Hi I thank you very much for taking time to write your and your friend’s experience. It will be very helpful for those wanting to study spanish in spain. I am sorry for what happened to you and your friend. I absolutely agree that there are many schools in granada and you should choose one that suits you. That is why I always tell people not to enrol in a school before you leave your home country for more than 2 weeks. Give it a try for two weeks or even a week, and if you don’t like it,choose some other schools because there are just so many of them.
I was in Castila quite some years ago. I know that two of the best teachers whom we all loved left the school later. Time has passed and the teachers are very different now, I believe. What was good then does not mean that it would be that way forever. Or good things cannot last?
About putting people not in the same level, i believe it is because it is winter time. Peak time for language schools across spain is summer. Many students will come during summer and that means there is very high chance that the schools can form classes of various levels and you will be put into the right level class. I believe this happens not only in Castila,but other schools in Spain. During summer there are also more interesting things going on in the city. That is one reason I recommend that it is better to study during summer. What is more, winter in granada can be very cold just as summer very hot.
About the coordinator going into the flat to check the gas, i think you / your friend should make a serious complaint to the management and demand apology. it is indeed outrageous. When i was in castila, the management was reasonable. I don’t know who is the management now. But no matter what, you/ your friend should complain.
about accommodation, i agree that your observation is right. but renting an apartment works only if you stay in a city long. If you stay just for a short period of time, you don’t want the trouble of renting a place yourself. also, the fun of living under one roof with other classmates will be lost. i had a great time living in the school accommodation then, and it was summer time. i could go to other school accommodation for swimming, and we cooked together, had pool party, etc.
Thanks again for your helpful comment and reminder. I feel sorry that after reading my blog you and your friend went to castila and had some bad experience. Things are in flux. Nothing stays the same…
After reading your blogs, I went to Granada and Castila for quite a few weeks. It is so true that Granada is in fact a beautiful, beautiful city. Everyone I met there falls in love with it.
Yet, I do want to share my experience in Castila with all the readers who want to study Spanish (if you don’t mind). Castila isn’t necessarily the right school for you to learn Spanish. It largely depends on what you look for during your stay in Granada.
If your purpose of going to Granada is just to have a relaxing holiday, and meeting people, it is absolutely a great place for you since they have a nice garden.
However, if you go there hoping to learn Spanish seriously, go somewhere else and look for other schools. There are plenty in Granada you can choose from. As far as I have observed and most of the comments I heard from my classmates about the school are not positive. At the end of your stay, you are asked to fill in the form stating whether you will recommend it to your friends. And many of my classmates answered a “No”, which are due to a few reasons.
In the first place, the school isn’t organized and so as the curriculum. One of the advantages of language school is flexibility (because there aren’t many students and the classes are unstructured). Unfortunately also due to the “flexibility”, you will be moved from one class to another. Sometimes you are assigned with the students at your level, other times with the people at a lower or higher level than yours. It could happen that you learn the same things for three weeks because there are always new students coming in and their Spanish level is below yours. Or when there aren’t many students, you will be in a class of mixture, ranging from A1 to C1 (the very beginners level to the advanced level).
Talking about unstructured class, I also mean that the teachers (not all the time, but quite some times) come to the class WITHOUT preparation! If an unprepared lesson is what you are paying for, go for it! But I tell you the truth, you can actually do it with language exchange. There are a lot out there for FREE!
In the second place, the housing conditions are unpleasant. If you ask for the accommodation from the school, you pay up to 300-400 euros a month. However, no internet is included. The internet provided is borrowed from your neighborhood and so, the connection could be quite poor as reception is diminished every wall the signal passes. In fact, Granada is really a beautiful, but cheap city to stay/ live. For 200 euros, you can rent a place with everything (smooth wifi, hot shower, PRIVACY and heater) included for a month. For 400-500 euros, you can even rent an apartment your own without sharing with others and again, with everything (smooth wifi, hot shower, PRIVACY and heater) included.
In the third place, the heater at your place doesn’t function very well. It could be disastrous if you go there in winter. There are two types of heater provided in the accomodation. One is the portable one, which obviously isn’t warm enough. Another one is operated by gas. However, my friend had a very unpleasant experience about staying in a flat with the gas-operated heater. Although it is written on the web that everything is included, it is not true as described. It is because when my friends went to the classes at school, the coordinator of the school went to their place and check if they turned off the heater and made sure it was only at 20 degree celcius!!! That is absolutely outrageous. By what principle that he is allowed to enter the apartment without any permission when my friends already paid for the few months they stayed in the flat?! I have never heard of the owners can come in freely and go out of the apartment that is already rented and even CRITICIZE the way you live!!!
Anna, I’m sorry for writing so long here. I love Granada too, but I also hope that the people who genuinely want to learn Spanish can go to the right school which worth the money.