So, do you want to travel to Spain to work or study? Meanwhile, learn the Spanish language so you can communicate your ideas to locals in a better way. This is what Liam had as a goal when he left New York to continue his modelling career in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain.
Spanish Express offers a flexible and full-of-surprises Homestay Homestay Immersion Programme (SHIP) where you live in your teacher’s home and learn Spanish from locals. Isn’t it exciting enough to take your classes more like a trip to Spain? That’s what we do!
In this blog, we will hear from two of our prestigious teachers, “A Tale of Two Cities” Valencia and Barcelona, where they received and taught one of our students, Liam. Before that, let’s learn a few basic things you might be searching for on your way to work, travel, and learn Spanish in Spain
What’s the best place to study Spanish in Spain?
Till now, you’re all set for a journey to Spain. Have also made up your mind to learn some Spanish language skills to be able to speak Spanish with locals. But now you’re stuck on “Throughout that huge Spanish-speaking country, which is the best destination to learn Spanish?” Or maybe you are looking for some Spanish language schools?
Spanish Express solves both of your problems. It’s famous among many international students studying Spanish courses. We also offer you many cities to opt for your SHIP experience.
Valencia, the third largest city in Spain, combines the allure of sunny beaches with the thrill of a bustling city. Think of the unique opportunity of sipping Horchata while learning the finer nuances of Castilian Spanish. That’s Valencia for you!
Just like our student Liam enjoyed Barcelona, you can too. Imagine practising your accent against the backdrop of Gaudi’s sagas. It’s not just a class; it’s a lifestyle in Barcelona!
In Madrid, you’re not just a student; you’re part of a living, breathing Spanish culture. From the Prado Museum to little tapas bars, every corner whispers Spanish. Madrid gives your learning a fun twist!
Ever wanted to combine Spanish vocabulary with beach vocabulary? In Cádiz, it’s a reality. This is where the ocean meets the language at sandy beaches, making your classes feel more like a seaside holiday.
Island life meets language learning in Mallorca. Come out of your comfort zone and imagine sunsets and Spanish classes in one frame. That’s what you get when you’re a part of our Mallorca chapter!
If it’s the authentic experience you seek, Burgos is your stop. Here, history isn’t just in books; it’s on the streets, giving a new dimension to your Spanish courses.
When you opt for Girona, you’re signing up for an unforgettable experience that’s both intimate and enlightening. A lesser crowd means more focus on you. Learning Spanish here is as personalised as it gets.
Attend conversation exchanges and meetups
Learning Spanish becomes fun when you do it with Spanish Express. Here, you meet Spanish speakers and other international students. Our aim is not just to teach Spanish but to let you hear Spanish in real-life situations.
We even take you on incentive trips to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s an authentic experience to study Spanish and work on team building. So, don’t worry about accommodation or any other trouble and just join our SHIP.
From now onward, our teachers will lead you towards Liam’s experience with us. Firstly, you will read from Pilar, our host teacher in Valencia, and then Mónica, our founder and host teacher in Barcelona, will carry this beautiful Spanish journey.
From New York to Spain with Liam: A Tale of Two Cities
Destination: Valencia & Barcelona
Student: Liam from New York
Teacher: Pilar & Mónica
Objective: To learn Spanish to work as a model in Barcelona and Madrid
Liam in Valencia: A Leaf from Pilar’s Diary
Liam Power, an 18-year-old student and model of the most influential fashion brands in New York, visits us in Valencia.
Liam knows very well that learning Spanish will help him in the future. He plans to live in Spain, Madrid and Barcelona, for a year while he does his modelling work in this beatiful country.
Therefore, before embarking on the adventure of living in big cities like Madrid and Barcelona, he decided to take his first steps in learning the Spanish language in Valencia, Spain, via the Spanish immersion course in our lovely home in Gilet, Valencia.
On the first day, we welcomed Liam with a delicious paella and in excellent company. Surrounded by young Spaniards with whom we shared unforgettable moments.
Spain is a country where many festivals are celebrated because it’s an open, spontaneous, festive and pleasing culture.
I wanted to surprise Liam with the Fiesta de la Tomatina de Buñol in a small town in Valencia.
The “Tomatina” is celebrated on the last Wednesday of August every year. It consists of throwing tomatoes for two hours among the locals.
To this end, several streets in the town are closed off, and six lorries full of tomatoes are driven through the streets. People wait for the lorries to pass by, from where thousands and thousands of kilos of tomatoes are chucked around between everyone.
At the end of the party, the streets are filled with tomato pieces, and people are left completely dirty with tomato skin, liquid, and slices of tomato all over their bodies – absolute madness!
I can assure you that Liam will never forget this Spanish fiesta.
During the SHIP
Visits to the city of Valencia
The visits to the city of Valencia were great fun because Liam was not only able to get to know the city, but at the same time, he was able to spend time at a great place with the vast majority of young people.
We went all over the old part of the city and visited the Miguelete Tower, the Serrano Towers, the Cathedral, the Plaza de la Virgen, and the Plaza de la Reina. We also took advantage of the day to have lunch in a restaurant in the city centre.
After lunch, the youngsters and Liam decided to go shopping in the most popular shops in the city centre – Calle Colón.
We also took a day to visit the City of Arts and Sciences. A wonderful place, full of light and charm, where you feel like you are in another world thanks to the architecture enveloping the area in a special magic.
The City of Arts and Sciences is located in the old Turia riverbed, surrounded by gardens, lakes, bridges, flowers, and trees of different species.
It was great!
Finalising the SHIP
Valencia night life!
Liam is a music lover, so I took him to the nightly flamenco show at the “Café del Duende” in one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Valencia.
Our student enjoyed the music and the dancing, but what struck him most was the strength that flamenco dancers transmit when they are on stage.
As always, Liam was surrounded by Spanish friends with whom he shared very good times.
After all these experiences, Liam feels that learning Spanish is very easy in Spain. Being surrounded daily by Spaniards, in direct contact with the language and the culture, makes the learning process much quicker and more effective.
Liam came with a clear objective, and I can safely say…
Goal achieved in Valencia!
Liam in Barcelona: A Leaf from Mónica’s Diary
Retracing our students’ journeys is something that I always cherish. I’m here with another student, Liam. He had spent some time with Pilar in Valencia, yet he wanted to know more about Spain, spending his time in Barcelona with us.
We visit Barcelona city!
The first day, we decided to take the train and go down to Barcelona city so Liam could see some of the places he was most interested in.
We visited “Els Encants” (or “The Encants”): the oldest and most important second-hand market in Barcelona.
There, they have an interesting mix of products, from jewellery to clothes, antiques, books, computers and furniture, among many others.
Then we visited the Design Museum of Barcelona, its official name in Catalan Museu del Disseny de Barcelona.
It`’s a museum formed from the collections of other important museums, such as the Museum of Ceramics, the Textile Museum and the Museum of Decorative Arts. It’s located in the Disseny Hub building near Plaza de las Glorias.
As Liam is a model, he is very interested in fashion trends and the history of different clothes from different periods.
Barcelona is known for its evolution and innovation in the field of fashion. There are many brands born in this beautiful city. For example: Grupo Cortefiel, Bimba y Lola, Ailanto, Desigual, and so on.
There are three fashion districts in Barcelona. We highlight Passeig de Gràcia, Portal del L’Angel and Rambla de Catalunya.
During the SHIP
Liam is passionate about sports, so we took him to visit some beaches and the marina of Mataró and, as a surprise, we rented a Jet ski for him to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea and all the beauty of the place.
Argentona, a town with many charms
Here, we found a small historic streetcar on the Mataró-Argentona route. It’s the first streetcar in Spain, located in the square in the centre of Argentona. Today, it remains as a reminder of other times. And it’s real, although it looks like a toy.
The town of Argentona also has another great curiosity: it’s full of giant jugs that adorn the main streets. In fact, here is the Botijo Museum, a place dedicated to the preservation of these traditional pieces of craftsmanship.
Ending the SHIP
Family meal: seafood casserole with rice (ñam ñam)
On the last day, we organized a family meal for Liam to try the seafood casserole with rice made by my father, the chef of the house. Seafood casserole is a hearty dish, typical of Spain, Colombia and other Latin American countries. Since most seafood is low in fat and rich in protein, seafood casserole is a healthy dish.
Catalan seafood casserole is distinguished by the flavour of saffron. In some regions of Spain, it’s a very traditional fish casserole, which is prepared with different types of fish and potatoes, onions, peppers, tomatoes and parsley.
It was really tasty, and we had a great time in the good company of family and friends, including some young Spaniards, Liam’s age, with whom he had the opportunity to practice his Spanish.
And finally, a touch of jazz in Barcelona
Liam loves music, particularly jazz. He’s a guitar fanatic, and I can confirm that he plays it wonderfully well. It was a pleasure to have his music in the background. Every day, he would spend a few moments playing the guitar in the garden while he was inspired by watching the scenery of the natural park where we live.
I decided that taking him to Jamboree was a must, so one Friday night, I gave him a surprise that I don’t think he will ever forget.
Jamboree is one of the most important music venues in Barcelona. It’s located in the Plaza Real and is one of the pillars of Barcelona’s nightlife. The musical proposal of the Jamboree is jazz and other rhythms of African origin. Without a doubt, Liam enjoyed listening to live music and getting to know this part of the city.
After all these experiences, Liam affirmed that learning Spanish in Spain, being surrounded by Spaniards and living and studying in your teacher’s home gives you the wonderful opportunity to be in direct contact with the language and the culture.
This makes the learning process much faster, more effective and fun.
Visit Spanish Express in Spain and live an experience like Liam’s
If you want to live an adventure like Liam, join our SHIP!
You’ll get to see amazing cities like Barcelona, Valencia, Burgos, Madrid and Mallorca amongst others while learning Spanish at our teachers’ homes.
Be sure to check out our students’ adventures in Barcelona here.
Join us and be the protagonist of our next diaries.
Don’t wait any longer to learn Spanish! At Spanish Express, you will feel right at home!
What Spanish schools are part of your programme?
We are a division of the prestigious David Game College, and offer not only simple language classes but other subjects to get ready for examinations such as A Level, IGCSE, DELE, and SIELE.
Is any UNESCO World Heritage site part of your excursion plans?
Yes, our itinerary includes visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites to enrich your understanding of Spanish culture and history.
Is Spanish the second most spoken language in the world?
Indeed, Spanish is the second most spoken language globally, making it a valuable skill for work and travel.
Which are the best cities to learn Spanish in Spain?
Barcelona, Madrid, Burgos and Valencia are among the best cities for an immersive Spanish learning experience.
Do I have a chance to speak Latin American Spanish?
Our focus is primarily on Castilian Spanish, but you may encounter speakers of Latin American Spanish during conversation exchanges.
Is Spanish the official language in all of Spain?
Yes, Spanish is the official language across Spain, although some regions have their second official language, like Catalan in Barcelona, Valencian in Valencia and Mallorquin in Mallorca.
How quickly can I acquire a new language through your programme?
Our intensive courses are designed to accelerate your language learning, helping you grasp Spanish from the very first day!
What’s the benefit of staying while living in a teacher’s home?
Staying in a teacher’s home not only provides an authentic immersion experience but also offers the opportunity for daily language practice, significantly boosting your language skills. This approach proves more effective than merely residing with a Spanish host family because the teachers actively instruct you and can even help you prepare for official language exams.
Is there a private room option in the accommodation?
Yes, you can opt for a private room (available in certain destinations only) to ensure your comfort and privacy during the programme.
Do the programmes include food and meals?
Our programmes include a meal plan, providing you with authentic Spanish cuisine during your stay.