What Spanish school to choose in Spain – a Private Language School or a Spanish University

Aqui Hablamos Espanol- image by estudiando-espanol.blogspot.comWhile English is classed as the business language of the world, Spanish falls a close second and so being master of both puts you in a good position in that business world of today.  It will also greatly enhance your curriculum vitae.  Like other languages, Spanish accents and dialects vary from region to region and from country to country, so it’s worth making sure you go to the right institution to learn how to speak effective Spanish and two of the routes you could go down are a university education or a language school course.  So, why choose one rather than the other?

Factors to consider

Choice can be influenced by many factors, including your age, your availability, the depth of understanding you wish to achieve and also the cost, so knowing something about the advantages and disadvantages of these two routes is a welcome piece of knowledge.  Choice can also be influenced by the airport you fly into, as some may prove to have better links with your home ground than others.

Language schools have smaller classes and, by that, I’m not talking square metres but the number of students per class. Numbers tend to be around ten to twelve, the smaller class encouraging easier participation. There’s nothing worse than being in a class that has so many students, that the teacher may never get to answering your question and you have to leave the class without an answer, which has the uncanny effect of ruining your confidence and making you question your ability.  Smaller classes means that each student will receive individual attention and this leads to increased confidence and faster learning.

Intense classes (a few weeks of deep learning) in a university may cater for fifteen students per class and the longer university courses, let’s say twenty weeks or more, may have up to twenty students.  The higher numbers could lead to more questions being asked and less time spent on advancing with the language.  However, that longer course in a university is less intense while still having the same goals, so learning may be a more comfortable process.

study Spanish in Spain- image by www.spanish4teachers.org

Language schools put a great deal of emphasis on arranging activities in the free time hours, encouraging students to mingle socially with their fellow students and the locals, to visit places of interest and to soak up the typical regional culture.  Activities include weekend trips, visits to museums, cultural activities and eating out, all becoming much more fun when a group of like-minded acquaintances are involved.  This route has more of a family feel about it and could be the icing on the cake for some personalities.

If you are planning to study over a long period of time, a university course will give you the advantage of being immersed in a Spanish lifestyle for longer, allowing you to pick up on the Spanish culture, gastronomy and the general way of doing things as a matter of course.  This route of learning therefore has a reduced emphasis on pre-arranged free activity outings and that bonding, which will be encouraged in a language school, may not seem so evident in a university, unless you actively go looking for it.  Having said that, if university does seem the right route for you to take, UniSpain also offers an all inclusive University package for you, which will guarantee that you will indeed get involved in those important elements of culture, gastronomy and native ways of fitting into a Spanish community.

Cost is so important and, when shopping around, you might find that the university route may prove to be cheaper than language schools for the longer courses.  Prices will also vary between universities in different regions and so it’s all about comparing prices, regions and preferences.

Other considerations

Whether you go down the language school route or the university one, the teachers will all be qualified to degree level, so you are guaranteed an equally professional service.  Having said that, the teachers in language schools seem to get more involved with students in the free time activities and that gelling can make the learning experience so much better.

Language schools and universities both provide you with a qualification but there’s something about having been to ‘uni’, isn’t there?  It seems to hold a position of greatness and so, if the standard of teaching is equal, that greatness could sway you in your identification of the right route to go down.  Also, the credits gained for the work successfully completed are also more easily transferred to your educational records in your own country, if they were achieved in a university, another important point to consider when deciding which educational road is the best for you in the long run.

If you have any question about what school to choose or where to study do not hesitate to Contact Us.

We can also highly recommend the following two posts:

 Top 5 Best Universities in Spain to Study Spanish

 Top 5 Best Spanish Schools in Spain 

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