Mrs. Rosa Moro de Andrés, Director of the Instituto Cervantes in Bucharest:
Language and culture constitute a major asset for Spain. It is a true privilege to share Spanish as a means of communication with 495 million people worldwide, a growing community that is expected to reach 535 million by the year 2030.
Romania is a significant partner in this regard: the Romanian language shares with Spanish its Latin origin, Spain hosts the second biggest Romanian community abroad (nearly one million strong), and the country has an increasing interest in its projection towards Spain and the Latin-American region. These factors explain the growing interest that the Romanian people have developed towards Spanish, now the fourth most studied foreign language in the Romanian education system with over 18,000 students. Not only that: 10 bilingual sections in Romania offer the possibility of attaining the very Spanish Diploma of Bacalaureat, together with its Romanian equivalent, as part of the common programme developed by both Ministries of Education.
The Instituto Cervantes in Bucharest, like the other centres in 86 cities and 43 countries all over the world, has as its main purpose to teach the Spanish language and to promote the culture of Spain and the other Spanish-speaking countries. The centre in Bucharest opened its doors in January 1995 and since then has steadily spread the language and the culture in Spanish and built bridges between the Romanian and Spanish-speaking cultures. The three main fields of activity of the Centre – academic, cultural and the Library – are in permanent contact with the Romanian cultural and academic world, co-operating with local cultural institutions, public and private, as well as examining centres in several cities throughout the country.
The cultural area of the Institute serves as a link between the Spanish and Hispano-American cultural scene and the museums, galleries, theatres, publishing houses and other institutions of Romania. It does so by organising cultural events that, throughout the Centre’s history, have become true traditions: film festivals like “Los Días del Cine en Español” (“The Days of Cinema in Spanish”), collaborations with prestigious local artistic festivals (TIFF, NEXT, etc.), musical concerts, seminars, dramatised readings, exhibitions both in the Centre and in co-operation with Romanian museums, joint activities with publishing houses and with the other foreign cultural centres of the EUNIC Network.
Special attention has been given to a sustained and intense collaboration with the Embassies of other Hispano-American countries in Romania. In its 20-year history, the Instituto Cervantes of Bucharest has been visited by major figures of Spanish-speaking culture such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Javier Cercas, Care Santos, Carlos Saura, Belén Mayo, Enrique García Asensio or Juan Mayorga, as well as by young creators belonging to all fields of culture.
The academic area of the Institute organises Spanish courses – be they general, specialised, for business or on-line courses through the AVE Platform (Spanish Virtual Classroom) – as well as of other co-official languages from Spain (Catalan, Galician, Basque). It also offers specific courses for teachers and organises the exams for the official Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE). In all its activities, it employs highly qualified teachers and an up-to-date methodology, and manages to create a pleasant learning atmosphere, within a wide range of time-tables and courses on offer.
The Instituto Cervantes in Bucharest coordinates 14 examining centres for the official Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE), both in Romania and Moldova. DELE are official diplomas of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports valid internationally. They do not expire and are recognised all over the world by companies, chambers of commerce and academic systems both public and private. The diplomas are certificates complementary to the regular foreign language learning programmes in many institutions. They have proven to be useful instruments of personal promotion in the workplace in the academic and cultural fields, and fundamental in order to access education both in Spain and in the over 100 countries where these exams are taken.
The Library of the Institute in Bucharest carries the name of the poet Luis Rosales, and constitutes the largest centre of bibliographical resources in Spanish in the whole of Romania, with more than 25,000 titles, including audiovisual databases.
As a result of its activities, the Instituto Cervantes in Bucharest has signed agreements for academic and cultural co-operation with Romanian institutions, both public and private, and is currently developing European projects with other partners.