The best options to learn Spanish in Alcala de Henares. Would you like to improve your Spanish language skills without spending a lot of money while doing it?
Learning Spanish in Alcala de Henares while staying here is the best chance you will ever have to improve your Spanish language skills and learn real Spanish. There are two ways of doing it: you can receive extra language classes or you can meet Spaniards in Alcala. For better results, do both!
Attending a Spanish course in Alcala de Henares
As far as we can gather, the following schools are some of the best that there are in Alcala:
Learning Spanish in Alcalingua
Alcalingua is the school of the UAH dedicated to teaching Spanish to foreign students. If you are an Erasmus student in this University, chances are that you are already taking an introductory course in this school.
They offer annual courses, quarterly courses and Intensive Summer Courses for students from all over the world. There are also courses for Erasmus students, which they can validate at their home University and receive ECTS credits.
This link has all the information you need if you are interested in this school.
Learning Spanish in the ‘Escuela Oficial de Idiomas’ of Alcala de Henares
The EOI is the state-owned school of languages, and thus it is considerably cheaper than any other language academy (although prices doubled this year, due to the economical crisis in Spain).
The quality of the classes is usually very good, with highly experienced teachers, but on the other hand they are usually large – 20-30 students, so you will not have such personalized attention from the teacher as you might have in more expensive language schools.
In our personal experience, classes are only crowded during the first few days, and it is not unusual for a class to start with 25 students and end with less 8 or 9. The Spanish lessons cost approximately 269 Euros for 120 hours, over a period of four months. There are different timetables available, both in morning and evening shifts.
From around the 15th of September to 5th of October, you have the chance to apply for admission since there are courses beginning around the middle of October.
There is also the possibility of learning a different language (English, German, French or Italian) in the EOI, but they are highly demanded and consequently you need to pre-enroll months before starting the course.
You can find more information at this link.
Learning Spanish in the ‘Instituto Cervantes’ in Alcala de Henares
The Head Office of the ‘Instituto Cervantes’ is located in Alcala, where Cervantes was born. This institution is a worldwide non-profit organization created by the Spanish government to promote and teach Spanish, and also to spread the culture of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries.
This is the institution that offers the Diplomas of Spanish as Foreing Language (DELE) examinations, the only certificate for non-native Spanish speakers that is officially recognized in Spain and internationally.
The Instituto Cervantes is also the main organization for the training of teachers of Spanish as a foreign language, whose Spanish Teacher Training Center is again placed in Alcala.
Undoubtedly the best option for a highly recognized certificate. More information available here.
Meeting Spaniards in Alcala de Henares
Living in Alcala is a really good opportunity to meet Spaniards, practice your language skills in real life and have fun while doing it.
You may wonder how to meet Spanish speakers; I’ll tell you. If you are able to read this post, you have what many alcalainos want, which is being fluent in English. If you offer any Spaniard your knowledge of English, they will be deeply grateful.
Go to language exchange meetings in Alcala de Henares
Spaniards go to language exchange meetings because they want to speak English, so you can’t expect to practice much Spanish there. The bright side is that you will have the opportunity to meet them afterwards; give them your phone number and become their friend.
There are great meetings in Whelan’s Irish pub every Thursday night (Corral de la Sinagoga, Calle Mayor 37). Check their facebook.
Finding a language exchange partner
The ESN (Erasmus Student Network) Alcala offers a language exchange program for Erasmus students. You can apply for it in here and wait for an answer.
In the meantime, try going to a language school and put up a sign there offering yourself for a language exchange. People will likely respond. The ‘Escuela Oficial de Idiomas’ is an excellent place for that.
Just talk to strangers
Don’t be shy and just do it. Look for a Spaniard that looks nice and ask them anything. Most of us love talking and enjoy meeting new people: talk to us in school, in a pub, while waiting for the bus…
Are you new in Alcala? In our website you will find more useful information for you during your first days in the city.