Posted in: Home / Archives for June 2007

Why Malaga’s only problem is its name!

Did you know that thousands of people of all ages come to study Spanish in Málaga every year? This may surprise you, but read on, and you’ll find out why.

Málaga city has just one major  problem – its name! “Málaga” unfortunately is also the name of the province that includes the resorts of Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Marbella  and as a result many people think that Malaga is the just like them – you couldn’t be more wrong – “chalk and cheese” doesn’t do it justice. Luckily they are far enough away not to have any impact at all on life here in Malaga city.

Málaga is in fact one of the best destinations in Spain for studying Spanish and enjoying Spanish culture, and the facilities at the school in Málaga are second to none.

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Why I went to Salerno…and why I’m going back!

Having already visited Florence, Venice and Verona in the north, Sorrento and Sicily in the south, I wanted to go somewhere with fewer tourists. I wanted to taste the real Italian lifestyle. I wanted a warm, comfortable climate in a city near the sea. ”Salerno” is perfect for the weather being in the south of Italy it is warm all year round. I stayed in Salerno in May and I was able to go sunbathing!

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If you only take one thing in your suitcase to Paris, take this…

Okay, so, you’re off to Paris for your French course. So what to pack? As you rummage through drawers, you find old travel companions – passport, money belt, travel alarm. None of which you will use after your first day there. Pen, paper, pocket dictionary…yes, all useful for your course, so go on, throw them in. But before you close that case, there’s one more thing…

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Pisa – a leaning tower… so what?

My preconception of Pisa was of a city that has built up a tourist trade around an ornate tower with dodgy foundations. Not great, I know, but having previously loved my short visits to Florence, Siena and Rome on my week’s tour of the country I was anxious to get to Pisa and see why you would bother choosing to go visit it when there are so many other amazing sights to see in Italy?*

Well you should bother!

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My Roman (Language) Holiday!

There’s no doubt about it. Rome is one of the most unique and exhilarating cities I have ever been to! I loved it! Now, I’m no history buff, but even I was awed by the sites I saw there. Of course, you think of Rome and immediately imagine the Coliseum and Vatican City. Yes, those places are totally incredible, and I honestly don’t think I could find the words to even start to describe how amazing the Sistine chapel is. But there is just SO much more to Rome than that.

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¡Bienvenido a Barcelona – my tips for your course!

There are a few things that I wish I had known before I arrived in Barcelona.  The first thing that would have really helped me was if I had known that a building’s 1st floor is actually the 3rd.  Sound confusing?  Well let me explain.  There is ‘la planta baja’ (ground floor), ‘el principal’ and THEN ‘la pisa una’ and so on.  Armed with this knowledge, it would have been much easier to find exactly where my host family lived (although it was quite amusing to knock on a complete strangers door and explain that I was going to be staying with them for a short while!)

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Muy Bonito Marbella!

My visit to Marbella was a very pleasant surprise! Located on the Costa Del Sol, I must admit that I’d expected the city to be full of tourists and lacking in character. I’m pleased to confirm that this is not the case at all!

I arrived in the evening and was delighted to find the sun still shining. The taxi ride from the bus station to the school provided a ‘mini’ city tour, and after depositing my luggage in one of the on-site apartments, I set out eager to explore.

The school is located just five minutes’ walk from the beach, and I soon found myself strolling along the promenade in the evening sunshine. The seafront is lined with bars, restaurants and ice cream parlours (yum!), and I was in good company as I meandered along the shore. Holidaymakers and locals young and old were also taking advantage of the pleasant evening, and the place buzzed. Even though I was alone, it was impossible to feel lonely! The hum of conversation and the aroma of fresh fish being barbecued on the beach made this one of my favourite places to relax during my time in Marbella.

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More tales of Malaga!

When I first tried to find the Malaga school, I couldn’t find the road of the school on a map of the area. The reason was that I hadn’t been looking for a lovely little pedestrianised street, which is where you can find the school!

When I arrived the students were gathering outside the school buildings, chatting with their new friends before their classes started. I took some photos, but I had a little time before the school was expecting me, so I wandered down the road to the beach (literally no more than two minutes’ walk).

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Exploring Malaga

I really liked the Malaga by the beach school. Inside the elegant school building there was quite a ‘big family’ atmosphere, which I think was due to the small size of the school, relative to Malaga (Premium) at least. It is impossible not to be taken with the lovely gardens of palm trees surrounding the school – they provide plenty of shade so you can just relax!

The member of staff showing me around then gave me a confiding look and asked whether I would like to try a delicious fruit smoothie at a lovely little seaside bar that she knew. Naturally, I acquiesced, so we crossed the road from the school to the beach, and she led me to a little rustic bar with an open terrace overlooking the sea. I was spoilt for choice by their range of freshly squeezed fruit juice combinations, and we sat sipping our drinks while I went through my questions about the school, pausing occasionally to appreciate our peaceful surroundings.

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My last week in Costa Rica has begun

Hola amigos!

As I’ve written before, time flies here in Costa Rica and yesterday was my first day of my last week at the school in Playa Flamingo. Before I go back home to Europe I still, luckily enough, do have one week left of travelling on my own here in Costa Rica. It might be a good opportunity to practice my Spanish.

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