Learning Spanish in Malaga
4 weeks Spanish course in Malaga
I was looking for some intensive teaching with modern methods but confess to feeling anxious about living with a Spanish family as I suspected I would be one of the eldest students (being in my 50s), and worried about opportunities out of class. However I was determined to work hard – this wasn’t meant to be a holiday for me.
For me, improving my Spanish wasn’t just my primary goal it was my only goal! Thankfully my goal was achieved. The Spanish language school was very well managed and the staff were experienced, disciplined, enthusiastic, committed and close. I found that staying with a Spanish host family was wonderful. Most students were 18 to 25 yrs of age, but there were enough in their 30s/50s for me to mix with and to ensure I didn’t feel like the only oldie in town!
The Spanish language lessons were very slick, this appeared to hold true across all of the Spanish language courses on offer. There was always a lot of energy and enthusiasm in class from the teachers (and therefore this feed through to us as students). All teachers were fully briefed on each of our needs and personal language requests, after day one. The four lessons each day simply flew by. The first two classes were held with one teacher (Spanish native speaker, who really knew their stuff) and then we had two different teachers for each of the next two lessons of the day. Continuity didn’t suffer though as each Spanish teacher was fully aware of what had been covered in the previous lesson and knew what their lesson goal was with us before they started. Then I returned to my hosts for lunch (approx 3pm) after some homework at the Spanish language school. I decided to add on a further module of conversation classes in the final 2 weeks of the course, which was equally smoothly organised – wished I’d arranged this from the start, but it seemed to great a commitment initially, so I shied away from the idea.
The Spanish language school in Malaga has excellent on site facilities. It was well appointed and you can see that money had been invested to ensure that students had a first class learning and living environment in which to study and socialise. Everyone on the staff were incredibly helpful. The younger students loved the open air pool and sun terraces, I preferred the shadier terraces and the well equipped multi media library – a fabulous resource for improving your Spanish, with a tutor always to hand to point you in the right direction for a great book, exercise, CD or DVD to work with. The college was set up in the hills as CESA staff had warned me before I even booked the course. However it was an easy stroll down to the beach front with its endless array of bars, small (or larger and smarter) restaurants and from the sea front was just a 10 minute bus rid to the centre of Malaga city.
My social worries prior to arrival were completely unfounded. There were so many memorable moments but the brilliant and relaxed night-life and enjoying the flamboyant August Feria (has to be seem to be believed) was completely unforgettable.
My host accommodation worked so well for me. The accommodation felt a little spartan but was adequately furnished, but above all my hosts Juan and Maria were so much fun to be around and really helped me put my faltering Spanish conversation into practise on a daily basis. Their welcome was a key factor in my happiness with the overall programme and I have fond memories of heated debates with Juan over lunch (though to be honest looking back now I’m not sure what the subject matter was, merely that it was important and great fun at the time)!
I was impressed by the way the Spanish language students mixed, considering the range of ages and nationalities the integration was excellent, and always encouraged by the school, whenever there was the possibility to do so.
The college arranged some great social activities, with well organised and enthusiastic staff arranging trips to Ronda, Malaga Bull Fights, the Feria etc. The beach restaurants were the perfect place to relax each evening and you couldn’t fail to enjoy eating great food outside on those wonderful warm summer evenings. There really wasn’t the time to get bored!
Malaga as a city is charming, quite a small city however the great market, Andalucian city streets, endless restaurants and tapas bars and pubs in the city and along the beach front promenade gave us more night life opportunities than we could take advantage of!
Just to give you a flavour of my working day …. Having finished my official school day by 2.30 pm I’d return to my hosts for lunch and siesta. From 6.00 pm I’d get some homework done for a couple of hours, then get ready for the evening out. Starting with drinks at the school on the terrace at 9.00 pm, dinner around 11.00 pm (generally down on the beach front) which meant I was rarely in bed before 2.00 am any night – that’s Andalucia for you! And I was worried there’d be no social life!
I was delighted with CESA’s services, the staff were helpful accommodating and efficient and I was always felt my contact and queries were welcomed. Everything went according to briefing and there were no omissions. The advice to bring your own (reasonably sized) dictionary and grammar book was a great tip. Though the college had it’s own course book and the library was well stocked with every book we could need, there was always that moment back at the house when I needed to check something out and a quick peek in a book with an English explanation made life simpler for me.
Honestly I can’t believe how un-necessary my original concerns about the course were. My age made no difference to the experience for me, at all. I had a brilliant time and my Spanish is so much better as a result of the programme.