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AU Madrid | Language

Learning Spanish in Spain

Photo of chalk drawing depicting the phrase AU luvs Madrid.

One of the most important things students learn while studying abroad in Spain is how to speak another language. All students will improve their language skills: beginner students will get the basics down and become conversational and more advanced students will fine-tune advanced grammar skills. No matter what, all students will return home much more comfortable and confident in their Spanish language abilities. Keep in mind that Spanish, like English and other languages, has many different variations, dialects, and accents. The Spanish dialect in Spain is Castillian, or Castellano in Spanish: any "z," "ce" or "ci" is pronounced with the English sound "th." For example, gracias (thank you) is pronounced grathias. The Spaniards also use tú (you) and vosotros (you all) with friends and family. Most students who learn Spanish in the USA are not taught the “vosotros” conjugations because they aren’t typically used in Latin America. Thus, getting used to hearing and using the vosotros forms of verbs can be an adjustment at the beginning of the semester. By the end of the semester in Madrid, you will have forgotten that Spanish is spoken any other way! Additionally, as you travel throughout Spain, you will notice all of the many regional Spanish dialects. Catalán, Gallego, and Euskera are among the diverse languages that each has a unique history within the Spanish civilization.

All students in the Madrid programs have the opportunity to take Spanish language classes with world class Spanish language professors. Most classes are small in size and focus on listening, speaking, writing, and reading comprehension. Class levels from beginner to advanced are available during the fall, spring, and summer terms.