Located in the south, Spain’s Andalucía region is home to such preeminent cities as Seville, Málaga, Córdoba, and Granada. Due to Andalucía’s history of hundreds of years of Moorish rule, its countryside is dotted with spectacular monuments. One such celebrated landmark is the Alhambra in Granada, a medieval palace built by Muslim rulers whose Arabic name means “the red fortress” and whose crimson walls are embellished with ancient Arabic poetry. Another of Andalucía’s architectural triumphs is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville, known as the Giralda. Originally built in the 12th century as the minaret of the mosque that once stood on the site, the Giralda endures as a synthesis of Almohad and Spanish renaissance architecture.
The Mezquita of Córdoba, another magnet for travelers, is an eighth century mosque of onyx columns and gilded ceilings that is today a cathedral and is characterized by architecture that has been slowly transformed over centuries of invasions and additions. Its belfry’s pinnacle offers a spectacular view of the Courtyard of the Orange Trees below and the city beyond.
The region’s climate and beaches have made it a popular European tourist destinations, but it still retains its mysterious, authentic flavor.
Schools in Andalucia
Carmen de las Cuevas
After traveling through alleys of Granada, visitors to this school reach an ancient gateway with a sign that reads Carmen de las Cuevas. On opening the door, students enter a maze of staircases, classrooms, a library, terraces, and patios. A subtle sound of Flamenco music from someone practicing the guitar accompanies the visit while Carmen, who has been running the school for 25 years, hosts the tour. Terrace views include the Alhambra, the centuries-old Moorish fortress. Carmen de las Cuevas is an Instituto de Cervantes-accredited school, and offers courses from a beginner’s first words to preparation courses for the official Spanish diplomas (DELE). The school offers an interactive and cross-situational learning environment, where students use their Spanish in activities such as guided visits in and around Granada, horseback riding, or cookery classes, and is also a renowned Flamenco school. Thus, students can combine Spanish classes with Flamenco, be it by dancing or playing the guitar.
Nerja is a town of 20,000 inhabitants situated on the Costa del Sol near Málaga that still retains its traditional Andalusian character. It is surrounded by mountains and beautiful beaches. Its climate, with an average year-round temperature of 68ºF, is ideal. Farming, fishing, and tourism are its main income sources. Escuela de Idiomas Nerja, founded in 1980, is situated in the center of the old town in a typical Andalusian house with a large garden, terraces, and patio, only a few minutes walk from accommodations, shops, and beaches. The school has 16 comfortable classrooms and offers 14 intensive Spanish programs with four to six classes per day from one to 36 weeks. The student population is diverse, and the school has its own accommodation, Club Costa Nerja, which has 28 rooms with private bathrooms. Apartments and host family accommodations are also available. It is accredited by the Instituto Cervantes.
For further information visit www.idnerja.es
The school opened in 2002 and offers spanish courses for people from different countries. They offer Intensive Courses for adults and children but also preparation courses for the D.E.L.E. exam and business Spanish.
The school is situated in a very quiet area near the sea and therefore it is possible to hold classes in the garden. In the school’s garden there is a swimming pool which invites you to cool off while improving your tan. The Andalusian patio, with its shady trees and a barbeque provides an ideal opportunity to become better acquainted to other students.
In their Arabian style “bodega” we provide computers with free internet access as well as a TV with international channels and a library, where you can rent both movies and books.
The school building consists of seven tastefully decorated classrooms.
Excursions and activities: The Instituto Andalusi, offers a variety of excursions and activities, which focus on the Spanish language and culture, such as excursions to Cordoba, Granada, Seville and Morocco but also visits of museums, memorials and churches in Malaga. Moreover we are offering activities in the school building like cooking class of Paella or other Spanish specialities. At the beginning of the course (once in a month) our students are welcomed with a party and at the end of the course (once a month) they get a farewell party. It is also possible to rent cars, motor bikes and bicycles in the school.
For further information visit www.instituto-andalusi.com
Escuela Montalbán-TANDEM Granada has been teaching Spanish as a foreign language since 1986, is accredited by the Instituto Cervantes, and is also a DELE examination center. The school facility, with its Andalusian architectural style, friendly classrooms, and beautiful courtyard, retains much of the charm and intimacy of a family home. It is situated in a quiet location just ten minutes away from the city center. An extensive cultural program always complements Spanish courses. Over the last few years, Escuela Montalbán’s complementary cultural program for Body & Mind has gained great popularity among students. Students can choose five different options: Spanish traditional cooking classes, dance courses such as Flamenco and Tango, horse riding in the Sierra Nevada national park, or trekking in the Alpujarras. The school is a member of TANDEM International network of language schools. The Spanish in Spain Program gives students the opportunity to study in two different cities in one trip in collaboration with the other schools in San Sebastián, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, and Cádiz.