Castilian at Its Source

Madrid

With its impressive architecture, dynamic nightlife, and lavish museums teeming with the works of Goya, Dalí, and Picasso, Madrid offers ample cultural opportunity for the Spanish language student. As Europe’s highest capital at over 2000 feet above sea level, Madrid’s hot summer days give way to cool, clear winters in which snow is a rarity. The city’s distinguished Museo del Prado not only houses some of Spain’s preeminent 17th and 18th century paintings, but the building is itself a work of art, constructed in 1785 to house the Natural History Cabinet of Carlos III. The 250-year-old El Real Jardín Botánico exhibits over 30,000 species of plants and hosts courses for botanically-minded children and adults.A popular weekend destination, the city’s famed Parque del Buen Retiro dates back to the 17th century: its artificial lake is surrounded with imposing monuments, pastoral landscapes, and pathways that bustle with street performers.

don Quijote Madrid and Salamanca

The don Quijote Madrid school is located in the heart of this city’s lively and smart Argüelles District, just steps away from the Plaza de España. The school inhabits three floors of a luxuriously and tastefully renovated classical Madrid building dating back to the beginning of the last century. Salamanca is well-known for its educational institutions: The University of Salamanca was founded more than 700 years ago, making it one of Europe´s oldest. Its streets burst with life, its monuments are plentiful (Salamanca is a UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site), and it is recognized for the pure Castilian Spanish its inhabitants speak in what is considered the birthplace of the Spanish language. The don Quijote School in Salamanca is located in the heart of the city center and occupies a recently and beautifully restored 16th-century monastery. The school offers general intensive and super intensive Spanish courses from beginner to complete proficiency levels, as well as more specialized courses such as Business Spanish, Spanish and History/Art/Literature, D.E.L.E. preparation, and premium courses. Students can start any Monday; the schools are open year-round and class size is limited to a maximum of only eight students per group, guaranteeing a high level of personalized attention to each student.

For further info, visit www.donquijote.org

Centro Universitario Villanueva – Affiliated with the Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Their international programs are addressed to university students who want to perfect their Spanish and study different aspects of the Spanish and European reality –social, artistic, economic, etc- in depth. The courses take place in an international university environment, with students from different countries (Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, United Kingdom, Russia, among others) as well as Spanish students. Although learning the Spanish language and culture are the main goals of our programs, Villanueva offers the possibility to acquire the language while studying topics of special interest and focusing on the professional world of the student’s specialization: Business, Art, Law, Communication and Fashion.

Their goal is to enable the student to learn as much as possible during his/her stay at Villanueva, surrounded by an agreeable environment and tutored by qualified and experienced professionals.

The courses take place in the city of Madrid. Located in the center of the plain, it is the capital of the kingdom of Spain. Madrid is a modern and cosmopolitan city, with an ancient history and impressive artistic wealth. Excellent public transport network which connects the nerve centre of the city with all its residential districts and historical surroundings.

For further info, visit www.villanueva.edu/english-year-abroad

Academia Actual Plus

Actual Plus is situated in a historic building minutes from Madrid’s most impressive monuments. The school has eight air-conditioned classrooms, free internet access, refreshments, and libraries. Experienced teachers guide students of all skills and levels with a maximum of eight students per class. The school has an authentic international ambience with an array of after-and-during-class activities. Books and movies are available to students to reinforce their learning.

Academia Madrid Plus

Situated in the heart of Madrid’s historic district, the academy’s courses are intensive, test preparatory, or recreational. The school provides varied opportunities to practice what is learned in class by encouraging students to experience every day Spanish life through cuisine, history, and art. The school is located in a a beautiful turn-of-the-century townhouse situated minutes from Puerta del Sol, the steps of the Royal Palace, and the El Prado museum. Theaters, cafes, restaurants, bars, shops, museums, and much more also surround the facility, which has a student lounge, computers, free internet access, a private study room, and seven classrooms.

For further information, visit www.madridplus.es

Linguaschools Madrid

Classes are offered to adults ages 17 and over, and meet the needs of students, travelers, and professionals alike. The school is located in Calle Mayor, mere minutes from the center of Madrid. An extensive cultural activity program is offered to foster contact between students, teachers, and school staff, including guided city tours, museum visits, cooking workshops, and weekend excursions to local cities like Toledo, Salamanca, and Segovia. Classes are taught in small groups of eight students or fewer, and are offered as intensive Spanish group courses, individual courses, and exam preparation courses. The team of Spanish teachers consists of qualified native speakers who have considerable experience in working with foreign students.

Sprachcaffe Languages PLUS

The traditions of the past and the dynamics of modern civilization come alive in Madrid, and Sprachcaffe Languages Plus is located in the heart of the city in a beautiful turn-of-the-century building. Just minutes away from the Puerta del Sol, the Royal Palace, and the El Prado museum, students can appreciate their perfect location from the school terraces with views of the Opera, and the Royal Palace. Apart from the standard and intensive courses for all language levels, the school also offers long-term academic courses preparing students for the D.E.L.E. examinations, university placements, and internship programs with a variety of established companies in Spain’s exciting capital. All courses are underpinned by the philosophy that language learning goes beyond the classroom door, and are thus supported by an extensive and vibrant program of social and cultural activities and excursions.

Madrid has a wide range of theatres, music halls, museums, palaces and monuments, as well as a cheerful social life in its taverns and bars. It´s a city that never sleeps and is known worldwide for its unique nightlife. Its traditional and popular celebrations set off the demanding entrepreneurial, financial and business life of the city.

Kate Sommers-Dawes is assistant editor for Language Magazine, and instituted a French and Art program for students in Los Angeles.

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