Study Spanish abroad in Costa Rica or Barcelona!
There is a die-hard myth circling around that the differences if you study Spanish abroad in Spain or South America, are so vast that choosing one venue will exclude you from the other. Well, that is simple not true.
There are differences, just as there are differences between dialects in Spain itself, and differences between parts of the large South American continent. As any traveller will tell you, speaking the argentine way will be perceived as somewhat snobbish by other Latin Americans.
- It has become increasingly popular to sign up for one of several language schools in Costa Rica, which is understandable considering the paradise surroundings. Imagine doing your homework gently rocking back and forth in a hammock with the thick brush of green jungle just inches away, spotting fireflies flicker and fly in the air. And rest assure, if you learn Spanish in Costa Rica, you will be able to make it around its European sister country without any problems. That said, there are differences, and most of them are attached to how you speak it.
- If you learn Spanish in Spain, the emphasis of pronunciation of words containing an S, will be with a lisp in Spain, as in theory. If you go to a language school in Costa Rica, you will be taught to pronounce it as just a regular S, as in Sandwich. In the section of grammar, the biggest difference is the use of pronouns. If you learn Spanish in Spain, you will have to master the forms nosotros and vosotros, which are not used in South America.
- So sure, there are certain things to keep in mind when you plan to study Spanish abroad, but the biggest thing to keep in mind: there are more similarities than differences to Spanish from Spain and Spanish from South America. Just like British English has its differences compared to American English, they are hardly to the extent that you will feel dumbfounded coming from Texas to Brighton. You will probably be able to make your way around. And there has been a cross pollination of culture between the Spanish speaking countries, for better and worse, with Colombian soap operas playing in a Madrid household and a Pedro Almodovar movie premiering simultaneously in Spain and Latin America.
So whichever way you choose, the waterfall beauty of a language school in Costa Rica, or the exciting bustle of a Spanish metropolitan, the fact that you have made your mind up to study Spanish abroad is the most vital decision.