Studying abroad: Spanish in Arequipa, Peru

Alejandra, my Peruvian friend who occasionally helps me with the translation and editing of articles in Spanish, lives in the beautiful city of Arequipa, Peru. I had gone there in 2011 and had spent three wonderful days. When I thought about studying Spanish somewhere in Latin America, Arequipa was natural choice.

In 2014, I decided that my goal would be to succeed in the DELE (Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language) exam. The diploma is issued by the Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain and attest your level of Spanish. They follow the guidelines established by the Common European Framework for Languages.

Despite having studied Spanish when I was younger and having no problem to communicate with Spanish speakers, I did not speak Spanish regularly for years (as I explained in this post). To improve my Spanish and prepare myself for the test, I decided to return to Arequipa.

The city

Arequipa is one of the most beautiful and safest cities of Peru. That alone, would be enough to choose Arequipa to study Spanish. In addition, having one of my best friends living there, the choice was obvious.

However, another reason to choose Arequipa is that the Spanish spoken there is clear, without strong accent and grammatically correct. Many proud Arequipeños, including the writer Mario Vargas Llosa, say that Arequipa has the best Spanish in Peru and Latin America. If this is true, it is debatable. Nevertheless, the fact that Arequipeños speak a beautiful Spanish, this is undeniable. Continue reading