Reviews of CIAL Centro de Linguas, Lisbon, Portugal

Total No. of Reviews: 231
NOTE: All evaluations are authentic. Only former participants who have booked a course with us at the school can publish evaluations after the end of the course. Schools could therefore not manipulate evaluations and you can trust in all published evaluations.

Average Rating

Overall rating
CIAL Centro de Linguas, Lisbon, Portugal
4.2/5.0 
(231 reviews)
City 4.7/5.0 
Organisation 4.1/5.0 
Facilities 3.8/5.0 
Social activities 3.8/5.0 
Course Quality / Progress in language 4.3/5.0 
Value for money 3.8/5.0 
Accommodation
Host Family 4.0/5.0 
Shared flat (apartment) 3.9/5.0 
Other 3.9/5.0 
Individual Reviews
13. Oct. 2014
1. (71 years)  - 
1. Combined 3 + 1 (15 Group+ 5 Individual) - 1 week

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24. Sep. 2014
2. (48 years)  -  Canada
2. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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9. Sep. 2014
3. (56 years)  - 
3. Privatunterricht 10 Lektionen - 1 week

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8. Sep. 2014
4. (20 years)  - 
4. Summer Group Course - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
the friendliness of the staff (teacher, secretary)
1. Aug. 2014
5. Hannah (18 years)  - 
5. Combined 3 + 2 (15 Group + 10 Individual) - 1 week

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21. Jul. 2014
6. Maria (38 years)  - 
6. Combined 3 + 2 (15 Group + 10 Individual) - 2 weeks

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18. Mar. 2014
7. (29 years)  - 
7. Standard Course - 4 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
I was impressed with the breadth of knowledge of the teachers. One is specialized in history, another is from Angora and so on. As I could hear the useful information not only of Portugal but also of what is happening in a Portuguese colony, I learned a lot.
24. Feb. 2014
8. (43 years)  -  Japan
8. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
Staff are all kind and helpful.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Teacher's skills may differ. They stick tight to textbook and grammar. You can make friends if you stay at the school's accommodations.
Other comments
It was a great and enjoyable experience. Thank you so much to all of staff and students.
27. Jan. 2014
9. (30 years)  -  Australia
9. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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The course material and teachers were very professional.
25. Dec. 2013
10. (63 years)  - 
10. Combinaison 3 + 1 (15 leçons en groupe + 5 cours particuliers) - 1 week

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Professionalism
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Tour of Lisbon by bus
Other comments
Very nice welcome
16. Dec. 2013
11. (29 years)  -  United Kingdom
11. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
My accommodation was very conveniently located and my host was kind and friendly.
Other comments
I was very disappointed with the course at this school- classes involved working through a text book- focusing mainly on grammar exercises which were done alone and then reviewed as a class. I had hoped for more interaction among students and more interesting and varied classes. During my second week I asked to change classes because I was not satisfied that I was being asked to spend a lesson taking an exam on grammar points which I had not been taught, and I felt that I would benefit more from returning to a lower level, and I found the reaction of my teacher incredibly rude- I was shouted down like a naughty child rather than treated like a student whose progress she was interested in supporting.
5. Dec. 2013
12. (56 years)  -  Canada
12. Group + Workshop - 4 weeks

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How welcome I felt, the friendliness from everyone, students and teachers. Well located also.
Other comments
Sometimes, evaluations are not precise enough. You find different levels in one level. For example, someone who was evaluated at a higher level and cannot follow in the workshop.
27. Sep. 2013
13. (36 years)  - 
13. Group + Workshop - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
The teacher Ana Cristina Dias has been very professional, competent and her approaches were personalized.
Other comments
I found the staff especially at Cial very nice, the school has a very friendly and open atmosphere. I can only recommend the school.
9. Sep. 2013
14. Carlos (36 years)  -  Mexico
14. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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5. Sep. 2013
15. (66 years)  -  United States
15. Combined: Group (3hrs) + Individual (2hrs) - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
The class was thorough and comprehensive
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
The Uganda restaurant dinner was great fado Jeronymos, ship museum, azulejos museum
Other comments
The book could use some updates on the reading selection. Also, more grammar examples would help some.
27. Aug. 2013
16. (32 years)  - 
16. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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26. Jul. 2013
17. (22 years)  -  Belgium
17. Combined: Group (3hrs) + Individual (3hrs) - 2 weeks

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My private classes with Janaina were really good and I learned a lot.
1. Jul. 2013
18. (60 years)  - 
18. Combined: Group (3hrs) + Individual (1hr) - 2 weeks

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The teachers were very patient, explained tirelessly, repeated when requesting, worked professionally and with commitment!
14. Jun. 2013
19. (60 years)  -  Canada
19. Standard Course - 3 weeks

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staff friendly and helpful
Other comments
students should be given the EXACT address of where the classes are held-
10. Jun. 2013
20. Sandor (42 years)  -  Netherlands
20. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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3. Jun. 2013
21. (40 years)  -  Germany
21. Group + Workshop - 1 week

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The teachers.
Other comments
A very good school.
9. May. 2013
22. (60 years)  - 
22. Standard Course - 1 week

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Positive aspects of school
The school can accept a student who takes a short course. In my case, I took one-week course. It was great that the host family was selected according to my request. I had a valuable experience.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
I recommend that you study a bit before a course starts, even if you're a beginner level. I was in a beginner class and used a textbook for the beginners though, other students from Italy and Columbia could make progress much faster. I didn't imagine such a circumstances. If you don't have the previous knowledge, it should be very difficult to keep up with the pace of a classroom.
Other comments
The school organized the activities every day. It's normal that they explain in Portuguese though, it'd have been better they gave us the directions in other languages as well.
8. Apr. 2013
23. Terry (25 years)  -  Luxembourg
23. Combined: Group (3hrs) + Individual (1hr) - 1 week

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25. Dec. 2012
24. (26 years)  - 
24. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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Quality of courses, teaching, listening
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Belem, Lisbon city and all its monuments
Other comments
very good school
11. Dec. 2012
25. (49 years)  -  Netherlands
25. Group + Workshop - 1 week

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I think the teachers weer very good, we learned very much in just one week. The organisation of the school was also perfect, very personal
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
It is nice to join the Social activities of the school in the afternoon.
Other comments
It is à very nice institute, with good teachers
3. Dec. 2012
26. (74 years)  - 
26. 1 week

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Very experienced and lively-minded teacher, happy to adapt her 1:1 teaching to my priority needs.
6. Nov. 2012
27. (29 years)  -  Poland
27. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
A very multinational and friendly environment; teachers and reception always friendly and helpful
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Visit the city by yourself, you can easily move around with the metro, go see the museums. I would recommend to join the school activities
1. Oct. 2012
28. (27 years)  -  Netherlands
28. Standard Course - 3 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
Many different ages.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
You have to sign up for the 4-week course to be able to take a proficiency test. I only took a 3-week course, and was not given an opportunity to test for proficiency. I found this frustrating and not well communicated.
Other comments
The course attendees are not set. Each week some students in your class will leave, and new ones will join. This affects the pace of the class. You either go very fast or slow depending on the entire mix. While I understand that this may be necessary if the school is not well-resourced, I find this absurd to do for students that are paying nearly 1000 euros. CIAL can easily solve this problem by having to "enrollment" dates, e.g. 1st and 15th of each month, rather than ongoing admissions. Many of the teachers at CIAL were equally frustrated by the poor management and found the administration of the school to have deteriorated in quality over recent years.
13. Aug. 2012
29. (66 years)  -  France
29. Combined: Group (3hrs) + Individual (2hrs) - 1 week

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31. Jul. 2012
30. Pia (24 years)  -  Germany
30. Group + Workshop - 3 weeks

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5. Jun. 2012
31. (49 years)  - 
31. Standard Course - 1 week

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Positive aspects of school
Clean, friendly with good classrooms.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Walk around Lisbon and study before you go.
Other comments
The evaluation test to allocate students into classes is a good idea, but the reality is more luck of the draw as students are placed into classes depending on which level class has the space. My class had 5 students; all with very different abilities. Perhaps, after the test the staff could explain which class they thought the student should be in and show them the study book; the student could then judge if they thought this was right for them.
26. May. 2012
32. (25 years)  -  United States
32. Standard Course - 1 week

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I loved that everyone there was studying because they truly had an invested interest in the language. My professor, Orlando, was really great, and I loved the quick pace at which he taught.
27. Mar. 2012
33. (50 years)  -  Canada
33. Group + Workshop - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
very well organized
Other comments
I had my own apartment and did not participate in any social activities
10. Jan. 2012
34.  - 
34. 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
Paperwork done efficiently. Friendly reception from teachers and staff. Clean atmosphere.
7. Nov. 2011
35. Mario (40 years)  - 
35. Group + Workshop - 1 week

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7. Nov. 2011
36. (57 years)  -  Ireland
36. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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Continuity of learning, high standard of tuition, excellent material to study, very friendly and positive approach to studying
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
It is important to bring a dictionary and buy a book which contains the verbs in Portuguese
Other comments
I always do all the homework
25. Sep. 2011
37. (48 years)  -  Timor-leste
37. Combined: Group (3hrs) + Individual (1hr) - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
Good teachers and pedagogy
Other comments
Accommodation - because there were 5-6 people staying at the apartments, I did not benefit from much interaction with the host family. Limitations on gas/electricity also created some inconveniences.
24. Sep. 2011
38. (33 years)  - 
38. Privat lessons - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
That my teacher always took some extra time after the individual lessons.
13. Sep. 2011
39. Robert (25 years)  - 
39. Standard Course - 1 week

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11. Aug. 2011
40. Mario (40 years)  - 
40. Standard Course - 3 weeks

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2. Aug. 2011
41. (24 years)  -  United States
41. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
I loved the sense of community I felt within the student body and between the students and faculty. Not only was the facility accessible and comfortable, the classes were extremely helpful in my language development and created a fun environment to explore language and culture.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Pastéis de Belem!
2. Aug. 2011
42. (23 years)  -  Belgium
42. Portuguese 1.5h / Day + 5 Surf Lessons / Week - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
Good location and friendly teachers.
17. Jul. 2011
43. (37 years)  - 
43. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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I really appreciated the help that the teachers gave me both on a personal and professional level.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Portuguese is a difficult language but it is very beautiful and interesting.
Other comments
I really enjoyed participating in the recreational and cultural activities.
4. Jul. 2011
44. (29 years)  -  Spain
44. Group + Workshop - 4 weeks

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There were many people from different countries and there were few people in each class, so you had to speak in Portuguese. That was good!
1. May. 2011
45. Terry (23 years)  -  Luxembourg
45. Private Lessons (8); - 1 week

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15. Apr. 2011
46. (41 years)  - 
46. Standard Course - 4 weeks

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4. Apr. 2011
47. (56 years)  -  Ireland
47. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
There is a high level of focus and consistency in placing you in a class at the appropriate level. I find all the teachers very friendly people and the course materials are excellent.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Please ensure to bring a dictionary and a book of verbs.
Other comments
Hopefully there will be a level 5 class available when I go back again.
31. Mar. 2011
48. (47 years)  - 
48. Standard Course - 1 week

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I had a very good teacher and the class had a comfortable size of 6-8 students.
10. Jan. 2011
49. (65 years)  - 
49. 2 weeks

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Friendly, efficient staff.
4. Dec. 2010
50. (46 years)  -  United States
50. Standard Course - 4 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
really helpful and friendly staff, great range of students, and interesting cultural program

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