It’s been more than a month and a half since Joseph arrived on the South American continent. On the agenda: Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico, to which Uruguay added thanks to the chance of meeting new people. Nearly 6 months in Spanish speaking countries, he says it is worth learning the language to communicate with locals.
Joseph is 24 years old young accountant born in Ohio, USA. Soon after getting his diploma, he decided to travel around the world for around two years for learning new cultures. In this long trip holiday, he found Buenos Aires. And starred it as the perfect city for learning Spanish.
Why learning Spanish?
Traveling around the world, it’s good. Taking the opportunity to progress in languages, it’s better! Joseph told us how being able to communicate in Spanish became more a necessity than a wish during the trip:
“I have already made good progress in French in recent months, and it really motivated me to try to do the same thing in Spanish. But my initial level is even worse, I did not learn Spanish in high school, but only in business school, a few hours, and courses were oriented to management vocabulary. I did not learn a lot.
As soon as I arrived in Santiago, I understood that these courses would be indispensable to me. As much in South Asia English is widespread, here it is not the case.
My few hours hitchhiking on the Ruta Austral and desperately trying to communicate with motorists have convinced me, I will take 2 weeks of classes in Buenos Aires.
Why not when I arrived in Santiago? Because I did not want to hang out and arrive before winter in Patagonia. Finally, it also allowed me to find the few bases that I had anyway and to acquire some vocabulary.”
He searched online Spanish school in Buenos Aires and found that all schools offer quite similar programs: private lessons and/or more or less intensive group courses, to which may be added some activities. Nevertheless, he chose Expanish.com who offered the best rate, and which had the greatest reviews.
Joseph went for a super-intensive formula: 10 hours of private lessons and 20 hours of group lessons, ie 30 hours in the week, or 6 hours a day!
“Private lessons are really very effective. It goes without saying that it is 100% personalized, and your teacher choose what subjects are more useful in order to your needs, and you are also allowed to send him specific requests that follow. Every day I had the time to see several grammar points, to do exercises, and to talk and laugh!
6 o’clock is really intensive, and in the evening when you have to do your homework or go out in the city, you’re tired. But I really learned a lot in a week and I am very happy with this formula. I now need to practice a maximum now to fully use all this and continue to progress.”
What to see in Buenos Aires: tango!
In Buenos Aires, tango is an institution, many tourists take lessons, but Joseph preferred to be an observer.
For her last night in the city, Joseph could attend a tango class and stayed during the evening. It was a traditional milonga in which there is only room for the dancers, but they made an exception and let him in.
Watching dancing codes is an amazing experience: dancers do not invite themselves to dance, the men sit on one side of the room, the women on the other, and at a glance, they agree and join on the track.
Outfits are a must-see for anyone who has not been in a tango show before. Quite tight and shiny, dresses with a cut allow to watch and follow all the delicate steps of legs while dancing. Shoes are a show itself: it is an incredible experience to see high heels being handled with perfection.
Even without dancing Joseph was captivated by the tango. “I could have stayed up all night if I had not had my Spanish class the next morning.”