What is the cheapest way to learn Spanish in Madrid?
I'm moving there at the end of August for approx one year.
I've been researching schools but they offer full-time/ live in course which I cannot take. Partly because I'm working full-time and partly because they're so damned expensive.
I read somewhere that the goverment may have have cheap programs for new immigrants.
If anyone has any info please let me know...and keep in mind i'll be living off of a very tight budget.
You will definitely not qualify as a new immigrant
Have you tried DELE? They're the organisation behind the Spanish-as-a-second-language diploma, I think their website also has a listing of schools.
I have just returned from a year in Madrid.. what a year! The best way to learn Spanish is Intercambios and guess what they are FREE!!! They are exchanges and you are in the fortunate position that you are a native english speaker and soooo many spaniards are dying to learn english. If you are just starting to learn spanish then you should go to a language school, if you have the time do an intensive beginners class - 6 hours a day 5 days a week - you will learn all the grammar pretty quickly and then you can go on intercambios to practice speaking. The language schools can be expensive..up to 500 euros for 2 weeks, google "learn spanish madrid" the most well known schools are cactus and international house.. these are the most expensive though. If you want to find cheaper schools get the metro to Arguelles and walk around and you will see smaller independant schools that are cheaper. The DELE has three levels, beginner, intermediate and advanced, im not sure about the beginner one, i did intermediate which is quite hard and advanced is for people that are completely fluent. I did the DELE course at uni so it was free for me but you have to pay for the exam at the end which was around 150 euros..(passing the exam means you will get a certificate stating your level of spanish which is good for your C.V. however my tutor told me its not worth having the certificate for beginners so i wouldnt bother doing the exam) I didnt do it though as ran out of money!! The course itself is really good it covers all aspects of learning spanish - listening, speaking, grammar, and vocab.
With regards to the intercambios - look on the internet on loquo.com or google "intercambios madrid", it can be nerve wracking meeting a stranger but meet in a public place like starbucks or mcdonalds, go for a coffee, you'll find its really laid back. I had 2 people I met up with twice a week, usually we spoke in spanish for the first hour and english for the second, i made really good friends with the woman i met up with and we ended up going out for lunch and drinks and it was so relaxed and i was lucky as she really encouraged me to speak spanish - i put it down to her that my spanish actually improved so much!
If you are serious about learning spanish the best thing for it is to make spanish friends.. this can be hard as there are sooo many exchange students in madrid - i made the mistake of speaking english most of the time in my first few months there (as i wasnt confident in my spanish) however after a few months i realised i had to make more of an effort.
Did you manage to find a flat okay, I saw your previous thread about it..
Hope this helps I wish i was back in Madrid right now
[ Edit: Edited on Sep 12, 2008, at 3:03 AM by hellosweet ]