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Where to learn Spanish?

suryas

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Location: Black Forest, Germany

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Tags: spanish, course
  • Added on: September 15th, 2010
Hello there,
I´m thinking about going to South or Central America to learn Spanish.
Is there anyone, who took a Spanish course in one of those countries? Which country is the best for learning Spanish? I know, that in some countries the accent is quite difficult and very different from Spanish taught in Europe.
Any suggestions about a good language school???

Thank you very much for your replies in advance.

UNIVERSAL

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Joined: September 15th, 2010

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  • Added on: September 15th, 2010
Hi Suryas,
I was looking for something completely different on this site but i realised I can help with your question!

You should look into studying Spanish in Guatemala, it is well known in Central America as a great place to study, as the lessons here are some of the cheapest around. The accent is easy to understand and the people speak slowly (at least, compared to Spain, where i first tried to learn Spanish, now that was tough!).

Antigua Guatemala is the touristy town (but gorgeous) with lots of big language schools. I tried it there but ended up in Quetzaltenango, the second biggest town in Guatemala, and much more 'real Guatemala'. Having looked around at a few schools, and having learned from a not so good experience in Antigua, I choose a small school in the center, called Utatlan (www.xelapages.com/utatlan). Turned out to be a perfect match for me. I had one on one classes with a super patient teacher, and took part in all the activities organized by the school, included in the price of classes, and these really helped my Spanish too, and meant I got to know the town a lot better. After being here a few weeks and meeting others from different schools it seemed be one of the better (and cheaper) schools too, so that was a bonus! I would definitely recommend the school, and now I am continueing travelling with another of the students I met when I was studying, but she has plans to go back to the school in a month or so and combine studying with volunteer work.

So that was my experience, I hope it helps.
Good luck with your travels, I'm sure you'll love it here in Central America

Soph :)
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Mayaphile

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  • Added on: September 15th, 2010
I find Guatemalans easiest to understand. My favorite city in that country is Flores in Petén, so if I were to want a school, I would go there. I know the owner o Escuela Dos Mundos to be diligent and good at advice for getting around.

Werever you go, don't prepay more than one week at a time, in case the area or scholl is not a fit for you.

IG

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  • Added on: September 17th, 2010
I also conquor,

I did spanish school in Antigua, Guatemala at two schools, both were pretty good. Easy to understand, good quality and just an awesome place. I'd start there if you haven't really travelled much or want to get familiar with Guatemalan life...in a touristy town (still cute though)

I also then headed up to Queztaltenango (Xela) and went to an awesome school called Celas Maya! we did outings to orphanages, i had an awesome teacher and just overall a great school and experience.

LOVE GUEATEMALA and i picked up so much spanish in those 3 weeks. They speak slowly, correctly and just so much cheaper than anywhere else!

enjoy!:)

rpbroz

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Posts: 19
Joined: June 17th, 2007
Location: Suchitoto, El Salvador

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  • Added on: October 18th, 2010
Hi there,
Although the schools are a little more expensive you might consider El Salvador. There are only 3 schools that I know of, one here in Suchitoto where I live do a search for the Pajaro Flor Spanish school, a solaridarity NGO CIS that combines Spanish while learning about local politics and offers a chance to volunteer teaching English(in San Salvador. And the 3rd that has both options in San Salvador and the beach area of La Libertad(where you can combine the classes with surfing or surf lessons, I think they have a web page listed under El savador Spanish Schools(salspan.com or something similar).
In my 16 years here have talked with students from all three schools and all have been very happy. And if your looking for something less touristic El Salvador is the place. If you need more information just drop me a pm.
Saludos from Suchitoto
Rpbroz
Life is short, enjoy it while you can.
http://www.theotherelsalvador.com

Fluffy_bunny

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Joined: October 28th, 2010
Location: Erbil, Iraq

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  • Added on: October 29th, 2010
While cities like Antigua, Guatemala or Granada, Nicaragua have a plethora of language schools, they are likely the worst places to study. With sooooo many tourists, with English menus and with a disproportionate number of locals who speak English, you will not have much of an opportunity to practice your Spanish.

i would agree that Guatemala makes the most sense. Its cheap and there are LOTS of things to see or do. But i would be more inclined to study in one of the lakeside community around Lake Penten Itza (not Flores)

Newman

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Joined: October 22nd, 2010
Location: NJ, USA

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  • Added on: October 29th, 2010
I also studied Spanish in Antigua, Guatemala a few years ago, and loved the experience. Have been back as a tourist twice since then.

Most locals don't really speak great English, so you can practice with them. But there are a lot of tourists, backpackers, etc., so that's a fair warning.

I took basically an all-day course, 4 hours in the classroom in the mornings, then 3 hours with my teacher exploring museums, towns, and churches with my instructor. So 7 hours/day, plus talking with my host family and their grandkids during meals in Spanish. So you bet I welcomed hanging out at the bars with other English speakers! (Another way of looking at things).

Good luck

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: October 29th, 2010
Fluffy_bunny wrote:While cities like Antigua, Guatemala or Granada, Nicaragua have a plethora of language schools, they are likely the worst places to study.


+1.

In Guatemala, Xela would be the best place for a serious student of Spanish. Esteli, Nicaragua is also a place a recommend highly.

Even better would be Colombia, away from the Caribbean coast. Medellin, Manizales, or even Bogota would be excellent and affordable places to study Spanish.

Piecar

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  • Added on: October 30th, 2010
There are a couple of Language schools in Flores, and across the water in San Andres, in Guat as well.

I, too recommend Colombia. It's a good style of Spanish, away from the Caribbean....(They drop their S severely on the Caribbean)...I'd avoid Bogota, though. Not out of safety or anything. The place is just too damned cold for a country that lies close to the equator. Also, it's a big big sprawling city with not much of interest after the first week. Medellin, the City Of Eternal Spring, is a better bet.
Good Luck Out There.

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: October 31st, 2010
Piecar wrote:There are a couple of Language schools in Flores, and across the water in San Andres, in Guat as well.

I, too recommend Colombia. It's a good style of Spanish, away from the Caribbean....(They drop their S severely on the Caribbean)...I'd avoid Bogota, though. Not out of safety or anything. The place is just too damned cold for a country that lies close to the equator. Also, it's a big big sprawling city with not much of interest after the first week. Medellin, the City Of Eternal Spring, is a better bet.


I prefer Medellin to Bogota also. Medellin is just about the perfect place for a backpacker.

busman7

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Location: Traveling for a while away from Playa San Diego SV

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  • Added on: November 3rd, 2010
I still prefer Antigua, just drove through Xela yesterday & couldn't see too many redeeming factors for even stopping, except that I needed a cajero & there was one at the bank beside McDonalds! ;)
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
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skottandshawna

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  • Added on: November 13th, 2010
We have yet to take lessons, as we are still hanging in Canada...but when we do leave, we will be spending 3-4 weeks studying Spanish here:

http://www.cooperativeschoolsanpedro.com/

Not sure if anyone has any reviews on it, but friends of our took classes their and loved it...seems pretty reasonable pricewise. We will do they homestay for sure!!

Good luck!

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: November 13th, 2010
skottandshawna wrote:We have yet to take lessons, as we are still hanging in Canada...but when we do leave, we will be spending 3-4 weeks studying Spanish here:

http://www.cooperativeschoolsanpedro.com/

Not sure if anyone has any reviews on it, but friends of our took classes their and loved it...seems pretty reasonable pricewise. We will do they homestay for sure!!

Good luck!


Problem with San Pedro is that the majority of people there are either drugged-out gutter-hippie backpackers in clownpants or Jesusheaded evangelical Guatemalans. It's a gorgeous setting, but one of the last places I'd expect to get any learning done. Hopefully you're more disciplined than me.

Piecar

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  • Added on: November 14th, 2010
The site, at least, looks cool. I can't say I know the place but it seems picturesque. Avoid the clownpant types though, if they are indeed there. They give us travellers a bad name.
Good Luck Out There.

Wiskee

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  • Added on: November 22nd, 2010
Felix the Hat wrote:
skottandshawna wrote:We have yet to take lessons, as we are still hanging in Canada...but when we do leave, we will be spending 3-4 weeks studying Spanish here:

http://www.cooperativeschoolsanpedro.com/

Not sure if anyone has any reviews on it, but friends of our took classes their and loved it...seems pretty reasonable pricewise. We will do they homestay for sure!!

Good luck!


Problem with San Pedro is that the majority of people there are either drugged-out gutter-hippie backpackers in clownpants or Jesusheaded evangelical Guatemalans. It's a gorgeous setting, but one of the last places I'd expect to get any learning done. Hopefully you're more disciplined than me.


I enjoyed San Pedro, and I am neither of the above. It's touristy for sure, so you have to work harder to practice because a lot of expats run the bars/cafes and many of the locals who do know enough english to get by. In fact, I knew a very non-clown-pants wearing friend who spent 2 months living with a host family in San Pedro and really enjoyed it and learned a lot.

I did 3 weeks in Xela, loved the city and learned a ton.
Formerly bakpakaddict


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