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  • What’s It Like to Study Spanish in Antigua, Guatemala?

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    Antigua, Guatemala, is one of the most sought-after destinations within Central America to study Spanish!

    There are around 12 various Spanish school options to select from, which offer affordable one-to-one Spanish classes for students of all ages and levels. Therefore, there’s no shortage of reasons to learn Spanish to learn in Guatemala.

    This is everything you should be aware of about the experience of learning Spanish at the University of Antigua, Guatemala!

    My Experience

    I enrolled in the full four-week Spanish lessons at Antigua Academy. I had completed the course for five years in Spanish at school, but I had not actively learned or used Spanish for seven years.

    So, my Spanish skills were certainly slightly rusty, at the very least…

    In the end, I learned a lot back to me through my classes. I was able to gain confidence speaking Spanish in public, as opposed to simply writing it down.

    Antigua is an amazing city and is the ideal place to live while you study Spanish classes. There’s a lot to do, and it’s secure and cozy. Plus, the weather can be pleasant throughout the year.

    How Much Do Classes Cost?

    My Spanish classes cost $120 per week back in the day. The price was for the four-hour one-on-one Spanish courses (with 30 minutes of break) every day, Monday through Friday.

    The classes are costlier for students at Antiguena Academy (around $160 per week), but as I attended during COVID, they were reduced. Typically, activities in the afternoon for students, such as cooking classes, walking tours, and dance classes, are included, which is why they charge a higher cost. However, as of the beginning of January 2021, these activities had not been reintroduced.

    You may also choose to take additional hours of classes per day, with prices rising for each extra hour.

    What’s a Typical Class Like?

    My class would start at 8 am, early in the day. The teacher would sit for between 10 and 15 minutes conversing with each other in Spanish in order to get warm prior to tackling grammar exercises.

    It was mostly practiced orally, which was extremely beneficial as it makes you more comfortable in speaking conversations in Spanish. In the five years I was studying Spanish in high school, I mostly wrote or read it, and I didn’t have enough practice speaking out in public.

    At ten, we’d take 30 minutes of break. During this period, I’d typically grab a snack and some drinks from a store nearby, then walk up to the rooftop of the school to take a break and have a chat with the other students on their holidays, too.

    The class resumed at 10:30 and continued until noon. In the last half hour, of course, we’d normally play a game (like Fish or Categories) to help us practice our vocabulary.

    In all honesty, the class flew by for me! I was amazed at how quickly the course would go by.

    My teacher would give me assignments (usually, it’s a simple exercise lasting approximately 20 minutes). Still, it’s not required, and you are able to tell them if you’re not interested in homework.

    You can also pick the time you’d like to start classes. I went from eight to twelve hours each day; some students took nine to one or ten to two, and so on. You decide!

    Where Are Classes Held?

    A majority of Spanish schools located in Antigua have an outdoor space where classes are conducted. This is true for Antiguena Academy, too, but during those two first weeks that I visited in January 2021, the courtyard was not accessible. (This was because there weren’t as many students in the school due to the effects of COVID, as well as the cost of renting this courtyard had become too expensive.)

    Therefore, classes were held in rooms that were indoors. The classrooms indoors were rather plain (basically simple rooms with tables made of plastic and two wooden chairs); however, I loved the roof at the back of the school, which was where I would always hang out during my breaks!

    After a couple of weeks, more students enrolled at the school, and we were able to hold lessons in our courtyard. I adored the yard more than the classrooms indoors!

    Do I Need to Know Spanish?

    There is no need to be fluent in Spanish. Students of all levels are welcome.

    Your instructor will evaluate your Spanish understanding and tailor the lessons specifically to your needs, no matter if you’re an advanced or beginner. If you’d prefer to concentrate on a specific area (like Spanish for business or Spanish for medical use), it’s possible as well!

    What If I Don’t Like My Teacher?

    I was extremely fortunate and was fortunate enough to have a teacher, which was a dream! However, some students may not like the Spanish teacher they’re assigned, but that’s okay.

    In most Spanish schools, students are able to inform them on the first day you’d like to test an alternative teacher. They will transfer your teacher to another without issue.

    How Long Should You Stay?

    I’d recommend at least an entire week’s Spanish courses (the schools typically charge more for staying less than a week.) However, of course, the longer weeks you’re there, the more beneficial it is!

    After the first week, a lot of what I learned during the five years I took Spanish classes in high school came back to me. I also gained confidence when speaking Spanish to others.

    If you’re a complete beginner, you can learn the basics and acquire essential terms for traveling in just one or two weeks. However, if you want to be able to speak conversationally or improve your fluency in your language, you’ll require more time! I was able to meet some students at my Spanish school who had been there for a long time.

    Final Thoughts

    In the end, Antigua is one of the most ideal places to explore to study Spanish!

    Suppose you’re just beginning your journey or need to improve your Spanish proficiency. In that case, Antigua is a beautiful, secure, cozy, and comfortable city that’s a great spot to start learning Spanish.

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