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Student voices


Jana Eichmann Costa de Valencia, Valencia Jana came from Ger- many to attend four weeks at Costa de


Valencia. She is 25 years old and has really enjoyed the opportunity to learn and practice Spanish.


Brendan Reyes Don Quijote, Valencia Brendan is an 18-year-old from Rochester, NY. It didn’t take him long to fall in love with the city of Valencia. “I really like the city,” he says, ‘’It’s easy to get around. I like the beach especially.”


Alena Arzumanyn Caxton College, Valencia Alena Arzumanyn is from Russia. She has


spent the last two years living with host families in Valencia and learning Spanish. Alena recalls that her host families spoke no English, and since she spoke no Spanish in the begin- ning, it was quite the immersive expe- rience.


Svetlana Degtyareva & Edgar Torosyan Audio Gil Spanish Institute, Castellon Svetlana has been in Castellon for one year, and Edgar for two.


Each year anywhere from 130,000 to


210,000 students arrive from abroad to study in Spain. Ten to twelve percent of these come to the Valencia region, says Isabel Armada, a teacher in Alicante. Among the arrivals, sixty-seven percent are university stu- dents from 20 to 24 years old. Seventeen per- cent come from the United States. Tourism that is motivated primarily to


learn a language brings 294 to 331 million U.S. dollars a year to Spain, cites FEDELE. Economic forecasts suggest that language tourism in Spain will increase among students from Japan, Brazil and the United States.


44 Today’sCampus


The students Degtyareva is from Russia, and has been studying Spanish at Audio Gil for one year. Course sessions run for two or four weeks, with classes serving about 10 people. Costs vary among institutions, and all


prices are published on the school’s websites. Armada, who teaches at Colegio Interna- cional Alicante, estimates that a four-week enrollment at her school for a student who shares an apartment with other students costs 600 euros, or $743, for tuition and meals.


AMEELE began with five schools in


2002. Of the 15 AMEELE schools today in the Valencia region, four are in the Ali- cante district, ten are in Valencia, and one is in Castellon. To join AMEELE, a school must be in operation for two years and must be accredited by the Cervantes Institute. The Cervantes Institute is a public


body set up by the Spanish government in 1991 to encourage the teaching and use of the Spanish language and to promote Spanish culture worldwide. It was modeled on the United Kingdom’s British Council and Germany’s Goethe Institute. Schools that are accredited by the Cervantes Institute prepare students to take the exam for the Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language, or DELE. Issued by the Spanish government Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, DELE is the only certificate for non-native Spanish speakers that is officially recognized in Spain. DELE is also internationally rec- ognized by private companies, chambers of commerce and education institutions.


“ I


live with students from all over the world,” says Jana Eichmann, a German who attends the Costa de Valencia school in Valencia. “In addition to learning Spanish, I get the chance to learn about other cultures. I must speak Spanish because the other stu- dents don’t speak English or German.” Students also have the option to stay with


host families. “Home stays are more expensive, but bet-


ter,” insists Armada. Staying with a host fam- ily includes lodging and meals as well as the chance to get involved in the daily life of a Spanish family. A four-week course with a family home stay will run the student about 850 euros, or $1,053. Summer is the busiest


More information on the web


 A Cervantes Insitute site explains DELEs, including where they are rec- ognized and why they are helpful: http://diplomas.cervantes.es/ general/reconocimiento.jsp


 AMEELE’s website has information on all member schools as well as general information on the Valencia region: http://ameele.net.


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