By Raúl Gavarrette O.

Are you travelling in Nicaragua? You might be considering to spend a couple of days in Granada, the colonial city located on shores of big Lake Cocibolca. You may want to spend more than a couple of days, why not a week in this charming small city where you will pick some Spanish words or add some more expressions to your Spanish language background. Why not taking some Spanish lessons in one of the Spanish language schools located in Granada?

The Spanish schools in Nicaragua has been a boom since late 90´s, particularly in Granada downtown, the first colonial city in Nicaragua. At the present, Granada has a growing network of independent Spanish language schools. Studying Spanish is a good option while visiting this tropical country.

Most of the Spanish schools in Granada offer a mixture of language instruction, volunteer opportunities and excursions to nearby destinations which include crater lakes, boat tours, cigar factories, and walking city tours. Lodging with local families in Granada is also included in the Spanish studies packets offered by the language schools. Each school has different prices for the Spanish courses ranging between $280 and $350 for a week. This mainly depends on the kind of course you choose and the quality of services they offer. The more weeks you take the cheaper you get. If you are seriously considering learning Spanish in Granada Nicaragua, having fun, experiencing the culture and enjoying the surroundings and the beautiful nature, you should have a look at these best seven Granada Spanish schools mentioned in this article. These are the Spanish language schools that international students have chosen the most in the last 5 years.

1. Nicaragua Spanish Schools (http://www.nicaragua-spanish-lessons.com) is an independent language school located in Granada downtown a few blocks from the Central Plaza, in the surroundings of Xalteva Church, formerly situated in Convento San Francisco. This school offers Spanish immersion courses, one-on-one lessons and in small groups from basic beginners to advanced superior levels. The courses are combined with amazing afternoon excursions to local destinations which include nature reserves, national parks, crater lakes, boat tours in Lake Cocibolca; visits to open markets, handicraft factories, active and dormant volcanoes. This Nicaraguan Spanish language school offers also Spanish and Ceramic courses; Medical Spanish courses; Spanish for College students; Spanish for travelers, Crash courses, and Online Spanish lessons. Homestay with friendly families is available; there are also all-included packets. Some of the teachers speak English but they use it only when it is necessary or requested. The maximum size of the class is four students but average size is one-two students per class. Class material is provided. Spanish instruction is usually Monday to Friday all year round opening every Monday but any student can start any day of the week according to personal schedule on arrival. Students are offered to study one week course as minimum length but can take as many weeks as desired. Airport pickup from Managua to Granada is available if requested. Volunteering is also possible previous request. The staff is very enthusiastic and dynamic. The Director and the Administrative Assistant are also very nice. This school has been providing job opportunities to its teachers since 2004 at the very early organization stage and promoted conservationist and reforestation small projects in Laguna de Apoyo along with its partner school in that area. Students are offered to volunteer. Recently the school has been chosen as the best school for training volunteers and cooperants from Asian and European countries who volunteer in Nicaragua.

 2. Nicaragua Mia Spanish School (http://spanishschoolnicaraguamia.com ) is situated on Caimito Street, near Central Plaza in Granada. It is operated by a cooperative of women who offer Spanish courses: one-on-one intensive, Spanish for travelers, business Spanish, and classes for children. The courses include class materials. The school is opened throughout the year 8-5 pm. Classes start every Monday. The basic week course includes Spanish lessons Monday to Friday in the mornings, afternoon local excursions, and homestay with Granada families. Transportation from Airport to school in Granada is provided by school at an additional cost.

3. SOL Spanish School (http://www.granadanicaraguaspanishschool.com ), a language school family owned, is located at a few blocks from Central Park and from Xalteva Church. The school offers Spanish courses from beginners to advanced levels. SOL Spanish School has a wide range of courses for the students: Spanish immersion classes; Spanish classes only; combo programs; online Spanish classes; Volunteering and Spanish classes. The standard program includes Spanish classes Monday to Friday, lodging with a host family, and local afternoon activities. The activities include visits to museums, clinics, artisan shops, local factories, farms, and NGO´s. Classes are usually 8-12m.; but they also offer afternoon lessons. The class size is 1-2 students per class. The school provides class materials. Some of the teachers speak English and use it in the class if requested by students. Transfer from Managua Airport to Granada can be arranged through the school.

 4. APC Spanish School (http://spanishgranada.com ) is situated across from Central Park and offers language immersion classes.  The school is a project of the organization ‘The Association of Cultural Promoters’ (APC). Basically the school offers Spanish courses in the mornings, local daily excursions in the afternoons, room and board with local families. Students have opportunities to volunteer with local organizations through the school. Spanish courses for children are available at the APC School in Granada. Regular classes are Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The school is opened every day all year round.

5. Casa Xalteva Spanish School (http://www.casaxalteva.org) situated by the Xalteva church offers a packet stressed on volunteering. It is one of the oldest Spanish schools established in Granada. Located in a quiet location, this school offers intensive Spanish courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced language students. The class size is two-three students per class, sometimes one- to-one. Lessons take place for four hours daily from Monday to Friday. The Spanish lessons are emphasized on conversational skills. Some of the instructors at the school speak English but they use only Spanish since the first day of class to encourage the students to speak, write and read the language from the very first day in the program. Classes start every Monday all year round. Minimum length of a course is one week but students can study for weeks or months if desired. Transportation from Airport available if requested.