Want to learn Spanish faster than in any other classroom, while immersing yourself in a rich and exciting culture? Head to a unique learning experience in southern Spain.
A Passion for Languages
I’ve always had a passion for languages. I love to travel and learn about different cultures, visit exotic locales, and speaking to the many people around me whose native language is not necessarily English.
It seems as though nearly everywhere I go, I hear Spanish spoken — and that makes sense. According to the 2016 U.S. Census, Spanish is spoken by more than 40 million people in this country alone. (By comparison, the entire population of Spain was 46 million at the time, according to the World Bank.) By 2060 it is estimated that 120 million Hispanics will live in the States.
So there is no doubt as to the usefulness of being able to speak the language. But for me, the thrill of speaking another language has always been about both the challenge and the fun of learning, trying to master it so that I can converse fluently and open myself up to different friends, food, and cultures.
Making Language CLIC
A few years ago, I had the chance to spend a month in Spain doing an intensive course at the Spanish language school CLIC, the Center for Language and Cultural Interchange. In 2018, I was fortunate enough to return for another immersion.
One of the great things at CLIC is that you’re able to start your classes throughout the year — for any length of time. So whether you’re looking for a one, two, six or eight week course — you’re tested to ascertain your level of proficiency, and then you join in a class already in session that’s appropriate for you. Even if you’re a complete beginner or just want a refresher course, there are great options.
CLIC is one of the top Spanish schools in Spain. (Rumor has it that Chelsea Clinton also took classes there.) The school has facilities in Cádiz, Málaga and Seville. They also offer adult housing options whereby you can secure accommodations organized by CLIC that can be rented by the week. However if you prefer, they can also place you in a Spanish-speaking home, where you’ll be able to converse daily and casually with your hosts. This is a terrific option, especially if you’re looking for total immersion, which suits my learning style perfectly.
Classes are deliberately kept small — generally with six to 10 students (although private tutors are also available). Mornings are dedicated to Spanish classroom work, which leaves afternoons open for practicing the language while enjoying a full and varied program of leisure and cultural activities.Find LGBTQ-Friendly Resources
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Where Can You CLIC?
All three of CLIC’s schools are located in southern Spain. In the port city of Cádiz, you can find CLIC in one of the most desirable neighborhoods of the city: Bahia Blanca; it’s just a few steps from the beach and surrounding shopping areas. Cultural activities include everything from guided tours, workshops and film screenings to language exchanges with locals with a variety of other activities to help strengthen your language skills.
Málaga is the birthplace of both Pablo Picasso and Antonio Banderas (some decades apart). You’ll find CLIC Málaga in the city center, just off the main street and only steps away from Plaza de la Constitución. Here, after morning classes, students engage in an assortment of pastimes, including visits to museums, tapas tastings, and innumerable opportunities to chat with the locals.
CLIC Seville is also centrally located — just behind the Plaza Nueva and right off the city’s shopping hub. In addition to morning classes and a variety of weekday afternoon options, you can take advantage of weekend getaways to nearby cities, each guided by professors, art historians and other experts.
I’ve traveled extensively around the world, but the experience of visiting Southern Spain and steeping myself in their culture is far richer than visiting another city for a week or two of vacation. I found it not only a great way to visit a place I hadn’t explored, but also a sublime way to soak up the local culture while improving my Spanish far faster than if I’d taken a course in the States.
Want to learn more about what CLIC offers? Visit them online at clic.es or e-mail them via firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about traveling to Spain, go to spain.info.
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Last modified: April 23, 2019