Learning Spanish in Buenos Aires
It is always a great opportunity to learn a new language once you are in a foreign country – or to refresh, what you already know. Maybe you have already heard that the Argentinean Spanish is a lot different from the one they speak in Spain for example and actually it also differs from the “castellano” of other Latin-American countries. Only in Uruguay they speak the same “dialecto rioplatense” that contains a lot of “sh”.
There are plenty of options to learn or improve your Spanish in Buenos Aires: Universities, big schools, little ones, private teachers, organized tandems…
To make the right choice, you should ask yourself some questions:
- How long will I stay?
- Do I want to study with a big group, in a familiar atmosphere or individually?
- Do I already know where to stay?
- Do I want to meet a lot knew people or I feel more comfortable with a little but constant group?
- Am I willing also to speak (and teach) my native language?
Most universities offer courses during the semester (with a duration of 3-4 months) and intensive courses during the semester vacations (with a duration of 1 month). Of all universities the UBA is most known for their courses.
- Courses are normally a little cheaper than in other places.
- You meet a lot of people (since classes have like 18-25 people).
- It is a good option for people that are staying longer in Buenos Aires.
- There are a lot of students in your class and therefore progress is slow.
- Sometimes (due to the organization of the Argentinean universities) classes are chaotic and it can happen
- that they are canceled it from time to time.
- It’s only really worth it when you are here for vacations longer than 5 weeks (and you have a lot of time – course hours are difficult for people that are working).
There are a lot of schools all over Buenos Aires where you can learn Spanish. They differ a lot in price, location and quality. Therefore a good research is necessary! Don’t trust any accreditation or recommendation logos from travel guides or the “gobierno of Buenos Aires” on their webpage, since they are mostly used illegally. If you already know, where you gonna stay, you can search for schools in your environment, if not, make the accommodation depend on your school. It is a lot easier to find a place to sleep than a good school! And of course you have to decide if you want to be in a big school (plus: a lot of people) or in a more little school (plus: familiar atmosphere and faster learning process). Mostly all schools offer a big variety of activities for their students. And a personal tip: Avoid schools in the microcentro/center, since the city is always awfully crowded over there, very hot in the summer and at night-times in some places insecure!
- You meet a lot of people that are in the same situation as you.
- It is a good option if you only stay in Buenos Aires for some weeks.
- There are always a lot of activities offered.
- Classes are smaller than in the university (average: 6 people).
- Some research is necessary to find a good but cheap school.
- Better for people with a short stay (up to 5 weeks) or for those who work.
There are plenty of teachers that offer private classes – just google it! Personally I have never had a private teacher, but I heard good as well as bad experiences. Here like in no other place everything really depends on the individual person.
- Great flexibility (especially for people that are working in Buenos Aires)
- Individual class with very fast progress
- Nice option for people that want to work on a special vocabulary (like Business Spanish) and already know some Spanish
- Sometimes difficult to find a good teacher
- Classes are more expensive
- You don’t meet people since classes are private
I know about two tandems in Buenos Aires: Spanglish (Spanish-English) and Hallo-Hola (German-English). Both organize very nice events, where you will talk with a lot of friends. This option is great to meet friends, but you should already know some Spanish, since it is more about practicing and not about learning. However it is a nice addition to a course in a private school or in universities.
- It is a great opportunity to talk Spanish.
- You will meet a lot of people.
- You can also speak you own language.
- It is only for practicing not for learning Spanish.
- You have to be a native speaker of the other language.
- Some tandems are not that regularly.
I arrived 6 months ago in Argentina with more or less no Spanish knowledge. Since it was in the middle of the semester and I didn’t want to have private classes, I decided to search for a school. As I already told you, it wasn’t that easy to find something, I really felt good about. I did some research with my Argentinean boyfriend and visited three different schools. On the one hand I wanted to meet new people but on the other hand I was not a big fan of mass-schools. In the end I found a charming school in Palermo (a great and stylish neighborhood) that has always around 40 students. Therefore the atmosphere is very familiar, classes were little (average: 3 people) and a lot of fun – it is not all about grammar, but we were also watching movies, listening to songs and talk a lot. I met a lot of great people and got some really close friends (the school offers a lot of activities, like wine-tasting, visiting football-games and so on). And: I found it very important, that the classes are not that expensive.
So if you are searching a nice school in Buenos Aires, this is definitely a great place. Talk to Annabella, she is the director and an angel! www.danielawasser.com.ar
Guide section: Study
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