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Every week, a panel of our favourite Travel Experts (sssh, don’t tell the rest of them that we have favourites) put time aside in their busy, travel-planning-filled days to answer one of your burning travel questions.
Noel Edmunds doesn’t own the dream factory; we do. Oh yeah. Want to be a part of the mechanism that makes the factory cogs whirl? Email us with your very own question for the Experts, then! You’ll see the answer to your question right here on the blog.
So, who’s this week’s traveller in distress? It’s Dan from Leeds! Dan from Leeds, tell us everything that’s bothering you (try to keep it travel related though, yeah?):
I’m interested in learning Spanish on my next holiday. Where’s the best city to go to learn? Dan in Leeds
Do you know what I’ve always loved about Dan from Leeds? He gets straight to the point; no messing around for him. He wants Spanish lessons, in a Spanish speaking country, and he wants them now! Can our Experts help him out? I reckon so!
Read on, and find out where to go to learn Spanish, stay with local families, and eat guinea pig, all at the same time…
Claire Whittington from STA Travel Brighton says…
Hola Dan! There are so many amazing Spanish speaking places you could go to, even I’m not sure where to begin! So I’ll start with one of my favourite cities – if you want to stay closer to home, it would have to Barcelona for sure.
It really is a city with everything – beach, buzzing nightlife, great art, history and culture, my favourite food market in Europe and even a street full of those strange people-that-pretend-to-be-statues-then-move!
Practise your Spanish in beautiful Barcelona
OK, Las Ramblas may be full of stag and hen parties but if you chose a homestay as your accommodation for the course, you could experience the real Barcelona with the locals. You can even combine learning Spanish with salsa dancing if you really want to impress your friends when you get home.
If you fancy going further afield, I would have to recommend Cuzco in Peru. Not only do you get to learn a whole new language, but you can stay with a local family whilst you do the course, and Macchu Picchu is pretty much on your doorstep. It’s also one of the loveliest towns I’ve ever been to.
Immerse yourself in Cuzco's culture | Image by Agência de Notícias do Acre
After a hard day in the classroom, what better way to chill out that to head to the main square with your new language school friends, grab a balcony seat for some serious people watching, order a Pisco Sour and tracking down a BBQ to try the popular local dish of puy on a stick (that’s guinea pig, by the way!)
Amy Pearson from STA Travel Leeds Vicar Lane says…
Learning a skill while abroad is such a good idea, Dan, especially a language, as you can really immerse yourself in the surroundings, so you’ll find that you pick up the lingo much easier than you would in the UK. It’s always fun to practice with the locals and also a great opportunity to make friends! You can always ask them to help you with pronunciation and pick up some local slang along the way! It is such an amazing way to broaden your travel experience.
Spain is an obvious choice for learning the language and we offer language courses all over the country. Personally, I would choose Madrid – what better place to learn Spanish than in the country’s capital? You can choose from a home stay or an apartment while living there and courses run from one week to a lengthy 48 weeks!
The classes are small, so you’ll be guaranteed one-on-one tuition, and they have different levels ranging from standard to intensive courses. The teaching schools are always in central locations and the standard of accommodation prides itself on being fantastic, so you could find yourself living in an amazing apartment in central Madrid, eating tapas with your new Spanish friends! The courses are always mixed with different nationalities, so your potential new friends could be from all over the world. Prices for the course obviously differ depending on how long and intensive you want the program to be.
Get involved in Spanish culture in Madrid | Image by madcowk
If you want to go further afield, we also offer courses all over Latin America. My personal recommendation would be Argentina or even Mexico City, as living costs will be much lower than Europe. Mexico City is one of the vibrant cities I have ever been to and I loved travelling to all the Mayan ruins.
Learning Spanish in Latin America can also make travelling the continent much easier so if you decide to extend your trip or even go back in the future, knowing the language – even just the basics – will really benefit you.