Before starting my Expanish experience, originally I had no plans on extending my stay in Buenos Aires. It’s funny how things can pan out in life, from originally being a 3 month holiday, 10 months later I am still here in Buenos Aires. I have been studying at Expanish all up 6 months and have had the amazing opportunity of also working here. Expanish has been much more than just a learning experience, I have made lifelong friends, learnt from others, developed a new perspective on life and created close bonds with my teachers inside and outside of Expanish.
The first month at Expanish I wanted to learn basic spanish for travelling purposes and really wanted to get a grasp on this amazing language. I would then carry on with my South American journey and then in three months return home to Australia. How boring right… Thanks to my spontaneous self it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I recall one of my first weeks in Expanish, I had made up my mind that I was going to stay here in Buenos Aires for a year, there was nothing that was going to stop me. The thought of living abroad for a year is both exciting and overwhelming, without a rough plan or possible opportunities you may encounter/ be interested in, you may find yourself in a pickle. So as you can imagine, I started to come up with a plan. Well let’s say the least, a very vague plan which mind you is the best plan, as I am not constrained by anything, freedom has never felt so good! But one thing I was sure of was that I was going to complete my Diploma in Spanish (DELE). Why not when I’ve been studying hard for 6 months? It deserves some recognition and it’s just another thing to put on your resume to wow your future employers. In Australia speaking spanish isn’t one of our most popular languages spoken other than english. So I thought that by taking advantage of this and being recognized for speaking the language, it is a great way to brand yourself and most importantly distinguish yourself from others-making you unique and stand out of course!
The next step was to roughly arrange my time. Personally having just finished my two degree course over a four year period I couldn’t embark on another long study journey, so the only answer I could come up with (to avoid studying for 6 months straight) was travelling. Not a bad excuse hey! I decided to break up my studying by travelling to Colombia and Panama. Then on return from my holiday, embark on the last study period at Expanish. Now the hard work started..practising for the DELE exam isn’t exactly easy, it involves hard work, a lot of dedication and a positive attitude. At the end of the day study is study, if you want results you always have to put the hard yards in. What made this experience most enjoyable was my classmates and teacher. The last study for me in Expanish was a 3 month period where I participated in group classes with Eduardo (my teacher) and then in the last 3 weeks before finishing I took on private classes in preparation for my exam. The added bonus of my DELE classes is that Eduardo was my teacher, one of the most passionate and admirable teachers I have ever been taught by and have been fortunate in meeting. And mind you I have been taught by A LOT of teachers, like most of us I would say.
The DELE classes took place every day (Mon-Fri) for 2 hours each day. We covered the four sections of the exam, listening component, writing, conversation and reading. All the materials supplied are from level B2 of DELE exams that were from previous years. There are 6 levels of the DELE exam, A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 (C1, C2-these levels more so for native speakers). I chose to do/in the progress of studying for level B2, as I am currently in C1 level and believe that this is a level I will successfully be able to pass/ receive good marks-given that I also have sufficient time to study for this exam. Doing the DELE exam is also great if you are interested in working in South America as many international organisations require you to have completed a certain level of the DELE exam. Also most of the universities in Argentina require you to have sufficient knowledge of at least a B1/B2 level of spanish. This is definately a great motive in completing your diploma, more work and study opportunities! I know that this diploma will come in handy for me on the next return to Argentina or other Spanish speaking countries.
What surprised me with the exam preparations was that just after the first week of private classes my spanish had immensely improved, my vocabulary had improved, I was using big fancy words when speaking, spoke with very few errors and for longer periods of time. My teacher was impressed of how just one week I had rapidly improved and I too personally recognized the jump in my spanish level. This is a great feeling, my hard work and studying was paying off, but I still have along way to go..
All up, I have not yet completed my exam, little time remains up until the BIG day! I think that by telling you my experience of how it really is or how it has been is a great way in assisting you with any doubts or concerns you may have of DELE and a great insight. As you can tell and get my gist I highly recommend anyone in completing the DELE exam and giving it your best possible shot. It is truly an enjoyable experience where you get to discover and unravel the spanish language, dedicate your time effectively and efficiently to end results that will pay off, have yourself a diploma, oh and did I forget to mention studying in BUENOS AIRES!