Being a student who studies Spanish, I thought long and hard about selecting the best possible Spanish language school for me. Whilst staying in Spain for 4 months, I wanted to be able to speak at least some basic Spanish. So I began researching online. There were so many schools to choose from, which at first, was slightly overwhelming. Below, I have noted down what factors to consider when choosing your school and then explained how Inhispania ended up being my school of choice.
1. What do you look for in a school?
Before you start looking for a school, you have to know exactly what you are looking for. There is more to learning a language than simply Spanish lessons, it is also an experience. Make a list and write down what you think is important for a school to have.
– Are the teachers native speakers?
– Are there extra activities available?
– Are classes available for a variety of levels?
– Are class hours flexible?
– What kind of materials are used in classes?
These may look like very small matters, but could actually be a big help once you start looking. In the end, it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference. At Inhispania, Spanish is taught by Spaniards, and there are classes for all levels. The classes on offer can fit with any work/study schedule and activities are offered every week from Tuesday to Friday. On some Saturdays there are also trips to nearby cities such as Segovia and Toledo.
Location is hugely important; if you are looking outside of the center then easily accessible public transport is essential. For me, somewhere in the heart of Madrid was vital. When you can be a part of the city life and can enjoy its liveliness, the experience you have is all the more immersive and authentic. Whether that means enjoying the “Menu del día” after classes in a local restaurant, grabbing a coffee between lessons or even walking to Sol for some shopping after classes. Inhispania couldn’t be located in a better part of the city.
Nowadays, online reviews are a fantastic source of information about places, restaurants, activities and yes, that’s right – Spanish language schools! By reading reviews, you have access to honest opinions written by students (just like you and I).
4. The student-teacher relationship is KEY!
Learning a language can be frustrating and takes a lot of patience. A teacher who can support students, correct mistakes, answer questions and offer encouragement makes the learning process a lot easier. For me it is very important to establish a good connection with a teacher. Asking questions seems less daunting and making mistakes isn’t as much of an issue. A classroom in which the students and the teacher are enjoying themselves and have a good relationship is a much more effective environment to learn in!
After going on the internet and looking up reviews about Inhispania (as previously suggested), a recurring comment was that the teachers at the school were really friendly and outgoing. After attending classes, I found out for myself that this was indeed true. The teachers were always so helpful and always tried to make you feel at ease. I felt confident and comfortable talking in classes and I was not worried about asking questions if I didn´t understand something nor embarrassed about making mistakes.
5. Support offered
Does the school cater to your needs? Perhaps this is your first time away from home studying in another country without friends or family; will you get support? Does the school offer accommodation with other students?
Or maybe you are a mature student seeking a totally different cultural experience, what can the school offer you?
Inhispania, for me, lived up to all of my hopes and expectations. I received great exposure to Spanish culture through attending the activities, my confidence in speaking improved thanks to the hard work and dedication of my teacher and the wonderful classroom and learning environment. It was an experience that will stay with me whilst I continue on my journey learning Spanish. I can say with confidence that I will eagerly return to the school in the future!