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Agualivar Spanish School

About

Agualivar is a family-run school in the south of Spain, Málaga, off the beaten tracks!! We are Estefanía and Elisabeth, sisters and Spanish teachers at Agualivar, we opened the doors in 2014. Now, we have a third teacher, Carmen, who is enthusiastic and professional.

Our programs are based on the needs and likings of our students. They live together with us and our family, giving them exposure to a real Spanish Immersion. Attending lessons in the mornings, enjoying meals and chatting with our family, participating in our daily life.... students take advantage of Spanish around the clock!

Our immersion school is not for everyone. We don't like to create false expectations. It suits individuals looking for a different place, interested in nature, arts, culture, gastronomy, Spanish language, and above all sharing experiences with us and our family. Don't expect noise or large malls, we are in a rural setting. Prepare yourself to work hard in your Spanish and live a real immersion.

Reviews

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Elizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent Spanish Immersion Experience!

Agualivar Spanish School is the perfect place both academically and socially to do a Spanish language immersion. You join a family in a beautiful home on a small farm overlooking the Mediterranean. Fani and Eli, the two teachers, assess your Spanish ability and goals before your immersion and tailor a curriculum for you to be delivered in a small group. They take care to design the cohorts of students and adjust as you go. There is an excellent mix of formal instruction and other learning activities, including constant conversation over excellent home cooked meals, excursions with a guide from a local tour company to give you the opportunity to speak with another individual in Spanish, dinner out together, and excursions and activities that meet the interests and abilities of the students. I wanted to swim in the Mediterranean, and they made sure I got to do this even though it was cold by their standards! An educator myself, I found the curriculum to be very well designed. The atmosphere is amazing—you are empowered to speak Spanish in a welcoming place. You are speaking Spanish from 8:30 AM to about 9 PM. Speaking Spanish has been a goal for a long time. I took 4 semesters of university level of Spanish as an adult and then about 15 years of life got in the way of an immersion. I had forgotten so much! 5 weeks at Agualivar helped me get to a place where I now can communicate and continue my journey of learning Spanish in reciprocal language programs and other classes at a much higher level and with more confidence. I was able to travel on the weekends during my stay and use my Spanish to communicate. Once I learn more on my own, I will go back for more! On the more practical side, the house is amazing. The rooms are spacious and have private bathrooms. The food is delicious and a lot of it is source from the farm. Seafood comes from the daily catch at a local fish market. You can walk to local villages and to the Alsa bus stop to travel up and down the coast or to Malaga to get a train or another bus to further distances. The bus station and the train station in Malaga are across the street from each other. Either Fani or Eli stays overnight at the house, so there is a native speaker and support present if an emergency arises. I am not too experienced as an international traveler and felt very comfortable and supported at the school and traveling on my own or with other students during my stay. Overall, this is an experience that you will cherish every minute of!

Pros
  • Strong individualized curriculum
  • Beautiful setting
  • Speak Spanish constantly in a supportive setting
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Yury
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

an incredible week of studying and experiencing culture!

If you have not reached out to find out Agualivar school availability you should! What an experience! ¨Immersion¨ is a fantastic word describing time you are going to spend here. I only stayed one week and I wish I stayed longer, because the changes that happen to the Spanish speaking part of your brain are truly incredible. Of course studying the material actively is important but something that you will not find at a regular school is this magical atmosphere that is created by Eli, Fani and Carmen. Not only there are fantastic teachers and understand complexities of studying a foreign language but also all of them are terrific chefs! Most of the products that they use in their delicious cooking come from their land and 100% natural and organic! They pay great attention to all and any dietary needs you might have.
After one week here I definitely feel a greater confidence communicating in Spanish now and my motivation continue studying this language is even stronger after I got to experience the beauty of this culture in a family settings. I am planning my return trip to this place already.

Si no te has puesto en contacto para Agualivar disponibilidad de la escuela de Agualivar, ¡deberías hacerlo! ¡Qué experiencia! ¨Inmersión¨ es una palabra fantástica para describir el tiempo que vas a pasar aquí. Sólo me quedé una semana y desearía haberme quedado más tiempo, porque los cambios que se producen en la parte de mi cerebro que habla español son realmente increíbles. Por supuesto que estudiar el material activamente es importante pero algo que no encontrarás en una escuela normal es esta atmósfera mágica que crean Eli, Fani y Carmen. No sólo hay profesores fantásticos y entienden las complejidades de estudiar una lengua extranjera, sino que además todos ellos son unos chefs estupendos. ¡La mayoría de los productos que utilizan en su deliciosa cocina provienen de su tierra y son 100% naturales y orgánicos! Prestan gran atención a todas y cada una de las necesidades dietéticas que puedas tener.
Definitivamente siento una mayor confianza al comunicarme en español ahora y mi motivación para seguir estudiando este idioma es aún más fuerte después de haber podido experimentar la belleza de esta cultura en un entorno familiar. Ya estoy planeando mi viaje de regreso a este lugar.

Pros
  • easy to travel
  • great teachers!
  • rural area and close to the sea
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Julie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Agualiver Spanish School

I spent two weeks at Agualivar, and I can't imagine a better immersion experience. Eli and Fani are fantastic teachers! Lessons were tailored to my level, with plenty of personal attention. I learned so much and gained the confidence I needed to converse with people on my travels in Spain. The accommodations at Agualiver are beautiful and comfortable, and the food is amazing! We learned to cook Spanish dishes like paella and gazpacho. Plenty of fun and interesting excursions to nearby towns as well. I highly recommend Agualiver to anyone considering a Spanish immersion program. Thank you Eli, Fani and Carmen!

Pros
  • Personal attention
  • Setting
  • Activities
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Stacey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Agualivar Spanish School

I spent two weeks at Agualiver school. This was by far the best learning experience I have ever had. The two teachers, Eli and Frany, were amazing. They both had the gift of clearly explaining concepts, providing plenty of review and being patient with my struggles to learn a language. I was safe to feel my frustrations and to keep moving through them. In addition to the fabulous instruction, each meal was a gourmet feast looking over the mediterranean and shared with spanish conversations. The school is also their home and they have an extensive garden/orchard that provides most of the veggies and fruit. In the afternoons we did excursions to close by towns with a spanish tour guide. And for me, as a cyclist, it was extra special to have beautiful hills behind the house to explore on the weekends. This was truly a unique and special experience. I hope to return and stay for additional weeks. Maybe next time I will write a review in spanish :)

Pros
  • Fabulous instruction: Gifted instructors who understand older language learners
  • Perfect location: Close to Malaga, beaches and mountains
  • Delicious meals
Cons
  • I wish I had more time
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Oliver
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Wonderful and Unforgettable Experience!

Agualivar school was fabulous – a truly special place! Not only was it a place to improve my Spanish, but also to enjoy a complete experience.

Being a small school outside a large city, it may not be right for everyone. But for me, it was everything I was looking for.

First of all, the people. In a live-in school, this is a very important aspect, and there, the people were warm, friendly and welcoming. It was like being at home, because it is a home!

Second is the accommodation. In my opinion, it couldn’t have been better. The rooms are large with their own bathrooms, there’s a lot of space and the sea-view is spectacular!
Third is the food. Most was home-cooked, with lots of fruit from the estate. If you don’t like home-cooked food, this isn’t the place for you.

Last but not least, is the teaching. With a maximum of four students, the learning was almost individual with four teachers and other members of the family. Various forms of teaching are used, from formal lessons with homework, to table-games, and excursions to interesting places, beach bars and restaurants.

In summary, for me it was a wonderful and unforgettable experience. I would like to go back some day!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Chirimoyas, or in English, custard apples. Completely new to me, but sweet, delicious and grown on the estate - but you don't eat the big black seeds.

Programs

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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Elisabeth Díez

Job Title
Co-Founder
Elisabeth co-owns Agualivar Spanish School. Before joining at the project, she worked as a Training Manager at different companies. It was during a business travel in Portugal when Elisabeth had the idea to create her own Spanish School. She brings her management skills, enthusiasm and a natural interest in people to Agualivar as well as her own experiences as a learner, combined with her creativity, complement her pedagogical training.
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How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Elisabeth: Well, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Before starting with Agualivar, I worked in other training companies. And I have had amazing experiences with students and co-workers. However, nothing compares to Agualivar. This school is our project. My co-workers and I have the opportunity to make a difference, as we have always dreamed, and it's incredible!

Agualivar has given me the chance to work in something I really love, and what is more important, the way I want. With small groups of students, in a family atmosphere, with lessons out the classroom, with creativity… without frontiers! Agualivar is not only my company, it's also my home.

It’s the place where students become friends. And the place where both teachers and students stop to learn. It is easy to realize when people are completely happy in their lives and that is just what Agualivar has brought to me.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

Elisabeth: Agualivar is not a traditional academy or school. It is a real house with a family and teachers who host the students. The learning process is very intensive because not only are students attending lessons in the morning or afternoon, but also sharing lunch and dinner together and enjoying all the activities of the day.

All we expect from the students is their involvement in our daily life and the promise to speak only Spanish. In exchange, we offer a unique experience in Spanish Immersion, where students will speak only in Spanish all the time, improving quickly and gaining confidence.

That is not simple or easy. However, we can do so by hosting only groups of four. In fact, most of our courses are individuals. So I would say what makes Agualivar unique is our home and having students feel like they are at home too.

What was your favorite traveling experience?

Elisabeth: It was an inter-rail though Europe. It was my first experience traveling abroad on my own so it was exciting! Meeting people in each city, running from one place to another, catching trains, sleeping in hostels or on the trains themselves…looking for something cheap to eat! It was an amazing experience that I always remember happily.

I try not to forget that experience because it reminds me best travels are those that are not planned. I experienced a lot of different funny moments in that travel and others less funny… But what I remember quite well is that I noticed how important languages skills were. At that moment, I didn’t know too much English and it was frustrating because I couldn't speak naturally with other backpackers.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of the Agualivar Spanish School team.

Elisabeth: It is always the same time: when students say goodbye and tell me how amazing their stay with us was. It is really quite comforting when people tell you that you’re doing a good job. But there was one student who made a difference and left a mark on me. She was a student from Luxembourg and stayed only one week in our school.

However, time in Agualivar is very relative… One week may seem like a month sometimes! That it is what happen when the immersion is so intensive! She decided to have one week in our school and other week in other one. First week was with us and the thing is that student and our family understood each other very well. The day of her departure, without going into many details, was very emotional.

Just hours after, I received a message from her to tell us that she already missed us and our house. We met again before she came back to Luxembourg. I noticed that I have achieved what I have dreamed! We are a team that works for something more than just a Spanish School.