Zara Richards : 8 weeks Spanish language course
From the information CESA gave us I knew that all the lessons would be with native speaking teachers and would all be in Spanish, however this still didn’t prepare me for the first few days – they seemed really difficult. It all worked well for me in the end, once I’d settled in and got over the initial shock all was good but CESA was right you have to give yourself time to adjust.
When I first started looking into this and contacting CESA I had to ring at awkward times (early in the morning and later at night) and I always found the staff friendly and helpful. The information on the Spanish language school in Granada was useful and everything was always done quickly and efficiently.
I thought the lessons were really good. All the teachers were really individual and that came across as they were teaching. As a result the teaching styles were different and each lesson was exciting and interesting, which kept you wanting to learn more. The interaction between the teachers and students was fantastic and it was great to get to know the teachers and get to know them as friends with them, as well as the other students. There was good use of a range of equipment in the classroom including TV, radio and music.
The Spanish language school in Granada was wonderful. Everyone was open and approachable. It had a real family atmosphere and everyone new was made to feel welcome. You felt comfortable about talking to any of the college staff and teachers. Granada was incredible of course and the college location in the old part of the city is perfect, ideal for exploring, shopping, chilling..
The best part of the whole thing for me was definitely the way that the language was taught – teaching us about the culture of Spain and the Spanish people giving the language skills we were learning a real sense of context. Of course learning a language is not all fun and joy – learning verbs and the grammatical elements of the language can be frustrating until you’ve got it sussed. You have to put the work in to see the results, but the minor frustrations are well worth the effort required.
The other language students in the Spanish language school were great. Meeting so many different people was the best part about the experience for me. You felt like you were learning about many cultures/languages just by socialising and learning in classes with people of other nationalities. The school’s social activities were fantastic – there was never a dull moment and always a new experience to look forward to. There were activities for everyone, whether interested in history, music or sports and because there was such a wide age range of students (from 17-73yrs) even if you did the activity twice it was different each time. There was a good balance between learning about the culture and still having fun.
Granada is simply incredible. It is a beautiful city that is compact and safe. There is plenty to do and the people are so friendly you are sure to make friends and having conversations with the locals was so fun!! Granada is really quite a cheap city for going out. I heard that it is actually the cheapest city in Europe to live in!! I don’t know if that’s true but it certainly felt like it. Also I felt really safe around the city, once I knew where I was going and how to get around.
Granada has a great nightlife. As you might expect eating and drinking are a big part of socialising in Spain. You could go out for tapas or a big meal in a great restaurant, there is something for everyone. And it is all cheap. I had a really great social life and would recommend just asking the locals for tips on where to go. We did and they told us about some great little tapas bars you would never find otherwise and it is a great way to make friends and practise speaking Spanish out of class. I did that a lot!! During the day I did a lot of exploring, shopping and just chilling out; in a cafe, in a small plaza or visiting the Alhambra (I went many times) – you have to go at least twice!!
I choose to stay in host accommodation and they were really welcoming, a lovely couple. The wife was always laughing and joking and put everyone at their ease. The house had a lovely atmosphere. She was a great cook. There were two other students living there, which just gave me the chance to get to know yet more people!
I would definitely recommend other language learners to go on a course abroad with CESA Languages. It was the best, and the hardest thing I’ve ever done – best (because of the people I met and the experience I had), hardest(because I had to come home and leaving Granada was very hard).