Welcome to our school! More than learning a language….a life experience. Why study in Bolivia? Learning Spanish, Quechua and Aymara in Bolivia, will enable you to develop a deeper understanding of the economic, political, social and cultural reality in Bolivia and Latin America.
The Physical Space. The school is a one-story building built around a small inner patio. It has nine classrooms, an office/library/meeting room and two toilets. In front of the building there is another small patio where students and teachers gather during the half hour break to chat, plan afternoon and night activities and excursions, and enjoy delicious snacks, such as fruit juices, milkshakes, tea, coffee and sandwiches. The meeting room is used for conversations, discussions and to show films.
An Overview Of The School. Students from many countries of all continents come to our school. Our curriculum is adapted to any age and need. We have games, toys and special didactic material for children of all ages. The students can elect to have classes outdoors, under an umbrella, in one of the patios.
For more advanced students, we incorporate materials according to individuals interests and goals. Students and teachers frequently socialize outside of class. The directors also organize guided excursions and group outings to traditional festivities and/or cultural events.
Two of our classrooms can be joined and used as a party room. The directors organize parties for students, teachers and host families to meet.
The Three Pillars Of our school. Three are the pillars of the school:
- A philosophy of service with high professional quality and human
- The communicative method
- The material.
Philosophy. Our philosophy is of service with high professional quality and human warmth.
The method. We teach utilizing a communicative method, which we have been developing and putting into practice for more than 20 years at the school. This method allows us to use grammar lessons, dialogs, lectures, exercises, conversations, pictures – didactic or artistic -, radio, television and other resources to make communication possible from the moment a student enters his or her first class. With this method the classes are direct, active, intense and completely participatory.
The material. Most of the material we use is developed by the director of the school, a linguist who studied in Zurich, Switzerland, and has more than 30 years of experience teaching Spanish and Quechua in both Switzerland and Bolivia, The material reflects life within the neighborhood in which the students live and attend school, as well as the daily reality of Cochabamba, Bolivia and Latin America. Teaching materials are drawn from official history books, oral traditions, Bolivian and Latin American literature, ethnographies, and various other publications. We believe that the learning process is more comprehensive, interesting, and rapid by incorporating all of the senses as well as by focusing on reading, speaking, and writing. In order for this to happen, however, the learning material must fit the context, be up-to-date and representative of the surrounding reality. The material is frequently revised, corrected, implemented and brought up to date because it must fit the specific needs of each student, and because the process of teaching and learning is an exchange of information, an iterative process which needs continued actualization. We are convinced that our school experiences and offers continuous growth due to its philosophy, its method and its material.
Homestay. Living with a host family is a perfect way to practice language skills, complementing the learning process. Equally important, sharing with the family allows you to assimilate aspects of Bolivian culture in a friendly and safe place.
At our school we emphasize that the process of learning a language is enhanced by living with a local family and by the cultural experience resulting from it. In the neighborhood of Juan XXIII, many families host students. Talking with the host family members, you will use and practice what you have learned in classes. You can choose among families of various generations, families with children or adolescents or rooms with private or shared bathroom. The school supervises constantly the quality of the homestay, including the food served and the relationships between guests and hosts.
You will be the only guest (or with your partner, friend or family) and will get to know the joys, pains, fiestas, customs, traditions and yearnings of a low middle class Bolivian family living in the outskirts of the city. These families have strong ties with mining centers and, in many cases, with the countryside, too.
You will share three meals a day with them: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals are hygienically and carefully prepared. You can also enjoy a great variety of seasonal fruits and delicious home-made drinks. Full meals are provided every day of the week. There also are families who can prepare vegetarian food or according to special diets.
The classes. The classes are one on one, that is one teacher works with one student; however, small groups can be formed circumstantially, with topics of common interest such as grammar, literature, history, social concerns, economics, etc. These group sessions are intended for intensive discussion and practice of the language. Beginning students have, at least for the first week, a teacher who speaks their own language or another language common to both. After the third week, or before, if a student has reached the required level, he/she can integrate specific themes of interest and associated materials. These materials can include texts, articles, essays etc.,. that are taken from books, magazines, newspapers and other sources and serve to complement the school’s basic lessons.
We do not know if our method is better than others, nor are we interested in making comparisons. We aspire to be better and suspect that our method is indeed different. We operate according to a philosophy of quality service and use a method that meets the interests, needs and expectations of our students. Our material is dynamic and undergoes frequent additions and revisions. We have no definitive text, since we believe that time and experience enrich the quality and quantity of our material.
We must also mention that our practice of changing teachers every day has yielded very positive results. Each of our teachers brings his/her own experience into the classroom, and these vary according to the contexts in which each has lived and worked . Often the teacher-student interaction blossoms into friendship.
We organize a number of optional excursions to areas throughout Bolivia. You might want to take advantage of organized trips to the following locations, or go explore on your own!
Tunari. A one-day excursion to the Tunari mountain At 5,200 m, this is the highest mountain of the Tunari Cordillera, which surrounds the city of Cochabamba to the north. It provides a habitat for condors, vicuñas, llamas vizcachas, Andean geese and many others.
Incallajta. The biggest complex of Inca ruins found thus far in Bolivia (ca. 25 ha). The main building is a hall of 81 by 27 m. The construction method of Incallajta follows the classical Inca model: a strategically situated peninsula surrounded by three rivers and dominated by a fortified mountain. (Archaeology in Cochabamba - UMSS).
Incachaca. The Quechua name means “Inca bridge”. Incachaca was part of the Inca trail to the tropical lowlands. It is located in the cloud forest, an exuberant subtropical jungle, at approx. 2’600 m, in the Yungas region of Cochabamba.
Tropical rainforest of Cochabamba. Three days in the tropical rainforest of Cochabamba. Bathing in rivers and creeks, hikes through the jungle and observing wild life.
Torotoro. A national park with an enchanted landscape. Torotoro has caves with stalactites and stalagmites, dinosaur footprints, giant turtle fossils, cave drawings and pre-Columbian fortresses. It is 4- 5 hrs by car and 20 min. by plane from Cochabamba.
Catavi. Three days in the mining center Catavi-Siglo XX, that, at one time, was one of the largest tin producers of the occidental world. This is a field trip with a guide, and with emphasis on Bolivian history and the history of this legendary mine and its region.
La Paz. La Paz is the highest de facto capital of the world, situated between 3,200 and 4,000 m above sea level, between immense plains and majestic mountains. It is a cosmopolitan city, full of contradictions. It has a large Aymara population as well as vast cultural and architectural diversity. The Illimani mountain, a symbol of La Paz, rises above this impressive city. La Paz is the center of commerce, finance and government.
Tiwanaku. Tiwanaku is considered the most important culture of the pre-Columbian period in Bolivia and in South America. In the course of two millennia, it achieved significant advances in science and art. Evidence of the cultivation and irrigation techniques is left by semi subterranean fields (camellones) and on terraces located on hillsides. Also impressive is their architecture, where they put on record astronomical knowledge molded delicately into different types of lithic materials. The capital, also called Tiwanaku, is situated 70 km west of La Paz at an altitude of 3,845 m above sea level. (Archaeological Guide Bolivia, Archaeologist. Javier Escalante M.)
Sucre. Known as the "White City of the Americas", Sucre is the historic and legal capital of Bolivia, which has maintained its colonial character. Its university attracts students from all over Bolivia and neighboring countries. Its museums, culture and handicrafts make a visit memorable. A mute witness, protagonist of the region's history and a deity for the native population, a 1,400 year old cedar tree can be visited in the garden of the Recoleta Museum. On Sundays, Tarabuco becomes a market and meeting place for the magnificently dressed Tarabuqueños, descendents of the Yamparaez warriors, who defeated the Spanish conquerors on several occasions.
Potosi. Founded in 1545, during the colonial period Potosí was the most important town on the continent, bigger than London or Paris at that time. The town is located at the base of the Cerro Rico, the Rich Mountain, where hundreds of thousands of men, native mitayos and black slaves imported from Africa, disappeared. The visitor to this town-museum will feel as if he/she were back in time. Nearby are the hot springs of Tarapaya, a volcanic lagoon, which distributes its water to several thermal resorts.
Salar of Uyuni. The salar of Uyuni is the biggest salt desert in the world, at 4,000 m above sea level. There are islands covered with giant cacti. To the south, incredible volcanic landscapes with geysers, fumaroles, and lagoons that change colors, fill the visitor with admiration and astonishment.
Please Note For excursions to the rainforest, and trips to the tropical lowlands, or to some neighboring countries, a yellow fever vaccination is necessary.
We use grammar, dialogs, exercises, reading, videos, pictures, etc., to make communication possible from the first day of classes. Most of the material we use is created by the school’s director and reflects life within the neighborhood in which the students live and attend school, as well as the daily reality of Cochabamba, Bolivia and Latin America.
- Standard (20 lessons/week) - US $195;
- Intensive (25 lessons/week) - US $243.75;
- We also offer Super Intensive classes of more than 5 hours at the same price as the Intensive classes (USD 9.75/hr.);
- Family (per person) single or double room, full board:
* 1 week (7 days) - US $98;
* 1 day - US $14
- Course material,
- Transfer from airport/bus terminal to homestay,
- Info material.
- optional excursions.
About This Supplier
Joined InfoHub: Jul 2005
M05347 was founded in Zurich, Switzerland, in the beginning of 1990. At the end of 1990 it started working in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The director, Joaquin Hinojosa, born in Cochabamba in 1947, studied linguistics and publicistics in Zurich and afterwards taught Spanish and Quechua there during 10 years in different...
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