12 REASONS WHY OLSA
OLSA International is the top-rated Spanish school in Medellin according to Google Reviews. We attribute this to our focus on innovative, practical content and our family-oriented staff. We’re here to help you adjust to a new culture, give you recommendations for events and activities and, if necessary, help you out when you are not feeling well. We care about our students and it shows. See for yourself!
OLSA International is certified by the Ministry of Education of Colombia and the Secretary of Education of Medellin. Our curriculum is based in the Vistas / Facetas system, which is used by 100+ accredited universities across the USA. We have adapted this curriculum to the Common European Framework and have fortified it to meet our rigid standards. Our certified courses are heavily focused on actually speaking Spanish, not just learning the Spanish grammar.
We invite you to compare our prices with any other school in Medellin. However, be sure to compare apples to apples. Most schools in Medellin offer the same grammar-based curriculum which can be learned for free online.
OLSA’s curriculums are conversation-based and are designed for improved Spanish fluency.
Considering all of the programs we offer, not only are we the best priced Spanish / English language academy in Medellin, but our courses / classes / packets are typically longer and are more practical (designed for real-world use) than any other academy / university / private session.
We carefully select our staff to reflect our values in education, service and family. Each Wednesday we provide continuing education sessions for our staff with regard to teaching skills and knowledge, State standards updates, fire and safety standards, situational education and other important skills. These continuing education classes allow us to have an informed, friendly and helpful staff.
Our staff also take classes at our school! This is a great opportunity for our staff to improve on their English / Spanish skills, which, in turn, help them help you!
No other school in Medellin offers the quality or quantity of programs that we offer. Here’s a quick look at what you can experience at OLSA:
- Certified Spanish University courses which qualify for a Colombian student visa
- Conversational Spanish classes designed for improved Spanish fluency
- Private Spanish classes designed to improve personal Spanish understanding and fluency
- Spanish Immersion Weeks packets with the top 5 excursions in Medellin
- Nightly themed language exchanges – 5 exchanges per week
- Restaurante / Event Center complete with stage, big screen televisions, licensed bar and a focus on conversation
- Conversational English classes with our native English speakers from the USA and Canada
- TOEFL Preparation courses for local English learners
- Certified and registered foundation – The OLSA Foundation – which scholarships estrato 1, 2 and 3 students for conversational English with our native English speakers from the USA and Canada
Do you want to try one of Medellin’s best plates of nachos? Come by the OLSA Café & Event Center! We are the only Spanish/English school in Medellin to have a fully licensed restaurant/bar as part of our school. We do this for our students to have a convenient and inexpensive place to gather and for the local public to have a taste of authentic American cuisine. Nothing at OLSA Café is ever deep-fried. And as a licensed bar, we are legally able to serve cocktails! Try a tequila sunrise, or a mojito slushie!
Here we serve breakfast all day
Pancakes/Waffles – regular, blueberry, or chocolate chocolate chip with eggs and sausage – with American syrup! On the go? Try a breakfast burrito!
Try the American portion nachos or quesadillas!
Try the menu ejecutivo!
We have other desserts and beverages, but you will just have to come in to order them!
OLSA is actually an acronym which means Official Language School of the Americas. The idea is to have a number of schools throughout Central and South America with the same quality curriculum, values and service.
Currently we have two locations in strategic neighborhoods of Medellin.
Estadio campus is located in a more traditional neighborhood with excellent access to housing, shopping, transportation and activities. Address: Calle 49B #76A-5, Barrio Estadio
Manila campus is located in El Poblado which is the tourist center of Medellin. This neighborhood is known for discotecas, restaurants and lots of foreigners. Due to its composition, the El Poblado area is a little more expensive. Our 3-story campus is located in a more quiet area of this tourist center in the Manila neighborhood. Address: Carrera 43F #12-81, Barrio Manila
Most language schools in Medellin force you to take an expensive 3-4 hour, fill-in-the-blank on a worksheet, class. At OLSA International, you can build your own schedule as we provide you with language learning options.
- We run our small group conversational Spanish classes at 9:00am, or at 10:30am. These classes are designed to improve your Spanish fluency through our active learning curriculum.
- At 12:00 noon we begin our private Spanish classes which use a combination of active and passive learning techniques to help the individual person with their Spanish learning and fluency.
- In the evenings, starting at 6:00pm, we host our free themed language exchanges which are different each night and are open to the public!
- In addition to the short-term programming above, we also offer certified Spanish courses which qualify for a Colombian student visa. These courses can be taken in person in the mornings from 9:00am to 12:00noon, or virtually in the evenings from 5:30pm to 8:00pm.
- As for our conversational English classes, we offer times in the afternoons at 4:00pm, 5:30pm and at 7:00pm!
Many people say they want to “learn Spanish”, but do not realize that what they actually want is to be able to speak Spanish with natives, not learn Spanish grammar theory. There are two basic types of learning: Passive Learning and Active Learning. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.
Passive Learning – is primarily focused on memorizing specific goals which may include standards, rules, vocabulary, etc. This is what 90%+ of schools provide – standards-based learning. Passive learning tends towards theory. The benefit of passive learning is the gain of theoretical knowledge on a topic. The drawback is the lack of real-world application. In language, this means that you can pass a grammar test, but actually conversing in the language with natives is difficult, or nearly impossible.
Active Learning – is focused on the real-time application of the material being learned. This is more like an apprenticeship; learning through practice. The benefit of active learning is that real-life experience allows us to think through ideas instead of through rules. The drawback is that the process is difficult to test for standards. In language, this means you are able to converse with natives, but the content may not qualify for an official certificate.
At OLSA International, we practice both passive and active learning techniques with a heavy emphasis on Spanish / English practice for fluency.
Here at OLSA International, we are happy to work with you in English, or in Spanish. Our main director is bilingual, as are many of our directors, coordinators and teachers to varying degrees.
In addition to teaching Spanish to foreigners, we also provide conversational English classes to locals. This provides our Spanish and English students extra opportunity to meet (through our nightly language exchange events) to practice and improve on their language skills in real-life settings.
OLSA International is the only Spanish academy in Medellin with a certified and licensed foundation which scholarships locals in estratos 1, 2 and 3 for conversational English language learning. It is our desire that by learning conversational English, we can help families in poverty find better jobs, thus improving their living conditions.