Picking the Right Spanish School Is an Important and Hard Decision

We all know the best way to learn Spanish (and learn Spanish fast) is to study Spanish in Spain. You just can’t beat Spanish immersion courses in Spain for improving your skills.

If you have already decided to study Spanish in Spain (which we think is a very good decision), then picking the right Spanish school is a very important and hard task. The options of Spanish courses in Spain for adults seem endless.

Being a Spanish language school ourselves we had the urge to know: which is the best Spanish school in Spain? And – of course – where would we rank on the list? To be fair, we were a little nervous about the results as well. But since we are confident about our service and the quality of our school we decided to go for it. (We are aware of the fact that not all the schools out there will love this post. Obviously, there are many great schools, which did not make it to this list.)

We put a lot of effort into creating this post.

First, we had endless team meetings where we were discussing the ranking criteria. At the end we were able to break down the Spanish language schools offers to measurable benchmarks and developed a reliable and – hopefully – fair ranking system based on numbers. Then we needed weeks and weeks of research, writing, tweaking, more meetings, etc. before we finally finished the post.

Now we are able to present you: The Best Language Schools to Study Spanish in Spain [Based on Numbers]. Spoiler alert: We did make it on the list 😉

Instituto Cervantes and FEDELE – the Guards of High Quality Teaching of Spanish in Spain

There are easily more than 1.000 Spanish schools in Spain. We knew from the beginning that we would not be able to research and evaluate them all. So, we decided to only take Spanish schools into consideration which are

  1. accredited by the Instituto Cervantes and
  2. members of FEDELE, the Federation of Spanish schools in Spain

Why did we do that?

Because both institutions gave us a perfect selection of high-quality Spanish language schools in Spain.

Being an accredited school of Instituto Cervantes assures the student high quality in all areas of a Spanish school: teaching, course variety, accommodation, leisure and culture activities and general customer service. To ensure a stable level of quality and constant improvements, the schools go through evaluations, which take place every two to three years.

Becoming a member of FEDELE only is possible when the school fulfills quality requirements to reach business excellence. The federation set up certain demands in the fields of legal standards, service, and organization. They can be reviewed in the quality charter for the sector.

Logos Instituto Cervantes and FEDELE

The Instituto Cervantes is a public institution created by Spain in 1991 to universally promote the teaching, study and use of Spanish and contribute to the dissemination of Hispanic cultures abroad. In its activities, the Cervantes Institute deals fundamentally with the linguistic and cultural heritage that is common to the countries and peoples of the Spanish-speaking community. It is present in 87 centers distributed in 44 countries across five continents.

The Instituto Cervantes it is the only specific quality accreditation system for teaching Spanish at an international level.

The Spanish Federation of Associations of Schools of Spanish as a Foreign Language regulates a status of quality for teaching Spanish in Spain. It holds cooperation with the Instituto Cervantes to assure a global policy on quality and on the international promotion of Spanish studies. The federation consists of 7 associations which hold more than 100 Schools of Spanish as a Foreign Language. The schools are located in Andalusia, the Canaries, the Valencian Community, the Community of Madrid, Castille and Leon, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the Basque Country.

Our Ranking System

The ranking is based on the following criteria (that we were able to research)

  • Popularity of the school
  • Prices
  • Location within the area
  • Organization of the school
  • Range of study programs
  • After class activities

Popularity was measured by Social Media followers and reviews from former students. To assure the ratings are reliable we only took Facebook and Google my Business reviews into account when at least 30 of those were given.

To honor low prices we calculated a two-week Intensive Spanish course with 20 hours of class a week and a stay at a host family. Since this is a standard offer it makes it possible to compare the course and accommodation expenses of the various schools. The location was taken into account positively when the school is placed not further than 15 minutes walk from the beach or the city center. Leisure time activities and excursions were considered such as special offers like a youth, senior or sports programs. To evaluate the organizational level of the school we had a look at the number of languages they communicate their services in and if they offer educational leave.

Besides being accredited by the Instituto Cervantes and FIDELE, there are certain criteria which are indicators for high-quality Spanish schools.

Having a special teachers program is one of them, which is why we give a lot of credit to that.

It is the most recognized Spanish proficiency test on the globe, an excellent Spanish school will also help you get ready for and take the DELE Exam. This is why we gave credit for preparation courses and for being a registered DELE examination center.

Living in a digital world, being able to participate in online Spanish courses was also an important rating criterion.

We consider the fairness of the conditions a major deal for your study abroad experience. This is why we scanned the contracts of the schools and gave top points for student-friendly terms. All schools that schedule their classes for 55 or more minutes got an extra point. If the study groups are limited to eight or fewer students it was also worth an extra credit for us. Regardless of the quality of the school, there is a chance that you might not like the school or the course or the location – but you won’t realize this until you arrive. Schools that take that into account and will refund your money even after you started the course got rewarded with an extra point. For any other specific advantage, a school gives to its language students we gave points.

Before you start reading through the list please notice the fact that FEDELE has almost 100 members. Researching all of them made us even more aware that there is such a great variety of high-quality Spanish language schools in Spain. Every school has more positive aspects and selling points, but we couldn’t take all of them into account. So, we have chosen specific criteria which we feel are the most important. 

Our Top 15 Spanish Schools in Spain

Taking into account all the criteria mentioned above, the best Spanish schools in Spain based on numbers are:

Overall rating: 71/ 100

Course Variety

If you’re looking for a Spanish school, Valencia has some really amazing options. We know we don’t need to twist your arm to learn Spanish in Valencia, but you might need help deciding on the best Spanish School. You’ll find a few of the best Spanish schools in Spain are in Valencia which gives you the perfect opportunity to explore an amazing city.

Just studying at the International House in Valencia itself is a special experience. The Spanish lessons take place in a 153-year-old, renovated property. The 2100-square-meter Spanish school combines historic parts like 11th-century Arab walls with the modern. Every classroom is equipped with interactive whiteboards, natural light and air-conditioning, what more could you want to help you learn Spanish abroad?

You can enjoy your breaks and free time socializing in the student café  or on their rooftop with sun loungers and a pool. To be able to handle all the sunshine in Valencia, the Spanish school provides showers so you can cool off and fruit trees that so you can also spend time relaxing in the shade.
All of this is located in the heart of Valencia’s old town, so there is plenty of entertainment even outside of this oasis. If you want to study here it will cost you 670 Euro for a two-week intensive residential Spanish course in Spain. With a Spanish school like that, we have the slight feeling that your host family won’t have you around that much.

Find out more about International House Valencia

Overall rating: 76 / 100