In general the following distinction in programs offered by language schools can be made:
- Intensive Group Courses
- Part-time Group Courses
- One-on-one Courses
- Study and Travel programs
First you need to decide what your aim is when learning Spanish. Do you want to obtain a basic level of understanding and speaking or do you intent to continue studying at a Spanish-language university? Maybe you want to learn Spanish to do business in Spanish. The vast amount of language schools, universities and private teachers in Argentina all have their specialities and might offer special courses to reach your objectives.
Another issue to take into consideration is the different levels on offer. If you already have a basic knowledge of the Spanish language you might prefer to take on a more advances course, whereas if you have little or no previous knowledge you will feel more at ease with fellow students with a same level. Some language schools also offer specialised language courses with regards to certain professions, such as medical care.
When choosing for group courses, take a look at the size of classes. This differs strongly among language schools. Smaller groups tend to make more progress than large groups. Starting dates vary per language school and program. Universities tend to offer less starting dates than language schools.
The average age of classes might also affect your choice. Several language schools set up their classes according to the age of their students. If you prefer to study with people of your own age group, asking about the average age might interest you. Alongside with age comes nationality of your fellow students. You might want to study at an institution where little to none of your countrymen study or prefer a language school with a large community of students from your home country.
The prices charged for studying at a language institute dependent on many variables: intensity, group size, reputation, city, location within city, extra facilities, housing, etc. Bear in mind that registration fees and costs for materials are also charged. International language school networks charging in US$, if you enrol at an Argentinean language school you will pay less in local currency. However, international organisations do guarantee the quality of education.
Students participating in a student exchange program often have the opportunity to receive student credits and/or a scholarship from their home institution when taking on a language course prior to the start of their classes at their guest institution. Not every language school qualifies for university credits or a scholarship, so make sure you get informed at your home institution of its requirements.
The cities offering most choice of language courses are Buenos Aires and Cordoba. Some language schools also offer the possibility to study in cities like Bariloche, Mendoza and even Ushuaia. You might want to inquire where in each city classes are given as well as the schedules. When classes are given at night it might give you a more secure feeling knowing that classes are given in a neighbourhood that is not completely abandoned at night, such as the business districts. Knowing the location of the language school also turns out handy when opting to seek for your own housing and transport connections. Language schools sometimes offer housing facilities as well. They might offer home-stays with an Argentinian family or shared apartments with other students.
If you prefer one-on-one classes but do not have the budget for it, or just want extra practice, many Argentinians offer private language classes. Ads can be found in newspapers, on message boards at universities, but also at calling centres and internet cafés. Also consider posting a message in the language forum or classifieds at Just Landed.