Spanish Language School Comparison – Babylon Idiomas Madrid vs. Babylon Idiomas Sevilla

imagesToday we will be comparing two Spanish language schools in Spain. Both schools belong to the Babylon Idiomas chain – one in Madrid and one in Seville.

The Babylon Idiomas organisation was established in 2002 and has been voted the best Spanish language school in 2008 and 2011. They currently offer six exciting locations in Spain – Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Salamanca, Sevilla and Valencia – as well as several South American destinations. The Babylon Idiomas schools have a particular reputation for hiring teachers who are not just native Spanish speakers and university qualified in Spanish philology, but also enthusiastic, friendly and helpful.

First, the two schools’ similarities…

Since Babylon Madrid and Babylon Sevilla belong to the same chain, they naturally have some similarities – so it’s probably convenient to summarise these first!

  • SAME PRICES: The two schools’ prices are the same. Both Babylon Idiomas Madrid’s and Sevilla’s prices start at 288€ for a two-week Intensive Course that includes 20 Spanish lessons each week. But at both schools you can add as many weeks to your course as you wish or you could choose a more intensive package. For example, both schools also offer a Super-Intensive Course, which includes 30 Spanish lessons per week and costs 1173€. You can also choose DELE preparation, Immersion Courses and one-to-one lessons – or combinations of various courses. Find out more about course dates and prices for Babylon Idiomas Madrid and Sevilla on the UniSpain site.
  • Babylon Madrid -  Image by wikipedia commonsCENTRAL LOCATION: Both Babylon Madrid and Sevilla both enjoy a very central location in their respective cities. The Sevilla school is set in a typical Andalusian square right in the historic centre, and with the central area being small, the school is walking distance from all cultural attractions, restaurants, shops and nightlife. Babylon Madrid is also centric, located at Plaza Santa Ana, which is very near the Puerta de Sol, the Prado Museum, many tapas places and bars, and the shopping district near the Gran Via. From here, you can also easily catch the Metro or city buses to any corner of the metropolis.
  • TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS: Both schools employ only native Spanish teachers with university studies in Spanish or Hispanic Philology. Plus both schools also select their teachers for their enthusiasm, energy and helpful attitude. Both also have a Head of Studies to assist students.
  • CLASS DURATION AND SIZE: Both schools accept maximum 10 students per class. Both have 50-minute lesson duration.
  • BOOKS: Both schools charge for books on top of the course fees. Although book prices are subject to change depending on course, a rough guide is about 13-25€ per book.
  • LEVELS: Each school offers courses at six European framework proficiency levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). Those who speak some Spanish can start every Monday, and beginners can start almost every Monday – check with UniSpain for dates.
  • ACTIVITIES: All Babylon schools in Spain have the same after-class activity schedule, so apart from the different city tours on offer, the activity programme is the same. One of the free events on the agenda is “Happy Miércoles”. This is when students get to socialise with their teachers over Spanish food or drink, or taking part in activities like dancing. The school also puts on a weekly Spanish cinema evening every Thursday, and at the weekends there are organizes tours of Madrid. Most of these activities are organized for free, and students only need to pay for transport, food or entrance tickets where necessary.
  • AGE PROFILE: Both schools have an approximate average student age of 20-35 years. Both have a minimum age of 18.
  • WIFI: Both schools offer free WiFi for student use, and both have air-conditioning and heating for hot and cold weather.
  • LIBRARY SERVICES: Each school has a book and a DVD library.

Now, for the differences!

Here are the fundamental differences between Babylon Idiomas in Madrid and in Seville:

  • SCHOOL SIZE: Babylon Idiomas’ Seville school is slightly smaller than its Madrid counterpart. The Seville school has five classrooms, whilst Madrid has six, and Seville gets an average of 40 students per week and Madrid around 45.
  • NUMBER OF TEACHERS: The Madrid branch employs 9 teachers, and the Seville school 5-7. This is partly because the Seville premises have fewer classrooms, but also because the school has some busier and slower seasons, being more popular in spring and autumn. Babylon Madrid also gets a little busier in the autumn, but otherwise it generally has the same student numbers throughout the year.
  • Babylon Sevilla - Image by wikimedia commonsSPECIALIST COURSES: The Seville school offers a specialist Spanish + Flamenco course. (The Madrid school does not offer any specialist courses). The Spanish + Flamenco course in Babylon Sevilla includes 20 weekly Spanish lessons, 5 culture lessons and 5 hours of flamenco dance instruction each week from Monday to Friday. Babylon Sevilla works with a well-known flamenco academy, and all levels from beginner to advanced are welcome. You will need a pair of flamenco shoes, which you can easily purchase in one of Seville’s many flamenco-clothing shops. Ask UniSpain for more details on this course.
  • FACILITIES: The facilities differ slightly. In Madrid, the students have a common lounge area where they can enjoy hot and cold drinks, and here they can also access free WiFi and work on computers. In Seville, the students also have a common room with free WiFi, but they also have a separate kitchen and an outdoor sun patio.
  • ACCREDITATIONS: Both schools are quality-accredited by Instituto Cervantes and Fedele. These are two well-known language education associations – this means that both schools have been officially assessed by impartial outside bodies and are considered to be of a good standard. The school in Seville has an additional quality accreditation from an organisation called Español en Andalucía.
  • ACCOMMODATION PRICE: Accommodation in Madrid is slightly more expensive than accommodation in Seville. To give you an example, a single room in a shared student flat in Madrid, including half board, costs 392€ for two weeks. In Seville, the same type of accommodation for the same length of time costs 266€. Living costs in Seville are also generally cheaper than in Madrid.
  • AIPORTS & ACCESSIBILITY: Madrid is highly accessible through the Barajas International Airport. From there, students can take the metro to the Puerta del Sol station, which is walking distance from the Babylon Madrid school premises. Seville has a much smaller airport and does not get as many international flights as Madrid. Students can often find cheaper international connections via London, and there are numerous national flights from Madrid and Barcelona. The other option is to fly to Madrid and take a train to Seville’s central main railway station.

Find out more about Madrid as a destination on the UniSpain blog: Madrid Guide for Students

Find out more about Seville as a destination on the UniSpain blog: Studying Spanish in Sevilla

Our conclusion

We believe that neither of these schools is “better” than the other, however, each school may be suited to a different type of student:

Those seeking to experience the passionate Andalusian culture, complete with lots of sunshine, flamenco, history, riverside life and a quaint, old historic city centre where everything is within walking distance, will enjoy Seville. As for Babylon Idiomas itself, if a slightly smaller school attracts you, you can enjoy a quieter time here during the non-peak periods in mid-summer and during winter. Be warned, however, that summer temperatures in Seville are scorching! This school is also ideal if you wish to take a specialist course and learn flamenco dancing while you learn Spanish.

If, on the other hand, a large, exciting metropolis is what you want, then you can’t go wrong with Madrid. The Madrid Babylon Idiomas’ superb central location means that you can walk to places like the Prado Museum or the shopping district between Puerta del Sol and Gran Via, as well as many tapas bars and pubs. The school itself if busy and young, and you’ll get a chance to meet many international students here, whilst being right in the middle of a genuinely Spanish city full of opportunities to practice the language.

Hope you enjoyed this blog post. We’ll leave you with a quick-glance table to remind you of each school’s characteristics below. And don’t forget to visit UniSpain’s blog for more information about schools, destinations and other useful information for your time in Spain!

Tabla Babylon Schools

  • Weekly Updates by Email