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IEMA was founded in 1989 by the Spanish philologist, Maria del Carmen Varas Velayos and the German philologist, Dr. Rainer Rutkowski.

The objective is to offer Spanish language and culture programmes in order to contribute to a better understanding of Spanish 'culture' (with a small ’c’). Communication takes place on this background and our guest students will understand the different way of life, habits, customs, attitudes, expectations, values, beliefs and many more of Spain.

Programmes take place in a well situated, attractive city which is not overrun by foreigners: Avila. This World Heritage Site is situated in the region where ’castillian" - the official Spanish - is spoken.

IEMA is not only a Spanish Language school. IEMA’s courses are practical, with a strong pragmatic orientation, as our clients do not only want to learn a gramatically correct Spanish.

Do you want to understand what the Spanish are saying? Do you want to know how and when you must say what? If so, IEMA is the right place for you!
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Due to the quality of its services, in 1999, IEMA was awarded for the first time with the prestigious seal of quality, CEELE, from the University of Alcala de Henares (Madrid). IEMA is associated and cooperates with different institutions whose objectives are the promotion and improvement of teaching Spanish as a second language. For example, in 2005, IEMA was awarded the ’’Premio Patrimonio Cultural’’ in recognition of its contribution to the promotion of Spanish cultural heritage and in 2008 the Consejo Iberoamericano has selected IEMA for the award ’’en honor a la excelencia educativa 2008’’.

Even more important is the official recognition by Spanish Government: Since 2002, IEMA has been accredited by and associated with the Instituto Cervantes (Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) by a cooperation agreement. Instituto Cervantes ’ the highest authority with reference to Spanish Language and Culture in Spain and Hispanic World has appointed IEMA an official centre for the promotion and the preparation for the DELE exams of the Instituto Cervantes (the only official examination in Spanish worldwide ’ see www.examendele.com). IEMA's special DELE preparation courses are based on the Instituto Cervantes curriculum.

In the sector of Teaching Spanish as a Second Language has arisen a new market for commercial reasons: More and more institutions offer audits which lead to the award of seals of approval. However, Instituto Cervantes is in this field the only official institution able to mesure quality indicators with a high degree of objectivity. Its highly qualified staff specializing in carrying out independent audits permit serious and objective results. Follow-up visits allow the control of correct implementation of the recommendations given during and after these audits and guarantee a continuous improvement of our services.

Instituto Cervantes recently requested IEMA to indicate why it is an advantage to study in this accredited school ’ the following is an official statement from Instituto Cervantes: among others, this accredited school

- guarantees certain quality standards in the teaching of Spanish
- meets the legal requirements for carrying out teaching activities
- has adequate teaching resources and a
- properly qualified and trained teaching team,
- a teaching plan guaranteeing satisfactory progress
- presents publicity which reflects accurately the services offered

The Instituto Cervantes carries out periodic inspections and renews accreditation permits every two years.

To sum up, Instituto Cervantes requests IEMA to inform people interested in studying Spanish language and culture in this school about the following: "IEMA ha obtenido la acreditacion del Instituto Cervantes, lo que significa que cumple con las condiciones establecidas por el Sistema de Acreditacion de Centros ELE del Instituto Cervantes, la unica acreditacion en el ambito internacional centrada exclusivamente en la enseñanza de español como lengua extranjera."

This constitutes a guarantee of a quality service with official recognition for the students and partners of our school. We in IEMA as an accredited school and in the name of our students and clients therefore wish to give our thanks to Instituto Cervantes.

In addition, IEMA is associated with various organisations, such as ASELE, DSV and FMF, whose objective is the development and promotion of teaching Spanish as a foreign language.

IEMA collaborates with Madrid’s Chamber of Commerce (courses and exams in Business Spanish, Spanish for Tourism and Medicine) and is its official examination centre.

In 2003, IEMA became the authorized centre and co-ordinator for the Autonomous Government of Castilla y Leon.

Since 2004, IEMA has been collaborationg in a working group of the Council of Europe in order to adapt the language examinations and assessment criteria to the Common European Framework of Reference for languages.

In 2005, IEMA was awarded the ’’Premio Patrimonio Cultural’’.

In 2008, the Consejo Iberoamericano (Iberamerican Council) selected IEMA for the PREMIO IBEROAMERICANO EN HONOR A LA EXCELENCIA EDUCATIVA 2008.

The classes take place in the ancient part of Avila, in a historical, UNESCO protected twelfth century building famously known as the ’’Posada de la Estrella’’ ("The Inn of the Star"). In its time it housed many medieval personalities and today maintains this medieval ambience and character.

The building includes besides the training rooms: a spacious "Zaguan", a Castilian columned patio, lecture hall, kitchen, sitting room, library, Internet access, fireplace room, terrace / solarium / garden.

You are going to find out why students and friends of IEMA believe that being able to study here is such a privilege. A successful learning process does not only depend on the excellent and experienced teaching staff, but also on the pleasant atmosphere, which will allow you to both study and relax.
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Director – Dr. Rainer Rutkowski
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Management assistant – Rie Sugiyama
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Born in Tokyo (25 Oct. 1974), Rie recently moved to Avila, because she fell in love with this place. She came first to Avila in 1995 while she was studying in Spain. She finished her studies of Spanish Philology in Tokoha Gakuen in 1997.

She enjoys travelling and meeting people, Japanese and international cookery.
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José Luis García
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Jose Luis is our teacher boasting an experience of more than two decades.

Students of all ages and walks of life are delighted with his classes. He specializes in cultural programmes and special courses for mature adults “50+” and all things related to history and society of Spain and Latin America.
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Professor – Nuria Cabanes
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Nuria graduated from university in 2001 (Spanish Philology). Independently from her classes, now she is charged to participate within the Language Policy Division of Council of Europe (Strasbourg) to adapt language examinations to the new European standards of the Framework. She has been working for us since 2005. Her classes are very enjoyable.
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Professor – Mercedes Sánchez
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Licenciada en Filología Hispánica por la Universidad de Salamanca 2011

"He vivido siempre entre Varsovia y Ávila por ser de madre polaca y padre español, pero desde hace muchos años decidí quedarme definitivamente en Ávila, porque es una ciudad que me encanta, que siempre me ha encantado, a la que tengo mucho cariño y no la cambiaría por otra.

Me gusta mucho dar clase a alumnos jóvenes, me encanta poder enseñarles español de una manera lúdica y entretenida. Ver el interés y la diversión en sus caras es lo que más me llena de satisfacción."
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Professor Antonio Santos
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Antonio was born on 14th June 1960 and has been teaching in our school since 1990. He not only has a M.A. in Spanish Philology, but also a medical education which allows him to give our special programmes Spanish for Healthcare Services (usually in July).

Antonio has a large knowledge of general culture. You will enjoy having conversation with him and finding out lots of interesting things. Antonio considers teaching as an art. His precision during classes is the same as his great sense of humour.
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To ensure you are not lacking anything and that your stay will be as agreeable as possible we offer the following services, many of them without additional charge.

Do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything that you require not on the list or if you require additional information.
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Practical Services

Email and Internet
Dictations and Translations
Interpretation Services
Photographic Services
Tour Guides
Transfer – Madrid Airport – Ávila
Being met at the train or bus station and transfer to host families
Car Rental
Bicycle Rental
Nanny Services
Language Exchanges
Laundry Services
IEMA Discount Card
Maps of the City
Tourist Information

Accommodation Services (practical programme of cultural immersion)

Hotel Reservation

Home Stay Accommodation (practical programme of cultural immersion)

Accommodation in the house of your teacher


Video Store
Audiovisual Equipment
Satellite TV
Lounge with fireplace
Columned Patio
Conference Room

Home Stay Accommodation

Your home stay is the practical part of your cultural immersion programme in Spain. A "host family" is nothing but your teacher for getting acquainted with Spanish life and customs.

The families and homes in which you would be placed (they can be a family with or without children, or a single person interested in contact with foreigners etc.) have been selected after a rigorous programme of analysis and evaluation and have proved that they meet fundamental requirements.

We maintain regular contact with the selected homes to analyse results and give suggestions, always based on the comments and opinions of our students.

The practical programme of cultural immersion in a Spanish Home is the best option if you want to:

get to know Spanish customs first hand
try typical Spanish meals
learn how to adapt to a different life style and accept a slight lack of some of your normal comforts - for example your room could be smaller than in your house and the preparation of food will be different
practice Spanish and, if you are an open person, communicate

Please contact us if you need any information about your room equipment, services and other details about your host family.