Language Magazine looks at study abroad options in Colombia and Argentina
Colombia’s position as the gateway to South America and the Amazon has shaped its history, making it one of the most diverse and culturally rich countries in which to study. The combination of its indigenous peoples and its colonial heritage give it
a unique flavor.
From its beaches to the Amazon to its vibrant, modern cities, Colombia suits all tastes, and it has become much safer recently.
The country has been experiencing recent positive economic growth and stability and has worked hard to re-establish itself as a leader in the South American tourism market.
As for language, its is often said that the Spanish spoken in Colombia is one of the clearest and most standard in the world. Of course, that’s a subjective opinion but who’s to argue?
Having daily intensive Spanish Lessons in a vibrant university campus, surrounded by the friendliest of people and living with a local host family in Colombia offers a once in a lifetime experience where students can practice their Spanish, increase their command of the language and really get to know the Latin American culture.
The Spanish program at Eafit University in Medellin offers:
• A program with an international accreditation granted by the Instituto Cervantes from Spain in recognition to its worldwide quality.
• Daily intensive Spanish lessons with highly qualified and experienced native professors.
• Accommodation with local host families, if required.
• A conversation partner to practice language at a more colloquial level, plus the chance to make great friends.
• Implementing classes with local and regional tourism. You have the chance to have activities around the idea of getting to really know the culture and flavor of Latin America in one of the most exciting cities in the region.
Spanish World Institute
Spanish World Institute is situated in Chapinero Alto, a beautiful residential part of Bogotá, near to tourist, cultural and business areas. The school is close to homestay accommodation, recreation facilities and numerous shops and restaurants.It is also easily accessible by bus from any part of the capital. The school has classrooms that are pleasant and properly equipped with video facilities, computer room, library and wireless.
The school program is based on the needs of learners. Teachers plan classes according to the levels and the students weaknesses to support their language skills constantly. During the sixty minute class periods pupils are exposed to real Spanish through different reading, writing, listening, oral activities and visits which enhance their knowledge in the programs: general Spanish, business Spanish, Spanish and Colombian culture, Spanish and salsa.”
Universidad del Norte
All regions of Colombia have their unique appeal, but sunny beaches and Caribbean folklore make the Atlantic Coast region a popular destination. Barranquilla, located near the mouth of the Magdalena River, is the largest city in this region and has become an important commercial, industrial and education center.
Universidad del Norte is a fully accredited university with high quality undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs that encourages scholarly research and creativity providing a unique learning environment in a modern wireless campus with all the resources and labs required to pursue interests in every field.
The University’s Spanish Program for International Students offers foreign students the opportunity to learn Spanish in academic surroundings, familiarizing students with the Latin American culture in order to promote tolerance and acceptance of diversity and development of an intercultural conscience.
Taking up most of the southern half of South America, Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world and has a diverse array of landscapes from glaciers and deserts to waterfalls and vinyards.
Home of the sultry tango, Argentina is characterized by its love of soccer and polo, friendly locals, a passionate culture, mouthwatering food, the gaucho lifestyle, and its European style. The country is also renowned for its vast diversity of climates and landscapes, ranging from the spectacular Perito Moreno glacier, which is one of only three Patagonian glaciers that are not retreating, to the Pampas — the vast fertile plains which feed most of the country’s 36 million inhabitants with plenty spare for export. And Argentinians make the most of this landscape by inventing endless activities to complement it.
Each city has something different to offer: a cosmopolitan and urban life in Buenos Aires, natural landscapes and university life in Cordoba, extreme and outdoor sports in Mendoza, snowy mountains and blue lakes in Bariloche, and natural glaciers and woods in the farthest Ushuaia.
Argentina is an excellent destination for Spanish language learners looking for a cultural experience they will never forget.
As for the language, Spanish learned in Argentina will be understood worldwide, however, there are a few subtle differences. According to Professor Monica del Milagro Plaza, the director of Bien Argentino, Instituto de Idioma y Cultura Argentina, “All of the varieties of Spanish are correct Spanish. Since Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, regional particularities are to be expected. If you learn all your Spanish in one place (Argentina, Ecuador, Spain, etc.), you will understand Spanish speakers all around the world. However, the [Argentine] differences are lexical. For example, [Argentines] use voseo instead of tu and they use only one “s” sound, as in “song,” for words with s/z/c.”
Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, is a South American city with European flair, offering a range of cosmopolitan cuisines and a riveting nightlife. One cannot escape dancing in the birthplace of the passionate tango, where tango houses or “milongas” litter the city.
Home to more than three million people, Buenos Aires is located on the southeastern coast of the continent. Bordered by the Rio de la Plata and the Riachuelo, the city’s inhabitants are frequently called “portenos,” emphasizing the city’s role as a major port.
The Instituto de Español Rayuela is located in the heart of San Telmo, one of the oldest and most beautiful areas of Buenos Aires. Rayuela (Hopscotch) is a tribute to Julio Cortázar’s world-famous novel, and is a reminder that teaching and learning a language should always be an enjoyable game of communication.
The school offers intensive and semi-intensive courses for small groups, fully customized individual and shared-individual lessons, Spanish classes online, and preparation courses for the CELU, the Spanish Proficiency Examination of Argentina.
The ethos of the school is that the communicative method has many advantages when learning a language. In addition, it is important to understand each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and the reason why they decided to learn Spanish. Spanish teachers must be aware of the teaching method that is necessary for each student. For example, an English speaker will experience a new concept on how to use verbs, and understand the difference between ser and estar (in English there is just one concept: to be). However, this issue does not present the same problem for a Brazilian.
Therefore, it is imperative to have different types of books, audio and text. It is conducive to teach without being committed to a single teaching method. The school administers creative learning techniques that can enhance the ability to learn Spanish and generates ad hoc material to supplement what is lacking in some Spanish books.
Eh! Spanish teaches Rioplatense, which is the Spanish spoken in Buenos Aires on the principle that language authenticity is important. In conclusion, each class is focused in a real life communication setting, with vocabulary, and the distinctive accent that the student will find in the exquisite streets of the magnificent city of Buenos Aires.
ONEonONE ARGENTINA was founded in 1994 to provide personalized language services to students from all over the world. Situated in the area of Recoleta/Downtown., the school is an active member of SEA (Language Centers Association) and CTPCBA (Argentinean Translators Assn.).
They specialize in “one to one” and “small group” classes (4 people max.) according to the students´ needs and schedules. Thus, students can join 7-level-Programes, take tailor-made courses, take Spanish for Business, take a workshop on Literature/History or a DELE” preparation course and come back home with an International Certificate.
Classes are held all year round, starting everyday, within a comfortable range from 9am thru 9pm. Also, they offer activities such as Tango classes/show, Salsa, biking, football, among others and help students coordinate their trip: transfer in-out the airport, accommodation and trips around Argentina.
LV Studio is located in the hip neighborhood of Palermo Soho, specializing in teaching Spanish to foreigners through the communicative method. They offer courses of all levels, ranging from Survival Spanish for beginners, to literature and film courses for more advanced students, as well as courses in DELE exam preparation, tutoring for University students, and their popular weekly conversation class, which is freely open to everyone.
Outside of the classroom, they have programs like Spanish Immersion trips to places like Iguazu Falls and the Cordoba mountains, and weekly social events where they encourage students to practice their Spanish with students from the English department, and experience the Argentine culture.
Located just two blocks from the National Congress, near all the means of transport and the main touristic points in Buenos Aires, BA Spanish offers a friendly and dynamic atmosphere. The personalized attention and the satisfaction to individual needs of each student are their main priorities.
All staff have an impeccable academic performance and several years experience teaching foreign students.
Centro de Lenguas Buenos Aires, located in the Palermo neighborhood, specializes in Spanish courses for all needs. They mix students according to language learning principles: they never have someone with a mother tongue of Latin origin with someone coming from the Saxon/Asian group. They prefer to have smaller groups or one-to-one lessons so that learning becomes efficient and students feel happy and relaxed during their language experience and go back home with an excellent level of Spanish and become acquainted with local culture and customs.