Thursday, September 30, 2010

Free Online Spanish Courses with Rosetta Stone

Photo by David Goehring
There are many particular reasons why students have chosen to learn Spanish with Spanish Abroad since we first starting sending students to Latin America and Spain over the past decade and beyond. There several additional services that we provide beyond just the standard Spanish immersion courses. One of these services that many of our students have found advantageous is our one month of free online Spanish courses through Rosetta Stone. These courses are is offered to all customers that register for a Spanish program. 

These free online Spanish courses can be a great preparation for your studies abroad, as the courses integrate immersion methods in the formal training of the language. This allows our students to gain the confidence in hearing and better understanding the Spanish language at a given level far prior to departing to the country of choice. Some students do not have the time to take the online courses beforehand and decide to utilize the free month upon return from their Spanish immersion program. This is a great way to utilize the lessons as a follow up and continuation of the learning process. Upon return you can request to start your free online Spanish lessons and proceed with more Spanish conversation classes. 

An added feature of the online courses is the ability to choose Spanish classes that best fit with the location that you have visited or the type of Spanish that you would like to learn. You have the ability to complete an online Spanish program that is based on Spanish generally spoken in Latin America or Spain.  The language learning experience will work in synch with the practicalities of everyday conversation that you will engage in while practicing your Spanish skills in Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Spain, or any location that you choose. It can also be geared to your local community and those customers, colleagues, or people you converse with in Spanish on a daily basis. 

The free online courses are available to go at your own based and will be provided on a 30 day basis, which will start once you request your login and password. You can login on to the courses from any location that has web access. You can start the courses anytime after you have registered for your program with Spanish Abroad. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Capital of Mexico: Learn Spanish in Mexico City

Photo by Enrique Dans
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Jesus Davila, the director of our Spanish school in Mexico city is our guest author.  He has provided us with the many options of things to do and see outside of Spanish classes while studying Spanish in Mexico City. This highlights the major reasons why people choose to visit and learn Spanish in Mexico City

Mexico City is probably one of the biggest and most amazing cities in the world. While many visitors might be surprised by its size, they have to know that it also offers a wide range of opportunities for entertainment, excellent food, concerts and worldwide museums.

In terms of entertainment, Mexico City offers concerts all year long. Its main concerts halls are Auditorio Nacional (recognized as the best hall in the whole world for sound), Palacio de los Deportes, and Foro Sol. Some visiting artists include U2, Robbie Williams, Madonna, Black Eyes Peas as well as world famous DJs like David Guetta and DJ Tiesto. There are concerts for everyone: from opera and classical music lovers to rock and electronic music fans. Also, there is excellent theatre, since many international plays are presented every year. For example, visitors can watch the Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and other amazing plays that originated on Broadway and the UK.

Food is one of the main attractions of Mexico City. The most typical dishes include tacos, mole, pozole, quesadillas, chiles en nogada, as well as tamarind water, rice water and other delicious dishes. The food quality of Mexico City will be hard to find somewhere else. In fact, Mexico City was voted one of the top 3 cities for food diversity and quality (Tokyo and New York at Top) in 2009. One can conclude that Mexico City is the best city in Latin America to eat.

The museum of anthropology is the most famous museum, and considered the best museum in Latin America. It includes all the history of Mexico as well as monthly special exhibitions including Egyptian, Greece, Russian and other cultures. Some other museums include Frida Khalo's home, the famous painter who was married to Diego Rivera; the Chapultepec Castel, owned by Emperor Maximilian; the Modern Arts Museums with amazing painting and art exhibitions, among many others.

Most visitors will be amazed and surprised by green areas in Mexico City. Some visitors enjoy jogging at Chapultepec park and Chapultepec lake or even biking around different areas of the city, since Mexico City has introduced an environmental friendly bike system. It is similar to that of many European cities, in which bikers can take bikes from one spot, visit different routes and return their bike to another spot.

So that’s it folks, if you want to experience a dynamic city with the best food in Latin America, some of the best museums, very attractive entertainment options and excellent transportation we hope to see you learning Spanish in Mexico City soon!

Safety in Mexico: There has obviously been a lot of publicity about the safety of Mexico in general. The major headlines point out gruesome atrocities among warring drug cartels and public safety officials around the border regions as well as some isolated incidents in different spots around the country. Mexico City is a massive city and has its good and bad areas. Our Spanish school and housing options are in the safest areas of the city

As of late there have not been any major incidents of tourists specifically being targeted in such crimes around Mexico or specifically in Mexico City. You will always have tourist related crime andMexico certainly has its fair share. However, our students have been safe studying in this great country recently and over the past decade.

We also have many other choices outside of Mexico if you feel that you just want to feel safe in their decision. Costa Rica, Guatemala or Puerto Rico have been some of our most popular options as of late due to the major headlines concerning Mexico. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lupe's Corner ~ Family in Mexico

I met my grandmother, my father’s mother, for the first time when I was 14 years old and she was 89. She had lived all her life in Ejutla (small town south of Oaxaca City), while I lived in Mexico City with my mother and siblings. The first time I saw my grandmother, it was love at first sight. She was an exceptional lady, full of energy and love for life. At her old age, my grandmother still enjoyed having an afternoon mezcal drink and cigarette while talking about her youth.  She loved visiting with my sisters and I, and we also loved having her around because of her jovial personality and wisdom.

My sisters and I looked forward to going to parties with my grandmother. My father was (and still is) a very conservative male who did not believe in boyfriend-girlfriend relationships and of course we were forbidding from dating and going out.  Next to my grandmother, my father seemed to be a grumpy old man. My grandmother knew my dad so well that she did exactly everything my dad said not to do. She purposely used to find parties for us to go. It was funny to see my father getting upset with my grandmother but it was much easier for her to boss him around and to call him a grouchy old man. At the parties, my grandmother was the life of the party, she danced with my sister’s boyfriends and had a couple of drinks. I never saw her drunk because my grandmother believed in having everything within moderation. Her favorite saying was “I drink, I smoke, I eat and I enjoy life, but with limits”.

Besides her love of going to parties with us, my grandmother also enjoyed teachings us how to cook. Every Thursday, we all socialized with her at the kitchen. Whether we were learning how to make tamales, tortillas, or mole, the main goal was to hear her stories and her experiences during the Mexican Revolution of 1910. One of the stories, I remember the most is when the "revolucionarios" came to her house to try to steal everything they could. My father was only 6 months old and my ancle Andres was almost 2 years old. Grandma was able to hide the children behind the bushes in the nick of time, and when the looters finally arrived she was waiting for them with gun in hand. We were young and just the image of my grandmother holding a gun made us laugh.  My grandmother was a tough lady who did not care whether or not we laughed at her.

My grandmother was my hero because of her love for life and overwhelming optimism.  She learned how to enjoy and appreciate every situation good or bad. She also made an effort to teach us all she knew. She was very wise.  I can’t say I held on to everything she taught me but I know I want to be like her when I get to be 90.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Capital of Spain: Learn Spanish in Madrid

Photo by Jeff Rosen
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Madrid is the "Center of Spain", literally in terms of its geographic location but also being the heart of the country. It is one of the most amazing cities in which to learn Spanish as it not only located near the region where the language of "Castellano" was born and developed, but also is home to some of Spain's richest cultural heritage. You can spend hours walking the streets of Madrid and be in awe of the spectacular architecture and landscapes of the city, or perusing the cities major sites of interest. Madrid also boasts the best nightlife in the country. The city is known for late dinners at amazing restaurants and visiting clubs that may not open till one in the morning and keep the party going till after sun up.

Unlike Barcelona where Catalan is the local language or other regions that speak Basque and Gallego, Castellano or Spanish as we know it, is the native language of Madrid and the surrounding regions. Madrid adds the formal aspect of knowing that you are learning the language in a location where it is in its purest form. Miguel Cervantez was born nearby in Alcala de Henares, which adds an additional emphasis since his literature is known by many as the greatest usage of the written Spanish language. Madrid is also home to Spain's largest University which once resided in Alcala, so the overall background of the city gives a legitimate atmosphere of the languages development.

Madrid hosts 3 of the most amazing museums in the world including El Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-Bornemisza. Each offers a different emphasis that can play to any individuals preference, however all three are amazing in their own right. You truly get a feel for Spain's deep history by viewing each of the amazing works of art. Our Spanish school director is known to give an amazing guided tour of El Prado that really brings the history to life, as you see what each artist was representing in their works of art.

Just walking the streets of Madrid is an experience all its own. The city was developed over many centuries and the buildings are amazing with their rich history and craftsmanship. You may find the most beautiful art being represented on the facade of a simple bank or office building. Our Spanish school is located right in the city center only 5 minutes from the Puerta del Sol in a building that is over 100 years old. These buildings are continually renovated over time to keep them alive but they are extremely careful to preserve their historic significance and craftsmanship.

The school is also near the massive Plaza Mayor where many artists and street peformers congregate to entertain anyone walking around or dining in the plaza. Only a short distance away, near El Prado, you will find the stunning Retiro Park which provides for a great place to run, exercise, or just relax from everyday urban living. There is an amazing metro system that will take you everywhere in the city including the airport, however by walking you can see great sites such as the Royal Place and its gardens, the Opera House, and many other landmarks that give Madrid the atmospher of being one giant museum.

Madrid is crowded with cafes, restaurants, and bars, where you can escape the heat and relax from your daily pursuit of what the city has to offer. The food is amazing and unique in its own right as you see upon arrival with giant ham legs hanging in the windows or from the ceilings in many establishments. The city has world class cuisine and is growing in significance around the world by providing a home to some of the greatest chefs. The night life is quite insane for its extravagance and general endurance of its revelers. Never before have I seen an city where you eat dinner between 10PM and Midnight  then head off to the club. Its not uncommon to see lines to get into a popular club at three in the morning. There are also pubs and quaint bars for those like me, that prefer a good night cap but don't want to party till the wee hours.

Since Madrid is in the center of the country with many means of transportation including bus, train, and flights, you can easily venture throughout Spain as well as the rest of Europe. The ease of which the transportation system operates helps in providing for great weekend excursions as you are only 2.5 hours by train from Sevilla to the South and Barcelona to the North.

You can learn Spanish in many cities across Latin America, and throughout Spain. There is not one perfect spot for everyone. The important factor is to consider what you want to be doing when you are not in class and what environment will allow you personally to best practice the language. Madrid is the perfect spot for many who love an urban environment and rich cultural sites. Obviously if want a beach location or small town it is not the choice for you, but if you want the crazy city life with tons of things to do and see, book your ticket now!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Family Spanish Program Vacation

Photo by D.B. Blas
There are many ways to spend your vacation with your family. However, what is a better way than building a skill that you can use throughout your life while enjoying the scenery, and fun adventure activities of a new destination. A language can give you an up close and personal view of how people interact, the importance of the foods they eat, and unique aspects of a people that are different from another location. A Spanish program gives a good structure to your day as you can spend part of your day in classes, while having the remainder of the time to explore, see new sites, and practice your language skills in an authentic environment.

Spanish Abroad offers Family Spanish Programs in specific locations with  the best courses, housing, and activities available to accommodate an entire family. Our most popular location for a Family Vacation over the past 5 years has been Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Tamarindo is a small developing beach town on the North Pacific Coast of Costa Rica that offers a unique look into Costa Rican life without too much of a departure from the comforts of home. There are many outdoor water activities including surfing, kayaking, catamaran or snorkeling tours, and swimming that make this location a fun "Summer Time" environment through most of the year.

There are also various land based activities including canopy tours, trips to the monkey park, as well as visits to nature reserves or volcanoes. There are hundreds of different types of beaches up and down the Pacific coast which also provide for different scenery. Playa Conchal stands out as its beach is made completely of sea shells rather than sand, which is quite spectacular to hear and see.  Many families choose to utilize the dry, moderate temperatures of December and January to enjoy their holiday break in Costa Rica. However, we receive many families during the typical Summer School Break. July and August tend to be the best months as there is a dry spell during some weeks.

Spanish courses are provided year round to children and adults from the age of 5-80+. Spanish Abroad has sent families of many different age groups including children, parents, grand-parents, aunts, family friends, etc. In some cases we have had multiple families traveling together as they wanted to spend the vacation together in one location and study Spanish for a good part of the day.

Our standard course is 4 hours per day with a 20 minute break for all family members. Children are placed in separate groups apart from the parents and all students are placed in classes based on their tested proficiency level on the first day. During the month of July we offer a children's camp which is open to children from the age of 5-12 years old. Older children can still take the standard courses during this time.

Spanish Abroad offers families the option to stay with a local host family or in a bungalow near the school. Host families are located about 20 minutes inland in smaller towns with few tourists. The families are amazing with modest homes and provide 2 meals per day to your entire family. The school provides shuttle service to and from Tamarindo for courses. The families are a great source for practicing the language as well as a lens into the daily life of "Ticos". 

The Bungalow option is 5 minutes from the beach and across the street from the Spanish school. It consists of  a one bedroom fully furnished apartment that can accommodate up to 5 people comfortably. The Bungalows are located in a hotel setting with an onsite pool and restaurants. There is also a grocery store within 5 minutes walking distance to provide for self catered meals.

Airport Pickup is arranged by Spanish Abroad, while families provide their own flight arrangements. It has been amazing to correspond with so many interesting families and quite a pleasure to provide this fulfilling experience for so many. My name is Jesse and would be happy to help arrange a program for your family. Full details on our Family Vacation Programs are located on our Website, but feel free to call me at 1-888-722-7623 to discuss all aspects of our Family programs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Across the Aisle - Is Language Immersion Effective?

Photo by Andrew Steinberg
People often ask me if language immersion programs are effective. My answer is always the same. Of course they are! I am a living proof. I initially moved to the United States from Mexico with the hope to get a higher education. Moving to the United States and enrolling in a university implied many sacrifices and challenges. You see, my problems were twofold, I was already 21 years old and I only had taken basic high school English classes in Mexico.

I clearly remember, the first six months in the USA were trying. I had to learn English in less than a year to be able to take the university’s entrance test. So I began my learning process with a course of English as a second language. The classes were interesting, but not for long. I became extremely impatient with the process and so I decided to get some English lesson tapes that you could check out from the public libraryOnce my morning English class was done, I returned home to listen to the English tapes that unfortunately only put me to sleep. I was aware that learning English in a classes setting was extremely important to learn the structure of the language.

However, I was missing the magic touch which was to practice with the locals. At the beginning, I must admit it was intimidating to walk up to someone who would say to me “How you doin?” instead of “How are you doing?”. Silly me, I thought everyone should speak clearly and correctly for me. Despite my fear, I did not give up and I finally allowed myself to jump in the water head first and actually immerse myself with the locals.

Ah! Those days were amazingly funny. I remember trying to push myself to talk without really understanding the language well enough. However I decided if I was to learn English I needed to be exposed to terribly uncomfortable situations. My motto became “No pain no gain”. I also realized mistakes were par for the course and people were going to laugh, and so they did.

Needless to say, I entertained people quite often. I remember one particular anecdote because it was one of the most embarrassing moments in my life up to that point. I was explaining (or trying to) to a group of friends about a problem I was having with breathing. Everyone in the room thought I was about to tell them a personal problem until a courageous friend corrected me. He said very politely “I believe the word you are tying to say is breathing and not breeding”. Unfortunately my pronunciation problems still arise from time to time, which my friends find quite entertaining. I hope.

Sure it was all fun and games but truly my head was about to burst the first year. It was an extremely demanding process for my poor brain. In addition to the fact that dealing with the jokes became more of a chore. However, I have nothing but fond memories. It was worthwhile. I was able to take the language proficiency test and was able to enter the university.

One final comment: Learning another language in an immersion setting can be tough. However, it is so rewarding because it opens the door to a new world, another culture.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Celebrate Mexico's Bicentennial: Mexican Quiche for Breakfast!

Photo by Gordon Joly
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Little Lupe eats a Mexican Quiche once per week to maintain her Mexican roots. The recipe and preparation is quick with simple ingredients. This is a family recipe passed down from her Abuelita. If you still have that Mexican Spirit this Saturday or Sunday after a night of Margaritas, you can sit down to a wonderful Quiche and think about the 200 years of Mexican history.  

Shopping List: 
4 eggs (huevos)
2 cups cheddar/Monterey jack (queso)
1 cup of milk (leche)
1/2 cup heavy cream (crema)
Diced green chili (chile)
Packaged Pie crust

Quick Preparation:
Mix all ingredients together. Pour into pie crust. Bake about 45 min to an hour at  350 degrees. Done when knife comes out clean. Eat some yummy Mexican Cuisine

Important Note from Lupita:  I usually put in JalapeƱo Monterey Jack instead of Monterey Jack and fresh roasted Anaheim chiles,  but you can get the canned chili peppers.  Sometimes I add chorizo, mushrooms, or bacon. As a healthy alternative you can substitute 6 egg whites for the full eggs. Of course I drown mine Tapatio salsa for Mexican Quiche en Fuego. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Choosing the Best Summer Spanish Camp

There are many Spanish camps to choose from in Latin America and Spain. The key factor is choosing a location and school that you know will meet the needs of your child. Spanish Abroad has been offering teen programs for over a decade now and our representatives know all of the ins and out of the various programs that are available.

We pride ourselves on recommending programs based on the individual needs of our clients. Some students prefer a more natural environment while others would like a fast paced urban atmosphere. There are three particular teen Spanish programs that have stood out over the years as offering the best overall experience giving the varying need of our teen customers. These locations include Sevilla and San Sebastian in Spain as well as San Jose in Costa Rica. The schools have provided consistent quality in terms of instructors, host families, and a well rounded social/activity program.

The directors at these three locations have stood out as providing exemplary service whenever a teen brings up any issue that effects their overall impression of the program. This is an important factor as some teens can be homesick soon after arrival or may experience some culture shock as this could be their first time in a foreign country. By providing immediate followup with any problem a teen may have, the school immediately alleviates any apprehension they have.

San Sebastian has been an easy recommendation for someone that wants to study in Spain. The city is a beautiful town with outstanding cultural roots in its Basque community, as well as a cooler climate during the Summer compared with the rest of Spain. The school is part of International House so they have very specific requirements that need to be met in order to remain a member of this prestigious organization of Schools. Our Spanish school in Sevilla also meets the necessary criteria  to be a member and have amazing facilities. They are located right in the heart of the city and are a great choice for those students that want to be in a more moderate sized city in the outstanding Andalucian region of Spain.

Our San Jose Teen Program in Costa Rica is an entire world away. The school is located in the quaint residential suburb of Santo Domingo de Heredia. The teens are close enough to the major sites of the city, but at the same time far enough away from the hustle and bustle to be in a safe environment. This also provides for host families being within close walking distance to the school. The San Jose, Costa Rica program is perfect for those teens that want to be able to go on more nature based activities including visits to beaches, volcanoes, and nature parks. It also lends itself to being a safe Latin American alternative to Spain. 

In the end we want to choose a Teen Spanish Program that is perfect for the person attending. There are many choices out there, so we want to be able to talk with the teen and their parents to see what is the best fit for them. You can call and talk to any representative at 1-888-722-7623, and discuss all of the options available. The 3 locations described here may not be the perfect choice either and we have  10 other teen Summer locations to choose from. We also just started offering a Teen Summer Spanish Camp in Cadiz, Spain through the same institution that offers our Summer Program in Sevilla. We are excited to offer this new location with the knowledge that the camp will be operated in the same manner and expertise as one of our best Teen programs. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Amazing Spanish Cuisine

For many people Spanish food is the best in the world.  Every year we see more and more coverage on this amazing cuisine as people become accustomed to its unique flavors as different restaurants pop up around the country. It has also been more and more easy to buy Spanish Wines, Olive Oils. Paprika, and various products that outshine the competition of other European nations.

La Tienda is a U.S. Based company that brings a taste of Spain to the American people and has a wide variety of specialties such as Iberico Jamon which you may have seen on Tony Bourdaine's No Reservations last night. You certainly may not want to plop down $190 per pound for the Iberico Bellota Jamon, but there are plenty of low cost Spanish Specialties including the amazing chorizo and superb quesos.

LUPE's Corner

We always talk about the cultural differences in foreign countries but we never stop to think that cultural differences begin at home. At least this is what I learned when I was a 14 year old. My parents were from a small town, Ejutla, in Oaxaca, Mexico. The town is also well known for the production of Mescal and I was fortunate to live there for a year, after my mother decided to send me off for an enforced “sabbatical”. I guess she decided I needed some time off from Mexico City.

At the beginning, Ejutla seemed to be a boring place for an active child like myself. So, as usual being the inquisitive person that I’ve always been, I started to get involved with my father’s business. During those days, my father used to own a mescal distillery just outside Ejutla and every weekend he had to deliver a fixed number of gallons to some of the major mescal wholesalers in Oaxaca City. I made it my job to personally oversee the mescal production and every week, I would take a trip to the distillery. My father used to put me to work. My main job was to inventory the number of mescal barrels. I also had to check the quality of the mescal. During my trips to the distillery, I met a lot of the local ranchers who worked for my dad and this is where I met Alfonso.

Alfonso was an 18 year old who did not know how to read or write. He also was a very hard working young man who was charming and funny. I particularly enjoyed talking to him about his home and work experiences. This was definitely something very unfamiliar and interesting to me because I lived all my life in Mexico City with all the conveniences, comfort and of course I had never worked in my life. I liked Alfonso so much that I decided to start teaching him how to read and write. I would see Alfonso every afternoon (Thinking back. It is funny to think that I could actually teach an 18 year old how to read/write). The days went by and one day Alfonso told me he was starting school, for me this was a big accomplishment. He thanked me for my efforts and I did not see Alfonso for about a month.

One morning and just before I was finally going back to Mexico City, Alfonso and his family came to my house. Alfonso looked different this time and he seemed more confident about himself. I remembered his father was carrying a huge basket of bread, his mother held a couple of chickens, his young brother had some candles and his sisters had what seemed to be gifts. This definitely was a special occasion but for what! The family asked to talk to my mother and father. I remembered, they were talking for some time and when they came out Alfonso never looked back at me to say good bye. I never saw him again.

Sometime later, my mother told me what had happened with Alfonso. I guess, he asked my hand in marriage. In small ranches, this was the tradition. Girls marry young and they never get to date their future husband. Alfonso was very sweet but he had other customs that due to my young age I was unable to discern. Traveling can open your eyes to many cultural differences, just look what I found only a couple states away.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Medical Spanish Immersion Programs

Over the years, we have helped develop great Medical Spanish programs with our different Spanish schools in Latin America. These programs typically consist of medical Spanish courses through private instruction combined with group classes to increase your general medical skills. Some select locations, such as Antigua, Guatemala and Buenos Aires, Argentina also offer the means to shadow at a local clinic. If you are in the medical field and would find it advantageous to communicate with Spanish speaking patients and colleagues, you can view these different opportunities at: Medical Spanish Courses 
In a related article you can read what one author found to be the benefits of such programs at: Medical Spanish Immersion for Pre-Health Students

Reason to Learn Spanish #156 - Growing Economies

Photo by Antonio Tajuelo
Across the globe Spanish speaking countries are some of the fastest growing economies. With growing populations and infrastructure we have seen great strides in many Latin American Countries, however one cannot over look Spain and its importance to the European Community. With the 5th largest population, Spain is an important force in driving many industries in Europe including Banking, Agriculture, Tourism, and Transportation Manufacturing.

Due to the souring economy Spain has certainly had its set backs as well as high unemployment, however many industries are thriving. Gov. Richardson of New Mexico just led a group to Spain in order to woo Spanish based solar companies to place their infrastructure and employ locals at their facilities in New Mexico. Read Now 

There are many lines to be drawn to the importance of learning about a culture, but by learning their language and means of communication, you can interact much deeper with Spanish speakers. In this day and age, (Outside of English Speaking Countries) English is one of the first languages one learns other than their Native languages, so it is quite easy to communicate across the globe. However if you can show the ability to speak in a Spaniards native language and do so with ease, you will find it much easier to interact in business situations and draw praise through your added effort to better communicate.

The skill of speaking in a business associate's native tongue carries over with any language. However with the growing influence of the Spanish language, and the fact that it is one of the top 3 languages spoken, you may find it to be the best overall value in developing your linguistic skills.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Why Study Spanish in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic?

We asked the Director of our Spanish School in Santo Domingo, Luca Pellegrini, "Why do you feel students like learning Spanish in the Dominican Republic and specifically at your school?" Here are the 3 major aspects he considered to be of the utmost importance for choosing to study Spanish at his school and in Santo Domingo.  

    1. Santo Domingo is Safe!
    Luca Pellegrini, Director  

    It was on this incredibly beautiful tropical island that Indians, Africans and Europeans, together, gave birth to a dynamic new American people and culture: a “criollo” people and culture. The process has been ongoing—the island’s geography, history, economy and culture are fascinating for their blend of old and new, developed and undeveloped. And the country is safe, with no major drug problems and virtually no crime or violence compared to other tourist destinations… and the people are kind to foreigners: the friendliness and hospitality of locals, together with the country’s scenic natural beauty make the Dominican Republic the perfect destination for a travel-study experience.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

End of Summer Newsletter

Our Newest Location: Honduras
We are happy to announce our newest programs in Honduras! We now have 4 great locations in Honduras: La Ceiba, Copan, Roatan, and Utila. 

Please note: Information about these programs will be up on our website in the very near future. However you can register now for any of these programs. They start every Monday. Call us for more information.

We feel that Honduras will become a very popular location for our clients. Great weather, interesting culture, beaches, diving, Mayan ruins, and more. 

Additionally our programs in Honduras will be some of least expensive programs we offer. 

La Ceiba is the third largest city in Honduras and is located on the Caribbean coast. It is the country's most vibrant city with nightly entertainment. The city is friendly with an international atmosphere and is easy to walk around. There are lots of nearby Eco-activities. You will find plenty of opportunities to speak Spanish! Classes are mainly offered in private class format. 

Pricing (private classes 4 hours per day/host family accommodations/3 meals per day
1 week: $270, 2 weeks: $490, 3 weeks: $710, 4 weeks: $930. Each week after just $220

Copan Ruins Just 12 kilometers west of the Guatemalan border lies the quiet town of Copan Ruinas, a pleasant, whitewashed and cobble-stoned village known for its Mayan ruins.

Pricing (private classes 4 hours per day/host family accommodations/3 meals per day
1 week: $270, 2 weeks: $490, 3 weeks: $710, 4 weeks: $930. Each week after just $220

Roatan: Roatan Bay Island is only 30 nautical miles off the coast of Honduras, the reef system around Roatan, the largest and most developed of the three Bay Islands. Many people come to this location to take advantage of the world class diving. 

Pricing (private classes 4 hours per day/HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS/meals not included
1 week: $580, Each week after just $530

Utila: Utila Island is the smallest of a string of islands known as The Bay Islands. Visitor are charmed by the beauty of Utila’s beaches and the fantastic diving and fishing found close to shore in this special corner of paradise with a low cost of living and wonderful lifestyle. Utila boasts some of the best and least expensive diving on the entire Earth, especially if you are interested in seeing a whale shark, experience wall diving, or see over 95% of all Caribbean corals in one adventure.

Pricing (private classes 4 hours per day/HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS/meals not included
1 week: $410, Each week after just $360

Panama and in specific Panama City is a wonderful place to learn Spanish. The city has a rich and vibrant history and culture and it is a great jumping off point to see much of the natural beauty this Central American country has to offer. 

Study in Panama City for 4 weeks or longer and receive a $100 dollar discount. 

This discount is good on any of the program options offered at this location. 

Find out more about our Panama City location by visiting this link:

Guatemala is one of the more popular locations our clients choose to study at. One reason of course is the LOW prices for both classes and accommodations at any of our locations. While Guatemala is probably the least expensive place to learn Spanish, do not assume low cost means bad quality. On the contrary. Our schools have earned an excellent reputation for the quality of the programs offered. 

To give you an idea of how inexpensive a program can be. 
In Antigua a 4 week program which includes classes and accommodations is just $760. 

In Quetzaltenango a similar program will cost $720. 

Besides low prices, Guatemala has a little bit to offer everyone. Colonial towns, a rich and colorful culture, Mayan ruins, and dense rain forests full of amazing sights!

To find out more about Antigua visit this link:

To find out more about Quetzaltenango visit this link:

Costa Rica
Probably our most popular location is Costa Rica. Within Costa Rica, Tamarindo is where most students like to go. A great beach location that allows access to some of the most amazing sites in the country. Year after year the school is rated as top notch. Great for individuals, groups, and families. 

Current Special for our Tamarindo location. 
If you sign up for 4 weeks of group classes AND stay in the student residence you will receive the 4th week for free. So pay for 3 weeks and get the 4th week free!!

To find out more about our Tamarindo location visit this link:

Promotion Policies
You must put "SEPTEMBER" next to your first name on the online registration form OR mention it at the time of registration to receive any of the discounts mentioned. The promotion is valid for individuals that have NOT YET registered. The program MUST include courses and accommodations and cannot be combined with other discounts.