Learning Spanish On The Cheap
If, like me, you're heading to Argentina and you're serious about integrating into soceity, learning Spanish is going to be a priority. If you've been reading this blog since the beginning, you'll know that there are plenty of language schools in Buenos Aires. You can read my previous post on this issue if you want to learn more about them.
If, like me, you're busy and don't have time to take group classes, this could be a pretty large on-going expense. With the influx of foreigners into Argentina, language schools have raised prices and the going rate for private lessons is about $15-20 USD per hour. If you're like me and plan on doing 8 hours a week for the long-term, this is going to add-up quick. At $17.50, the price would be $560 USD per month.
You might be thinking I shouldn't be complaining about $500-odd dollars a month, but the businessman inside won't let me sit idle when I could cut costs.
Money Saving Idea For Group of 5-10 Expats
For $560 USD in Argentina, I could probably hire my own full-time Spanish teacher. The thing is... I don't need 40 hours a week of Spanish instruction. Scratch that... I probably do need it, but I'm not going to use it. I want to learn Spanish, but I want to have a life also. The thing is, I'm willing to bet there are 5 or 6 other expats out there who would like to improve their Spanish as well and would want 4-10 hours a week of private instruction.
Suppose 5-10 of us who were interested formed a pool. The pool could hire a Spanish instructor for, say, $500 or $600 USD / month. For the sake of example, let's say $600 since we'll be making this poor teacher travel all over town to each of our houses or offices. For $600 a month, we're buying 40 hours of instruction per week or 160 hours per month. Of course, we'd have to work the schedules out between everyone in the pool, but I'm certain that's something that could be accomplished.
By doing this, the group of us would cut our hourly cost from $17.50 USD to $3.75. That $560 monthly expense for 8 hours a week of instruction has just now dropped to $120 per month, a savings of $5280 per year.
Contact Me If You're Interested
As always, contact me if you're interested in something like this. We'd need a "group contract" or some other set of rules that everyone agreed to so that no one took advantage. We'd need to specify what happens when someone needs to go on vacation, cancel a lesson, or wants to leave the pool. Everyone would also probably have to pay a certain amount up-front. We don't want someone coming in the pool and then backing out after 1 week. There'd be a certain amount of logistics to work out, but that's not something that can't be dealt with.
I'd be happy to have my HR department to conduct the search, but we'd want to give everyone in the pool an opportunity to interview the candidates. This teacher would be teaching all of us, so we'd want to all be comfortable with the person we end up hiring.