Many expat students in Playa del Carmen attend international schools. Many international schools encourage expat families to enlist their children well before the beginning of the school calendar. Children are better off with international schools because they have more experience in educating students who have formerly studied different curricula.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the popular picture of expat education in a Spanish-speaking country, watch the 2202 film, L’Auberge Espagnole. It provides a realistic account of foreign students adapting to the Spanish way of life, as well as the courtesies and cultural norms imposed in an entirely different culture.
When evaluating a school for your children or yourself in Playa del Carmen and their website, look for a professional image, fast response to inquiries, lack of hype and lots of content. While this may not guarantee quality, at least it provides an indicator of what’s to come. Other factors to take on count for evaluating a language school are: location of the school, size of the school, and student origin.
School location is also a crucial factor when choosing where to enroll yourself or your children. A school in the city center is your surest bet if you or your family is the metropolitan type. Choose an institution close to restaurants, bars, shops, cultural events, and many leisure-time activities. But if you prefer a less frenzied learning environment, choose a school located in the suburbs. It guarantees a much safer atmosphere and shorter distance between your accommodation and your school, not to mention silence and relaxation.
The size of the school is an important factor when deciding which school to choose. In general, large ones have better equipped libraries, multimedia language-labs, and better structured timetables. They also have more variety of course levels and larger number of various types of courses tailor-made for special groups. You will also get to interact with more students. On the other hand, smaller language schools generally provide a comfortable personal learning environment. Usually smaller schools have lesser number of students per group.
If possible, choose a language school where students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds and nationalities go. This increases your chance to interact and communicate with other students, while learning their culture.
The only schools in Playa del Carmen that use English as the medium of instruction are international and foreign private schools. Numerous multilingual international schools in the city also teach students in both Spanish and English. If you decide to send your children to regular schools, make sure that they speak Spanish as these schools will require them to study their subjects in Spanish.