Haakayoo N Zoggyie
Associate Professor of Spanish
Date Setember 22th, 2015
IIn the summer of 2015 I led a group of 8 young Morehouse students to study and improve their Spanish at ILISA. Prior to the trip I had never led a Study Abroad program so I was understandly apprehensive about a number of things: 1) Will the prgram be rigurous enough to meet the expectations we have at Morehouse College? 2) Will the students be provided with a structured learning environment and will the evaluation tools and criteria be rigurous enough? 3) Will the ILISA staff be responsive enough to any problems that arise? 4) Will the School’s Homestay Program provide students with the kind of learning and living conditions that promote success?
Barely a week into our stay all of those questions were answered to my satisfaction and, in some cases, even exceeded my expections. For example, while I already knew that students would be provided with learning materials that were developed and perfected over the nearly 30 years ILISA has been in existence (it was estlabished in 1987), I was not aware of the daily oral presentations and weekly written tests that students had to take. I was also unaware that every Friday afternoon students would be asked to evaluate the quality of the instruction they received that week as well as rate the performance of their host families.
I thought both practices were highly commendable because they allowed the students to hold ILLISA to account at all times about the School’s Satisfaction Guaranteed statement which reads as follws: “At ILISA, customer satisfaction is our number one priority. We aim to exceed your expectations. If we don’t meet or exceed your expectations for our programs or services, as advertised, let us know and we’ll find a satisfactory solution. If we are unable to find a solution, you will receive a full and prompt refund for the corresponding program or service”.
Needless to say neither I nor my students ever had to test the last part of that statement because our expectations were indeed met and exceeded. And that success can be directly attributed to the School’s very dynamic and committed staff. Whether it is the program’s overall directors Ms. Hellen Rojas and Mr. Julio Salas, or the supervisor of its academic and cultural components, Mr. Dennis Orlando Quirós Leiva, or even the staff manning the front desk, the support and professionalism are always impeccable.
It is for all those reasons that I wholeheartedly recommend ILISA to any school that is genuinely interested in giving their students the best possible Spanish Study Abroad experience. At ILISA the students will receive top-notch instruction from Native speakers with years of language teaching experience. They will also be placed into some of the safest homes in San José since all the host families are evaluated weekly and have been working with the School for years.
Haakayoo N Zoggyie