich. Puebla is full of really wonderful historic sites, and it's great to visit with a native. We did not stay with a family, but rather in a very nice AirBnB apartment in the Centro for a pittance. So I can't offer an opinion on the family stays. We found the Centro, where the school is located, to be very friendly and safe. The regular hotels that cater to foreigners are very expensive, and isolate you from the people.
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Date of experience: February 2018
3 Helpful votes
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