Learning Spanish in Argentina.
Many travellers come to South America in search of a big adventure. Not only do they want to travel to exotic places but they also want to get a feel for the culture, people and food.To do this you need to be able to speak a little bit of Spanish. People often look at me in disbelieve when I tell them that not a lot of people speak English here. It is true. Spanish is the official language of most countries in South America. Sure you can get by with hand signals and in the bigger cities you will find people who do speak English but as soon as you start to travel you will undoubtedly find yourself in situations where you have to know some Spanish.
That is why travellers look for a good Spanish school where they can get the basics before they set off into the sunset. There are many Spanish Language Schools in Argentina and most of them are centred in Buenos Aires city. Although the hustle and bustle of the big city sounds appealing in the beginning it does become stressful when you have to endure this every day and study a new language. Travellers are now looking for an alternative to the big cities. That is exactly what Cordoba City offers the travel/student – a tranquil environment with city flair.
Recently I got an invitation to visit Coined Language School in Cordoba city to learn more how a language school works. I couldn`t resist, seeing that I am a foreigner, who also had to go through the process of learning Spanish. I was dying to see what they have to offer students and travellers.
I was greeted by a very friendly receptionist.
The building was cool and the atmosphere inviting. I had an appointment to meet with the Director of the School, Mercedes Correa. While I waited I couldn`t help to notice the colorful walls and warm and friendly atmosphere.
I was just in time to meet a freshman group who had just arrived in Cordoba. They were busy having empanadas and I was invited to have lunch with them and then join them on a quick city tour. The group consisted of people from Brazil, Lichtenstein, The UK and the USA. I was curious to know why they have chosen Cordoba over Buenos Aires but decided to wait for the right opportunity. When I return I will get to see the school and learn more about the activities and the Spanish course that they offer.
A city tour and introduction to the rest of the group.
The tour kicked off with an overview of the city. This helps students to orientate themselves and to get a feel for the city. Something that I liked a lot and that I think is important. I found it interesting that the guide immediately started to speak Spanish. I asked her if all the students can understand and she told me that some of them have a little bit of knowledge but it is important to start speaking in Spanish immediately. Yes you are thrown into the deep end but this is the best way to start learning a new language. She pointed out that students are welcome to ask questions in English.
The guide was very passionate about the city and pointed out many interesting facts about Cordoba city, like the canals. They are running through the middle of the city and offer a little bit of an oasis in a city that doesn`t have a lot of water.
The city tour lasted for an hour and we took in many landmarks and facts. I took a group of students with me back to the language school and I had an opportunity to speak to some of them in particular the girl from Barzil.
Q: Why did you choose to come to Cordoba to study Spanish?
A: Buenos Aires is too busy and too hot. I wanted to take Spanish lessons in a place that reminds me more about home. The climate and nature appealed to me.
Q: Do you have a knowledge of Spanish?
A: Yes I have been studying Spanish part time for 2 years but it is not enough and I decided to come and study at a language school.
Q: What appealed to you about Coined?
A: They were professional and offered a package which included accommodation and cultural activities that I liked.
Q: For how many weeks are you taking lessons?
A: For 2 weeks and then I need to get back to work.
It was time to say goodbye to the students and to spend some time with Mercedes. Coined has been a round for some years and have language schools all over South America.They offer a variety of courses for students that will suit your pocket and meet your expectations.
The school offers the following courses:
- Intensive (20 Group lessons per week)
- Super Intensive ( 30 group lessons per week)
- Immersion ( 20 Group lessons per week plus 5 private lessons)
- Private (10 private lessons per week)
The school has some amazing facilities and services:
- 19 spacious classrooms
- 2 Backyards with a swimming pool
- Balconies with a beautiful view of the city
- Welcome lunch and city tour on arrival
- Weekly calender with cultural and fun activities
- Free Internet access and W-Fi
- Free coffee, tea and water
- 24 hour emergency telephone number
One of the class rooms – all the class rooms are painted in different colours.
I also had an opportunity to have a look at the course content. The material is excellent quality. Mercedes explained to me that they use methods that include:
- Experience-based learning
- Theory and practice along with socio-cultural information
- Combined exercises
- Activities that promote your active and intellectual involvement
- Dynamic, open-minded teachers who are motivated and care about their students.
My conclusion: An excellent school with motivated and friendly staff. An environment which encourages creativity and makes learning a new language fun!
Take the chance of learning Spanish in a University city full of welcoming people willing to help you get immersed in their culture. Cordoba also combines night life and a young spirit with blends of European culture and colonial feeling.
If you are interested to get to know more about the school, please contact Mercedes Correa.
Tollfree within Argentina: 0810-266-5464
Cellphone Number: 0351 – 153110016
Local Contact Number: 0351 – 4247877 (9am to 5pm)