After spending two and a half months in America we hopped on a midday American Airlines plane and flew to Cancún Mexico. We had a wedding in Tulúm on the 21st June so thought we would kill 2 weeks in Playa del Carmen studying Spanish.
I’ve always wanted to learn another language and thought learning Spanish would be great fun. Tim was interested too, so we decided to enroll into Academia Columbus. The course was 25 hours a week beginner level, we also chose a home stay for accommodation, which meant we would live with a Mexican family and be cooked breakfast and dinner each day.
When we arrived in Cancún the weather was cloudy and there was rain threatening to fall. It took us about half an hour to find an ATM that accepted our cards, which sucked, but eventually we found one and were able to take out some Mexican pesos. We heard that the cheapest way to get from Cancún airport to Playa del Carmen was to catch the ADO Bus. The bus cost 120 pesos each ($1 AUD buys 12.28 pesos), was air conditioned, had comfy seats and dropped us right in the tourist area of Playa del Carmen.
Playa del Carmen was so busy! We didn’t start school until tomorrow so decided to spend a night on the ‘strip’, accommodation cost us 400 pesos for a very spacious room with private bathroom. The weather was pretty wet so we walked around for a bit, had a look at the beach and the main street, ate some dinner and went to bed.
A Rundown of our two weeks at Spanish school:
We had chosen the ‘Super Intensive Course’ which consisted of 25 hours a week, breaking down to 5 hours a day – 4 hours with our teacher José and another student named Cecile then a 1 hour conversational class with a gentleman named Enrique.
Our 4 hour class was more challenging as José refused to speak any English to us during class time. This definitely had its benefits, as the best way to learn is to be thrown in the deep end, but for Tim coming in not even knowing how to say hello in Spanish found it quite hard to process what José was trying to get across.
This definitely became easier as the days went on and we began to understand more Spanish words. We really liked José, he was the nicest guy and treated us like friends which made learning more fun. By the end of the 2 weeks we (José, Cecile and us) had hung out a lot and really got to know each other quite well, it was nice to spend time outside of Spanish school where we could relax and speak our ‘Spanglish’ as we have gotten quite good at that!
Our 1 hour class with Enrique seemed to be more progressive as he spoke in Spanish unless we needed extra assistance and he would ask the question again in English, which made it easier for us to understand what he was asking and to respond in Spanish. Conversation class always seemed to fly and before we knew it the hour was up and it was time to head home.
Our classes ran from 8:30AM – 2PM, Monday to Friday, with a half hour break for recess. The days really did fly and we could definitely see improvements with our Spanish at the end of everyday 🙂
Our Spanish mamá and papá were named Irma and Ruben. They were lovely, lived in a very nice house about 10 minutes walk from school, had 1 son and a cleaner named Sessy. Irma refused to speak any English to us, but every now and then Ruben would speak some English as he was trying to learn the language.
Including us, (by the end of the 2 weeks) there were 8 students staying with them, which really was quite a lot. Initially it started out very Spanish based at meal time, but when some more beginners arrived more and more English started to be spoken. This was a little disappointing as we really wanted to practice our Spanish, but everyone was nice, which is what counts. We each had our own room outside with private bathroom. It was very luxurious and meals were delicious!
Over the 2 weeks we made some beautiful friends, spent many days down the beach, snorkeling with turtles, swimming at cenotes and learnt the basics of Spanish, which was really helpful for our remaining time in Mexico.
We loved learning a language and aim to spend a longer time studying Spanish when we reach Spain so that we can improve even more 🙂