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Because reliving a trip is almost as fun as the trip itself, we love to speak with people who followed a language course abroad. In this episode Anneke Vergouwe (67). It is her dream to live on the Costa Blanca someday, like some of her friends. But if she does, she wants to be able to speak some Spanish.

CV
Name: Anneke Vergouwe
Age: 67
Lives in: Zevenhuizen (a small village near Rotterdam)
Work: runned a hotel together with her husband, but is retired nowadays
Learned: Spanish for a week in Aliciante at language school Proyecto Espanol 

Why did you want to learn Spanish?

25 years ago, in addition to my work, I did a Spanish course. I already noticed that I really enjoyed learning this language. However, it was difficult to keep it on track together with my work. I have loved Spain all my life. I often went and still go there. In the old days my husband, children and me went to camp there. My husband has been sick for a while already, which is very sad. He has MS and can therefore no longer fly. So now I sometimes go alone for a shorter period, or together with a friend. Then I visit for friends of mine who live on the Costa Blanca.

What is it that you like about Spain?

The people who live here are very nice and helpful and the way they live their life is much more relaxed. And the climate of course, when I arrived in February it was 30 degrees. That was quite unique, but still. I have been able to walk without a coat all week. That is much nicer than in the Netherlands.


What did you remember most about the language course?


I wasn't sure what to expect. The best part was that we had a very diverse class with people of all ages, I was the oldest and the youngest was 24. There was someone from Greece, someone from Russia and someone from Azerbaijan. Everyone was very serious, and really wanted to learn the language, that was very nice.

How did you like it on your own?

I enjoyed it very well. Some people think it's brave when I tell them that I was alone. But it didn't feel that way, I just really enjoyed it. 

You didn't feel alone for a moment?

No, especially when you travel alone you get to know many people. I had the idea that many people were traveling alone in my hotel and at the language school. I talked to many people and sometimes I started to do something with classmates. But I also often went into town on my own, wonderful. And another day came by a friend who also lives on the Costa Blanca.

What did your days look like during your language trip?

The journey went smoothly, I flew directly from Rotterdam to Alicante and from there I went by taxi to the city center. We had lessons from 9 to 2 every day. Then I went for a nice stroll through the city in the afternoon. I grabbed terraces, went to the beach, and once with a classmate visited Santa Barbara Castle.

What did you like most about Alicante?

It is such a nice city. Really amazing. You can find everything within walking distance and the beach is nearby. There are beautiful small alleys everywhere and if you walk through them you will come to the best authentic restaurants every time. I ate out every day, often tapas and of course also paella.

Did you book your own accommodation? How was that? 

Perfect, I booked a restaurant called Eurostar. I didn't want to stay at a homestay and wanted to be in control of my own accommodation so the option to book a course without accommodation was perfect for me. The hotel was ten minutes from the school and five minutes from the beach and the harbor. And there was a very nice breakfast.

Do you have tips for people who are planning to go on a language trip?

I prepared the language lessons quite well with a language app, Mondly, dat hielp erg.

Have you become enthusiastic? View all the language schools in Spain here.

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A1

A2

hearing You understand... • Some words and basic-sentences • Common words and sentences
supervisor_account You can... • Briefly introduce yourself
• Give answers to some simple question
• Introduce yourself (shortly)
• Give answers to some simple questions
mode_edit You can... • Fill in simple forms • Make short notes
• Write a very simple personal letter
 

B1

B2

hearing  
You understand... • The thread of a story • Different opinions • Usually the whole story
supervisor_account You can... • Join a conversations about everyday subjects
• Briefly give and substantiate your opinion
• Talk fairly well with locals
• Clearly explain and substantiate your opinion
mode_edit You can... • Write down experiences and impressions in a general way • Write down experiences and impressions in a detailed way
 

C1

C2

hearing You understand... • Complex stories and opinions • Literary and academic texts
supervisor_account You can... • Effortlessly take part in a variety of conversation • Effortlessly have complex conversations and discussions
mode_edit You can... • Write down comprehensive text
• Write down detailed situations on paper
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• Use complex words in your descriptions

If you do not have any prior knowledge of the language at all, then you are a total beginner. In case you already have a little knowledge, you may consider yourself A1.

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