Salamanca or Sevilla to Study Spanish

Old Jan 12th, 2002, 06:17 PM
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Salamanca or Sevilla to Study Spanish

My daughter has twelve weeks to study Spanish at the don Quijote school starting late March. She wants to divide her time between Barcelona and either Salamanca or Sevilla. Any comments regarding the two alternatives?
Old Jan 14th, 2002, 01:46 PM
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I know someone who studied spanish in salamanca and loved it. I was there in 97 and didn't care for it. I hear sevilla is much nicer
Old Jan 14th, 2002, 03:14 PM
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Jay, it depends on which things she wants to focus on while in Spain, if she has a good level of Spanish, etc.
In my opinion, the best place (academical-wise) to study Spanish would be Salamanca (which is located in Castilla y Leon, where Castilian Spanish was born, so she will get the "purest" accent). Sevilla has a regional Andalucian accent and sometimes it can be difficult to understand for foreigners learning the language. In Barcelona you will hear even more Catalan than Spanish, so she'll not be listening Spanish (being optimistic) 60% of the times.

Salamanca is a mid-size city (350000 inhabitants) and a important university center (since back in the XIII century) with lots of students.
Sevilla is the capital of Andalucia, it has a lot of flavour and reflects the "typical image" (flamenco, bullfighting,...) of Spain outside, which is more an Andalucian image than a whole Spanish image.
Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city (2nd biggest in Spain) with a strong catalan flavour and nice architecture.

Even being all spanish, these 3 cities are quite different among them, regarding monuments, styles of art, even character of people and habits.
Old Jan 14th, 2002, 03:45 PM
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I agree 100 per cent with Carmen.
Old Jan 14th, 2002, 04:04 PM
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I'd just like to echo what Carmen expressed so well.
For the Salamanca vs Sevilla conundrum, I advise my own students to chose Salamanca for the purity of the language, the seriousness, the quality of the instruction, or Sevilla for the joie de vivre, the wonderful fiestas (Semana Santa in March, Feria in April, but when classes won't meet), the lively, party atmosphere outside the classroom. It depends on what your daughter is seeking. As Carmen so wisely says, in Barcelona she will mostly hear the catalan language on the street, and this often confuses beginners, and they end up just picking up a hodgepodge of the two languages. Her instruction in Barcelona will be in castellano, but she will inevitably hear more catalan than castellano in her daily life. One of my own students spend an entire summer in Barcelona and actually picked up much more catalan than Castilian Spanish because the family he lived with spoke among themselves in catalan. Luckily, he was already very conversant in Spanish before he arrived, and it didn't deter from his experience-it actually enriched it, but again, he was already very proficient in Spanish. My own univeristy professors in Spain, mostly from the U. of Salamanca themselves, proclaimed that the purist Spanish is spoken in Castiila- Leon (Salamanca, Valladolid, Burgos). The Andalusian accent (please forgive me, the wonderful andaluces on this Forum) is often difficult, as Carmen so rightly says, for Americans to understand until they attune their ear to it, and this takes time. So I send my students to Salamanca for the purity of the language (it's known as the Oxford of Spain, the site of the most prestigious university), and those who want to have a great time, be in a beguiling southern city, soak up the Andalusian culture (their own image of "typical Spain") and enjoy the nightlife, I direct to Sevilla. Two of my more "gregarious/spirited" students spent a month in Salamanca this summer and returned saying that they felt a bit landlocked and isolated towards the end of their stay (it was "too dusty"). In Sevilla, your daughter may have more fun, particularly if she gets to experience both Holy Week and the Feria, two marvelously unique events, even though she may not spend as much time in the classroom in the spring trimester.
Old Jan 15th, 2002, 08:44 AM
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I am horribly biased as I spent a semester in Sevilla in 1996, studying at the Universidad de Sevilla, with both American and Spanish students. I also was never able to travel to Salamanca, so my perspective can't really speak to the differences.
What I can tell you is that I adored Sevilla, especially the culture. I would not change that experience in any way. I was a serious student, and I took courses in Spanish literature and history, but the truly great part of my experience was my immersion in the local culture. Sevilla is vibrant, lively, and beautiful. I also had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in southern Spain & Portugal on weekends. One potential drawback about Salamanca that I heard several fellow students lament was the fact that it is a smaller city in some sense overrun by American students. While we had a fair number of American students in Sevilla, there were certainly ways to meet and hang out with people who were not American students--an amazing, though non-scholastic, learning opportunity.
As for the purity of language issue--I had studied Spanish for some years before going to Spain, but it was in Spain that I became truly fluent in the language. I must admit that the first day I arrived, when my senora opened her mouth and unleashed a torrent of Andalucian spanish, I wondered if in fact this was the language I had previously studied. The good thing, however, is that after learning Andalucian Spanish, I can understand people from just about any region or country. So my vote is for Sevilla, but as I said, I am biased!
Old Jan 15th, 2002, 06:20 PM
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Thanks for all your helpful comments. I'm sure my daughter would prefer the good time in Sevilla but I might try to persuade her to go to Salamanca for the academics. Hopefully, there wouldn't be as many American students there in the spring as in the summer. I'm curious why Lori didn't care for Salamanca.
Old Jan 16th, 2002, 01:26 AM
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Since she intends to study through Don Juan, why doesn´t she start in Barcelona and then check out both Sevilla and Salamanca while she´s there. Presumably, she´ll want to take side trips anyway and the school will likely organize these trips. Then, she can decide which is better for her. Personally I recommend Salamanca. (Yes, I´ve attended), but really, why not work all three in. Don Juan lets you do that, I believe. (I studied at the university in Salamanca, not Don Juan, though the school looks nice.) Let me know if I can help further. I´m older than most students and probably have more of your perspective on this than your daughter´s.
Old Jan 19th, 2002, 10:29 AM
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That's a good suggestion, but can anyone tell me if there is a convenient train link between Salamanca and Barcelona?
Old Jan 19th, 2002, 10:54 AM
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There's a direct day train every day, as well as a night train Friday and Sunday nights. Travel times are 12-13 hours.
Old Feb 18th, 2013, 06:33 AM
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This thread is over 11 years old!
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 06:50 AM
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Yes - and apparently a new poster has revived 2 old threads raving about this language school. And it's the only 2 posts by this new poster. Perhaps I'm overly suspicious but seems a little strange
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 07:55 AM
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Yes, digging up an 11-year old post seems a bit strange... and it does appear that English is not Jules2602's first language. Tia Tula, on the other hand, is one of some 13 language schools in Salamanca, so the competition for new students could be fierce.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 03:16 AM
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Ive been in both cities (not to study Spanish - I did that in Granada) and of the 2 Id go for Sevilla. Salamanca is kind of nice but the drive there (and to some extent being there) has the feel of being somewhere miles away from civilisation. It's a quiet provincial city and Sevilla definitely has that 'buzz' of a big city.
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