Say 'Hola' to Learning; It Doesn't Matter If You're a Beginner, You Can Study Something New This Summer - from Languages and Literature to Food and Wine
BRUSH up on your foreign language skills before heading on holiday by enrolling in a summer learning course.
You don't have to have a thirst for knowledge to want to know how to ask for a drink in Italy.
And you don't have to be fluent in French to ask for directions to the nearest patisserie when in Paris.
But knowing a little of the local lingo can add to the fun of enjoying a holiday abroad.
Learning basic phrases that will help you do everything from booking a table at a restaurant to saying please and thank you has never been easier.
Language courses aimed at everyone from toddlers to teenagers and adults have been springing up everywhere from your local library to your nearest university.
The summer courses can give absolute beginners an introduction to the language of their choice.
Aimed at teaching phrases that will be particularly useful to tourists, most courses offer a variety of classroom activities that will enable you to speak, read and understand everything from formal and informal greetings to expressing your likes and dislikes when ordering food and drink.
But it is not just language courses that are proving increasingly popular.
Community learning classes in a wide range of subjects, from art and literature to wine-tasting and forensic psychology, are being offered throughout the summer months.
Aimed at all levels of scholar, those running the courses say all would-be students need is an interest in the subject.
And while the aim of most summer learning courses is to give a taster of a subject, those who enrol are often left with a hunger to learn more. Richard Bizley, deputy director of the Office of Lifelong Learning at Edinburgh University, said: "Summer courses have become hugely popular over the last few years.
"I think one of the beauties of them is that you can either sign up for a day course, a five-day course or, if you are doing a language course, for example, perhaps the classes will run for just a couple of hours a week over a few weeks.
"We see these courses as offering nugget-sized opportunities to learn and develop an interest in a particular area. At Edinburgh University, none of our summer courses require any of the students to have any prior knowledge of the subject.
"They are open to absolutely everyone - from the old to the young and everyone in between.
"We have people signing up who are students or who are using holidays from their work to get out and learn something new. …