Right, let’s look at some of the best ways then to study Spanish once you’re here in Madrid

Ok, so you’ve made the decision now to come to Madrid and learn Spanish – great! ☺ That’s the first hurdle over with! Did you know that Spanish is second only to the Chinese language in the number of people who speak it? So, there’s no doubt that knowing Spanish is going to be a really good asset for you, both for travelling and for working, right?

And what advantages are there to studying Spanish in its country of origin? Well frankly – a lot! Here in Hablamos Spanish school we usually recommend students to come over with a basic understanding of Spanish already acquired in your country of origin. That way you’ll make a faster progress once here in Madrid. Learning the rudiments of Spanish at school or college is easy and you don’t really need to be in Spain to do that. But once you acquire a certain level of Spanish then you really do need to come over here and start to practise it in everyday situations to practise fluency, pronunciation and increase your range of vocabulary.

And on top of that, I’m sure you’re aware of the general life skills and experience that travelling and living amongst people of a different culture can bring by immersing yourself in a new culture. ¡Viaja y ábrete de mente! (travel and open you mind) – as the Spanish say ☺ This will surely prove to be one of the most enriching experiences of your life!

So, have I convinced you? ha ha! Right, let’s look at some of the best ways then to study Spanish once you’re here in Madrid.

1. Study at Hablamos Spanish School

Why? Because we are the experts in language learning. Our sister school Cambridge House has been teaching English as a foreign language for over 30 years in Madrid. We know what is important about learning a language: being able to communicate well by practising ALL the skills of listening, writing, reading and speaking and all in a friendly, fun and professional environment. ¡Estarás a salvo en nuestras manos! (You’ll be safe in our hands).

2. Live with Spanish people

A typical mistake of a lot of people who go abroad to study a language is that they end up living with and going out with people of their same nationality. And the temptation of then speaking in your native language is increasingly difficult to avoid. ¡Compartir piso con españoles o gente de otros países es clave! (Sharing a flat with Spanish people or people from other countries is the key!) You’ll learn all the vocabulary that goes along with all the household chores and daily routine: cocinar (cooking), fregar (washing up), hacer la cama (making the bed), limpiar (cleaning), recoger (tidying), hacer la compra (shopping) and compartir las comidas (sharing meals). And at the same time, you’ll make friends who could last a lifetime! You could even organise some clases de intercambio (language exchange classes) with your flatmates and help each other improve their Spanish and English/Chinese.

3. Getting out and meeting people in town

Another mistake is staying at home and not getting out enough! It’s vital to go out and join clubs and chat to people you meet at bars and concerts. Your Spanish teachers at Hablamos will help you with this and suggest great places to get to know and what to do there. Apuntarse a un gimnasio (join a gym) and get in a class with other Spanish people is a great way to meet new people. Ir a un pub irlandés (go to an Irish pub) – there are lots of them here in Madrid and the people who go there are always happy to strike up conversations with people from other countries. Madrid is a very sociable place to live – a lot of us came over here to study Spanish for a year and twenty years later, we’re still here! The people are very welcoming and happy to speak to foreigners, who they fondly refer to as guiris!. Madrid is also a really safe place to live. I’ve never known another city where you can find so many people out in the streets of the centre at 3am and even get traffic jams! The metro closes at 1:30am but there are night buses – buhos – literally called owls- which will get you home at all hours.

4. Travelling around the surrounding areas

The great thing about Madrid is that there are amazing things to do very close to the city. Visit the nearby historic towns of Segovia, Ávila, Cuenca and Toledo. They are all easily, and cheaply, accessible either by train or bus on a hour-long ride from the city. Join a hiking group! There are many of these groups on internet that you can join for a day out in the nearby mountains and go with experienced hikers who can show you new routes and get you to meet new people. Do exercise and make friends at the same time! What’s not to like? ☺

5. Cultural visits

Visiting museums and art galleries and buildings of interest in Madrid is also a great way to both soak up the local culture and improve your vocabulary at the same time. You’ll learn a lot of new words connected to the arts and have to communicate in the language to buy your tickets and learn how to pay with the local currency (euros). Watching a film in Spanish at the cinema or seeing a pay at the theatre is great to practise your listening skills too. Visiting and studying in some of big municipal libraries is also quite an experience.

Useful Vocabulary

  • Ir al cine o teatro
  • Apuntarse a un grupo de trekking
  • Comprar entradas
  • Estudiar en una biblioteca
  • Salir de juerga (go out on the town)

Well, I hope this has helped a little with your plans for what to do in Madrid and how to improve your Spanish while you’re here ☺. And don’t forget that you can always ask us anything here at Hablamos and we’ll be happy to help!

Hablamos, full-on Spanish ☺