ISLA Salamanca

ISLA is located in the centre of Salamanca, tucked behind the Gran Vía - Salamanca's main street, on a lovely square. This position is truly ideal because it combines the beauty and tranquility of the "old" part of town while being within steps of the buzz of modern Spanish life.

The Plaza de los Basilios square has tall trees and is bordered on one side by the beautiful San Esteban Convent. During class breaks students enjoy sitting here or going to one of several nearby cafes/tapas bars. There is a small newsagents nearby and a supermarket just up the road.

The school spaces comprise 14 classrooms (most with air conditioning), a teachers' room, 3 offices, a library and small computer room. There is a fast wireless connection throughout.

ISLA Story by Dieter

At the beginning we were a school without a name. So I wrote down a 100 names that I liked a lot including Triana, Santana, Alameda . . . Then a Belgian friend Johnny suggested “Isla”. I wasn’t at all sure – it reminded me of the Madonna song “La isla bonita” and seemed to be more related to beaches than language courses. But I decided to include it and we handed out our list with 101 names to everyone we knew. I was amazed when more than 90% of the people said the name they liked best was “Isla”. So Amanda and I decided on that one but to lend it a bit of seriousness we told everyone it was an acronym for Instituto Salmantino de Lenguas Aplicadas (Salamanca Institute for Applied Languages).

We started in 1990, renting a big building on the Plaza del Corrillo, 50 metres from the Plaza Mayor. It was a space with a lot of charm with an enormous terrace, an Andalucian Patio and lovely views, ...but it was very old!

After five year of the poor state of the building was getting a bit too much for everyone and we moved ISLA to a new home: the lovely Plaza de los Basilios where we are to this day. It’s the perfect position on a park with tall, old trees and 50 metres from the golden San Esteban, the Dominican monastery where Colombus had his important meeting with the Catholic kings to raise money for his American adventure of discovery. We enjoyed giving it a full refurb in 2014.

Jimmy, Carlos and Alberto of the early teachers are still with us and Rosa, Asun, Vicki, Sara and Jose María have also been at ISLA for more than ten years. But there are lots of new faces too and each year the team grows a bit more in numbers and in experiences and achievements. We recently had our 25th birthday. We hope to continue prospering and that all our students will have a nice time

The ISLA Trivia

  1. Student with longest plan: Andrew from Australia when asked how long he would like to stay replied– “forever”
  2. Most times student has been to ISLA: 9 (You are always welcome, Charlotte Wood from the UK!)
  3. Most emails from a single student prior to booking: 35 (You know who you are :-)
  4. Brightest student: a genius 16 year old who never wrote a single note and skipped through the levels two at once. (Raphael from Brazil)
  5. Student with the best name: Claudia Schiffer
  6. Students who have married their intercambio: 6
  7. Students who have met their future spouse at ISLA: 11
  8. Student who travelled the least to get to ISLA from home: Luis from Coimbra in Portugal
  9. Student who travelled the most to get to ISLA from home: Ed Drummond from Auckland, New Zealand
  10. Student who took the longest to get to Salamanca: Robert did the Camino de Santiago from Cologne to Santiago de Compostela and then walked the Silver Route from Santiago to Salamanca.
  11. Youngest student: Milly from the States, 7 years old (individual lessons)
  12. Oldest student: Robert, from the States, 83
  13. Students who have come back to be runners: over 100
  14. Record of family members doing a course at the same time: 4 (Milly and her family)
  15. Most beautiful student: we had a Miss Germany in the early 90’s but no one can remember who she was! (She was placed 6th in Miss World!)
  16. Most original profession: Bullfighter (Takashi from Japan)