A couple of weeks ago we invited Cotacachi expats to join us for a focus
group with the University of Otavalo in order to plan classes addressing
the need for the local expat community to learn Spanish and equip
themselves with the necessary tools to live happily and securely in
The March 4th Focus group meeting at the U of O was a success with 15 attendees! Great
participation by all attending with a very warm reception from the University
Staff. Much thanks and appreciation for your support!
After much planning and incorporation of the ideas generated by
the focus group, the U of O is ready to offer a course with three modules
which will endeavor to condense the natural learning process that occurs
when we move to Ecuador to live, allowing us to cut out the guesswork,
streamline our integration into the Ecuadorian community, and enjoy
ourselves in the process.
The university will offer fun, dynamic classes which combine Spanish
language instruction and cultural tips and activities. The classes will be
geared toward retirement-age students, and will move at a relaxed pace
without the pressures of tests and grades. Classroom Spanish lessons will
focus on spoken Spanish, and are designed to be practiced that same day
with native speakers, either on-campus or off-campus. This way you get more
practice listening, understanding, and speaking Spanish. As much as
possible, instruction will be provided in Spanish in order to immerse
students (with English translations as necessary).
The U of O also plans on doing hands-on cultural activities and field
trips, and incorporating knowledgeable guest speakers into the curriculum.
Opportunities will be given for students to integrate themselves into the
Ecuadorian community, and the university will focus on increasing our
knowledge of Ecuadorian culture. The course will contain helpful tips,
intended to improve and enrich our cultural experience here in Ecuador (and
avoid negative and awkward situations):
-finding and maintaining a rental property
-obtaining a visa and residency
-how to negotiate
-Ecuadorian gastronomy, history, and customs
The schedule which was decided upon in the focus group is as follows:
morning Spanish classes with Adelaida (a native Spanish speaker who also speaks English) from 10am-12pm.
Lunch on your own from 12pm-1:30pm.
Afternoon practice activities (outings, gastronomy, field trips) with Kate Henry and other qualified instructors from the University from
Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, and depending on the number of students enrolled, additional schedules will be offered.
The maximum number of students per class will be twenty. The first module is five months long, and will start
April 2nd, 2013 and finish August 29th, 2013. We will only be offering the first module at this time, but will offer the second module later on on the year and the third module in 2014, in order to allow you the opportunity to further expand your knowledge of the Spanish language and Ecuadorian culture.
The cost of the course is $120 per month per student, which, for a five-month long course, comes out to a total of $600.
You get 160 hours of coursework, for $3.75 an hour.
Enrolling in the course also has some other perks, including the opportunity to apply for a renewable 6-month student visa, access to
affordable dental care, referrals to a medical clinic in Ibarra (with a translator), free legal consultation, networking opportunities, and a
certificate upon completion of the course.
Please check out http://academico.uotavalo.edu.ec:2249 for further information regarding the course and to register for classes online.
Registration is open until April 2nd. Deposits can be made via bank deposit (please see details on the website).
Thank you so much for your time and we look forward to having you as a student! If you should have any additional questions regarding the course, please do not hesitate to contact Kate Henry at email@example.com.
Kate Henry, Jeff Neal, Lin Neal, and Bob Patrick
Directions to the University of Otavalo:
Coming from Cotacachi, continue straight down the Panamerican Highway through the main roundabout in Otavalo. At the first stop light, take a right and continue one and a half blocks down this road (Av. de los Sarances) until you reach the part of the road which has a large grassy median. The University of Otavalo is the complex of brick buildings on the left-hand side. The address is: Cuidadela Imbaya, Av. de los Sarances sin numero y Pendoneros.
If you are traveling by the 6 de Julio bus or the green Cotacachi bus to Otavalo, get off at the covered bus stop on the Panamerican highway immediately before the main roundabout in Otavalo (get up quickly when you pass the yellow taxi stand on the right-hand side and ask the bus to stop at the “próxima parada’). Continue down the Panamerican highway until you reach the stop light one block down (where the Banco International is located on the other side of the highway.) There is a black University of Otavalo sign on the road. Then, turn right onto Av. de los Sarances and continue walking one and a half blocks into the neighborhood. The University is the complex of brick buildings on the left-hand side.
Spanish Language/Culture course