How can you improve your Spanish ?
Improving a language is long, tedious and boring ? Everything depends on how you are learning ! If you come to Spain for an Erasmus year, you don't need to stay in your house, reading again and again uninteresting grammar books. Here you have some advices if you want a successful Erasmus year at least in a linguistic way !
Improving your speaking with Spanish people or others Erasmus
Go out into the street ! In order to improve your oral level, you need to speak. Don't stay only with English speaking people. You have to meet Spanish friends or looking for sharing a flat with Spanish people, or if you have a group work, try to be with Spanish people. I am sure you understood that Spainsh people have to be your new friends. Tell them to correct you when you are doing big mistakes. Thus, you will learn informal Spanish, and it is very funny. You can read this blog where you will find a lot of typical Spanish expressions.
If you are afraid to speak because of your accent and you are ashamed of it, ask Spanish people to speak English and you will have less hang-ups ! It is very difficult to loose your accent, even after 15 years in the country, people will tell you after you will start speaking "Are you English?". Moreover, a lot of people think that English accent is cute...
Spanish people will not always come naturally to speak to you, because they already have their friends. You will do probably the same if Spanish people will come in England ! You can also speak Spanish with others Erasmus students. It is normally easier to speak with another foreigner because they speak less rapidly than the natifs.
Improving your oral and writing understanding reading, listening music or watching a good Spanish movie
Start listening Spanish music, you will necessarily enjoy one or two, then look online the lyrics.
Buy a good Spanish novel , or a book you enjoyed and you already read in English. Don't stop everytime you don't understand a word, or you will be lost in the story. As an advice I will say that the best it is to underline words you never heard about, and for example when you finished a chapter, you take a dictionnary and look for the traductions that you will copy in a little notebook.
Lastly, download, rent out or buy English or latino movies and watch it with in Spanish with Spanish subtitles. Firstly, it will hard to understand movies. Start with an Almodovar movie.
Even if Spanish television is full of advertising and that a 1,50 hours movie become a 3 hours movie, it is a good way to improve your level. If you are a serie fan, there are the same in Spain than in England. If you like to follow current events, watch the news, you will learn a lot about the country.
Improving your writing with Spanish classes
If your are learning in an University, there are normally Spanish classes for Erasmus student. Generally, they are free and you can choose it as an option, but it depends on where you are studying. It is also a way to meet new Erasmus students.
If there are not classes in your University, and you can afford it, a lot of language school exists. For specialized Spanish classes, Cervantes Institut has language diplomas and certification.
Some cities as Madrid for exemple, offer free courses organized by the Comunidad de Madrid, for foreign people.