By Karen Kressin
Learn Spanish Well and Cheap
Want to learn Spanish? Here’s an idea for retirees, ex-pats, and other gringos with time to spend in
The program I know best is Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG), but there are others. (See below.) Autónoma roughly means private.
UAG offers a 4-week program every 4 weeks, starting on Mondays, year round. Placement tests are given on the previous Friday and pre-registration is encouraged. If you’re late, however, it’s generally OK to test and register on the first day of class. They’ll even let you take just the first half of the course (for half price), if you want to study only 2 weeks. UAG accepts Visa and Mastercard, for a fee of about $10.
If you want, the university will arrange a home stay with a Mexican family in a shared room and including all meals. The homes are close to the university in the upscale suburb of
UAG’s Spanish course is 4 credit hours of grammar and conversation, 5 days a week. Some sessions include a culture option. An excursion to a nearby locale such as Tequila or Sayula, a cooking class, and a salsa class, for example, are offered as extras.
While non-traditional students often take the course, most of your classmates will be college-age from universities in the
And the best part: UAG’s low cost. (All USD)
4 weeks tuition: $350 plus $25 admin fee
(Optional culture class: add $200)
4 weeks optional home stay $375 + $20 admin fee
Textbook: about $12
Full immersion cultural experience: Priceless
Compare this with a 3-credit Spanish course at my state college, part-time in-state tuition. (Your state’s may cost more):
Tuition and fees: $741
Full immersion cultural experience: Not available
Of course, there are Spanish language institutes in
There are lots of universities. So check the Web or, if you are lucky enough to be in
for some Spanish programs at Mexican universities
UAG: www.uag.mx/12/cii.htmlUDG (Univ. de Guadalajara): www.cepe.udg.mxUniv. de Guanajuato http://www.ugto.mx/idiomasUNAM (
Caveat: Mexican websites vary widely. For detailed and up to date information, you might have to contact the school at an email address you find on the site. Also remember, “languages” in Spanish is idiomas.