When parents commit to an immersion education for their children, they know they’re opening doors to exciting future opportunities. From the classroom to the world, language immersion opportunities yield big advantages. They enrich lives and increase cultural awareness both in childhood and throughout life.
At Spanish Schoolhouse, we love being able to offer immersion programs right here in Texas! Our wonderful staff of native Spanish speakers represents almost every Spanish-speaking country. Their varied cultural backgrounds, rich accents, and unique expressions give students a truly immersive experience right here at home!
Beyond local immersion programs, there are opportunities for families who want to take language learning to the most authentic level possible. Immersion in a Spanish-speaking country lets you live the language, customs, and culture!
The World Awaits!
Think studying abroad is just for college kids? Think again. There are programs for families, teens, and adults, with options ranging from one week to summer camps, to a full year. To advance your Spanish, you can find study-abroad programs all over Spain, Mexico, and throughout Central and South America.
SSH isn’t affiliated with any of these programs, but we wanted to share a few of the offerings to let you know what’s out there!
Spanish Abroad is just one of many organizations that offers immersion programs for families. The choices will blow you away! They include Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela! In some cases, children as young as six years old can participate.
Work and Volunteer Exchange Programs
Many non-profits encourage intercultural awareness through work and volunteer exchange programs. In addition to arranging volunteer experiences, some have group or private language classes with host family accommodations. One of these is InterExchange, which offers Spanish immersion in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Peru.
Another option in Guatemala is Ixchel Spanish School. Time at this school is divided between learning Spanish and volunteering on various projects—primarily in education, health care, social work and environmental protection.
Since a quarter of Costa Rica is made up of protected forests and reserves, ecological preservation is high on the national priority list. Many volunteer positions are available in areas related to the environment. One program to consider is Academia Tica. They do require a certain level of Spanish proficiency, but their volunteer options are varied with many options to appeal to your interests!
Culture and Language Brought to Life
A phrase that you will hear and see everywhere in Costa Rica is “pura vida.” Its translation is “pure life” or “simple life,” however it’s more than just a phrase- it is a way of life! In Costa Rica, you can experience the true meaning of “pura vida” with Tico Lingo and GreenHeart Travel. These two language programs offer Spanish immersion ranging from one week to eight weeks. Tico Lingo focuses on adult students, arranging local homestays, cultural activities, and weekend adventure tours. Greenheart Travel hosts summer camps where you learn the language by day, and learn the culture by night – roller skating, salsa dancing, singing karaoke, and having authentic Costa Rican BBQ with your host family.
Where to First?!
The Spanish Schoolhouse classroom experience opens a child’s mind to language learning. Exploring the Spanish-speaking world as a family deepens the commitment to bilingualism! It shapes children’s perspectives about the world and its cultures, forever altering their minds and personalities.
Whether you take advantage of foreign immersion opportunities now, during your child’s optimal language learning window, or when they are older and want to keep the language alive, the world definitely has exciting opportunities in store! With 20 countries that speak Spanish as an official language, the question isn’t, “Can I study abroad?” but “Where should I go first?” We hope this post inspires a look into future learning adventures for your family!