On this page you'll find tips and advice on how to choose a Spanish language school in Barcelona. Many schools are offering Spanish courses in Barcelona, but you need to consider some key points before you choose which one.
Listed below are some important points you need to consider when accessing a Spanish language school in Barcelona.
If there are not sufficient language training levels you could be placed on a course that is either too high or too low for your standard. Also, check whether it's possible to change from one course to another if you find the level of the training is not right for your needs.
Small groups, no larger than 15 people, is most favourable as you'll receive more personal attention. The group size is most important later on in your language training when you may need to ask more specific questions.
You preferably want a Spanish language school that is situated right in the centre of Barcelona city to ensure you benefit from the amenities the city has to offer and good transportation links.
Language schools use names like intensive and super-intensive etc., but these terms don't actually mean much as each school has its own definitions of these terms.
What you need to know is how many hours per day is each course. The schools can offer a wide range of study times anything from 1 hour to 8 hours per day. Four hours of language training per day is as much as most people can comfortably take and 2 hours per day is perfect if you also want to experience some of the Barcelona lifestyle and sights as well as your Spanish language study.
There are homework exercises that accompany the language courses, and these can take several additional hours to complete. As a rough guide assume that you'll spend approximately 50% of class study time doing homework and revision.
All Spanish language schools in Barcelona have accompanying course books, and these can be quite expensive. Ask the school which coursebooks they'll be using and remember to account for the cost of these into your budget.
A good dictionary is essential, and an electronic pocket dictionary is much quicker and more convenient to use. The added advantage of the electronic dictionary is that it's equivalent to a large dictionary but will fit in your pocket -handy for when you are around town. There are many brands of electronic translators available on the market, but the brand I found the best was Franklin. Many electronic dictionaries also have verb conjugations dictionaries built into them (something that the paper dictionaries don't have).
The first point to ask does the classrooms have natural light. Many of the older buildings in Spain have interior rooms with little or no natural light. For many people studying in a classroom with natural light is much more comfortable.
Air conditioning for classrooms during the summer months in Spain (June - September ) may be worth considering although many people prefer not to have air conditioning as it can make the atmosphere quite dry. It depends on your preference. Bear in mind that language schools that do offer air conditioning will charge more for their courses as it is expensive to operate.
Heating during the Winter (November - February) is not as important (it doesn't get too cold here) although you will need to wrap up warm if there is no heating in the school.
Some schools also offer other facilities like internet access and a gym etc., but these can be obtained relatively cheaply in the city independently of the language school. It's best, therefore, not to be seduced too much by a language school offering a host of added amenities unless they directly relate to your Spanish course study.