Living in Madrid provides a great opportunity to learn Spanish, with a large number of language schools dotted around the city.
Each year foreigners and exchange students flock to the Spanish capital to enjoy the sun, sangría, siestas, and, increasingly, to learn Spanish. Indeed, in recent years the number of language schools in Madrid has mushroomed, making choosing the one that’s best for you a real challenge. But fear not, we’ve made the decision easier for you by comparing over 20 schools and picking out six of the best, based on value for money, accreditations, and flexibility and diversity of their courses.
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.
AIL Madrid encourages its students to live Spanish to the full. It combines academic excellence with a fun ethos to create a complete Spanish immersion experience. From the Welcome Tapas, to the student-centred classes in groups of an average of 6 and a maximum of 8, the school exudes a passion for all things Spanish. Its wide range of programmes reflects the diversity here, with thousands of students from 93 different nationalities choosing AIL to take their Spanish to the next level. The school itself is located just a stone’s throw from Retiro Park in one of the city’s most elegant districts. A daily programme of activities offer a great opportunity to practice Spanish, make new friends, and absorb the energy and culture of the city. The school is stylishly decorated and has state of the art facilities that help create an optimised learning environment. Another bonus is that students can enjoy Bank Holiday fiestas without worrying about missing lessons, as the time is made up for in class.
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.
Positioned in the city centre in a typical Madrid-style building, the Sprachcaffe School in Madrid offers a lively yet relaxed environment in which to learn Spanish. Whether you want to improve your Spanish skills or learn from scratch, the school will have a course that helps you meet all your goals. You can select from standard, intensive, one-to-one, part-time or academic courses, and plenty more too. All students conduct an assessment test before they start their studies to ensure they are assigned the right course for their current level. School facilities include seven spacious classrooms, a students’ lounge area with a drinks machine, two terraces offering impressive views of the city, a study room, and free internet. Accommodation requirements are catered for too, with the school offering a range of living options, including living with fellow students or local host families.
Enjoying a prime spot in central Madrid, this school is accredited by the Instituto Cervantes and offers a wide variety of Spanish courses at all levels. Among the most popular is its intensive Spanish courses, which allow you to pick from between 20 to 30 classes per week, and you can complement these with a Spanish culture programme. Taking place on weekdays, classes are taught in small groups of up to 9 students and combine grammar, vocabulary and conversation. Alternatively, the school also offers evening courses, as well as personalised courses for those with a specific purpose for learning Spanish. Extra curricular activities such as walking tours, museum visits, and ‘tapas with teachers’ evenings, are held weekly. The school also runs a dedicated accommodation service.