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Learn Spanish in Madrid (Retiro Park)
Madrid: multicultural, modern, and magical! Like any European capital, Madrid is a melting pot of different cultures, with a long and varied history that is still evident through the various architectural styles and monuments dotted around the city. Situated on the Manzanares River since Roman times, Madrid was a key Moorish stronghold during the reign of the Córdoban Caliphate. Fragments of the 9th-century city walls are still visible here and there, but most obvious is the Germanic influence - so much so, in fact, that the historical centre is commonly referred to as the ‘Madrid of the Austrians’.
Chosen as the capital of Spain in 1561, Madrid takes its place as one of Europe’s - if not the world’s - key cultural hubs. It boasts a whopping 129 Sites of Cultural Interest (more than any other location in Spain!), and is full of museums and galleries with truly excellent collections. The iconic Paseo de Prado, just outside the old town, is a gorgeous, tree-lined avenue home to many of Madrid’s most important attractions, including the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Golden Triangle of Art, the luxurious Hotel Palace, and various striking plazas. Throughout the year, many festivals, fairs, and open-air music events take place on the Paseo. Madrid is considered an educational capital as well as well as a cultural one, thanks to its top institutions such as the Central University, the Institution of Free Teaching, and the Ateneo Cientifico, Literario, y Artistico de Madrid. Today, the Spanish capital is widely considered to be one of the unsurpassed centres of university schooling in Europe; as home to the headquarters of the Cervantes Institute and the Royal Spanish Academy, Madrid is also a world-renowned centre for Spanish-language instruction.
Not only is the city peppered with green spaces - including the vast Casa de Campo, which boasts its own amusement bark, a zoo, and a boating lake - it also stands just an hour’s drive from the spectacular Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, a hotspot for mountain sports and wildlife watching. For those who favour more urban pursuits, the bustling Gran Vía is a perfect for shopaholics, whilst a stroll through the district of Lavapiés will give you a taste of the widely diverse gastronomy that the city offers.
Undoubtedly the best area for food and shopping is Salamanca, east of the historic Centro. It is in this lovely, verdant area that our Spanish language school is located.
Our school in Madrid (Retiro Park)
This language centre is located just a short walk from the famous Retiro Park, a city-centre oasis and one of the largest green spaces in Madrid. The Park is home to the ‘Crystal Palace’, a beautiful 19th-century glasshouse, the Velazquez Palace, which now houses a collection of contemporary art, a bandstand which is regularly used by local musical groups for public concerts, and the locally-dubbed Paseo de Estatuas (‘Statue Walk’; a collection of historical pieces stretching across the park). Other attractions within walking distance of the school are the National Archaeological Museum, the huge Wizink events centre, and the Alcalá Theatre, where students can watch engaging Spanish-language dramas and musicals.
Accredited by the Cervantes Institute, the International Association of Language Centres (IALC), and approved for DELE, Bildungsurlaub, and Erasmus programmes, this facility offers high-quality, personalised tuition to all students who attend. Spear-headed by a husband-and-wife team, the language centre opened its doors to foreign students wanting to learn Spanish in 1956, and now has over 50 years of experience under its belt! Its highly qualified teachers are accustomed to providing dynamic, immersive tuition to students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.
With 11 classrooms and a maximum of nine students per group, this school is able to offer its students personalised attention and language instruction that is tailored to their individual needs. During your course you can make use of the two student lounges to relax, socialise, or catch up on schoolwork. The lounges both have coffee machines, so you get refreshments in between lessons without even needing to leave the building! For those looking for quiet study, the school also has a library offering free textbooks and video resources to all students.
The area surrounding the school has lots of greenery and beautiful buildings, and it’s packed with cafes, bars, and restaurants serving local fare. The nearest metro stop is just around the corner, meaning you can easily explore other areas of the city during your time at our language centre. The school’s central location within this bustling European capital means it can provide a cosmopolitan Spanish experience for all students, whilst its relatively small size means that students can feel at home in this warm and welcoming learning environment.
Courses in Madrid (Retiro Park)
- Intensive (20)
- Intensive + Private Lessons (25)
- Intensive + Private Lessons (30)
- Super Intensive (30)
- Private Lessons (20)
- Club 50 (20)
- DELE Exam Prep (20)
- Teachers Course (20)
- Work Experience (20)
Most students attending courses at this school opt for the standard Intensive programme of 20 group classes per week. When selecting this course, you are also guaranteed to receive 4 free language/culture workshops each week. If you want to increase the benefits of your programme, you can select a Super-intensive course of either 25 or 30 weekly group classes. The additional lessons cover topics relating to conversation, culture, and history. Classes on these programmes may take place in the morning or in the afternoon, depending on your ability level and the number of other students at the school. Your exact schedule can only be confirmed by school staff on your first day. Kindly note that, if you have no prior experience with Spanish, you will need to start your group programme on a specific beginners’ date - contact us to find out more about available dates for beginners.
If you have specific topics you’d like to cover, or feel that you need extra attention during your studies, you can choose private lessons and receive expert one-to-one tuition that can be custom-made to your exact requirements. You’ll have 20 bespoke lessons per week on the standard package, but can book more if you wish. If you think that private lessons would be beneficial for you, but you still want to experience the social aspect of group classes, you can book a combined package of 20 group lessons plus and additional 5 or 10 one-to-one classes each week.
We can offer exam preparation courses for students wanting to have an internationally recognised Spanish-language qualification. You’ll have at least 20 lessons per week focusing on developing your language the skills, as well as 10 weekly lessons focused on practice questions and past papers. This combined approach gives you the best possible chance to pass the exam of your choice - and to pass well! Our school can help you prepare for the DELE or SIELE examinations; your teachers will also be happy to help you arrange your exam after your course has finished. These courses are only available at certain times of year; please get in touch with us if you would like further information.
If you’re a student over the age of 50 who prefers to study with other, like-minded mature students from across the world, our Club 50+ classes are perfect for you! You can find detailed information on this specialised programme here.
If you’re looking to become a Spanish teacher, or if you’re already a teacher and you want to develop your pedagogical approach, why not take our specialised teachers’ course? This 4-week super-intensive programme consists of 3 weeks of theoretical training and workshops - where you’ll cover topics such as lesson planning, creation and use of teaching materials, and how to determine students’ ability levels - followed by a week shadowing one of our very own Spanish tutors to learn about various teaching styles. At the end of the programme you’ll submit written and oral reports and receive a certificate of achievement after assessment.
Our school also offers work experience in a local Spanish company. This programme provides the opportunity to quickly improve your Spanish skills and expand your resume by working for 6 or 12 weeks in a local Spanish company. You’ll need to study for at least 4 weeks at our school and demonstrate at least B1 proficiency after these 4 weeks in order to be eligible for this programme. Our tutors can guide you on how to create your CV, find a placement for you in a company in your desired industry, and give you tips and techniques for your placement interview. Kindly note that the work offered is an unpaid internship.
Special courses in Madrid (Retiro Park)
- Host Family
- Shared Apartment
If you want to have as much opportunity as possible to speak Spanish with native speakers, then homestay lodging is the choice for you! Carefully selected hosts offer private single or twin rooms* and provide 2 or 3 meals per day as part of your accommodation package. Do note that we can accommodate special diets (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, lactose-/gluten-free, etc.) for a small additional fee. Hosts all live within 25 minutes’ travel from the school by public transport, and some live within walking distance. All host families offer a comfortable and safe environment in which to stay during your language course, and also provide towels and a weekly laundry service. You will have your own keys to come and go as you please, but you must respect house rules and schedules.
For more independence, stay in one of the school’s apartments. Shared apartments offer private single or twin rooms*, a fully-equipped kitchen with a washing machine, and a lounge with a television and comfortable seating. These apartments are ideal for students aged 18 - 25 who are travelling on a budget and looking for a highly social experience. Communal areas include the kitchen, bathroom(s), and living facilities. Rooms are offered on a self-catering basis, which gives you the freedom to cook for yourself during your stay. Bed linen is provided but towels may not be (depending on the apartment), so you should bring your own. Students should note that Wi-Fi access is very limited with this type of accommodation, and cannot be guaranteed. Each apartment is located no more than 40 minutes away from the school by public transport, and has up to 4 bedrooms. Students are responsible for keeping the apartment clean and tidy.
If you prefer complete privacy, then a studio apartment would be the best option for you. You’ll have a private, self-contained studio within walking distance from the school, complete with its own bathroom and fully-equipped kitchenette. Studios are offered on a by-request basis only; please contact us directly if you are interested in this option.
All accommodation is available between the Sunday before your course starts until the Saturday after your course ends. In most cases, the school can be flexible with your arrival and departure time, though you should make sure that you arrive and depart before 23:00. We may be able to arrange extra nights in your accommodation for you if needed - please contact us about this prior to making your booking.
*Please note that twin rooms are only available to students travelling together. If you book a twin room but are travelling alone, you will be swapped to a single room.
To help you experience life in Madrid, our school organizes an extensive cultural programme which is specially designed to offer the best of the city and the surrounding area. Each activity is conducted in Spanish and thus helps to complement your classroom learning with experience in real-life scenarios. As well as being educational, the activities are designed to be fun and to help you get to know your fellow students.
Many activities will be offered free of charge, whilst others will incur an additional fee to cover entrance and/or transportation costs. The exact schedule changes throughout the year but may include:
- Guided tours of various areas of the city
- Free seminars on Spanish grammar, conversation, and culture
- Visits to local museums and attractions
- Spanish film screenings
- Evening meals with your classmates
- Tapas ‘caminas’
- Shopping trips
- Half- and full-day excursions to locations like Toledo, Segovia, Valencia, and Salamanca
How to get there
Madrid’s airport is also known as Barajas Airport; as one of the busiest airports in Europe, students from most countries can find direct flights into the city.
From here, you can either take public transport to your accommodation or we can arrange an airport transfer service for you for an additional charge. If you book this service, a driver will be waiting for you when you land and will take you directly to your accommodation; if you select this service on departure as well, you will be collected from your lodging on your last day and taken back to your chosen airport in time for your departing flight.
The city enjoys extensive Metro links to other European cities, if you prefer not to fly.
Students should arrange to arrive between 08:00 and 22:00 on the Sunday before their course starts and depart between 08:00 and 22:00 on the Saturday after their course finishes. Kindly note that an additional supplement will be applied to transfer services booked for flights arriving outside of these times. We may be able to arrange extra nights on arrival and/or departure for you if needed.
Location of our school in Madrid (Retiro Park)
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