Living in Madrid is a unique opportunity to learn Spanish. In fact, year after year foreigners and exchange students flock to the Spanish capital to enjoy the sun, sangrías, siestas, and of course, to learn Spanish. As a result, the number of language schools in Madrid has multiplied, and choosing which one is best is an increasingly difficult task.
But don’t worry; we’ve made the decision easier for you. After comparing over 20 schools, we’ve singled out the top three recommended language schools: Tandem Madrid, Academia Contacto and Lae Madrid. All three offer excellent value for money and are accredited by various reputable institutions, such as the Instituto Cervantes.
Certified by Instituto Cervantes, this popular school in central Madrid offers a wide range of courses to suit different student needs. If you’re happy to learn in a more relaxed way, the school’s standard courses may be best, but if you want to really throw yourself into the experience then an intensive course, which includes 20 to 30 hours of lessons a week, could be for you. Classes are kept deliberately small (2 to 9 per group) to ensure that all students receive maximum attention from the teachers and there’s also the option of highly personalised one-to-one courses – although these are of course more expensive. Furthermore, the school can also organise short-term internships with local companies that can really give you an extra push with your language skills. Other benefits at Academia Contacto include a regular programme of exciting cultural activities that invites students to explore Madrid, and a dedicated accommodation service that helps students find either local host families or fellow students to live with.
Accredited by the Instituto Cervantes since 2000, Tandem Madrid offers various classes that make learning Spanish fun and engaging. These include standard small group classes, usually made up of 10-12 people and ideal for those who like conversing with others in a new language. Students who are looking to combine their Spanish skills with a cultural experience can opt for the “Spanish with a passion” courses, in which you learn the language while taking a course on wine, flamenco, art or even the films of legendary Spanish movie director Pedro Almodóvar. Independently of the classes, Tandem can also arrange to put interested students in touch with a local student who is learning English (or another language). This serves to foster a cultural exchange – “intercambio” in Spanish – and makes learning more hands-on and personal. Housing options are flexible, too.
Located in the picturesque, upscale district of Barrio Salamanca in the heart of the city, LAE Madrid is a Spanish academy accredited by the Instituto Cervantes. Classes are fun and interactive, run by highly qualified teachers who undergo continued training to keep them up to speed with the latest methods, skills, technology and neuro-language innovations. The school maintains small class sizes to ensure all students get plenty of attention. Courses include General Spanish and Business Spanish, ranging from one-to-one ‘power hour’ sessions to intensive courses all the way through to year-long programmes. There are also evening classes and specialised programmes for children and families. Additionally, the school offers an accommodation booking service that helps students find somewhere to live – either independently or with a host family – during their studies.