Daddy, what language is that man speaking?
When my oldest son Daniel was four years old, my wife and I spent a long weekend in the hotel Tecina on La Gomera, the neighbouring island to Tenerife.
In the morning we had been lazing around the pool. It was rather boring for Daniel so he went to watch a man who was diving from one part of the pool to the other.
When the man came up gasping, Daniel asked him in German: “Hattest du die Augen auf beim Tauchen??” The man tried to make it clear that he couldn’t understand him by making some gestures.
Then Daniel tried in Spanish: “Tenías los ojos abiertos mientras estabas buceando?” Apparently the guest couldn’t speak Spanish either and just gave a shrug.
Daniel didn’t hesitate and tried it in English: “Did you have your eyes open in the water??”. Again without success. The bewildered man couldn’t speak English either.
Daniel who always used to being understood, asked me desperately: “Daddy, what language is that man speaking?”
I think I should explain something at this point: my sons, Daniel and Nicolás, are growing up with three languages. I’m German, my wife is Spanish and Daniel and Nicolás are attending a British school on Tenerife.
We love languages.
Languages are our passion. We communicate with all of our colleagues and students in different languages.
And, of course, we teach languages, mainly Spanish. And we are very good at this.
Every Friday I get the confirmation of how good we are. We give all students a questionnaire so they can evaluate the quality of their experience at the Academy. I make a point of reviewing them all. With over 25 points we ask for marks from 1 – 5. If we get a review lower than “good” or “very good” – we discuss this with the person responsible. We have been doing this since 2004 and have learnt a lot from this feedback from clients. The result is that almost all of our clients are completely satisfied with the service we offer.
995 out of 1000 would recommend us (statistics from 2012/2013)
(The 5 who don’t recommend us, have surely filled in the questionnaires wrong ;-))
Here are some selected testimonials.
Why we are different from other language schools?
This is a typical question asked by every representative from language holiday agencies at the Language School trade fair, ICEF in Berlin, which we attend regularly to promote the FU International Academy to agencies.
And so my answer is… No, at first I don’t say anything, but I show them my iphone with the current temperatures in Puerto de la Cruz and Costa Adeje.
This always impresses especially in Berlin in November.
Have you already been to Tenerife? No? Then let me explain briefly…
The difference between us and the other language schools in Spain is that firstly, we are not part of a chain of schools and you deal directly with us not a central reservation department and secondly there is our location: Tenerife is the one of most beautiful islands in the world and is known as “The land of eternal spring”. It is located off the west coast of Africa. With an average annual temperature of 23 degrees celsius, it rarely gets colder than 18º C and almost never warmer than 30º C.
Tenerife is very diverse and has 5 microclimates, there are magnificent landscapes and it is possible to participate in all kinds of leisure activities throughout the year. Mount Teide, at 3.718 m, is the highest mountain in Spain, and although it is often snow-capped in winter you can’t go skiing!
One island, two schools
Tenerife is roughly divided into the North and the South. Mount Teide, with its foothills, separates the island and creates two different climate zones.
Puerto de la Cruz in the North
The landscape in the North is uniquely beautiful. The beaches have black volcanic sand and are often located below steep cliffs. In this region everything is very green and fertile as winter showers refresh the landscape. The Orotava Valley can sometimes be cloudy compared to Costa Adeje in the South which is generally a few degrees warmer.
Our school in the North is located in Puerto de la Cruz which retains its old world charm as a local fishing port. Here life has a gentle pace and tourism mingles harmoniously with everyday Spanish life. Around the main town square, La Plaza del Charco, there are numerous restaurants and bars and it is the focal point for the many traditional local fiestas.
Also in the north is the lively university town of La Laguna, with its historical centre it obtained UNESCO world cultural heritage status some years ago. It is only 25 minutes by bus from Puerto de la Cruz..
Costa Adeje in the South
Tourism is very important in the South. The main resorts are Los Cristianos, Las Américas y Costa Adeje where you can find kilometers of beaches, hotels, restaurants and shops all along the coast.
Costa Adeje is a paradise for tourists who love the sun, the infrastructure is new and everything is of the highest quality. Here you can find some of the best 5-star hotels in the world. And of course since the start of 2013 you can also find Tenerife’s favourite language school – the FU International Academy – ;-).
Since 2013 we have had a second motto:
And of course there is the possibility of spending some of your language-learning holiday in Puerto de la Cruz in the North and the rest at our school in Costa Adeje in the South or vice versa. The courses, activities, accommodation options and prices are similar in both schools.
We are a small, big Spanish language school.
On the one hand we are small enough, to call ourselves a family. Well, a family, whose student members change every week although the teachers and colleagues at reception, in the administration and the cafe are the same. Our family-run business is small enough to be able to invite all of our students to a welcome breakfast on the sunny terrace of our own FU café.
There are rarely more than 6 students in one class at the same time and never more than 8.
On the other hand we are big enough to offer every student the right class corresponding to their exact language level.
The classes are classified in accordance with the European Reference Framework from elementary A1, then A2, B1, B2, C1, to C2 (proficiency) Each level is subdivided into five, for example: A1.1, A1.2, A1.3, A1.4, A1.5, then B1.1, etc.
There’s always something going on.
In our school it never gets boring and no one need feel alone. We are open all year and our students come from all over the world, even over Christmas and New Year.
After the lessons we offer a variety of free leisure activities. Salsa, Flamenco, beach volleyball or a visit to the Botanic Garden, they are all very popular.
The absolute highlight is the surf course on Tuesday afternoons. With professional surf instructors you can try it for free. We are the only language school in Spain, which offers this to its students!
We never say no. Individual wishes of our students are fulfilled everyday.
We can book hotels, organize any excursions you would like, print out boarding passes, help obtain visas, accompany our clients to the doctor, help them if they lose their keys and we even have a 24/7 emergency phone number.
Why do we do this? That’s an easy one. – because we value our customers and always work hard to do our best to keep them happy and satisfied. We know this approach works as we have many returning students and others who extend their course once they are here.
But are we, because of all these things, really different from other language schools?
No, of course not in every single point mentioned, but if you consider them all together we surely are different. And that’s what makes us unique.
Here’s our team:
A few milestones in history of the FU International Academy as Spanish language school
- 2000 founded by Dieter Sauer as an independent subsidiary of the German F+U group. The aim of the company was to establish a regional further education centre for adults. The manager was José Rodríguez.
- 2001 we obtain authorization from the Spanish Department of Employment to provide further education for the unemployed, specifically German and English classes
- 2002 we specialize in teaching “Spanish as a Foreign Language”
- 2003 we increased the amount of accommodation: shared students flats & host families
- 2004 Frank Sellingsloh, Marketing Director of the F+U Group becomes manager of the language school, Jose Rodriguez goes back to Germany. Initially Frank carried out a dual function.
- 2004 we realize our first EU funded Leonardo da Vinci Youth Mobility Project with students from Germany. From then till now we have been a Hosting Partner for more than 50 international projects in the sectors of travel, tourism, hospitality, hotel management, marketing, education, hairdressing, beauty therapy and sports. All students take part in our intensive Spanish courses and cultural preparation at our school.
- 2005 we are inspected and accredited by the Instituto Cervantes and are one of the 60 schools in Spain with this accolade. The Instituto Cervantes checks every aspect of the teaching methods and the teachers qualifications. The inspection is repeated every 3 years.
- 2006 we begin organizing hotel internships for students.
- 2007 we are represented at the ICEF for the first time. This is a trade fair for language holiday agencies and language schools. We convince 12 agencies from all over the world to work with us.
- 2008 we have our first Travel and Tourism project with students from FIlton College, Bristol, in the UK
- 2009 we begin the SEOintheSUN project for Online-Marketing – a training course lasting several months in conjunction with the SEO-Guru and Ex-Googler Alfonso Verdugo.
- 2011 we become members of the CHASE Network for international hospitality schools and receive students from all over Europe for hotel internships within the Leonardo da Vinci programme. We also have our first sports project with the Bristol Academy of Sports and receive a commendation for innovation from the EU Commission.
- 2013 we open our second language school on Tenerife in Costa Adeje and get off to a good start with two administrators, Annia and Denise, and 5 teachers.
E-38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
phone +34 922 389 303 | fax +34 922 389 457