Colombia is known for having some of the clearest Spanish in Latin America, so it’s no surprise thousands of people from around the world flock here every year in the hope of learning the language. However, a problem many travelers face is juggling exploring the country and adapting to a new culture while trying to absorb an entirely new vocabulary. While there are a handful of Spanish schools in Medellín, most require regular in-person commitments and have expensive plans. A fantastic alternative for people who want to learn Spanish at a pace which suits them, whether remotely or in Medellín, is BaseLang.
BaseLang began in 2016 as an online-only Spanish school, initially centered in Venezuela, offering unlimited classes for a monthly fee. Since then, the school has grown substantially and in December last year, opened its first physical school in Medellín, catering to the nomadic lifestyle with its unique, non-academic structure. At BaseLang, concepts aren’t taught in the same way as other schools, instead its curriculum focuses on helping students communicate first and perfecting the small details after.
I was immediately intrigued by BaseLang for a number of reasons: not only does the company offer unlimited one-on-one classes, there’s complete flexibility with scheduling the classes too. For me, I knew I would be far more proactive with my Spanish this way because I’d want to make use of any spare time I had and book a class. Plus, having total access to Spanish resources meant if I was having trouble understanding something, I didn’t have to wait until my next lesson, I could book a class for the same day (even the same hour) and work through the issue with my teacher.
BaseLange offers three types of courses: Dele (for proving Spanish profiency), Grammarless (where beginners are guaranteed to become conversational in Spanish in one month), and the Real World program. I was signed up for the latter, which aims to improve fluency and confidence, and places an emphasis on talking in Spanish without having to think beforehand. The Real World program provides students with access to both in-person and online classes for $599 (roughly 1,870,560 COP) a month or $199 (621,438 COP) a week, or prospective students can sign up for a day trial for only $1.
For more information about BaseLang’s packages, Spanish Classes in Medellín has a full breakdown.
Arrange classes easily
One of the best things about BaseLang is the online portal – a place where students can book classes, track their progress, access materials and contact their teaches. The portal is the first point of contact for new students: it’s where they can enter their details and current level of Spanish, as well as view videos navigating them through everything.
The portal is very user-friendly and within a few seconds, I’d synced BaseLang with my Google calendar and had booked my first class. Each class time slot is 30 minutes, and students can book for as long as they want, either consecutively or spread throughout the day. Even better, students can literally book last minute – teachers are consistently available from 8.30 am until 5.30 pm every day.
Students can also cancel or change classes here, adding another layer of flexibility to BaseLang – there was no need for back and forth communication, simply book, modify and cancel classes as you please.
What I particularly liked about the booking process, was that I could chose my teacher. Each professor has an introductory video clip and list of strengths alongside their name, so it was easy to find someone suited to my level of Spanish and way of learning. I was also glad to see that the teachers came from a range of places throughout Venezuela and Colombia, so there was a mix of accents to practice listening to and speaking with.
On the morning of my first class, I arrived at the school and was greeted by a group of happy faces, welcoming me in Spanish. I immediately felt immersed, and what’s more, I immediately felt comfortable. Complete with a café (serving free artisanal coffee), a ping-pong room, breakout teaching areas and a garden, the modern and spacious building had all the elements of a co-working space, making it more of a community than a conventional place to learn.
The teacher I chose for my first class was Reinaldo; we sat in the garden on a sunny Medellín day and straight away, I was at ease speaking in only Spanish. After introducing ourselves, Reinaldo asked me a question I’d never had in any kind of school, ever – what did I think makes a good class? I really liked the question, it reassured me that the lesson really was going to be tailored to my preferences. I told Reinaldo that for me, a good class was when I was able to talk a lot and was corrected as I went along – something he clearly took onboard.
For the majority of our classes, Reinaldo would ask me questions that initiated long conversation topics: we covered everything from Paisa slang to cycling in Medellín to Venezuelan arepas. The dialogue between the two of us felt extremely natural, and I can say with complete sincerity, that after every class, I left feeling more confident in my Spanish than I have in the full year I’ve lived in Medellín.
BaseLang is undoubtedly set apart from other Spanish schools due to its unlimited materials and flexibility. However, more than that, BaseLang clearly nurtures a community between its teachers and students. I asked Reinaldo what he liked about working at the company, and he told me that coming to work was fun, everyone was a family, not only teaching a language but also about culture and experiences. I certainly got that impression too, it wasn’t a chore going to my Spanish classes there, I actually looked forward to them.
This comradery is most evident in BaseLang’s decision to offer its employees in Venezuela (over 200 people), the opportunity to leave and earn a Colombian wage. CEO Connor Grooms explained that Venezuelans have been the backbone of the company, and in light of the country’s recent troubles, it was only natural that BaseLang extend a helping hand. Currently more than 100 teachers have made the move to Colombia, where they can continue working with BaseLang and have a more stable lifestyle.
For people traveling South America, considering moving to a Spanish-speaking country or simply looking to start a new linguistic adventure, BaseLang is both a professional, attentive school, and a place to make friends and really adapt to life in Spanish. The expertise, environment, tools and freedom of BaseLang, firmly establish it as a revolutionary place to learn Spanish and a fun way to begin, further or finesse your grasp of the language.
If you’re keen to test out any of BaseLang’s Medellín courses, enter the code “medellinliving” and receive a $200/month discount on all monthly subscriptions. Disfruta tus clases de español!
School address: Carrera 77 #39-40, Medellín