I took Spanish lessons at Inhispania Madrid and loved it. I originally planned to stay for 3 weeks, but ending up extending my course to four weeks. I did sign up for accommodation with the course, but I ended up changing to a hostel (Mad4you) for the last week.
If you don’t think too hard, accommodation in the middle of the city sounds amazing. It was right across the road from the Callao metro station, just off Gran Via and a short walk to the absolute centre of Sol and it’s nearby entertainment. It was also only 7 minute walk to class (hello 9.30am sleep ins!)
However. NOISE. I did not think of this. TAPONES is the Spanish word for ear plugs; I had to ask for some in El Corte Ingles. I also can’t forget this oh so very useless word, because what I originally asked for in broken Spanish were “things for no to hear”.
Madrid IS a city that never sleeps, and although that might sounds romantic and lovely and fun (and it is for a time)… I fucking love sleep.
That being said, the location was geographically handy.
However the apartment had many other dealbreakers. It was cold and there was insufficient linen provided, the bed was uncomfortable, some appliances didn’t always work, the kitchen was always a mess. I also didn’t hate my room-mates but we were never going to be best friends. It is also worth noting that the shared accommodation provided is also shared with Erasmus students, not just students from Inhispania. That being said, my classmate had a much better experience with his accommodation.
The lessons were awesome though! My teacher was the lovely Laura and as everyone had different start and finish dates, there was anywhere between 4 and 8 people in my class at one time. The mix of people itself was interesting, as everyone was there for a variety of reasons. For example one guy was moving to Madrid for work and another was there on holiday in the city for a few weeks learning Spanish purely to meet other travellers. Others from nearby European countries simply came over to spend a few weeks learning the language. The age ranged from about 20 (in my class, younger in others) to late 30s, and the average age was probably somewhere in the late 20s.
The lessons were a little under four hours a day, and quite frankly I found it fun to make up stories in another language about the life of a professional male dancer, or a village in which all the children get eaten by a wolf when they turned ten. Lessons included writing, conversation, vocabulary and listening and I actually progressed quite a lot during my four weeks here. I progressed from the middle of A1 to the end of A2 – which meant that I could conjugate in 3 of the 4 past tenses, (the most common ones), talk about the future in the most common tenses as well as use the present.
I essentially got to the level at which I could have a slow and basic conversation. (As well as be constantly frustrated/confused about which tense to use when and know nothing of the subjunctive – to be fixed partially with B1 lessons later on!)
However although I did think my teacher was great, someone in my class had had another teacher previously (at the same school), and had not enjoyed that class at all due to the teacher. So it perhaps depends on the luck of the draw.
The school also provided ‘after-school activities’. Although there were not always sufficient numbers to run these, they did provide a good opportunity to see some parts of Madrid, as well as meet others who were at the school. This was particularly nice, as people were attending the classes for numerous reasons including work. It allowed me to meet other people from other classes who also wanted to meet new people and socialize.
Some activities I took part in at Inhispania included the following, however many more were offered:
The Funicular/Cable car
A language exchange night at Cafe Galdos
Tour of the city in Spanish: (of which my A1 Spanish allowed me to understand very little)
Maritine Museum tour
I did attend another school in Spain about 4/5 months later when I came back, and although I enjoyed both I did enjoy the lessons at Inhispania more.