Learn Spanish in Argentina
Lucy Pollock : 2 weeks Spanish course in Buenos Aires
I had already done an Italian course through CESA in Florence, so this gave me a fairly good idea of what to expect. I imagined the lessons would involve a mixture of grammar exercises and general conversation with other students from all over the world. However I had never been to South America before, I knew I wanted to learn Spanish in Argentina, so I gave CESA a call. I didn’t know what to expect from Buenos Aires. I only thought it would be big, bustling and lots of fun!
My expectations were met and far surpassed. Living in home stay accommdation with an Argentinean woman, and finding myself in a fairly high level class, I made quick progress with the language, which was very rewarding. As for the general experience of living in Buenos Aires, it was just fantastic.
The Spanish language classes certainly worked for me, there was a strict ban on English from the outset so I was forced to work on my expression in the language through out. The teacher was brilliant and made sure each one of us participated, which resulted in some really interesting discussions on everything from terrorism to Latin American history to the best place to get a good steak! I can’t think how they could be improved. All the Spanish language courses seemed to work from what I heard.
The school was great, and I was glad to be placed in the second building round the corner from the main one, as it was older and warmer, with more character and better snacks at break time! The staff were always wonderfully friendly. As for the situation, it took me just 10 minutes to walk to school and it was easily placed for sightseeing in the afternoon.
The best parts were getting to know the teacher and the other students and joking together in class, which became easier and easier as I gained confidence with the language. The worst part was getting up in the mornings; especially with the realisation I hadn’t done my homework!
There was always plenty to do organised by the school, and a full range from historical lectures to outings to nightclubs. The activity organisers were dynamic and fun, but there was no obligation to join in if we didn’t want to. The other students were generally fantastic, a range of nationalities and backgrounds, but mostly of my age (early 20’s.)
Buenos Aires was certainly very student friendly, it was easy to walk around and also travel by public transport and in general everything was very cheap, especially for Europeans! I always felt safe, even late at night or on my own or both and we were given good advice by the school. There were certainly loads to do, too much for just two weeks in fact! I would recommend San Telmo on a Sunday afternoon, tango shows at café Tortoni, and watching the sun set in the Parque Eldogico and a million other places.
Estela Susana Lopez my host was immediately very kind and welcoming to me, and provided me with a small but comfortable room with an adjoining bathroom which was very convenient. Her cooking was excellent and abundant and mealtimes offered a valuable opportunity to practice my Spanish. Nonetheless when I wanted to eat out or even stay out all night she was perfectly happy, provided I let her know in advance.
I was very happy with the service provided by CESA, there was always a friendly voice at the end of the phone and I appreciated the amount of information I was sent about the course in advance.
I would certainly do another course with CESA, as I love learning languages and doing it in the country itself is undoubtedly the most effective and fun way! I would not go back to Argentina with CESA as I feel I’ve done this now, but I’d love to learn Portuguese in Brazil. I would certainly recommend it to others.
The most memorable moments were learning tango, watching tango in café Tortoni, in the streets, everywhere. Eating the best steak ever, drinking the best wine ever, dancing till 6.30am; struggling in to school the next day, making some wonderful friends (including my teacher.)