Everything you need to know about learning Spanish abroad
Thinking about studying Spanish abroad but don’t know where to start? There’s nothing more exciting than getting ready to study in another country — but there can be a lot to think about. We’ve listed ten basic tips to get you started. Read below to find out everything you need to know about learning Spanish abroad!
- Pick the Spanish-speaking country that’s right for you.
You’ll want to select a country or region that has well-established study abroad programs, with laws and locals that are friendly to outsiders. Costa Rica is an ideal example: It has a global reputation for accommodating tourists, ex-pats, and international students. In addition, it is known for its peaceful history and its variety of natural wonders, historical sites, and main attractions. And, last but not least, there’s a bonus: In Costa Rica the Spanish language is spoken with a local accent that is considered easier for English speakers to understand.
- Familiarize yourself with the geography of the country.
Before you select a country, learn about its geography and climate. For example, the tropical county of Costa Rica has a dry season and a rainy season. It also has numerous microclimates, and vastly different geographic regions, including the capital city of San José, mountains, rivers, volcanoes, rainforests with rich wildlife, and two coastal beaches.
- Examine the cultures within the culture.
Just like the United States, each country is comprised of regions with geographic, ethnic and cultural differences. During your preparations, take time to explore how each area differs in customs and culture. Learn about the cuisine of a particular region, for instance, and compare it with the foods of another area in the country. This way, you’ll appreciate the unique features of each place you visit.
- Invest time in planning your trip.
Like most study abroad participants, you’ll want to travel during the weekends and after the course is over. Decide what areas you’ll want to visit, how long it will take to reach each destination, and how long you plan to stay. Most schools with language programs for international students offer tours and travel information for weekend excursions, and will provide advice or recommendations on where you may want to travel after the language program is over.
- Choose a reputable school with rave reviews.
First and foremost, you’ll want a school that has raving reviews, both online and offline. Don’t just stop at checking the school’s website: Find out which institutions in your home country regularly send students there or have faculty-led programs. A successful, reputable school will have professional ties throughout the globe, as well as a strong following through word-of-mouth.
At Costa Rica Language Academy (CRLA), we have over 25 years’ experience providing short and long-term Spanish immersion programs to participants across the globe. We offer group and individual classes, provide homestay with our trusted, reliable host families, and can assist with weekend travel arrangements. To find out how we can make your Spanish study abroad experience the memory of a lifetime, please contact us.