Last week at, our school in San Sebastian, Maria showed our new students the best places to eat pintxos. A meet up with a gastronomic discovery and lots of fun.
Last week at, our school in San Sebastian, Maria showed our new students the best places to eat pintxos. A meet up with a gastronomic discovery and lots of fun.
It´s no wonder San Sebastian was named European Capital of Culture 2016, jam packed with music & film festivals, culinary events and traditional Basque festivals. Our school is just a short walk away from the centre and Zurriola surf beach. And yes, we do offer the opportunity to combine Spanish with Surfing!
We are based in a modern, spacious building with fully equipped classrooms as well as a terrace and chill out area. The school also has a library and film room full of resources for students to practice reading and listening comprehension.
Our Spanish courses are very interactive and are led by fully trained, highly qualified teachers. You will be taught directly in Spanish, even if you are an absolute beginner, in order to fully immerse yourself in the language. Don´t worry too much about this, teachers will explain things more than once in various different ways so that you are able to understand, you´ll be amazed at how effective this approach is.
Most students tend to opt for the Intensive 20 course, which consists of 20 group classes per week, but if you prefer something even more intensive it is also possible to book the Intensive 30 course. The group courses focus on all aspects of the language (speaking, reading, listening, writing, grammar, vocabulary) but if you have specific learning requirements and would prefer to focus solely on a certain aspect of the language you are able to book private classes. We offer the opportunity to combine group classes with private classes with our Intensive 20 + 5 and Intensive 20 + 10 courses.
Many students choose San Sebastian for its wide variety of activities on offer (particularly surfing!). We offer a Spanish and surf programme at our school which can be combined with our Intensive 20 course. We usually recommend students to book fewer weeks of surf programme than course weeks as the surfing is dependent on the waves. You can always book more surf weeks directly at the school if you are lucky with the wave conditions.
Aside from surfing, San Sebastian is a great destination for thrill seekers, with lots of outdoor activities on offer, ranging from skiing in the Pyrenees in the winter to kayaking, mountain biking and hiking along part of the Camino de Santiago route.
For those not so keen on adventure, you will have plenty to occupy yourself with as San Sebastian has an event or festival every month (actually almost every week!). There are a broad range of music & film festivals, such as the Human Rights Film Festival in April, Youth Theatre Festival in May, Jazzaldia Jazz festival in July, Donostia-San Sebastian Muscial Fortnight in August (classical music), Zinemaldia International Film Festival in September and International Underwater Film festival in November, just to name a few!
Of course there is also the Running of the bulls in July as well as various other Basque traditions such as Saint Thomas Day in December, a farmers´ market selling traditional goods and cider, and Euskal Jaiak in September, which is a week-long celebration with traditional dances, local cider, boat races, sports competitions and Basque music.
And if all this is still not enough our school puts on a range of activities. Some are free but some have a cost depending on the activity. Here is an example of a few:
Our Spanish school in Malaga welcomes students from all over the world into its beautiful historic building, just footsteps away from the birthplace of Picasso. Malaga is home to a wealth of museums & art galleries and the city really is shaped by its unique cultural past, left behind by numerous settlers ranging from Romans to Arabs. The school is well situated to enjoy Malaga´s beaches, plazas, museums & monuments after class and our friendly, multilingual staff are always happy to advise you on the best places to go.
All of our teachers are native speakers with extensive experience teaching Spanish as a foreign language. You will be immersed in the Spanish language from day one, with all lessons being taught directly in Spanish, even for beginners. We also have various learning resources at your disposal in the school, such as Spanish books and films which you can borrow from the library.
You will be in a group of maximum 10 students who will all have approximately the same level as you. Teachers are very passionate about the Spanish culture and really incorporate this into the classes. They will actively encourage group discussions to get you comfortable expressing yourself in the Spanish language and to get to know your fellow students.
Your fellow students will be from various different countries & backgrounds and of all ages (from 16 and above).
Booking accommodation in one of our shared apartments will enable you to get to know more students from the school. For those who are keen to immerse themselves in the Spanish culture we also offer accommodation with host families, which is a great way to practice Spanish with native speakers and try local homemade dishes.
Malaga is an excellent destination for outdoor activities thanks to its Mediterranean climate. Water sports, golf, beach volleyball and plenty more! Why not take up flamenco dancing whilst studying in the home region of flamenco? This is sometimes offered in the school as well as salsa classes, but if they are not available during your stay then the school will be happy to recommend you various dance schools in the area.
The school arranges different activities each week as well as weekend excursions. Mid-week you can expect things like Spanish movie nights, cookery workshops, visits to local museums and dance classes. Some activities are free and some have a small cost depending on the activity. Weekend excursions on offer tend to be visits to nearby cities, such as Seville and Granada.
Aside from its outdoor activities Malaga has a lot to offer. Explore the old pedestrian streets in the historic centre where you will find the Alcazaba, which is said to be the most well preserved fortress in Spain. Enjoy some of the city´s various tapas routes and, depending on when you arrive, you can also experience some of Malaga´s Andalusian festivals, such as the “Feria de Malaga” in August.
Where better to learn Spanish than in Spain´s capital; home to The Golden Triangle of Art and renowned for its fashion. Our school is situated around the corner from the vibrant gay district of Chueca, within easy reach of the city centre. We offer fun and dynamic classes in groups of maximum 9 students with native Spanish teachers. Madrid is an energetic and welcoming city, offering excellent night life, delicious local cuisine and a wealth of beautiful sights.
Our Spanish school
In Madrid we offer Spanish courses from absolute beginner level to upper intermediate. Courses run from Monday to Friday and you are free to choose for how many weeks you study with us. Please bear in mind that if you are an absolute beginner there are specific start dates. We offer a comfortable learning environment, fully equipped with a lounge, library and computers and there is a typical Spanish tapas bar just around the corner from the school.
Most of our group courses focus on general Spanish and you will work on all aspects of the language (reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, vocabulary). If you prefer something more tailored we offer private classes and there is also the option to combine group courses with private classes.
Our teachers are specialized in teaching Spanish as a foreign language and their passion for the job really shines through during the classes. Groups are very interactive and as well as immersing yourself in the Spanish language & culture you will be getting to know students from a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds.
Home to various works of Picasso, Dalí and Miró; Madrid is the perfect location for art enthusiasts. Our school offers the opportunity to combine a Spanish course with an Arts programme, in which you will visit all 3 museums with a teacher who is an expert on Spanish Arts.
Madrid offers a diverse range of attractions, such as Museo del Prado, Parque del Retiro, Estado Santiago Bernabéu. Our school organises a range of activities, some for free and some at a small cost depending on the activity.
Here is an example of some of the activities regularly organised:
Madrid is a very vibrant and multicultural city and the welcoming nature of the locals really makes our students feel at home very quickly. Here you will have the best of both worlds in the sense that you can enjoy the bustling city life whilst escaping to one of several beautiful parks for some peace & quiet. Madrid has an excellent transport system and for a capital city it is reasonably priced and not overcrowded. So if you are looking for an authentic city with exceptional museums, cheap eats and nightlife like nowhere else in Spain then Madrid is the best place for you to study.
Linguaschools Granada lies in the heart of the city centre; in a pleasant historic building just footsteps away from many of the city´s cultural sights. Our school offers spacious, air-conditioned classrooms and we are proud to have a team of enthusiastic & experienced teachers who provide students with a unique Spanish language learning experience. Granada is a very popular choice among our students thanks to its beautiful architecture & picturesque landscapes combined with its wide range of activities & historical sights, offering a cultural experience as well as a language experience.
In our school the classrooms are fully equipped and there is Wi-Fi throughout. Our teachers use a wide range of resources to aid your language learning and their teaching method is very interactive. This enables classes to be taught directly in the Spanish language, even for beginner groups, providing students with a complete language immersion.
You will be in a group of maximum 8 students and teachers will actively encourage group conversations to develop your confidence when communicating in Spanish. All teachers have a university degree and ample experience teaching Spanish as a foreign language to students of all nationalities, so they understand the difficulties which students tend to come across and are able to adapt to each student´s needs.
For those music enthusiasts among us, we offer the chance to combine Spanish lessons with flamenco guitar or flamenco dance classes.
Spanish courses in Granada run from Monday to Friday. You can start a course with us on any Monday of the year (except on public holidays) and you are free to choose how many weeks you would like to study with us. Upon your arrival at the school you will complete both a written and oral level test (unless you are an absolute beginner in which case it is not necessary!) to give us an indication of your Spanish knowledge and make sure you are placed in a group with students of the same level. Our group courses focus on all language skills (grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, reading and writing) and we also offer private classes for those who prefer something more tailored to their specific learning requirements.
Home to the Alhambra & Sierra Nevada, Granada offers something for everyone, whether it be theatre, music, museums, architecture, hiking, skiing, or water sports that tickle your fancy. Granada is a city rich in history and magnificent architecture, along with a thriving flamenco scene. It has something for all seasons, from skiing to mountain biking, and is within easy reach of a handful of beautiful beaches along the Tropical Coast.
Our school organizes weekly activities ranging from local sight-seeing to weekend excursions a little further afield.
Here is an example of our most frequent activities:
Granada is a small city within a big city, in the sense that there is so much to explore but without being overwhelming. It has a very traditional Andalusian feel to it and many of its bars still offer very generous sized tapas for free with your drinks, a tradition which has sadly died out in many other cities! So to sum up; for those who wish to learn Spanish in a culture rich city with picturesque views and a very unique charm, Linguaschools Granada will not disappoint.
Linguaschools Valencia is based in a villa located in a unique setting where you can enjoy your classes, lounge on one of our terraces or study in our library. The high quality of our Spanish classes has been our key to success from the moment we opened. Due to our great results, many of our students recommend Linguaschools Valencia, converting it into the most popular school in Valencia. Our school offers a cosmopolitan, but at the same time homely atmosphere. Our teachers and staff will do their best to resolve any question or doubts you may have in order to make you stay as comfortable as possible. We will also help you to understand Spanish culture, and the Spanish way of life.
At our school in Valencia, we use our own teaching method based on the conversation as the way to learning language skills, where the student has the leading role in the communication. The philosophy of our method takes the error as the beginning of learning, creating a pleasant atmosphere which encourages the students to participate in the classroom without fear of making mistakes. Teachers are key to developing our method. With their professionalism and effort, we create “a la carte” Spanish courses. Our classes are weekly designed depending on the number of students attending the classes, so that all classes are profitable to each student, rather than following a manual or a specific textbook. The coordinated work of the teachers, and the fact that we always work with small groups of students, enables an evaluation of the student’s progression in class, so it is not necessary to perform frequently written examinations to determine the changes in the students’ levels.
Each class is designed so that the student reaches a linguistic objective according to his or her level. Thus, every class has a beginning and an end, so that all students make the most of all classes and so that those who attend classes fewer days per week don’t get lost. Since the learning pace of each student is different, each student will change levels individually. In this way, students can learn Spanish “at their own pace”, and won’t have to keep pace with the rest of the students.
Our school offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, both cultural and recreational. It is an opportunity for knowing the cultural richness of Valencia and its surroundings, as well as the most tourist attractions. Specially in Summer, we also go on trips to other cities in Spain, like Madrid, Barcelona or Mallorca. Our activity program is also a way of making friends with other Linguaschools students that aren’t classmates, and also a way of having fun and unforgettable moments.
Some of the most frequent activities are:
The most common excursions are:
Linguaschools Valencia offers different types of Spanish language courses which are designed to meet the needs of each one of our students.
Barcelona is a surprisingly easy city to navigate. From its medieval Gothic quarter and historic old town of narrow streets and alleys to its world famous art-nouveau buildings and futuristic Olympic Village on the harbor, Barcelona is a city of contrasts and unrivaled artistic beauty and diversity. You’re more than welcome to come to Barcelona, discover all this and learn Spanish at the same time.
Our Spanish school is located in a beautiful late 19th century house with a nice garden, only a 5 minute walk from Plaza Catalunya, right in the heart of Barcelona. Linguaschools Barcelona is located in a nice and quiet “Pasaje” without traffic where you can hear birds singing. Here you can take a virtual tour trough our school.
At our school you will meet people from all over the world. You can chill out under the palm tree in our nice garden while having a coffee, catch up with your friends or family through Internet and taste the real Barcelona. Our teachers are all native speakers and have a university degree and many years of experience in teaching Spanish to foreign language students from absolute beginners to advanced. Their enthusiasm and passion for teaching their native language is the key to our success. This combined with the latest teaching methods result in dynamic, interactive and fun Spanish classes. We have spacious and bright classrooms with natural light, a computer room, a nice lounge, a lovely garden and a school library with Spanish books and films.
Activities organised by the school
We strive to give our students the optimal balance between a good learning experience and some good fun abroad. Our school has a varied programme of activities which we offer besides the course programme. This way you have the possibility to come into contact with other students and enjoy Spanish culture. Some of the activities during the week are offered for free, others require a small contribution from the attending students. Weekend activities are usually outside Barcelona and give you a perfect insight in the region of Catalunya.
Groups are formed according to a students’ level of Spanish. Therefore you will always be in a class with students who have the same Spanish level as you. Since our groups are small, teachers can give individual support and lessons are intensive. In addition to the Spanish language, the country’s culture plays an integral part of the Spanish courses in Barcelona.
We offer Spanish group courses for those students for all levels. If you don’t have any previous knowledge of Spanish, there are fixed start dates for ‘absolute beginners’. For other students it is possible to start every Monday of the year. Prior to the start of the course, you will take a written and oral level test in order to determine your level. You will be placed in a group with students of the same level.
Salamanca is known around the world for its acclaimed university and also, because the city has been declared “Patrimony of Humanity”. It ́s cosmopolitan and friendly atmosphere provides a stimulating environment in which to learn Spanish and to experience Spanish lifestyle and culture. If you want to enjoy a cultural and friendly atmosphere, Salamanca has something for everyone.
Why study Spanish at Linguaschools in Salamanca?
Salamanca, is home to one of Europe’s oldest universities. Its cosmopolitan and friendly atmosphere provides a stimulating environment to learn Spanish and experience Spanish life and culture. It is often said that Salamanca has something to offer everyone.
Our Spanish school is located in the historical district of the city, one minute from the Plaza Mayor, surrounded by the busy city with its cinemas, theatres, banks, bars, restaurants and an immense variety of shops.
Linguaschools Salamanca was founded in 1989 with the aim of providing an efficient and friendly environment in which to learn Spanish. Since then, we has had great success, as demonstrated by the increasing number of satisfied students who come from all over the world to study here.
Our teaching methods are highly communicative, interactive and constantly evolving. All of our highly experienced teachers are native speakers and graduates in Spanish Language from the University of Salamanca. They are professional and enthusiastic, with many years of teaching experience, constantly training to expand their knowledge, to renew our teaching methods and improve day by day our didactic quality.
Besides learning in your Spanish class, you can complement your training with extra-curricular activities.You also have access to the library at our school, and can use the lending service for books and audiovisual materials, which will help you in your learning.
Choosing a Spanish course is very easy. Tell us how long you want to stay and how many hours per week you want to take. You can join a course any Monday of the month (except for absolute beginners), in this case you can only start the course on the first Monday of each month. The maximum number of students per class is 8.
Activities and cultural programs
Many cultural and social activities are offered by the centre such as guided visits of Salamanca, Tapas nights, cooking and dancing classes, parties and many more. During your stay our school also offers cultural activities such as movies, theatre, art exhibitions and the opportunity to practice different sports. Every weekend the centre arranges excursions to Madrid (Prado Museum), Toledo, Segovia and La Granja, La Alberca / Sierra de Francia. There are also weekend excursions to Andalucía, Galicia and Portugal.
As a quality local language school, we’re pleased with the fantastic mix of international students we teach here every year. We have welcomed students from over 40 countries, mainly from America, Russia, Italy, Japan, Korea, France, Germany and Australia – although the list goes on!
I’m Tanja, 28 years old from Vienna, Austria. I’ve always traveled a lot and enjoyed exploring new places. Unfortunately having a full time job got in the way of my ‘Wanderlust’. So after five years of working for the same company I decided to take a break for one year to travel around the world and learn something new. Before going to San Sebastian, I’ve already spent 3 months at Linguaschools in Barcelona, where I started my first ever Spanish course.
Why did you decide to learn Spanish and why did you choose to learn the language during a language course abroad?
I was always fascinated with languages. After college I moved to Canada for a while to work there, which not only was a great experience it also helped me so much with improving my English. I’ve always been more of a math person, so I knew that just taking on evening courses in my hometown wouldn’t really do the trick for me. So it had to be a language course abroad.
There are many reasons why I chose Spanish, but mostly because it’s one of three most common languages in the world. I really wanted to learn something that I could use on my travels. Since I am also planning a trip to Latin America after my 6 months in Spain, I didn’t think of any other language.
What was your reason to go to San Sebastian and since when have you been here?
A while back I almost moved to San Sebastian because of a job offer. I have never been there, or heard much about the town before that. In the end I didn’t take the job and forgot all about it. In my 3 months in Barcelona with Linguaschools I had such a great time with the school and the people I’ve met there. So I wanted to stick with the school and looked into other places where Linguaschools offered Spanish courses. San Sebastian was one of them. After doing a bit more research and finding out that they do have a great surf beach there, I was sold on the idea of going to the Basque Country for 5 weeks.
How did you experience the time at the language school?
My first day at school was a bit exhausting since I had just arrived the night before and got horribly lost on my way to the school. It took a while and some locals, but in the end I found it.
The school was a bit different from the one in Barcelona, but I liked my group the moment I walked in the classroom. Most of the time we were about 10 students, which is more or less the maximum. Even though we were that many students, it always felt well balanced.
The only activity I attended was surfing. The school had a pretty sweet deal with the local Surf School. Which I would highly recommend for people who are not staying long enough to get their own board. It was usually 4-5 days a week, depending on the number of students who signed up for it. It doesn’t matter what level you are in and I never had more than 2 other people in my group, which gives the teacher enough time to focus on everyone individually. All in all I really enjoyed the school, made new friends there and really improved my Spanish.
How did you level of Spanish evolve during your stay?
I went from 0 to A2 in my 3 months in Barcelona, so I started with B1 in San Sebastian. When I arrived I was able to have conversations with people about basic things, ask for directions or recite what I did on the weekend. I still struggled a lot with my vocabulary and of course still missed basic grammar.
Now I am able to give my opinion, make suggestions and use sentiments. I also understand way more.
When I arrived in San Sebastian it was almost impossible to understand my roommate, because she spoke so fast, the weekend before I left, during a random conversation about TV Shows, I realised that I have absolutely no problem understanding what she’s saying. This and buying my first book in Spanish made me feel really confident about my progress.
Why should someone visit San Sebastian?
The beach, the food, the people. Not the weather. San Sebastian is not they biggest city, but it has so much to offer. The food for example. It’s no secret that San Sebastian has one of the best chefs in the world. But not only the restaurants, pretty much every Pintxo place knows what they are doing. The people are helpful and friendly and very polite. A thing like cat calling doesn’t exist in San Sebastian. (Which one of my teachers always jokingly said is because the Vascos are too shy, and that’s why they will die alone.)
And the beaches. There’s Playa de Concha, the bigger city beach with calm azul waters and cafes with a beautiful view. And then there is Zurriola (Playa de la Zurriola) the Surfer’s beach, where you will find people in the waters at almost any time of day. It also features the cheesiest sunsets I’ve ever seen.
Which spots are really worth to visit? – in San Sebastian and outside the city
Besides surfing at Zuriolla beach, one of my favourite things to do was walking around through the old town – Parte Vieja. That’s where the history of the city can be discovered. You can still see parts of the Town Wall and walk around at the fishing port. Urgull – the hill is a place you shouldn’t miss out, perfect for sundown – picnics. And then there is Santa Clara Island which I heard amazing things about but unfortunately never went.
Another thing I would highly recommend is a day trip to Biarritz. San Sebastian is really close to the French border and there are buses going almost hourly. One day after school, a classmate and I decided to have coffee in France, so we hopped on a bus and 40 minutes later we arrived in Biarritz. It’s a cute little town with lots of coffee shops and a beautiful beach. If you want to go on a little shopping spree just keep in mind that France is a bit more expensive then the places you find in Spain.
Although I got all confused with having to speak French all of a sudden, I was over the moon being there. While it’s so close it has a whole different vibe to it. Next time I will be heading there I will make sure to bring my surfboard though.
Going east is not the only possibility though. A friend I made at school in Barcelona and I decided to meet up in Bilbao for a prolonged weekend. The bus from San Sebastian to Bilbao takes roughly two and a half hours but there are also trains, which might be a bit faster. Bilbao is great if you have more than one or two days. We spent almost one whole day at the Guggenheim Museum exploring the Jeff Koons & the Basquiat exhibitions. It was probably my first real Museum visit after a long time and since I always admired Basquiat I was very pleased to find his work shown at the same time that I was in the city. Once again the weather was on our side so besides strolling through the city, we spent a huge amount of time picnicking, lounging in the sun and unwinding in the beautiful park areas Bilbao has to offer. Our host for the weekend recommended Casco Viejo (The old part of the city) for going out to eat. Which is not only a good place to eat, but also to do a little shopping.
Which restaurants can you recommend?
“La Madame” was my favourite place to go for brunch on weekends. They also have wonderful food during the week. They mix typical basque ingredients with classic Spanish cuisine as well as international influences. Also who doesn’t like Brunch? Then there is “vegan vegetarian km0” which we often chose after school for their lunch offer. I am not a vegetarian but went to class with a girl who was, and I remember it was always very hard to find places in San Sebastian that would serve vegetarian options.
So we were very happy when we found KM0, not only because it was so close to school but also because it didn’t have the typical basque opening hours. If you are not vegan or vegetarian you will have it pretty easy with good food there. In Party Vieja, for example, are many amazing pinxto bars. Also for the best carrot cake in town go to “Robinson Bar” in Gros.
What are your favorite places to go out in San Sebastian?
Every Thursday there is Pintxo Pote in Gros, which I always enjoyed. The bars in the area open around 6pm and serve pintxos with drinks for a bargain (mostly between 1€ – 2€). In Gros it’s not that much about the food, although I had some really good ones there. It is more about bar hoping and have a few drinks with your friends on a week night. There are also some places that changed Pintxo Pote to Pizza Pote or Burger Pote, which are a lot of fun, but as said it’s not all about the food. While the Pintxo Pote is happening in Gros there is also Gastro Pote at Mercado de San Martin in the Centro of San Sebastian. Every Thursday they transform the market area into a little concert hall surrounded by amazing food and great wine. I am not much of a party person, but I do love food and enjoy drinks with friends. So these Thursdays always been the most fun to me.
So you’re physically not in Barcelona rightnow, but you really want to check out our Barcelona school building? No worries, as the Google Indoor Street View feature allows you to walk through our school as if you are there yourself!
Take a look here:
Visit our website for more information on our school in Barcelona.