Uruguay's coastal capital, Montevideo, is a great destination to learn or improve your Spanish. Full of theaters, cinemas, museums, and many other cultural possibilities you will have great -- and many -- options to practice your Spanish skills.
Montevideans, though, still know how to sit down and simply enjoy the passage of time. Some say that in Montevideo the hours seem to pass slower. Don’t interpret that as a sign of boredom -- on the contrary, it will offer you the chance to sit down on a seaside cafe, with no rush, and enjoy a cup of warm Mate with your new Uruguayan friends.
Thanks to a free public education system, there are many students in Montevidean universities and you’ll certainly be able to find a good tutor among university students.
If you want to make the most of your stay and get some help learning, you’ll be able to find a private tutor easily.These will offer you a great chance to practice your Spanish with native speakers and definitely take your conversation skills a step further. If you don’t know where to start looking, don’t worry!
Internships and volunteering abroad
If you’d rather learn in a traditional classroom, you also have the possibility to enroll in a language study program. These programs, usually based in a language school, will place you in a class according to your level and many of them will also help you find appropriate housing and navigate around town.
Some of them even organize their courses around the cultural activities that fill Montevideo so that you can make the most of your stay. Enroll in a Spanish course and enjoy, among other amazing events, the longest Carnival in the world
Planning Your Trip
- Look at that crowd: 1.3 million people live in Montevideo, out of a total population in Uruguay of 3.5 million citizens. 90% of Montevideo’s citizens are from European descent (mainly Italian and Spanish) and speak Spanish.
- Don’t miss... Tango! Yes, the sensual dance known as tango, generally thought to be Argentinian, was actually born at the same time in Montevideo and Buenos Aires in the end of the 19th century. Get lost, any night, in Montevideo’s historical center and you will find little, old-school bars, filled with friendly Montevideans and gifted dancers.
- YUM: Are you a meat lover? Try a “parrillada,” several types of meat cooked slowly in a traditional Uruguayan grid.. And as Uruguayans say, you will want to “lick your fingers!”
How affordable is Montevideo?
Living in Montevideo isn’t particularly expensive but it's not cheap either. If you come from a big city in Europe or the United States you might find Montevideo’s prices a bit lower than in your home country, but those who come from smaller towns will probably think that Montevideo is more expensive than expected.
What's one thing I should know before I go?
Uruguay is a country mostly built by immigrants, and its citizens, who still remember the difficulties their ancestors went through, are helpful and welcoming with foreigners. They are proud of their “little” country and its uniqueness in a huge continent of contrast. They are especially proud of two of their most well known intellectuals, journalist and writer Eduardo Galeano and the poet Mario Benedetti, both Montevideans.
Do I need a visa?
For less than 90 days, most nationalities will not need a visa.