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Reviews of CIAL Centro de Linguas, Lisbon, Portugal

Total number of reviews: 260
NOTE: All reviews are authentic. Only students who booked their course through us can publish evaluations here, and only after the end of their programme. These evaluations then are not manipulated in any way, neither by us nor by the school, and can be trusted as honest opinions about personal experiences with the school.

Average Rating

Overall Rating
CIAL Centro de Linguas, Lisbon, Portugal
4.2/5.0 
(260 reviews)
City 4.7/5.0 
Organisation 4.1/5.0 
Facilities 3.8/5.0 
Social activities 3.9/5.0 
Course quality / Progress in language 4.3/5.0 
Value for money 3.9/5.0 
Accommodation
Host family 4.0/5.0 
Shared Flat 3.9/5.0 
other 3.9/5.0 
Individual Reviews
2. Aug. 2016
1. (30 years)  -  United Kingdom
1. Standard Course - 1 week

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25. Jul. 2016
2. Angelina  - 
2. Standard Course, 15 lessons - 1 week

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20. Jul. 2016
3. Elisa (62 years)  -  Italy
3. Standard Course - 1 week

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23. May. 2016
4. Karla Lucia (22 years)  - 
4. Standard Course - 4 weeks

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15. May. 2016
5. Roberto (34 years)  - 
5. 1 week

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Very nice, new building. Professional teachers.
4. Apr. 2016
6. (45 years)  -  Hungary
6. Group + Workshop - 1 week

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The teacher was fantastic!
22. Feb. 2016
7. Jeremie (35 years)  - 
7. Combined 3 + 2 (15 Group + 10 Individual) - 3 weeks

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15. Feb. 2016
8. (49 years)  - 
8. Group + Workshop - 1 week

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From the organization to the classes to the leisure activities, everything was great! Very pleasant atmosphere
26. Jan. 2016
9. (40 years)  -  United Kingdom
9. Group + Workshop - 1 week

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Positive aspects of school
Friendly and helpful teachers and staff
Other comments
Great trips organized which makes it ideal for social sightseeing
29. Dec. 2015
10. (41 years)  -  United Kingdom
10. Group + Workshop - 3 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
The extra activities, Dora the receptionist and professors Ana and Miguel
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
I would recommend one intensive week and then as many one-to-one lessons as you can afford.
Other comments
You should be able to switch or choose your teachers if you want or need, spending that kind of money. It's difficult to learn from someone if you don't like them or their style of teaching.
12. Nov. 2015
11. (84 years)  -  Canada
11. Group + Workshop - 8 weeks

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Cultural program was excellent However, the first group Portuguese class in which I was enrolled proved to be a disaster. One student interrupted the teacher and other students throughout the sessions, totally disrupting the class. As a result, our group fell badly behind and only one of the original 8 students passed the examination at the end of 4 weeks. At this point, I transferred to single lessons and not only caught up the work we missed the first month, but also passed that exam and the next one by the end of my second four weeks. Those students who stayed in the group class had a different teacher for two weeks, then passed the exam and got their old teacher back. As a result, they remained two weeks behind schedule and were less than happy with the last part of their class.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Be careful of enrolling in the group classes and workshop, as recommended -- you may get a good teacher in a good group, or you may get one who does not keep the class moving ahead on schedule. Seriously consider individual lessons, or getting a small group of 2 or 3 people together.
Other comments
The area is very noisy. At one classroom location, we had ambulances, police cars, and fire engines screaming past every few minutes. At the other, there frequently were jack-hammers and other building noises outside. When classes finished at different times, students in the hallways also contributed massively to the noise level.
28. Sep. 2015
12. (27 years)  -  Israel
12. Group + Workshop - 1 week

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Positive aspects of school
Paulo and Verjilio my teachers
22. Sep. 2015
13. Yuki (21 years)  - 
13. Combined 3 + 2 (15 Group + 10 Individual) - 2 weeks

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1. Sep. 2015
14. (32 years)  -  Germany
14. Combined 3 + 1 (15 Group+ 5 Individual) - 1 week

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Lisbon Student House
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Positive aspects of school
Short distance to apartment. Good mixture of younger and older students. English possible if you are a beginner in Portuguese. Activities to get to know other students.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Get in touch with students at school. Most activities outside the school are organized in whatsapp groups aso.
Other comments
Pretty strict concept for group lessons. I would recommend one private lesson per Day for your own style of learning and faster progress. You must not take less than 4 weeks. 1 Level (e.g. A1) = 4 weeks. Otherwise it gets pretty stressful.
18. Aug. 2015
15. (31 years)  - 
15. Standard Course - 1 week

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Lisbon Student House
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The teachers
Other comments
It is great.
10. Aug. 2015
16. (67 years)  - 
16. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
Good atmosphere, good location
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
The Gulbenkian museum
3. Aug. 2015
17. (50 years)  -  Netherlands
17. Combined 3 + 1 (15 Group+ 5 Individual) - 1 week

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Knowledgeable teachers
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
One week is not enough. Also, if you want to get to know people, book at least two weeks.
23. Jun. 2015
18. (24 years)  -  Netherlands
18. Group + Workshop - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
The location, the teachers, the students.
Other comments
Location in Lisbon was for me by far more fun than Faro, because there were more students and there was way more things to do.
16. Jun. 2015
19. (51 years)  - 
19. Standard Course - 1 week

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The teaching is very good (especially the teachers) and well structured; very good teaching material; rooms very nice - unfortunately only one week, so too little used ....
Other comments
Organization can be improved ... received no certificate of attendance on site (will be sent).
1. Apr. 2015
20. (23 years)  - 
20. Group + Workshop - 3 weeks

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Lisbon Student House
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Positive aspects of school
I loved the people there the most. The teachers were amazing. They were very sophisticated, know so many things (I was in awe in hearing Paulo's stories of his past jobs and experience) humorous, and just beautiful. Every week there would be new students, but the teachers knew how to welcome the new comers without changing the speed of teaching. Thus, it was good for both new comers and students who were there before. NOt only the teachers, the students there were very nice and ambitious. Perhaps because CIAL is not that cheap, students who go there are very interesting people with their diverse backgrounds. They were all humble, nice, and very caring.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
I would advice you to try to apply the course on the first week of the month if you are new to the language because that is when you start doing the workbook from the start. Since, portuguese was new to me, it was good that I went in the first week. Also, you learn a lot in just three weeks. You learn the basics in the first three weeks. (But, because I don't speak Spanish and I only know English and japanese, I cannot understand what the portugese people are saying etc)However, I think if I stayed there for another two months, I would have been able to speak more fluently and understand Portuguese .
Other comments
I am very happy I went to CIAL in lisbon. Everybody who was there all liked lisbon as well. It is a beautiful city. There are so many things to do. The night never sleeps in Lisbon as well. Everybody is very kind. If you do try to speak portuguese, they would make time to listen to you. My friends and I used to go to this one cafe shop a min away from the school during the breaks, and the waiter there would sometimes teach us simple portuguese. Also, many people there speak English which can be both pros and cons. I would recommend you to take some classes outside of school as well! It is very cheap to learn things in Lisbon. I went to the gym nearby the school and my other friends were learning yoga and going to dance classes (jazzy) I think this is good because you can interact with the local people more.
23. Mar. 2015
21. Dirk (63 years)  - 
21. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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16. Mar. 2015
22. (66 years)  -  Sweden
22. Standard Course - 1 week

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Positive aspects of school
Informal, swift proceedings
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
The get-together port wine tasting.
12. Feb. 2015
23. (18 years)  - 
23. Standard Course - 20 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
The individually tailored lessons with nice and extremely competent teachers.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Visit the museum "Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian"
Other comments
Altogether a very pleasant and personal atmosphere.
5. Jan. 2015
24. (52 years)  -  Germany
24. Group + Workshop - 1 week

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Lisbon Student House
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Positive aspects of school
very nice atmosphere
30. Dec. 2014
25. (22 years)  -  France
25. Standard Course - 12 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
The very nice teachers
29. Dec. 2014
26. (28 years)  - 
26. Standard 15 - 2 weeks

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Lisbon Student House
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Positive aspects of school
relaxed atmosphere, pleasant space.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
museums, old town!
Other comments
Openminded and hospitable teachers
15. Dec. 2014
27. David (43 years)  -  Belgium
27. Group + Workshop - 3 weeks

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24. Nov. 2014
28. (63 years)  - 
28. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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10. Nov. 2014
29. (65 years)  - 
29. Group 3 + Individual 1 - 2 weeks

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13. Oct. 2014
30. (71 years)  - 
30. Combined 3 + 1 (15 Group+ 5 Individual) - 1 week

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Positive aspects of school
Very friendly, open atmosphere. Teachers as well as secretary's office extremely helpful.
24. Sep. 2014
31. (48 years)  -  Canada
31. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
Sunny classroom. A good mix of students of all ages from all around the world.
Other comments
It is not easy to practice Portuguese in Lisbon as almost everyone in the city - and even the receptionist at CIAL - will respond to us in English even when we address them in Portuguese.
9. Sep. 2014
32. (56 years)  - 
32. Privatunterricht 10 Lektionen - 1 week

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Positive aspects of school
The outstanding individual support by the language teacher and their spontaneous willingness to specifically respond to my "learning needs". The recreational activities at school were also remarkably well organized and very instructive.
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Not to miss the city of Lisbon with its multi-faceted architecture, its history, but also pubs and restaurants.
Other comments
It was my first contact with CIAL and I can recommend it with an easy conscience.
8. Sep. 2014
33. (20 years)  - 
33. Summer Group Course - 2 weeks

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

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

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18. Mar. 2014
36. (29 years)  - 
36. Standard Course - 4 weeks

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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
37. (43 years)  -  Japan
37. 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
38. (30 years)  -  Australia
38. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
The course material and teachers were very professional.
25. Dec. 2013
39. (63 years)  - 
39. Combinaison 3 + 1 (15 leçons en groupe + 5 cours particuliers) - 1 week

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Positive aspects of school
Professionalism
Insider tips about what future students should not miss
Tour of Lisbon by bus
Other comments
Very nice welcome
16. Dec. 2013
40. (29 years)  -  United Kingdom
40. 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
41. (56 years)  -  Canada
41. Group + Workshop - 4 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
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
42. (36 years)  - 
42. 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
43. Carlos (36 years)  -  Mexico
43. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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5. Sep. 2013
44. (66 years)  -  United States
44. 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
45. (32 years)  - 
45. Standard Course - 2 weeks

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26. Jul. 2013
46. (22 years)  -  Belgium
46. Combined: Group (3hrs) + Individual (3hrs) - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
My private classes with Janaina were really good and I learned a lot.
1. Jul. 2013
47. (60 years)  - 
47. Combined: Group (3hrs) + Individual (1hr) - 2 weeks

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Positive aspects of school
The teachers were very patient, explained tirelessly, repeated when requesting, worked professionally and with commitment!
14. Jun. 2013
48. (60 years)  -  Canada
48. Standard Course - 3 weeks

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

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3. Jun. 2013
50. (40 years)  -  Germany
50. Group + Workshop - 1 week

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Positive aspects of school
The teachers.
Other comments
A very good school.

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