Interview mit der Direktorin María del Mar Peñalver

Melkart, die Schule von Freunden, existiert seit 1995. Ich habe die Schule 1995 zusammen mit meinem Ehemann José Manuel Torres, meiner Schwester Pepi Peñalver und ihrem Ehemann Manuel Barro gegründet. Die Begeisterung, mit der unsere Familie die spanische Sprache und Kultur an Aussenstehende vermittelt, war der Hauptgrund für die Gründung einer Sprachschule.

Die Schule befindet sich in der Altstadt von Cádiz, in der Calle General Menacho 7, zwischen der Plaza de Mina und der Promenade La Alameda mit Blick auf die Bucht von Cádiz. Melkart ist der phönizische Name von Herkules, dem mythologischen Gründer der Stadt. Die Schule ist ein für Cádiz typisches Gebäude mit einer Dachterrasse und drei Stockwerken, erbaut im Jahr 1865. Im Erdgeschoss befindet sich ein Innenhof mit andalusischen Wandfliesen, das Büro und ein Mehrzweckraum (Bibliothek, Aufenthaltsraum und Computerraum). Auf der ersten Etage befnden sich drei Unterrichtsräume sowie das Lehrerzimmer. Auf der zweiten Etage gibt es vier Unterrichtsräume und auf der dritten Etage befindet sich ein weiterer Unterrichtsraum und die Dachterrasse, auf der sich unsere Schüler treffen, sonnen und entspannen können.

Interview in englisch

Q. From your perspective, Mrs. Peñalver, what is a good reason to study at MELKART?

From experience, I could say that the best reason to study at Melkart is the combination of quality teaching, a friendly treatment to our students, our extensive extra curricular activities program and Cádiz itself, surrounded by the ocean. Teachers and staff  are always willing to help and motivate you.  Our extra curricular activities enable students to enjoy learning. These include: BBQ´s on the beach, excursions, flamenco, lectures, concerts and exchange programmes. Many students come back or recommend our school to their friends, relatives, colleagues... Fridays I hear the students saying: “ I’ll be back”. After that we get fully satisfied.

Q. Where do the majority of your students come from?

Most of the students are coming from European countries: Germany, France, England, Italy, Sweden... but we also receive students from other nationalities like Japanese, Australian or American. During the summer the nationalities are diversified.

Q. When is it the best time or season for students to attend your language school?

I would say all year around, because each student looks for something different.

If you want to spend your Summer holidays learning Spanish and enjoying beaches, sun and water sports you should come between June and September. During these months we receive more students. For this reason I would recommend you to come in another time, when you still could enjoy beaches but also the mountains (white villages route) and the school is more quiet. Futhermore, you could know Andalusian folklore and its festivities like Carnival (February), Semana Santa (March/April) , Ferias (from April) and theater, cinema and flamenco festivals as well as sailing, surf, windsurf championships.

Q. Could you tell us briefly about the philosophy behind your school? What makes your school different?

Our philosophy is based on quality: 

  • Quality teaching method: after many years of experience we have developed our own didactic materials
  • Quality teachers: enthusiastic and motivated as well as experienced and with a good training
  • Quality treatment: you will find a warm environment where you can ask for help anytime
  • Quality accommodation: where you feel at home
  • Quality activities: a wide range, having fun is also important on your language holidays

And the most important: “human quality”, which makes our school different.

Q. What other factors should be considered when choosing a school to study Spanish/English/French/Italian?

Besides what I’ve mentioned above, I think what the students wish for when they are looking for a school is “authenticity” and Cádiz is a very “authentic” city. Far away from mass tourism, Cádiz keeps its customs and traditions up and its people remain welcoming and friendly. That’s why it is easier for the students to integrate in the city and get in touch with the locals.