Where to learn Spanish in Medellin?
Colombia improved its reputation massively over the last few years and more and more people come to Colombia not only for visiting the country but in order to learn Spanish. For me personally the Colombian Spanish is very easy to understand as the Colombians speak slowly and clear (exception: the people from the coast) and therefore it is very suitable not only for advanced speakers but also for beginners.
But the easy to understand Spanish is certainly not the only reason why studying in Medellin is a good idea. Obviously there are plenty of other reasons why you should consider to study here. These are very simple but important reasons. The city of Eternal Spring has the perfect weather. The entire year round it will be spring like weather with moderate temperatures. Apart from that the cities offers plenty of things to do. Many of the things and activities you could do are also offered in the schools or the universities. There a great things to see in the city and aronound. Some schools offer beautiful daytrips to for instance Guatape and Santa Fe de Antioquia some of the most beautiful villages in the nearby area. Additionally which I believe for some students will also be an important factor is the great nightlife in the city. People who study hard should as well have the possibility to have a good time and that you can certainly have in this beautiful city. Another important factor is the people. The Colombians are incredibly friendly people and they will try to help you and engage you in a friendly conversation whenever they can.
Obviously compared to a few years backs more and more people notice that Medellin is a great place to learn Spanish. Back in the days only few backpackers dared to take classes here. But the situation has change massively in the last few years.
Recently more and more Spanish schools pop out of the ground particularly in Medellin. You will certainly find other countries in South America where learning Spanish is cheaper than in Colombia but it is not always the lowest price that matters but the combination of many other things. And in this case one of the other things could be that Colombia is simply stunning.
Which Course and Where?
First you should decide if you rather practice in groups or in private lessons. I think if you just start to learn a new language and you are new in a foreign country it might be good to start in a group in order to meet people and make some contacts. A person of an advanced level or someone who needs to learn Spanish very quickly ought to consider private classes. You will see in the list below that private lessons are actually not much more expensive than classes in groups.
Another choice you should take is weather you’d rather like to go to a proper language school or make a course at a university. As I mentioned already before I participated in either of the two options and both experiences were throughout positive. In case you want to stay longer than 180 days in the country which is the maximum stay with a Tourist Visa you might want to consider signing up as a language student at the university. Attending classes at the university will enable you the possibility to get an extended student Visa. This Visa will be valid for the duration of your course. Schools usually have more different courses to choose from.
For instance you might have the possibility to make a special business Spanish course, get a private teacher or even have someone to give your classes at home in your apartment. Also the offer of activities is usually better than at the universities. Apart from daytrips and events there might also be a combination of language tuition with Salsa or Bachata dance Classes or even volunteer work. Additionally some offer Homestays where you can live with a Colombian family. This will not only urge you to speak Spanish all the time but you will also get a more inside impression on the Colombian culture.
Ways to help improve your skills
Additionally you can take advantage of language exchange programs. There you can improve your Spanish skills and socialize at the same time. These programs that I will also recommend at the end of this post are a great way to improve your Spanish very quickly.
Another great way to enhance your understanding of the language is through listening to Colombian music or watching TV with Subtitles. Me personally I always looked up the lyrics of a song I really liked and then translated these lyrics into my own language. A nice side effect will be that you will be able to sing a long with the Colombians on a party.
Obviously there will be usually plenty of work material provided by your teacher but you might want to start practicing before going to Colombia or even have some additional workbooks at hand. A booked that helped me very much at the beginning is the book 501 Spanish verbs. It includes the most used and common verbs. Even though this book is not aligned to Colombian Spanish this is a very helpful lecture with plenty of features and learning options.
Language schools in Medellin
Toucan Spanish School
The Toucan Spanish School (former Medellin language Academy)employs high-skilled teachers and offers frequent activities. The intensive course is from Monday to Friday ( 20 hours) and cost 420,000 COP (162 USD). Private classes are at 44,000 COP (17 USD) per hour at school and 46,000 COP (18 USD) per hour at your private home. At the Toucan Spanish school I used to have a private teacher who visited me at home and I tool classes at the school in El Poblado. From personal experience I can highly recommend the Toucan language school.
20 hours in a group 420,000 (162 USD)
Private classes 1 hour 44,000 COP (17 USD)
Private classes at home 1 hour 46,000 COP (18 USD)
Centro Interactivo de Español (Envigado)
The school is located in Envigado between the metro station Envigado and Ayura and not far from El Poblado. This school is relatively new and I didn’t attend classes there myself. Thes price for costs for 20 group classes are 395,000 COP (152 USD).
20 hours in a group 395,000 COP (152 USD)
Private classes 1 hour 39,000 COP (15 USD)
Private classes at home 1 hour 43,000 COP (16.50 USD)
The EAFIT is a private University located close to the metro station Aguacatala in El Poblado. Here I attended my first Spanish course. The teachers are very competent and classes consist of 2 – 8 people. In total the EAFIT offers 14 courses with different Spanish levels. One course consists of 38 hours and usually goes from Monday till Friday. When I started the cost for 38 hours were 750,000 COP unfortunately the price increased a little over the last 3 years and it is now 910,000 COP. The material you work with is great but has to be bought separately.
38 hours in a group 910,000 COP (355 USD)
Universidad Pontifica Bolivariana – Centro de Lenguas
Universidad de Antioquia
Colombia Immersion (Envigado)
Nueva Lengua – Escuela de Español
Social Spanish – Classes with Violet
At the Wandering Paisa Hostel there is a language exchange every Thursday evening. People usually start strolling in between 8 – 9pm.