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San Miguel has several schools for learning Spanish. If you're wishing to take classes, shop around before you travel to San Miguel to find one that's a good fit for you. These schools cater to travelers and often can provide a list of apartments for long-term stays.

Instituto Allende, Calle Ancha de San Antonio 20, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto. (tel. 415/152-0190; www.instituto-allende.edu.mx), began in 1950 as a fine-arts school and later added Spanish courses. The main focus is still on the arts, with different classes and workshops offered throughout the year. Spanish students have the option of group and individual classes, short and long term. The school's credits are transferable to many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada; noncredit students are also welcome.

LanguagePoint, 20 de Enero Sur 42, 37750 San Miguel de Allende, Gto. (tel. 415/152-4115; www.languagepoint.org), offers instruction and immersion at all levels of competency. With a maximum of three students per instructor, students get a lot of individual attention, and the teaching method leans heavily toward conversation. Emphasis at the basic level is on gaining a working knowledge of everyday Spanish as a basis for further development of language skills.

Warren Hardy Spanish, San Rafael 6, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto. (tel. 415/154-4017; www.warrenhardy.com), is a popular school for those who know little Spanish. Emphasis is on the spoken language, with special focus on the use of verbs. Mr. Hardy has taught Spanish for many years and has designed his own methodology for teaching it, which involves partnering students and using a lot of flashcards. It's best to contact the school through its website. Mr. Hardy's wife, Tuli, answers questions and handles registration.

Academia Hispano Americana, Mesones 4, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto. (tel. 415/152-0349; www.ahaspeakspanish.com), has a reputation for offering an intensive language course taught by professional instructors. The focus is on developing communications skills as the foundation for acquiring fluency. Classes are limited to 12 people and usually run much smaller than that. The school has a continuous program of study of 12 4-week sessions for 35 hours a week. Less intensive courses and private lessons are also available.

Habla Hispana, Calzada de la Luz 25, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto. (tel. 451/152-0713; www.mexicospanish.com), is a small school with four experienced and dedicated instructors, all locals. Classes are arranged in 4-week courses. Class size is limited to 10 students. The school likes to combine a personal touch with a clearly structured teaching program.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.