What price is reasonable for a Spanish course in Spain?

Spanish School in Spain - Image by managingamericans.comHave you been searching the web for a Spanish immersion course in Spain? If so, you’ve probably found there is a huge range of prices.

Budget is usually the main deciding factor when people are planning a language-learning trip abroad. Having said that, you don’t want to scrimp on quality either. So what’s a reasonable price to pay for a Spanish course in Spain these days?

Some sample prices

Prices for Spanish immersion courses in Spain can vary greatly from school to school. For instance, you could take a two-week course, with 15 Spanish lessons per week, at the Fedele-accredited Proyecto Español school in Granada for only 190€ (£156 or $263). That’s a very good deal.

On the other hand, a two-week course at a top school like AIL Madrid in Spain’s capital city (including 20 weekly lessons) costs around 323€ (£265 or $446). Ail Madrid is a top language school and the price is not bad for Spain’s capital.

But even with the different number of weekly classes and the two different locations, you may feel that that’s is a big variation in price. So what does it all mean? Is it possible that AIL Madrid is better than the Proyecto Español school in Granada? Or are there other reasons for the price variation?

Factors that influence Spanish language course prices in Spain

Prices for Spanish courses in Spain do depend on the type of language school you choose. But, there are several other factors that affect prices:

1. Where is the language school based? A Spanish school in Madrid is likely to be more expensive than a course in Granada, because because big city schools tend to have larger overheads than those in smaller provincial towns.

2. Public or private? Some courses at Spain’s public universities are considerably cheaper than courses at private schools. But you should be aware that university language courses usually have bigger class sizes, meaning that you’ll have much less individual attention from teachers. For more information, read our blog post Choosing the Right Spanish Language School: Spanish Universities Vs. Private Schools.

3. Other factors The size of the school, how the school is managed, the number of teachers employed, facilities and materials will also raise or lower a course price. Organised, free after-class activities may add to the value of the course, but also the cost. Whether a language school is officially accredited by a well-known academic or language organisation can also raise its prices. Sometimes it is also the case that good student reviews or a good reputation in the language-learning community will encourage a school to raise their rates.

This means that there are many factors to consider, before deciding whether a Spanish course in Spain is “too expensive” or “too cheap”. Let’s have a look at some individual schools and their prices, and how the above factors have influenced what they charge their students.

Camino Barcelona: a cheap, good school in Barcelona

05-big_5One of the most popular Spanish immersion destinations in Spain is Barcelona. Barcelona is a huge metropolis and a hub of art, fashion and nightlife. It also is one of the more expensive destinations in Spain. Still, surprisingly, the city boasts one of Spain’s most reasonably priced and high standard language schools, Camino Barcelona. Whilst not the cheapest school in the whole of Spain, it is the cheapest school in the city. Prices start at a two-week course containing 20 lessons, for 276€ (£226 or $381), going up to 1825€ (£1497 or $2521) for a twelve-week course that includes 25 weekly lessons.

So how is this possible? Camino Barcelona has an excellent reputation even though it charges cheap course fees. The school employs qualified teachers, who are well known for making the lessons effective and fun. Camino Barcelona also offers many mod cons like free WiFi access, and up to date audio-visual and computer equipment for students’ use.

Well, the lower prices mean that Camino Barcelona has a high volume of students – what it may miss in higher profits on an individual student basis, it gets back in fully sold out courses. Camino Barcelona is a great example of a school where a cheaper course price doesn’t mean lower teaching standards. (On the contrary in fact, this is probably the most popular school in Spain right now, enjoying 10 out of 10 student reviews).

Salamanca University: At the more expensive end

08-big_18Having said that public universities tend to offer cheaper Spanish language courses than private language schools, there is always an exception to every rule.

The case in point is Salamanca University, one of Spain’s most respected learning institutions. This university has a solid international reputation and that is probably partly why their Spanish language course fees are higher than, say, those of Malaga University in the south of Spain. A two-week intensive course at Salamanca Uni, including 20 lessons per week, starts at 485€ (£398 or $670).

So the question is, do you get your money’s worth at Salamanca University? The answer is yes. Salamanca’s long tradition in teaching Spanish as a foreign language, its specialist teaching staff, only 15 students per class and a flexible programme that allows you to combine many different Spanish language and culture lessons during your course, are what raise the price here. Unusually, Salamanca University also has a dedicated member of staff who organises cultural activities for foreign students, giving their courses more value.

So how do I know which school to pick?

The only way to know which school to pick, and at what price, is to do your research. If you’re already sighing at the prospect, don’t worry. There are many tools that will make the process of choosing the right school at the right budget much easier. Just follow these guidelines:

1. Set your course budget. You know what you can afford and how long you want to stay in Spain for. Using that as a starting point is helpful.

2. Set a spending money budget. It’s also a good idea to calculate how much money you’ll need for expenses during our stay: food, entertainment and so on. The destination can play a crucial role in this. As a rule of thumb, Madrid, Barcelona and Marbella are Spain’s most expensive cities. Alicante, Valencia, Malaga, Sevilla and the Canary Island are averagely priced. Cities like Salamanca and Granada offer the cheapest cost of living. Use the UniSpain Pocket Money Calculator to work out how much money you’ll need.

3. Check your school features. Once you know your budget and have narrowed your search down to a few destinations, now’s the time to do your finer research on schools. Start by looking at the 40 officially registered Spanish schools in Spain on UniSpain’s School Comparison Tool to give you an overview. Or you can also do a Quick Prices Comparison.

How to research a Spanish language school in Spain

When deciding on a Spanish school in Spain, it’s a good idea to take into account these factors:

  • Student reviews (try independent sources for opinions, like UniSpain).Speak Spanish - Imagen vía huffingtonpost.com
  • Accreditation by external educational quality organisations like Fedele or the Cervantes Institute.
  • How many proficiency levels there are.
  • How many students are in each class.
  • Are there extra activities or culture classes available?
  • What qualifications the teachers have.
  • School size.
  • Nearness to amenities.
  • Are there materials included (books, etc.)?
  • Is there a registration fee on top?

You really need to decide how important each of these above factors it to you. For more help on this, see our blog post Why Some Spanish Schools in Spain Are Cheaper or More Expensive Than Others.

When the price is right

As we have seen above, the price for two-week courses at good private language schools can vary between 190€ at Proyecto Español in Granada and 485€ at Salamanca University. Good quality long-term courses at public universities can come as reasonably priced as Alicante University’s 12-week intensive course at 1257€ (£1031 or $1736) or a full-term (3 months) course at Malaga University for 1645€ (£1350 or $2273). Or at the other end of the scale, you have courses like Madrid Nebrija University’s full-term courses at 3154€ (£2588 or $4358). You can also go for a VIP Package at several public university language schools. On these courses, every last detail is taken care of for you and the courses are pretty much all-inclusive. The price will naturally reflect this.

In conclusion

Each of these courses detailed above can be considered “good”, whether the price is low or high. But for you personally, each may have advantages and disadvantages. We hope that this article, and some of the example prices and schools shown, will help you to make a considered decision.

Let us know what you thought? Visit the UniSpain site for more information on the best cheap courses and to view special offers by language schools in Spain.

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