Other Pages of Interest

Friday, April 2, 2010


Anyone who has every moved knows that as soon as you tell your well-meaning friends where you are headed, inevitably, someone knows someone who has been there before, lived there once or has a [insert random-relative here] that talked about going there. This "do-you-know-_____" syndrome only multiplies when you are headed to another country. Don't get me wrong, we relished these connections. We are lucky enough to have had one of these connections actually pan out and we are now happy to say that Kelly, Tabo and their adorable little baby Enzo are great new friends of ours. Kelly has been a wealth of information for me, she knows Castellano, has lived here for quite a while and she's incredibly nice. Needless to say, we have become quick friends. One of her many amazing recommendations was BASP, the Buenos Aires Spanish School. (Side note: I have no idea where the "P" comes from, maybe Portuguese? I believe they have classes for that too.) I have been taking lots of private Castellano lessons, so at first I didn't see the benefit to going to an addition class. When my tutor decided to go on a short vacation, I seized the opportunity to take some additional classes.

The school is located in Plaza Congreso, which is literally in the heart of the city. To compare, it's like The Mall in DC. I have gotten comfortable with the bus system here, so I commuted each day by bus - making it really feel like school. BASP has a number of programs, but I decided to enroll in their 2-week long small group sessions, which run 4 hours per day, 5 days a week for US$280 (total for 2 weeks, $7 per hour - not too bad, right?). The correspondent to the school sent me a written test via email to complete and send back so that they were aware of my learning level. This was a source of pride for me, although I was not able to answer the whole test, I was placed in a class above "Knows-Nothing". My class had a total of 3 students, myself, a girl from Austria and a guy from Australia. We held class everyday from 11:30am - 1:30pm, took a 30 minute break, and then had an afternoon session from 2:00 - 4:00pm. We had a different native Spanish speaking teacher for each 2 hour session, breaking the class into AM - grammar and PM - speaking. I thought it was great. We were forced to speak and use the information we learned in the morning and we were kept interested by the change in teaching style. They also give you a spiffy certificate when you complete the course. Hooray for me!

A couple pointers about the program, it seems to be geared toward the "traveling student" demographic. Not to say that they were the only folks there, but all of the literature they handed out had plenty of information on hostels and "cheap travels". Also, the teachers were not consistent during my 2 weeks. The same teacher was present during the morning sessions, but the afternoon sessions were taught by 3 different teachers, and I definitely had a preference among the 3.

All in all, great recommendation that I pass along to anyone else looking for a few weeks of Spanish lessons. I will try to return at some point when I have another 2 weeks to devote to such intense lessons.

No comments:

Post a Comment