Malaca Instituto, which has provided Spanish courses for teachers for more than 40 years, has seen an increase in the number of teachers coming to the school in recent years.
The creation of the schemes such as the European Comenius Fund is one of the main reasons behind the increase. "The Comenius Fund definitely helps and the majority of European teachers who come for courses have funding support" explains Bob Burger, Marketing Director. "About half the teachers come from the UK, followed by France and then a few from Scandinavian countries and eastern Europe."
Because funding is so important for teachers, Malaca Instituto is curently planning co-operation with the education department of a major US university.
Jane Milne was one of a group of primary and secondary teachers from the UK who took a Malaca Instituto course on a programme sponsored by the British Council with Comenius funding. The one-week course was essentially a refresher course and combined language development, methodology and “shadowing” in a local school. Jane’s report for her local school’s newsletter shows how successful those experiences are: “We all feel that our lives and teaching have been enriched by this wonderful experience and opportunity” (click here to read full report).
The 50+ market is also growing for Malaca Instituto. "This market is especially sensitive to any problems or perceived problems relating to international travel, like terrorism, strikes or financial trouble, and is therefore a market which fluctuates from year to year" says Bob Burger.
But the students, who generally come from the traditional European markets, Japan, Canada and the USA, see language courses abroad as "activity holidays" and a chance to meet people with common interests.
Teresa Roberts, who took a two-week course in 2013, writes in her blog: “I feel comfortable recommending life at the Malaca Instituto campus to anyone traveling alone with the hopes of making connections with people abroad. With minimal effort, one of the absolute pluses of studying Spanish at this lovely institute is the enormous opportunities for making real connections with not only Spaniards but people from all over the world.”