If you’re like me, you spend too much time on Facebook. Fortunately, you can turn “El Feis,” as it’s known in Mexico, into a free learning tool. Follow these Mexican Facebook pages to improve your Spanish while keeping up with contemporary culture in Mexico. Read More

Getting hooked on a binge-worthy Spanish TV show is a great way to practice vocabulary and listening skills. You also learn about other cultures and gain exposure to different accents and slang. If you are an intermediate or advanced learner, I recommend watching with Spanish subtitles as studies show it enhances language learning. I also jot down any interesting new vocabulary and add it to my Anki flashcards later. Read More

Deutsche Welle's Jojo sucht das Glück - Advanced German

Deutsche Welle’s Jojo sucht das Glück

Since retiring I’ve been frequently visiting family in Germany, so I needed to brush up my language skills. My German abilities were in kind of a weird place. Since both my parents are German I grew up speaking it at home here in the US, but now that I live far from family I have few opportunities to practice. Also, I never had a formal grammar education and intended to fill that gap. Additionally, I wanted to pick up more current German slang.
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In February and March of 2017 I visited Mexico City and then spent three weeks in Guanajuato taking Spanish classes, followed by three days in Zacatecas, a beautiful northern mining town.

Itinerary

DayDaytimeNight
1Fly to Mexico City from USMexico City
2Mexico CityMexico City
3Mexico CityMexico City
4Mexico CityMexico City
5Bus to GuanajuatoGuanajuato
6-26Guanajuato - 3 weeks of language studyGuanajuato
27Bus to ZacatecasZacatecas
28ZacatecasZacatecas
29ZacatecasZacatecas
30Day trip to JerezZacatecas
31Fly back to US from Zacatecas
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In October 2016 I spent two and a half weeks studying Spanish at AIL Madrid. Overall it was a great experience and I highly recommend the school.

Why Madrid?

Gran Vía, Madrid

Gran Vía, Madrid

I chose Madrid since standard Castilian Spanish is spoken there with a clear accent, unlike in Seville, for example. There are also no regional languages to contend with, such as in Barcelona. Madrid is a little more expensive than other parts of Spain, but overall I found prices for school fees, food, and accommodation to be very reasonable.

Madrid ended up being a great choice. Despite being a big city, I found its inhabitants to be extremely kind and welcoming. It was easy to connect with locals and practice my Spanish. Madrid is famous for its night life and you could attend a different intercambio or social gathering via Meetup every night of the week. Read More