How to start your career in the US as a teacher of Spanish as a second language

Do you want to open the door to being a Spanish teacher in the US and offer in-person or online classes in a center that includes Spanish courses or give one-on-one Spanish classes yourself?

Currently, there is no official certificate worldwide that accredits you as a Spanish as a second or language teacher. The only specialization that exists is training courses offered by various centers, such as Cervantes Escuela Internacional. To work as a teacher in a private center, or in a university or other institution, you need to meet the requisites that each institution in particular requires.

But, taking the ELE (Spanish as a Foreign Language) training courses offered by Cervantes EI will equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to start a career as a Spanish teacher. Cervantes Escuela Internacional is a center accredited by the Cervantes Institute in Madrid, and therefore, its certificates are also endorsed by this internationally recognized entity.

Requirements to Access the Cervantes EI training courses

You should have a C1 level or higher and have completed a university degree. It does not matter what degree you have or whether it is related to teaching ELE.

Where to start

To start as a teacher, we recommend starting with the Introduction to didactic ELE online course, especially if you do not have any previous experience with ELE training.

This course is online and is 4 weeks long. In general, students need an average of 3 hours of work per day.

This course introduces the didactics of Spanish as a foreign language and explores the most important and conflictive topics of ELE. This course by itself is already a plus to start working as a teacher, but, obviously, continuing to train and fill out your CV will be an added bonus. To do this, you can take the rest of the ELE training courses (8 in total, including the first introduction course).

Once you have completed the introduction course, we recommend taking at least the consolidation course before looking for employment options. You also have the option of booking the introduction and consolidation courses at the same time and receiving a significant discount.

What are the online training courses like? General description

The Online ELE training courses offered by Cervantes Escuela Internacional are online and do not have in-person exams. These courses are principally aimed at native speakers that wish to develop their skills to be a Spanish as a Foreign Language teacher.

These courses are based on an inductive learning method; that is, the course is divided into different thematic blocks that are opened as the course progresses, and students need to develop the included projects. Everything is done via a digital platform (like Moodle) through which the student also has direct contact with the course tutor via a forum. In this forum, students can clarify doubts, ask questions, hand-in projects, and is a general tool to assist the course’s correct flow and progress. Active participation is important, and students should hand in all projects and participate in the forums, even if only to notify the course tutor if a project will be handed in late. You must always respect the due dates for each project in the platform (due day and time). The average study time required is estimated around 3 hours per day.

A certificate will be provided on finishing the course by ordinary international post, as long as the student has adequately completed all course projects on the online platform. A scanned copy of the same certificate will be sent via email. The certificate is only provided in Spanish.

What qualification will I get?

Rather than a qualification, you will receive a certificate on course completion. It will be sent via ordinary international post as long as all online course projects on the platform have been adequately completed. A scanned copy of the same certificate will be sent via email. The certificate is only provided in Spanish.

What time are the online courses? Schedules

Keep in mind, being online courses, you can do the course at your pace and at the time that best suits you. Therefore, although the course is organized by teachers in Spain, you can take the course without any problems even if you live in the US.

In summary, in this article, we presented the best option that currently exists to open a career path as a Spanish as a Foreign Language teacher in the US, which you can study and complete totally online thanks to the use of new digital technologies.

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Spanish Courses in Malaga and Stay with a Native Spanish Host Family

Do you need to learn Spanish fast and effectively? Currently, there are many ways to learn Spanish online or via in-person courses in your own country, but the best way to learn Spanish is still traveling to Spain and living with a native Spanish family.

One of our host families in Malaga

Cervantes Escuela Internacional is located in Malaga and is one of the areas in Spain where the purest Spanish is spoken. Cervantes EI offers Intensive Spanish courses and also offers the possibility of living with selected Spanish host families.

Staying with a host family is the perfect complement to ensure total immersion in the Spanish language. The student will have a privileged inside view of daily local life and will come to better understand the ins and outs of the local culture. Something which would not have been possible to learn in an online or in-person Spanish course. Having dinner with the host family and having the opportunity to join in their daily routine is a very authentic experience.

These are the main benefits of combining a Spanish course with Host family accommodation.

1. Language immersion

Living with a Spanish family, instead of other international students who may speak your language, means you have to practice Spanish every day. When you hear Spanish continuously spoken in your Spanish school, and then you have to continue listening to and speaking Spanish at home, your linguistic skills will improve quickly and naturally, almost without effort.

Living with a spanish family is the best option to learn spanish faster

2. Cultural experience

Living with a family will teach you the reality of how ordinary people in Spain live, and it will open your eyes to the real Spain over and above the stereotype and prejudices. The family will provide you with some or all of your daily meals, meaning you will eat local food while enjoying conversations with the family. You will have the unique opportunity to ask the family about aspects of life in Spain, or ask advice on where to buy things, the best places to visit, or popular local entertainment away from the usual tourist circuits that are swamped with visitors. Some host families may also fully include you in their activities and regular social outings, which saves you time and transport money.

Live with a spanish family and make friends forever

 3. The safest type of accommodation

Staying with a host family is possible for students from the age of 14 years (13 years if they join our Junior programme) and is the only accommodation available for those under 18. For young students, living with a host family is the safest way to enjoy your stay in a foreign country. And you also don’t have to worry about students buying food and meals. Usually, students develop a close relationship with the family and become good friends. Many continue to stay in touch for a long time after their stay. This means the student continues to have close contact with Spanish culture even after returning home.

4. Economic accommodation

A host family is the ideal accommodation for being free from economic worries because the price includes rent, meals, and a place to wash clothes. The student pays a weekly amount of around 230€/week and then only needs to consider small amounts of money for small daily items such as souvenirs or gifts.

In summary, especially for young students, but also for adults of all ages up to 99 years, living with a Spanish host family is the best way to complement a linguistic stay in Spain. An extensive list of candidate host families is available which can be adapted to each student’s specific preferences. Families with children, couples, or people who live alone. Families with pets or without pets. Etc.

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Una manera de hacer Europa.

Why should US students study Spanish in Malaga?

You live in the US, and you probably know something about Madrid, Barcelona, and maybe even Seville. Still, you may have never heard anyone mention Malaga as a destination to study Spanish.

Did you know that Malaga is the third most chosen destination by Spanish students, after Madrid and Barcelona, to learn Spanish and do a language immersion?

This article explains the big advantages that Malaga has for learning Spanish compared with more known cities such as Madrid or Barcelona.

Malaga, the most important tourist destination in South Europe

When choosing a destination to learn Spanish, not only is it important to choose a Spanish school accredited by the Cervantes Institute that provides the best guarantees, but it is also important to consider the place itself, the tourist attractions, and the leisure activities that we will find there.

Cobine your spanish course in Malaga with a great sun vacation

A small and compact city center

In contrast to Barcelona and Madrid, Malaga has a compact city center. The majority of the city’s attractions are found in a small area and it is easy to walk from one to another. Therefore, when you decide to explore the city after your classes, you will not need to use public transport a lot during your Spanish study program in Malaga.

Students enjoying explore the city

A center full of history

It will surprise you to discover that Malaga is one of the oldest cities in Europe. And you can see the remains of almost 3000 years of history in a small area. You will discover the Roman Theatre, right in the city center. You can also find Phoenician walls and the Arab Alcazaba perfectly conserved.

Pedestrian Center

One of the best things that the city authorities have done for Malaga during recent years is pedestrianize large areas of the center. You will not stress about crossing wide streets or roads (as in Madrid) or find a pedestrian crossing (as in Barcelona). You can explore Malaga’s center via wide pedestrian streets that are perfectly signposted or lose yourself in narrow streets of Arab origin, where you will also not find any cars.

Combine your classes with a relaxing vacation

In Malaga, it is almost always sunny. This allows you to relax and enjoy the sun on the terraces of bars and restaurants, whether they are in the city center or along the promenade next to the beach.

Malaga, a green city

Malaga will surprise you with its floral scent. There is a lot of vegetation throughout the city, which also ensures that it is a city with low air pollution in contrast to larger cities in Spain such as Madrid or Barcelona. Right in the historic center you will find a green hill full of trees and vegetation through which you can stroll with well-signposted paths that take you to the top. Once at the top, you will be able to visit an Arab castle and enjoy panoramic views of the whole of Malaga, including both the port and the beach.

A surprising gastronomy scene

Today, Malaga competes with the best gastronomies in Spain and Europe with various world-class restaurants and a prospering gastronomy scene. Currently, it combines international cuisine of the highest quality with traditional typical Malaga recipes, such as fresh local fried fish. And best of all, going out to eat in Malaga is affordable at a moderate price. So, if you like eating out, you will love Malaga.

Malaga, perhaps the best city in Spain to learn and improve your Spanish

Malaga is easy to get to

The Malaga airport is one of the five large airports in Spain and has a wide number of direct connections with the most important airports throughout Europe where you can connect from your US flight.

Malaga, a friendly city

This is our top reason for learning Spanish in Malaga. We can´t think of a city more pleasant and friendly in which to learn a new language. You will have the opportunity to stay with a Spanish host family who will surprise you with their open and welcoming nature, so typical of South Spain.

The best Spanish language schools are in Malaga

Each year, thousands of students choose to learn Spanish in Malaga and, as a result, there are many language schools throughout the city.

This has generated a healthy competition, which pushes the Spanish courses taught in Malaga to continuously improve and reach a higher quality.

Opportunities to practice

When you are learning a new language, you want to make the most of opportunities to practice. In contrast to other large destinations, such as Madrid and Barcelona, Malaga has maintained its true Spanish character and continues to be authentic. This means that, as a language student, you won’t find yourself surrounded by foreigners that speak your language. In fact, you will have to speak Spanish.

A lot of language exchanges

Many places in Malaga organize language exchanges during the week. These are meetings where you speak your language during half the session and practice Spanish during the other half. One group that organizes language exchanges is Pachange, with weekly meetings; you can check their webpage for more details.

Easy to get to other places

While you are learning Spanish in Malaga, you will want to explore other areas of the region. Andalusia has a fabulous range of large cities and small villages that are worth visiting, along with impressive landscapes. Malaga is an excellent base from which to explore Andalusia: regular bus services and trains that connect with Granada, Cordoba, Ronda, Seville, Marbella, Jerez…

«Somos Málaga» (Promotional video)

«Málaga, mejor que nunca» (Promotional video)

In summary, you will want to come back Malaga!

Malaga is one of those cities that people fall in love with. It wouldn´t be surprising if you did too. Maybe because of its more than 300 days of sunshine a year, but once you have finished your Spanish course and returned to the US, you will probably be thinking about visiting Malaga again. And hopefully with a fluent Spanish level!

Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional.
Una manera de hacer Europa.

Do you have a new job in Spain, and you need to improve your Spanish urgently but with a flexible schedule?

In this article, we outline the best options for Spanish classes offered by Cervantes Escuela Internacional for professionals and executives from the US that have been transferred to or have accepted a job with a company in Spain and need to learn the language fast.

Are you going to work for a company in Málaga, Spain, and need to improve your Spanish, but do not have the time required for the group courses that usually have classes from 9 am to 1 pm Monday to Friday?

If you are not able to join Intensive classes, the best option is to take private lessons that can be held at any time from between 9 am and 5 pm.

Choose private one to one spanish classes if you need a flexible schedule

These private classes provide the ultimate flexibility and can be tailored to your needs, making it a great option for business professionals or anyone looking for highly personalized attention and accelerated learning.

An advisor will guide you and prepare a customized program designed to help you achieve your goals. Additional activities can be organized if requested, including company visits or cultural excursions to complement the curriculum.

Private Spanish lessons are a great way to ensure that you gain the conversation skills and learn the specific Spanish vocabulary you need for your professional field or specific interest.

How many lessons per week? 10 private lessons per week (for example, 2 classes of 55 minutes per day from Monday to Friday) is usually recommended. In general, with 10 lessons, you will improve at a similar speed as with the Intensive 20 course (20 lessons per week in a group of 8-10 students), which is the standard course. But of course, you can take fewer or more classes, depending on your needs. In general, we recommend choosing 5, 10, 20, or 30 private lessons per week (even you can choose any number of private lessons from 1 to 30).

A flexible private lesson schedule

When joining private or semi-private classes, you will find some schedule flexibility; for example, you can book 10 private lessons per week and take them as 2 sessions of 5 lessons each, etc.


Business Spanish, Medical Spanish, Legal Spanish, or any special tailor-made private one-to-one classes are generally available.

Spanish private classes are tailor-made programs

Classes are held on-site at our facilities. If you are interested in taking classes outside of our facilities but within the same city, contact us and let us know the address where you would like to take the classes, and confirm availability.

For Semi-private classes with more than one student, all students must have the same Spanish proficiency level, take the classes together, and arrive together. Prices are per person.

How much Spanish will I learn with private classes (10 lessons per week)?

How much you learn varies from person to person, and with the intensity of the course you choose. But you will notice significant progress from a course as short as 2 weeks, even as a beginner. On average, if you join 10 private lessons per week (similar to Intensive 20 classes), students complete level A1 in 3 weeks, A2: 4 weeks, B1: 6 weeks, B2: 8 weeks, C1: 10 weeks, and C2: 12 weeks or more.

So, for example, if you are a complete beginner, you could complete B1 in 12 weeks. With a B1 level, you will be able to understand the main points of clear standard speech and writing on familiar matters that you regularly encounter at work, school, or leisure, etc. You will also be able to deal with most situations likely to arise while traveling in a Spanish-speaking country. In general, you will be able to work in a Spanish company when you have a B1 or B2 level or higher.

Do you need to take the lessons online?

That’s totally possible with Cervantes Escuela Internacional. We also offer private online spanish lessons via Skype.

Take online spanish classes or combine in-site and online spanish programs

Our online teaching method is like a private class face-to-face with conversation, exercises and some homework. The teacher will also exchange files and documents with you.

In summary, if you have found a job opportunity in Malaga (Spain) that requires a certain Spanish level, Cervantes Escuela Internacional can offer you personalized classes with a flexible class schedule to achieve the Spanish level you need.

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Una manera de hacer Europa.

Spanish courses online with native teachers from Spain

Cervantes Escuela Internacional has been offering in-person Spanish for foreigners programs for more than 30 years in Malaga. And in recent years has been a pioneering school in introducing a wide range of Spanish programs online.

We have 4 online course options available that adapt perfectly to both scheduling needs and to the intensity of the courses.

General Extensive Course – The perfect option for those that work or study. The course includes 2 sessions of 2 classes each time and takes place from 17:00 to 18:40 Spanish time. This is a continuous course in which the course content for each level continually rotates.

The best online course if you need to work or study

The minimum duration is 4 weeks, which can be extended as much as you wish. This course simulates on-site classes. It is possible to join on any Monday, although, absolute beginners have specific starting dates. Students that are complete beginners are able to start the first week of the first Monday of each month. Students at any other level (basic, intermediate, or advanced) can start any week they choose.

Who is this course for? Adults or professionals 18 years and older that do not have a lot of free time due to work or studies.

Skype private classes – these classes are scheduled from Monday to Friday between 12:45 and 18:00 Spanish time. You give us your time preferences. These lessons are programmed weekly (we send the schedule every Monday for the following week for confirmation – you have until Wednesday to confirm your schedule). There are 3 packages to choose from.

Take skype classes according to your schedule preferences
  1. Advanced: 5 lessons/month,
  2. Intensive: 10 lessons/month
  3. Super Intensive 15 lessons/month.

1 lesson is 50 minutes. Classes can be started 1 to 2 weeks after your booking is confirmed.

Who is this course for? This program is ideal for all ages from 14 years and up, who require a flexible schedule, want to decide the number of private monthly classes they want to do, and who may wish to introduce specific types of content in the classes.

General Intensive course – This course covers the most important content for every level in 4 weeks. This course involves a total of about 40 hours of individual work and 10 group video lessons. Individual work can be organized in your own time, but you should still plan to work every day for about 2 hours. (Individual work involves different activities published on the platform which you have to complete and submit before the deadline, the activities open day by day) Group lessons are scheduled 2 times per week during the first two weeks, and 3  times per week during the other 2 weeks. The video lesson times are scheduled by agreement between the school and the participants. The classes usually start at 4, 5, or 6pm Spanish time.

Improve your spanish level at the faster speed

This course is ideal for those that need to study or more levels from A1 to B2 as fast as possible.

Who is this for? Adults or professionals aged 18 years and older that have 4 weeks available during which they can dedicate an average of 2-3 hours per day to the course.

Moodle self-study platform –  With this Spanish program, you will receive a license for this platform valid for 1 year. You can enter at any time to do different exercises to practice grammar or vocabulary. This platform does not provide speaking practice, and no teacher is available.

Take the online lessons anytime you want

 Who is this for? This program is ideal for persons of all ages, 14 years and over, who are interested in being able to connect to a self-study platform at any time of the day for a maximum period of 1 year.

In summary, in this article, we presented 4 new ways of learning Spanish online that have reached an efficiency almost as successful as taking a face-to-face Spanish course in Spain.

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Una manera de hacer Europa.

Holidays in Pedregalejo – Malaga and Spanish courses for US families

Adding value to vacations in Spain is currently in vogue, especially among families from the US. And what better way to make the most of idyllic vacations in Spain than with 4 hours of daily family classes (Monday to Friday).

Cervantes Escuela Internacional offers family programs and is situated in the classic fishing neighborhood Pedregalejo in Malaga city, the tourist capital of Southern Europe. Cervantes EI is a pioneering Spanish language school in organizing Spanish programs especially for American families, and of course, families from all around the world.

About Pedregalejo in Malaga

Pedregalejo is nestled on the coast east from Malaga and is the ideal place to enjoy a family holiday year-round, especially during the spring-summer months. Travel between Pedregalejo and the Malaga city center is easy and can be done on foot, bike, rent the new electric scooters, or a hop on a bus for a short 10 minute ride. Here you will find the old fishing village of Pedregalejo. Today, it has become one of Malaga’s most bustling areas and popular spots, while at the same time preserving its local character and old fishing village charm without being overly influenced by tourism. The beaches here are famous for being divided into small, u-shaped coves, making them ideal for families with young children. Pedregalejo is also an excellent place to enjoy water sports such as kayaking, surfing, and snorkeling.

A must visit, for historical interest alone, is the Baños del Carmen. This previously exclusive bathing resort was opened for the rich in 1918. A long, high wall separates the still beautiful building, its ruined gardens, and stony beach from the noisy, main road. The now restaurant and bar is set romantically by the sea is the perfect place to enjoy a drink while watching a magical Malaga setting sun.

The classical fishing village of Pedregalejo is most known for its fantastic selection of restaurants along its promenade, and the exquisite local fresh seafood served there. The restaurants are just a few feet from the beach with people sitting outside in the sun on the terraces as they watch the espeteros barbecuing sardines on wooden sticks in the “jabegas” (traditional fishing boats).
A selection of stylish and modern restaurants have recently opened in Pedregalejo. Here are just some of the restaurants worth paying a visit:

A typical day in Pedregalejo if you book a Spanish Program for Families with Cervantes Escuela Internacional in Malaga.

The family course takes place between 9.00am and 12.40pm Monday to Friday. Parents will participate in classes with other adults of a similar level, while children up to the age of 14 years will take a course with content specially designed for children and adolescents.

After classes, students typically go to the beach for a while (which is 200m from the school)  and have lunch or a light meal at the beach. For example, you could prepare some sandwiches during the morning before school and then eat them at the beach while enjoying the sun and beach, and the children play.

After the beach, you can enjoy the shopping district in El Palo (another typical Malaga neighborhood, which is 10 min on foot from Pedregalejo) or visit some tourist or cultural sites in Malaga city center (10 minutes by bus from Pedregalejo).

Click here for ideas for cultural visits and other things to do in Malaga, especially in the city’s historic center. There are also many things to do with children in Malaga.

At night, the best option for dinner is to return to Pedregalejo and enjoy the idyllic sunset while dining in one of the restaurants or bars along the Pedregalejo promenade. Below we highlight a small selection, but you will find many more options there:

– Miguelito el Cariñoso:  Miguelito el Cariñoso is one of the best chiringuitos (typical open air beach restaurant) in Pedregalejo. Málaga.

This restaurant specializes in fish and seafood, like most of the restaurants that you can find on foot along the beach, although there are also meat options on the menu. Their paellas are also popular in Malaga, and we also order their paellas or eat there after spending our morning at the Pedregalejo beach.

– Misuto: Exquisite gastronomic delights with fusion of the famous Mediterranean cuisine of Salido Alejandro Cordero and Sushi-Chef Rui Junior.

– La Galerna: This restaurant specializes in build-your-own custom burgers, sandwiches, and salads. You literally tick a list of the ingredients you want – choose your lettuce type, sauce, bread, and toppings. This restaurant also has a great vibe in the evening!

During the summer months, having dinner in one of the restaurants along the Pedregalejo promenade is ideal. It´s very typical to eat spit-roasted sardines (espetos) and fried or pan-fried fish. You can also order seafood or grilled fish or “espetao” as they say in Malaga.

In summary, doing a Spanish program while you enjoy vacations in Malaga would be the perfect complement to add incomparable value to your vacations to learn or improve the Spanish of the whole family and get to know the Spanish culture better, while also having the perfect advisor that will recommend family activities. In addition to the course, we can also offer accommodation with a Spanish host family living in the same zone as the school or offer accommodation in one of our private apartments close to the school.

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Do you need a certificate of your Spanish level?

Is your university or employer requesting an official certificate that accredits your Spanish level? There are two official certificates: DELE and SIELE

The DELE certificate is generally more widely recognized as it was established earlier. Still, the SIELE exam is gaining in popularity among Spanish and Latin-American universities. Therefore, the first step is to check with your employer or university if they require the DELE, the SIELE, or they would accept either one. You will also need to know the grade or score needed in either the DELE or SIELE.

Both exams are based on the CFER framework that evaluates a person’s Spanish proficiency from A1 to C2 (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). Nevertheless, one of the most significant advantages of the SIELE exam is that you do not have to decide beforehand which exam level, from A1 to C2, you wish to sit. You simply sit the SIELE exam, and the result will indicate your level of proficiency on the scale of A1 to C2. Whereas if you sit a DELE exam, you must choose the level of exam (A1 to C2) you wish to sit, and then the result will indicate if you met or did not meet the required level.

Another big advantage of the SIELE exam is that the exam is available every week in educative centres worldwide that are destined for this purpose. In contrast, the DELE exam can only be sat on 7 different dates per year, which were set the year before by the Cervantes Institute. For example, if you click this link you will see the next dates available for the SIELE exam in the US.

What happens if the university requires a B2 level, but I´m currently a beginner, and I haven´t completed B2?

Obviously, you shouldn´t sit the B2 DELE exam until you are sure you are proficient at a B2 level, and you should also have finished the levels below, i.e., A1, A2, and B1. If you are a total beginner, it also does not make sense to sit the SIELE exam.  However, if you have intermediate knowledge of the Spanish language, but you are unsure whether to choose the A2, B1, or B2 exam, then the SIELE would be ideal.

What to do if they require a B2 certificate but I am a beginner?

Before sitting the exam, you need to have completed the A1, A2,B1, and B2 levels. Currently, the fastest way to complete these levels is via an online course that is a mix of group classes and assignments tutored by a teacher plus a smaller or larger number of additional private classes depending on each particular case. The online Spanish courses generally offered by Cervantes Escuela Internacional are currently the best option on the market to achieve this goal. Also, once all levels have been completed, it is highly recommended to add a specific DELE B2 exam preparation course that is also offered online by Cervantes Escuela Internacional and where you will practice with exercises from the actual exams.

In summary, accrediting a B2 level DELE or SIELE for B2 is, in general, the minimum proficiency that a Spanish university or company will require. If you already have a B2 level and your employer or university allows you to present a SIELE certificate, then the SIELE is the faster and more flexible option. If you do not have a B2 level, then you should complete the levels needed to reach B2 using the online general Spanish courses offered by Cervantes Escuela Internacional.

Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional.
Una manera de hacer Europa.

How do I get a student visa for Spain from the US for US citizens?

We are CERVANTES ESCUELA INTERNACIONAL and, in Spain, we have our own school located in Malaga, and affiliated and accredited Spanish language schools in the main cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Tenerife, Alicante, Cadiz, Granada, Marbella, and Seville).

Spain is the most popular global destination for learning Spanish while enjoying its extensive cultural and leisure offer.

When a student plans to study Spanish at any of our Spanish schools in Spain (Malaga, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Tenerife, Alicante, Cadiz, Granada, Marbella, and Seville), we provide the student with a LETTER OF INVITATION. This letter of invitation needs to be presented at the Spanish Consulate or Embassy in the US.

What is the Spanish Student Visa?

A Student Visa for Spain allows you to study Spanish in Spain. There are different types of Student Visas for Spain, and each is valid for a different length of time. Students need to apply for the Student Visa at a Spanish embassy or consulate and provide a range of paperwork. A student must already be accepted into a Spanish course before applying for the Student Visa.

Student Permit for less than 3 months (90 days)

Students from the States can take a Spanish course without a Student Visa (provided that the course duration is shorter than 90 days).

Short-term Student Visa for between 3 and 6 months

The Short-Term Student Visa allows students to take a course for up to a maximum of 180 days.

Students can take Spanish language courses with this type of Student Visa or any college or university short-courses.

Long-term Student Visa for more than 6 months

With a Long-Term Student Visas, a student can take courses that are longer than 6 months.

In addition to completing the Student Visa application, students must apply for a student residence card at an immigration office within a month of arrival in Spain.

This visa application requires more paperwork than the short-term visas, requiring a medical certificate and a certificate of no criminal conviction.

Applying for a Student Visa for Spain from the US for US citizens

Before applying for a Student Visa for Spain, students need to be offered a place on a course. To ensure you get your visa on time, you can normally apply a minimum of 31 days before your departure date. However, documentation will not be accepted more than 120 days before you travel. Generally, submitting the visa application between two and three months before traveling is ideal.

The maximum term to notify the decision regarding the visa application is one month from the day following the application’s submission date at the consular office. Once this period has passed without receiving an express response, it may be understood that the request has been rejected due to administrative silence.

The Student Visa granted must be collected within two months from the notification. If the visa is not collected within these two months, the visa will be considered renounced and it will be archived.

The duration of the stay granted by the visa will be the same as the length of the studies to be carried out, with a maximum limit of one year.

The exact documentation required varies depending on the consulate, the individual’s circumstances, and the course the applicant wants to take. The fee for a Schengen Student Visa is currently €80 per person.

General Documents required to apply for a Student Visa

Although the paperwork needed may vary depending on your case, the documents required for a Student Visa are typically:

  • Visa application form—Fully completed and signed.
  • A valid passport—Not older than 10 years and valid for at least three more months beyond the date you plan to leave Spain.
  • Older passports with visas on them (if you have any).
  • 2 recent passport size photos
  • Our LETTER OF INVITATION from the Spanish course provider
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover stay (bank statements)


Working in Spain with a Student Visa

The Spanish Student Visa allows students to work part-time or in a temporary position for the course duration. The maximum number of hours cannot exceed 20 hours a week. The job must also not interfere with the student’s course work.

For a Student Visa holder to get a job, the employer must obtain a work permit from the Foreign Office. The employment contract cannot exceed the duration of the Student Visa. A work permit is not required for internships that are part of the course.

Formalities after Entry into Spain

After a Student Visa has been issued, certain formalities must be carried out once in Spain.

Foreigner Identity Cards

Foreigners granted a visa to stay in Spain for a period exceeding six months must apply for a foreigner’s identity card, within one month from the date of arrival. This identity card can be applied for at the corresponding Provincial Brigade of Immigration and Borders dependent on the Ministry of the Interior.


  1. Ask for exact information at your Spanish Consulate or Embassy in US and for the perspectives/ probability of receiving the visa.
  2. Send the Spanish school enrolment form completed correctly.
  3. We confirm your enrolment and give you the options for payment.
  4. You must pay the total course fee, the enrolment fee, and the booking fee for accommodation by bank transfer or credit card.

Once we have received full payment, either by transfer or credit card (visa, master), we will provide you with the official LETTER OF INVITATION. This is the LETTER OF INVITATION that you must present at the Spanish Consulate or Embassy in the US closest to you.

This letter is sent by e-mail.

Students who require any type of invitation letter to obtain a Student Visa for their course and subsequently have to cancel due to denial of the visa must send us an original official certified document directly from the Embassy. If we do not receive this document, 100% of the program cost will be charged.

Cervantes EI Final Advice

Did you know that at Cervantes EI you can take one week off for every 4 weeks of Spanish study? Example: You want to stay in Malaga for 25 weeks while studying Spanish, and you need our visa letter for the Embassy. In this case, you have the option to get 5 non-consecutive weeks off, and you would only need to pay for 20 weeks of study.

Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional.
Una manera de hacer Europa.

Class schedule for the Intensive Spanish Courses in Spain

Do you want to take a Spanish course somewhere in Spain, but you want to plan your schedule beforehand due to work commitments or to be able to plan vacation?

In Spain, we have our own school based in Malaga, and affiliated and accredited Spanish language schools in the main cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Tenerife, Alicante, Cadiz, Granada, Marbella, and Seville), but the schools can’t normally guarantee 100% if your classes will be during the morning or during the afternoon.

The only way to 100% guarantee your classes beforehand is when you book one to one private classes

In this article we explain the typical class schedules you will have in each one of our selected and accredited destinations in Spain

Where do you want to study Spanish?


In Malaga our most popular course is the Intensive 20 course that includes 20 Spanish classes per week. Which is 4 classes per day, as classes are Monday to Friday every week. If you take the Intensive 20 course in Malaga your classes will be during the morning (9:00–12:40) or afternoon (14:30–18:10). Although we can tell you that the majority of the time classes tend to be during the morning, especially if you take your course outside of the peak season or summer months.

Advice for Malaga: If you already know your current Spanish level, we will be able to confirm your class schedule the Thursday before you start classes as long as the results of your oral level test on the first day (Monday at 8:00am) confirm the level that you indicated in your booking or are the same as the level obtained in the written level test that we send you the week before.

Madrid, Barcelona, Salamanca, Tenerife, Valencia, Alicante, Granada, Marbella, or Seville

If you want to take a Spanish course in Madrid, Barcelona, Salamanca, Tenerife, Valencia, Alicante, Granada, Marbella, or Seville, we should mention that the most popular course in these destinations is the Intensive 25. This course includes 20 general Spanish classes according to your Spanish level and 5 conversation classes. Classes are 55 minutes long from Monday to Friday. In these destinations, the classes are from 9:00 to 14:00 or from 14:00 to 19:00.

In these other destinations we cannot guarantee with the same degree of certainty your class schedule beforehand as we can with our school in Malaga, although normally classes tend to be in the mornings.

To summarize, in general there is no guarantee of a class schedule with group classes as it depends on the level of the students we have each week, and we have new students arriving each week. Furthermore, until you have sat the final level test on the first day it is not possible to know 100% the schedule you will have, as up to that point we only have the estimated levels provided by students when booking.

Are you aware of the following advantages of booking private classes in terms of schedule and other aspects?

  • You can determine your class schedule beforehand. Also, with private classes you don’t have to have classes every day from Monday to Friday, you can have the number of classes you choose per week. For example, imagine you want 5 classes a week. You could have 2 sessions of 2 and a half classes on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Private classes allow you to learn at double the speed compared to group classes as the attention and teaching by the teacher is completely personalized and focused on your abilities and linguistic needs.
  • If you come with another person with a similar Spanish level to your own, you could have semi-private classes (1 teach for 2 or 3 students) and enjoy the same advantages and flexibility that one-on-one private classes offer.

Cervantes EI advice: If you book 10 private classes per week you will normally improve at the same speed as with an Intensive general course that includes 20 classes per week, but you will only need half the time in the school which will allow you to fully explore your destination. Also, the cost will not be much more expensive.

Leave a comment below if you need any further help to plan your experience of learning Spanish in Spain. 

Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional.
Una manera de hacer Europa.

How to find and rent a private apartment while studying Spanish in Spain

Do you want to take a Spanish course in Spain and prefer to live in your own private apartment but still close to the school?

In Spain, we have our own school based in Malaga, and affiliated and accredited Spanish language schools in the main cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Tenerife, Alicante, Cadiz, Granada, Marbella, and Seville). Our school in Malaga has a very nice availability of private accommodation close to the school. However, in the other affiliated schools, private apartments for students aren’t normally offered; instead they offer shared accommodation with other students in shared apartments, student residences, or with Spanish host families.

In this article we explain how to find a private apartment or studio close to each of our accredited spanish language schools in each one of our destinations in Spain where you can study Spanish.

First, choose the dates for your desired course and stay and in which city. Make sure you arrive before the start of your course and leave after it finishes. Enter these dates in the Airbnb website using the links provided below for each the cities with our affiliated and accredited schools. Select how many guests and type of accommodation.  Select your desired accommodation near to our accredited spanish language school. Book your accommodation via Airbnb. Finally, book your Spanish language course through our online form. 

For example, imagine you wish to take a 2-week Intensive Spanish course from the 8th to the 19th of March 2021 in Madrid. The Intensive Spanish courses always start on Mondays (8th March) and finish on Fridays (19th March). There are no classes during the weekends. So, you should arrive at least one day before the start of the course (7th of March, for example) and leave one day after (for example 20th of March).

Click here for a list of Airbnb accommodation close to our affiliated Spanish language school in Madrid (located in Calle Duque de Liria, 6, in Madrid city centre). In the picture below you can see a screen capture of the results for the above example.

  • Click in (1) to select the dates of your stay.
  • Click in (2) to indicate how many guests, in other words indicate if you are coming alone or travelling with family or friends.
  • Click in (3) to select the type of accommodation, for example, if you want the results to show you private apartments only, private rooms or shared rooms in shared apartments, or also include hotel rooms.
  • Once you have found the accommodation you want, confirm the booking of your accommodation in Airbnb.

Once you have booked your accommodation, go to the booking form for your Spanish course in our affiliated Spanish language school closest to the accommodation that you booked above.

Listed below are the links that include the list of private apartments and studios close to our other affiliated and accredited Spanish language schools in Spain:

School selection in Malaga (own apartments) airbnb selection in Malaga | Book your spanish course in Malaga

airbnb selection in Barcelona | Book your spanish course in Barcelona

airbnb selection in Salamanca | Book your spanish course in Salamanca

airbnb selection in Puerto de la Cruz – Tenerife | Book your spanish course in Tenerife

airbnb selection in Valencia | Book your spanish course in Valencia

airbnb selection in Alicante | Book your spanish course in Alicante

airbnb selection in Granada | Book your spanish course in Granada

airbnb selection in Marbella | Book your spanish course in Marbella

airbnb selection in Seville | Book your spanish course in Seville

In summary, book your own private apartment for your Spanish course in 4 simple steps

  1. Use our links above to find Airbnb results close to our spanish language schools.
  2. Enter the dates of your stay, with number of guests and accommodation type.
  3. Choose your accommodation and book via Airbnb.
  4. Book your Spanish language course via our online booking form.

Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional.
Una manera de hacer Europa.