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Spanish Language & Culture Programs in Barcelona, Spain  



The main objective of the Spanish courses is to improve the student's communication skills. The emphasis of classroom activities is therefore the development of the student's ability to speak and understand spoken Spanish. For this reason, classes are conducted entirely in Spanish and students are given plenty of opportunity to practice the sort of language they are likely to need outside the classroom. While the atmosphere in the classroom is generally relaxed and informal, students should be prepared to work hard and participate fully.

Attention is also paid to grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing skills, and a wide variety of materials is used including published materials from many different sources, as well as materials which have been written by the school's own teachers. All materials that the students need to work with are provided free of charge. This includes a Spanish Grammar book which is given to students at the beginning of their course. Students who attend private classes will have course materials designed specifically to meet their particular needs.

The teaching and the course program is carefully supervised by the Director of Studies who is also responsible for ensuring that students are placed in the appropriate level and that their progress is satisfactory. On the first day of the course, each student with any prior knowledge of Spanish is given both an oral and a written entry test so that their level of ability can be ascertained and they can be placed in the most appropriate group.

A wide range of levels are offered, from absolute beginners to very advanced. Students will normally need at least 40 hours tuition at any one level before advancing to the next course. The names given to each level are as follows: Beginners, Elementary, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, Intermediate 3, Advanced 1, Advanced 2, Advanced 3, Proficiency.

Intensive Group Course
Group 20 hours per week. The Intensive Group Course consists of 4 hours per day of Spanish, from Monday to Friday. Classes take place from 09.30 to 13.30, with a 20 minute break for coffee taken halfway through the morning. Students may enroll for as many weeks as they like (minimum 2 weeks). Intensive Group Courses are offered at all levels from complete beginners to very advanced. There is a maximum of 12 students per group and the minimum age for this course is 16 years old.

Intensive Group & Culture Course
Group 20 & Culture, 26 hours per week. Low Intermediate level required, except for the course in Spanish Literature (class number 4, see below) where the minimum level required is Upper Intermediate. This course combines the Intensive Group Course of 4 hours per day of Spanish from 09.30 to 13.30, Monday to Friday, with 1.5 hours per day of culture classes from 14.30 to 16.00, Tuesday to Friday. The timetable allows for a one hour lunch (13.30 to 14.30) and for students to participate in the social program which begins at 16.00.

Each culture class lasts one week and looks at a different aspect of Spanish culture. Course subjects are as follows:

  •   Spanish art in the 20th Century: a look at a range of artistic styles including those of Picasso, Dali, Miro and Tapies.
  •   The Spanish media: Press, Radio, Television & Internet and the language that is characteristic of each media.
  •   The Spanish Civil War: the causes, most important episodes and many consequences of this tragedy.
  •   An introduction to the History of Spanish Literature from the Middle Ages to the present day.
  •   Flamenco: a course which looks beyond the music and dance to the culture of flamenco.
  •   Spain's most popular fiestas: the Easter Processions, the Fallas, San Fermin, etc.
  •   Spain's cultural diversity: the languages, gastronomy, geography and folklore of each of Spain's regional cultures.
  •   Spanish social customs: students are given an insight into the Spanish way of life and invited to compare Spanish social customs with those of their own countries.

Intensive Spanish & Art
1. Spanish + Creative Arts Workshops
This course combines an intensive Spanish course in the mornings with a series of four 1.5 hour introductory workshops, each of which introduces students to a different set of artistic skills, as used by such world famous Spanish artists as Gaudi and Picasso.

Painting Ceramics Workshop

This workshop consists of decorating a porcelain dragon figure (designed by Gaudi) which has previously been fired at 1200º C. The decorative mosaic technique often used by Gaudi is also explained in detail.

Glass-fusing Workshop

Students will study the many marvelous possibilities of working with molten glass. Each participant will produce a plate or bowl and decorate it according to their own preferences.

Pottery Workshop

Following a demonstration of the art of 'throwing' a pot on a wheel, each participant will be given the opportunity to produce a bowl, plate or jug of their own.

Sculpture Workshop

This workshop focuses on how to make sculptures appear well balanced and less static than is often the case. Each participant will be then be given the opportunity to make a Picasso-style Spanish bull.

These 4 workshops can be scheduled to take place all in one week (one workshop each day from Tuesday to Friday); over two weeks (with two workshops per week), or over four weeks (with one workshop per week).

Each workshop last 1.5 hours, for a total of 6 hours. All materials are provided and students will be welcome to take home any work they produce.

2. Spanish + Intensive Art Course
This 2 or 4-week course program combines an intensive Spanish course in the mornings with a 24-hour course dedicated to developing skills in one of the following three disciplines: pottery, sculpting in clay, or drawing and painting.

The art course is divided into eight three-hour sessions which can be programmed to take place on any combination of days (from Monday to Friday) over a 2 or 4-week period.

Pottery Course

This course starts by looking at different types of clay and covers a number of techniques such as developing different forms (tiles, plates, vases,) and using a variety of glazes at different temperatures. All the materials required are included in the course fee.

Sculpture Course
The course looks at how different forms and styles can be developed and also considers the variety of finishes that can be applied to each sculpture. All the materials required in the course are included in the fee.

Drawing and Painting Course

Using a variety of materials such as charcoal, water colors, oil paints or acrylics, the course focuses on such issues as how to produce light and shadow, how to develop perspective and build volume, how to paint portraits, etc. All course materials, except oil paints, are included in the course fee.

For more information about these art programs, contact us!

Study & Internship Program
This Study & Internship program combines a minimum 4 week Standard Group Spanish Study program followed up with a minimum 12 week Internship Work Experience placement in the community.

Internship placements are available upon request in a wide variety of fields such as tourism, architecture, insurance, etc.

For more information about this program, contact us!

Business Spanish Course

Courses are designed to help students who need to use Spanish in their work.

The aim of these courses is to help improve student's level of competence in many typical work-related activities such as participating in meetings, using the telephone for business, negotiating and selling, making presentations, etc.

Students are also introduced to a wide range of business vocabulary and given an insight into the sort of cultural differences that they may encounter while working or doing business in a Spanish-speaking country.

Course design
The course consists of 4 hours tuition per day (from 09.30 - 13.30) for 2 or 3 weeks. Students who take the 3-week course can choose to take an exam at the end of the third week.

At the end of the course, students can take an exam which is organized by the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the University of Alcala. The exams are not obligatory but students should expect a certain amount of classroom time to be spent on activities designed to help students prepare for these exams. These exams are available at two levels, Certificado Basico and Certificado Superior. The lower of the two levels (Basico) recognizes that students have a basic competence in Business Spanish which should allow them to perform routine tasks in a Business context. The second level (Superior) recognizes a more advanced level of competence and familiarity with the technical language used in the Business world. The exams are held in the school on the Saturday at the end of the course. Each exam currently costs approximately 180 to 200 Euros.

Executive Spanish

30 tutor one-on-one hours per week. This is a specialized Spanish language training program which features an intensive study day from 09.00 to 18.30 including:

* 30 hours of one-on-one Spanish
* Working lunch with teachers every day
* Guided individual project work
* Extensive use of up-to-date, authentic materials.
* Visits to Spanish companies can arranged on request.
* Two dinners during the course with teachers.
* Optional evening social program to be arranged by agreement.

These features combine to produce a course which provides an intensive, personalized language learning experience, enabling the course participant to make real progress in those areas which are most important to the individual concerned, while spending only a short time away from work. Each Executive Spanish Course is designed from both a level test and a detailed needs analysis; each course is therefore tailor-made for each individual student.

Example Executive Plus Course Timetable

09.00 - 11.00 Individual classes focusing on grammar points
11.00 - 11.30 Coffee break
11.30 - 13.30 Individual classes working on developing communication skills
13.30 - 15.00 Working lunch with teacher
15.00 - 16.00 Guided project work
16.00 - 16.30 Coffee break
16.30 - 18.30 Individual classes based on project work or visit to a local company accompanied by a teacher
18.30 -20.30 Rest period
20.30 - 22.00 Dinner with teacher or accompanied visit to the theatre or cinema.

Executive courses can start any Monday throughout the year, except during the Christmas holiday period (see Dates & Fees).

The cost includes homestay single room, breakfast daily, classes, educational materials, a reference or textbook, lunches and two evening meals with teacher. The cost of any other, optional, evening activities is not included in the fee.

Senior Course
Two week course designed for students over the age of 50 who prefer to study and socialize with individuals of a similar age. The course consists of 3 hours per day of Spanish classes, which take place from 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Friday. Classes are given in groups with a maximum of 12 students. All language proficiency levels are welcome, including complete beginners. The course also includes a special program of visits to places of interest inside the city, a lunch or dinner in one of the Barcelona's typical restaurants, and an excursion outside Barcelona on one Saturday.

Introductory Teacher Training Course
Three weeks, 35 hours/week. The Introductory Teacher Training Course is available for fluent Spanish speakers (native and non-native) who would like to learn how to teach Spanish to foreigners. This intensive course has a duration of 3 weeks and consists of a total of 105 hours. It covers both theoretical and practical aspects of teaching.

Those students who hold a university degree, have a suitably high level of Spanish (native or near-native speaker level) and who successfully complete the Introductory Teacher Training Course receive an officially recognized teaching certificate from the University of Barcelona. This certificate is also equivalent to 6 credits on the University of Barcelona's Masters course in teaching Spanish as a foreign language.

Junior Summer Program Ages 14 - 17 - Tarragona Only

For detailed information on the Junior Summer Program, please click here.


Admissions & Academic Credit

Students age 16 years and older are welcomed regardless of educational background, occupation or nationality. No previous knowledge of Spanish is required except where otherwise indicated.

Students desiring credit for their study should contact their home school or request the NRCSA Credit Fact Sheet. Generally, U.S. schools consider 15 hours of study to be equal to 1 semester credit.

For more information about academic credit in Spanish speaking countries, please click here.
For general information on academic credit, please click here.


Certificates & Exams

At the end of their course all students will be given a certificate, which indicates the number of hours they have studied and the level of ability they have reached.

The DELE diplomas are official diplomas given by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science which recognize the candidate as having a certain skill level in the Spanish language. The exams are held in in May (Initial and Basic) and (Basic and Higher).
Preparation for the following DELE exams is offered at additional cost:

1.Diploma Incial
2.Diploma Básico
3.Diploma Superior

Program Overview (PDF)

Intensive Group Course
Business Spanish Course
Intensive Group & Culture Course
Business Spanish Course
Executive Spanish
Senior Course
Introductory Teacher Training Course

Admissions & Academic Credit
Certificates & Exams

Social Program and Excursions


National Registration Center for Study Abroad
P.O. Box 1393    Milwaukee, WI   53201   USA
Tel: (414) 278-0631    Fax: (414) 271-8884    E-Mail:
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