Thinking of coming to Spain to study Spanish? If so, an excellent option is to head to Salamanca. Located approximately 2 hours from Madrid in northwest Spain, Salamanca is known for being one of the best places to study Spanish in the country. In fact, over 25.000 foreign students venture there every year just for this reason. Why is this? Well, the reasons are many!
The beginning of what would become the city of Salamanca dates back before Roman times when it was initially a Celtic settlement. In the 3rd century BC, however, Hannibal conquered the city, which was then know as Helmantica. After the Second Punic War, Carthage lost control over the Iberian Peninsula to the Romans, who would construct the still-standing Roman bridge over the Tormes River, as well as exploit the ancient route on which the city lie — the Ruta de la Plata — which connected Asturica Augusta (modern-day Astorga) to Emerita Augusta (modern-day Merida). Centuries later, the Moors would take the city in 712, which would thus become part of a ‘no man’s land’ area between Christian and Moorish holdings. After the Battle of Simancas in 939, the area began to experience repopulation — a process which would become definitive after the Christian re-conquest of Toledo in 1085. In 1218, the University of Salamanca was founded by King Alfonso IX of León, which is considered to be the oldest Spanish university still functioning today. Over the years a great deal of important people have studied there, including Fray Luis de León, San Juan de la Cruz, Antonio de Nebrija, Hernán Cortés, Calderón de la Barca, and Miguel de Unamuno.
Salamanca is a vibrant city with a large university student population, yet conveniently small enough that you can get most anywhere on foot. The city is built around the main square, which is known as Plaza Mayor, from where it extends outwards. The center of the city is home to a number of historical buildings, including the Catedral Vieja, the Catedral Nueva, the Convento de San Esteban, the Huerto de Calisto y Melibea, and many others. In fact, the Old City of Salamanca was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. Also, in 2002, Salamanca served as European Capital of Culture alongside Bruges, Belgium. Today, Salamanca has both a modern university town vibe, as well as a strong European academic tradition.
Study Spanish with Estudio Sampere
In addition to their Spanish academies in Madrid, Alicante, Cuenca (Ecuador) and Havana (Cuba), Estudio Sampere has a language center in Salamanca. Located on a pedestrian street just five minutes from Plaza Mayor, the center is in the heart of the Old Town. It has eight air-conditioned classrooms perfect for small class sizes where you’ll enjoy the friendly atmosphere and soon know everyone. The facilities also have wi-fi and computers available and a library/video room.
Estudio Sampere offers several different course options at their Salamanca facility including intensive courses, one-to-one courses, DELE preparation, and courses for teenagers and seniors. Class sizes are very reduced, ranging from 6-8 students and never having more than nine. The Salamanca center also has the added bonus that students of all levels — including complete beginners — may start on any Monday. In addition to classroom instruction, Estudio Sampere also offers cultural classes, guided tours to museums and monuments, excursions to neighboring towns and cities, as well as nightlife events.
If you’re planning on coming to Spain to study Spanish, but haven’t decided where yet, consider going to Salamanca. Beyond having a great learning experience, you will undoubtedly fall in love with this beautiful, medieval city.