Spanish language schools in Madrid

Old Jan 8th, 2003, 06:23 AM
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Spanish language schools in Madrid

My 19 yo son is interested in spending his summer in Madrid at a Spanish language school. There are many available... Has anyone had any first hand experience to share?

My son is fairly well traveled, though this would be his first time in a foreign country on his own. He loves finding his own way, but dear ole mom would like to know that he has some kind of support system in place...

Don Quijote school has been mentioned to him by a counselor at his school, but we haven't found anyone who has actually attended. Would like some first hand reports. Thanks!
Old Jan 8th, 2003, 08:31 AM
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Try Very helpfull with all Madrid questions
Old Jan 8th, 2003, 09:19 AM
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I recommend La Universidad de Salamanca, about two hours west of Madrid. The university has one of the most well-regarded programs in the world and the school is great about so the students develop a network. The don Quijote schools are much more commercial; the university program is, well, more academic. Do a search for Salamanca and you'll fall in love with the town!

Good luck!
Old Jun 3rd, 2011, 04:01 AM
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I was 6 months in Madrid, at Paraninfo, a Spanish school in the centre of the city. Overall it was good, I was satisfied.
website is
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Old Jun 3rd, 2011, 05:28 AM
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A second for Salamanca, especially because if it s high level. Receives students from all over the world. Also, it is a very walkable town which makes socializing very easy. No worries about late night metros going home from discos.. he will be able to get home waling no matter where he was in most cases.

Madrid and Salamanca can be ovens in July. If you want better weather , go up to the San Sebastian area.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2011, 05:30 AM
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make that.. because of its high level.

get home walking

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Old Jun 4th, 2011, 06:38 AM
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I hate to, but must, offer another suggestion outside Madrid. I had a great experience at Lenguaviva in San Sebastian. I've attended 4 different schools in Spain and Lenguaviva is the most "serious" of the group. Good facilities and enough "discipline" that your time is well spent. A couple of the other schools seemed to be more vehicles for fun than really improving one's Spanish.

Check the temperatures in the summer between Madrid and San Sebstian. That may help with your choice.
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Old Jun 4th, 2011, 08:56 AM
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Madrid will be extremely hot in the summer, but your son is likely to have a taste of the "real Spain" he will never forget. Fabulous city, museums, theaters, parks, cafés, restaurants, nightlife, atmosphere.

San Sebastián is my favourite city on the planet, and where "everybody" goes in the summer to escape the inland heat. "A different kind of Spain", and even though many speak the local Basque language, everybody speaks Spanish. In fact, the dialect here is somewhat "cleaner" than in many other parts of Spain, and it might not be a bad place to learn the language:

There are months long Spanish language classes as part of the excellent Summer School organized by the Universidad del País Vasco/University of the Basque Country. I have studied here and attended some five-six of the summer school conferences. Never done the language class, but in general everything is very high quality.

About the course, listed under "Idiomas para extranjeros". Two cycles every year, this year the second from July 4th to the 29th. Four hours lessons daily from Monday to Friday.

Classes will be held at the university, just outside the city center. I used to walk 25 minutes along the beautiful La Concha Bay to get here, or hop on one of the many buses that take you here in five minutes. Several good quality university cantines/restaurants in all of the university buildings, used to have a bargain three course lunch here every day. Still the lunch is no more than 5-6€.

San Sebastián is canidate to be cultural capital of Europe in 2016:
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Old Jun 4th, 2011, 09:40 AM
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A triple for Salamanca. I sent my daughter there three years ago for a six week intensive course in language and culture. She didn't complain about the temperature. She is from the Southern California beach area. Her group made a field trip to a bull ranch and got in the ring with a baby bull. Here are a couple of photos. and My Stephanie was the last one running.

San Sebastian is one of my favorite cities of Europe. It is a beautiful laid back coastal city with plenty of tapas bars in the old town.
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Old Jun 4th, 2011, 10:30 AM
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I have had the opportunity to study in Spain for many summers.I have had some dreadful experiences!
I am the exception because I dislike programs in Salamanca because they are overrun w/English speaking students who really just hang around together and negate the whole idea of immersing oneself in the language/culture.
My best experience is called Sampere,small classes98-10 students seated at a round table w/students from all over the world so you have to communicate in Spanish.It was started by a husband/wife years ago and is now run by their son.The teachers are delightful,field trips are offered on weekends and during the week there are activities available in theafternoons and evenings.
The location in Madrid can't be beat-in Salamanca-minutes away from the Retiro park.Students stay with families.
Sampere has other locations in Spain but I only experienced the original school in Madrid
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