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student review

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Sheree is young at heart, athletic and lives in a small town in British Columbia, Canada. She enjoys mountain biking, road cycling, swimming, kayaking, camping, snow skiing and travel to experience different cultures.  After a career in finance, she is now a photographer and designs websites, but mostly she is retired and enjoys travel, life and everything about it.

 


 

Why did you decide to learn Spanish and why did you choose to learn the language during a language course abroad?

I spent quite a bit of time in Mexico and Spain as a high school and university student. I learned some Spanish, but later in life my career got in the way of using the language for many years. I’ve always loved the language and Mexico and I wanted to pick up the language again. A friend recommended Guanajuato and Linguaschools in Mexico, so I asked my partner Bob if he was willing to try it. We did and immediately we both loved the school and Guanajuato. We both feel that learning the language is the best way to completely enjoy the people, culture and total experience of being in another country, and learning Spanish in the country is the easiest way to learn.


How did your Spanish level improve during your stay?

Our first visit was for only 2 weeks, since then we have come at least once per year for 2 or 4-5 weeks.  We both began with 4 classes per day, Bob at the very beginner level, me at an intermediate level. I then moved to 2 private classes per day and Bob continues with 4 classes per day.  Each year our level improved.  Now, both of us can understand, write and speak Spanish much better than when we first came to the school, no doubt. I can now communicate effectively with anyone, my Spanish is “fluid”  say most people.  But my grammar and vocabulary always need work, of course. The school has made every effort to teach us, accommodate our needs and have lots of fun at the same time.

 


Why did you decide on Guanajuato? Why should someone visit this city? 

Guanajuato is a UNESCO world heritage site.  It is old and very interesting, a pedestrian downtown with little vehicle traffic.  The small streets (callejones) are old, picturesque, often very steep and like nothing anywhere else.  Although Guanajuato ‘s population is about 175,000, it has the feeling of a much smaller town. The city is the capital of the state of Guanajuato, a Mexican tourist town and a University town, so it’s lively, vibrant and few people speak English, making it a perfect place to learn Spanish and have an enjoyable time doing it. There are many events, concerts, celebrations and activities to enjoy, so we never lack for anything to “do”. There are many cafés and restaurants of all types and it is easy to navigate on foot, taxi or bus. There are many weekend trip options from Guanajuato (Morelia, Patzcuaro, Mineral de Pozos, San Miguel de Allende, Dolores Hidalgo, Santa Rosa, Guadalajara), it all depends on your particular interests. Guanajuato is centrally located in Mexico, so it is easy to get a bus from Guanajuato to Mexico City, or Guadalajara (and then on to the coast).

[here you find even more reasons to visit Guanajuato]

The weather in Guanajuato is wonderful when we visit in the fall or winter.  Beautiful sunny days, cool high desert nights.  In contrast, late fall weather in BC is wet and cold rain before our ski area opens.  We are extremely happy to be in Guanajuato when it is poor weather at home for the outdoor sports we enjoy.

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What did you do during your time at Linguaschools?

The school offers group activities and various trips – we have learned how to create an altar for Día de los Muertos, experienced the Bicentennial exposition, visited the famous winter Monarch butterfly refuge in Michoacán, visited a tequila factory, and have been to the Peralta ruins. In the afternoons we have played Loteria, taken salsa dance lessons,  cooking lessons, and watched Spanish movies.

 


 

Which are your favorite things to do in Guanajuato?

The traditional tours will take you to the Alhondiga, Teatro Juarez, the Basilica, the Jardin, Mercado Hidalgo and several other wonderful places to learn about the city and its unique history, and Guanajuato has many annual celebrations with parades and music (Día de los Muertos, Day of the Revolution, Illuminaciones, Festival Internacional Cervantino).

We frequently check the signboards in the Jardin for upcoming events at the Teatro Juarez, Teatro Principal, University Film Club and Casa Cuatro.  These are outstanding performances of all types (and free or very low cost!).

It’s always wonderful to simply wander around town with a camera, watch the people from a bench in a plaza or sip a coffee in a café. But specifically, a few of my (and our) favorite things to do are:

El Pipila:  a walk up to the Pipila monument is good exercise rewarded with a wonderful view of Guanajuato and learning about some of the history.  There are several routes, so it’s a trip to do more than once.  You can walk the various routes or a  taxi can take you to the top.  It’s also very interesting to get up high in other parts of Guanajuato to get views of the Pipila!  Guanajuato is just over 2,000 metres altitude, so we walk slower the first week just because of the altitude.

Centro Acuatico:  the relatively new aquatic centre is a 50 meter by 25 meter lap pool and a separate pool with diving platforms.  To swim there, you will need to take an easy short swimming test and buy a pass for at least 4 visits.   It’s a short cab ride from the centro and is a wonderful complement to studying a few hours each day during the week.  There are state-wide and Mexican national competitions at the facility.

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Mountain bike riding and rock climbing: many people hike up, but I prefer to cycle up to the famous cave that is at the base of the Bufa, a mountain seen from most higher points in town.  There is a narrow path for hiking up, or a dirt road for cycling up.  Some cars will drive up, but only a few because the road is rough and steep in spots. The views are spectacular all the way.  There are about 80 rock climbing routes around the Bufa and Bob likes to rock climb up there, it’s all sport climbing.  Renting a mountain bike to explore the Panorámica road above Guanajuato and/or the Bufa provides wonderful views and the chance to see the various parts of the City. In late November there has been a very popular downhill mountain biking race down the steep and narrow steps and streets and this is a great spectator sport.


 

How can you summarize your language travel and stay in Guanajuato?

Learning the language has allowed us to enjoy Guanajuato and Mexico more each year.  Being able to communicate in Spanish has allowed us to make friends here, have interesting conversations in Spanish and learn even more about the wonderful people and culture of Mexico.  Because of Guanajuato’s central location, it’s been easy to visit many places near and further from Guanajuato, exploring and enjoying Mexico with new and old friends.  Bob and I sincerely appreciate all that Linguaschools has done to teach us Spanish.

I’m Marit, I’m 23 years old and I come from a small town around 30 kilometers above Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  When I finished university in September 2014, I had no idea what to do with my life. I studied Global Health and I realized needed to become more international in order to get a career in this field, so an extra language would be a good add to my resume.  So, why not choose to learn one of the most beautiful languages in the world, Spanish?


Before deciding to go to Ecuador, I followed a ‘Spanish for beginners’ course in Amsterdam. However, my bad language knowledge and lack of time to really study didn’t help me. That’s when I realized I needed to plunge in Spanish to actually be able to speak the language some day. But where to go? Spain is quite close to home and I felt I needed a challenge, an adventure. South America would be perfect for that. After searching the Internet for days, I found a cute little party town at the coast of Ecuador. As I love the beach and cocktails, the decision was easily made: I am going to Montañita!

Although I had some minor beginner knowledge of Spanish, in Montañita I started all over again in the beginner class. In total I had an 8-weeks of lessons. The first 4 weeks I had group lessons. I had 2 hours of lessons in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. The group lessons were really good, especially in the beginning you need a lot of vocabulary, and it is fun to learn together with your fellow students with the help of games etc. The structure the teachers have with explaining grammar is perfect.

In the beginning I was in a class of mostly 5 or 6 people (which is the maximum for group lessons), but later on higher levels I had just one or two other fellow student. Despite the fact that I liked the group lessons, I really wanted to switch to private lessons. Being in private lessons forces you to talk, as there is nobody else to answer questions or to help you translate something. Also, when you are in private lessons you can choose what you want to learn and if you want to slow down or move quicker. For example: I needed to practice more speaking in stead of learning all grammar forms, so for the last 2 weeks of classes I mostly chatted with my teachers. I love that during these 2 weeks we talked a lot about the Ecuadorean life and habits. Talking about these things learns you a lot about culture too, which was really interesting.

My experience with Linguaschools in Montañita was amazing. The teachers and staff were always friendly, fun and enthusiastic. The positive vibe really helps you to stay motivated, as learning a new language can be frustrating sometimes. Everybody at the school is flexible and helpful.

Thanks to the school my Spanish improved greatly. I went from knowing some words when I arrived, to being able to chat in Spanish, which I am so happy with. For example: when I arrived in Ecuador, a driver picked me up from the airport (you can arrange this pick up with the school, I really liked it, especially when you arrive at night!). The driver didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Spanish, so there was a huge language barrier there! But when I left Ecuador 8 weeks later, I was talking to people I met on the airport, and chatting with them in Spanish.


Next to learning Spanish, the school also offers surf lessons. Often you surf in between classes. For example you have Spanish class 8-10, surfing from 10-12 and class again 13-15. And yes, you need a nap after that! I really liked the surfing classes, there are amazing teachers who help you and are very motivating and cheerful go get you standing on the board. The lessons are given in the next town where it is quiet, a perfect place to practice. Transport is included. I had a total of 10 lessons and I had a lot of fun during them, and I am definitely able to catch some good (baby) waves now!

During my stay I went on 2 trips organized by the school. To Baños and Cuenca. Both trips were beautiful, really well organized. Great hostels and great activities. Both cities are definitely worth visiting. Baños is a place where you have a variety of extreme sports, of which I tried ziplining, mountainbiking from a mountain and rafting! Cuenca on the other hand is a beautiful city with lots of churches and culture.


During my stay in Montañita, I had a room in de Cabanas, which is close to the school (around 5 min walk). I loved this place. Almost everybody who stays here is also a student at the school. At the cabanas there are many events like water volleyball in the swimming pool, barbeques, cooking nights, movie nights and of course lots of pre parties! The Cabanas have dorms and private rooms. I had a private room, which was huge! The room was cleaned everyday, bed sheets every week. Although you don’t spend that much time in your room, I loved it, as it was a perfect place to have some quiet time on your own.


About the little town: Montañita is amazing. It’s definitely a touristic place, but it’s really fun and sociable. There are so many cool people from all over the world who visit this place. The beach is beautiful; I loved swimming in the ocean and jumping over the big waves. Then there is the cocktail street, where you can buy impressive cocktails for only 3 dollars! After you finished your cocktail, you are ready to dance in a nice bar called Caña grill. Often there is life music early in the evening, and later on the DJ puts on some nice booty shaking music to go loose on. Off course there are so many more bars and clubs in Montañita, but to be honest I have been in Caña grill most of the time, as it was a lot of fun.

As a vegetarian I was a bit worried about the food before arriving in Ecuador. But luckily for me Montañita is full of nice little places and restaurants where you can enjoy yummy lunch or dinner with great vegetarian options too! There is for example a fruit salad street where there are little stands where they sell amazing fruit salads, omelets, sandwiches and yummy smoothies. Perfect for lunch! Also I loved a little restaurant, which we called ‘the wrap place’, as they sell great wraps. But my absolute favorite place to go was Kaffeina, a small restaurant near the church in Montañita. For me as a vegetarian this place was heaven, as they had vegetarian burgers and green curries, all freshly made. And then I didn’t even tell you yet about their perfect deserts! Further I recommend going to Savannah LaMar, a small bar at the beach. Try their cocktail called basil smash, its so good! Oh, and after dancing your butt off in Caña grill, don’t forget to treat yourself on an delicious empanada they sell on the way to the cabanas!

Although Montañita is full of places where you can have yummy food, most of the time I prepared food together with friends in the cabanas. Fruits and veggies are really cheap in Montañita. Therefore, cooking dates, hangover pancake-baking mornings, toast-brunches and avocado-lunches were often seen in the Cabanas.

I am so glad I chose this Linguaschools to learn Spanish. I don’t think this experience couldn’t have been any better. The combination of learning Spanish, surfing, partying and chilling in such an amazing little town was perfect. I met so many cool people and we all had a great time together. I am really going to miss this place and I am pretty sure I coming back to Montañita someday to study more Spanish! (just like a lot of other travelers do as well)

Tom is 27 years old and comes from Leigh, near Manchester. He studied Medicine in Liverpool and is now working as a doctor in London. Tom likes reading history and novels, playing guitar, running and swimming. He speaks French, because he went to Angers (Pays de Loire) in the Northern part of France for an exchange program, when he was a student. Before he came to Barcelona he was working in Intensive Care Medicine in London. Due to the fact that he got a new job beginning in August he decided to go abroad and to learn a new language, because he had an opportunity to do something else whilst he was between jobs. Tom used the duolingo app to get some basics before he went on his language travel to Barcelona. When he arrived he had Spanish level A1 and after 4 weeks of the intensive course at linguaschools he reached the A2 level.


Why did you decide to learn Spanish and why did you choose to learn the language during a language course abroad?

My girlfriend spent 4 months in Argentina to learn Spanish. She traveled to South America before and she fell in love with Argentina. That’s why she wanted to go back there to learn the language properly. During her time in Argentina I visited her in Buenos Aires for 3 weeks and I could see that her level of Spanish helped us a lot to experience the culture and country much more deeply. That’s the reason why I wanted to use the short time during my job change to learn Spanish in an efficient way in order to catch up with my girlfriend’s level of Spanish. Another reason is that on the long term I and my girlfriend would like to work and live in a Spanish speaking country, especially in South America.

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How did your Spanish level improve during your stay?

I started with nearly no level of Spanish. After 4 weeks intensive course at the language school I feel quite comfortable in terms of understanding Spanish. I can’t say whatever I want but I understand a lot. In case of travelling to Spanish speaking countries, for example booking a hotel, asking locals for information, etc., I feel totally confident and would survive without any problem, because I could easily order food and drinks. (*laughs)


Why did you decide for Barcelona? Why should someone visit this city?

Barcelona was a quick and spontaneous decision. However, there are two reasons, why I had the city in my mind. First, probably my favorite English author George Orwell wrote about Barcelona, in “Homage to Catalonia”, where he recounts his experiences of the Spanish Civil War. So I wanted to come and see the city he wrote about.

Second, Barcelona is a city with a kind an edge to it, because people are little bit more radical and the city is quite different than the rest of Spain. I knew about the Catalan identity and I wanted to find out more about it. Also, the city seems an independent and unique place to visit. You have the mountains behind and the sea in front of the city. The food and drink is great, the architecture is just incredible and there are so many different areas with a different atmosphere in just one city.


What did you do at linguaschools?

The life at school was really sociable and the activities helped me to meet people from different classes. During my time at linguaschools I joined the Tapas tour in Poble Sec and I went on a picnic in the Parc de la Ciutadella with the school. I also played Volleyball and celebrated San Juan with students at the beach of Barcelona and I went on a city trip to visit Sitges, the city of artists. Due to the fact that I made friends easily at school I did a lot with them after school classes and activities as well.


Which are your favorite spots to visit in Barcelona?

There are three venues that are really special for me in Barcelona.

  • Can Paixano (La Xampanyeria): It’s a factory shop for wine a couple of streets back from the beach. They are specialized in cava and you can get a glass of it for 1.60 € and around 6 € for a bottle. It a cool bar in Barceloneta which is always absolutely packed. I really enjoyed it, because it is so lively and the food is flying out of kitchen. So I suppose they cook food continuously for people to order it and they serve you really fast.
  • Bar Marsella: The bar has been existing since 1820 and it is the oldest bar in town and specialises in absinthe. It seems like they never changed anything on the interior design and the fact that it has signs from the Franco regimes which show the repression of the Catalan language made it even more interesting for me; like travelling in time.
  • Olympic Swimming pool at Montjuic: The city of Barcelona built this pool for the Olympic Summer games 1992. It is a swimming pool with an astonishing view, where you see more or less over whole Barcelona. The pool is only open in the summer and it opens in early July.

How can you summarize your language travel and stay in Barcelona?

Barcelona is a great play to come and study. I wouldn’t be to put off that there is Catalan and Spanish, because a lot of people speak Spanish. I would definitely come back to learn Spanish in Barcelona, because I went from no Spanish to level A2, only because of school. In addition I met so many great people, who have a similar outlook on life and similar attitudes. The life at school makes it really easy to integrate and I met with some extremely funny and nice people, for example Vitali from Ukraine, Helle from Norway and Charlotte from London. That’s also an important reason why it is best to learn a language abroad, because you meet so many people from all over the world.

João is 22 years old and comes from Lisbon in Portugal. Currently he is doing a Spanish course at linguaschools in Madrid. Just before coming to Madrid he was finishing his Master’s in Business Management, and he will continue once his stay here is over. He is a fun and active person, who often looks for new adventures in life. He is always eager to learn something new, and the search for knowledge keeps him moving. His hobbies include reading, writing and, of course, travelling (when he can!). He usually doesn’t like to stay in one place for a long time and often look for new opportunities to stay “on the road”. Before he came to Madrid he had level B1 and he chose an intensive course with 4 hours per day, 5 days per week, for 2 months to become fluent.


Why did you decide to learn Spanish and why did you choose to learn the language during a language course abroad?

I have always been fond of learning new languages and I felt that since I already had a basic level of Spanish, extending my knowledge of it should not be too hard, and the best way to do it would be to actually live in a Spanish speaking country. I believe that the Spanish culture is quite similar to the one from my country, and therefore I would fit in quite nicely and without the need to go through an adaptation period. Also, given that Spanish is currently the second most spoken language in the world, I also think that improving my proficiency may be beneficial to my academic and professional career.


What was your reason to go to Madrid and since when have you been here?

I arrived in Madrid in the first of June. For me, studying in this city was a very obvious choice. It is the capital of Spain, internationally known for its multicultural environment, gastronomy and nightlife. Besides, it’s quite close to my hometown! Overall, I was under the impression that Madrid would be very impressive and appealing to me, a big metropolis full of life and young people, and I can happily say that my suspicions were confirmed.


How did you experience your time at school?

This wonderful experience started at my very first day at the school. There were many international students from different places taking similar courses at the school, and it was easy to meet people and make new friends, which made my language learning process even faster. The course that I took was conversation-based and, in my opinion, this is best way to learn (and you really had to participate!). The Academia also held many events that brought the students together, and in no time I was already making plans to fill my afternoons after class.


How did your Spanish level evolve during your stay?

When I first arrived in Madrid, I could understand a bit of Spanish since I had studied it before and due to its similarity to my native language, even though I could only form some basic sentences. I think that I started improving from the very first day I stepped into class. I, just like all the other students, had to communicate fully in Spanish, and the teacher was very attentive and corrected all our mistakes. Of course, since I’ve been living in Madrid for this period, I am also very exposed to the language on a daily basis and I have to make use of it in many daily life situations: going to the supermarket, asking for directions or even talking to someone in a nightclub!


Why should someone visit Madrid?

The question is: why shouldn’t they? This city has everything that you’re looking for. International environment? Check. Great cuisine? Check. Fantastic nightlife? Check. Impressive art scene? Check. Madrid is quite touristic, and there are many places to explore, from the famous Prado museum to the beautiful Retiro park. Also, Spain has quite a unique way of life and I believe that Madrid fully represents it. People take the time to enjoy a good meal during lunchtime and during the afternoon the streets will be almost empty: it is the famous “siesta” time. When the day is ending, you will see the locals coming out of their house for some “tapas” and maybe a “caña”. I think that visiting in Madrid is a very important cultural experience due to its uniqueness, and everyone should come at least once in their life.


Which touristic spots are really worth to visit?

Madrid is a big city and it has a lot to see, but if we have to narrow it down to a short number of places, I would definitely recommend Plaza Mayor, the heart of city that still holds a very significant historic significance; the Prado and Reina Sofia museums, where you can find widely known paintings by Picasso, Goya, Miró and many others; Templo de Debod, even though it may be smaller than you expect, it is an important artifact since it was constructed about 2200 years ago. For a more local insight, I recommend going to one of the many “terrazas” in Calle del Toledo, taking a stroll around Gran Via and paying a visit to the famous Rastro in La Latina.


Which insiders’ tip don’t you find in a tour guide?

Did you know that there is a “beach bar” in Madrid? Ojalá, in Malasaña, has its floors covered in sand where you can sit, relax and enjoy a beer.

Would you like to dine in the same place as Hemingway once did? Look no further. Sobrino de Botín, near Plaza Mayor, is one of the oldest restaurants in the world and they would be happy to receive you. If you would like to see a recreation of Lucifer being expelled out of heaven, Madrid is also the place to go: the Retiro Park is home to the fallen angel, a statue that depicts that exact scene.


Which restaurants can you recommend?

There are many places in Madrid where you can have a real taste of Spanish cuisine. Between ten and mid-day, many restaurants offer a day menu that is usually large, cheap and composed by traditional dishes. By evening, many a tapas bar is what you are looking for: “tortilla”, “morcilla” or “patatas bravas” are very common and any bar will serve them. Whether you are walking in the city center or in the surrounding areas, it will be easy to find a place that suits your needs.

 


What are your favorite places to go out in Madrid?

In my opinion, Madrid can be enjoyed by night as much as during the day. There are many discos and hot spots all around town, and different neighborhoods often sport different styles so you have to explore a bit in order to find a place where you feel truly familiar. From Sol, the main plaza of the city, you can find several nightclubs in the streets close-by. La Latina, another central area, is manly famous by its many bars and attractive prices. In Malasaña and Chueca you will find yourself in the middle of the hipsters and trendy scene of the city – people gather in the streets to drink, talk and spread their joyful Spanish energy. You can get very acquainted with the city in a short amount of time.


What are your favorite “beaches” or places to swim in Madrid or in regions around the center?

A lot of people may think that there are no beaches in Madrid but I will let you in on a little secret: in Pelayos de la Presa you will find the famous Pantano de San Juan where you will find over 10 kilometers of beaches and where you can bath as much as you want. Even so, if you prefer to spend a day in the city you may wish to visit one of the many public pools of Madrid, such as Universidad Complutense’s in Moncloa or Canal de Isabel II in Ríos Rosas.


Which markets can you recommend?

When speaking about markets, three immediately come to mind: First, Mercado de San Miguel, right next to Plaza Mayor. This is a specialized food market where you can find samples of many traditional spanish foods, from “Cocido” to “Paella”. All the ingredients are very fresh and just walking around this market will make you hungry. Secondly, I have to mention El Rastro. This is a flea market that is held every Sunday morning in La Latina, so remember not to sleep in. You will find yourself surrounded by dozens of stalls that sell all sorts of items, such as books, clothes and souvenirs, all at a bargain price. Finally, take your time to visit the farmer’s market in Matadero. Here you will find fresh and quality products that will make you want to come back.


What are you going to do after your travel to Madrid?

After these months in Madrid, I will spend six months in Italy as an Erasmus student. Once I finish my studies, I certainly plan to return to Spain.


If a person walks up to you asking for advice and you only had a few minutes to give him or her your best tip to learn Spanish, what would it be?

Meet the locals! Many “Madrileños” are eager to meet foreigners and will welcome you with open arms. Spend as much time as you can with them practicing your Spanish and you will be speaking fluently in no time!

My name is Gijs Vaessen, I am a second year marketing student at the Hanze hogeschool Groningen (Netherlands). In this year there is a half year scheduled for an internship, I chose to do my internship abroad because it is a once in a life time opportunity that you should take! In high school I have had 2 years of Spanish classes, which I always found very interesting, and I wanted to improve my Spanish. So my vision was aimed at Spain for an internship.


Why did you decide to go to Valencia and to make an internship abroad?

I wanted to make sure that my internship was at a high educational level and was linked to my education, but I also wanted to enjoy my free time. When I was searching for a city, I first looked at Barcelona and Madrid which are both big cities in Spain, but I realized they didn’t offer exactly what I was looking for. The third big city of Spain is Valencia and I was really surprised about what you can do there. I chose this city, because it is located at the beach, the city has beautiful architecture and it has a perfect size, where you can easily bike through the whole city  and the prices for food, drinks and rent are cheaper then in Barcelona or Madrid. Furthermore, I also found my perfect internship at Linguaschools in the city center of Valencia.


Why did you decide to make a Spanish course?

On 20th of April I started my internship and from the minute I arrived in Spain I noticed that the people here are very open and kind and everyone is enthusiastic and helpful. This is the same with my colleges in the office and in the school. Apart from my working hours I follow Spanish classes each day at Linguaschools, because I want to learn Spanish as quick as possible and I am sure it will help me to integrate much faster. My Spanish has been improving by miles and I know for sure that at the end of my internship I will communicate in Spanish without any problems. The way of teaching at the school is very different than I am used to, because there is a lot of communication in the classes and you put your knowledge immediately to practice. The teachers teach with a lot of enthusiasm so that the 2 hours fly by each day.


Why should someone visit Valencia?

Valencia is a beautiful city with so many things to do and you will never be bored! There are so many places where you can eat traditional Valencian food, for example the original Paella, and have a drink for a very low price. What I enjoy very much about Valencia is the Jardin del Turia that is the park that runs 9 km through whole Valencia and is the biggest urban city garden in Europe. In this park you find a mixture of beautiful buildings and fantastic nature.

At the weekends I really like going to the huge white sandy beaches of Valencia which are only 10 – 15 minutes away from the city center and easily reached by public transport. My favorite beach is Malvarrosa, where I spend most time of the weekend. On the evenings during the week or after the beach on the weekend I like going out with my friends in the old town area El Carmen as well as in the areas Marina or Aragon to take some drinks and to enjoy the flair of the city. The area of El Carmen is known for being a place to head for bars, clubs and restaurants. Plaza de la Virgen is a good place to start and when you walk down the streets like Calle Caballeros you will find a wealth of places to go eating and drinking. The Marina area is a slightly more chic place to go out and it is close to the beach of Valencia. You find some big clubs in this area but there are also a lot of seafood restaurants and cocktail bars that enable a view on the Mediterranean sea.

Due to the fact that most of the universities and language schools are situated between Avenida de Aragon and Plaza del Cedro in the area Aragon, this part of the city is well-known for university and language course students. The squares and bars are most popular with a student crowd and you can find drinks and food for cheap prices.

I have been here now for almost three months and I have already seen and done so much in this city, but I know there is still so much to discover. Valencia is a marvelous city, which I can recommend to everyone and I will definitely come back here in the future.

I am looking forward to the next months here in Valencia and I am glad that I chose this city as my Spanish destination the place to do my internship. I am sure that I will miss the city a lot when I will go back to Holland but I know that this great experience will definitely help me to mature and will be a huge advantage for my professional future.

 

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

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!

 

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