Should I use a language agent to book my Spanish course in Spain?

study Spanish in Spain-image by aupairconecta.comWhen it comes to choosing the most suitable Spanish language package in Spain, it can be either a straightforward task, or it can be really difficult and it all boils down to what knowledge you already have at your fingertips.

If you’re learning from scratch, one of the first fears with trying to book a successful course is the language itself. Will the phone calls I make be met with a foreign voice? How many times am I likely to hang up in frustration? Which part of Spain will offer me the best course to meet my age, my level of understanding of Spanish (if any) and my personal needs? Which courses are genuine? Are there any hidden costs?

Well, been there, done it and worn the tee-shirt.

After several weeks and many wasted phone calls, I decided that there had to be a better way of securing the right course, the right area and the right price and so I called on the services of UniSpain (one of the many professional language agents available online). This experience made me realise that there are times when seeking help from a professional language agent is the right way to go, as experts have already crossed the bridges and jumped the hurdles of difficulty which seemed to be queuing up for me, a novice in such affairs.

I would never have known that there are different versions of the language in Spain and that could have been my downfall. For example, the native people in the southern (and biggest) region of Andalusia crop their words, allowing the consonant on the end to fade away, the people in Catalonia speak Catalán and, in the Basque Country, they speak Euskera, which bears no resemblance to Spanish whatsoever.

The north-west region of Galicia, while it is well-respected for its fresh meat, seafood and vegetables, has a very distinct language which not all Spaniards understand and the area of Valencia has its own brand of Spanish, which is very similar to Catalán. What I like to refer to as the King’s Spanish is best spoken in the area of Castilla, in the centre of the country, hence its name of Castilian Spanish. Having said that, the people in all the regions of Spain speak the King’s Spanish but they have their own regional varieties as well.

Should I use a language agent to book my Spanish course in Spain?- image by en.wikipedia.org

While getting that help with choosing the right area for me, I also got the added support of finding accommodation within my budget, so that was two major concerns sorted, just like that. You can put your heart and soul into a learning experience but, if you’re not getting your sleep, and feel uncomfortable in your living accommodation, something’s going to give so, again, I was pleased that I had paid for professional support and guidance.

Then there are the different courses on offer. If I had managed to get as far as this under my own steam, I think I would have chosen the first course which met my availability, again a big no-no. That professional support talked me through the courses. Did I want a cheap course (e.g. Gran Canaria or Malaga), a standard course (e.g. Barcelona or Salamanca), a course for mature students (e.g. Madrid or Malaga) and so on? Would I prefer two weeks, four, or was I looking for a longer course?

Is the school a registered school? What is the outcome of a completed course? Is there a certificate? If you do everything yourself, these points might be overlooked and, when you have put a lot of effort into learning, it’s nice to have some proof of this dedication for your curriculum vitae, or simply for your own pleasure.

Foreigners to Spain think that the sun shines every day over the whole of Spain but the truth is that the northern regions have real winter temperatures and snow, while the south has very hot weather and a very pleasing winter indeed. Knowing this helped me choose the right region and also the right time of year for my new learning experience.

By going down the professional route of UniSpain, all queries were addressed in one tailor-made package and that made the rest of the experience what I can only call plain sailing.

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