Spanish Summer Programme in Malaga
Sophie Golding :
2 weeks Summer Programme
I thought that a Spanish course would be of benefit to me, in terms of language skills but I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of how the lessons were taught, what the social side would be like and what kind of people would be there.
My Summer Programme was brilliant and far exceeded what I expected from it. The teaching was excellent. The class size was smaller than I thought, so I was able to receive a lot of personal attention whilst still benefiting from good group interaction. The lessons at the language school were 100% in Spanish, which actually was daunting at first, but proved to be hugely beneficial. I began to think in Spanish rather than English for the first time EVER! Every student in the class made an equal contribution to discussions. The teachers were really relaxed, made the lessons lively and knew exactly how to express what they were trying to explain to us through some great miming (which was always good for a laugh, whilst still getting the message across)!
The staff in the college residence and the school were so helpful, nothing seemed to be too much trouble. The Spanish language teachers were eager to help and very friendly. They always introduced themselves using first names and the school was, to its credit, quite informal, whilst still promoting a strong work ethic. It was good to have the lessons in the afternoon, so we could complete homework assignments at the college in the morning (once we’d made it out of bed). The on site facilities were great, there were some good small shops close to the language college and the city centre was just a cheap taxi ride (or short bus journey along the sea front) away.
The best part of the Spanish course for me was the amount of Spanish I learnt whilst I was in Malaga on the teenager language course. Even those parts that were essentially revision were put across so well, that I seemed to absorb more information that I would have done at home.
The worst part of the Spanish language course experience for me was knowing that it was 30 degrees centigrade outside and knowing that I still had to attend class! : )
I was the only British student in my class (there were also 1 American, 1 German, 2 Norwegians and 1 Dane, so a real mix of nationalities. The students in my class and the Spanish language school generally were all outgoing and friendly. Everyone was up for a good time. Social activities were available to everyone who wanted to join in, from cheap dinners, discos, tapas bar trips, water park trips, beach activities ands sports and cultural visits to cities (Granada or Seville), but to honest when I was free I was either by the school pool or down on the beach or in Malaga city centre (so no time to be bored!).
The Spanish language school was just a two minute walk from a selection of cafes and a supermarket (with the best chicken sandwiches ever!). The food was relatively cheap but I learnt to ask for tapas prices before I ordered to get the best prices. Just down the hill (allow around 10 minutes walk) you get to the beach front and cross over the main road and take a bus heading right along the coast to Malaga city centre or turn left and walk along for a while to reach a long promenade, a long beach front and an endless array of restaurants/stalls/bars to suit just about everyone! Best of all I was able to chit-chat with most of the locals in Spanish along the beach front, who were really welcoming to foreigners who were prepared to make the effort to speak (or were clearly trying to learn) the Spanish language.
I stayed in the college residence on site and was really pleased with the accommodation. It was a bigger residence than I expected and my room had it’s own small bathroom and we were able to hire a fridge and a fan, at a very cheap rate, per week and there was a daily maid service and a 24 hr reception desk. I’d booked a shared room and my room mate was a Swedish girl who I got on well with. It was lovely to just have to stroll downstairs for breakfast on the school sun terraces, chill by the pool or do a bit of shopping locally, do homework and chat with my friends before lunch and afternoon lessons on site. Living and studying on site made the whole stay really relaxed and meant there was always someone around to talk to. It was a really sociable programme and I had a great time.
One of the Norwegian boys I got to know is trying to get everyone together in Malaga again next year. I would certainly go again. Why not? It was amazing. I met so many interesting people from all over the world, made loads of friends, greatly improved my Spanish, enjoyed a great nightlife and also worked on my tan! Bargain!