Photo Credit: Mahadeva
I have been very satisfied with the three classes I’ve taken at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), if you are interested in taking spanish classes in BA. If you are self motivated and speak up in class, you should do well. I consider the price to be reasonable, especially because the price lowers for returning students. Eight week or sixteen week classes are offered.
On the day of registration, when you arrive, queue up in a long line starting in the entryway. A professor will give you a form to fill out and send you into a larger room to your right to take a placement test. There is a cafeteria there if you want an espresso or cafe con leche. After you finish the test, you can give it to the instructors at the center table, and one of them will grade the exam and talk to you to measure your proficiency.
For the test, it’s important to understand the use of “vos” rather than “tu,” and “sos” instead of “eres.” Take a primer on Argentinean spanish here.
After the meeting, the professor will recommend your level (nivel) and send you to enroll in a class. You’ll then queue up to sign up for a class time at the table closest to the main marble staircase and the contact should give you a number. Now you’ll need to queue up in order to pay. I would bring a book or magazine because this can take a while. This shouldn’t be too difficult–just time consuming.
You can either pay all of the cost at one time or elect to pay in installments. Just a warning–there are only particular times at the UBA office when you are allowed to use a credit card. I suggest bringing cash if you can. Use a money pouch as mentioned in this post.
I’ve liked most all of my teachers. In order to get the most of the class, I’d suggest talking a lot. It is definitely a group atmosphere and there is no one-on-one treatment. For maximum improvement, you may want to consider hiring a private tutor in conjunction with the UBA classes. Conversation classes in Buenos AIres at the moment run around $30 or $35 pesos an hour.
The UBA site for spanish classes is: http://www.idiomas.filo.uba.ar/mapa/lab/espanol.htm. Inscription times are available on the site. I’d recommend arriving at 9:00 a.m. as a first time student. Return students are allowed to register earlier than new ones. The nearest Subte stops are Cathedral on the green line, Florida on the red line, or Plaza de Mayo on the light blue line.