Partnership with ATU-EIBUR, a corporation focused on consulting services, training and education led to the establishment of the HIEU Spanish Center (Centro Sino Español) in October 2010. The Center for Spanish Language Training and Cultural Exchange provides optional Spanish courses ranging from basic to advanced levels, as well as DELE testing, to HIEU students and the public. It also supports the new full-time Spanish program at the Foreign School in September 2012 by leveraging on the Laureate network's rich resources in Spanish teaching, which span 30 institutions in eight countries.
Almost 400 HIEU students from different schools have taken the optional Spanish courses to learn a second language (apart from English). These students have benefitted significantly by learning a new language and exposure to a different culture, both of which will ultimately improve their employability in Hunan, where many Spanish-speaking countries have established their presence. Many large Chinese corporations such as Zoomlion , SANY and Broad Group are also developing businesses in South America. In the High Technology Zone, where HIEU is located, a Spanish industry park is already on the local government's agenda.
The Center is now in the process of becoming the official Cervantes Center, the Spanish Language and Cultural Center endorsed by the Government of Spain (currently, there is only one official center--in Beijing--that is operated directly by and owned by the Cervantes Institute). Centro Sino Español seeks to conduct the DELE exams (Official exam of Spanish as a Foreign Language) and become the fourth DELE test center in China.
What people from the Center have said:
“We started with four elective classes and currently, one year later, we have twelve. The students' interest in the Spanish language and culture has increased considerably and has experienced continuous growth in terms of demand and quality.”
“Elective classes are held every day of the week, and each semester we start with the Beginners level. Classes have a maximum of 32 students, and every student, no matter what major he or she is enrolled in, is welcome to attend the class. ”
“We currently offer three levels in our training courses: Beginners A1, Beginners A2 and Intermediate B1. In these classes, the number of students per class is limited to 15 and there is always a native speaker for teacher with the support of a Chinese assistant. By taking this course, students are taught according to their own needs and demands, so not only do they learn Spanish in a very effective way but they also develop a love for Spanish culture.”
In Centro Sino Español we not only offer high-quality Spanish language education, but also want our students to experience Spanish culture. Events such as a Spanish Party last semester were organized to provide basic tips on flamenco dancing and food preparation.
The Spanish Consul in Guangzhou, Sr. Cárlos César Morales, who is from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations with Asia, has given his support to help HIEU become an official Cervantes Center. He has visited HIEU and remarked on the importance of the project during a meeting with members of the Hunan Government.
Juan Manuel Ortega Díaz-Ambrona, the head of the Spanish Economics and Trade Department in Guangzhou, supports Chinese-Spanish relations through education. In his visit to HIEU, he emphasized the importance of the Cervantes Center to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Jaume París comes from Barcelona, Spain. He has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish as well as a master's degree in Spanish philology and literature. Additionally, he has studied law at the University of Barcelona. He has many years of experience teaching Spanish in Spain and in China (Guangzhou), and has participated in several Spanish-Sino business projects. Currently, he is the dean of studies at Centro Sino Español.
Borja Vazquez, also from Barcelona has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish classical language and literature. Apart from experience teaching Spanish as a foreign language in Spain and abroad, he has a diploma in teaching Spanish as a foreign language from Instituto Cervantes of Dublin (Ireland). Teaching is his passion, and he is deeply interested in learning about Chinese language and culture. Currently, he teaches at Centro Sino Español.