Spanish in Andalucia? Sí, sí y sí!

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel tips & opinions

Want to improve your Spanish skills? Signing up for a language school in Andalucia could be the answer, writes Irene Middleman Thomas

There’s a place where women still whisk away the heat with daintily embellished fans. A place where just about everyone takes a long midday siesta to have a leisurely lunch with their family. A place where the strains of guitar, sometimes melancholy, sometimes joyous, always emotional, break the silence. A place of twisting cobblestoned pathways, and tiled rooftop gardens, intricate Moorish archways and palaces, of the intoxicating fragrances of jasmine, roses and magnolias, and the seductive aromas of garlic, shrimp and olives. 
Tropical golden beaches, superb diving and lush palms just a short distance from snow-capped peaks and world-class skiing. The place is the province of Andalucia in southern Spain.

For those interested in studying the Spanish language, Andalucia, particularly, attracts an enthusiastic international student body, perhaps due not only to its natural beauty and cultural richness, but for many other reasons as well.

Here, your fellow students will be of many different nationalities. You will be learning Spanish in its motherland, and while some of the grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are not typically utilised in other Spanish-speaking nations, the language you’ll learn is the pure, unadulterated form. It is understandable everywhere and likewise, you will understand other accents and permutations without difficulty. You will not only come to know the gloriously diverse Andalucia, but if you like, you can easily visit the rest of Spain and elsewhere in Europe. Perhaps most importantly, the high quality accreditation of Andalucian language immersion schools is impeccable and unsurpassed, and the range of school sizes, locations and offerings is immense.

There are 33 member schools in Andalucia, located in the provinces of Cádiz (seven,) Granada (seven,) Málaga (13) and Seville (six.) Part of the umbrella group of the Spanish Federation of Associations of Spanish Schools for Foreigners, (FEDELE), all of the member schools are accredited by the Instituto Cervantes (an organisation based in Spain which promotes the teaching, study and use of the Spanish language , and/or CEELE (Quality in the Teaching of Spanish as a Second Language), both highly respected and internationally accepted certifications of language schools.

FEDELE holds its member schools to rigorous common guidelines, ethics and standards, and inspects and maintains them regularly. Andalucia’s member schools have their own specific criteria as well, including class size (a maximum of 10 students), teaching credentials (highly educated and qualified native teachers,) complementary activity programs (including such as cooking or Flamenco dance and music,) accessible student materials (libraries, computers, etc) and a wide range of accommodations and specified lengths, timetables, differentiation and structure to courses, all of which must be total immersion courses.

Here’s a sampling of Andalucia’s locales


Cadiz (population 155,000) is the ancient Phoenician city known as ‘Gadir,’ surrounded by water on three sides. With a tropical feel and climate, the province of Cadiz has beautiful warm Atlantic Ocean beaches as well as lively, friendly plazas, ancient Moorish architecture, picturesque “white villages,” vineyards and the renowned sherries of the Jerez region, nature parks and a wide variety of recreational activities, including scuba diving and wind surfing. Cadiz has less international tourism than the other sites mentioned here, thus encouraging even more Spanish immersion to its students.

Academia Andaluza
Director: Isabel Tomé Jiménez
C/ Confederación, 13
11140 Conil de la Frontera, Cádiz
Tel: +34 956.44.05.52
 Fax: +34 956.45.60.41

Caramba Languages 
Director: David Fugelsoy
Batalla de Cardela s/n Edif. Siena
11405 – Jerez de la Frontera
Tel: +34 956.08.18.04
 Fax: +34 956.05.90.50

Gadir, Escuela Internacional de Español
Directors: Antonio Aguilera y Cristina Sáinz
C/ Pérgolas, 5, Box 31 – 11001 Cádiz
Tel & Fax: 956.26.05.57

K2 Internacional
Directors: Ángeles Castro Sánchez, Yolanda Castro Sánchez
Plaza Mentidero, 19 – 11003 Cádiz
Tel. & Fax: +34 956.21.26.46

La Janda IH Vejer, Colegio de Español
Director: Francisco Herrera
C/ José Castrillón Shelly, 22 – 11150 Vejer de la Frontera (Cádiz)
Tel: +34 956.44.70.60  Fax: +34 956.44.73.78

MELKART, Centro Internacional de Español
Director: María del Mar Peñalver Gómez
C/ General Menacho, 7 P.O Box 417 – 11004 Cádiz
Tel & Fax: +34 956.22.22.13

Trinity School
Directors: Ian Walsh y María López 
C/ Ave del paraíso, 6 – P.O.Box 720 – 11500 El Puerto de Sta. María (Cádiz)
Tel: +34 956.87.19.26  Fax: +34 956.54.19.18

Granada (population 273,000) was where the Islamic and Christian cultures joined together to form a spectacular, multicultural city full of monuments and treasures, including the World Heritage site of the Alhambra. Granada’s town center is incredibly vibrant and delightful, with its twisting cobblestoned paths, its exotic Moorish quarter, outdoor tapas bars everywhere and a glorious glow of pink, siena and gold in its sky. Within an hour or less, residents can ski on high snowy peaks or opt for an afternoon in the azure, palm-fringed seaside.

Carmen de las Cuevas
Directors: Nacho Martín y Carmen Linares
Cuesta de los Chinos, 15 – 18010 Granada
Tel: +34 958.22.10.62 Fax: +34 958.22.04.76

Director: Antonio Perales
C/ Aljibe del Gato, 1 – Carmen de los Gatos – 18010 Granada
Tel: +34 958.20.58.63 Fax: +34 958.27.72.40

Don Quijote Granada
Director: Antonio Illescas
C/ Azhuma, 5 – 18005 Granada
Tel: +34 958.25.42.12 Fax: +34 958.26.51.58

Instituto Mediterráneo Sol
Director: Javier Torres
Enriqueta Lozano, 17, 1ºB – 18009 Granada
Tel & Fax: +34 958.29.37.32

Escuela Montalbán
Directors: Margret Fortmann, María Rodríguez, Francisco Guirado
C/ Conde Cifuentes, 11 – 18005 Granada
Tel & Fax: +34 958.25.68.75

Proyecto Español Granada
Director: Steffen Schmid
C/ Fuentezuelas, 32 – 18002 Granada
Tel: +34 958.52.35.42
 Fax: +34 958.25.15.46

Tropical Coast Languages
Director: Juan Carlos Martínez
Plaza del Teatro, Edificio G – 18690 Almuñecar
Tel: +34 958.88.19.14
 Fax: +34 958.88.05.84

To read part two, don’t forget to log onto the CD-Traveller website tomorrow!

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