Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spanish School in Barcelona Offers Winter Savings

Save some money, buy more Tapas. One of our Spanish language schools in Barcelona is offering three weeks of courses for the price of two for a big Winter Discount. This is a $225 savings on our listed rates for any program that is 3 weeks or longer.

This promotion is valid for all registrations received today or after October 19th that will take place in November 2011 to the end of February 2012. You must put the code "3 for 2 promotion"next to your first name on our online registration form or simply mention the promotion if registering by phone.

Barcelona - Photo by Jaume Meneses
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Study Abroad Mitigates the Negatives of Travel

Photo by Dahon
The Art of Backpacking (AOB) had an interesting take on Effects of Long Term travel. While their perspective is on a more constant movement from one location to the next, some of the pros and cons carry a lot of weight with studying abroad.

AOB points out that finding an affordable hostel in each location can be a pit fall for many travelers and wastes precious time that could be used for exploring. They also point out that friends are short term, and language barriers are annoying. 

Fortunately being in one location that provides prearranged affordable host family or student housing accommodations, and having a centralized community at the language school combats a lot of the negative aspects, while still taking advantage of all the positives.

One could also easily study in multiple locations as we have pointed out here on several occasions. This allows our language students to see the world, while still getting the comfort of a home base and school that provides assistance with activities and excursions. Plus, most students study abroad on their own, so they are looking for other people to meet up with and do things outside of class. 

Studying abroad also gives you a daily purpose to get up in the morning for learning. Other travel can leave you wondering what to do next and it may take till noon to figure it out. With our programs your mornings are cover with Spanish instruction with your afternoons wide open to explore the new location for your chosen adventure. You also have weekends open to enjoy the nightlife and venture abroad to other neighboring cities or sites of interest. 

When I studied abroad, I liked the structure of the instruction in that I didn't feel like I was stuck in class all day, but still had morning instruction to give me a base to learn something new and then get to go practice it in real world situations. While there are always going to be some disadvantages to travelling compared to staying at home in your comfort zone, the positives can quickly be felt from the new friends, exciting adventures, and learning language skills that can be used both in your every day and professional life. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ski South America: Argentina and Chilean Andes

Many of our students take advantage of the amazing Andean ski slopes while studying Spanish in Argentina and Chile. Our program in Santiago even has its own ski program that provides transportation out to the slopes which are just an hour outside the city. 

Here is a great video of a skier hitting the slopes this year and showing what skiing on the Andes in Argentina and Chile is all about. From our school in Santiago you can hit the slopes in the afternoons while studying in the Morning, plus since the seasons are swapped in the Southern Hemisphere, you can enjoy your summer break in a winter wonderland. 

South America Ski Trip - August 2011 from crystal wright on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mazatlan Fighting to Be Shrimp Capital

Largest Shrimp Cocktail
If you have tried fresh Mexican Shrimp then you know that they are some of the tastiest seafood there is to be had. Maztlan's hotel and shrimp industry want this thought to be ingrained in the image of their city and put together a Guiness Record besting Shrimp Cocktail of grande proportions.

Our Spanish school is located right behind the Laguna de Camaron, so the significance of the tasty crustacean is always close by. Having grown up on shrimp in spicy salsa my taste buds spring to action at the mere sight of this copious amount of shellfish. I can only imagine what it was like for the lucky spectators who were lucky enough to be on hand to help polish of the gargantuan dish. 

The official weight of the Largest Shrimp Cocktail ever was 1,187 pounds and due to the close comparison it was also considered the largest Shrimp Ceviche by Guiness. Call it what you want, I just want a pound to myself. 

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Monday, October 10, 2011

One Accent Language Learning Community

There is a wealth of resources to complement a study abroad program. With the growing influence of the world wide web in our everyday lives, many of the tools needed to prepare or continue your language acquisition are right at your finger tips. Our Spanish language school in Tamarindo, Costa Rica has established one such resource to allow you to continue your studies at their Language Learning Community called "One Accent". 

The online language courses are provided with a free registration. One Accent also features a forum to talk with other people learning Spanish and to share your experience through social interaction. Coming soon they will also have a Live Tutor section for additional one on one support as well as a bookstore for instant access to study materials. 

There are many ways to skin a cat and when it comes to language acquisition, if you don't use it, you can easily lose it. Most people do not have the time for a 4-6 month period away from their everyday lives to gain fluency. Studying Abroad through a Spanish immersion program combined with continual supplemental practice, you can gain long lasting communicative abilities. 

Register for free and become part of the free Language Learning Community at:

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Spain's Duchess of Alba Married

Perhaps she is the grand example for all cougars out there as the Spanish Duchess of Alba is getting married for a third time at the age of 85. Her beau is 25 years her junior, so it is no surprise that her children has qualms about their nuptials. However, it is reported that she dished out over a billion in assets to satiate her ungrateful spawn. Yet it turns out it still wasn't enough to buy their attendance to the wedding. 

Here is a video from the Telegraph showing that the lady still has it after all these years. It must be the laid back Spanish life style, of course with a few billion padding the way. 

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mexican Culture: Posada's Calaveras

Jose Guadalupe Posada was a Mexican cartoonist born in the State of Aguascalientes on February 2nd 1952. Posada’s ideas were clearly progressive, and somewhat bohemian. He is well recognized worldwide for his use of Calaveras (Skeletons) to depict the Mexican society of his times.

Posada’s  Calaveras were used to illustrate a political point of view and they were typically witty images of skeletons dressed with fine clothes and jewelry. One of his most famous works is the “Calavera Catrina”, which was primarily meant to mock the pretentious upper class of his time. The Catrina, a snooty lady wearing the big fancy hat decorated with flowers and feathers is a good example of Posada’s criticism of the high society who at the end could not take anything with them.

Posada was more than a cartoonist. His progressive ideas influenced some of the most well known Mexican muralists such as Diego Rivera.  In fact, it was Diego Rivera who discovered Posada’s work and incorporated it into one of his murals.  Rivera along with Jean Charlot (a French artist) brought back Posada’s work from obscurity and into the international arena.

Today in Mexico, Posada’s imagines of the Calaveras have become accepted in the Mexican folklore and now these imagines are used during the celebration of the Day of the Dead “Dia de  los muertos”.

Giant Calavera de La Catrina in the Zocalo
Photo by Randall Sheppard
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