If you’re going to spend anytime in Argentina it is a great opportunity to study Spanish, if you don’t already know it. Even if you already speak Spanish, you may want to take a couple of classes to learn about the regional use of ‘vos’, Argentinismos and a bit of Lunfardo, the unique slang used extensively throughout the country.
• Laboratorio de Idiomas, Universidad de Buenos Aires
The University of Buenos Aires Language Laboratory is an obvious option for very inexpensive and high-quality Spanish classes. Here you get a feeling for what its like to be a university student in Argentina — classes are excellent and the bar is set high, but inscription is a bit chaotic, the classrooms have paint falling off the walls, and it’s a miracle if the bathrooms have toilet paper. You’ll also be in charge of making your own photocopies of the course material.
Regular courses begin in March and August every year and have four hours of instruction per week for one semester. Their ‘super-intensive’ one-month courses, with 15 hours of instruction per week, are a little more expensive. The university can also provide a certificate confirming that you passed either the basic, intermediate or advance Spanish to provide for school or work.
For those with advanced Spanish they also offer excellent courses in Spanish for foreigners including, ‘Spanish through Cinema,’ ‘Literature of the Rio Plate,’ ‘Culture and Conversation’ and ‘Immigrants in Buenos Aires.’
Language Laboratory of La UBA
25 de Mayo 221
Tel: 4343 1196 / 4334-7512 / 4342-5922
• Instituto de Enseñanza Superior en Lenguas Vivas ‘Juan Ramón Fernández’
Founded in 1904, the Instituto de Enseñanza Superior en Lenguas Vivas, commonly called ‘Lenguas Vivas’ is a school set in a beautiful historic building in the Retiro neighborhood. It functions as a secondary school and provides adult education.
They offer two-month courses with eight hours of instruction per week or four-month courses with four hours of instruction per week. These courses are great for those who speak well enough to get around, but want to keep improving at a steady pace. They also offer more advanced classes than the University of Buenos Aires, which only goes up to ‘level seven’ Spanish.
Their Spanish classes, taught by ex-University of Buenos Aires professors, tend to be slightly less expensive than the university. As with many state institutes, the professors are excellent but the administrative department is a disaster.
Carlos Pellegrini 1515
Tel: 4322-3992 /96/ 98
Private Spanish schools are a good option for those who don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy of a state school or whose schedules don’t fit with the classes offered at the institutes. Additionally, private schools tend to offer a smaller class size for more personalized instruction, extracurricular activities, and creature comforts such as nice chairs, classrooms with heat and air conditioning and beverages.
Expanish offers an intensive Spanish course of 20 hours per week, an intensive Spanish Plus class, which combines group classes with one-on-one instruction for a total of 30 hours per week and tailor made one-on-one classes.
Other courses include Spanish and Tango and Business Spanish. Class size is small, with a maximum of nine students per class.
Additionally the school has a student lounge, a study room and library, free wifi throughout the building and is fully accessible for wheelchair users. Extra curricular activities include film screenings, city tours, workshops and group excursions. A big bonus the rooftop terrace with awesome views and a cafeteria to get something to eat and hang out between classes.
The school can also arrange homestays with an Argentine family or a room in shared apartment as well as volunteer opportunities that will allow you to improve your language skills while helping out the community.
Expanish is accredited by The Association of Language Centers (SEA) and follows a curriculum set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF).
Expanish Spanish School
Tte Gral Juan D Perón 700
From abroad: 1-888-EXPANISH