Where to learn Spanish in Spain – Spanish school or Spanish university?

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Students studying Spanish in Granada, Spain.
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Students studying Spanish in Granada, Spain.

 

Students from all over the world come to Spain to learn Spanish – and for many good reasons. Spain is rich in art, history, culture, and traditions. It’s famous for being a fun place to learn Spanish or study abroad, and it enjoys political and economic stability.

Not least important among reasons to learn Spanish in Spain is the large community of Spanish schools for foreigners and the many Spanish university language programs. Spanish schools and Spanish universities offering Spanish language programs are found throughout Spain – you can learn Spanish in large cities, like Barcelona or Madrid, you can learn Spanish by the sea, such as in Alicante or Cádiz, you can learn Spanish in smaller cities, like Salamanca or you can learn Spanish in cities that show case “typical” Spain, such as Granada and Seville.

Is there a best option to learn Spanish? Which one is right for you – a Spanish school for foreigners or a Spanish university program?

Similarities Between Spanish Schools and Spanish University Language Programs

– Spanish teachers and Spanish professors in Spain come from the same university group – they studied “Filologia Española,” which is the study of Spanish language and Spanish literature and, among other areas, teaching Spanish as a foreign language.

– Spanish teachers at Spanish schools and Spanish universities, sharing a common academic background, employ the same teaching methodologies.

– Spanish teachers at Spanish schools and Spanish universities are specialists in the Spanish language.

– A beginner’s Spanish course, intermediate Spanish course, upper intermediate Spanish course or an advanced Spanish course at a Spanish school is the same as a Spanish courses offered in a Spanish university language program – the same teaching methods and models are used.

Differences Between Spanish Schools and Spanish University Language Programs

– Class sizes at most Spanish schools tend to be small

– Class sizes at Spanish universities tend to be large

– Spanish schools have frequent start dates, Spanish universities have fewer start dates

– Most Spanish schools offer housing, only some Spanish universities offer housing

 

Advantages of Spanish Schools in Spain

– Specialized in teaching Spanish to foreigners

– Enrolment in a Spanish school is easy and be done quickly

– Most Spanish schools will arrange your housing for your before you depart for Spain

– Class sizes are small (exception – large Spanish schools)

– Students at Spanish schools tend to make friends with each other quicker (relative to Spanish university language programs)

– Spanish schools often have a friendly, family like environment (exception – large Spanish schools)

– Spanish schools offer cultural activities as part of their Spanish programs

– Spanish schools foster a sense of community and support.

 

Advantages of Spanish University Language Programs in Spain

– Specialized in teaching Spanish to foreigners

– Offer access to regular Spanish university courses (intermediate / upper-intermediate Spanish required).

– Have structured semesters / academic year programs for long-term Spanish study

– Have less transient student body

– Offer access to university facilities and services

– Some Spanish universities offer cultural programs and part of their Spanish language programs

 

Choose to learn Spanish at a Spanish school if:

– You prefer a smaller class size and more personal attention

– You need to have housing arrangements in Spain made for you

– You like the idea of a friendlier, more supportive environment

 

Choose to learn Spanish at a Spanish university language program if:

– You are planning to study Spanish long-term (e.g., academic year)

– You want or need access to university resources (library, etc.)

– You want to take additional classes in Spanish (business, economics, etc.)