Susanna: Learning Spanish in Seville
Susanna Pettigrew : 8 weeks in Seville
I hoped that after the first four weeks I would be able to know the basics of the Spanish language, such as numbers, colours, food, clothes, family etc. I was a bit concerned though as I went out there with no previous knowledge of the Spanish language.
There really was no reason to worry though, I found myself having conversations with Spanish people after only a couple of weeks and I have left (after 8 weeks on a Spanish language course) with an extensive knowledge of Spanish grammar; past, present, future and conditional. I even found myself enjoying political debates in class and we were making presentations on topics we had prepared ourselves by the fifth week!
The Spanish language school made the learning process and our language lessons truly excellent! I had been concerned at the idea of everything being taught in Spanish right from the beginning but it didn’t seem to be a problem at all. The teachers were very lively and friendly and taught us a lot of things you would never have learned in school in the UK i.e. the Spanish colloquial language that real Spanish people use on the street. The teachers really motivated you to want to learn and were so helpful whenever you felt you’d hit a problem linguistically.
The Spanish language school in Seville was extremely comfortable and had a really friendly atmosphere. It was in an ideal local, right in the centre of the city. The staff were extremely helpful and approachable and solved any problems you had efficiently and effectively.
The Spanish classes each day were amazing fun! The worst part of the whole trip for me was the week of rain in the third week (which was hardly the Spanish language school’s fault).
I have met so many people from all over the world and liked the fact that the British language students at the Spanish school were in the minority, as this gave me more opportunity and incentive to speak Spanish. The cultural programme provided by the Spanish school was good … went to flamenco shows and Cordoba with the school.
Seville as a city was fabulous. I have never felt more safe in any other city than I felt in Seville. The Spanish nightlife was great, excellent cheap tapas bars and restaurants everywhere and the locals were all extremely friendly. I remember one might in particular, in a bar where the local started trying to teach some of us students how to flamenco dance properly. Just incredible!
There is so much to do in Seville during the day and at night – from visiting the Cathedral, the Alcazar, Parque Marialuisa to hitting the clubs at night. I strongly recommend sampling a flamenco show with the Spanish school cultural programme and the Mesquita in cordoba was just amazing.
I had such an amazing 4 weeks that I extended for a second month in Seville. CESA’s organisation was great, everything ran smoothly and I’m planning on spending another two months working on my French with CESA Languages Abroad, in Cannes.
I choose to stay in residence accommodation in Seville. As a beginner I was just not comfortable with the idea of living with Spanish people as I didn’t think I’d feel comfortable, not being able to talk with them in Spanish. Both residences were well located and comfortable and there was a good mix of students which worked well for me.
I can’t believe that I met so many great people from all over the world, learnt so much of the Spanish language in such a short time and frankly had two of the best months of my life to date, in the incredible city of Seville. Really hope I get the chance to go back and do it all over again some day!