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“Muy bueno”

Academia Hispano Americana
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Owner description: Established in 1959, we are proud to be the first Spanish Language school in San Miguel de Allende to specialize in teaching Spanish as a second language.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

The setting is elegant, with beautiful gardens and courtyard. My class was small, with only 2 other students. Andrea, our profesora, was superb and lovely. Although I'm 64, and she in her late twenties, after bringing my papers up to her desk to be checked, I started developing a crush on her, and wanted to bring her an apple. I hadn't felt like I was twelve in a long time.
I took 4 hrs of class each morning, and it improved my Spanish more than I anticipated. I wish I had had more time to continue. Finally, I became friends with several students in different classes, who greatly enhanced my time in SMA in and out of the school. All told, it was one of the best things I did on my stay there, and I'll definitely sign up again on my next visit.

1  Thank Querulous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 25, 2013

My 84 year old father studied here for two months and really enjoyed it - and learned a lot. I joined him for 4 days of instruction. We are moderate level speakers and still learned a lot. Jorge made everything so interesting by letting us wander into conversations where we had to use the tense we were studying that day. The setting is like so much of San Miguel de Allende. You can't tell what's behind the front doors until you're inside, and then the courtyard opens up to true Mexican beauty of flowers, trees, and Mexican architecture.

1  Thank kayakerlynne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

Best school in town for the serious student. My son improved by leaps and bounds and had a great time doing it. A great value.

Thank thehart5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

Probably should write Spanish but it is a language school and beginners would miss the review :-(

My wife and I attended Acadamia Hispano Americana (AHA) for a 4 week 'High Beginner' level course in March 2010 but the calendar in this service only goes back to Sep 11.

We are booking again to do their advanced/higher level in March 2013. We prefer the 8.30 to 12.30/4hr a day course which leaves us free to vacation or visit the hot springs in the afternoon.

We have been learning spanish via immersion since mid 2009, originally starting in Miami (South Beach Languages) but have also attended schools in San Miguel de Allende/Mexico, Cusco/ Peru, San Sebastian/Spain and via Skype with teachers in Ecuador.

AHA has proven to be one of the best we have attended - that's why we are going back.

AHA is an Immersion school so ALL the classes and explanations are in Spanish. They can speak English if you get really stuck - but you will be immersed in Spanish. We have found this to be the best method but some people find it daunting. The building is very Mexican/South American, as are the teachers - so expect to get into the swing of the culture and the language rather than sit in a glossy Americanized facility listening to English with some Spanish excercises.

I have never been to Warren Hardy School so I can't make a direct comparison. That said, when we attended AHA there was a man called Bob on our course who told us that he had been going to San Miguel/Warren Hardy for 7 years. It may be that Bob is not a natural linguist, but after 7 years learning Bob was part of our 8 student class in the second from beginner level class. All the other students coped with the four week class but Bob struggled with most of the lessons, and could not really communicate in the conversation classes. Bob started attending Warren Hardy in the afternoons to catch up before eventually dropping out of AHA to stick with Warren Hardy.

Bob showed me his Warren Hardy course material (which seemed to be in English and Spanish) and he told me that he felt more comfortable with their system. As far as I could see the main difference was that Warren Hardy uses a lot of English in the teaching system and explanations and this is what Bob told me he preferred. As I said, this could more of a reflection of Bob lacking language abilities - but I am not a natural linguist, have only ever done Spanish immersion courses (ie: virtually zero English explanations and only spanish text books) and I coped at AHA after just 6 months learning Spanish versus Bob's 7 years.

My point really is that you should not focus on which school has the most American Style facilities but examine the course materials, methods and success levels of the students where possible.

Hope this helps you make your decision. Felicidades Amigos :-)

7  Thank marknadel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 7, 2012

AHA is in an excellent location and is physically very beautiful. I experienced directly Javier, in a level too high for me but who was good, and Lupita. Both emphasized grammar much too much for me, on both levels, so I eventually switched to two excellent tutors for one-on-one time, two hours a day, 6 days a week. However, if you want intensity and grammar, AHA provides it, from 3 hours a day to 7 hours a day. Though their brochure says they only sign people up for month-long courses, if you ask, they will let you sign up for a week at a time. There are also 2 excellent one hour "lectures" by the highly entertaining Sergio

The best part of the whole experience for me has been to stay with a Mexican family who live 10 minutes away! Maria and Alejandro Berra offer such kindness and attention that I have prospered as much from 3 meals a day with them and much conversation, always in espanol but very clear and slow when I needed it, that I felt totally welcome and cared about! Rooms and food are simple but certainly adequate. For, I think, $26 a night, it's been an incredible gift! Furthermore, you are a block away from a beautiful organic restaurant and 5 minutes walk to the fabled Fabrica Aurora, as well as only 10 minutes from the historic Centro. Wi fi is available for free from several nearby coffe shops as well as Via Organica. And extremely quiet, since they live on a little tiny street with no through traffic. They are very experienced at having students in one of their several rooms, and they have done everything possible to make my stay here comfortable and accomodate my wishes.

If you want a different family, AHA will suggest several according to your needs/preferences. Beware: my first night I was placed through a suggestion by AHA with a family on Sollano, but the room that was promised to me, that I saw and was given the keys to, with wi fi, was switched, and I was given a room without wi fi that was extremely dirty. Worse, when the mom of the family saw that I had a small portable fan (I highly recommended one), she said she would charge me $1 more a day for the electricity! Finally, she berated me for wanting to lock the door to my room, even though I had valuables I wanted to keep safe. There are several other families to choose from, and I heard very positive comments about one, located on Pueblito, near the Insituto, from another student at AHA.

It has been one of the highlights of my life to get to stay with Maria and Alejandro. They can be contacted through Insituto Habla Hispana, which is where I started out for the first two weeks. I liked both schools.

If you prefer tutors, as I did, I have contact information for several excellent ones, and both Academia and Insituto Habla Hispana can also provide one on one tutoring. What's keeping you from coming? I am so happy that I decided to come and try out this beautiful town and experience the culture of Mexico.

2  Thank PA610
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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