ECELA Reports New Trend: Increased University Student Advisors Promoting Spanish Language Schools

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Due to excellent programs, low cost, and easy transfer of academic credit, increasingly, student advisors are recommending that their students study Spanish abroad.

The study abroad program ECELA recently reported a sharp increase in the number of student advisors who are recommending Spanish schools. The variety of reasons for this shift include favorable costs, and ease of academic credit transfer. Additionally, top quality Spanish language schools are increasingly prevalent. Ken Ingraham, President of ECELA, stated, “Inquiries from college students are up more than 65% compared to last year.”

Student advisors are currently taking note of the fact that these foreign language programs offer top quality educational benefits including excellent instructors. As teachers at Spanish language schools instruct roughly 20 hours per week, they are able to hone their skill. In a typical University setting, professors with two classes will teach only about 6 hours per week. Additionally, instructors in study abroad programs tend to be professional teachers, as opposed to researchers who see teaching as a “necessary evil” of their job. Further, schools like ECELA do not offer tenure, so teachers are retained solely based on positive student feedback.

Over the past year, 82% of ECELA instructors received the highest ranking possible on the school’s internal scale. Less than 5% of students rated their teachers below a 3 out of 5. Wendy Savinar, a California ESL teacher who attended ECELA to brush up on Spanish commented, “I have been a high school English and ESL teacher for the past eight years in California and I stand in awe of the natural talent, insight and mastery of the ECELA teachers.”

Low costs are another reason why an increased number of student advisors are promoting Spanish language schools. Students, as well as advisors, can register for a school directly through the Internet, and bypass third-party agencies that often add a premium of up to several thousand dollars. Further, the overhead at language schools is much lower than it would be at typical Universities. This allows the institutions to keep their prices from escalating. Ken Ingraham commented, “One of ECELA’s core values is ‘Anyone Can Study Abroad.’ While wealthy students can afford to study anywhere, and low-income students receive financial aid, many middle-class students assume study abroad is out of reach. We’ve really filled that gap.” Additionally, students that cannot afford the modest Spanish language school tuition can seek low interest student loans directly from ECELA finance.

Programs like ECELA also offer courses that cover more territory than those at universities. Students receive far more instruction hours as well as smaller class sizes. Further, advisors have found that academic credit is easily transferred over from Spanish language schools. ECELA, for example, is endorsed by Cervantes, the official Spanish language ministry of Spain

ECELA operates Spanish schools in the South American countries of Argentina, Chile and Peru. ECELA instructs over 2000 students per year and the program’s students originate from over 30 countries. With 20 hours of small group classes per week, cultural activities and excursions, and the advantages of living in a Spanish-speaking environment, immersion students advance very rapidly. To learn more about ECELA’s programs visit


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