AmeriSpan

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2.7 / 10 after 8 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: http://www.amerispan.com/

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I enrolled in a Spanish program with a home stay in Cuernavaca through Amerispan 12 years ago and was very pleased. That's why I decided to repeat the experience with my two children (age 9 and 10) and husband, this time in Puerto Vallarta, because that's where they were offering classes for kids. The school itself was decent, but the accommodation was unacceptable. The rooms were too hot (no air-conditioning) and dirty, and we were facing a small but very noisy street where people were selling tacos, playing music, children were blowing whistles and dogs were barking until 3am in the morning. We couldn't sleep for 4 straight nights and then moved out to a hotel for 2 nights. We then left the program altogether. We basically stayed 5 out of the 13 days for which we had paid. We asked for a refund for the second week we weren't going to use at the very beginning of our stay and Amerispan refused. They offered another accommodation which was worse than the first one. They are overpriced (we paid $257 per night for the whole family, including the classes, vs $99 per night in a 5-star hotel) and unkind. A big disappointment!

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Location:
Posted: July 8, 2014
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1
By: pipema
Age:
40

I was a student at the Spanish World Institute (SWI), a language school in Bogota from November 2013 through January 2014.

Below is a summary my impressions of and experiences at SWI:

· The school is run by a dishonest, cheating, abrasive, and unethical person. The school has an extremely high teacher turnover rate. Also, the quality of the teachers hired in 2014 has deteriorated.

· Even though the school presents the apartment building where I lived as its own property, it actually belongs to an unknown individual. The apartment is situated in a very unsafe location, is noisy and surrounded by slums, and lacks privacy in that the school personnel show up at odd hours without warning.

· SWI advertised on its website that it offers Spanish lessons to students at all levels, that its teachers speak English,and that it helps students with accommodations and assists them with anything they need. None of this is true. For example, students of different language levels are constantly shuffled from one class to the next. It is not clear to me what the school’s primary business focus is: selling accommodations or providing Spanish lessons.

· One student’s flight was delayed, so he was not picked up by school’s pickup service even though he had paid for it in advance. He was not properly reimbursed for pickup or his hostel stay.

The director has created a very unpleasant environment for the faculty, students, and staff. The school felt like a prison. Once the school gets its money from the students, it refuses to refund any money owed under any circumstances, even if no service is provided.

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Posted: March 23, 2014
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1
Age:

I went through AmeriSpan for a 6-week Spanish language immersion in Salamanca Spain in the summer of 2012. They responded to all my questions, and I got a substantial discount on the program I would have not received had I gone directly to the school. More than 90 days away from the program start, I changed my program by a week with no problem. Before I departed an AmeriSpan representative sent all the information I'd need to get to my homestay. I was very happy with the school (Enforex), and so I decided to use the two weeks I had intended to use for a little backpack through Andalucia to extend my program to 8 weeks. Again, Amerispan made the arrangements, and I was able to pay online which saved me the hassle of working directly with the school. I was very happy with the service I received and I am planning to go back to the same school soon and I am going to use Amerispan again. I posted a lengthy review of my experience on a Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree travel forum. In fact, to see it, you need only google the following: Spanish Language Immersion in Salamanca Spain

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Location:
Posted: January 25, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
45

We registered for the program months in advance of our start date. We unfortunately had to cancel almost 3 months prior to the start date and were entitled to a full refund. Amerispan indicated it would be some time before they refunded our money. Six weeks later we have not received our refund. While we do not know whether these guys are for real, their delay in refunding our money is criminal. I would not deal with this company ever again as they may very well be crooks at this point.

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Posted: December 21, 2012
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1
By: barba
Age:
59

Amerispan in Costa Rica is a terrible program. If you are an individual, do not work with Amerispan. Find another brokerage, and make sure you have a system in place agreed upon with the brokerage in case things aren't working out with your host family. I reached out to Amerispan because my situation was awful and heard nothing when I most needed them. The director of the school, Sonja, ICLC, blamed me for everything and refused to switch me to a new family, despite saying to the group we could come to her with problems. Now they are refusing to give me my money back, even though they kicked me out of the program after the first week. Please don't use Amerispan.

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Posted: July 22, 2012
Overall:
Support:
Value:
Age:
42

Comments

The experience abroad will immerse you in a different way of life and that is why adjustment and adaptability to the new cultural environment will normally be the biggest challenge for people traveling abroad. Host families that open their doors to visitors expect to interact with people that will value the cultural diversity. If a visitor is able to be flexible, courteous and respectful of the procedures followed in other cultures the difficulties that could arise could be solved successfully for both sides, the visitor and the host family. Please remember that yelling and imposing is offensive here and there.
Amerispan refund´s policy says that "Changes after arrival: to be made with the school under their conditions. For Amerispan you will be entitled to no refund after the program starts". In this case as the school asked Amerispan to refund the week, the student did not atteded to we duly refunded the student the relevant amount. This public complaint with no grounds has somewhat stained our public image. We expect the complainant to publicly rectify her statements.

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