Review of CELTA Galápagos

CELTA Galápagos is an Authorised Cambridge English Language Assessment Centre based in the Galápagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador in South America.

We provide a unique experience for taking your CELTA certificate in one of the most beautiful and exotic locations on Earth. You will have the chance to explore and get to know the incredible environment while also helping to educate the local population, thereby decreasing the demand for foreign workers and reducing strain to the delicate ecosystem. Please let us know if you’d be interested in staying on after the course to volunteer to teach English and put your training into practice.

Special Offers

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Courses Offered

Type: On-site TEFL Courses
Length: Standard (120-140 hours)
Certificate: Cambridge CELTA
Additional Features: TEFL Internships and Volunteering

Location of Courses

Ecuador
Overall Rating33333
Course Content44444
Practice Teaching33333
Quality of Feedback44444
Lesson Plan Guidance44444
Instructor Competency55555
Job Placement22222
Facilities/Resources11111
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One Customer Review of CELTA Galápagos

Review by Peter, June 17, 2016

Overall Rating 33333
Course Content 44444
Practice Teaching 33333
Quality of Feedback 44444
Lesson Plan Guidance 44444
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement 22222
Facilities/Resources 11111

Overall I enjoyed this course and would recommend it mainly for the unique location and the students and course instructors. Our instructors were both Australian who flew in to teach the course and were very experienced.

As stated clearly on their website, the Galapagos Islands are very remote, you will get very limited and slow internet access and have to rely on text books to plan lessons. The practice teaching took place at night at the local school with access to a whiteboard and tape recorder, but it was quite hot due to the time of year with a fan only in one classroom.

The local library is used for the course and had several limitations. It often didn’t have running water in the toilet and drinking water is not provided so you have to carry it in the morning from the accommodation or buy from a nearby shop. Otherwise it was one of the few buildings with Air Conditioning which made it a comfortable study environment for instruction and lesson planning.

The accommodation provided was cheap, simple but overall comfortable. All students stayed in Carliza II and everything is a short walk away which is helpful. Each room has an ensuite bathroom and fan. The was no aircon if this is important to you I would contact course coordinators, I personally don’t mind. Being a very cheap accommodation package you need to be pretty self sufficient. Rooms are cleaned once a week, you need to provide your own towel, tp etc. There was a lot of issues between the course coordinator and the hotel (Carliza II) and some students were moved around between hotels as it couldn’t fit both current students and volunteers staying on from the previous course. This was messy and could have been handled better.

Volunteering was done ad hoc and will hopefully be improved in the future. You are expected to do 2-3 hours of volunteer teaching either in the morning or evening (morning for children’s classes, evening for adults). It took almost a week to sort out classes as the course coordinator struggled to arrange classes in advance with the local council and other providers. I really hope this is fixed in the future as it is quite frustrating and embarrassing having students turn up for a class with no teachers or teachers turning up for a class with no students!

The local students are eager and we developed great relationships and enjoyed teaching. Unfortunately many of the volunteer classes were organised at the last minute leading to a lot of confusion and going with the flow. This is in part the nature of working in Ecuador, things are done at the last minute. However if you are seeking a program and volunteer experience that is organised and runs as you would expect in the US, Europe or Australia you will probably experience some frustration.

Lastly some students had issues with payment. I paid to the course coordinators account in Ecuador which was an international transfer but had no problems overall. Other students paid via paypal and were then charged a transaction fee that CELTA Galapagos is usually responsible for. Overall these payment issues detracted from the professionalism of the course and were concerning given that I had paid a significant amount of money to attend. Other issues including waiving the tourist fee entering the Galapagos ($100 saving) and other small issues were experienced which I hope the course coordinator will address as some students didn’t pay the fee while others had to.

Overall as stated at the start it is a privilege to spend almost two months in a very special and spectacular place and get to know it at a deeper level than most tourists by meeting and talking to local students, restaurant owners etc. I would recommend arriving a few days early, or staying later to explore other islands. There is time to get away when volunteering but during the course you will be flat out with study and only really have one day free on the weekend to see stuff on the main island of Santa Cruz. Be aware that the course is essentially a small business still in its infancy. Things will not go to plan, you need to be flexible but the CELTA course is official, with great instructors and you will learn a lot. The overall coordination needs to improve but the location is so unique I definitely recommend.

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