CIAM, Centro Internacional Antonio Machado, is an academic and cultural institution which aims at promoting the teaching of the Spanish language and culture from a humanistic perspective, taking into account social and affective factors.
In 2013, three people who wanted to create a new project left their occupations and joined to found CIAM: former director of Duques de Soria Foundation José María García; professor and writer J.A. González Sainz, who has been awarded with prizes such as Herralde de Novela or Letras de Castilla y León; and the teacher of Spanish as a foreign language Graziella Fantini, PhD in Ibero-American studies.
CIAM thus combined the experience of teaching the Spanish language and culture at international universities and the contribution of the Duques de Soria Foundation (FDS in Spanish). Since 1989, this Foundation has worked in cultural management and has supported Hispanism through the organization of courses and seminars related to the study and promotion of the Spanish language and culture. It has collaborated with some of the most prominent academic and research institutions in our country: the Royal Spanish Academy, the Instituto Cervantes, the International Association of Hispanists, the University of Salamanca, the University of Valladolid, and the Complutense University of Madrid.
True humanistic vocation and experience, together with a genuine desire to create a new project, laid the foundations of our center, which has grown exponentially since it was created.
We chose the name Centro Internacional Antonio Machado as a tribute to Antonio Machado, one of the most important authors of 20th century Spanish literature. He was a guide as a poet and humanist, and his legacy goes beyond literature and is almost a philosophy of life. Machado's work has been very influential in the work of our cultural director and founder of the center, J.A. González Sainz.
OUR PROGRAMS AND COURSES
We want CIAM to enrich our students and community both academically and personally. To this end we have developed an assortment of programs, Spanish courses, cultural seminars, and training courses for teachers and literary translators.
Our specialty is the organization of cultural, social and linguistic stays and immersion experiences for university and high school students.
Our Spanish language and culture programs combine indoor and outdoor training. In the regular classroom we work on linguistic and cultural skills, and in the outdoor classroom, which is our yard and natural places in Soria, we focus on the development of personal and social skills.
With our program “Spanish in the community and volunteering”, our students participate in service learning activities, volunteering and professional internships that allow them to develop both hard and soft skills, which will be very valuable in their lives.
WE LOVE WHAT WE DO
We want to promote the teaching of the Spanish language and culture as a tool for personal, professional, social and emotional enrichment.
We combine academic and emotional factors. We are committed to ensure the pedagogical and cultural strength of our project, but also to build personal and collaborative ties and relationships. We aim to help our teachers and students become part of the same community.
We firmly believe that Spanish is an essential element of humanistic education. That is why our courses are mainly based on cultural aspects and emotional education. We advocate the integration of nature in the teaching and learning processes as well as the development of emotional intelligence.
Our main goal is to contribute to enriching the linguistic and cultural education of our students, which will provide them with tools to solve current social and cultural challenges.
OUR STUDENTS ARE THE PROTAGONISTS
Our courses are tailor-made, both for groups of international educational institutions and universities, and for students who come to the center individually. We aim at enabling immersion in the Spanish language and culture with an approach that is adapted to our students’ specific ways of living and understanding the world.
Our students receive personalized attention from a team of people who are fluent in several languages and have a wealth of experience in Spanish teaching contexts. This enables effective communication with our students, who feel confident to ask questions, make suggestions and express their wishes.
Every year CIAM welcomes around 300 students, who come mainly between April and October. We have had students from very different countries, including the United States, Italy, Egypt, China, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Turkey, Morocco, India and England.
SPANISH WITHIN A UNIQUE ENVIRONMENT: ART AND NATURE
Our facilities are unique. They represent us and the foundations of our pedagogical project: Spanish, culture and nature. Our center is located in the center of the city of Soria, just five minutes away from the Plaza Mayor, in a historic building from the 16th century: the magnificent Convento de la Merced. It has served as the headquarters of the Duques de Soria Foundation and the Permanent Observatory of Hispanismo, two projects with which CIAM is linked. This place will welcome you, make you feel safe and win your heart, just as it won ours and those of some renowned Spanish writers. The playwright Tirso de Molina lived here, and the poet Antonio Machado refers to this building in one of his most famous poems.
The Convento de la Merced has a large yard with garden, which becomes the privileged setting for the outdoor sessions we hold when the weather allows them. Besides these outdoor sessions, we also have the opportunity to carry out activities in the nature, since Soria is the green city of Castile and Leon par excellence and it is the city with the largest green area per capita in the region. Less than ten minutes away from our center we can reach the beautiful Ribera del Duero, rent a kayak or take a walk to the Ermita de San Saturio.
The center has:
Seven large classrooms
A lecture hall for conferences
A room to have a coffee and take a break between classes
An audiovisual room
A multimedia room with computers
A yard to relax
Wi-Fi throughout the building
A student dormitory in the same complex
CIAM is open all year, from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., except national and local holidays, and the Christmas holidays.