Studying Abroad: How to Budget Your Spanish Language Trip
Learning a language like Spanish is a rewarding, empowering, useful and amazing experience but sometimes finding the motivation to study at home can be a challenge. That’s why studying abroad is one of the most successful paths to language learning. By learning Spanish in Barcelona you will be able to travel, take daily classes, practice your skills with locals and meet new people from all around the world at the same time! However, unless you’re a millionaire, it’s equally as important to learn how to save money so you can properly budget your Spanish language trip.
Your Perfect Spanish Language Course
Learning Spanish abroad is a great experience but one that can vary from one person to another. One person may have months to study, while others have one to two weeks. Perhaps, you want to meet as many people as possible and get lost in a crowd of people at a larger school, or maybe you prefer a smaller, more intimate environment. Either way, all students want to make the most out of their personal Spanish language learning experience.
Expanish makes it easy to manage the budget of your Spanish language trip, with more than 10 different class options, not to mention additional activities. You can personalize your class schedule according to your needs as course prices are charged on a per week basis, and with options like group classes, private lessons, or a combination of the two, you can choose the perfect learning experience for as many weeks as you’d like.
If you’re learning Spanish with a specific purpose, for example Business or Medical Spanish, or to get a certification like the DELE (Diplomas of Spanish as Foreign Language), Expanish’s programs have you covered.
Once you have chosen your course, your accommodation in Barcelona is the second thing to consider. Barcelona, being a touristic city, has many different accommodation offerings, but it’s important to find one that works for you and your budget. Expanish offers various, affordable accommodation options, such as a homestay with a local family or a shared apartment with other students.
If you decide to stay in a student shared apartment, you will be able to choose between a single or twin room, depending on your personal preferences. Student apartments are all located within 15 minutes of Expanish and, for extra saving, you can use the kitchen to cook your own meals. This is definitely a very fun option that can be very budget-friendly.
For an even more immersive experience, students can choose to live with a local host family. Breakfast and dinner are provided and all Expanish approved homestays are located within 25 minutes of the school.
Read on for more useful tips to saving money on transportation and food during your Spanish language trip.
Getting around Barcelona
Barcelona has a fantastic public transportation system and is the absolutely the best way for you to move around. Buses, trains, subway or tram will all be able to get you anywhere in the city and for a very good price. In addition, Barcelona’s transport is completely integrated, meaning that you can use the same ticket or travel card for any type of transportation, as long as you are within the city limits.
For the best fares, check the Transports Metropolitan de Barcelona (TMB) website for more information. For shorter stays of a week or two, the Hola BCN! travel cards may be your best option. If you plan to stay two or three weeks, consider using the same T-1o that locals use. The next option is for the travel junkies out there. If you plan to stay a month or longer and anticipate using public transportation a lot, the T-50/30 (50 trips in 30 days) is the best option for saving money.
Barcelona also offers options for night owls. Night buses accept the same cards and on Saturdays the metro is open all night long. However, after a night out if you’re too far (or too tired) you can always take one of Barcelona’s iconic black and yellow taxis. They are less expensive than in other big cities but they are still not the cheapest option available. A regular, not-too-far ride can cost around 10 euros, but expect higher fares on nights and weekends. For longer distances, consider taking a bus as they tend to be more economically friendly.
Don’t Eat Your Budget Away!
Barcelona is world renowned for its spectacular gastronomy and, although less expensive than London, Paris, or San Francisco, it can get pricey if you aren’t careful. As with other cities, dinner is always more expensive than lunch. However, most bars and restaurants almost always offer a discounted lunch menu on weekdays. Most menus provide a wide enough selection, ensuring that regardless of your budget, you’ll always be able to enjoy something. For around 10 euros you can get a complete meal consisting of a first and second course, along with dessert and drinks or coffee.
For those wanting the full Spanish dining experience, Tapas are a tasty option perfectly shared between friends. When ordering, pay attention to costs, as eating tapas can sometimes be more expensive than ordering some full menu dishes.
When selecting your restaurant, try to move away from popular streets or attractions, as their menus tend to be more expensive. Pick a restaurant that is a little off the beaten path and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. For good measure, we’ve provided you with a price guide based on patatas bravas, a dish that most places offer (and that you should definitely try).
3 to 4 Euros: Cheap, you’re lucky!
4 to 5 Euros: Average Price
5 to 6 Euros: Expensive
6 Euros or more: Pretty much a scam
Ask locals for recommendations not only for the best prices, but the best flavors and experiences. Each neighborhood in Barcelona has its own hidden culinary gems, so get out there and explore! And remember, Barcelona offers many great food options, so try not to eat your budget away!
Studying abroad in Spain doesn’t have to break the bank. Following these few tips, you’ll be able to successfully budget your perfect Spanish language learning adventure in Barcelona.