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Spanish summer course in Nerja

Spanish course in NerjaChristina Davies
2 weeks Spanish course in Nerja

I was 16 years old, and going away alone without my twin sister for the first time. My first thought when I reached Nerja was ‘Oh no, it’s so hot, and so Spanish, and all I can say is ‘gracias’…how am I going to survive?!’

However, everything always looks better in the light of day, so *don’t panic*. My mainstay during my 2 weeks was my host family, and especially my Spanish ‘mum’ Isobel. CESA had sorted everything for me – a wonderful host family, a great place to stay, a good course – and were as supportive as I could have hoped for. The family were utterly brilliant, and I would say to anyone going on a CESA course, do stay with a host family, and talk to them, do things with them – you’ll get so much more out of your experience, and gain an understanding of the local culture as well.

Isobel was lovely – she talked to me all the time, and explained any words I didn’t know in French (she doesn’t speak English). I assimilated a huge amount of information about Isobel, her family, her family history, the other students who have stayed with her, her dog, the history of Nerja, the culture and festivals of Spain and Nerja…everything and anything, you name it, we talked about it! I learnt more from Isobel than I did from a year of lessons at my English school. She taught me other lessons as well – how to paint on fabric, how to cook traditional Spanish meals, how she lives her life in Nerja, and that even the Spanish dislike extreme heat!

The Spanish school in Nerja was…amazing. No other word for it. The lessons, often held in the beautiful garden, were all in Spanish, but somehow still accessable to complete beginners. The teachers, native Spaniards, brought a vibrance and energy completely absent from normal school lessons, and the activities offered something for everyone, kayaking, for the sporty, paella cooking, for the more culinarily inclined, and many others – flamenco dancing, masked parties, and day trips to nearby towns, just to name a few.

Finally, the other students. They were from all walks of life, and all countries. Some enjoyed going out on the town, to Tutti Frutti, the well-known bar square, some would rather lie on the beach, but they were almost all friendly and generous, willing to help and accept help without being offended. I spent a lot of time with them, visiting the magnificent Cuevas de Nerja, swimming in the clear, blue sea, lazing on the beach (if you can, go to the beach in the morning, the smaller beaches – there’s very few people there before about 10 o clock), and shopping for souvenirs for my friends back in England. The language barrier was not a problem – the group I visited las Cuevas with were from England, France, Germany and Austria, and we all managed to get along brilliantly – if not in Spanish, then in French, or occasionally, English.

The visit was an amazing experience – it doesn’t just boost your language skills to an unbelievable level, it also boosts your self-confidence, understanding of the culture of others, and your willingness to try something new!