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How to choose language school

Moscow, Russia
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140 posts
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How to choose language school

Please, help to choose language school.

I`m searching for Spanish language school in Madrid or Barcelona, Salamanca, maybe another city. There are lots of offers which look similar. What am I searching for:

1) I try to avoid the courses for immigrants. According to my own experience many of them only think of getting the "paper" and have no interest to the language, so the professors understand it.

2) many schools are oriented on the short time tourists and work not seriously, they are kind of touristic diversion. I try to avoid it too.

3) The possibility to rent apartment and on other hand to have meels at the school or in some cafe with special prices for students.

Thank you for every idea or advice

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Brussels, Belgium
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for Seville
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1. Re: How to choose language school

If you don't mind another city, I know of http://www.clic.es/ in Seville (they also have another school in Cadiz, but I haven't been there).

I know some ppl that worked there some time ago and they were always talking very well about how the school worked.

Madrid, Spain
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2. Re: How to choose language school

I recommend that you get in touch with the Instituto Cervantes Madrid email: informa@cervantes.es or telephone: 0034 91 436 7600. Instituto Cervantes was founded and is funded by the Spanish government to promote the teaching of Spanish. They have courses for all levels and you are able to study for DELE exams (Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language) - see www.dele.org

I would advise you to learn Spanish in Madrid rather than Barcelona simply because you will need to practice what you learn in classroom and as Catalan is widely spoken in Barcelona it might be a little confusing.

The city of Salamanca is also a great place to learn Spanish, in addition to being a lovely city, it is said that Salamanca is the city where the purest Spanish is spoken. The Instituto will be able to recommend classes there too.

Madison, Wisconsin
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3. Re: How to choose language school

Definitely agree with Flora on not going to Barcelona to study. The whole catalan vs. castellano is very problematic there, but best to avoid it for language learning. It's certainly worth a visit, however.

An example. A friend of mine with PhD in Spanish and a Spanish professor (tenured) in a prominent private college was visiting Barcelona with family in Jan 2012. The employee in the store asserted he would speak to her and her son in catalan or English but not castallano. True, this is only one store, one person but it's symbolic of the tension. I had a dedicated student of mine who got in a tiff with her catalan host family.. The payback...only speaking to her in catalan. This would only happen in the Barcelona area.

Salamanca and the language being purest...not a big deal IMO. I love the city, but there are a lot of international students. Be sure you are hanging with locals...which may be a challenge.

I am partial to Madrid, but it's a big city. I would consider also Sevilla (lots of internationals there as well...but generally milder climate..except summer) Cadiz, Granada and in the northerly direction, Valladolid and Oviedo (smaller provincial capitals) If you choose Oviedo, you must like rain and the lush, green landscape. Valladolid is colder and drier.

Moscow, Russia
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4. Re: How to choose language school

Thank you for your advices my friends!) Yes, I heard about the problem catalan/castellano in Barcelona. But the choice of the city is not a big problem. The main problem is to find a school with good meal/accomodation opportunities.

After reading the students reviews I see that living with host family has many "contras" and I prefer to feel me free and to rent apartment.

But most of schools say: We dont offer meal if you live in apartment.

On other hand the students tell they have no time for cooking after 5 hours lessons, school activities and home work.

So I`m searching the school which has possibilities of meals for the students. And surely it has to be a good reputated school.

I understand it is difficult to find what I`m searching for. But maybe somebody knows? No matter in Madrid or not.

Thank you once more)))

Madison, Wisconsin
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5. Re: How to choose language school

I don't know how much you will sacrifice to learn a language. Maybe it was that I was very young for my age and at age 21 I was happy to accept the restrictions of a 1960's lifestyle of living with family. Nowadays, I can't imagine many Spansh families being too strict, but the real problem is that the families aren't traditional families. Often they are single parents or grandparents trying to increase their income with little interest in engaging with the student. That's a big problem that our daughter had in her JYA in Madrid. Luckily, my friends in northern Spain said, "Don't worry your mother with this stuff, tell us and we'll guide you." That helped, but I think the world is so full of electronic communication that it's really hard to cut yourself off from your previous life to learn a new culture and language.

The phone, email, etc. are so available, but if you spend two hours a day with those devices...you might as well stay in Moscow. Just my opinion I can't imagine in this horrible economy in Spain that you couldn't find some Spanish family to take you in and include you in their family...and I would spell that out at the onset. 1. At least one meal a day with the family 2. At least one outing a week with the family...it could be to a park, a bar...not expensive but sharing time. 3. Offer to do one family task (that might be a new idea...not so well received.)..but i would interview the families and choose one out of more than a few now. 4. Also, no practicing English.

You get the idea...I am sure.

But an apartment with other internationals? Not so sure you'll learn as much that way. although it is a prevailing attitude with internationals. Spanish students, particularly in this economy, will stay with their family

Malaga, Spain
Destination Expert
for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
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60,080 posts
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6. Re: How to choose language school

mazay:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187438-c88501/Malaga…

Madison, Wisconsin
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8,115 posts
18 reviews
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7. Re: How to choose language school

I like Malaga, too. Thank you for that post, Benny.

Moscow, Russia
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140 posts
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8. Re: How to choose language school

I found the school in Granada. They offer accomodation at two stars hotel including breakfest. That is what I`m searching for. Although not all the reviews about that school are positive.

I dont know, maybe some schools in other Spanish cities offer the same option?

9. Re: How to choose language school

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