Practical information

You ask, we have answers.

Who created this webpage?

We are ADE Internacional Excal, an agency of the Spanish regional government of Castile-Leon, charged with promoting the region internationally and providing services to export companies. Those of us responsible for this webpage strive to introduce Castile-Leon to Spanish language students from around the world, briefing them on the possibility of taking intensive Spanish courses in specialised schools with Instituto Cervantes accreditation. We aim to provide all students who come to Castile-Leon a quality academic experience, hence why we only introduce you to schools with due accreditation. However, we ourselves do not impart Spanish classes.

What is the Instituto Cervantes? What is Instituto Cervantes accreditation?

The Instituto Cervantes is a public institution controlled by Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, created to promote and teach Spanish language and the culture of Spanish-speaking countries. The Instituto Cervantes organises the DELE exams and issues the corresponding certificates. It also employs a complete accreditation system for schools that teach Spanish as a foreign language, with over 300 check points which validate the quality of their academic and teaching activities, facilities and equipment, administrative organisation, additional services and the accuracy of the information they provide. We recommend that, if you are looking for a Spanish language school in Spain, you always attend an accredited centre.

There are lots of schools in Spain and other countries. Why Castile-Leon?

Reasons abound. Castile-Leon is a region geared towards students, education and culture, specialised and a world leader in teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Each year more than 40,000 students from around the world study Spanish here. While all forms of Spanish or Castilian are correct, the way Spanish is spoken in Castile-Leon could be considered standard pronunciation. Castile-Leon’s cities are safe, comfortable and economical for student living, enjoyable and convenient to wander through and located in a part of Spain that conventional tourists rarely visit. Castile-Leon plays home to almost half of Spain’s historical/artistic heritage, whereby language is taught amidst an incomparable artistic, historical and cultural setting. Lastly, in our schools, quality is accredited. While the reasons continue, we have, unfortunately, run out of room...!

What do these Spanish language schools offer?

In Castile-Leon’s accredited schools, you will find a great deal of flexibility, with courses that adapt perfectly to your needs and schedule. You can review each school’s course selection on their respective webpages: intensive or super-intensive courses, specialised courses on specific subjects (business Spanish, medical Spanish, legal Spanish, etc.), courses combined with various activities (tourism, Spanish culture, sport, cuisine and wine, etc.), DELE exam preparation courses, private or individual classes... For groups of students, the schools can design customised courses to meet your preferences or the teacher’s needs. And all this within a family environment, with personalised treatment, in which all students form part of the family, and each is a name, never a number.

When do the courses begin? How long do they last?

The schools remain open all year round, and you can start your course on any Monday of the year (except special courses or beginners). The schools are organised in accordance with this system and are prepared to incorporate new students into their corresponding levels each week. The schools are normally closed during two weeks, over Christmas and during another part of the year. Courses last a minimum of one week (or two weeks in some schools), and may last as long as the student requires. You may also initially enrol on a trial basis, and later increase your course load or adapt them to your needs and interests.

What ages are the courses designed for?

The schools usually only admit individual students who are over 16, and even older than 80! For students under 16, certain schools also organise summer camps or special group trips chaperoned by a teacher.

What course levels are available?

With respect to levels, the schools adhere to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and use the six levels within this Framework. All schools impart classes ranging from level A1 (breakthrough) to B2 (vantage), while many also admit students through to level C2 (mastery). Certain schools even duplicate some of the six levels at certain times of the year, offering up to ten distinct levels, or more, helping the students make the most of their lesson hours. The first thing a student must do upon entering a school is a level test to ensure optimal learning.

Are the schools large or small? Where do the students come from?

We have schools of all sizes, to suit all tastes. Some teach as little as 200 students a year and may have few students when you enrol. Others welcome over 3,000 students each year and, during the summer, may have up to 300 pupils in the same week. Students hail from all over the world. Some of the larger schools may host more than 50 different nationalities during the year. While each school is different, and the demographic varies throughout the year, the primary countries of origin include the United States, France, Germany, Italy, China, Brazil, Japan and the United Kingdom: a truly international atmosphere!

Do I need a visa to enter Spain?

Any student who does not live in one of the 27 European Union member states will need a Spanish entry visa (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Spain, Slovakia, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Holland, Portugal, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta and Romania). Depending on the academic option selected, the visa policy permits a number of possibilities. Said policy is included in the Law on Foreigners and the Regulation that develops it, which designates a section to the arrival of foreign students.

I don’t live in the European Union. How do I acquire a visa?

If you need a visa, before travelling to Spain:
a) You should pay a visit to the Spanish Consulate in your home country and request a student visa. They will inform you how to proceed. They will ask to see accreditation for studies you have already completed, such as your intermediate or higher education diploma.
b) You must present the admission form that corresponds to the public or private institution where you will be studying in Spain. If the scheduled academic programme lasts less than 6 months, you will not need to renew your visa in Spain. In the event the planned time period exceeds 6 months, the visa will be considered provisional, and you must renew it three months from the date it is issued.
If, and only if, the academic programme you plan on studying lasts more than 6 months, you must go to the Foreigners' Office or Police Department of the province in which you are attending class and request a student residence permit or student card.

How do I get to the school?

You will be placed in contact with someone from the school while in your home country. This person will provide you all the necessary information concerning your arrival in Spain and your stay. The school will advise you as to the best transportation options, and many schools arrange, for an additional fee, an airport pick-up that takes you to your place of accommodation.

Ryanair runs direct flights to Valladolid from London-Stansted, Paris-Beauvais, Brussels-Charleroi, Düsseldorf-Weeze and Milan-Bergamo. A number of other economical options and airlines are available into Madrid.

What happens on the first day of the course?

Monday is normally the day on which new students are received. The school’s reception or administration will be there to welcome you. You will then take a written and oral level test, helping the school place you into the group which best suits your knowledge of Spanish. Afterwards, you will be given information on the school and city, along with all the materials you will use during the course, and then classes begin. On Monday evening, following your first classes, the school usually organises a guided tour of the city to familiarise you and the other new students with the surroundings. Some schools organise welcome celebrations to help introduce new students to the rest of the school.

How is accommodation arranged?

The school will always arrange your accommodation, before you arrive, in accordance with your preferences. The most common form is a home stay with a Spanish family, in an individual or double room, with two or three meals a day, laundry and complete freedom of movement. There are, however, other options, such as accommodation in a student residence, in an individual or double room, with two or three meals a day, in a shared flat with other students from the school, an individual apartment or in a hotel. Any restrictions you may have concerning food, pets, allergies, etc. will be catered to, and if you are not satisfied with your accommodation, you will be moved quickly.

What are the classes like? How many students are in each class?

An intensive course usually consists of 4 hours of class a day, normally in the morning. If the course includes additional content (business Spanish, Spanish culture, translation, literature, conversation, DELE preparation, etc.), an extra one or two hours of class may be needed. Teachers assess all students on a weekly basis and, if necessary, move them to a different level to help them make the most of their class-time. Groups are kept small, with a limit of ten students, although it is common to find classes with just four or five students. All classes, starting with beginner’s level, are taught in Spanish: don’t worry; the teachers know how to get you learning as quickly as possible.

Are there other activities?

To help you practice what you learn, give you interesting insight into local culture and round off your experience, the schools offer their students a number of different cultural and entertainment activities in the evening and on weekends. Most activities are free-of-charge: flamenco, salsa and cooking classes, conferences, films, Spanish music, competitions, guided tours of the city, sport... Some activities may entail a nominal fee: weekend excursions to other cities, tapa sampling tours, traditional dinners, festivities... The school will also provide assistance if you want to organise your own weekend activities or excursions. And you will always have a computer available, with a Wi-Fi network for Internet connection whenever you want.

Is there any insurance that will cover my stay?

All accredited Spanish language schools have civil liability insurance that covers the risks students may incur while at school or during school organised extracurricular activities. With respect to health, European students have access to Castile-Leon’s public health care services with their European Health Insurance Card. The schools usually offer students, albeit European or from other countries, private insurance (general health care) at a reduced cost.

And if I have a small problem?

The schools are not just there to teach you Spanish or educate you on Spanish culture. They will be like family during your time abroad, always looking out to make sure you feel at home in your new city. The schools are used to solving small problems for students (learning issues, personal, health, documentation problems, etc.), so trust your teachers and ask them for help whenever you need it.

And how much does all this cost?

You can find the prices listed on each school’s webpage. However, the courses cost approximately €160-200 for every 20-hour class week, including all materials and cultural and entertainment activities. The price per week is generally lower for lengthier courses.
Accommodation with a family or in a residence generally costs between €110 and €160 per week, depending on the type of accommodation and the number of daily meals. Accommodation in a shared student flat normally costs between €75 and €130 per week, depending on whether the room is individual or double.

Are there scholarships to study in Spanish language schools?

We do not offer scholarship programmes for courses in our schools. However, we raffle scholarships away to individuals who attend the informational activities we routinely hold in foreign universities, and, by way of our Facebook profile, we stage frequent contests in which participants can win scholarships to study in schools in Castile-Leon.

I am a teacher. How could I arrange a programme in Spain for my students?

Most accredited schools in Castile-Leon specialise in arranging flexible and tailor-made programmes for groups of students organised by their Spanish teacher. Are you interested in giving your students more hours of conversation? More cultural or entertainment activities? Would you like your students to focus more on Art History, Spanish society and politics, on business Spanish...? Would you like the teachers who impart these classes to have certain qualifications? Do you need to arrange an airport pick-up? Do you need an office to work in while your students are in class, or to hold your tutorials? Just ask the schools, and they will find solutions to customise any programme, your own satellite campus in Spain, with the daily issues taken care of by local experts.

Do you offer teacher training courses?

Yes. Instituto Cervantes accreditation requires schools to keep their methodologies up-to-date and to continuously recycle their teaching staff. Some schools employ their own internal training system, while others rely on external institutions. However, all are required to remain at the fore-front of teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Consult the schools’ webpages for information on the teacher training courses and seminars certain schools organise in both Castile-Leon and abroad.

I would like to study at a university. What can I do?

Castile-Leon is home to four public universities and four private universities. Click to see the courses each university offers. You can also check out the universities’ webpages, where you will find more detailed information:
· University of Burgos: www.ubu.es
· University of León: www.unileon.es
· University of Valladolid: www.uva.es
· University of Salamanca: www.usal.es
· Catholic University of Ávila: www.ucavila.es
· European University Miguel de Cervantes (Valladolid): www.uemc.edu
· IE University (Segovia): www.ie.edu
· Pontifical University of Salamanca: www.upsa.es
Click here for information on the admission requirements for Spanish universities.

Is work experience a possibility?

ADE Internacional Excal and Spanishcyl do not arrange work experience opportunities. Work experience may be available as a complement to one of the specialised business Spanish courses organised by Castile-Leon’s Spanish schools: you should contact them to find out if this is a possibility. What’s more, if you are enrolled in academic courses at one of Castile-Leon’s universities, your university can help you find a work experience opportunity through its job board.

I have more questions. How can I contact you?

It’s easy. Just click here and send us your question. We will respond as soon as possible.