Learning Spanish, a living experience

Learning and traveling is maybe one of the best experiences you can have in any country of the world. Actually if you want to learn a language the fastest way is to live it. Specially because the language has to do with the personality of the people, their culture and traditions as well. 

Every day I post in Twiter some frases you should know in Spanish and some of you have ask me where can you learn the language. Well you can start by buying a phrase book, go to some websites with on lyne clases so when you get to your destination in this case Mexico City you wont start from cero.

Another thing is that learning a new language gives you an advantage in this competitive world. So keep this in mind, in some work areas knowing an additional language will give you better opportunities.

Here in Mexico City there are a good option of Spanish schools where most of the language curses include also cultural activities and knowledge of the ideology of the country. While traveling you’ll understands betters whats going on around you.

One of the main schools in the city is CEPE, Centro de Enseñanza para Extranjeros, is an educational institution of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), The National Autonomous University of Mexico is a public research University and is the largest University in Latin America. Besides being the most recognized university in Latin America, its campus is one of the largest and most artistically detailed. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was designed by some of Mexico’s best-known architects of the 20th century. Murals in the main campus were painted by some of the most recognized artists in Mexican history such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. The UNAM is widely regarded by many university world rankings as the leading university of the Spanish-speaking world.

This language school was founded by José Vasconcelos in 1921 with the mission of “universalizing the knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican culture, as well as to academically support Mexican communities’ around the world”. The experience that has been accumulated for more than 8 decades has become evident in its solid academic offerings. 

The headquarters of CEPE is located in the campus of Ciudad Universitaria (CU) in Mexico City, where intensive Spanish courses (8 levels) are offered, as well as courses in culture and Mexican studies in relation with its history, art and literature. Each one of these areas offers Diplomas such as “A voyage through Mexican History”, “Daily Life in Mexico through Works of Art”, “Great Figures of Spanish-American Literature”, a multidisciplinary curriculum for “Mexican Studies” and “Teaching Spanish as an Additional Language”. The classes are taught on campus or distance (through videoconference).

CEPE also has an online program called “Virtual Specialization in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language and to non native speakers”, and organizes guided tours to different places of historical interest, providing support to the courses offered, as well as diverse cultural activities such as theatre, exhibitions, presentations from artists, writers, musicians, regional and ballroom dance, among others. 

Also certifies proficiency in the Spanish language on completion of an exam (EPLE) which is applied as a registration requirement for the foreign students who study in UNAM and is also applied for institutions such as Consejo Nacional de Ciencias y Tecnología (CONACYT), Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE), Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP) and embassies. Another exam (CELA) is a placement test which diagnoses the level of candidates’ Spanish and places them according to their linguistic and communicative competency (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced).

They can also give you information on where to stay during your studies.

 Besides CEPe there are other schools that are located in Roma and Condesa neighborhoods, like Fridas Spanish and S-Peak. That allow you to experience Mexico and its culture. Most of the schools will make you an exam to know your level of Spanish, and some will give special courses to company groups specialize on the subject that will be taught to fulfills the requirements of the company.

Another option to learn a language is to take a private lesson, there are language schools that give this service for executives, the teacher will meet the executive at the time and place he wants, they can even give you a lesson in a coffee place.

Check the TIPs section where you’ll find a list of schools and some more advice in this subject.