Studying Spanish Later in Life – At the Malaga Instituto in Spain

Posted by on Mar 1, 2013 in Blog | 3 comments

Hola desde Malaga, Espana,

View from my balcony

I arrived at the Malaca Instituto somewhat worse for wear, but happy to receive the keys to my lovely little executive studio at Club Hispanico, the dorm where I will be living until March 16th. I must say, the neighborhood has far exceeded my expectations. It is gorgeous, near the sea and has an upscale feel. The weather is cool, after all it is still winter here, but today is sunny and windy. I have an adorable balcony with a view from my room that is very pretty. Because I have a corner room, I actually get to enjoy two views, one from my desk and the other from the sliding glass doors leading to my balcony. Lots of great light in my studio.


The view from my room

There is a wonderful little restaurant and bar on the campus grounds where I can purchase breakfast, lunch and dinner at a very reasonable price. I also have a small kitchenette in my quarters with two burner stove, sink, cabinet space equipped with dishes and cooking utensils, small refrigerator and little hotpot. My bathroom is spacious and my room comes with password connected wifi, flat screen TV, telephone and lock box.  All of this for 81 euros a night, but I am getting a special rate of 31 euros to write about my experience here. I think that I am going to be very comfortable. There are less expensive rooms, including singles and doubles. Some students live in one of the 15 apartments belonging to the school. Others choose to stay with a host family. The facilities are outstanding. I am on the fifth floor, but there is a lift as well as stairs which makes things easy if you have luggage or groceries to carry.

I walked down the hill to  a nice little shopping area, not far at all. I will say that the walk back up the hill is short but somewhat steep. For some, this might present a problem, but generally shouldn’t be an issue. I located the grocery store where I purchased a few food items for my room. There is a pharmacy and several nice restaurants and coffee shops. I had a cup of coffee before climbing the hill. By the way, the little foldable backpack that I purchased for this trip is a dream. It folds into nothing and can be carried in my pocket until I need it. I just whipped it out, unfolded it and loaded my purchases into it to carry back to my room. What a smart purchase.

The neighborhood grocery store

On Monday, I will begin studying Spanish at the institute. All students are required to take an oral and written placement test first. We will then take a tour of the city of Malaga. I already am very familiar with Malaga, but can’t wait to see it again.

Coffee shop in town.


This evening, there will be a presentation of flamenco which I will film if at all possible for everyone to see a snippet. On Sunday evening, the new students will attend an orientation at the restaurant on campus. That leaves me with most of the weekend to rest up before classes begins.


A elevated patio next to the entrance of the school



At this time, there are 125 students attending the upcoming week of classes. Eight of the students are enrolled in the master class for students over the age of fifty. However, that is not the total representation of mature students. Others, like myself, are enrolled in regular classes, along with all ages, but according to current skill level. Malaca Instituto truly does attempt to also cater to the older student, often attracting students in their seventies and eighties. Why? To improve their brain. So that brings me to the close of today’s introduction to this new adventure of mine. My hopes are to share the benefits and challenges of two weeks of formal Spanish study abroad for those like myself who are over fifty. Lots of people are doing it. Stay tuned!

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  1. Enjoy! It all sounds wonderful. Learning an new language or improving on existing language skills certainly gets the ‘grey matter’ turning over. Looking forward to the next update. Ciao.

  2. I hope to be able to do a study Spanish abroad program too at some point. I spent a semester in Bogota, Colombia, attending a local university and living with a Colombian family. Is there a reason you chose the efficiency over a homestay? I think I was probably more “flexible” at 19 than I am at 58, but living with a family certainly helped boost my Spanish proficiency.

    • Suzanne
      I love my privacy too much these days to live with a host family. Plus I am a digital nomad, so it is important that I have access to wifi while on the road because I have deadlines to meet. The other advantage that I have is that I am often abroad for months at a time, so I get lots of opportunity to practice. I am formally studying Spanish for the first time, although I am already proficient, but decided to take the language serious at last. Hope to try Spanish schools all over the world if I end up enjoying this one as much as I think that I will. I am in Spain for 7 weeks this time, but in school for only 16 days. And so it goes…..

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