Posted by: Anni Orekh | May 19, 2012

Benefits of studying Spanish in the Dominican Republic

 Don’t get me wrong, I’d love when I visit  Spain. The history, culture, language, and of course futbol are very attractive. But a lot of students who initially have their heart set on Spain find that the prices are out of reach. Keep in mind that most of the things that Spain has to offer are also very accessible in Dominican Republic which is the second largest Spanish speaking island afer Cuba, in the Caribbean, Latin America.   Language Quality For instance, if you hear that the best Spanish is spoken in Spain, that’s simply not true.

Language Quality

 There is no best Spanish, just different accents.  Accents are interesting, fun, and beautiful. Every little pocket of the world has their unique sound, style, and vocabulary set.  If you are worried about “quality,” try going somewhere with a fairly neutral accent, such as  Santo Domingo or Quito, Ecuador, Nicaragua (which by the way costs about half of what Spain costs, are beautiful, and you get a homestay and meals included for the price).  I have also lived in Managua, Nicaragua, and the accent is fairly neutral there too.  Colombia, Chile and Argentine accents tend to have a European flare to them, I think due to some of the immigration trends there.

Grammar

In Spain you have the benefit of learning a slightly more complex grammatical structure because of the inclusion of vosotros. On the flip side, in Dominican Republic  that is just one less structure to worry about, so the language learning is slightly easier, at least from a grammatical perspective.

History, Architecture, Culture
If your main interest in Spain has to do with something else (maybe the history, colonial-style architecture, etc.), you can still get that experience, just obviously to a different level, in Dominican Republic. Remember that the Spanish were the conquistadores of Latin America, and so many of the colors, architectural designs, music, and dances have roots in old Spain.  Additionally, you have the added interest of learning about the indigenous cultures in Dominican Republic (Tainos) , and every country has music, celebrations, food, and more.

Music

Merengue, Salsa and Bachata……Again there are similar sounds and traces, and in most countries you will hear the music of other Spanish countries as well. Sure, the focuses are different in Spain, just as they are in the Dominican Republic,  Colombia, and other places. But that is just more reason to see every country you can. If Spain is in your budget go for it, if not you will love Dominican Music or any other like Cumbia, cha-cha-chat. Try dancing vallenatos in Colombia (done it) or salsa in Havana or tango in Argentina (both on my list!) and I can’t imagine you’ll be disappointed.

Sports
If your interest is in the professional soccer league, remember that the season isn’t going on in the summer–when most people travel–anyway, so you won’t miss anything. And even if you travel when the league is going on, you can still get your fill of futbol in Dominican Republic, where the main sport is baseball…..of course again to a different scale, but that also means to a more affordable price as well.   But you have to see the passion for futbol in these countries, even if you don’t like the sport. Brazil has one of the best soccer team in Latin America and Argentine is not behind.

Food

I don’t even think this one needs explanation, but as a quick note, try everything you can in every place.  And if you aren’t sure where to start, go to the street vendors with the longest lines. Street food is cheap, culturally specific, and usually awesome tasting. Dominican’s cuisine is incredible cheap and healthy.

Price

Spain isn’t always more expensive. It depends on where you current live, where you are flying from, etc., so compare prices.  If you can get a cheap flight to Spain it can override the higher cost of classes, and in some places in Dominican Republic  the classes cost just as much as Spain anyway.

 

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