Frequently Asked Questions
Spanish in Chile
Where is your Spanish school situated in Santiago?
Our Institute is in Las Condes which is one of the nicest and safest suburbs of Santiago. We have our own two-storey building on the main road (Av. Apoquindo 4248) and we are only one block from the Metro (subway) with many buses stopping right out the front of the institute. We have our own free parking (up to 10 cars) exclusively for our students should they be living in Chile.
If you are taking the Metro, you can get off at either Escuela Militar Station (we are one block from this one) or Alcántara Station (3 blocks away) on the main line. The latter (Alcántara) is easier since it only has two exits, The Escuela Militar one is a bit of a Labyrinth (though has loads of shops to look at and places to eat at as you go through). When you get out of Alcántara Station, head towards the mountains (you can't miss them, they are around 5,000m high!) and we are a couple of blocks on the left just past the park with the big fountain. You can see us on a map on our Who are we page.
We have seven classrooms and out the back of the institute we have a large patio for students to rest, relax or just soak up the sun (there's a BBQ area too). We have a study area inside for students with a purified water dispenser as well as a coffee machine for your caffeine fixes.
What type of students study at your Spanish School?
We have many different types of students that have different reasons for learning Spanish in Chile with us. Most of our students are foreigners that are living in Chile and rapidly need to learn or improve their level of Spanish in order to get by. We have a number of university students that are doing exchanges and we also have students that come from foreign embassies and businesses. There are also some backpackers that are traveling through South America that come to us once they realize just how necessary Spanish is to do the most basic things here.
Our most frequent age group is normally from 25-39 though we have had students from 18 up to 78 years of age.
We don't normally do courses for children though we have occasional had some high school students come to us on a student exchange in their own separate groups or in private classes.
Where are your students from?
We are fortunate to have a mixed variety of nationalities studying with us. Many of our students are from England, United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Brazil, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and South Africa.
We have or have had students from almost every other country though in smaller numbers like France, Italy, Poland, Japan, Denmark, China and Holland.
As you can see, are students are mostly from North America and European countries with the odd ones from Asia and down under.
The most important thing is that there is no dominant nationality, we prefer a cultural mix.
What is the minimum age requirement?
For our general Spanish courses students have to be at least 18 years of age. For students under the age of 18 we can organize private classes. We don't mixed our younger students with adults since they both have different ways of learning (and some of the topics and examples are aimed at adults).
What type of courses do you offer?
Are courses are aimed at General Spanish for communication, both orally and written.
Most students take the Flexible Spanish Course where they have the opportunity to book their classes on different days and at different hours. Of course even though it is possible to come just two or three times a week if students want, most come every day.
There is the possibility of Private Lessons should you need to concentrate on specific language areas.
What do you mean by Flexible Courses?
Most of our students are staying here for longer periods of time and they like to spread their hours over the time they are here. A number of these students are busy in their company or embassy in Chile so sometimes they have an erratic schedule. We have a flexible schedule for this situation so that it's not necessary to come every day or for a lot of hours every day. Some students come once or twice a week, some come for a couple of days, go on a trip out of Santiago either for work of pleasure and then continue when they come back. It's up to the students to decide how they want to distribute their hours.
All classes taken by a student are written on their student file which also contains the student's needs and areas to work on. When a student comes back to us after their trip, we pick up from where they were last time so they won't miss anything. Since we only permit a reduced number of students per class, we have the luxury of being able to use this flexible system.
NOTE: When students are with other people in the class, they will always be of the same level. In any one class there can only be a maximum of 6 students and all of the same level.
How do I book classes?
We have created our own Biometric booking system (the most advanced technology of any Spanish language school in Chile) so you book your own classes. Our system is set up so that instead of typing a password, you put your finger in a special reader that opens up your Woodward Student information on a screen. This screen shows you information about your course including classes taken, hours booked and when your next evaluation is etc.
It is also the booking system where a calendar appears and if you want classes tomorrow, you just click on tomorrow's date and it will show you the options of classes available for your level that day. If you want to book one of the classes, you book one, if you want two hours, then you book two.
Most students book classes from one day to the next though you can book a week or more in advance.
What type of books and material do you use in class?
We don't use fixed books in class (that's too much like being back at school) since most times those books are out of date or not relevant to Chile or individual needs. Over the years we have created our own material including many interactive activities and games that won't be found elsewhere. We choose which of those to use depending on each specific class. This way is more focused on the students' needs and they can advance a lot quicker.
What are the Spanish classes like?
Since all of our Spanish courses are personalized, we focus the classes on the individual student's needs. We don't restrict the students by making them go through a book in class little by little (you can do that at home) since we want our students to learn real Spanish that they can really use in day-to-day life.
We want our students to advance as quickly as possible in a short period of time. We focus on the areas that students need more help with and that way students can advance a lot more quickly. You can find some more information on our Methodology Page.
How do you know what level I am in?
On the day that a student enrolls in their course, we do an evaluation that is both written and spoken to see which areas they need to start working on. It is very important for us to only have people that are of the same level in the same class.
Do you offer or organize additional activities?
We also organize extra activities for our students. We have our famous Chilean Wine nights and BBQs at the institute, our fun Ping Pong championships and we sometimes have a Ladies night out.
One of the favourite activities of the students are our free conversation afternoons. We have an hour every day where our students can come to practice speaking Spanish in a relaxed environment, and for free!
How do I know if you are a good Spanish school?
First of all we don't have any salespeople or agents anywhere in the world. Almost all of our students come through recommendations of current or ex-students which shows the quality of what we do.
Woodward has the NCh2728 Quality Certificate recommended by the Chilean government AND the International ISO9001:2008 Quality Certificate.
Woodward is the only Spanish School in Chile that has been accepted as a member of AREI Chile.
AREI Chile is the Association of International Education and Exchange Representatives in Chile that has the support of the embassies of United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. We have a strong code of ethics based on international standards.
Can I book from abroad?
It is not necessary as our students pay once they have seen our premises in Chile. We recommend not booking courses at any Spanish school in Chile from abroad until you have come to see what the school is really like (and to make sure they actually have teachers, classrooms and especially students). You will also quickly pick up the 'vibe' of the place.
Most sites on the internet are not the school but agents that charge a fee for using their services. If they don't have the address on the website, beware!
How can I pay? Can I pay by credit card?
Payments are made in Chilean Pesos (cash or Chilean cheques). We also accept payment by Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club International & Magna) on all courses other than the 10-hour promotion.
There is NO enrolment fee.
Do you arrange any voluntary work for the students?
It can be arranged depending on the type of voluntary work you are interested in.
We are the only official government recognized organization that helps with international adoptions between New Zealand and Chile. We can also organize unpaid volunteer work at different orphanages throughout the country.
We don't charge to help organize your voluntary work though you do have to study Spanish with us for at least eighty hours beforehand to be able to communicate more effeciently.
What else should I know?
Before you come to Chile, try to get a seat on the left side of the plane so that when it lands, you will have a magnificent view of Santiago and the Andes mountain.
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