About The School

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About Granada

Granada has an edge over other Andalusian cities. Many visitors don’t get past the allure of the amazing Alhambra, with its woods and the Sierra Nevada as magnificent backdrops, and the mystery of the winding streets of the Muslim quarters, the Albayzín. But what you’ll find if you study here is Andalucía’s hippest, youthful city, with a free-tapas culture, innovative bars, tiny flamenco holes and thumping clubs. Here, the Islamic past feels recent as the Albayzín is filled with kebab and cake shops and slipper and tea nooks and even a newly-constructed mosque.

Granada’s history reads like an excellent thriller, with complicated plots, conspiracies, hedonism and tricky love-affairs. Granada began life as an Iberian settlement. Muslim forces took over from the Visigoths in 711 A.D., around the foot of the Alhambra hill from which the name Granada derives.  Granada also happens to be Spanish for pomegranate, the fruit on the city’s coat of arms. After the fall of Córdoba in 1236 and Seville in 1248 Muslims sought refuge in Granada, where an independent emirate was set up.  Granada became one of the richest cities in medieval Europe, flourishing with its swollen population of traders and artisans. Two centuries of artistic and scientific splendor peaked in the 14th century. In the 15th century the Christian armies invading the emirate took advantage of an internal revolution, besieging towns and devastating the countryside, and in 1491 they finally laid siege to Granada.

In 1492 the conquering Catholic Monarchs, Isabel and Fernando, entered Granada and set up court in the Alhambra for several years.  The Jews were then expelled from Spain, and there was religious persecution of the Muslims with their eventual expulsion in the 17th century.  Granada sank into a deep decline from which it only began to emerge with the interest drummed up by the Romantic Movement from the 1830s on. This set the stage for the restoration of Granada’s Islamic heritage and the arrival of tourism.

Today the population of Granada proper is about 250,000.  It is considered a hot spot among cultural and tourist cities in Spain.  It is also well known for its prestigious University of Granada and vibrant night life.  It is said that it is one of the three best cities in Spain for college students.  Today’s city center has a lively feel with modern shopping areas interspersed with historic monuments and plazas. You can "shop 'til you drop" or simply sit in a café-bar and watch the world go by. Further daytime attractions include a visit to the Cathedral, museums and art galleries, the García Lorca Park, The Science Park or a wander through the local markets. Granada by night offers numerous possibilities influenced by both Spanish traditions and the fact that it is a university city with more than 60,000 students.

The restaurants offer a fantastic variety of "surf and turf", fresh seafood from the Mediterranean and meats and cheeses from the mountains, all at astonishingly affordable prices. However, you don't always need to pay for your meals as Granada is one of the few cities in Spain that still follows that great tradition of tapas. These are little dishes of local cuisine that are served free with each drink in the many bars to be found in this great city. After eating you can go to the theater or cinema, take salsa classes, watch a flamenco show or dance the night away in any of the disco pubs or nightclubs.

Other than all the activities on offer on a daily basis, Granada also hosts a number of festivals for you to enjoy throughout the year. There are International Festivals of Music and Dance, Jazz, Tango and Flamenco, along with many traditional local fiestas.  This mid-sized city offers an exciting place to study Spanish and to experience daily Spanish life.

TRAVEL – Fly into either the Granada airport or the airport of Málaga.  Pickup by the school is available in either place.

About The School

I.D.E.A. or the Instituto de Español Albayzín is a smaller school with many years of experience in teaching Spanish as a foreign language in various institutes and countries and in working with different nationalities from all over the world.  The team at I.D.E.A. is made up of young, dynamic and open-minded personalities who inject an enthusiasm into the classroom that encourages interest and conversation. They also participate in all the extra activities, which helps to develop the student - teacher relationship. The philosophy behind I.D.E.A. is to offer high quality teaching with a personal approach. Student comments always mention the laid back and warm atmosphere of the school.  The school is located in a safe, residential area within easy reach of the city center and homestays.

Style of teaching –  I.D.E.A. aims to create an open and dynamic form of learning, based on flexibility, combined with communication and formal reflection, continually focusing on the specific needs of each student. The student has the opportunity to develop their language abilities by putting into practice listening, reading, speaking and writing skills through natural methods. Students are encouraged to use the language practically from the beginning, through conversation, media articles, television, music, etc, while still concentrating on the fundamental basics and set objectives.

Levels offered – All levels of Spanish are accommodated, from complete beginners toadvanced.  Students will be given a written placement test and speaking evaluation to determine their level.  A certificate of completion indicating level studied is presented at the end of the course.

Class size and hours –  All classes have a maximum of 8 students, and they are often smaller in size.  This allows a high degree of individualized attention.  Classes begin at 9:00 am.

Materials – All materials are included in the cost of your course.

Academic Credit – Available for this program.

Students – There is a minimum age of 16.  Among the students you will find a diversity in age, nationality and culture which provokes dynamism and interest in the classroom.  All the while, there is a common interest, in that all are in Granada to learn Spanish. The intensity of the courses ensures that you will develop your language skills quickly and completely, and at the same time form relationships with fellow students and teachers that will leave you with friends for life.

Calendar – You can begin classes on any Monday for the length of time of your choice.  The school is closed for Christmas holidays and other national holidays of Spain.  There are no classes held on those days.  There is no reduced tuition or makeup for missed days due to national holidays.

Activities – Granada is filled with wonderful places to see.  The school offers organized tours of all the significant places, all at reasonable cost.  There are many opportunities for additional activities such as mountain hiking, flamenco classes, and day trips to nearby cities.  There are weekly tapas bar outings and many social activities arranged by the school and included in your course fees.