Self-Study Online versus Course in Spain – Pros & Cons

applesorangesPerhaps you are still in the early stages of your search for a Spanish language course in Spain, and between the hassle of course options, accommodation searches and all the other nitty gritty preparations, you are becoming overwhelmed. You may be wondering why it would even be necessary to make the big move to Spain to study Spanish when you could just follow an on-line Spanish class  and study independently in the familiarity and comfort of your home.

Opinions differ on the subject and I, personally, feel it is like comparing apples and oranges and could not truly say that one way is indisputably better than the other. I think it would be up to you to decide.
Let us take a look at some pros and cons of both methods.

On-line Spanish Classes
Basically, you would purchase or enrol in an already structured Spanish language course via your computer  that would be accessed or conducted uniquely on-line.


  • About a 100 times less expensive than a course in Spain
  • No added stress of moving to Spain and all that comes with it
  • No need to leave your house. Just think! If it is the dead of winter, you E-learning ould stay in your pj’s and sip on yummy tea while you nibble on biscuits….and study of course!
  • Study all the while being in the familiarity and comfort of your home
  • Flexible schedule that caters to you and when you are ready to work
  • Freedom to stop and restart if you need to take a break or run an errand
  • Go at your own pace since you are in charge and it’s all about you
  • Able to use other on-line resources to complement your studies
  • You can listen to music while you work
  • You could even study with your cat in your lap


  • Missing the organic exchange of having a human teacher with instant feedback
  • Potential connection problems with the internet or other technical malfunctions
  • Possible external interferences (phone calls, house-mates etc.)
  • You must be extremely self-disciplined or risk to make no progress at all
  • High potential for other distractions
  • Lonely and (boring) way to learn with no interaction with others

Spanish Courses in Spain
You would move to Spain where you would be enrolled in a Spanish language course at a school with lessons that are in person and on site.


  • Interaction with other students
  • Can learn from the mistakes of others in the class
  • Organic presence of teacher with instant and constant feedback
  • Assess the rate of progress through peers
  • Structured assessment tests and exams
  • Higher potential to improve oral comprehension and spontaneous speaking ability
  • Meet people from all over the worldspanishclassroom
  • Learning continues outside the classroom in the streets of Spain
  • Potential for total immersion
  • Added bonus of cultural exposure


  • About 100 times more expensive than self-studying on-line
  • The bundle of stress that comes with moving to Spain
  • Less flexibility with set course dates and class schedules
  • Obliged to go at the group’s pace (faster or slower)
  • Added pressure to not make mistakes in public
  • Divided attention of the teacher

Both these methods could be extremely efficient in their own ways. At the end of the day, you need to be honest with yourself and understand the way you learn so that you can decide which method would work best for your learning style. Are you self-disciplined? Do you need human interaction? Would you benefit from an all-Spanish environment? Is your schedule hectic? Look at your individual situation to see what would be an ideal fit for you.

How about a compromise?…

You could enrol in an online course with UniSpain.
Or –
You could enrol in a course in Spain and get an awesome deal of  a one month on-line Spanish course for free (a $79 value!) from one of our partners.

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