Learn Spanish

in Uruguay and Argentina.



If you have any questions or require further information please visit the relevant section of the Frequently Asked Qestions. If you can’t find what you’re looking for you please contact us via email or give us a call on: +598 2 9152496.

Academia Uruguay (8)

Who is Academia Uruguay?

Academia Uruguay is a company that is registered in Uruguay, founded in 2007 and dedicated to teaching Spanish as a foreign language. The official owners of the company are Juan Barcelona and Utz Hoeser.

What are your business hours?

We are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, from Monday to Friday. Feel free to stop by. Our address is Juan Carlos Gómez 1408. If you contact us by internet, we promise we will answer within 24 hours of receiving your request.

What languages do you speak?
When you stop by our offices, call us or write us an email, we can usually answer in Spanish, English, French, Italian, German and Portuguese.
How do I know that the academic excellence and professional service you advertise for Academia Uruguay are really true?

Two very concrete means for us to create trust are references of former students which we are happy to provide and quality marks, such us membership in Tandem International, to be an accredited center of the Instituto Cervantes and the Registry of Accredited Institutions Teaching Spanish as a foreign Language.

Where are students from, who are they, how old are they?

The mix of students varies, depending on the time of the year. However, as a general rule, we accept students only over 18 years old (consult for exceptions). We have students up to 65 years of age and the average is somewhere between 20 and 35. Many of our students come primarily to study Spanish and are highly motivated. Some travel the world, others spend their vacations here and even others have taken a few weeks or months off work and come to experience a different language and culture. Students come from all over the world, really. Europeans, North Americans and Brazilians do make up the largest groups, but we have also have significant amounts of students from far-away places like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Morocco, South Africa, Russia, Iceland etc. About 400 students per year choose to study at Academia Uruguay.

Does my opinion matter?
Absolutely! During your stay we ask you to provide feedback on courses, housing, activities etc. At the end of your stay we will ask you to fill in a formal questionnaire which will help us improve our services. You are also free to use our box for suggestions located in the coffee room.
Are there cases where students have been excluded from classes or homestays?
This has happened once in our long history and we hope it will never happen again. We are very tolerant with regard to student behavior and are well aware of potential cultural misunderstandings in a context that is special for almost all parties involved. However, we do not tolerate openly racist conducts, insulting behavior, harassment, fighting or any kind of behavior which – based on a basic international consensus – is deemed unacceptable.
Can I contact former students for references?
Yes, many former students are happy to give you feedback of their experiences.

Accommodation (5)

What types of accommodation can you arrange for me?

Academia Uruguay provides you with various accommodation possibilities during your stay in Montevideo. It’s up to you to choose if you prefer staying in a hostel, an apartment, a hotel or with an uruguayan family depending on your demands and budgets. Please have a look at the accommodation section on our website for a more detailed description of the different options.

Can I stay in my accommodation for longer than the course?

Of course! We can arrange accommodation for your entire stay in Montevideo, no matter if you arrive a week earlier or decide to stay longer after your Spanish course.

What infrastructure should I expect during my stay with a family or in a shared apartment?
You will have your own well-lit room, with – as a minimum – a bed, linen, a place to store your clothes, a chair, a desk, a heater or fan in summer. In most cases, you have a window or a door with window. You will share baths, living rooms, kitchens, etc. Please also take into consideration that living standards in your own country may not be the same as in Uruguay. Most of our families are middle-class, but their purchasing power may not be the same as that of a middle-class family in Europe or Canada. We believe that what is important is that you feel comfortable where you are staying and that you enjoy the cultural experience of meeting and exchanging with people in a foreign country.
Can I change my housing?
If necessary, you may change your housing only once. To make a change in your housing you have to speak to reception, explain the reasons for the change and complete a new housing form. Within 48 hours you will have a new place to stay.
How far from the school is my housing?
A maximum of 30 minutes using public transport. In most cases, much closer. You can express preferences with regard to the housing location.

Agents (2)

How do I become an agent?
If you are interested in working as an agent for us, please contact us by sending an email.
How do I request brochures?
If you wish to receive brochures by post, please contact us by sending an email with the necessary details. Please note that the maximum order quantity for our brochure is 30.

Courses (14)

I do not find the prices of classes on your webpage. Where are they?
Click on any of the courses we offer and scroll down to see the conditions and prices of these courses.
How do you constitute classes?
The maximum class size for group courses is 6 students. No exceptions. We make sure that all students are of the same level. Our program is based on 9 skill levels, each of which lasts between 40 and 60 hours (2 and 3 weeks). If no course on your exact level is open, we guarantee that we will open one for you, even if that means that you will be on your own in class. Every Monday, year-round, guaranteed. The price of your course stays unchanged. When constituting classes we also take into account the background of our students, especially on the lower levels. For instance, an English speaker who has never learned a foreign language before and starts Spanish classes on level 0 most probably will not be in the same group as a Portuguese native speaker.
Do I need to speak some Spanish to take one of your courses?
No, you do not. We have beginner’s courses starting every Monday, year-round.
How do you measure my initial Spanish level?
We will send you a written test that gives some indication on your vocabulary and grammar skills. Upon arrival you will have a short interview with our academic coordinator to determine whether your oral level is similar to your written test results. We then determine in which group you best fit. Both oral and written tests are not part of your classroom hours. We ask you to come a little earlier on day 1 so that we can start classes on time at 9:30 am or 2 pm.
When do my classes start?
Most of our group courses run in the mornings from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. The other part runs from 2 pm to 6 pm. In both cases there is a 20 minute break in the middle. While you can express your preferences for morning or afternoon classes, the final decision is ours, based on the availability of classrooms and your compatibility with existing groups.
Classroom hours = real hours?
One classroom hour lasts 55 minutes.
Are there exams at the end of the course?
Yes. After you complete a level, you can (no obligation, but highly recommended) take a short exam to measure your progress. If the end of your stay does not coincide with the completion of a level, you can take a partial exam covering the areas/units that you covered in class.
Do I get some kind of diploma?

Yes, you do! All students who have attended classes get a diploma stating the level at which they studied, the length of their stay and the amount of classroom hours they attended. Students who took the exam at the end of their stay and obtain a grade of at least 60/100 have their grade mentioned on the diploma. In all cases, the diploma mentions the equivalency of the level attained with the European frame of reference for languages. Our diplomas are valid as certificates, but do not have the same status as a university diploma. In case you need university credits, you can either directly talk to your university registrar at home and ask if they our courses as credit (we will be happy to help you in convincing your university if necessary) or you can benefit from our special cooperation agreement with a  local university to get a recognized university certificate for credits.

What happens if I am on my own in a class that is supposedly a group class?

In this case your daily classes are reduced from 4 to 2,5 hours. Be assured that experience has shown that students learn the same or more in 2,5 hours of one-on-one classes than in 4 hours of group classes.

What study materials do you use?
We will distribute a textbook on day 1 of your classes. This textbook is copyrighted material designed and produced by Academia Uruguay especially for intensive teaching of Spanish as a foreign language, taking into account the cultural and linguistic particularities of the Rio de la Plata region. The textbook includes a description of the learning objectives for your course and compiles all the texts, grammar descriptions, exercises and homework that you will be using on that level. In addition this written material, you will be using audio and video material in class, depending on your skill level. While our teachers are obliged to reach the teaching objectives of a given level within a certain amount of hours, it is up to them (and you) to what extent additional elements (newspaper clippings, songs, games etc) are incorporated in the class.
How do I know what course suits me best?
This depends firstly on your learning objective (to improve general language skills, to acquire a particular certificate, etc) and on your ambition. Your language level, work/study experience and the time you are willing to dedicate to your progress play an equally critical role in deciding the type of course which fits you the most. Upon registration our academic coordinator will suggest you the appropriate level after a personal interview and a placement test.
Are the teachers native speakers?
All of them are native speakers, of course. Most of our teachers speak at least two other languages and have extensive experience in working with students from abroad.
Will I be able to take part in some leisure activities with the institute?
Sure! Every week we propose a wide list of activities with respect to our students’ interests, age and budget. The programs we recommend are ranging from free Spanish language workshops, movie nights with discussions, tango and yoga classes, to name just a few. For more detailed descriptions please visit the Cultural activities page on our website.
How do I participate in extracurricular activities?
All activities are free of charge for our students except if stated otherwise. To participate, be at the indicated place and time and join the group. You do not have to be fluent in Spanish to participate. Both the tour guide and your fellow students will help you translate if necessary, even though we try to make this a 100% Spanish speaking experience. The activities do not require particular physical skills, unless stated otherwise. If you want more extracurricular activities, outside of our regular program, we can help you organize them or put you in contact with third-party providers. Prices vary. 

Payments (2)

Do I have to make full payment before the course starts?

No, we do not usually ask for deposits or upfront payments before you arrive. One exception is apartment rentals through us. Should you wish to split the total fee and pay it in instalments, please inform us when you make the booking. For further information please see our terms and conditions.

How should I make a payment?

You must have paid the courses and housing by day 1 or 2 of your stay at the academy. You can pay cash (USD, Euros, Pesos), credit card (check costs) or exceptionally by bank draft. For information on how to register and pay for your course, accommodation and other services, please see our terms and conditions.

Uruguay & Montevideo (2)

When are the public holidays and are there no classes on those days?

Public holidays are January 1, May 1, July 18, August 25, December 25. You do not loose classes on those dates. We simply make up for the holiday by adding one hour to classes on the remaining days of the week.

What can I do in Montevideo in my spare time?

From must-see and noteworthy activities and attractions to many hidden gems and true adventures, the city can propose you all. Check out the review on our weekly updated free activities…Montevideo awaits you with a wealth of diversions in every barrio.

Visas & insurance (3)

Do I need a visa and if so what kind?

Nationals of EU member and associated countries, nationals of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, Brasil, Switzerland and many more can enter Uruguay for 3 months as a tourist (you simply get a stamp at the airport) and can prolong this stay through an additional stamp once entered the country. So there is no need to get a visa, you simply need a valid passport. Other countries: please check with your nearest uruguayan consulate. Also, since visa requirements vary frequently it is recommended to consult them anyway before departure. We will be more than happy to help to provide you with documentation to obtain your visa.

Can you help me get a visa?
If you think that you need a visa we will be happy to advice you on the necessary steps. We can also provide you with an invitation/a visa support letter. For more information about visa requirements please consult your local consulate.
Can you help with insurance?

If you are sick and in the school, we have medical insurance coverage and can call a doctor. If you want medical or travel insurance for your stay in Montevideo, let us know and we will help you.

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