DELE Exam 2024 – The Ultimate Guide

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The DELE Exam Is an Official and International Proof of Your Spanish Knowledge

¿Hablas español? Nowadays, it is often necessary to express yourself in a foreign language.

Being able to prove your language skills is just as important.

We would like to help you get your DELE certificate and clarify any queries you may have. Therefore, we gathered all the necessary information about the DELE exam 2024: its levels, available dates and prices, preparation courses and much more.

DELE Exam: What Is It?

The Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera (DELE) are official Spanish language proficiency diplomas, organized by the Instituto Cervantes and granted by the Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional de España.

First of all, what does DELE mean?

DELE stands for Diplomas de Español Como Lengua Extranjera (Diplomas of Spanish as Foreign Language). It’s a worldwide recognized certification for Spanish proficiency.

Since 2015 anyone can take the DELE regardless of their nationality or origin. Overall, it consists of four sections – reading, writing, listening and speaking. And you can take it in six different Spanish proficiency levels. That’s where it differs from other certificates.

To take the DELE exam you have to choose a level and take four sections. If your score is “APTO”, you will receive a diploma of indefinite validity.

But why should you go through all that trouble anyway? Let us tell you.

What Is the Instituto Cervantes?

Instituto Cervantes is a Spanish public organization named after the famous Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes and set up in 1991 by the Spanish government to promote the teaching and study of the Spanish language and culture.

Whenever you read about the DELE exam, you stumble across the Instituto Cervantes.

What is it though? Well, have you ever heard about Don Quixote?

He’s the protagonist in one of the most famous Spanish novels written by Miguel de Cervantes. The story recounts the adventures of “The Ingenious Nobleman Mister Don Quixote of La Mancha” on his journey to bring justice to the world.

Yes, that guy who mistook windmills for giants and ended up attacking them.

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By Alena Grebneva (Own work; CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Anyway, the Instituto Cervantes is named after the author of this Spanish classic. That makes sense if you think about the fact that its main responsibility is to promote the Spanish language and culture around the world. It’s organizing Spanish courses, and cultural activities and educates teachers on their newest methods and curricula.

Along with that, the Instituto Cervantes grants the DELE certificate on behalf of the Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional de España. It creates and evaluates the exam in cooperation with the University of Salamanca.

Why Take the DELE Exam?

The main reasons for taking the DELE exam are:

  1. It’s highly regarded by employers and universities.
  2. It’s internationally recognized.
  3. It’s a requirement for some university studies.
  4. It’s valid for a lifetime.

With the DELE, you will be able to gain access to the professional and academic worlds. It’s definitely a plus if you intend to work in a Spanish-speaking country, and it’s an asset that can increase your income. The certificate can be required in some organizations and universities for enrollment.

On top, it’s valid indefinitely or to put it in other words:

Once you get the DELE diploma you will have a qualification to prove your Spanish skills for the rest of your life.

Maybe you’ve already been studying Spanish for a while and want to have an official document proving your skills?

Or are you planning a gap year in a Hispanic country and want to make the best of it?

Whatever it is for you. It’s time to register for the DELE exam!

How to Register for the DELE Exam?

Preparing for the exam itself is already challenging, which is why we have gathered answers to all the administrative questions.

Since November 2015, there are no restrictions on nationality, which means that even native Spanish speakers can take the exam.

You must be 16 or older to register. If you are underage, it must be handled by your parents.

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Each participant must create an account at the Instituto Cervantes website in order to register for an exam, check availability, and later get their results

*Check this video on how to create a new account on the website.

Instituto Cervantes is taking its mission of teaching Spanish seriously. Their entire site and registration process are currently only available in Spanish.

*You can check this video with step-by-step registration, however, if you don’t speak Spanish see our instructions below.

For a beginner who wants to pass the A2 DELE Diploma, these steps may seem quite confusing. Therefore, we broke them down for you.

How to Register for the DELE Exam – Step by Step Guide

Make sure to enroll within the period of registration and to write down your account details. You’ll need them to get your results afterwards!

Head to the registration page of the Instituto Cervantes and follow the instructions below.

1. Create a New Account and fill out the obligatory fields, which are:
Correo electrónico – email address
Nombre – name
Apellidos – surname/s
Tipo de documento – type of the ID
Documento identificativo – ID’s number
Tratamiento – title
Género – gender
Fecha de nacimiento (dd/mm/aaaa) – birthdate
Ciudad de nacimiento – birthplace
País o territorio de nacimiento – birth country or territory
Nacionalidad – nationality
Lengua materna – mother tongue
Teléfono móvil – mobile number

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2. When you fill everything out click on Crear nueva cuenta (Create new account).

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3. Confirmation Mail: If everything works, you’ll receive a confirmation email.

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4. Confirm Email Address: Open the email in your inbox and click on the first link.

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5. Start your Session: Click on “Iniciar sesión” (Login). Be aware that this works only one time.

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6. Create your Password: Create a secure password and save it.

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7. Sign Up for a New Test: Go to “Mis inscripciones” (Enrollments) and click on “Nueva inscripción” (New enrollment).

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8. To take your test at FU International Academy, select:
País o territorio – Country or territoryEspaña
Región – RegionCanarias
Provincia – ProvinceSanta Cruz de Tenerife
Convocatoria – DateDELE – month year
Examen – ExamDELE A2/B1/B2/C1/C2

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9. Click Buscar (Search)

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10. And check Availability and Register: Take a look which exams are available and choose the right one by clicking on “Inscribirse”.

Where to Take the DELE Exam?

You can check out the dates and locations before signing up online.

Besides Spain, you can participate in the exam in over 100 countries. Take a look at the more than 1000 examination centers and their available dates.

Here at FU International Academy Tenerife, you can register for the DELE exam levels A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 for the following dates within their enrollment periods.

When to Take the DELE Exam in 2024?

DELE Exam Dates

Follow the links to sign up for the DELE Exam at our exam center.

Exam DatesLevelsEnd of Enrollment
February 16th 2024A2until January 10th, 2024
April 12th 2024A1, A2, B1, B2, C1until February 21st, 2024
May 18th 2024A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2until April 3rd, 2024
July 12th 2024A2, B1, B2, C1until May 15th, 2024
September 13th 2024A2until July 17th, 2024
October 18th 2024A2, B1, B2until September 4th, 2024
November 23rd 2024A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2until October 9th, 2024

It’s important that you check the dates of the exams with your local holidays to make sure in which exams you want to participate.

How Much Does the DELE Exam Cost in Spain?

DELE Exam for Adults

LevelPrices 2024 in Spain

DELE Exam for Teenagers up to 17 years old

LevelPrices 2024 in Spain

DELE exam prices vary by country and examination center.

Probably the most important question of all is: which level should you take the DELE exam at?

Which DELE Exam Should I Take?

The DELE exam can be taken in different levels, from A1 to C2. If you don’t know your level, you can use the resources of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or the level test of the Instituto Cervantes to self-assess your level.

The different levels of the DELE diploma are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It establishes common criteria for language teaching in Europe. The most basic level is A1 and leads all the way up to C2 which is close to native proficiency.

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Let us guess: You still find it hard to pinpoint the exact level you currently are at?

Don’t worry, help is on the way.

  1. First, take a look at the CEFR self-assessment grid. It puts all level descriptions side by side.
  2. Check out the entire sheet to get a quick overview. 
  3. Another solution is to quiz yourself and take the Spanish level test by the Instituto Cervantes.
  4. If this test is not enough, on our website we have a placement test and a level exam that you can complete, and also get a certificate in the end 😉

Okay, let’s assume, you were able to decide which level you want to take the test in.

So far so good. If you are not familiar with the terminology, the CEFR descriptions can be difficult to understand. How are you going to know exactly what to study if you want to pass a certain level?

To give you more specific info, we also have something up our sleeves. Just take a look at this overview of all the items and topics officially on your “to-learn list”. It’s the curriculum issued by the Instituto Cervantes. Divided by levels (A1-A2, B1-B2), C1-C2, it details, for example, the grammar associated with each level.

Yes, it looks intimidating. Still, it might help you to gauge the status quo of your Spanish skills and which lessons you have to refresh.

Next up: the preparation. How can you get yourself ready for the exam?

How to Prepare for DELE Exam?

A first step in preparing for the DELE exam is selecting which level you wish to take (from A1 to C2). For each level of the test, the Instituto Cervantes publishes sample exams and past examinations. Self-study or participation in specialized DELE preparation courses are both effective methods of preparation.

DELE A1 Basic Info

Once you hold the A1 certificate in your hands, you made the first step on your journey to learn the Spanish language. With this level, you’ll be able to…

  • use common day-to-day expressions to communicate basic things.
  • ask somebody basic personal questions.
  • interact in a basic fashion with natives, given that they talk slowly and clearly.

As in every level, you first have to prove these skills in four different sections. If you can confirm that the following statements apply to you, you’re ready for the DELE A1 exam.

1) Reading Comprehension
“I understand common words and names as well as easy sentences like,
for example, street signs or catalogues.”

2) Listening Comprehension
“If they are spoken slowly and clearly, I recognise basic words and expressions that are used daily and in contexts familiar to me.”

3) Written Expression and Interaction
“I’m able to write short postcards, for example with birthday wishes. Also, I can fill in forms with my basic personal details.”

4) Oral Expression and Interaction
“I use easy expressions and sentences to describe where I live and the people who I know.
I can join easy conversations if the other person is ready to repeat and helps me out.
I answer easy questions about day-to-day matters. ”

The total exam takes around 2 hours and breaks down into the following sections.

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DELE A2 Basic Info

The next stage is to finish your A levels. With the A2 diploma, you’ll be able to…

  • understand and use daily expressions around information relevant to your surroundings. This can be personal information, going shopping or interesting locations.
  • address questions with reference to your immediate needs.

The learning goals of the four different categories of the DELE A2 exam are the following.

1) Reading Comprehension
“I’m capable of reading and understanding short and easy texts. These could be ads, menus, schedules or postcards. From those, I can single out basic pieces of information.”

2) Listening Comprehension
“I understand sentences and vocabulary about daily topics and my personal interests. I’ll grasp the main idea of simple, short and clear messages and notifications.”

3) Written Expression and Interaction
“I can write basic notes and messages that relate to my immediate needs. Also, I could compose a postcard, for example, to thank someone.”

4) Oral Expression and Interaction
“I can communicate in a simple fashion about daily matters and activities. While it’s hard for me to keep it going just by myself, I’m already able to have a short social conversation.”

The exam lasts around 3 hours and is structured like this.

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DELE B1 Basic Info

The B1 test is also dubbed the Threshold level. Once you pass it, you can…

  • understand the main topics when listening to or reading texts. They will be about familiar topics like studies, work or daily life and may have some slight variations in the language.
  • be able to handle the majority of situations that take place in these familiar contexts.
  • write simple but coherent texts on familiar topics like experiences, plans, wishes or opinions.

You can join the DELE B1 exam in good conscience if the following statements apply to you:

1) Reading Comprehension
“I understand texts written in a day-to-day language. I grasp the description of events, feelings, and wishes in personal letters.”

2) Listening Comprehension
“I understand the principle ideas of a discourse or radio/TV programmes given that it’s clear and talking about day-to-day matters like work, school or free time.”

3) Written Expression and Interaction
“I’m able to write easy and well-connected texts about familiar topics and personal interests. I also can write personal letters describing my experiences and impressions.”

4) Oral Expression and Interaction
“I’m able to handle almost all situations when traveling to a Spanish-speaking country. I could spontaneously take part in a conversation about familiar and daily topics. I know how to connect basic sentences to tell a story or experience. I also could recount the story of a book or a movie.”

For the B1 exam, you need to calculate around 3.5 hours. Take a look at the structure.

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DELE B2 Basic Info

You’re more than halfway to understanding every Spanish native. Way to go!

Now it’s time to complete the DELE B2 Exam. With this diploma, you’ll have a good basis to apply to jobs or universities in Spanish-speaking countries since you’re able to…

  • understand complex written and spoken texts even when they are abstract or technical. You can also grasp different variations of the Spanish language.
  • interact with all types of Spanish speakers in a fluent and natural way without hesitation.
  • write clear and detailed texts on several topics and defend your opinion.

According to the CEFR framework, you should go for this test if you can confirm the following statements about yourself.

1) Reading Comprehension
“I’m capable of understanding articles on current issues as well as contemporary literature.”

2) Listening Comprehension
“For familiar topics, I understand external speeches or conferences including complex chains of thought. I’m able to follow TV news and understand most movies in standard Spanish.”

3) Written Expression and Interaction
“I write detailed and clear texts about a variety of topics and can elaborate on a specific point of view. I’m able to write letters that show the significance of events and experiences.”

4) Oral Expression and Interaction
“I’m able to have a fluent and spontaneous conversation with natives. Also, I can elaborate and defend my point of view in debates. My descriptions of topics are clear, detailed and reflect the pros and cons of different points of view.”

It’s getting longer and longer. To complete the B2 exam, you have to prepare for around 4 hours.

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DELE C1 Basic Info

Now it’s getting professional. You’re closing the gap on the Spanish natives of the world.

Just check it out. With a C1 levelyou can…

  • process a wide variety of written and spoken text in every variation of the Spanish language. This also includes implicit meanings, attitudes, and intentions.
  • express yourself fluently, spontaneously and without any apparent effort.
  • always find an adequate expression of every situation and context.
  • write complex texts with a flexible and efficient use of Spanish and a coherent structure.

Do the following statements still sound reasonable and fitting to you? Way to go!

1) Reading Comprehension and Use of Spanish
“I can read long and complex texts with different literary styles as well as technical instructions. That holds true even if they are from a field unfamiliar to me.”

2) Listening Comprehension and Use of Spanish
“I understand long speeches even if they are not clear and only implicitly hint the main relations.
I understand TV shows and movies without effort.”

3) Listening Comprehension and Written Expression and Interaction
“I’m able to write clearly and detailed about a wide series of topics. These can be informative reports or those conveying a certain point of view. In my letters, I make clear how important some events and experiences were to me.”

4) Reading Comprehension and Oral Expression and Interaction
“In social and professional contexts alike, I’m expressing myself fluently, spontaneously and without looking for the right expressions. I can relate my statements skillfully to those of others, develop ideas and make a fitting conclusion.”

The approximate length is 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Okay, in addition to a great proficiency in Spanish, you also have to start thinking about training your endurance to pass that test. Here comes the structure:

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DELE C2 Basic Info

Last but not least. Do you want to prove to everybody that your Spanish skills are nothing short of the natives? Once you reach the C2 level of mastery, you can…

  • handle any situation and understand everything, written or spoken. It doesn’t matter how complex, abstract, unfamiliar or expressed in different variations of Spanish it is.
  • express yourself spontaneously, fluently and with exceptional semantical and grammatical precision. You do so in every context, be it academic or professional.

Can you proudly confirm these statements for yourself? Then go for the final challenge!

1) Use of Spanish, reading and listening comprehension:
“I can read any written text with ease, even when they are abstract and complex matters, such as manuals or literary works.”

2) Reading and listening comprehension and written expression and interaction:
“I have no difficulty understanding any type of spoken language, even if they are produced at native speaker speed, as long as I have time to familiarize myself with the accent.” “I am able to read with ease virtually all forms of written language, including abstract structurally or linguistically complex texts, such as, for example, manuals, specialized articles, and literary works.”

3) Reading comprehension and oral expression and interaction:
“I am able to join any discussion effortlessly and use everyday phrases. If I encounter a problem, I solve it with such discretion that none of my interlocutors notice. My contributions are clear, fluid, well-structured and fit the style of the context.” “I participate effortlessly in any conversation or debate, and I know idioms, set phrases and colloquial expressions. I express myself fluently and convey subtle nuances. If I have a problem, I get around the difficulty naturally.”

If you decide to take on the C2 challenge, you’ll have to face 6 full hours, which separate you from the highest DELE diploma level.

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DELE Exam Sample Papers

Sample papers are a great way how to get a better idea of what is expected from you for each of the different levels in the DELE exam.

We looked into the official guidelines by the Instituto Cervantes. They publish one sample exam paper and the answer sheet per level. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the nature of the tasks. Make sure to work through the version corresponding to your level!

Sample Exam PaperSample Answer SheetSources of interest
A1A1 Sample Exam Paper
A1 Sample Answer SheetA1 Documents
A2A2 Sample Exam Paper
A2 Sample Answer SheetA2 Documents
B1B1 Sample Exam Paper
B1 Sample Answer SheetB1 Documents
B2B2 Sample Exam Paper
B2 Sample Answer SheetB2 Documents
C1C1 Sample Exam PaperC1 Sample Answer SheetC1 Documents
C2C2 Sample Exam PaperC2 Sample Answer SheetC2 Documents

Self-Study for Your Spanish Level

From our experience, we can tell that studying on your own is a hard thing. Especially, when you are always connected to the world wide web and procrastination is looming just a click away.

But there are plenty of ways to turn the tables!

  • Why don’t you join the DELE Facebook group? In this way, you can practice quick exercises, learn how to pass the DELE test, and learn useful Spanish content.
  • Or go digital to support your vocabulary learning with Memrise and StudyStack. Here you can practice with many vocabulary lists.
  • Use this together with movies in Spanish and Spanish easy songs to learn the language and you’ll see that you can also use the world wide web to your advantage.
  • If you prefer the old-school way, use the official resources published by the Instituto Cervantes: DELE preparation books.

Indeed, it’s possible to prepare for the DELE exam by yourself if you put in enough time and effort. But…

Don’t you want to fast-track your studies? Then we have an alternative solution for you.

DELE Preparation Course at FU International Academy

First things first.

Before starting the course, you’ll take part in a placement test. Our teachers will personally assess your Spanish proficiency level, so you can rest assured that you’re preparing for the right exam.

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Teaching Material

Our teaching materials are specifically designed to prepare students for DELE exams.

Each of these additional resources addresses specific issues in the same context, but they’re also designed to put you in a variety of real-life situations to practice your language skills.

Our Teachers

All of our teachers are Spanish native speakers and specialize in teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. Our DELE preparation course is taught by DELE exam examiners accredited by Instituto Cervantes. 


Our Spanish Level Test is required before you can enroll in the course; it will be corrected by experienced teachers.

Another requirement is that you’re willing to spend some time on Tenerife… but we doubt that this will be a dealbreaker for you 😉

However, we also offer online DELE exam preparation. Check for more information here. 

Teaching Method

With our full immersion teaching methods, we teach you everything you need to know for the exam. In the morning, you will follow a general Spanish Intensive 20 sessions course, followed by extra exam preparation lessons. Our goal is to guide you through the exam format and teach you how to maximize your skills and knowledge.

After you’ve finished our DELE preparation course, there won’t be any surprises in the exam!

By Taking Our DELE Exam Preparation Course, You Will:

  • Learn the exam structure and the timeframes for completing each task.
  • Improve your vocabulary knowledge based on the exam-level descriptions.
  • Become more confident at conversing in Spanish.
  • Together with your teacher, work hard to achieve your goal.
  • Train all four exam areas (reading – listening – writing – talking) and their testing methods.

Benefits of Our DELE Exam Preparation Course:

  • We advise you on the exam that best suits your level, based on a pre-course test.
  • We prepare you for any of the six different levels of the DELE exams (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2).
  • You could get prepared and take the DELE exam at our centre.
  • All our teachers are experienced and officially accredited DELE examiners.
  • We have a 90% pass rate!
  • We will help you with the registration process if needed.

DELE Exam Day – What Can You Expect?

Let’s imagine this: You prepared for several weeks for the DELE exam and now the day is getting closer – and closer – and closer…

If you made it until here, chances are that this will probably become a reality for you soon enough. Knowing what lies ahead is always helpful to calm your nerves. We have already discussed how each exam is structured according to the CEFR level, but now we’d like to explain what the exam day will look like. Due to the fact that we’re an exam center, we’re familiar with all the procedures and are able to guide you through them in detail. 

So it’s an exam day, you’ve slept well and you’re ready.

The teachers arrive 1h before the exam, but you should be at the exam center at 8:30. If you would like to make sure you’re not late, you can come earlier to feel safer. However, we won’t attend you until 30 minutes before the exam begins

Your examiners ensure all the instructions, pencils, erasers, and exam papers are in place before the exam, and then they check the audio, volume, and everything works correctly. 

Half an hour before the start (08:30 a.m.), we call the participants and check their documentation. We’re all humans, so we have empathy, but we must make sure we do our job correctly. In order to begin the exam, you must have all the necessary documents

We close the door 10 minutes before 9 a.m. and start giving instructions, making sure phones are off, explaining how to use the answer sheet, and reminding you to use the specific material. At 9 o’clock we start the reading test. This part requires a lot of concentration, regardless of the level of the test. We’ll let you know you have 15 and 5 minutes left.

After the break, we explain the written test. When you have finished, you can leave. There is no need to wait until the end.

The listening section begins immediately. You will have the opportunity to take a 25-minute break in the middle of the test so that you can recover your energy. In the meantime, the examiners prepare the room for the written test. Candidates are provided with blank sheets of paper to write the rough draft and pens instead of pencils.

After the break, we explain the written test. When you have finished, you can leave. There is no need to wait until the end. When everyone has finished, we start preparing for the oral tests.

This may be the hardest part for some, and the easiest for others.

The candidate is asked several warm-up questions before starting the exam. None of these are graded, but they help you relax and make things more comfortable. These questions can be whether to use “usted” or “tú” with the examiner, where you have learned Spanish, how long… The goal is for you to put your nerves aside, feel comfortable and relax before you start.

In most cases, candidates tell us about their personal circumstances: why they live in Spain, where they learned Spanish and even their origin. Following the descriptors of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and the Instituto Cervantes Curriculum Plan (PCIC), we assess range, correctness, fluency, coherence and task accomplishment. We know that we must be objective when assessing oral communication.

It is a great responsibility. The oral exam interviewer has the role of explaining the tasks to the candidate before starting each one of them.

DELE Results – When Do You Receive Them?

It takes around 3 months until the results are published on the online platform – sometimes less.

In addition to the oral evaluation, each examination center sends all the answer sheets to the Instituto Cervantes, where they are corrected. We will not be able to give you information about the status of your results, even if you have taken the test with us.

Once the results are ready, the Instituto Cervantes will send you a mail to the address that you used to register. So please make sure to keep your account details safe.

Why does it take so long?

In 2016 DELE totalled over 70,000 test takers from all around the world and each year more than 60,000! And that’s actually a good thing. The popularity of the DELE exam speaks volumes about how valuable it is.

Now it’s your turn! Take initiative, get your own diploma and soon you’ll have the
Spanish-speaking world right at your feet.

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