barcelona spanish

Special Feature

Spanish school in Barcelona, Spain

Monday 5rd January 2004
By David Jones, BCNews

spanish school barcelona
Choose Barcelona for Spanish

Dave Jones chose Barcelona in Spain to study Spanish. Read his comments about finding a language school and learning to speak Spanish.

Why choose Barcelona to study Spanish?

I had already been to Barcelona on a few weekend trip and just had the most fantastic time in the city. It was quite obvious that there was so much more to see and do than I could pack into more weekends, so the only course of action was to come back for a few month to study Spanish and explore Barcelona and the Spanish culture to the max.

For once in my life I really felt that I had made the right decision! Barcelona is everything I wanted it to be and more. Truly a fantastic city with a superb vibe. There is so much to do! The climate is perfect!  Miles of beaches and clear water in the summer and snow covered mountains only 2-3 hours away in the winter. Mad nightlife, great food and I have met wonderful people not just from Spain but from all the corners of the earth. I can't think of many other cities that have so much on offer at reasonable prices. It's a bargain! And it gets even better when you learn to speak Spanish!

I found one of the best Spanish schools in Barcelona offering intensive courses at budget prices. Spanish course Barcelona Spain

"To have another language is to possess a second
soul! " Did I say that? No. Charlemagne said that.
But he was right. Not only do you get a second
soul, but you don't get ripped off half as much when
you live in Spain. But I would recommend that you
learn spanish in a school if you really want to get it
right.

Finding a school however takes a bit of time.
There are many, many, many language schools in Barcelona, believe me . So it is a good idea to make a list of what you are looking for. I was looking for a school that was not too big, central, affordable and with a bit of personal attention. I visited many schools and the one I finally chose was Speakeasy Language School. I have included links to the revelant website pages in the text and at the bottom of this article you can find some useful links to websites in Barcelona.

  • School location in Barcelona
    I chose Speakeasy Spanish School because it is very central. The school is only 2 minutes from the central square which is Plaza Catalunya and 2 minutes from Las Ramblas, which is the central walking street in town. And in the middle of 3 of the busiest Metros and 45 bus lines.

  • Size of the Spanish school matters
    I found through talking to people that I met in Barcelona and from visiting Spanish schools, that the big schools like Don Quijote, Enforex and International House are very good schools, but they seem to attract very young students almost in their teens.

    The general opinion of people I spoke to about finding a good school, is that a lot of the young students at the big schools are being subsidised by parents or governments, which means that they are not too worried about how much Spanish they learn. To attract young students these schools also have a very full programme of extra-curricular student activities, like cooking, dancing and excursions.

    Speakeasy language school is smaller and more local. The only thing on the menu is Spanish. They don't teach you how to make paellas, dance Flamenco or fight bulls! This seems to attract slightly older and more independant students. The average age is early 20'ies and and upward. This suited me much better. There are still plenty of opportunities to meet people and have fun outside the school, but the students organise this themselves.
  • The price is right

    Many big schools are more expensive because they work with travel agents. This means that the prices are almost double the prices of local spanish schools in Barcelona. Speakeasy Language School is simply one of the cheapest schools in Barcelona, yet they still manage to have qualified and motivated teachers, good facilities and a well structured syllabus. And good service.

How to get the most out of your Spanish course in Barcelona.

  • Clear your head and your calendar!spanish courses barcelona spain

    Distraction 1
    . It is very easy to be distracted
    from studying Spanish. You will easily meet
    people in your class, at the Sapnish school,
    in the bars of Barclelona, on the beaches of
    the costa dorada, well everywhere.
    I met wonderful people from all over the world
    and of course from Barcelona and other parts
    of Spain. But it can also mean that you are
    going out more than you expected which is
    not good for Spanish studies.

    Distraction 2. Your friends will want to come
    and visit you. This really means 3 days crashing
    on the floor of your room and partying non-stop. Serious fun. But bad for spanish studies.

    Distraction 3.Then you might want to take some shorter trips yourself to see more of Spain. There are a million fantastic weekends trips that you can fill your weekends with.

    All this is fine and good, but it makes it very difficult to study Spanish. My advice is to clear your calendar and your head for at least the first month of Spanish classes. No visits and limited nightlife. This will enable you to attend most of the classes and get your homework done. The difference is enormous and you will be speaking much better Spanish after a month on intensive study.

  • Speaking Spanish - Find an "intergambio"
    I found it quite difficult to practise speaking Spanish in the beginning. I was sharing a flat with other foreigners. Luckily after the first 2 weeks a Mexican moved in, which improved my knowledge of Mexican tequila brands and also my Spanish. If you are having trouble practising Spanish then you can usually take extra conversation classes or you can find an "intergambio." This is a spanish person, who wants to practise English or German on you and in return you get to practise your Spanish on them. Great fun and a great way of meeting locals.

  • Don't give up!
    They say that learning Spanish is easy. Maybe it is. It is easy to learn to say "Me llamo Dave!" My Name is Dave or "Dos cervesas por favor!" 2 beers please! But to tell the landlord. "Is it ok if my sister comes and stays with me for a few days in my room and do I have to pay extra?" is not what I would call easy after 1 week of Spanish no matter how intensive it is. It takes a bit longer than you think to be able to communicate and you quickly realise that learning Spanish is going to be one of your hobbies for the rest of your life. So don't give up just because the first month is hard. Believe me. Suddenly it all comes together and after 1-2 months of hard effort I started feeling that I was communicating well in reasonable Spanish. I was also able to understand most of what people were saying in Spanish.

To sum it up, choose Barcelona because:

  • The city is wonderful mixture of old and new cultures
  • It's easy & cheap to get there by EasyJet, Ryanair, Virgin etc etc

  • Still pretty cheap and many good deals on food, trips etc.

  • Beaches beaches beaches. Great beaches!

  • Every kind of sport you can think of in the water or mountains

  • Great infrastructure. Cheap reliable trains, taxis, buses

  • Great climate. Mild in winter, perfect in summer.

  • Close to Pyrenees for great skiing in winter
  • Plenty of nice people to party with and good food.

Choose Speakeasy Language School because:

  • Location in the very center of Barcelona
  • Great teachers, who are native Spanish and qualified

  • 6 different levels from beginner to advanced

  • Free level test and excellent advice from the front desk

  • Air-conditioning which is a huge bonus in the summer

  • Communicative immersion classes

  • Small groups of max. 10 students

  • Friendly & helpful English speaking desk staff

  • Free coffee all day and fast internet access

Watch this space for upcoming features about
finding accommodation in Barcelona and working
in Barcelona.

Links:

Top recommendation for a great spanish school
in Barcelona:

Speakeasy Language School Barcelona.
email: info@speakeasybcn.com

Other good schools in Barcelona but a bit more
expensive:
Don Quijote Spanish Schools
International House
Enforex

Other useful links:

The best website I found for online maps
in Barcelona is http://www.bcn.es/guia

Websites to get information, meet people and
place free classified ads.
http://www.barcelonaconnect.com
http://www.barcelona-metropolitan.com


Official Barcelona city website:
http://www.bcn.es





A few comments from my fellow students at Speakeasy Language School in Barcelona.

Great school. Great teachers. Great city. My Spanish? Not so great. But it will be soon!!! [Seb from Germany ]
The teachers are really sweet and very patient. It's great that they don't let you speak English at all. That is hard for the first few days, but then it really makes a difference and forces you to start thinking in Spanish. [Lucy, London]
I will miss this school very much, and would recommend it! :-) [Yuki, Japan ]

Almost thought I wouldn't ever learn the Spanish language, but thanks to Sandra for pulling me through. Hasta Pronto!  [Shane, New Zealand]