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TARA AHMED

 

I really enjoyed my time at Nueva Lengua . The teachers were quite good and made an effort to teach about the culture of Cartagena as well as the language. They were all wonderful, fun individuals, and the administration was also essential in guiding the students as we settled into the city. They were so generous with their time and really went above and beyond what I had expected in terms of helping us make connections, find cultural opportunities and see local sights -- the most memorable of which was bathing in a mud volcano! On our cultural excursions, the teachers were knowledgable and passionate about the history of Cartagena and made excellent instructors.

Cartagena itself is a beautiful city (and well removed from the dangers of certain parts of Colombia, ( finally managed to convince my Mom). It is a unique and interesting city with its unusual combination of history, visual beauty, tranquility and climate, which is just perfect with its warm, tropical weather. I particularly loved the beaches at Baru Island, one of the islands near the coast of Cartagena, easily accessible by boat. Cartagena is a nice size, neither huge nor tiny, and is pretty easy to get around by bus or walking around the main parts of town.

When I told the staff at Nueva Lengua that I am a dancer by profession and expressed an interest in hooking up with the local scene, they were quick to connect me to both a local gym where I began teaching classes, and to a folkloric dancer with whom I was able to do a cultural trade. I really appreciated their efforts in helping me to find things of interest, down to making phone calls for me when I wasn't yet ready to speak Spanish on the phone.

When I expressed that my first host family didn't seem like the right fit for me, they were quick to place me with another which worked out really well. Although both homes were nice, the second one was more suitable for what I wanted in terms of a host situation. Overall, I recommend Nueva Lengua in Cartagena; I spent a month there and wish I could have stayed longer. Especially since there seem to be constant festivals going on. It was a great experience.