Learning Spanish in Latin America
June 16, 2009 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Help me find academic/university-based Spanish as a Second Language programs in Latin America!

I'm trying to find Spanish as a Second Language programs in Latin America--but because my own Spanish isn't so good (hence the need) my google-fu is failing me.

What I'm looking for are academic programs at universities, the Spanish-learner's equivalent of a university-level ESL program for non-native English speakers in the US. So far I've only found CEPE at UNAM in Mexico City (which looks really amazing: inexpensive, <8 students per class, and tuition includes a daily language class, a Mexican arts and culture class, and the ability to take for credit any 1-2 other classes in the university that are within your language abilities).

What I'm NOT looking for are American college study abroad programs, or the dime-a-dozen conversation schools that pop up wherever tourists are. That said, I'd love to hear any recommendations or anecdotes. If your cousin's half-sister's best friend went to an amazing academic language program, tell me all about it!
posted by soviet sleepover to Education (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I went to Universidad Internaccional in Cuernavaca (their Spanish School site it effed up right now but is here: http://www.uninter.edu.mx/) There are some college students that are there for classes, but I also met several older people, like people working for the UN and an ambassador. On the first Saturday you have an interview and answer a few questions to get placed with students at a similar level as you are. We had conversation with four to a class for a few hours daily then a larger classroom with lessons on vocab, grammar etc. Then in the afternoon there are elective - Mexican history, literature, etc as well as workshops in business. The school would also have trips you could take on the weekends where you'd see the sites of Central Mexico like Teotihuacan, museums in Cd Mexico, Taxco, etc. I met some great people from all walks of life in my month down there. By the time I left I had learned more Spanish than I did in years in a classroom. Part of the experience is living with a Mexican family. There are various levels of housing. I got a private room and bathroom with nice family that was only a block or so away from the school.

Cuernavaca is about 100km south of Mexico City. There's a bus for about 120 pesos that goes straight from the airport to Cuernavaca. There are a lot of Spanish schools in Cuernavaca. This one is set in a residential area and is pretty tranquilo. Cuernavaca is pretty laid back during the week. A lot of richer Mexico City residents come there on the weekends, but that makes the scene at the Zocalo more interesting. Because it is so close to Mexico City you can get there an away easily. You can also get down to Acapulco for a weekend pretty easily by bus.
posted by birdherder at 1:57 PM on June 16, 2009

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