Learning a new language is hard, but we survived Spanish school in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Surviving Spanish school

If you don’t think learning a second language is hard then you’ve never done it or you’re one of those freaks who love to conjugate verbs, gobble up new grammar like it’s gummy bears, can’t wait to wade through new vocabulary, and says things like “Next, I think I’ll learn Swahili…”. Yeah, we’re talking about YOU Megan.

We’ve just completed five weeks of Spanish language immersion classes at a school in Guadalajara called IMAC. With the help of our teacher Saray (picture a 23 year old Spanish-speaking Julie McCoy after a few double espressos), we learned four new tenses, a ton of new vocabulary and more grammar rules then we remember ever learning in English. Right now it’s all a muddle of Spanglish in our heads.

Choosing a Spanish school

Why did we choose to torture ourselves at IMAC as opposed to any of the other language school options in Guadalajara like CEPE or the Harvest Language Center? Well, after fairly exhaustive comparative research, it became clear that most language schools are essentially the same and you’re just not going to know which one works  best for you until you’re sitting there in class. Also, IMAC was offering a two-for-one special.

Coincidentally, near the end of our course, the “Travel with Val” program on NY1, a local news station in our hometown of New York City, aired a segment on IMAC.

So, did we learn how to comprehend, read, write, and speak Spanish? This post is in English, isn’t it? But we do know a LOT more about speaking, reading, writing, and understanding Spanish then we did five weeks ago, and certainly more than we did after graduating from our weak high school Spanish classes. Karen’s two big take-aways from two years of high school Spanish are that she knows all of the words to Cielito Lindo and she can remember that her “Spanish” name was Ramona. Thanks, public school.

However, it’s going to take a heck of a lot more than five weeks to get us speaking with confidence, but we’re on our way. At least our skills are better than this guy’s

We have to say, we came up with what must rank as the best thank you gift a Spanish language student ever gave their 23-year-old female teacher: access to the set where superstar Alejandro Fernández–a singer almost inconceivably huge in Latin America–was shooting his latest music video. Many thanks, also, to our friend Pepe Homs, an executive producer at  Cedro Films and co-owner of the awesome Casa del Atrio in the city of Queretaro, for making dreams come true.


Here’s more about travel in Mexico

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