Spanish is a beautiful language and ever since I was a little girl I was in love with everything that has to do with Spain. I always said to myself: “One day I will travel to Spain and learn Spanish”. This is a new experience for me. I have traveled on my own before, but this time I’m going on vacation and wake up at 6 AM every morning to go to school. My colleagues think I am crazy for doing this during my vacation. They are right, but if you are really passionate about something, it will even feel better than a vacation. What matters the most is that I am making my dream come true in Malaga.
First day of school
It takes about an hour from my apartment to my language school by bus. On my first day I take the bus a bit early in the morning just in case. I like it when I can blend in between the people, because I can get to feel like a local. Dutch people don’t like to sit next to each other in the bus. For example, they put their stuff on the seat next to them, so that no one comes near them. I catch myself doing the same until an old lady points at my bag next to me. That’s right, I’m in Spain!
After a while, I notice that the bus is getting emptier. I am the last one left. The bus driver keeps looking in his mirror. Did we just pass by my school? The driver stops at the last bus stop and says something in Spanish that I can’t understand. I talk back in English, but it stays quiet. He doesn’t speak English and I can’t speak Spanish yet. My temperature is rising and I’m breathing faster. How am I going to solve this?
Where am I?
I show him the information on my phone and with hands and feet, we try to communicate. He eventually calls my school and turns on the engine. I guess he’s receiving the directions from the receptionist. He drives back into the same street and drops me off, so I guess it is here, somewhere. For a moment I feel like he wanted to get rid of me, but he really seemed nice. Why would he otherwise call my school?
I have seen a picture of my school building online, but I can’t see it anywhere around me. I ask a waiter, who is wiping a table in front of a restaurant. He points with his hands where I have to go. I am late on my first day of school. This is so typical! I walk just like the waiter told me and indeed, there it is. A tall wall and trees are hiding my cute white school.
The Spanish school in Spain
Quickly I go inside and discover that my classmates are in the middle of a language test. This is just to decide at what level we have to start. I don’t even have to do the test, because I‘m starting from scratch. They divide us into classes and my class consists of me, myself, and I. The other classmates have studied Spanish before, so they start at a higher level. Teresa, my teacher takes care of me like I am her daughter. She has a good taste for fashion for her middle age and she comes to school every day with her high heels, jewelry, and lipstick. She doesn’t speak English, so it’s going to be a challenge, but I guess I will learn quicker.
Even though I don’t have any classmates, most of the students at school are very social and it is easy to get along with them. We start to hang out and discover the city together. Malaga is a divers city and if you would like to know more about it, you can read my article ‘14 tips to fully enjoy Malaga‘. Sometimes I bring my bathing suit and swimming gear with me so I can go to the beach after class. I discover that living far away from school is not a good idea. Most of the students live next to the school within walking distance. I go back to my apartment, change clothes, leave my books behind, and travel again to the city. It is very time-consuming.
I receive my level A1 certificate after two weeks of learning and I start my third and last week at level A2 in a new class with classmates. I miss my intensive classes on my own, but this is nice too. Saying goodbye is hard after spending so much time at this school. Leaving Malaga is very painful; it feels like leaving home and not coming back. On my last day, my teacher Teresa gives me a small colored paper bag and tells me to open it. There is a handmade bracelet of a beige/brown biznaga flower, the symbol of the city, inside it. The word biznaga comes from a similar Arabic word and means ‘gift from God’. She tells me to never forget her, Malaga, and the Spanish language. How can I?
Extra information about my time at the Spanish school in Malaga:
- You can travel around by bus or train to see other cities near Malaga. You can read my tips for visiting Seville in the article ‘Seville in a few days’.
- During the weekdays the school organizes activities in Malaga and during the weekend they arrange different excursions.
- My whole trip of 3 weeks cost me about €1500 (flying tickets, Spanish school, accommodation, all transports and all of my expenses there).
- The Enforex language school in Malaga is now located in another building in the downtown city.
The best feeling in the world is when you make your dream come true. Have you studied abroad? Where did you go and what did you study?