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As highlighted by The Guardian in the UK, a number of British firms are now Spanish-owned and speaking the language will open doors. Plus, Latin America is booming. What not to say: Mixing up the two forms of "to be" is easy but deadly. "El es buenisimo" means that you admire somebody, "el esta buenisimo" means

that you really fancy him.

In jobs such as sales, marketing or technical support, languages can open doors for you, and Missen estimates a language can add between 10% and 15% to your wage. For those looking to stand out in a tough jobs market, or for graduates wanting to add oomph to their CV, learning a language could be just the thing.

Learning a language is not just about grammar and vocabulary, either: there's cultural understanding too. Missen points out that even in Germany, a country we tend to think is similar to the UK, business is more formal. A handshake means that a deal is done, and missing a deadline is unthinkable. The further afield you go, the bigger the differences. Even if your Japanese is dodgy, knowing how things are done means that you are less likely to cause accidental offence.

Spanish has overtaken German as the most important business language. With so much Spanish presence here – Santander taking over Abbey, Telefonica buying O2, and Iberia merging with BA – there are "lots of opportunities in the British subsidiaries". French, German, Italian and Dutch are useful, and Nordic languages are in demand, especially in the technology, IT and telecoms sectors.

The systems runs for a week. Take a Spanish teacher from our Barcelona-based corporation, and let him or her share a one-week holiday with you around Spain.

Not only will we help you design your holiday, customised to your needs and likes, but you will also enjoy a Total Immersion experience, holydaying in Spanish in the sunny Spain. The teacher will be one of your family or group, even if you come on your own.

A carefully designed Language Plan will be developed alongside the trip, and you will be learn on the go, meeting people from different places and thus enjoying the experience of different accents of the language. An average of 12 hours a day of direct contact with the language will take you from zero to hero.

Tips for Planning Travel to Spain

These tips are for first-time travelers to Spain. Many seem obvious, but one is always surprised at questions new travelers ask in the Trip Advisor forums. One has to do some homework if one's trip will be one of pleasure and have less stress.

1. Buy a book about travel to Spain. Read it and decide what parts of Spain interest you and which cities you want to visit.

2. Get an idea of the geography of Spain. This is a good article from Wikipedia: Be aware that Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe (after France) and one of the most mountainous (after Switzerland). The central meseta is a highland plateau and Madrid is on this meseta. Be aware of distances between cities. Google Maps or the Via Michelin website can tell you what these distances are.

3. The best time to travel in Spain is Spring and Fall because that is when good weather occurs. Summer is hot, especially in inland cities like Seville, Cordoba, and Madrid. The months of July and August are very crowded in resorts along the Mediterranean, so early reservations for hotels are required for these areas.

If one wants to visit cities in Northern Spain near the Atlantic, such as San Sebastian, Oviedo, and Santiago de Compostela and the rest of Galicia, the months of July and August are the best. Barcelona, the Costa Brava, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands are best from May to September.

Costa del Sol and Almeria are the best places to visit during winter because they are the warmest. Costa del Sol has balmy weather during summer. Almeria hardly gets any rain during the year. Nights in Granada are always cool because it is high up in the mountains. The central plateau gets weather extremes during summer and winter.

It makes no sense to travel to places like Leon, Burgos, Vitoria, Pamplona, and Logroño during winter. They get very cold and have much snow and ice. Not all of Spain is sunny all year long. Check the weather for each place you want to visit before making travel plans. 

4. In the Fall, many resorts in the North of Spain and along the Mediterranean Coast and the South have many of their stores and restaurants closed for the season. This may happen as early as mid September. This never happens in the Costa del Sol, which is always open because there are many Northern European citizens who migrate during this time and spend winter in the area. It is also a fallacy that most stores and restaurants close up during the Summer in big cities. Madrid is a city of 5 million and most stores and restaurants are open all year long.

5. Madrid is in the geographical centre of Spain. King Felipe II chose Madrid to be the capital of Spain for this very reason. The best way to travel from Madrid to other cities is by high speed train AVE. It beats air travel because it is more comfortable than the plane. Spain is now the European country with the largest network of high speed trains. If you have never traveled on a high speed train, you will enjoy the travel on the AVE.

If one is to travel long distances across Spain, such as from Malaga to Barcelona, then the plane may be a better option.

6. Do not plan to see too much of Spain at one time. Many want to see one new city every day. They may be unaware of the distances between cities and one does not want to be traveling every single day and all day long. It is best to stay in cities for a minimum of two nights, preferably three. That way one can see a city in depth and remember it when back home. Spain has to be savoured slowly with time for one to sit at a sidewalk cafe, eating tapas and drinking a glass of wine while one watches what is going on in the street, or just "watches grass grow".

7. Most travelers will want to experience Andalusia. From the available publicity on foreign countries, Andalusia will be more like what a tourist expects of Spain, being the image of Spain, with women dancing flamenco with flowers in their hair. There are many monuments in Andalusia, such as the Alhambra Palace in Granada, the No. 1 tourist attraction of Spain, getting millions of visitors a year. If you plan to visit the Alhambra, read "Buying Alhambra Tickets Online". Cordoba hosts the Mezquita, and Seville has its Cathedral with the Giralda Tower and many other monuments. Do not forget Malaga, which has plenty of monuments and museums, as well as lovely beaches and the best weather in Europe.

8. Many say that Spain's best invention are the tapas. About 30% of visitors say they come to Spain for its gastronomy. In most places in Spain one can eat like a king in any corner pub. One can eat tapas instead of having a full lunch or dinner and enjoy a wide variety of food. Read the top question in the Trip Advisor forums for each city you want to visit to see if there are articles about good restaurants and tapas places.

9. The best way to get Euros is to use an ATM machine. Spain is the European country with the most ATM machines and every block in cities shows an ATM machine. Be sure to contact your bank about using your ATM in Spain. The back of your ATM card will show what networks your bank is tied to, so using an ATM machine with the same network will minimize any currency charges. When you use an ATM machine, try to find one inside a bank for better security. Most banks will have an ATM machine inside the bank and another on the sidewalk.  

You may want to opt to not purchase Travelers Checks. There very few exchange locations and rates are high. You could lose a great deal in the exchange. Spanish banks will not accept Travelers Checks, nor will businesses. If you do not have an ATM , your best option may be to take your money to Spain and exchange it at the airport, and then, when back, get the remaining into your home currency at the same spot in the same airport if that was satisfactory to you. Check more than one exchange office in the airport or just outside, for better rates. Spanish banks also close for the day typically by 2:00 p.m.  

10. If you plan to rent a car and drive, read the Driving Guide for Foreigners. You will need an International Driving Permit. Be aware that it is almost impossible to find free parking on the street in cities. In big cities a commercial parking garage will cost between 18 and 30 euros a day. Hotels with parking space will charge about 11 to 20 euros a night for parking. For Andalusia, check the top questions for parking guides in different cities. Rental Cars are available at any major airport with offices of the usual international rental companies. 












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