AFTER what seems like an eternity, Spain is gradually opening up again now that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us.

With an end to restrictions on movement, nocturnal curfews and limitations on social gatherings has come a surge of plans for the summer, including propositions that seemed unthinkable a few months back, such as large-scale concerts and local fiestas.

Among those raring to go is Andreas of Costa de Valencia, a language school based in Valencia city focussing entirely on Spanish but by no means ‘just’ another academy.

“Summer awaits,” he tells The Olive Press. “We are finally back after the pandemic, and we’re ready to have a good time.”

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‘Having a good time’ is not usually the first consideration among language learners, but Costa de Valencia is different, as Andreas explains.

“We are officially recognised by the Cervantes Institute [an international organisation set up by the Spanish government to promote the language and culture throughout the world] and therefore offer high-quality courses.

“As well as the actual classes, we also organise accommodation for foreign students and extracurricular activities. At weekends we enjoy trips all around the Valencia region to take part in fiestas such as the Tomatina in Buñol, local paella competitions, outings to natural beauty spots, watching a Valencia CF game, and much more.”

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A glance at the school’s website confirms this. Photographs of students in class are interspersed with shots of young people snorkelling, climbing mountains and visiting Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences, among other events.

“During the week we have up to four activities a day, including lessons in the morning or afternoon followed by salsa dance classes, concerts, going out for a beer, museum visits… anything that we think could be of interest to our students.”

With regards to accommodation, Costa de Valencia offers several options including flats owned by the school, staying with local families, university halls of residence, or making one’s own arrangements.

And when it comes to the actual language courses, students are spoilt for choice, as every possible need is catered for.

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A wide range of intensive programmes offer everything from grammar and conversation to business and even Spanish football for all levels from elementary to proficiency, while those who need an official qualification can sit the DELE or SIELE exams.

They also provide courses to obtain Spanish nationality, to access Spanish university, and extensive long-term courses for expats and au pairs.

Students can spend anywhere from one week to a year at the centre. Andreas explains that Asian students usually book for at least six months, while applicants from the UK, Italy, Germany and Scandinavia take advantage of cheap flights to pop over for a week or two to brush up on their language skills, meet people and explore the area.

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However, despite the successful rollout of the vaccination campaign and the stabilising infection figures in the Valencia region, COVID is still very much an issue, and guards cannot be let down.

Costa de Valencia Escuela de Español boasts two official certifications guaranteeing COVID safety, namely the Escuela ELE Safe School Certificate and the SICTED Advanced Good Practices stamp, with full contingency plans in place should they be required.

For further information and to sign up, visit:

Website: www.costadevalencia.com (available in English, Spanish, German, Italian and French).

Facebook: facebook.com/COSTAdeVALENCIA

Instagram: instagram.com/costadevalencia

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