Boarding facilities are not provided. ASM requires copies of a prospective student's academic record from the past 3 school years and reports of recent standardized test scores. Once these are received by the school, the final application process can begin. For further information, contact the Office of Admissions, American School of Madrid international telephone , fax Many neighborhood nursery schools are available, including a number of British schools.
The International Primary School offers a curriculum based on American and British study programs for children from nursery school through grade 6. Madrid also has a Montessori school and educational opportunities for children with learning disabilities. There are also German, French, and Italian schools in Madrid.
Spanish elementary and secondary education is directed by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. Under the educational reform law of , a more flexible system theoretically gives each student the right to advance according to ability.
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Primary school, called Educacion General Basica, is obligatory and consists of 8 years of schooling from ages 6 to High school, Bachillerato, is 3 years of schooling from 14 to 16 years of age. Those students desiring a technical education go directly from Educacion General Basica to technical schools.
For students going on to universities, 1 year of pre-university education Curso de Orientacion Universitaria is required.
Public primary and secondary schools are few; many parents send their children to private schools. A number of Catholic religious orders run private schools in Madrid. Both public and private school instruction is in Spanish; American students who are not fully fluent in Spanish may experience difficulties.
To make the most of a stay in Spain, knowledge of Spanish is essential.
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Good private tutoring and language schools are available. English-language courses in Spanish history and art are available. Most Spanish universities offer Spanish-language summer courses for foreigners in Spanish language , history, literature, and culture. The Complutense University of Madrid offers such courses all year long. Tuition costs are reasonable.
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Madrid and its suburbs offer limited opportunities for sports comparable to those of other major cities. Golf, tennis, swimming, shooting, horseback riding, and skiing are available, mostly in private clubs. A number of clubs provide tennis, squash, golf, and swimming. Most are expensive by U. The most exclusive club is the Real Club Puerta de Hierro, which has a hole golf course, tennis courts, a swimming pool, riding stables, and a polo field. The attractive clubhouse offers bar and dining service, a large club room, and some living quarters. The club is accessible only by car. This club also sponsors the Real Madrid soccer team.
Monthly dues and hourly rates are substantial.
Memberships are individual; family members must pay guest rates. A small shooting club, the Sociedad Tiro de Pichon, is close to Madrid and is popular with skeet and target shooting enthusiasts. Fees are prohibitive. The most popular Spanish spectator sports are basketball and soccer. Bullfighting is considered more art and culture than pure sport but is extremely popular throughout Spain. Other spectator sports worthy of note are motor sports and cycling, horse racing , and jai alai , a game held to be Basque in origin.
Running is a sport with a growing number of Spanish enthusiasts, although Madrid's chronic traffic and parking problems do not lend themselves to recreational jogging along city streets. The club provides service to members of the U. AAA without payment of additional fees. RACE fees are nominal. From Madrid there are numerous historic and picturesque towns and villages to visit that make interesting weekend or day trips.
Spain also offers Paradors, a chain of state-owned hotels, many housed in historic monasteries, castles, and other enticing settings. A number of locations on the city's outskirts offer riding. The mountains north of Madrid offer mountain climbing and hiking. Several Spanish clubs organize climbs and maintain mountain huts.
Serious climbers should bring equipment.
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Excellent facilities can be found for fishing trout, salmon, black bass, and great northern pike and hunting partridge, duck, hare, wild boar, deer, rabbit, and mountain goat. The Spanish fish with wet flies much more than dry and also use spoons and spinners. Suitable equipment can be obtained locally. Nylon filament fly lines are available locally, but bring tapered line from the U.
European reels are less expensive than in the U. Most shotguns on the local market are double barreled, either side by side or over and under.
Good-quality Spanish shotguns are inexpensive. Excellent quality shotguns made by world-famous Spanish gunsmiths are sold but are not available at bargain prices. Inexpensive bus and train service is available in season to ski areas in the Guadarrama mountains north of Madrid about an hour's drive. Other excellent ski resorts can be found in Aragon, the Pyrenees , and the Sierra Nevada chain in the south. Ski equipment can be rented at most Spanish resorts, but quality varies.
Ski equipment, boots, and clothing can be bought in Madrid, but all good-quality equipment and clothing are imported and expensive. Madrid movie houses show Spanish, American, and other foreign films. While the majority of foreign films are dubbed with a Spanish soundtrack, many are also shown in the original language, or "version original. Madrid has a lively theater scene.
volunteerparks.org/wp-content/kuferace/1797.php Productions of the Madrid theaters are quite good, and Spanish literature aficionados will discover a constant reviving and staging of the classics. During the season, there are several subscription concert series in Madrid's new concert hall complex, including weekly concerts by the National Symphony Orchestra of Spain. Several chamber music groups give concerts during the winter and spring season.
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The opera season is January through July. Season tickets to the opera are so scarce that, in recent years, they have been distributed through a lottery.
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Despite the scarcity of tickets and the enormous popularity of opera, the most expensive tickets for individual performances are often available at the box office just before performance time. Madrid is a frequent stop on the tour itineraries of most well-known international performing arts groups, and the calendar is filled throughout the year, especially during the summer and during Madrid's Autumn Festival.
Restaurants are plentiful and varied in every price range. Historical sights and museums provide almost endless diversion. The world-famous Prado Museum is considered one of the finest painting galleries in the world and features works by the best Spanish painters as well as by artists of the most important foreign schools, particularly Italian and Flemish, from the 14th to 19th centuries. The renowned Thyssen-Bornemisza collection of art is now housed in the restored Villahermosa Palace near the Prado. This formerly private collection, now the property of Spain, contains masterpieces from years of Western art, including one of Europe's best sampling of American painting of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Nearby is the Reina Sofia Museum of Contemporary Art, which houses a permanent collection of Spain's modern masters, including Picasso's famous work "Guernica. Madrid and the surrounding cities make excellent subjects for photographers. Holy Week processions are held in many Spanish towns, but those in Seville are noted for their color, brilliance, and religious enthusiasm. The Spring Fair in Seville in April has festivities that last almost a week.
During this period, however, Seville is very crowded, and lodgings are expensive and hard to find. One of Spain's most popular fiestas is held in Valencia, March Large allegorical wood and papier-mache sculptures known as "fallas" are built in the streets. Prizes are awarded to those judged best.
At the end of the fair, on the night of March 19, the sculptures are burned in huge bonfires to the accompaniment of spectacular fireworks. It is here that young men run through the streets chased by fighting bulls. Madrid has a number of "verbenas" carnivals held in the open in specially designated locations. The feast of St. Each carnival is devoted to a different saint and district. The festivals are popular with Spaniards and provide interesting entertainment. Local fairs take place in many towns on special feast days, and most include dances and bull fights.