After graduating from university I decided to put off joining the real world and, based on my study abroad experience through my university, decided to return to Spain (this time in Bilbao).
The School of closeteachers is a language school and is a bit different from a typical study abroad program. There were about 4-5 classrooms each teaching various levels of Spanish. Individuals can sign up for one, two, three, or how every many weeks you want. This was cool because it allows for a flexible schedule (if you were traveling you could sign up for only 2 weeks to brush up on your Spanish) but that type of structure also takes away the intimacy of the typical classroom setting. Apart from that Bilbao is not in the typical destinations for foreign tourists. This time I knew quite a lot of Spain and wanted to go to real Spain, not to places like Barcelona where everybody goes, but not Spaniards.
I had time to see different matches of Athletic
Classes were pretty laid back - it was nice to only have about 6 students per teacher. Lesson plans were cool but again, they lacked something b/c they had to cater to the `weekly` students (even though you were placed into classes based on skill level). I think I would have gotten more out of it if I had lived with Spanish speaking roommates and did my homework every night.
The staff was incredibly considerate with us - The administrator of the program came to my apartment and stayed while a technician looked at my laptop. A staff member even carried my friend down the street to a cab when she sprained her ankle. Also, all the teachers and secretaries were eager to share travel tips.
The teachers were really cool and willing to lend a hand if you needed help outside of the classroom (e.g. making travel plans). There were weekly excursions to museums, galleries, etc.
Students were okay - there were some `righteous` people I met there but I choose to only chill with one or two of them (maybe b/c my roommates, who were not in the school, were really cool).
This program is designed for students who want to experience the vitality of Spain.
Location was pretty solid - Bilbao isn`t a huge city but the school was in a good spot. It has a little bit of everything, astonishing beaches, incredible mountains, shopping streets, tons of bars, restaurants, etc and above all a great atmosphere where you can feel right at home.
When all is said and done I think that the program would be great for those who want to learn Spanish and only have a short time to do so and the price was fantastic!
My review of closeteachers in this case is excellent!
John Wallace (USA)