Learning Spanish | Casa de Cultura | Exchange programs | Speaking Spanish | Working it into daily life
Amongst the many ways that you can learn Spanish, an option taken up by many people, is by an old time-tested system of the 'intercambio' or exchange. Back in school days, a pupil from France, Germany or Spain would come and stay with the family, giving them the chance to exchange the favour. The resulting friendship often lasted for many years and normally more of the spoken foreign language was learnt in a short visit that in the rest of your educational career.
The exchange or 'intercambio' system has developed over the years and is more popular than ever amongst people of all ages. Some people are interested in a straight accommodation exchange. Perhaps a UK resident wants to spend a specific length of time in an area of Andalucia to learn the language and in return will offer the same length of time in his own home. Other people offer accommodation, in return for Spanish or English classes - perhaps from themselves or sometimes for their children. Sometimes teachers, during vacation time, offer their teaching services in return for accommodation.
Some of the Language Schools also have exchange systems set up for students on their courses and its worth asking for more information.
For the purposes of learning the language, it is usually more productive (and more economical) to live with a Spanish family, rather than rent rooms or stay in hotel or B&B. The Andalucian people are very welcoming and apart from speaking more Spanish, you will also learn more about the culture and lifestyle of the Southern Spanish. For example, mealtimes will most likely be very different to the UK, with lunch normally after 2.p.m and dinner (especially in the summer holiday period) sometimes not served sometimes until around midnight!