" I have to say that my summer break in Isla was surely the most fun I've had in a long time. Initially I was a little anxious about how I'd fit in being an older student, and yes, most everyone was a lot younger than me in my class but what can I say? The whole set up of the school is about learning through mixing in and having fun and not about being 15 or 40 and it really wasn't a problem in the end, at all.
Right from the start I felt welcome with a wonderful and hugh group paella being made in one class room - quite spectacular! Because every evening had something organised it helped me get to know lot's of people in the school, like the tapas tour (messy!), films nights (sort the chairs out sooo uncomfortable), and general nights on the town eating ice cream or drinking beer plus much more besides after a few days I felt as though I lived in Salamanca rather than was just passing through. The morning break with strong coffee and bocadillos became a tradition each day for my class, was we swopped our tails and stories from the night before and clutched our heads out of tiredness (Spain is a late night kind of place).
All this was helped by having a really lovely host family to live with Rosa and Domingo were nothing but generous and kind for my two weeks. They both took a genuine interest in my learning, helping me with homework and talking incessantly at me so that silence simply wasn't an option. Neither was laying in if I had come in too late the night before. Rosa was there knocking on my door and getting me out of bed to make sure I was on time for school - no rest for the wicked! To top it off, on the day I was due to leave and come home to the UK, they got up at 5am and insisted on driving me to the train station. That's care and consideration for you.
My teachers Rosa and Alberto, had infinite patience with everyone coming up with a plethora of ways to get people to open their mouths and not worry about being perfect. Everyone laughed together at the mistakes being made and helped each other out when someone was stuck, which made for some hilarious and memorable moments. They worked really hard to make each class interesting and relevant to the students, somehow managing to find the right balance between us all. What was particularly nice was that they remembered me from a brief earlier visit from a few months before which added to my sense of belonging. Hopefully it won't be too long before I return for my visit."
Elizabeth Cameron, UK
My name is Evelyn and I am from Germany. This year, I spent my first time in Spain here in Salamanca. In Germany I study German and Spanish and now it was time to improve not only my writing skills but as well my speaking. A good friend recommended ISLA. He already had been to ISLA two times. So I decided to come here to do an internship and a language course for two month.
Now there are just two more weeks left for me and I already look back on an amazing, interesting, funny but as well exhausting time. To go to classes in the morning and go to work in the afternoon is often tiring. But predominant was always the fun! My time here started with an absolutely awesome Tapas-Tour with Dieter, a trip to the Sierra de Francia with Amanda and Dieter and interesting and funny language-courses with Asun. Work started immediately with preparing the "Fiesta de Bienvenida" which normally takes place every or every second Monday. Work is (most of the time) interesting because, especially in the beginning, everything is new and the work varies a lot. Sometimes I just work with the computer (database, emailing etc.). On other days I have some things to do around Salamanca and I am running around the whole town (as the name said: Runner :).
What I really enjoy is meeting new people from all over the world and at Isla it is possible. Here are people from every continent. For me it is so interesting to talk with other young people about their cultures and their countries, their languages and their way of life. I also got to know the life of a Spanish family in which I used to live and where I enjoyed Spanish food. I learned a lot about the culture and the people in Spain. Most of them are really friendly, generous and open. As well I had the possibility of learning Salsa which was a lot of fun!
All in all I had a great time here in the beautiful town Salamanca, which has charm and a wonderful atmosphere with its Plaza Mayor and the old centre! I made a lot of interesting and important (work-) experiences, I found new friends from all over the world AND I improved my Spanish! As well the atmosphere at the school is very good! All the teachers are very nice, funny but as well serious in what they are teaching! I recommend ISLA to everyone!
Evelyn Boch, Germany
Hi, I am Laura I am 18 years young and I come from Holland.
Last year I was in Spain for about 8 months, I went to Spain because I had a free year and I loved the Spanish culture..
I started in Salamanca where I lived for 5 months, I was learning Spanish at ISLA on the normal course. There was nobody from Holland over here...at the beginning I was a bit uncertain about this... . But after a few days I found a lot of Dutch people here in Salamanca..and at that point I realised that I was verry lucky that I was the only Dutch one at my school! This was my chance to meet new people from all over the world.
In these 5 months I lived with 2 great boys from Great Britain (Hamish and Justin in the photo with me). We went out together in Salamanca at night! and that was great. I was the only girl in a class with 7 other boys and we all used to meet up every night... After a few weeks we calmed down a bit and started to do our best with our Spanish and it wasn´t even that difficult.
A few months later I went to Great Britain to see my roommates from Salamanca and yes we are still in touch...
It was a great experience, I was verry young when I left my country but still I look back at it with great fun. And I can´t wait to hit Salamanca again!!Laura van Reekum, Netherlands
Hi, my name is Lucy, I am 18 years old and I am from London.I first came to Isla when I was 13. I came with a large group of students from my school and the trip is still one of my favourite school memories. It would be hard to forget the churros, the teachers that made me laugh, the salsa classes, the tapas tours, the look on my Spanish mama's face when I told her I didn't eat red meat…
After I left school, it didn't take me very long to decide that a trip to Salamanca would be an excellent way to practice my Spanish before continuing my studies at university, and also a wonderful way to enjoy my year off; not to mention the tan I was hoping to show off to all of my friends when I got home! And I can say with all honesty that the trip has definitely lived up to all my expectations. Coming from London, I almost fainted when I discovered that I could buy a glass of Sangria in a bar for 1 euro, it took me less than 10 minutes to walk to the beautiful plaza mayor and I had an incredible view of the cathedral from the balcony of my flat.
In my opinion, Salamanca has a perfect combination of the relaxed Spanish attitude and the buzzing student night-life of a university town. Amongst the beautiful sandstone buildings, churches and monuments, there are hundreds of bars and cafés. There is always something to see or do, especially in a school like Isla where they plan activities almost every day, from film nights to paella nights, free tours of the city to a free trip to the tennis courts. The only thing you can't find here is a reason to be bored.
Lucy Merson, UK
Hello, my names Toby, I was a student and runner for ISLA.
I arrived in Salamanca in September, almost by accident with no previous
knowledge of the city and even less of a grasp of the language. I knew no
one, understood nothing and had no idea where to start. To put it bluntly
when I left, I left with everything, friends, language and culture.
ISLA didn't just teach me. It gave me the opportunity to see so much more.
The Tapas tours with Dieter for starters. Absolutely epic!! The salsa
classes, haha, so much fun. The social life was incredible, the nightlife
fantastic but even more so the atmosphere inside the school. The students shouldn't feel separate from the organization and in ISLA you certainly do
not, your part of the school therefore part of the running.
For example, every second Friday Dieter, myself and assorted other students
would put together some kind of morning surprise. Whether it be a fruit
salad and drinks to a whole Pigs leg (Jamon), maybe even a cheeky mulled
wine during the Christmas period.
This is all reflected in the friends I made there. From all over the world,
all ages and walks of life. Germany, Brasil, Switzerland, Belgium.the list
goes on. For all of this I have two people to thank, and that's Amanda and
Dieter. If you have visited ISLA I am sure you could never forget them,
especially not Amanda's dress sense. God I miss your green jumper with the
bobbles Mands, and I still have the hat you bought me from Morocco.
Thanks for everything, Gracias para todo. Sois fenomenales.
Tobias Menzies, UK
I have been to ISLA three times as a student. First with group lessons and
then with individual ones to prepare for a job.
I'd had a friend who had studied there and told me about how good the
teachers were and the atmosphere was... and it really was. Dieter arranged
a Spanish guitar lesson for me on my first time and I made good friends with
my teacher, the magnificent Nano. This made a big difference to me. We are
still in contact.
Obviously Salamanca is the most amazing location... no one can really
believe that there is such s fun place in the middle of the desert. The
school tapas tours are great fun, especially if Dieter goes. It's nice they
still make an effort as they don't really need to as there is so much on
offer in Salamanca.
There are quite a lot of school kids at Easter time but they try and keep
them in the afternoons so they aren't too noisy. Also, do tell them if you
don't like smoking... a lot of host families smoke. I had to change my
family once, but Sara was really quick to find me a new place and Amanda
moved me in her car.
I really recommend it. Wish there was an ISLA-like operation in France so
if anyone knows please facebook me!
Sharon Magen, Israel
Life can be so random. Thanks to the wonderful efficiency of some country’s bureaucracy I had to wait 4 weeks before I would get my visa before I could start my internship abroad. Out of the blue and without any specific motive I decided to pack my bag and leave to Spain to study some Spanish. I could have easily gone to another city or picked another school, but I happened to end up at Isla Salamanca, something I have never really regretted.
I am trying to think about what exactly it is that made me come back for the third year in row now. First of all there is of course Salamanca itself: the city centre is absolutely gorgeous, its nightlife is no less than legendary and in summer the swimming pools are absolutely irresistible. More importantly however, I think it is Isla’s atmosphere that I keep coming back to. All my life I háted studying languages more than anything, whereas at Isla I discovered that learning a foreign language doesn’t need to be a complete bore.
I believe the difference between studying Spanish at a regular school and studying Spanish at Isla lies for a great deal in Isla’s teachers. I don’t really know how they do it, but I have never really had the feeling that I was studying Spanish. I remember for example how José María, my first teacher at Isla, made maximum use of his fantasy to help us telling things we didn’t have the vocabulary for yet, and how every time we had no other option than to assent, slightly giggling, with something like “si, mas o menos”. Yés, I might have looked a little sleepy in a class, but nó I hadn’t tried 25 chupitos at once the night before, neither did I need to be carried back home by two extremely handsome Spaniards who courteously left me their number on my bedside table, but yés, it was a wonderful evening, thank you very much”. Knowing we were rather defenceless José María knew quite well how he could stretch the meaning of the phrase “mas o menos” (more or less) to the maximum extent possible, and I suppose you never get too old to shyly giggle like a teenager.
Later, when my Spanish had significantly improved, I really enjoyed the discussions we had in class, as well as the fact that I was now able to poke fun at the teachers myself. The thing I like so much about studying at Isla is that everybody is welcomed to study at their own pace. Whereas some like to pursue an in-depth study about Salamanca's nightlife while grabbing some Spanish along the way, others consider studying Spanish more like something that enables them to learn more about the Spanish culture, and some way or another all this mixes pretty well together. I don’t know. What started as a bit of a haphazard project has turned out to be a nice and interesting chapter in my life. I had a lot of fun learning Spanish – which is something that has never occurred to me with any language I have studied before – and I attribute a great deal of this to Isla.
I like to compare it with a little child who is discovering the world. In the beginning you need a lot of confidence from the teacher to take your first steps, but the more you are gaining confidence, the better life gets, and the more you want more and more and more. Already after a couple of weeks I found myself capable to hang out with some of my Spanish CouchSurfing friends, which was an experience that gave me such a boost that ‘studying’ Spanish never really felt like studying. So here I am – there you are. If you are about to make a random choice just like I did 3 years ago, then I hope that my experience may inspire you. I remember that back then when I was comparing language schools that I didn't really pay attention to these student testimonials because I didn't think they be real or sincere. And yet, they are. They are so real that I don't mind putting my e-mail address below so that you can contact me in person. Please do so. Un besito,
Lie Heymans, Belgium
I first came to Isla just before I did my Alevels, wanting some last minute practice for the exams. It's amazing how much Asun and Carlos can teach you in one week without you even noticing.
But I never thought I'd fall in love with the place and return three times and counting! Since then, my visits to Isla have been as much a holiday as a study trip. In a city as spectacular as Salamanca, and thanks to Isla, I found it impossible to have a dull moment. That is unless I was recovering from one of the proverbial Tapas Tours... You're in seriously good hands with Amanda and Dieter. I went to places that I would never have found my myself. The wine, the razor clams, the porrones etc. will all take some beating. I mean, when was the last time you ate shark meat? Or churros at 6 in the morning while watching the sunrise?
It's this community spirit that I really love about Isla, because it's quite a small school. No problem is too small for Amanda and Dieter and Sara, I felt just like part of one big family. I met all sorts of people and always felt I had something in common with them, even if it was only loving all things Spanish.
Most importantly, that is after all the purpose of the place, my Spanish has improved no end. Tu madre... now takes pride of place in my vocab. But seriously, Jose Maria, Carlos, Asun, Rebe - and these are just the teachers that had to put up with me - are so dedicated y tan amables. ¡¡Gracias por todo, Isla!!
Iryna Lewis, Ucraine
When I first came to ISLA last year I wanted to gain ample amount Spanish in order to travel to South America for my gap year. With the hope of starting the language I had not studied since GCSE´s. I knew it would be best to start again. Embarking on the year of a lifetime I imagined Salamanca as Sun, Sea and Sangria….It was (no sea included).
Within my first three weeks as an ISLA student it was becoming increasingly harder to leave, the relaxed friendly working environment in a great city with great people. Seven and a half months later I was still there, not only had my Spanish improved monumentally I had made lifelong friends not only with students but the whole ISLA community. While the end was near I had one more thing to conquer at my stay at ISLA the dreaded Dele exam!!! Not being a natural linguist I had nothing to lose. Salamanca and ISLA had truly made my gap year South America is not going anywhere !. Thank you ISLA And I passed the Dele.
Hamish Murdoch, UK
Salamanca is paradise for anyone young and up for fun. I came to Isla from the UK for the first time in 2008 not really knowing what to expect.
I was there for two weeks on an AS revision course and loved it so much that I decided to come back during my gap year for 4 months. During my first visit to Salamanca I stayed with a host family. Although to begin with it was rather daunting; my host mum only spoke Spanish, Maria´s hospitality and amazing cooking meant I settled in extremely fast. There were two other Isla students living with Maria at the time, one German and one Swiss.
Despite the temptation to speak English we refrained out of politeness, Maria wouldn´t have understood a word of what we were saying and it would have seemed extremely rude, especially considering how generous she´d been with us. Having to speak Spanish "en casa" as well as in the classroom, meant that my Spanish improved enormously as well as fast. I returned to England with a fresh outlook on Spanish, what had previously been my worst subject was now my favourite and I decided to pursue it as a University career.
To the utter delight and surprise of my Spanish teacher in England I ultimately got an A in my Spanish A level and now have a place to study Hispanic studies at UCL which I´ll begin in September 2010. The Isla experience for me is the perfect mix of social fun vs studying. Outside the classroom it´s non- stop partying with your class mates, which you would think would make lessons a drag. However at Isla I found the classes almost as entertaining as the nightlife(even with a hangover.) The teachers are such great fun and the relationship you share with them isn´t the traditional one of distance that I was used to England but more one of good friendship. This means that you learn loads but at the same time don´t really realize how much you´re taking in, it seems that with little effort your Spanish improves enormously (ideal for any lazy teenager like myself.) As for being in Spain, the weather, culture and Dieter´s tapas tours make it seem more like a holiday, than a language course. I would recommend Isla to anyone wanting to improve their Spanish whilst having a ball socially.
Federica Miller, UK
I'd always wanted to learn Spanish, and for those purposes I tried several self study programs earlier, unfortunately they didn't work for me.
Then I decided to get Spanish classes in a Spanish speaking country. After a long researching progress, I decided to go to Salamanca. The main reasons for me to decide on Salamanca were being a safe, inexpensive, being said good spoken Spanish city.
I focused on Spanish schools in Salamanca, I contacted to former students of each school and asked some details. The answers from students were helped me to reduce the list to mainly two schools in Salamanca, ISLA was clearly offering better prices. At that point, I couldn't make my mind immediately. Because I had concerns whether the school was too small which would may end up with less socializing atmosphere or education quality. I started to get more information about ISLA, the more info I got the more I loved and finally made my decision.
I started as complete beginner and I didn't know anything to say except some crucial words I learnt from self study books prior to my visit. My Spanish improved very quickly at Isla. My ex flat mate in London who lives in Madrid at the moment visited me in Salamanca at the end of my 3rd week, she and one of her friend were impressed by the Spanish I was speaking.
At the end of the 4 weeks, I was able to speak about future, past as well as I was able to express my feelings in certain way. That was much more than I expected to learn. I had classmates from different nationalities and ages with a very well balanced level.
I wish I would have 4 months time which will definitely help to cover most of the things in Spanish and being at intermediate level. I absolutely recommend ISLA. Smaller classes, very skilful teachers, good management, friendly environment and the books and program followed to teach Spanish are excellent. Daily homework and weekly levelling exams are very good to motive to study and keep the level as it is supposed to be.
Salamanca is very good decision for learning Spanish, because it is a small, cheap and safe city, there are lots of attractions (a fantastic night life !) which suits everyone. Most Spanish people in Salamanca don't know English but they are extremely helpful and friendly which makes it perfect. It is so easy to make friends from all over the world in Salamanca.
Bora Uzun, Turkey
Hola, Jimmy, yes, Jimmy and nicknames no, but I wish that man from Extremadura would say that word 'joder'. Always with a minor irritation or annoyance it would be 'jo...' Que pasa, hombre, esta palabra es joder. Dice joder. It is the same as dammit and no need to be coy. But all the lecturers loved their work and obviously enjoyed teaching their favourite subject, Spanish, and fortunately could only speak Spanish.
Dieter's tapas tours, no Dieter's Tapas Tours. Amazing, is it the drink, is it the food or is it the most amazing characters you meet in the most unlikely of places? You start the evening with these amazing dishes (I have done tapas in Sevilla, Madrid and Santiago de Compostella), Salamanca is the best. Trust Dieter. But you end (normalmente a las tres o quatro) eating 'comida basura' in the High Street. Es mejor and the ultimate hangover cure, es verdad. Next morning in class, clear eyed and bushy tailed, me.
May I add I was not alone in the class, so there. la marcha in Salamanca is also the best. And by the way my host lady, beat me, I came home before she did. I wonder what time of the morning she came home? I know her sons met me on my way to my first class of the morning. They came in and I went out. My Spanish was way to poor to find out what they did in the evening. Luckily siesta was longer than most. But the night life; safe, friendly, a tad overindulge, but never too much. And this comes from a man who is much much younger than Dieter (tengo solamente 53 años). I will send my daughters to ISLA if they want to learn and immerse in Spanish and Spanish culture. I miss Salamanca, and I miss ISLA. Had a wonderful time, and it really was total immersion and I learnt more in two weeks than in a class of three years. Maybe el próxima año, por favor, Amanda
Andre Beukes, South Africa
As I write this from ISLA, looking out onto the Plaza de los Bosilios with the stunning back drop of the Cathedral and the Convent sat proudly next door my 13 weeks are coming to an end.
ISLA has played a massive part in my life over the last 7 years and each of the 7 visits have brought lots of memories for me. Starting in 2005 I came for a week with my school St.Aidan’s. Memories include walking through the stunning Sierra de Francia, A tapas tour a fantastic host mum and an improvement in Spanish. I then returned two years later again with my school but this time with thanks to the great teachers of ISLA my confidence in Spanish increased. After a few more one week trips I returned in 2009 as a member of staff of St.Aidan´s for a week and stayed in a student residence. Here I saw what I felt two years previously, the students growing in confidence thanks to a well structured teaching programme and enthusiastic teachers driving the students forward. That following summer I spent five weeks in Salamanca. I remember on my first day being petrified. I knew no one. However by 11.20am I had made a friend.
The welcome party then introduced me to other students making my stay in Salamanca all the more enjoyable. So now in the summer 2012 after 3 years of using very little Spanish I am here once again. However this time my experience has been completely different. For the last 13 weeks I have had classes for 4 hours and in the afternoons I have been working as a runner at ISLA. At first I didn’t know what to expect, I had lost all confidence in my Spanish so I knew that it would be a challenge. I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t nervous. I was excited. On my first day after doing the test I was reunited with the famous teachers, the office staff and of course Amanda and Dieter.
Classes passed quickly and work was soon to start. I struggled to string a sentence together but somehow managed to get through my first day. I was instantly relieved. I knew that my time here wasn’t going to be as hard as originally thought. As time has progressed my confidence in Spanish has improved and that has been the icing of the cake. Once again I have made friends for life and I will never forget this summer. From the laughter in class, to the nights of Fiesta, from the chats in the office, to the endless cups of coffee my experience has been incredible. I would recommend ISLA to anyone of any age; it truly is an incredible experience and one which I will never forget. So thank you ISLA and the team for making it that very bit special.
Charlotte Woods, UK
I spent 5 weeks at ISLA in October 2014 and celebrated my 49th birthday in the magic city of Salamanca! I had an amazing time both as a student at ISLA and as a tourist. If you are looking to take Spanish classes, look no further!
You cannot find a better run school than ISLA! Before embarking on this adventure, I spent two months researching different schools in a number of countries in Latin America and Spain. I am a linguist and a teacher so I had many requirements and was very critical of the language programs offered.
Amanda, one of the school directors, addressed all my inquiries and concerns very patiently and provided many details about the language classes at ISLA. Everything she promised was delivered and more! For example, she assured me that in the unlikely case that I were the only complete beginner, I would have lessons on my own and will not be put in the same class with other students that are more advanced. When I arrived, I was the only beginner and for a whole week I had one hour private classes every day without having to pay extra for that!
My first teacher at ISLA was Alberto. He is an outstanding language teacher, with a great sense of humor, highly accomplished and knowledgeable. One of the things I liked about the program is that each week we had a different teacher. In this way students are exposed to different teaching styles and methods and I believe this facilitates the learning process. All the teachers I had, Alberto, Rosa, Jose Maria, and Luis, were outstanding! They were not only very experienced and knowledgeable language instructors, who knew minimum of three languages but also in a way - artists and actors! They drew pictures of the words we could not understand or acted them out!
The teachers did everything to make the lesson a fun learning experience and I never felt bored or anxious in class. During the 35 days I was there, not a single person from the ISLA team was ever in a bad mood or not prepared! Everyone at ISLA is eager to help with any questions you might have - classes, travel, sightseeing, shopping, cooking, etc. The school also organizes surprises 'sopresas' once a week during class break. We enjoyed 'chocolate con churros', 'jamon Iberico y queso' and many other free fun activities.
For my accommodation I chose to live with a host family and I was very happy with my choice. I stayed with Pilar and Felix who took care of me like I was their own daughter! I enjoyed gourmet lunches that Pilar prepared every day and tried to practice in my conversations with them everything I had learned in class that day. Pilar prepared vocabulary handouts for me with the days of the week, months, fruits, veggies, etc. and Felix was very patient with me and my beginner Spanish! When I was leaving, they would not let me call a taxi and drove me to the bus station at 5 am in the morning!
I made many new friends and came home a renewed and changed person who is happier, calmer and appreciates life more. I learned a lot and I had a great time thanks to the outstanding teachers and staff at ISLA! I would love to return to ISLA to study again in October 2015;))
Thank you for this amazing experience!
Stefanie Shumanova, USA
Amazing Experience at ISLA Salamanca
If you are looking in to what school to chose and you want to have a wonderful experience....look no further! All the students I spoke to....young as well as older - like myself (44) - loved ISLA and Salamanca is the perfect place to go and have an amazing time....also the tapas and wine and night life there is incredible and again - you can chose to participate in all of that with or without ISLA as all activities out side of school are voluntary and at a very little extra cost!!! Go for it! And enjoy...I wish I could return a few weeks a year!!!
Natashja Dworkin, Denmark
ISLA is a top-notch language school that not only provides dynamic language classes but also gives an otherwise unseen taste of Spanish culture while creating friendships and lasting memories among people of diverse cultures. The language lessons at ISLA provided pertinent conversational sessions that enhanced my Spanish speaking from a timid novice to a conversational speaker in just weeks. The tapas tours and excursions gave me a taste of Spain I would have otherwise never experienced. Swimming in the pristine waterholes of Spain, having pitch-in dinners with people from all over the world, to kayaking between Spain and Portugal were some of my best memories from my adventures in Spain. And I owe it all to ISLA.
Keia Powell, USA
"I was searching for a Spanish program in Salamanca and I chose ISLA. I already knew how to speak Spanish, but I wasn't fluent. I also had some bad grammar and syntax habits from speaking 'street' Spanish. Not only did I improve my Spanish a lot, I made a lot of good friends. ISLA also does a fantastic job of organizing trips to see other sites in Spain, as well as tours of Salamanca. Truly a first-class operation and I highly recommend it to anyone from a beginner to somebody looking to sharpen their existing knowledge. I will be back!"
Joe Varney, USA
It can be difficult choosing a language school in a different country, but I look back at my time at ISLA as the best decision of my life. ISLA does it all, ranging from basic Spanish classes to such advanced levels that your head will spin. The teachers are knowledgeable, easy to understand, and will teach you in a way that sticks with you. The administration works hard to make you feel right at home in Salamanca, as they set up homestays, tours around Salamanca, and also several guided trips outside of the city. ISLA is also great with any age group, the school plans activities accordingly and makes speaking Spanish an integral part of the experience. If you want to do Spain right, do it with ISLA.
Ken Booser, USA
Here is my little story about the travel and about my experiences with Spain and ISLA.
Before I left to Spain, I was looking forward to learn Spanish and meet new people. Only thing was, that I was bit worried about the travel on my own, and the first week that I wouldn’t meet enough people. Worries for nothing. ISLA organised my trip to Salamanca, tips how to get the easiest way to the bus to Salamanca and then to my apartment, so the journey was really comfortable. The first week I met loads of people because of the activities which ISLA was organising. (They do that every week) From trips to culture things it’s all nice. All the new people sign up and most of the time other students are coming to meet the new people.
The first week of school was a bit hard, a whole new language and the best way to learn is only speaking Spanish. The teachers are really nice and helpful and keep explaining till you get it. The lessons are not boring at all, because of the variety and the teachers. So the language, I learned it so fast, I was surprised, even when I started as a beginner. The teachers are amazing and the school well organised.
I lived in two apartments in Salamanca. I didn’t choose for a host family because I wanted a step further, live on my own. All the apartments are in the centre, supermarket next to your house, the bars everything, comparing to other schools I think ISLA has the best locations. These apartments are well equipped, clean and have a really reasonable price! I lived in Salamanca with other ISLA students. If you have a problem with anything, ISLA is ready to solve it. I changed my apartment because I wanted to live with my best friends. I told ISLA and the next day I was in my new apartment with my friends.
The city Salamanca is great. Not to big, and everything is in the centre. For going out this city is the best! Salamanca has a lot of culture things as well. The city is beautiful and really good for tapas.
I had a wonderful time in Salamanca, thanks to ISLA! Great city, great school, great teachers, great live!
Maarten Zonnevylle, Netherlands
From the very beginning, ISLA was different. I had been traveling for about eight months without goal or destination and the idea of visiting Spain to take some language classes had been growing on me. On the recommendation of a friend I decided to go to Salamanca; an ancient and beautiful center of learning close to Madrid where I could learn beautiful Castilian Spanish.
Because I was traveling, I wanted things to be easy and spontaneous. I sent 4-5 preliminary email inquiries to language schools advertising on the internet. From most of them, I received auto-responses complete with extensive questionnaires about my education, long-term goals, time-frame, etc., etc., etc. And then; a personal email response from Dieter Wiggert; the Director of ISLA. Dieter welcomed me, told me a little about the school and assured me that classes would be available for me whenever I chose to arrive, tailored to my own abilities - or lack thereof - in Spanish. He offered to find accommodations for me and in response to my concern that I might be older and less traditional than the typical students at the institute, he assured me that I would find people of all ages and that I would fit in and find friends there.
And that is exactly what I found; a friendly yet professionally managed environment where I met new friends and learned more Spanish during the next four weeks than in all of my previous years of classes and exposure to the language.On my first day in Salamanca - a Friday - I visited the school during the afternoon. The school was mostly empty as it was lunch and siesta time, but I met with Sara, one of the school administrators. She was warm, welcoming and informative. She invited me to come along on the evening's 'tapas tour' and offered to set up appointments for me to see the available accommodations the next day. It was just that easy.
By evening I was walking the streets of Salamanca in the company of about 15 other students ranging in age from 18 to 80, speaking a mixture of broken Spanish and English and myriad other languages; finding new friends and wonderful food. The next morning I visited two lovely private homes where there were rooms available for rent and arranged to move in the next morning. Pepita, my hostess, had a comfortable room with my own private balcony in her lovely 'piso', or flat, almost next door to the school in the older - and prettiest - part of town. She was accustomed to hosting students at ISLA and made everything seamless. She asked my preferences for waking time, breakfast and lunch and from then on, we had at least two meals together every day -- where I attempted to make myself understood in conversation. In the mornings she would wake me, make me coffee and breakfast and make sure I left on time to make the short walk across the courtyard to the school.
When I returned after classes she always had delicious hot meals waiting for me. Before I left, we had become friends and Pepita had even taken me for a weekend trip to her home in the country where we visited the beautiful ancient city of Alberca and ate "comidas"; a traditional Spanish meal involving more dishes than American Thanksgiving. By Monday morning I was in 'school'. A short exam and a little conversation determined which classes were appropriate for me, my level of learning, my budget, and my goals. The school was always completely flexible. I was able to tailor my experience from week to week. There were indeed students of all ages and abilities attending the school and even with so much diversity everything seemed to run seamlessly.There was always a variety of cultural and social activities to support my learning; guided visits to museums and cathedrals, films, music, parties., etc. I made friends, learned Spanish, learned about the culture and people of Spain and had a wonderful time. I can't wait to go back again.... Collette Royer, USA
ISLA is a great school for those that want to excel their Spanish study. The teachers are friendly and very professional . I learned more in 3 months than I could have learned in 3 years in university. The school provides an array of social opportunities including the always enjoyable tapas crawls (tours). The experience at ISLA starts to feel like a close-knit family perfect for developing authentic friendships and a more functional ability in Spanish. As an American I had an amazing experience learning along side students from many different countries. If you want a unique and rewarding experience choose ISLA not one of the monster language school that will treat you as another check.
Jeffrey Stone, USA
When I decided to study Spanish, I never knew that ISLA and Salamanca would provide me with the most exhilarating, eye-opening and extraordinary six months of my life.
All travellers know that choosing to uproot and move to another country is not an easy decision to make. In January 2012, after I’d finally settled on Spain as my adopted country and Salamanca as my new city, I needed to choose a language school. When I emailed Amanda (co-director) a few questions about ISLA, I had a response from a remote part of West Indies less than 24 hours later. That sort of dedication, even whilst on holidays, cemented my decision to study at ISLA.
I could actually take up multiple webpages discussing my six-month experience but I’m trying to keep this testimonial relatively brief. Therefore, I’ve outlined two major topics which are usually important to any prospective student – The School and Extra curricular activities! I’d be more than happy if anyone wants more details to contact me about my experience with ISLA and Salamanca to email me at email@example.com.
THE SCHOOL (AND EXAM PREPARATION)
The truth is that I only planned to stay at ISLA for three months. However, after three weeks of friendly and patient teachers, comfortable classrooms and helpful and welcoming office staff showing me their city, I made the easy decision to extend my stay until November 2012. The teachers use their years of professional experience to implement courses which are intense without being laborious. ISLA has a high success rate with students passing DELE exams because the teachers actually care and do everything within their power to get them across the finish line. As a teacher myself, I appreciate this immensely. On top of this, they are just really nice, sincere people. I now have a B1 DELE Diploma in Spanish which has created many career paths I could take around the world. Hopefully I pass B2 – time will tell!
‘Bored’ is NEVER a word one can use to describe an ISLA student. Students can easily pass their recreation time travelling around the region with new friends or relaxing in a Salamantino bar with the locals (my personal favourite being a little joint near the school called ‘Centenera’). However, Amanda and co-director/husband Dieter as well as dedicated office staff organise a variety of weekly activities, many with cultural overtones such as salsa dancing or cooking tapas. One of my favourite activities is the Friday night tapas tour. I was on one within my first four hours in Salamanca and never looked back! Amanda and Dieter spend what could easily be considered ‘their own time’ organising activities to ensure students relish their free time and create special memories out of school hours. These truly are two of the most generous people in the world.
Providing a simple testimonial is the least I can do to thank ISLA for a life-changing experience. Salamanca is now my second home and I consider the people from ISLA my family. I really can’t wait to see them all later in 2013.
Jordan Goulding, Australia
If you ever wake up one morning and think, I really need to learn Spanish, pronto, don´t think twice, just come to Salamanca. While I was living in France during my gap year, a whim possessed me to start learning Spanish, which was always one of the languages I had planned to learn one day, though I had assumed it would be after university, where I´m going to read French and Arabic. So I was recommended an Isla course, booked it, had a horrendous 12 hour bus journey to Spain, and since then it´s been crazy. I headed straight here to a new lifestyle of 5 hours Spanish lessons, siesta, fiesta. Time is flying by far too fast in a blur of an ever-changing student body at school and after-party exhaustion. Although as someone who is staying more permanently it´s sad to see people come and friends go, I love how international an experience ISLA offers, as it attracts everyone from everywhere. Your facebook friends count will explode, if that gets you going. But I know these are not only cyber friends but people I will fly to another country to see when I next can! Because you see a lot of people from school when you´re out in the evening (Salamanca´s on the small side- watch out, it´s very likely you´ll see people you´d rather not see from the night before around during the day!), so when you´ve shared experiences in some of the unforgettably cheesy clubs Salamanca throws at you ( you won´t find another ´Camelot´ anywhere in the world) you can party anywhere together!! Or rather, Salamanca will send you looking for a real party…
My time here is far from over, but I can already tell you how worthwhile it is, in terms of the global networking you´ll be doing, the Spanish you´ll be learning, and the experiences you´ll have- eating vast amounts of tapas on tapas tours, seeing more of an amazingly rich country on trips to nearby cities, or exploring Salamanca by night on night walks, all organised through the school. The teachers are all good-humoured and will broach ANY subject to get you talking Spanish, which I really appreciate, especially when you´re getting excellent speaking practice and matchmaking advice in one go… So, like the others, my review also finishes with one recommendation: get yourself to ISLA. All that´s left for you to do is get on a plane. Or boat. Or just walk.
Katie Holland, UK
It is always difficult to choose a language course , especially if you are a mature student, and, after one bad experience in another city, I only booked for a week at ISLA in Salamance.
Bad mistake – because it was SUPERB! I made real progress and two weeks would have been too short! From the initial friendly welcome (and the inevitable test!) it felt right. The teaching was outstanding – and as an ex-headteacher I have spent a lot of time observing lessons! Four hours of Spanish every morning seems daunting – but it was challenging, fun, well paced and always interesting. The group I was in was small (7 students from 7 different countries) and everyone was encouraged to take part all the time. I was staying independently but I know, from talking to my class mates, that the care and concern for the students in flats and families was exemplary. When I come next time – and I will be back – I will ask to stay with a family and I am already looking forward to another visit to the beautiful city of Salamanca and the friendly school.
Lindsey Wharmby, UK
3 years ago, as a 16 year old, I was sent to Salamanca by my parents to improve my Spanish before I started 6th form. After a recommendation from a family friend, my parents and I decided on ISLA. Little did I know that 3 years later, I would be coming to the end of my fourth unforgettable trip to ISLA. Every time I have come here, not only have I met people who I know will be friends for life, but I also always leave confidently knowing that my Spanish has improved dramatically. I think the reason that I have come back so much is because every person associated with ISLA is so friendly and welcoming from Amanda and Dieter to the office staff and the teachers. Every single one of them dedicates their free time to the students by organising activities such as tapas tours and salsa dancing or preparing enjoyable and interesting lessons. I love meeting people and at ISLA, I have had the opportunity to make friends of all different ages from a variety of different countries and backgrounds. I have shared the most incredible memories with the most incredible people from exploring Sierra de Francia on one of Dieter´s Drives to relaxing in my favourite Salamancan bar named “Centenera”-
I would thoroughly recommend ISLA to anyone thinking of studying Spanish as the teaching is first class, the staff are so friendly and to top it off, it is situated right at the centre of the wonderful city of Salamanca.
Charlotte Dialdas UK
I’ve been an English language teacher now for many years in Germany and have taken Spanish courses in the far Galician north and the deep Andalusian south and can say now after two weeks in Salamanca that ISLA is a superb Spanish language school in so many ways!
From my first inquiry about courses all the way to my departure after two weeks that really flew by I experienced ISLA's warm welcome and great coordination, the excellent team of teachers, many of whom according to ISLA’s informative website have been around from the start: a sign that either the founders Dieter and Amanda consciously made excellent choices in their staff or that they’ve just been very lucky or they really take care of their teachers, who evidently are happy here, or maybe all of the above!
As a "mature" student pursuing Spanish now in preparation for retirement, I was happy to experience the great mix of ages and backgrounds of students and teachers. And so many experiences making for wonderful memories…
At last listening comprehension not about artificial situations but about Spain, its geography, political structure, arts, history… everything from sobao pastry to primogeniture as an explanation for Spain's history to a moving description of Picasso's Guernika, all in beautifully clear Spanish, reminding me of my favorite television news reporter (because his pronunciation is so much easier to understand for me) Álvaro López de Goicoechea, who's also Basque like Carlos, “el hombre de la cultura.”
José Manuel – better known as Jimmy – a great grammar teacher and for me an ideal representative of the generation of Spaniards growing up in the transición. Thanks to Asun I learned something about the etymology of becas ... on the side since she was actually the wonderfully witty teacher of my Español in Acción classes, where there really was action - Asun’s dry deadpan delivery deserves an Oscar.
Of course Luis deserves an Oscar too, both a teacher and a full-time actor, his way of making Don Quixote relevant and alive to a group of English adolescents - probably the most challenging audience I can imagine - was a highlight. And I learned new insights about Don Quixote as well as being royally entertained by someone who was not a pringao in any sense of the word!
And then Vicky, who showed how well she can teach the challenging one-on-one classes with someone - me! - with very limited Spanish, and who also helped me understand a generation of the critical sophisticated Spaniards with an intriguingly ambivalent view of their home country.
Hats off to you all!
The office angels - Rosana, Cris, Sara - were fantastic: what a great service to have someone available from early until late always with a friendly smile and patience with so many foreigners stumbling and stuttering. While I didn’t have the chance to meet Amanda and Dieter personally, my email contact during the application process was very friendly and very helpful.
Not only do I now have cherished memories of Salamanca, I was delighted to "hear" my progress upon my return to Germany by understanding a lot more Spanish television than before ISLA!
Thanks very much for a wonderfully rewarding experience in all possible ways, I’m looking forward to coming back – before retirement!
Jody Skinner, Germany
I had never been to a language school before I went to ISLA, however from the moment I arrived in Salamanca I was impressed. My ISLA apartment was great and I had a great view of the cathedral from my bedroom window, as well as lovely flatmates.
As for the first day, from the moment you walk into the reception you are greeted with the warmest of welcomes and instantly put at ease. After I sat the placement test (don't worry, it's just go gauge your level) you are taken to your class and three months later I can say that I feel my Spanish has improved immensely since then. The standard of teaching is superb and I have really enjoyed my classes with Asun, Carlos, Vicky, Jimmy and Alberto. They were very patient even when I was hopelessly lost in some bizarre usage of the subjunctive, but always took time to explain it to me, while of course having a good laugh together in the process!
As well as being a student I have also had the opportunity to work as a runner, which gives you a look at how things work behind the scenes and contributing to the general running of the school, as well as being a great way to practise your Spanish after class with the amazing Cristina, Rosana and Sara in the reception! Amanda and Dieter, the directors of the school, are also very fun and welcoming, and always endeavour to make sure that every student that comes to ISLA has a great time.
When my day finished (I had four hours of Spanish in the morning and four hours of work in the afternoon, quite a long day but nevertheless good practise!) I went back to my apartment where my flatmates and I cooked together, before inevitably ending up enjoying the great nightlife that Salamanca has to offer. There is never a dull moment in Salamanca, the food and drink is incredible, as well as the various excursions and activities that the school has provides (highlights include the Tapas Tour and the 'Dieter's Drive' excursion into the stunning countryside accompanied by great picnic!). I will really miss my time at ISLA and I hope one day that I get the opportunity to go back.
Alex Bolam, UK
I first came to ISLA in 1996 and spent a month learning Spanish. I returned a few time during the following year. I have just returned again, unfortunately only for one week this time. It continues to be, by far, the best place I have been to learn Spanish. The hosts (directors) are husband and wife, Amanda and Dieter. I was encouraged to recognise (and be remembered by) two of the teachers who taught me in the past and continue working there - Jimmy and Carlos.
Others have also been there for many years. It is clearly one big happy family for the staff as well as the students. Reception staff Sara, Rosana and Cristina are friendly and efficient and everyone does all they can to make you part of the family which is ISLA. If you want to learn Spanish in one of the most beautiful cities in the world in the best language school, I urge you to come to ISLA. Don't believe that you can't learn a language - forget the way you were taught at school!!!!
Ian McKenzie, UK
My trip to Salamanca was full of new but exciting experiences and is something that will stay with me forever.
What makes ISLA so special is the strong sense of community. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from or how good you’re at Spanish. Everyone is made to feel welcome from the first day. This is helped by the wide range of activities they offer you throughout the week - from tapas tours to walking across the border into Portugal. My advice would be to get involved in everything because not only do you have a great time getting to know new people and new places but your Spanish is improving at the same time.
The thought of staying with a host family can be a bit daunting at first. But after a short while I learned that there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. My host mother was very kind to me and helped me to continue practicing my Spanish speaking outside the classroom. Although I enjoyed my new-found independence, it was comforting to know that if I did have any problems I had my host mother as well as the teachers at ISLA to go to.
Before going to Salamanca my friends thought I was mad going to spend 2 weeks of my summer holiday sitting in a classroom every day. However, I can honestly say that the atmosphere at ISLA is nothing like the one I experience at school in England. I think it’s a combination of the warm climate and friendly teachers that makes you feel so relaxed and not at all embarrassed about making mistakes. Also the 2pm finish meant that we still had the rest of the day to enjoy exploring the beautiful city of Salamanca and even get a flavour of the lively nightlife.
Even today I am still amazed at how much I had accomplished in just 2 weeks. For the first time I had travelled alone, attended a language school in a foreign country, stayed with a host family, got to know Salamanca like a second home, walked to Portugal, made some amazing friends and got a head start for my A2 studies. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend ISLA to anyone who is looking to brush up on their Spanish and have a holiday at the same time. Already I am counting down the days until my next trip!
Sarah Macmillan, UK
Volgende maand ga ik voor de zevende keer terug naar SALAMANCA om met veel plezier mijn kennis van de Spaanse taal verder uit te breiden. Ik ga steeds naar dezelfde school: naar ISLA. Waarom?
Jeanny Suppers, Belgium
De school die centraal gelegen is in het prachtige historische Salamanca, werd onlangs volledig in een nieuw en modern jasje gestoken, wat mede bijdraagt tot de fijne open sfeer. Dit valt meteen op bij het binnenkomen. Amanda en Dieter weten efficiëntie te combineren met persoonlijke betrokkenheid bij elke student. Jong en minder jong -zoals ikzelf- voelt zich meteen opgenomen in de groep. De buitenschoolse activiteiten dragen hier zeker toe bij. Elke namiddag of avond valt er wel iets te beleven..koken, dansen, film, museum, een geleid bezoek aan een van de vele historische gebouwen, of de beroemde (lees beruchte) Tapas Tour. Ook als je het wat rustiger wil houden, zorgt de wekelijkse "sorpresa en el parque" ervoor dat je toch iedereen leert kennen. Het allerbelangrijkst zijn natuurlijk de lessen en die zijn in één woord TOP! Alle leerkrachten zijn universitair geschoold, zeer kundig en ervaren en bovendien voorzien van veel humor en geduld. Persoonlijk heb ik ook altijd genoten van de extra cultuurlessen die op enthousiaste en boeiende manier worden overgebracht. Deze extra lessen zijn niet verplicht maar ik zou ze echt iedereen aanraden, want wat is een taal zonder de geschiedenis en de cultuur van het land?
Ik heb door en bij ISLA al veel nieuwe vrienden gemaakt en ik verheug me enorm om er weer te zijn!!
Aangezien bij mij op de middelbare school geen Spaans gegeven werd, ging ik de zomer na mijn examens voor vier weken naar Salamanca om me alvast voor te bereiden op wat ik het jaar daarna zou gaan doen: Latijns-Amerika studies aan de Universiteit Leiden. Naast het feit dat ik door die vier weken taalschool meteen in module twee kon beginnen aan de universiteit, heb ik in Salamanca mijn leukste zomervakantie ooit gehad. De docenten en het personeel van Isla Salamanca zorgen ervoor dat je je meteen helemaal thuis voelt, de stad zelf is prachtig en je leert de eerste maandag tijdens de “welcome drinks” mensen van over de hele wereld kennen, met wie je uitstapjes maakt naar Madrid of Segovia, tapas eet en drankjes doet op de Plaza Mayor en ’s nachts uitgaat beginnend in de bar Centenera waar je altijd persoonlijk contact hebt met de mensen achter de bar. Je leert de Spaanse taal op de beste manier die er bestaat; namelijk vanaf dag één helemaal in het Spaans. Isla Salamanca organiseert daarnaast salsa of flamenco workshops, kooklessen, tapas tours en Dieter’s ride waarbij ik ben wezen kanoën op de rivier tussen Spanje en Portugal. Ik ben in mijn eentje met het vliegtuig naar Spanje gevlogen, maar heb me bij Isla Salamanca nooit alleen gevoeld. Vaak denk ik nog aan die vier weken terug en aan hoe graag ik ze overnieuw zou willen doen. Salamanca heeft voor altijd een plekje in mijn hart.
Elise van Wonderen, Netherlands
Arriving at Salamanca bus station on my first trip to study at ISLA, my stomach fluttered with butterflies as I waited to face the challenges that were to come. A smiling lady approached me with open arms introducing herself as my host mum, Pilar. She gave me a big squeeze to ease my nerves and began nattering away in Spanish to me of which the majority I struggled to understand being of a very low level at this time, with her husband grinning from ear to ear next to her. After settling into my room in her apartment an American girl appeared at my door and introduced herself as another ISLA student. By the end of the evening it felt as if we had known each other for years as we chatted and she laughed at my vocabulary and accent, epitomising at my use of the word ‘plaster’ instead of ‘band aid’, which had her in fits of laughter. The following morning my host mum showed me the picturesque route to school through the renowned Plaza Mayor, a place I would soon see as a meeting point and somewhere to get tasty ice cream. Arriving at the school I was welcomed with smiling faces all around as I met teachers and students and was shown my way around. Having no idea at the time that the girl I was walking around with would end up being a great friend of mine who I would room share with the following year upon returning to ISLA.
Lessons were not quite as I expected. They were fun and energetic with small class sizes, which gave a more intimate feel to the learning. We’d debate, gossip and learn all at the same time and the improvement in everyone’s Spanish after a few days was very visible. The week continued and I struck up friendships with people of all ages mainly as a result of signing up for Dieter’s drive. A trip in which we all hopped into a minibus and went up a mountain: stopping to have a quick swim in a river and picnic and finishing watching the sun set at the top. By the end of a week I was exhausted and ready for a weekend sleeping by the pool, however only after an evening at Centi’s with the whole ISLA crowd. (The bar that almost every ISLA student will be found in on most evenings). A great place for socialising where they tend to give you every other drink free! (Although heads up the wotsit looking crisps are most definitely not wotsit tasting, it’s more of a cardboard flavour.)
The following week was equally as fun. I made new friendships at the welcome party on the Monday, where all the new students meet the current ones and learn about ISLA culture. For example they will discover on Tuesday morning’s that ISLA is a very different place for the first few hours. Filled with people wearing sunglasses with big bottles of water and coffees in their hands, attempting to kill the hangover, which they have to remind them of the fab night before. This led onto me learning the word for hangover in Spanish, as my teachers laughed at those who were suffering the most. Every first break we would walk round to ‘el trastero’ for tapas or coffee and a quick chat with friends in other classes (I recommend the patatas bravas they are very tasty).
When this week came to an end, I wasn’t looking forward to the goodbyes I was going to have to say. Including my host family, who I had grown close to as my Spanish had improved enough to hold conversations with them and even share some jokes. Upon leaving Salamanca and hopping on the bus back to Madrid I knew I would be back the following year because the experiences I had were definitely ones I wanted to experience again.
The following year exceeded all expectations I had from the previous. I stayed with the same family as the year before for three weeks much to my delight as the food cooked by the host mum was delicious and plentiful (I don’t think I managed to finish a single meal because of the great quantity of food!). I reunited with several friends and teachers from the previous year and met several new people from various parts of the world. The three weeks passed fast, as I was packing my afternoons and evenings full with stuff to do with friends. The highlight being paddle boating on the river in swimwear to catch the suns rays, culminating in a few of us jumping into the river in front of the cathedral! (Which was peculiarly warm so maybe not a wise decision). Centi’s and Tuesday mornings in ISLA were just the same and it felt like I had never left. New faces appeared each Monday and the welcome party was always full with people with interesting stories and those who had done impressive things of varying ages and nationalities.
This summer will be my third summer at ISLA and I cannot wait to return. Salamanca is a great place for studying and socialising and this combination is what makes ISLA such a great place to study Spanish. You learn lots whilst also having a great time and it doesn’t feel like you’re at school at all. The people are great and everyone makes you feel like you belong. I couldn’t recommend ISLA more to anyone who wishes to improve their Spanish whilst also maturing themselves and forming great friendships that will last. (The churros and the tan are also great bonuses!)
Maddy Nutt, UK
Querido todo el mundo de ISLA,
quiero expresar mi gratitud extrema por todo lo que habéis hecho para ayudarme. Creo firmemente que sin ISLA hubiera sido casi imposible obtener mis resultados en español. Cada minuto en ISLA para mi es extremadamente valioso y nunca quiero olvidar un solo segundo. Os prometo que todos vosotros sois algunos de las mejores personas que he conocido en mi vida. Me siento bendecida por haber podido viajar tres veces a Salamanca (¡en un año!) y cada vez me habéis recibido como si yo fuera parte de esta familia. Os echo de menos cuando estoy en Inglaterra. Sin duda voy a volver pero hasta entonces mis memorias continuarán correr por mi mente cada día. Salamanca y ISLA tiene un lugar muy especial en mi corazón y es por esa razón, junto con muchas otras, que volveré pronto.
Gracias a todos por todo,
con todo mi cariño,
besos y abrazos
Alex Rae, Reino Unido
P.D. Si alguien necesita algo de Inglaterra o ayuda en Inglaterra os ayudaré en todo lo que pueda: +44 754 0568154
>>而且每個禮拜學校也都有不同的活動，譬如說: 烹飪教室, Salsa教學, 體驗各式各樣
的Tapas... 我覺得最有趣的就是Dieter’s Drive
I-JU Lee (Carol), Taiwan
My Week at ISLA September 2016
I can unreservedly recommend ISLA! I did a lot of research online looking for a good language school, as I wanted to improve my Spanish. ISLA’s website was by far the best – clear, easy to navigate, informative and really interesting, especially, the picture gallery and the coverage of all aspects of your stay – different courses, accommodation, travel and free-time activities. That definitely swayed me to choose ISLA.
I chose to stay in a family so as to maximise my language practice, and when I arrived at the host family, I received a warm and friendly welcome. My room was comfortable and the food provided was great (I opted for half board). It was especially nice that the other student staying at the same home-stay was someone around my age (good planning by ISLA or accident?) and we spent our free time together sightseeing and eating out in the evening while attempting to keep to Spanish only!
As for the course itself, I was very impressed indeed with the quality of the teaching. All the teachers are incredibly knowledgeable and are able to interest and engage everyone in the class. Their understanding of grammar is phenomenal! I especially enjoyed my one to one lessons with Cecilia, as she could clear up all the questions that were puzzling me. I think if you want to make even faster progress, the one to one sessions are invaluable. The entire organisation runs like clockwork, with plenty of well-trained and friendly staff on hand at all times. It’s great that the office is open all day until 8 pm as students can pop in for help no matter what they need.
I didn’t even realise beforehand that there were afternoon activities included – all free, except for ‘Dieter’s Drive’, which is an 8 hour excursion - brilliant value for money and so interesting. The whole course represents excellent value for money in my view.
To sum up, I had a superb week, made great progress but just wish I could have stayed longer!
Kitty, retired deputy head teacher, Cornwall.