Why should I study abroad?
There are two reasons. 1) You want
to learn about another country and want to be comfortable
speaking and understanding the Spanish language. 2) You
want to master a foreign language. Cultural and language
immersion is considered an excellent way of learning and
retaining a living language.
What is a Spanish language school?
There are many schools in Spain
that not only teach foreigners the Spanish language but
they provide an immersion experience as well. Some are run
in conjunction with a university. Others are less formal.
Reservations can be made ahead of time or at the door. Note
that some countries and cities have more schools than others.
For example, Spanish language schools play a great role
in cities such as Granada, Madrid, Málaga, Barcelona
Where should I study?
Since there are so many schools,
the decision of where to go may seem overwhelming. Choose
the country first where you'd like to learn. Then choose
by the city and school. How to find the best school? Ask!
Get recommendations from friends, write or call the school
directly for details and best of all, visit.
What are some characteristics of a good Spanish language
Personal attention. You don't want
to be treated like a number. The better schools offer cultural
outings as well as a library or book exchange and bulletin
board. In other words, they offer immersion into the local
environs as well as the language.
Some of my favorite schools donate a percentage of their
income to social projects and offer the students an opportunity
to volunteer or link up with projects in the host country.
Another good sign are original study materials, which the
student can use to learn as well as brush up on the language
after returning home.
What should I expect to learn?
This depends on your commitment
and eagerness to learn the language. At least, you'll be
a better prepared for your travels. If you want to devote
more time, you'll have a greater command of the Spanish
language. As with other things in life, you'll get out of
the experience what you invest.
What do I need to take with me?
If you are combining education with
travel, make sure you cover the bases. Bring the appropriate
clothes, travel necessities (camera, guidebooks, medicine)
and a bilingual dictionary.
Where do I live?
Many schools offer home stays with
local families. You can also arrange your own lodging or
choose to live in an apartment or hotel. Consult a guidebook
to get a good idea of what lodging typically costs.
How do I know if a school is right for me?
The best bet is to select a school
on prior recommendations. A school's word of mouth reputation
is worth more than all of the advertising in the world.
If you have any doubts, don't commit yourself to more than
a week of classes. If you can, visit the school and talk
with the teachers and students. The best advice is to let
the director of the school and your teacher know what you'd
like to accomplish - whether it's survival Spanish or if
you have more specific goals. They will be happy to accommodate
your needs if you let them know what your needs are.
How do I know if a school is legitimate? I've been researching
Language Schools in Granada, and while
all the school's promotional materials seem to sound valid,
I don't want to end up getting ripped off.
I have yet to find a school advertising
its services on LSH that is not legit. (And if I should
receive a complaint about a school, I would investigate
and if the case merited, refund the school and remove the
listing.) You can also check forums and take a look at users'
opinions about schools.
I am interested in attending the language school in Granada, Enforex. It sounds great. Can I talk to someone
who has been a student there?
If you want additional feedback,
ask the school to provide you with the names - and contact
info - of former students who can tell you about the program.
My suggestion - you might want to post a query to http://www.free-languages.com/en/foros.asp
Can I get university credit for classes taken abroad?
Many schools offer credit transfers.
Ask your college first.
What are the pros and cons of using an agency instead of
arranging schooling with an individual school?
On the plus side, an agency can
handle international payments - many accept credit cards,
offers an international point of contact, and has checked
several schools. On the downside, many of these agencies
require your to prepay before starting a program and some
charge a registration fee.
How long are typical language courses?
Courses can last from one day to
several months. Most schools encourage students to take
at least one week of classes and preferably two or three
weeks for maximum benefit. As always, it does depend on
your abilities and needs.