Moving to Cuenca with 13 yr old

My family is considering a "sabbatical" relocation to Cuenca for 6 months starting this January. We have a 7th grade daughter who speaks fluent French but is just beginning to learn Spanish and we're starting to look into schools and social activities for her. While we are primarily seeking an immersion experience, we also would like to connect with other expat families with kids the same age to provide her with a social outlet. I have started to look into local schools but haven't found anything with a bilingual program that would work just yet so appreciate any recommendations for people who have enrolled their middle schoolers in local schools. Also, if we go the homeschooling route, would love to know if there is a homeschooling network. I speak fluent Spanish but my husband and daughter are just starting to study it. Appreciate any recommendations or tips. Gracias!

Dear Jagsatori,

Welcome to the Ecuador forums of ....

Anyone fluent in French should find it fun and easy to learn Spanish.

If you have a DVR function on your TV's, have family members watch at least an hour a day of your favorite English-language programs, activate the Spanish subtitles .. and use the pause button to stop the video and look up words and unfamiliar phrases in a paper dictionary or at ....

This will give them a big leg-up for your stay in Cuenca.


Cuenca probably offers more Expat-friendly events, meetups and field trips than any other city in South America.

They are easily googled .. or come back here for additional tips on how to find more.


My name is Mary and my family just moved to Cuenca for a sabbatical as well for a year.  We have just been here for 2 weeks now and are getting adjusted.  We moved here from the Seattle area.  We have 4 kids oldest 14 y/o girl, 10 y/o boy, 7 y/o girl, & 4 y/o girl.  My husband is teaching at a bi-lingual school here in Cuenca.  It is called CEDEI, from what he has heard it is the best duo language school in all Ecuador.  They have 60-70% in spanish and the rest in english and there are 2 teachers in each class (native Ecuadorian & native english speaker.)  I don't have many words of wisdom right now being so new, but by January I may be a little smarter in terms of Ecuadorian living.  This is my first time on this website so not sure how it all works.  If you would like to reach out my email address is *** please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to give you some direction.  My daughter is new and may be a good friendship in the makings.  Hope all your plans come together smoothly, ours did for the most part...


Moderated by Bhavna 8 months ago
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Dear Mary,

We welcome you and your family to's Ecuador forum and our South American communities.


On this site, remember to give out your personal email via PM messaging .. and not on public forum(s).

cccmedia experts-team member

Hi Mary,

Thanks for this great information and I hope you're settling into life in Cuenca. I would definitely like to hear more about the school. Are there also Ecuadorian children or only expats? What are the grades? My daughter just started 7th grade. We're hoping that she'll be in Spanish school--whether it's an Ecuadorian school or an expat one--and we'll most likely have to supplement some of her education by homeschooling so she doesn't fall behind when we return home.

Unfortunately, your email was blocked. You can reach me at ***

I hope to hear from you to continue the discussion offline.


Moderated by Bhavna 8 months ago
Reason : Contact details should not be posted on the forum but rather exchanged through the private messaging system. Thank you
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

Hi Mary,
Checking in again to see how your transition is going. I reached out to you a few weeks ago with my direct email but not sure if it went through. I'll try again--just in case. It's ***. We are still looking into schools and are undecided if a local school or an international school makes more sense. I plan to reach out to CEDEI this week but would love an update on your experience there to date. Also, are they able to transfer grades back to U.S. schools?

Moderated by Bhavna 7 months ago
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So, did you move?
We have 3 daughters in a public school since April where we live in Yunguilla. My girls are almost 11,13, 15.
Private schools in Cuenca can be pricey but they give excellent educations. There is IB school for high school students available. I home schooled my kids for five years.
I have been around and travelled, enrolled my kids in Europe too. If you have questions I may have the answers.

Hello Evi,
Thank you for your reply. We are actually living in Cuenca now (since January) and my daughter has been attending Bell Academy which has been a great experience for her. We're actually getting ready to move back to the U.S. soon however I will be sure to reach out to you if we move back here. We're currently looking at Alborada and also the French International School as possibilities for high school if we return to Cuenca in 2020.


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