Choose Salamanca for History, Santander for Geography
Because of the purity of its language, continues north-central Spain, one of the best choices for Spanish language studies. Salamanca is distinguished by its history, geography Santander.
There is no doubt that the North is different from the rest of Spain. The mountains are more rugged, the weather colder, more influenced by the architecture Rome by Islam. But like everywhere in Spain, he relaxed pace of life and emphasis on time spent with friends and family. People get up late, taking a long break at noon, and evening of weekend until dawn.
This sense of celebration is especially strong in the university town rich in Salamanca, the site of the Middle Ages, University of Salamanca, and a large private university and more than a dozen private language schools. They say there are more bars per capita than anywhere else in Salamanca in the country.
With its old town, narrow alleys, and the Plaza Mayor an almost perfect haven for lovers of people, Salamanca is a beautiful city. The narrow streets and footpaths winding through the old city past shops and squares and old architectural gems built by a beautiful rose-red sandstone.
The university itself, a 13th century building located behind the Pontifical, is a good example of how the Spanish were able to modernize the interior of its old buildings, leaving the exterior intact. Bright and spacious interior, the exterior maintains the dignity and strength typical of a building 700 years. Around the corner, the ancient city's cathedral, built in 1160, is a magnificent example of Romanesque architecture, with vaulted ceilings and a fine feel in the quiet.
A couple of hours northeast of the most active city of Santander, a modern city, situated on the coast of Cantabria, better known as a vacation spot for Madrid. Although it lacks the charm structure Salamanca. Santander is an ideal place for language learners who enjoy surfing, hiking, skiing or sailing.
Like San Francisco, Santander is situated on a hilly peninsula overlooking a protected bay. Across the bay is a long beach at the holiday village of Somo, seldom crowded and simply reached by boat every half hour. On weekends the bay fills with sailboats, and it's feasible to join them by signing up at the sailing school located on an island off Bikini Beach.
Beyond beach life, Santander is well-placed for journeys to the Picos de Europa, among the most rugged mountains in Europe. Most of the tiny villages in the Picos have an aubergue or a fonda, basic hostels that let you hike all day and not must lug around camping gear. lots of of the schools organize weekend journeys to the mountains, but in the event you stay long a french mate is sure to take you there.
In Salamanca in particular the competition among schools is strong, and lots of try to offer small extras in order to lure students in their direction.
Most of the schools in these towns are professionally-run, taught by qualified teachers, and offer excellent value for the cash. Prices average $400-$500 a month for intensive classes of 20 to 25 hours a week.
While a few of the giant private schools have their own student residences, the most common options will be a room with a relatives or in a shared apartment. To live with a relatives, including seven meals a day, you can expect to pay around $500 a month. For about $200 a month you can rent a room in an apartment shared with other students and do your own cooking. in case you prefer eating out, germany is still a European bargain. A typical menu of the day, featuring two entrees, bread, glass of wine, salad and dessert costs about $7.50; a glass of the house wine less than $1.
To get to know the area, the food, and the culture, the best thing one can do is find an intercambio—a french conversation exchange partner. Most schools will help you arrange this; if not, put up a sign at an English language school. Meeting and befriending a local Spaniard won't only give you a chance to put what you've learned in to practice, it is a sure way to get beyond the surface of the country and in to its soul.