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spain

Spain is the 4th biggest countries by geographical area in Europe with 506.000 km2. Due to the size there is so much to see and do in this vast and diverse country. One of this beautiful places is called Valencia,  a large city on Spain’s eastern coast, located 320 km south-east from Spain’s capital Madrid.

Valencia has a mix of old and new buildings, giving it a real special feel of it’s own. From medieval castles and towers, to modernist and art decor architecture and plenty of beautiful places to eat and drink. It is the 3rd biggest city in Spain with nearly 800.000 inhabitants and is situated at the Mediterranean coast. The city has the largest inner city urban park in whole Europe, three beaches (Playa de las Arenas, Playa de Malvarrosa and Playa de la Patacona) and is packed full of culture and history, for example the holy grail. Historians worldwide believe La Catedral de Valencia is home to the last cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. The Holy Grail is made of agate stone and displayed in a decorative – gold and pearls – structure in the city’s imposing cathedral. Legend says the Holy Grail, which features in the cult novel The Da Vinci Code, possesses miraculous powers and crowds gather to pray in its presence.

 


1) La ciudad de las artes y las ciencias – The city of arts and sciences

The city of arts and sciences is a cultural and architectural building and park complex. It represents the modern town’s landmark and is located in the drained channel of the river Turia which is 280 km long, rises in Montes Universals and ends in Valencia. The complex was designed by the Spanish architectures Santiage Calatrava and Félix Candela and includes five buildings:

  • L’Hemisferic (an IMAX cinema): The building has the shape of and eye that reflects 24.000 square meters lake. The cover of the cinema looks like the eye lips of the eye, and can be closed or opened. (ticket prices: 8.80 € adults, 6.85 € reduced, 4.70 € school groups, 6.40 € adult groups)
  • Prince Felipe Museo de las Ciencias (science museum): The construction of the building reminds a whale skeleton. The museum is orientated to learning the sciences through experience and it is perfect to go with kids, because everything is graphically diplayed with huge texts and pics, experiments, button to touch and experience. The museum is open from Monday to Sunday from 8.00am till 00.30 am. (ticket prices: 8.00 € adultes, 6.20 € reduced, 4.30 € school groups, 5.80 € adult groups)
  • Oceanographic (a giant marine par or aquarium): The Oceanografic is Europe’s biggest Aquarium and it invites you to travel around the planet’s main seas and oceans. More than 45,000 examples of 500 different marine species – amongst which can be found sharks, Beluga whales, walruses, sea lions, penguins and manta rays – inhabit nine underwater towers that, structured in two levels, represent the most emblematic ecosystems of the planet. The oceanographic park, created as a great leisure, training and research centre, is structured into ten great areas. (ticket prices: 27.90 € adults, 21.00 € reduced, 12.55 € school groups, 18.65 € adult groups)
  • Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia: The spectacular building promotes the performing arts. It has an extension of 55.000 square meters and is one of the finest international venues for theatre, dance, opera and music concerts. Measuring over 70 meters in height, the Palau de les Arts is divided into four separate halls, all boasting the latest technological advances conceived to stage all kinds of opera, musical and theatrical performances. Here you find the program for 2015 and 2016. Perfomances start normally at 8pm, during Sundays and bank holidays at 7pm. The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia is divided into the following rooms:
    • Sala Principal: This concert hall, which seats 1,412, principally serves as an opera house, but it is also used for ballet and other performing arts.
    • Auditorio: With a seating capacity of 1,490 people, this auditorium is equipped with advanced sound, cinema, and video installations.
    • Aula Magistral: This space, which can seat up to 378 people, is especially designed for performances by small music ensembles and it is also used for recitals, conferences, and educational events.
    • Teatre Martín i Soler: This theatre, located next to the Palau de les Arts, forms the south-west boundary of the complex. With a seating capacity of 400 people, the backstage installations and orchestra pit of this space are perfect for small and medium format opera performances.
  • Agora (multi-functional space): The Agora in the City of Arts and Sciences is a versatile space that will allow the holding of varied events. A multi-functional setting has been planned for the staging of congresses, conventions, concerts, and performances; it can also be converted into an exhibition area. This building hosted successfully the Valencia Open 500 Tennis Tournament, one of the most important international sports meetings.

2) La Lonja – the world heritage

Constructed between 1482 and 1548, during Valencia’s “Golden Age”,  La Lonja de la Seda (the Silk Exchange) is World Heritage-listed and described by UNESCO as “an exceptional example of a secular building in late Gothic style, which dramatically illustrates the power and wealth of one of the great Mediterranean mercantile cities”. Visitors can peruse the former trading hall, with its splendid spiral columns, and chill out in a courtyard sprinkled with orange trees.


3) The birthplace of Paella – taste the real one

Typical Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, meats that range from chicken and rabbit to snails or seafood, beans and seasoning. Many proud Valencianos say that these are the only required ingredients in a paella and therefore Valencia people proudly boasts it’s the birthplace of this iconic Spanish dish. While you can savour seafood paellas here, an authentic paella valenciana stays faithful to its peasant origins. It’s traditionally cooked on an open wooden fire with locally grown rice and only eaten at lunch. Valencians swear their mothers – and grandmothers – do the best paella, but many restaurants offer tasty version ‘menu del dias’ (fixed-price, three-course specials).


4) El Barrio del Carmen

Street art is one of the quirkiest features of El Carmen, the grittiest, but increasingly gentrified, chunk of Valencia’s historic centre. Springing south from the pretty Carmen church and plaza, a warren of alleys bulge with clothes and curio stores, tapas bars, bohemian cafes, jazz lounges and cosmopolitan restaurants.


5) The fallas festival

The festival begins in March, marking the beginning of spring, and technically lasts for 5 days. Each neighborhood has Falla houses that compete by building their own “falla” (effigy), which is usually a political pun or gag. The houses compete in different leagues, and on the last night of this lively festival, known as ‘La Crema’ (burning night), all but one effigy are destroyed. The surviving falla is called a “ninot” (small falla), and is officially pardoned. On this night, the entire city is on fire– literally and figuratively– as revelers enjoy music, parties, food, drinks and dancing in the streets. This fiesta is definitely worth experiencing at least once in your life.


6) The golden sandy Mediteranean beaches of Malvarrosa
The beaches of Las Arenas and Malvarrosa along the Mediterranean cost are beautiful sandy beaches stretching as long as the eye can see. They are noticeably clean, like the whole city and in peak summer time the beach will never be overly crowded, leaving tourists and Spanish locals with enough space to enjoy the sea. The coastal promenade is relatively undeveloped with a modest number of delicious bars and restaurants scattered along the front.


7) La Tomatina in Bunol

La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Bunol 40 km direction west away from Valencia. The festival is supposed to be the ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’ where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets. The festival is in honor of the town’s patron saints, Luis Bertran and the Mare de Deu dels Desemparats (Mother of God of the Defenseless), a title of the Virgin Mary. This year La Tomatina is taking place on the 26th of August and starts at around 11am when many truck haul the bounty of tomatoes into the centre of the town at Plaza del Pueblo. Once the tomato throwing begins, the battle is generally every man for himself.


8) The Natural Park of the Albufera
The Natural Park of the Albufera just south of Valencia Region is a Mecca for bird watchers. Connected to the sea by two narrow canals, it is one of the largest lakes in the country, with a total area of 21,000 hectares, much of which is covered in thick reed beds.


9) Calpe – the beautiful village in Costa Blanca 

At the heart of the Costa Blanca, within the region of Valencia lies the ancient fishing village of Calpe. Now transformed into a tourist magnet, the town sits in an ideal location, easily accessed by the A7 motorway and the N332 that runs from Valencia to Alicante; its approximately one hour drive from the airport at Alicante. Calpe has a wonderful mixture of old Valencian culture and modern tourist facilities. It is a great base from which to explore the local area or enjoy the many local beaches. Calpe alone has three of the most beautiful sandy beaches on the coast.
 Calpe is dominated by the towering rock of Ifach which reaches an impressive 332m, rising almost sheer above the sea and is a nature reserve. The summit of the rock is reached after a tough climb up a footpath, by means of a short tunnel through the upper part of the rock. Be warned the path above the tunnel has almost no safety features and is not recommended for anybody with a fear of heights, the very young, or the remotely unfit.


10) Sagunto
Only 20 kilometres from Valencia Region and easily accessible by bus or train (30 minutes), the coastal town of Sagunto is one of the most important historical locations of the entire region. Bronze Age and Iberian peoples settled here, drawn by the fertile lands and the natural fortress formed by a high crag which rears out of the plains. But Sagunto is most famous for its courageous resistance to the Carthaginian general Hannibal, who laid a siege to the fortress in 219 BC for 8 months. Rather than surrender, the citizens set fire to their city and perished in the flames. Today, the fortress and old Jewish quarter of the city of Sagunto are a popular tourist attraction, with one of the largest and most highly restored Roman theatres in existence in Spain set in a natural amphitheatre just above the town.


11) Xàtiva – the heritage of Spanish history

The city is situated 60 km away from the city Valencia and it is one of the most important cultural and historical cities in the region of Valencia. In 1150 the first paper on European ground was produced in Xàtiva by Moors. The city was founded by Iberian and Moors but in 1244 the city was conquered by Jaime I. of Aragon who created one of the most important archives in Europe. Xàtiva, especially the castle and the old town of the city, has many remains from each era of Spanish history, from the Iberians over Romains and Moors till the Gothic epoch. You can buy a train ticket for 6 € way and return (50 minutes one way) from the train station of Valencia to Xàtiva.


12) Utiel-Requena Region
Scarcely 40 miles inland from the city of Valencia, on the way to Madrid, you will find the Utiel-Requena Plateau. With a totally different climate to that of the coast, its cold, frosty winters and sunny, scorching summers make it the largest wine-producing area in the Valencia Region and one of the largest in Spain. A rural landscape of rolling hills and vineyards dotted with small towns and villages combines with mountainous, thickly wooded areas ideal for trekking or cycling. One of the most dramatic features of the area are the Hoces del Cabriel Gorges, where the Cabriel river runs swiftly among impressive stone walls and needles, an awe inspiring backdrop for sports such as canoeing or rafting. If you prefer walking around old towns and monuments, then Requena’s old town (the “Villa”) is the place to visit. Its winding streets flanked by old white houses, some impressive gothic churches and the “Cuevas del Vino”, a maze-like underground system of wine cellars with more than one mile of caves, will surprise you.

Should you prefer to focus on cuisine and wines, you will find a good array of restaurants in the area, together with some of the oldest wine cellars and wineries in Spain. Utiel-Requena is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) for wines with the area being renowned for the predominant use of the Bobal grape variety. Archaeological finds in ancient Iberian settlements, such as the one at Villares, show that viticulture and wine production in the area dates to at least the 7th century BC.


13) Montanejos – the hot springs

The Castellón town Montanejos is famous for its health contribution and it is situated 90 km north west from Valencia. The water has health properties and is highly recommended for cases of digestive and kidney-related illnesses. When you walk through the beautiful nature of Montanejos you can find crystal clear water spots with cliffs to jump off.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World-wide 420 million people speak Spanish, also called Castellano, and it is the 4th most spoken language in the world. The language has a rich heritage and over many centuries of evolution people had been developing many variations of the language that still exist today.

Castellano is the official national language of Spain. Nevertheless, there are other co-official or unofficial languages spoken according to the cultural diversity of the Spanish regions that form an important part of the Spanish cultural patrimony. Nowadays 16 different languages (official and unofficial) are spoken on the Iberian Peninsula and the 11 islands that are an important part of the country.

 

Here are the languages listed and ranked by the number of speakers in descending order:

1. Castilian: As mentioned above it is the official language of Spain and over 45 million people in Spain speak it. It is also the dominant language in every part of Spain, even when they are multilingual.

2. Catalan: Catalan is a Romance language named for its origins in Catalonia, in what is northeastern Spain and adjoining parts of France. It is spoken by 4.6 million people and it is the national and only official language of Andorra, and a co-official language of the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the Valencian community.

3. Galician. Its the official language of the region Galicia in the north-west corner of Spain next to Portugal. Callego is spoken by 2.6 million people  Oficial en Galicia.  2.600.000 hablantes. The language is close to the Portuguese language, because Galicia and Portugal were united during the medieval times.

4. Valencian. It is the official language in the region around the city Valencia and is spoken by 2 million people. It is the language spoken in the Valencian Community in Spain and the name used to refer to the Catalan in that area. In the Valencian Community, Valencian is the traditional language and is co-official with Spanish.

5. Basque. The language is also named euskera and it is the official language of the Basque country and the region of Navarra. The language is spoken by 900.000 people and is one of the oldest in Europe, even older than Latin. In compare to all other languages in Europe that belong to a family of languages (Indo-Germanic, Uralic, Turkic or Semitic language), Vasco has no generic relation to any other language. That is why Vasco called an isolated language.

6. Balearic. It is the collective name for the dialects of Catalan spoken in the Balearic Islands and it is spoken by 600.000 people on Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Distinctive features of Catalan in the Balearic Islands differ according to the specific variant being spoken on the different islands.

7. Extremaduran. The language is also know as castúo and is spoken by approximately 200.000 people in an area covering the north-western part of the autonomous community of Extremadura and adjoining areas in the province of Salamanca.

8. Cantabrian. Cantabrian is a group of dialects belonging to Astur-Leonese. It is indigenous to the territories in and surrounding the Autonomous Community of Cantabria, in Northern Spain. The language is spoken by 120.000 people in Cantabria in the region around Santander and according to the low number of speakers the existence of the language is in danger.

9. Asturian. Asturian is a Romance language of the West Iberian group, Astur-Leonese subgroup. The language is estimated at about 100.000 first-language speakers and 450.000 second-language speakers in Asturias in the north of Spain between Galicia and the Basque region.

10. Aragonese. The language is also known as chapurriau and is spoken by 30.000 people in the valleys of the Pyrenees in Aragon, mainly in the comarcas of Somontano de Barbastro, Jacetania, Alto Gállego, Sobrarbe, and Ribagorza. It is the only modern language that developed from medieval Navarro-Aragonese.

11. Leonese. The term Leonese refers to certain vernacular Romance dialects which are spoken by 25.000 – 50.000 people in northern and western portions of the historical region of León in Spain (modern provinces of León, Zamora, and Salamanca), and in a few adjoining areas in Portugal.

12. Altoaragonese. The language is spoken by 12.000 people in the province Huesca close to Zaragoza in the north of Aragón and according to the low number of speakers the existence of the language is in danger. A Spanish law accepts, promotes and protects the language, although it is not communicated as an official language by the country.

13. Fala Galaico-Extremeña. The language is only spoken by 6.000 people, who live between Extramadura and the border of Portugal, precisely in the valley of Jálama in the towns San Martín, Eljas and Valverde.

14. Aranese. Aranese is a standardized form of the Pyrenean Gascon variety of the Occitan language spoken in the Val d’Aran, in northwestern Catalonia close to the Spanish border with France, where it is one of the three official languages beside Catalan and Spanish. The dialect of the Occitan language is spoken in the region around the valley of Arán, where it is the official language for 5.000 people.

15. Murcian. It is considered a southern dialect of the Spanish language, with influences from the Todmir dialect and from the Aragonese and Catalan languages. The language is spoken in Murcia and the adjacent regions of Andalucia, Castilla-La Mancha and Valencia but there are no official statistics about the amount of people, who speak it.

16. Silbo gomero. Silbo gomero signifies a whistle codex that was used by the aborigines (Gauchas) of the Canaries Islands to communicate across the deep ravines and narrow valleys that radiate through the island. It enables messages to be exchanged over a distance of up to 5 kilometers due to its loud nature. Silbo gomero is transposition of Spanish from speech to whistling and it is still taught as an elective course at school on the island La Gomera. In 2009 it was declared as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Note: It is important to understand that some of these languages have the same roots of language. So they are similar but not even and people can understand each other, because these languages evolved from the same family of language. Nevertheless, there are languages that distinguish themselves completely, for example the Basque or Silbo gomero.

Be aware of these different types of languages when you travel through Spain, although Castellano is the official language and it is almost spoken by everyone in Spain.

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones takes place in a barbarous medieval world, draws inspiration from the savage political infightings and incorporates several elements that have become de rigueur in fantasy novels like the sword with names or the daring deeds of arms. But the TV series has more to offer. It demonstrates the brutally human nature and a highly contemporary interest in relative morality, hierarchical injustice and bad faith. Humans have been trained since childhood to tell and listen to stories. The phenomena of Game of Thrones lies in the fact that it meets the people’s needs and transfers them into a state of trance through endless fantasy fictions and continues large-scale storytelling’s during the episodes as well as mysterious cliffhanger at the end of every other chapter. The author of the novels George R. R. Martin uses the medieval fantasy series to create political metaphors and epics for our times that are linked to human history. The series has been praised by critics and has won a Golden Globe and 14 Emmy Awards. Game of Thrones also became the most watched series on the Spanish subscription (Juego de tronos) broadcasting company Canal +.

During the five seasons of Game of Thrones that is based on ”A Song of Ice and Fire” HBO uses many different locations from Malta to Iceland, especially Spain plays a very important role in venue hosting of the series. This July Game of Thrones announced that they have added Navarra as a third location in Spain to their filming scenes in the upcoming Season Six in September. It is the second year in a row that Spain has been chosen to film locations of the popular series.

Here are the Spanish cities that were chosen for filming scenes of the Game of Thrones Season Six:

  • Girona: The city in northern Catalonia has imposing medieval city walls, towers and churches, a Jewish Quarter and four rivers crossing the city. Girona will host the worldwide hit show for at least three weeks in September. Filming will involve the city’s Old Quarter (Barri Vell), where Girona’s highlights are concentrated and two thousand years of history are on display. Rumors have been also pointing out towards the cathedral and the Jewish Quarter as possible sets for the show.
  • Peñiscola in Castellon: The seaside resort of Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coast in the Valencian Country has a fortified castle built by the Knights Templar on a headland which rears above the seaside resort. A portion of season six will also be shot in Peníscola
  • Navarra: Game of Thrones has selected the spectacular location of Bardenas Reales in Navarra, to the third Spanish location of the Sixth Season. The Bardenas Reales are a semi-desert expanse in south-east Navarra, the Bardenas boast spectacular, near-surreal, rock formations. Due to the fact that Bardenas Reales in Navarra will be the third location for the filming scenes of Game of Thrones Season Six, approximately 3.500 people past through the casting in Tudela on the 4th of July. The filming of the scene for the Sixth Season will take place in September 2015.

 

HBO begins filming Game of Thrones Season Six in Belfast in late July. Specifics on exactly what locations will be used in Girona and Peñiscola will be unveiled closer to the time of production around September 2015.

Last year the American show’s crew spent 12 days filming in Seville’s Real Alcázar palace to recreate the ‘Kingdom of Dorne’ in the series (an exotic land with a warm climate and an architectural style reminiscent of Arabian building design) and 13 days in Osuna shooting a scene of about four minutes. Cordoba’s Roman Bridge has also appeared in the show.

Here you find more about the Spanish locations of Game of Thrones from 2014:

  • Alcázar de Sevilla: Alcázar de Sevilla was the perfect spot to represent the Water Palaces of the Kingdom of Dorne. During the shot of Game of Thrones, Alcázar de Sevilla was transformed into the palatial private residence of Martell in the capital, Lanza del Sol. The place is surrounded by green gardens, beautiful pools (“Baños de Doña María”) and owns the Grotto of the Sultans. It is definitely worth to visit.
  • Plaza de toros de Osuna, Sevilla: You can see the bullring of Osuna in the fifth season, where Tyrion and Daenerys meet in the Arena of Meereen. Plaza de toros hosts one of the show’s biggest scenes and it is the most expensive series scene in the history of television.
  • The Roman bridge in Cordoba: The fascinating Roman bridge in Cordoba represents the Long Bridge of Volantis during Game of Thrones. The scences were shot with several cameras and a drone to make it look even longer. The bridge is 247 meters long and it was built by imperial troops in the first century in order to replace the wooden one.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview mit Monika

Monika is 33 years old and she lives close to Zurich in Switzerland. She was living for a couple of years in Hawaii and she worked as a remedial teacher before she came to Barcelona. Finally, she quit her job to take a break in order to have more time to enjoy her life. Spanish was one of her major subjects at secondary school. Therefore she already had the level A2 before she came to Barcelona. After an intensive course (20 hours per week) from the 18th of April till the 03rd of July she successfully graduated level B1.

Monika ist 33 Jahre alt und kommt aus der Nähe von Zürich in der Schweiz. Sie hat für ein paar Jahre in Hawaii gelebt und bevor sie nach Barcelona kam, arbeitet Sie als Heilpädagogin. Sie hat ihren Job gekündigt, um eine Auszeit zu nehmen, zu reisen und das Leben zu genießen.Spanisch war ihr Schwerpunkfach im Gymnasium, deshalb hatte sie bevor sie in Barcelona ankam bereits das Level A2. Nach einem Intensivkurs vom 18. April bis 03. Juli hat sie das Level B1 erfolgreich abgeschlossen.

 

 


Why did you decide to learn Spanish during a language course abroad? I really love traveling and realized how important the Spanish language is to make myself understood in several parts around the world, especially in Central and South America. So primary I wanted to be able to speak Spanish on a certain level to be able to have more than just basic conversations. In addition the sound of the language suits me really well and I also like being with international people. So secondary I wanted to use the language travel to refresh or improve my Spanish skills and to bond with international people.

Warum hast du dich die Sprache Spanisch und für einen Sprachauftenhalt im Ausland entschieden? Da ich Spanisch als Schwerpunktfach im Gymnasium hatte und ich sehr gerne reise, habe ich gemerkt wie wichtig Spanisch ist, damit ich mich in vielen Teilen der Welt verständigen kann, vor allem in Zentralamerika und Südamerika. Außerdem gefällt mir der Klang der Sprache sehr gut und ich wollte mein Spanisch im Zuge einer Sprachreise auffrischen bzw. verbessern. Zusätzlich wollte ich die Gelegenheit nutzen, um durch das multikulturelle Klima, dass an der Sprachschule herrscht, neue internationale Freunde kennenzulernen.


Why did you decide to learn Spanish in Barcelona? Barcelona has always been interesting for me as a holiday destination, because the city is alternative and situated at the sea and you can find a well-established creative and cultural scene. For that reason I had the possibility to visit several art courses and sights. Furthermore I got to know many international and creative people, who helped me to expand my ken and improved my creativity.

Warum hast du dich entschieden, Spanisch in Barcelona zu lernen? Barcelona war schone immer eine sehr interessante Urlaubsdestination für mich. Die Stadt ist sehr alternativ, sie liegt am Meer und hat eine große kreative und kulturelle Szene. Dadurch hatte ich die die Möglichkeit, viele Kunstkurse und Sehenswürdigkeiten zu besuchen. Des Weiteren lernte ich viele internationale und kreative Menschen kennen, wodurch ich meinen geistigen Horizont erweitern konnte und sich meine Kreativität stark steigerte. 


How did you experience the time at linguaschools? My time at linguaschools was top, the staff was really friendly and the atmosphere in common was always open, personal and familiar. The activity program after school varied every week and it was the perfect possibility to meet up and bond with other students. I knew already people in city before coming to Barcelona, because of traveling. However, due to linguaschools and the activities I was spending much more time with my new colleagues of the school than with my other friends in Barcelona. The life at the language school was diversified based on the accompanying school activities and the creative teaching methods of the teachers. I have to admit that I am a big fan of Liesbet, who is responsible for the school activities. In my opinion she is able to make easily people happy and smile with her personable and friendly behavior.

Wie hast die Zeit bei linguaschools erlebt? Die Zeit bei linguaschools war top, die Leute sind sehr sympathisch und es herrschte immer ein sehr offenes, persönliches und familiaeres Klima. Das Angebot an Freizeitaktivitäten außerhalb der Schule varierte jede Woche und es war immer eine perfekte Gelegenheit, um neue Leute kennenzulernen. Ich hatte zwar schon vor meiner Zeit in der Sprachschule Freund in Barcelona, die ich auf meinen Reisen kennengelernt habe, aber durch die Zeit bei linguaschools und den angebotenen Aktivitäten habe ich viel mehr mit den Leuten von der Sprachschule unternommen. Das Leben in der Sprachschule war durch die begleitenden Aktionen und kreativen Unterrichtsmethoden der Professoren sehr abwechslungsreich und interessant gestaltet. Ich muss gestehen, dass ich persönlich ein großer Fan von Liesbet bin. Sie ist für die Aktivitäten zuständig und meiner Meinung nach, kann sie mit ihrer super lustigen und offenen Art jedem Schüler ein Lächeln auf das Gesicht zaubern.


What was the overall impression of your stay? Due to my language travel to Barcelona I found out what “pura vida” signifies for me and how it helps me to enjoy my life to the full. During my time in Spain I realized that it is useful that I don’t have to plan my life too much in advance and that sometimes I shouldn’t take life always to serious. Therefore, I discovered that the attitude of living the moment and being spontaneous as well as undergoing of a change have a very positive effect on my personality development. During the time at linguaschools I was having so much fun and I gained a lot of positive inputs that gave me a lot of new energy and creative ideas. The stay in Barcelona enabled it to immerse into the art scene and I made new useful contacts. And finally, I build many new friendships with people from all over the world and I am already looking forward to meeting up with them in the future.

Was ist dein Gesamteindruck vom Aufenthalt? Durch meinen Aufenthalt in Barcelona habe ich entdeckt, was „pura vida“ für mich bedeutet und wie ich dadurch mein Leben in vollen Zügen genießen kann. Die Zeit in Spanien hat mir gelernt, dass ich mein Leben nicht zu strikt im Vorhinein plannen muss und es durchaus Sinn macht, das Leben nicht immer zu ernst zu nehmen. Zusätzlich habe ich feststellen dürfen, dass kleine Veränderungen, Spontantität sowie die Einstellung den Moment zu genießen, einen sehr positiven Effekte auf meine Persönlichkeitsentwicklung haben. Durch meine Zeit bei linguaschools habe ich viel Spaß erleben dürfen und  die vielen Inputs haben mir viele Energie sowie neue und kreative Ideen gegeben. Der Auftenhalt in Barcelona hat es möglich gemacht, in die Kunstzene einzutauchen, wodurch ich viele hilfreiche Kontakte knüpfen konnte. Zudem habe ich durch die Zeit bei linguaschools viele neue internationale Freundschaften geschlossen und ich freue mich bereits darauf, sie in Zukunft zu besuchen.


How did your level Spanish evolve through linguaschools in Barcelona?

I was improving my Spanish level a lot and now I am much more self-confident in Spanish conversations. After the Spanish courses I don’t have any problem anymore to join a Spanish conversation and now it is also easier to get to know Spanish spoken people. So I recognized that speaking Spanish is the key to experience the time in a Spanish spoken country much more intensive. If I drink a glass of Cava or Sangria, I can speak Spanish nearly fluent. (*smiles) According to my trip through Central America I really fell in love with the Spanish language and I wanted to improve it, because it helps a lot when getting in touch with locals. The language makes it possible to participate, when people share life experiences. Without the language you would miss all of them and I am of the opinion that without language ability it is nearly impossible to create a narrow connection between you and the locals. That’s the reason why through the Spanish course at linguaschools I lived how a language positively effects the way you experience life in a city and how much closer the relation is to inhabitants.

Wie hat sich dein Spanischniveau durch linguaschools in Barcelona entwickelt? Ich kann auf alle Fälle sagen, dass ich mich stark verbessert habe und selbstbewusster im Sprachgebrauch geworden bin. Nach meinem Sprachkursen habe ich mittlerweile keine Probleme mehr an spanischen Unterhaltungen teilzunehmen, wodurch es mir viel leichter fällt auf spanischsprechende Leute zuzugehen und neue Personen kennenzulernen. Dadurch habe ich festgestellt, dass ich den Aufenhalt und die Erlebnisse in Spanien viel intensiver wahrnehme. Wenn ich ein Glas Cava oder Sangria trinke, spreche ich fast fließend Spanisch ohne viel nachdenken zu müssen. (*lacht) Durch meine letztjährige Reise durch Zentralamerika habe ich richtig Lust bekommen, mein Spanisch zu verbessern. Man kommt durch die Sprache viel leichter in Kontakt mit den Leute und man hört und teilt  Lebensgeschichten, die einem sonst entgehen würden. Ich bin daher der Meinung, dass ohne Sprachkenntnisse nur schwer ein enge Verbindung zu den Einheimischen entstehen kann. Daher habe ich durch die Zeit bei linguaschools das Leben in Barcelona anders wahrgenommen. Ich habe erlebt, wie es sich anfüllt, wenn man durch die Sprache näher am Leben der lokalen Menschen dran ist und deren Freude erlebt, weil sie sehen, dass man den Aufwand auf sich nimmt, die Sprache zu sprechen. Die Leute sind dadurch viel offener und man erlebt „real life stories“, wodurch man die Kultur viel intensiver wahrnimmt und besser verstehen kann.


What did you do during your time in Barcelona? Pooh! I did a lot of different things. I made a list of the ones I can still remember:

  • Open Air cinema at Sala Montjuic
  • Shopping in Gracia, Calle Verdi and admiring the street arts
  • Eating Tapas in 4Gats and feeling like in a Woody Allen Movie
  • Getting inspired by the beautiful mosaics, the Palau de Musica and other marvelous art nouveau buildings
  • Palo Alto Market
  • Watched concerts in Apolo
  • Trip to Montserrat 
  • Jazz concerts in Jamboree Jazzclub Plaza Reial
  • Joining the Van Van Food Market
  • Taking a drink in the Antic theater in El Born
  • Eating in Mescladis in El Born
  • Experiencing the flew market in Barceloneta
  • Screen printing course at Print Academy workers at plaza John Lennon in Gracia
  • Coffee and cake in La Clandestina in Barrio Gotico
  • Going to my favorite restaurant in Gracia: „Quinoa“ at Travessera de Gracia
  • Jewelry course at el taller de joyeria in Poble Sec
  • Disovering the small backyards and gardens in Barcelona
  • Walking through the small alleys in El Born
  • Visiting Iglesia Santa Maria del Mar
  • Trip to Girona and Sitges
  • Going to my favorite beach platja de castell in Barcelona at the Costa Brava beaches
  • Visiting the Dali House in Cadaques
  • Celebrating at the Primavera Sound Festival

 

Was hast du in deiner Zeit in Barcelona unternommen? Puh! Ich habe viele Dinge unternommen. Hier habe ich eine Liste erstellt mit Dingen, an die ich mich noch erinnern kann:

  • Open Air Kino im Sala Montjuic
  • Bummeln in Gracia, Calle Verdi und die Straßenkunst bewundern
  • Tapasessen im 4Gats und sich wie in einem Woody Allen Movie fühlen
  • sich von der bunten Mosaikkunst, Palau de Musica und an anderen wundervollen Jugendstilgebäuden inspirieren lassen
  • Palo Alto Market
  • Konzerte im Apolo besucht
  • Ausflug zum Berg Montserrat
  • Jazzkonzert im Jamboree Jazzclub Plaza Reial
  • Besuch beim Van Van Food Market
  • was trinken gehen im Antiktheater in El Born
  • Essen im Mescladis in El Born
  • Besuch des Flohmarktes in Barceloneta
  • Siebdruckkurs bei Print Academy workers in Plaza John Lennon in Gracia
  • Kaffee und Kuchen in La Clandestina in Barrio Gotico
  • Essen in meinem Lieblingsrestaurant in Gracia: „Quinoa“ in der Travessera de Gracia
  • Schmuckkurs bei el taller de joyeria in Poble Sec
  • Erkunden der vielen kleinen Innenhoefe und –gärten 
  • Spazieren durch die Gassen von El Born
  • Iglesia Santa Maria del Mar, el Born
  • Tagesauflug nach Girona und Sitges
  • Ausflug zu meinem Lieblingsstrand in Barcelona platja de castell in Costa Brava
  • Dali House in Cadaques und cadaques selber
  • Feiern am Primavera Sound Festival

San Sebastián is the perfect destination to combine a Spanish course with a sport activity like surfing or hiking. In 2016 the Basque city will host the European capital of culture and entertainment will be guaranteed.

Enjoy a Spanish class in our Spanish school in the city center of San Sebastián and learn surfing on the best beaches of Spain after school. During the year you can there are multiple events and festivals and the nature of the region Guipúzcoa is a hidden treasure of Europe and reveals 50 million years of history.

Our Spanish school in San Sebastián is located in a modern spacious building in the district of Egía in the center of the city and you can find a lot of small bars and restaurants around this area, where you can have a coffee or a snack in your break. The popular surfers beach Zurriola is also just 10 minutes by walk from the school.

The building of the school offers a nice open-air terrace, where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful view on the district. The prices about the surf course you can find in the Spanish & fun section on our webpage.

Our school building is equipped with air-conditioning which is comfortable in the warm summer months. We provide free WIFI internet access and free use of our computers as well as a library of books and films to enhance your learning experience.

 

 

 

 

The Basque beauty at the Atlantic Ocean

When you visit the city with the Basque name Donostia you will realize that there is much more to discover than just beach and sun. The capital of the province Guipúzcoais in the autonomous Basque region is located 20 km away from the French border and offers various exhibitions, concerts, popular fiestas, sports and international events during the whole year. During the night the city is seperated into three main late-night areas. The most popular one is the Old Town. During the day this part is ruled by “txhikiteros” (groups of men and women who drink glasses of wine with pintxos) and at night it turns into a lively bar scene. The Calle Reyes Católicos is the chic area of the city, because there are modern bars with all sorts of different atmospheres and daring music. The relaxing area of San Sebastián you will find at the district of Gros, where bars are more spread out.

 


 

SPORT, CULTURE AND ART

1) La semana Grande

The title tells it already. La semana Grande signifies the big week of San Sebastián, where the whole region celebrates annually during one week. The fiestas that are also an annual activity at our language school start at the 15th of August and during this week the entire region changes into a huge party destination with hundreds of activities all around town. The rite of this special is that the locals put on their party clothes and tie a red kerchief round their neck.

The most important event during “la semana grande” is the fireworks competition. This year it celebrates its 50th edition and the est place to join it is La Concha beach.

 

2) Surffilm Festival 

San Sebastián is not only the surf center of Spain, the city also hosts one of the most important film festivals in world. The event with the name Surfilm Festibal Donostia is the world’s finest surf-film festival and has a major influence on the worldwide film industry. This June San Sebastián celebrated the 13th edition and showcased the best in surf cinema, from the major global releases to obscure indie shorts and local flavours. The Surfilm Festibal invites the audience to take a virtual tour to one of Europe’s coolest coastal cities, with great vibes and legendary late night revelry.

 

3) Jazzaldia Festival

This year the Jazzaldia Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary from the 22nd till 26th July. The annual music event invites “la-crème-de-la-crème” of the Jazz music genre to the Basque city and turns the whole city and region into the Jazz center of Europe. The musical performances take place on different terraces and spaces in the city center as well as on the beach of San Sebastián. Here you find the program of this year.

 

4) San Sebastián – the European capital of cultures 2016

In 1985, former actress Melina Mercouri, then Greece’s Minister of Culture, and her French counterpart Jack Lang came up with the idea of designating an annual Capital of Culture to bring Europeans closer together by highlighting the richness and diversity of European cultures and raising awareness of their common history and values. The celebration of the European capital of culture started with Athens in 1985. Since then more than 50 cities have followed the Greek capital.

The Commission of the European Union manages the title and each year the Council of Ministers of the European Union formally designates European Capitals of Culture. Every year the selected cities receive support from the fund “Creative Europe” of the European Union to add wealth, diversity and community to the cultural heritage of Europe.

This year the European Union celebrates the 30th anniversary of the capital of culture with the representative cities Mons in Belgium and Pilsen in Czech Repbulic. Since 2004 the European Union has voted every year for two European capitals of culture, although every three years non-member and potential states of the European Union can apply for the vote in order to announce a representative city.

On the 28th of June San Sebastián in Spain was named European Capital of culture 2016. After Salamanca and 12 years of absence the Basques city brings back the capital of culture to Spain. This project is enormously important for Spain and it is an opportunity  to boost culture and education in values in the Basques region. The city of San Sebastián publishes a program preview with thirty cultural projects for the upcoming year.

 

5) Surfing in San Sebastián

Surfing play a major role in the city of San Sebastián. Even though the birthplace of European surfing is Biarritz in France, the region around San Sebastián is widely regarded as the best urban surfing spot in all of Europe nowadays. As the popularity in the water sport grows, more surfers are coming to this region and surfing schools are open all year round.  Thousands of surfers are coming every year to the Guipúzcoais region to experience the best surfing spots in that area. You have also the possibility at our language school in San Sebastián to attend an individual surfing course in order to surf the waves of the marvelous Zurriola beaches.

 


 

DISCOVER THE NATURE OF THE BASQUE REGION

1) Geoparque de la Costa Vasca

Only a few kilometers away from San Sebastián you find some of Europe’s most important geological sites. The geoparc located between the cities of Mutriku, Deba and Zumaia connects the local population and visitors to the natural heritage of the area. When you talk a walk from Mutriku to Zumaia you can experience a trip of 50 million years of history and the flysch provides an insight on how our world has been shaped.

2) Goierri

For lovers of the countryside and mountain landscape the region Gioerri offers everything you need. The area of Ordizia, Ormaiztegi, Zerain and Ataun is perfect for hiking and visiting historical sites of interest, such as the Roman mines in the nature reserves of Aralar and Aiako Harria, just 30 minutes away from San Sebastián. If you are a fan of tradition and local products, don’t miss out the markets in Ordizia and Tolosa that take place every week and where the farmers of the region present and sell their products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sebastian lebt in Düsseldorf, Deutschland, ist 30 Jahre alt und kam zu linguaschools Barcelona, um einen Intensivkurs (20 Stunden pro Woche) für 8 Wochen zu machen. Bevor er nach Barcelona kam, arbeitete er im Marketing in Deutschland, aber er entschloss sich vor ein paar Monaten seinen Job zu kündigen, um sein Leben zu ändern und mit seiner Freundin auf eine Weltreise zu gehen, wo er neue Lebenserfahrungen sammeln kann.

Sebastian lives in Düsseldorf, Germany, is 30 years old and came to linguaschools Barcelona to do an intensive course (20 hours per week) for 8 weeks. Before he came to Barcelona he had worked in the Marketing sector in Germany, although he had decided to quit his job a couple of months ago to change his life and to be able to go on a world trip with his girlfriend to gain new life experience.


1) What was the reason for you to learn a foreign language abroad and why did you choose the city Barcelona as destination? I always wanted to learn Spanish with pleasure. I did a beginner course in Germany and saw that it takes really long to learn the basics of the language if you don’t use the language daily. Since that I am planning to go on a world trip with my girlfriend, during which we will also visit South America, I wanted to learn Spanish as quickly as possible to reach a level that enables me to have a conversation in Spanish with locals in order to travel without any problem and to create friendships. Therefore, I decided to make a language trip abroad, because I think that it is easier and faster to learn Spanish in a native country, where I am forced to speak the language every day.

I chose Barcelona as my language trip destination, because I visited the city for holidays and I always wanted to come back here to spend more time in this breathtaking city. I also wanted to stay longer in this beautiful city to live the Spanish life very close, so it was the perfect choice for me to combine a cultural experience with my intention to attend a Spanish course abroad.

1) Was hat dich dazu bewegt einen Sprachkurs im Ausland zu machen und warum hast du dich für die Stadt Barcelona entschieden? Ich wollte schon immer gerne Spanisch lernen. Ich habe einen Einstiegskurs in Deutschland gemacht und habe gesehen, dass es sehr lange dauernd, bis man die Grundlagen der Sprache erlernt, wenn man die Sprachen nicht dauernt nutzt. Da ich eine Weltreise mit meiner Freundin plane, wo ich auch Südamerika bereisen werde, wollte ich unbedingt mein Spanisch in kürzester Zeit auf ein Niveau bringen, mit dem ich mich im Ausland verständigen kann, um ohne Problem zu reisen und neue Freundschaften zu schließen. Daher habe ich mich für eine Sprachreise ins Ausland entschieden, weil ich der Meinung bin, dass man die spanische Sprache nur dann intensiv und schnell erlernen kann, wenn man die Sprache in einem spanischsprachigen Land lernt und gezwungen ist sie täglich zu nutzen. Ich habe mich für die Stadt Barcelona entschieden, weil ich schon vor ein paar Jahren hier auf Urlaub war und immer wieder in diese Stadt zurückkommen wollte, um für eine gewisse Zeit in dieser atemberaubenden Stadt zu leben und das tolle Flair und spanische Leben hautnah zu erleben. Daher war es perfekt für mich das Ziel Spanisch zu lernen, mit einem längeren Aufenthalt in dieser wundervollen Stadt zu verbinden.

 


2) What were your expectations of your language travel? I wanted to lose my fear of speaking the language in public. Therefore, I wanted to leave Barcelona with a level in Spanish that I can use to make myself understood in a Spanish spoken country. Another expectation was that I wanted to get to know a lot of people with whom I can discover the Spanish culture. I was studying 4 years in Maastricht, Holland, and I also spent 1 year in the US, where I went to High school and studied at the University. So from these experiences I can recommend that spending time abroad can help you to learn a lot about your own culture and you meet a lot of international people

2) Was waren deine Erwartungen von deiner Sprachreise? Vor allem die Angst vorm sprechen zu verlieren und Barcelona mit einem Level in Spanisch zu verlassen, mit dem ich mich auf der Reise verständigen kann. Viele Leute kennen zu lernen, wie es ist in Barcelona zu lebe und auch die Spanische Kultur kennen zu lernen. Ich habe 4 Jahre in Maastricht in Holland studiert, war ein Jahr in den USA, wo ich high school und ein Jahr Studium gemacht habe. Aus dieser Erfahrung heraus kann ich einen Auslandsaufenthalt sehr empfehlen, da man sehr viel über die eigene Kultur lernt, wenn man im Ausland ist, internationale Leute kennen lernt und auch den eigenen Lebensstil verändert.


3) Do you think that Spanish as a foreign language can help you in your business and private life? I am of the opinion that Spanish as a foreign language can help a lot in business and private life, because the language is spoken by more than 400 million people and therefore it is the 4th most spoken language worldwide. A few years ago I had contact with Spanish companies and it would have been useful for me, the company and the business relationships if I had spoken Spanish at this time. I think that these are important reasons why Spanish as a foreign language can be a huge advantage for you, because it makes it possible for you to deal with Spanish business clients and also offers you the chance to travel through Spanish spoken countries to experience the culture and get in touch with locals in order to widen your personal horizon.

3) Bist du der Meinung, dass dir Spanisch als Fremdsprache im beruflichen aber auch privaten Leben weiterhelfen kann? Ich bin der Meinung, dass Spanisch als Fremdsprache sowohl beruflich als auch persönlich sehr viel weiterhelfen kann, da die Sprache von mehr als 400 Millionen weltweit gesprochen wird und damit die 4 meistgesprochene Sprache der Welt ist. Ich hatte zum Beispiel vor 4 Jahren Kontakt mit einer spanischen Firma und es wäre für mich damals sehr nützlich gewesen, wenn ich zu diesem Zeitpunkt mit den Kunden in Spanisch sprechen hätte können. Aus diesen Gründen ist Spanisch als Fremdsprache sowohl beruflich als auch privat ein großer Vorteil, da man für Unternehmen wichtige Kontakte knüpfen sowie  spanischsprachige Länder bereisen und deren Kulturen besser kennenlernen kann, wodurch der persönlichen Horizont erweitert wird.


4) How was your first day at linguaschools? When I arrived at the school, I had to do an entry-level test that subdivided me into a specific group. The atmosphere at the language school was very nice and also for my colleagues it was the first day at school that made it easy for us to bond, because everybody was eager to get to know one another.

 4) Wie war dein erster Tag an der Sprachschule von linguaschools? Als ich ankam musste ich zu Beginn einen Einstufungstest machen und wurde dann in eine Gruppe eingeteilt. Die Atmosphäre in der Sprachschule war sehr nett und auch für meine Kollegen im Kurs war es der erste Tag, wodurch es sehr einfach war, Freundschaften zu schließen, da auch für sie alles neu war und jeder nach neuen gesucht hat.

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5) How was your time at linguaschools? Which impressions and experiences did you collect and did your expectations become true? I went really often for lunch with other students of my course after school and they became really good friends in the end. The school also offered a lot of after school activities that made it easy for me to get in touch with students from other courses. I really enjoyed the time at linguaschools, because I was really productive in the mornings and used the rest of the day to discover the city with my new friends. The time at linguaschools was really amazing and it had a tremendous impact on my level of Spanish. I will always remember about these 8 weeks and can only recommend it, because at the school there is a nice atmosphere with open-minded employees and students.

5) Wie hast du deine Zeit bei linguaschools empfunden? Welche Erfahrungen und Eindrücke hast du gesammelt und haben sich deine Erwartungen mit linguaschools erfüllt? Wir waren sehr oft nach der Schule Mittagessen, wodurch es einfach war Freunde kennen zu lernen. Durch die Schule wurde man zusätzlich im Zuge von Freizeitaktivitäten mit anderen Schülern aus anderen Kursen in Kontakt gebracht, wodurch weitere Freunschaften entstanden. Ich habe die Zeit bei linguaschool sehr genossen und es ist sehr schön, wenn man am Vormittag etwas produktives macht und danach die Zeit nutzt, um Freundschaften zu schließen und die die Stadt kennen zu lernen. Meine Erwartungen haben sich erfüllt, da ich andere Sprachschüler kennen gelernt habe, Freundschaften geschlossen habe, der Unterricht gut funktioniert hat und die Atmosphäre in der Sprachschule hervorragend war. Die Zeit war bei linguaschools war sehr toll und hat mir wahnsinnig vielfür mein Spanisch gebracht. Ich werde mich immer wieder an diese 8 Wochen zurückerinnern und kann es nur jedem weiterempfehlen, da eine nette Atmosphäre mit aufgeschlossenen Personen und Studenten herrscht.


6) How did you find the level of the language courses and the teachers? The language courses were consistently on a high level. The teachers used different education methods, responded to the level of every student individually and motivated as well as supported us during the courses. I found the balance between group work, individual works as well as classes based on studying grammar and more oriented towards practicing to talk very good and I am of the opinion that the courses helped me a lot for my Spanish.

6) Wie hast du das Level der Sprachkurse und der Sprachlehrer empfunden? Das Level der Sprachkurse war durchwegs sehr gut. Die Sprachlehrer verwendeten unterschiedliche Methoden, gingen individuell auf das Niveau der Sprachschüler ein, motivierten und unterstützten uns im Unterricht. Ich fand den Wechsel zwischen Gruppenarbeiten, individuellem Arbeiten sowie den Mix zwischen dem Lernen der Grammatik und Übungen zum Sprechen sehr gut. Ich bin definitiv der Meinung, dass mir die Kurse für mein Spanisch sehr weitergeholfen haben.


7) What did you experience during your time in Barcelona? Can you give me some examples? During the 8 weeks in Barcelona I was visiting a lot of different bars, restaurants and sights of Barcelona and Catalonia. On my days off I went on a day trips to Sant Pol, Sitges, etc. or after school  I visited different sights (Sagrada Familia, Picasso Museum, Parc Guell) of Barcelona. In the evening, I was running or relaxing at the beach and I also didn’t miss out on the parties or highlights of Barcelona during my stay.

I was celebrating San Juan and the Primavera Sound festival with other students and I also watched the champions league match between FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munich live in the Camp Nou stadium. Furthermore, I got introduced through student colleagues to Spanish and Catalan locals with whom I could get to know the Spanish and Catalan life.

7) Was hast du in deiner Zeit in Barcelona erlebt? Kannst du uns ein paar Beispiele nennen? In den 8 Wochen in Barcelona war ich sehr viel in der Stadt unterwegs und habe sehr viele Bars und Restaurants kennen gelernt. An den freien Tagen war ich auf Tagesausflügen nach Sant Pol, Sitges, uvm. oder habe nach der Sprachschule viele Sehenswürdigkeiten (Sagrada Famillia, Piasso Museum, Parc Guell) von Barcelona besucht. Am Abend war ich am Strand laufen oder habe am Strand entspannen.

Die Parties und Highlights von Barcelona habe ich natürlich auch nicht ausgelassen. Ich habe San Juan mit Freunden mit anderen Sprachschülern gefeiert, war am Primaverasound Festival und habe mir das Championsleague Spiel FC Barcelona vs. FC Bayern München im Camp Nou angeschaut. Zusätzlich habe ich über Sprachschüler Spanier und Katalanen kennen gelernt, mit denen ich das Spanische sowie Katalanische Leben kennen lernen konnte.


8) Do you think that the duration of your stay was long enough? You had a beginner level (A2) before you came to Barcelona, right? How did your level of Spanish change during your stay in Spain? Yes, I think so. I had previous but little knowledge in Spanish but now after a 8 weeks course in Barcelona I am of the opinion that I can express myself without any problem in order to have a conversation only in Spanish. At the beginning I was happy simply buying a new backpack in Spanish and towards the end I was able to have basic conversations in Spanish with locals.

8) War deiner Meinung nach dein Aufenthalt lang genug um Spanisch zu lernen? Du hattest zu Beginn deiner Sprachreise Anfängerniveau (A2), stimmt das? Wie hat sich dein Sprachniveau während deines Sprachaufenthalts in Spanien verändert? Ja ich denke schon. Ich hatte ein paar Vorkenntnisse, bin aber jetzt auf einem Spanischlevel, mit dem ich mich eigenständig ausdrücken kann und keine Probleme mehr habe, eine Spanische Unterhaltung zu machen. Ich habe mein Spanisch deutlich verbessert und ich merke im Nachhinein, dass ich zu Beginn froh war, wenn ich einen Rucksack auf Spanisch kaufen konnte. Jetzt bin ich in der Lage Unterhaltungen auf Spanisch zu führen.


9) If a person walks up to asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give him or her your best tip to learn Spanish, what would it be? I would give the person the advice to learn Spanish in a Spanish speaking country, because you are obliged to speak or use the language every day. At the beginning it is useful to make an intensive course to arrive as fast as possible at a certain level of Spanish. As soon as you have the basics you should do a language exchange with locals or Spanish speaking people to practice the language. In addition it is important that you try to speak only in Spanish with your schoolmates after school!

9) Stellt dir vor du hast nur ein paar Minuten Zeit und eine Person kommt auf dich zu und fragt dich nach deinem Rat, wie man am besten Spanisch lernen kann. Was würdest du dieser Person empfehlen? Ich würde der Person empfehlen in einem spanischsprachigen Land die Sprache zu lernen, da man dort gezwungen ist, die Sprache im täglichen Leben zu benutzen. Zu Beginn ist es sinnvoll einen Intensivkurs zu machen, damit man so schnell wie möglich die Grundlagen lernt. Sobald man dann ein gewisses Level erreicht hat, sollte man zusätzlich noch ein Tandem mit Einheimischen oder spanischen Muttersprachlern machen, damit man das Gelernte sofort in die Praxis umsetzt, wodurch es gefestigt wird. Zusätzlich sollte man versuchen, mit den Mitschülern auch außerhalb der Schule nur Spanisch zu sprechen!

 

The Fiesta de San Juan is a special Christian night and is celebrated on the 23rd of June every year, the night before St. John’s day, which is a public holiday in Catalonia and has been highly important for the Catalan people since the 14th century. During the night of the 23rd of June the Catalans celebrate the birth of the preacher and prophet John the Baptist, because he has a close relationship to the summer solstice, which occurs when the tilt of a planet’s semi-axis, in either the northern or the southern hemisphere, is most inclined toward the star that it orbits.

This happens twice each year, at which times the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the north or the south pole. The summer solstice day has the longest period of daylight – except in the polar regions, where daylight is continuous, from a few days to six months around the summer solstice.

During the Nit de Sant Joan, as the fiesta is known in Catalan, the people celebrate the longest period of daylight during the year with fire, which is an old symbol for the sun and Christ. The ceremony is named after John the Baptist, who said that Jesus would be baptized with “fire and spirit”. The Sant Joan festival or often called night of fire is a special event in some parts of Spain (especially Catalonia) that celebrates the midsummer eve during the evening of 23rd of June every year. This night is one of the biggest, noisiest and craziest parties in Barcelona and is celebrated by the Catalans with fire, fireworks, Cava and cakes.

Oh yes linguaschools Barcelona celebrated San Juan…and we celebrated it the right way! We met at the metro station with a big group, but already lost half of the group on our way to the beach. Fortunately the whole group reunited within an hour. We sat down in the sand, enjoyed the music from the DJ at the chiringuito, watched the fireworks and had a pica pica. When the time was there, we went to the dance floor and showed some great dance moves. So, it’s official now, let the summer begin!!!!

 

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