Why Study Spanish in Mexico?
Mexico is a great choice for learning Spanish: first, because of the graciousness of the Mexican people; second, because of the abundance of opportunities for study. Add to all this the spectacular archeological sites, the colorful crafts, and outdoor opportunities and you have what must be the perfect setting to learn Spanish. I recently spent three weeks in Guanajuato observing the language schools, and I have worked closely with the Instituto Cultural in Oaxaca. The following are two schools I recommend in Mexico:
The Escuela Mexicana
(www.escuelamexicana.com; tel. 011-52-473-732-5005) is located in a middleclass neighborhood near the Jardín de la Unión and other major attractions in Guanajuato, a university city with close ties to Mexico´s war of independence in 1810. The school allows you to choose the number of courses and amount of time you wish to spend in class each day. Dancing and cooking classes are also possible. They offer a tuition discount to students who volunteer for community service at an orphanage or a senior center. They will provide accommodation in homes, rooms, or flats. Like most accommodation it is a good idea to book a night in an hotel and have a look the first day to see if you are getting what you hoped for.
Instituto Cultural Oaxaca
(www.icomexico.com) asks that you arrive the Friday before classes to take a placement exam to determine where you will fit best. The program includes morning classes in the language, and for the afternoons you are matched with a Mexican local to speak and enjoy activities together. The school offers classes in the native crafts of weaving, ceramics, and culinary skills. Students may elect to stay in local homes, rent apartments, or live in hotels. The institute is in an excellent location in one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico and one of the most interesting for arts and crafts.