Is it better to study Spanish in Spain?

mapa espana-image by comeniushello20.wikispaces.comNow you may be thinking, why learn Spanish in Spain when I can learn it at home? Nowadays, language learning has become so much more advanced and there is a whole range of textbooks, computer programs and apps, all of which allow you to learn a language in the comfort of your own home country. Isn’t it cheaper, more convenient and therefore better to learn Spanish at home? Here we discuss why this is quite simply not the case…

Immersion

If you choose to learn Spanish in Spain, total immersion is guaranteed. Even the simplest of tasks such as taking public transport will transform into an opportunity to practise your speaking skills and learn new vocabulary. You will be surrounded by spoken and written Spanish- there is quite literally no escape! Whether lying on the sofa watching TV or going to a fiesta with your new Spanish friends, you will constantly be learning new things.

Culture

Learning a language involves not only learning the grammar and vocabulary, but also increasing your understanding of the culture(s) in question. Studying in Spain will allow you to interact with Spanish people and get to know their customs. Did you know, for example, that they greet each other with a kiss on either cheek? Or that some shops and banks still shut for siesta? Extra-curricular activities provided by the schools, universities and UniSpain ourselves will also develop your knowledge of the Spanish culture.

Real-life situations

The danger with learning Spanish in your home country is that you often do not learn how to implement it in ‘real-life’. Many people Tú o usted- image by aprenderanuestroaire.blogspot.comcomplain that what they learn in their home country is often nothing like the colloquial Spanish that people use in Spain in everyday situations. Studying Spanish in Spain offers you the best of both worlds: structured classes providing you with a solid grasp of grammar and vocabulary, whilst in your free-time learning how to apply what you have been taught in ‘normal’ situations. You will pick up slang, discover exactly when to use tú and usted, as well as perfect your accent.

Motivation

When studying a language at home, you may eventually tire of doing so- especially if there are not many chances to use the foreign language in your home country. However, if you are in Spain, you will see just how useful your language learning is, and by being able to practise it in new situations, you will be able to gauge how much you are improving. Imagine how proud you will feel when you can successfully give someone directions or negotiate a price for the souvenir you want to buy in the market. This will in turn motivate you to keep studying.

Future career prospects

When a future employer notices that you have studied Spanish at a private Spanish school or university, your CV will certainly stand out from the crowd. Nowadays, having qualifications for foreign languages and experience abroad is a real asset, demonstrating that you can adapt to new cultures and communicate with people of various backgrounds.curriculum-vitae-image by misterhollywood.hubpages.com

There is therefore no doubt that learning Spanish in Spain is worth it; you will improve your Spanish skills much more rapidly and learn a variety of things you wouldn’t learn at home. Of course, you will have to put in the effort yourself: going to Spain and spending all your time with other foreigners whilst not attending classes will obviously not have the same effect. However, if you take it upon yourself to make the most out of your stay in Spain and immerse yourself in the Spanish way of life, you will reap the rewards. If you are a complete beginner you will certainly notice your progress, and if you have already been taking Spanish classes at home for a while then this could be the opportunity to take your Spanish learning to the next level.

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