Tía Tula Spanish School Blog Tía Tula Spanish Language School - Salamanca 蒂亚图拉 博客 (blog de Tía Tula en chino) ティアトゥラ スペイン語学校のブログ (blog de Tía Tula en japonés) Blog van de Spaanse talenschool Tía Tula Blog da Tía Tula, Colégio de Espanhol Blog di Tía Tula, Scuola di Spagnolo Blog de l'école d'espagnol Tía Tula Tía Tula Spanish School Blog Blog de Tía Tula, Colegio de Español

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Have some Paella!!

If you are in Spain or you’re still researching on what you are going to do when you get here, one of the things that you’ve undoubtedly read about would be the delights of the gastronomy. One of the most popular dishes is Paella. This would definitely be on your list of things to eat when you get to Spain!
To give you a little history on the origins of Paella, It is a Spanish rice dish which originated in Valencia in the mid-19th century and is considered to be Valencia’s regional dish but it is popular throughout Spain. In typical Valencia tradition the dish is made with rice, vegetable, rabbit and chicken meat, beans, saffron, oil and seasoning. Other paellas are also made with Seafood or there may be a combination of both.
Paella is very popular here in Salamanca and can be eaten in restaurants by the plate or as a Tapa serving. As part of the extra-curricular activities at Tia Tula we have cooking classes and sometimes we will have a tutorial on Paella which the students always enjoy. I recommend when you get to Spain or if you are already in Salamanca that you try the Paella, I’m sure that you will love it!
Debra, student at Tia Tula

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Do you know the meaning of "Siesta"?

Siesta in Spain refers to the time taken to relax in the afternoon, usually after lunch.  It is an afternoon rest or nap normally taken between 2:00pm and 5:30pm. In Salamanca, as well as in other parts in Spain, it is normal for some shops to close during this time as this is also the time to have lunch.
It is thought when there is siesta that working time is short. But in fact, one works on average 4 hours in the morning and another 4 hours in the afternoon sometimes even more, which is at least 8 hours daily.
To follow the rest of the European countries, in January 2006 large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona abolished siesta for public government offices and other public offices. And that is why in the larger cities there is only a short break for lunch.
It is said that human productivity increases throughout the day and reaches its highest levels at midday. Then, between 2:00pm and 3:00pm it decreases. At about 4:00pm in the evening it rises again and remains constant for several hours. At the end of the day it begins again to drop gradually and will reach its minimum levels at 2:00am to 3:00am in the morning, when one is asleep.
Personally, I think having a siesta impacts positively on the human body. It can be used to recover from the fatigue accumulated during the day and increase performance at work in order to be productive with the remainder of the daily activity.
I think it creates a healthy lifestyle for the body and spirit.

Noriko, student internship in Tía Tula

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Back to the past ...

Salamanca is known as one of the most culturally rich cities of Spain. It’s known for having a wide array of monuments, churches, museums, ancient cathedrals and universities but it is also a city in where different famous persons have lived and passed along the story of the city. Highlighted in this article is Miguel de Unamuno, whose work is known and appreciated all over the world; a famous character who made a great contribution in the field of philosophy.
One of the most visited tourist destinations in Salamanca is the "Unamuno House Museum", in which the philosopher lived and today is open to the public. The house is in the old part of the city. At first it was owned by the University of Salamanca. Built in the eighteenth century, it became famous as the place where Miguel de Unamuno lived as Rector of the University of Salamanca and in the 50's it was converted into a museum dedicated to the writer's life. Today the house/museum is integrated into the Office of Archives and Libraries of the University of Salamanca.
In preparation to becoming a museum, work began in 1952 by adding furniture on the second floor and creating Unamuno's personal library (assigned to the University) with its 6000 books. Between 1976 and 1977 spaces in the house were adapted to create a historical spectrum which recreates the atmosphere of the writer; work would end in 1996 when the museum was officially opened to the public.
The house built between 1758 and 1762 by architect Andrés García de Quiñones, was converted into the house of the Rector of the University of Salamanca and used by the school Administration. Later on it was occupied by Unamuno when he moved to Salamanca in 1900 to teach Greek at the University. He took over the second floor of the house to devote himself to writing his works and poetry. The building is located on a street of booksellers, on the corner of Calderon de la Barca.
The façade of the building bears the shield of the University of Salamanca in quoting the following sentence: "OMNIVM SCIENTARVM PRINCEPS SALMANTICA DOCET” which loosely translated means Salamanca is the first in the teaching of all sciences. The building, rectangular in shape, is divided into two parts: the first floor is the Official Hall, while the second are offices. I advise those interested in philosophy and who are lovers of culture, to visit and to experience this journey to the past thanks to the perfect preservation and restoration of this building!
Valeria, student internship in Tía Tula.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Saturday adventures!

There is so much to do here while in Salamanca! I had a great day exploring the neighboring city of Avila with my fellow student Nari! On Saturday morning we got up early and headed off to the bus station. Bought tickets for the 8.30am bus and in no time we were on our way. Avila by bus is only one hour and a half away so in between chatting and having a cup of tea the time passed very quickly.

When we arrived we had breakfast at one of the many restaurants populating the city and then heading to the tourist office for a map and information on the city. The entrance to the Wall of Avila is actually in the tourist office so after paying a small fee we excitedly started our walk around the city on top of the Wall. The views were beautiful and the walls are well preserved. The weather in Avila was great, not too hot or cold so we had a good time leisurely strolling along the Wall, climbing the turrets, stopping to take photos and to read the plaques that are set in stone along the way.

After the Wall we walked through the streets of the city and stopped off at the Museum and the 17th century Convent of St Teresa. Everything is well preserved and absolutely beautiful. I have to say though my favorite place that we visited was the Cathedral of Avila. It is suggested the building of the Cathedral started in 1091. It is a combination of Romanesque and Gothic architecture and it is stunning in person. After spending the day in Avila we returned to Salamanca on the train which has a shorter journey time.
Later that day with some of the other students from the school, I attended a concert in Salamanca featuring a group called The Rey Sisters from Ghana. The venue, Santo Domingo garden, was packed with locals and international students and the group didn’t disappoint! Tired but extremely happy from having such a great day I can’t wait to continue my adventures in Salamanca!
Debra, Student in Salamanca.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Unforgettable … My time in Salamanca.

I came to Salamanca for five months to learn Spanish, enjoy the city and maybe see some of the rest of Europe. I leave to go back to my country of Trinidad and Tobago fully satisfied that I have achieved my objectives.

When I first arrived in Salamanca I didn’t have much knowledge of the language beyond the very basics and I must say that while I have had some very frustrating moments I have also had a very rewarding experience.  Initially I was a bit shy to speak as I didn’t know the proper use of the grammar or have the vocabulary to adequately express myself. Surrounded by teaching Professionals like Vanessa, Beatriz, Alicia and the other staff has motivated me “Poco a Poco..”Now thanks to the dedicated teaching of the staff at Tia Tula, and from my time spent as an Intern being constantly encouraged by Ana and the rest of the Administrative staff, I am well equipped to communicate with other persons in the language. I also want to give many thanks to my room-mate Noriko and the many other students who I met while at Tia Tula who encouraged me and corrected me during our conversations.  Their input and motivating words really helped a lot. I now feel more confident in my ability to communicate in the language and I look forward to continuing my studies in my country.  My time here was well spent and I think that no other experience can top being immersed in the culture and language if you are trying to learn another language.

Salamanca is a beautiful city and this is an understatement. A well preserved historic city with truly stunning architecture and a wide variety of cultural activities keeps one from getting bored as there is always something new to do, discover or to see.  I felt warmly embraced by not only the school but also the city. The many events, concerts etc. that I attended in Salamanca showcases the city in such a positive way and it is heartwarming to see how proud Salamintos are of their city and its heritage.

When I came to Salamanca I was focused on experiencing Spanish culture but what I did not expect was to also become familiar with so many other different cultures as well. Being in Tia Tula I have met students from so many different countries and it has definitely improved my experience here.  One of the things I enjoyed the most was all the different foods that I learned to prepare from my international friends in Salamanca. I can’t wait to go home and show off my new found skills! To Noriko who taught me to make sushi, Nari who taught me Korean food, Valeria who taught me Tiramisu thank you for the pleasure! I also learned to prepare popular Spanish foods as part of the extra-curricular activities of Tia Tula. I’m going to be very popular when I get back home!J

This was my first time in Europe and being in Salamanca made it easy to travel around. I enjoyed visiting other parts of Spain and I also had the opportunity to visit Portugal, London and France.  All the countries were definitely beautiful in their own way and I will carry special memories with me from my first visits to these places.  I feel very blessed and as I embark upon another journey in my life I wish to truly thank the staff of Tia Tula for a phenomenal experience! You have added to the enrichment of my visit and I am grateful.

To everyone at Tia Tula, staff and students “Muchas gracias, buena suerte y mejores deseos!! Besos!!”

Debra, student at Tia Tula.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Salamanca’s Fiesta de la Virgen de la Vega!

Every year on the 8th September Salamanca celebrates the Feast of the Virgin de la Vega. It began long ago by the Roman Bridge as a simple agricultural and livestock fair but it has now changed into a time of Celebration for its Patron and is a tradition that has endured centuries.

Legend has it that the Virgin helped Salamanca  to defend the assault of the troops who wanted to invade in 1706 during the War of Spanish Succession. A statue representing the Saint was recovered from the former Monastery of Vega and was placed on the high altar in the Cathedral of Salamanca. la Virgin de la Vega has been the patron Saint of the city since 1618 and shares this patronage with San Juan de Sahagun. There have been several miracles and favors attributed to her intervention.

The festival will start on September 7, and on the 8th will be the feast of the Patron. During the festival there will be many shows in the streets, concerts, parties for citizens, students and tourists to enjoy. This year the many celebrations include: Etnohelmántica Festival, Street Arts Festival, Medieval Market, Fair Day, bullfighting etc. 

An explosion of music, fun and laughter!!

Valeria, Intern at Tía Tula.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Extra curricular Activities 2nd to 6th September

Monday 2, 18.00: Visit Salamanca. Get to know the history of the main monuments of Salamanca. Meeting place: Tia Tula. Approximate duration: 1h

Tuesday 3, 19.30: Salamanca Tapas. You will learn how to make some tapas and then you can eat them. Price €7. Meeting place: Tia Tula. Approximate duration 1h

Wednesday 4, 18.00: Billar. Come play a game of pool with us. Price +- €2 (your consumption + game) Meeting place: Tia Tula. Approximated duration: 1h30

Thursday 5, 17.00: Pelicula. The Secret of your Eyes – Juan Jose Campanella (2009) Argentina, 1970´s. Benjamin is an officer of a Court in Buenos Aires and is about to retire. Haunted by a brutal murder which occurred thirty years earlier, he decises to write a novel about the case which has a witness….Place: Tia Tula – movie length: 126 mins.

Friday 6, 18.50: Visit Scala Coeli. We will climb the towers of the clergy and enjoy the views of Salamanca. Price: €3,75. Meeting point: Tia Tula. Approximate duration: 1h

Remember to sign up for the activity at the reception beforehand (the minimum number of people needed for each activity is 3). If the cost is not stated then the activity is free. We recommend that our students participate in the activities so they can get to know other students in the school, so they can broaden their knowledge of Spanish culture and to practice and improve their Spanish in a fun way.