Andalusia can in many ways be seen to encompass all the elements that make up the Spain of most people’s imaginations and results in offering the quintessential Spanish experience,” begins Bob Burger at Malaca Instituto in Malaga. Spain conjures up images of sunshine, dance, bullfights, great food, Moorish architecture and white-washed villages overlooking the Mediterranean sea, continues Bob. “Well, they are basically describing Andalusia!”
Indeed, culture permeates the courses offered by many schools in the region. In addition to its general Spanish programme, Malaca Instituto offers Spanish plus cookery and Spanish plus dance (Salsa or Flamenco), tapping into two very distinct Spanish passions. The former course links general Spanish with a cookery programme that includes talks, local visits and eating and drinking together, and the school boasts its very own practice kitchen and dining room.
The Spanish plus culture course at Escuela Montalban in Granada combines Spanish lessons with activities such as guitar, cajón [a traditional box-shaped percussion instrument], yoga, photography walks and outdoor activities such as horse riding, rock climbing and hiking in the Sierra Nevada, outlines Marga Fortmann at the school. “There are also trips to northern Morocco, scuba diving trips in Cabo de Gata Natural Park and hiking trips in the Alpujarra Mountains.”
Instead of being a traditional school with a fixed building, Peach Traveling School is an itinerating school: a travelling school, explains Founder Inge Groeneveld. Their short (one-week) or complete (two-week) programme encompasses 15 lessons per week and includes more than 200 hours of tuition with accredited teachers travelling with the group at all times. Students are completely immersed in Spanish language and culture, says Inge, and are exposed to experiences such as breadmaking in the mountains of Cadiz, farming at an ecological orange grove or sherry making in Jerez de la Frontera.
Intensive courses focussed on quick results are a popular choice for students at K2 International in Cadiz. However, says Lucia Baturone, while these courses appeal to those short on time or those looking to holiday productively, cultural immersion is a great motivator for students that want to keep learning the language and ultimately have an experience they won’t forget. “Students can make the most of our daily cultural lesson. The topics include local traditions and history, art and music, gastronomy and other regional-related content.”
Enforex has four centres in Andalusia and each location epitomises model Spain. Its Marbella centre is just a five-minute walk from the beach, while its Seville centre is situated in the heart of the city, close to emblematic buildings such as the cathedral, town hall and the Triana Bridge.
Enforex’s Nicoletta Pinto confirms that general intensive courses are popular right across the board. “They are the perfect choice for those looking to optimise their stay in Spain and truly delve into the intricacies of the language and culture.”
She adds, “We have an international, multicultural atmosphere: over 35,000 students from more than 72 countries join our programmes each year.” The school’s top five sender markets are the USA, Germany, Brazil, France and Italy.
At Escuela Montalban, combination courses are popular with Europeans, particularly the UK market, says Marga, while Inge notes the concept of a travelling school has appealed greatly to the Swiss, German, Dutch and Italian markets. Welcoming over 50 nationalities a year, Malaca Instituto is also proud of its diversity, and recruitment tends to reflect marketing priorities and general global trends, says Bob.
“If you want to learn Spanish in the folkloric heart of Spain, then Andalusia is the region for you. This is the ideal location to learn about tradition and Spanish culture in its strongest form,” concludes Nicoletta. email@example.com
A selection of Spanish language schools in Andalusia
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