16% of the world population is represented by people aged 15 to 24 years, equivalent to 1.2 billion young people. Facing almost three times more unemployment, to perform low quality jobs or suffer inequality in the job market than an adult.
United Nations hand in hand with Permanent Missions of Portugal and Sri Lanka, UNESCO and the International Labor Organization, today (June 15) create the world day of youth skills to raise awareness of the importance of investing in education of young people.
The UN estimated the number of young people unemployed worldwide at 74.5 million. 1 in 5 young people (125 million) work but the salary received is very low. Taking into account that the labor situation is more complex and competitive, we must prepare the new generations, developing their skills and providing them with tools.
To succeed in the labor market, good education and training is essential.
What are those skills and / or competences that it is recommended to develop?
In addition to theoretical knowledge, companies look for young people with soft skills, such as: teamwork, collaboration, imagination and leadership.
According to the Global Education and Skills Forum of 2018 (GESF), it recommends developing competencies such as tolerance, empathy, critical thinking and creativity. Complementing them with those mentioned in the Report of “The Future of Jobs of the World Economic Forum” which are problem solving, emotional intelligence, decision making, customer orientation, negotiation and cognitive flexibility.
At Via Families we promote the education of all the young people of the world. Connecting families internationally to carry out student exchanges between families. See more information, HERE
It seeks that young people can contribute to the company by improving performance and productivity.
“Education will not change the world, change the people who are going to change the world”
– Pablo Freire-
As always, I leave you a video in which Pablo Heinig (electrical engineer and doctoral candidate in Leisure and Development of Human Potential and professor at ESADE Business School in Barcelona) proposes a method to think, feel and act according to the people we want to be.
Living abroad means leaving the comfort zone, at the begging it may sound scary and exciting at the same time. The important thing is to try it because it really worth it.
It´s important to keep in mind the changes that your child will live in this incredible experience. It is true that each student will enjoy a different experience depending on the age in which they travel, their character and how independent they are. However, everyone will definitely change.
First he/she is likely to feel vulnerable and afraid, but it is completely normal, as he/she is experiencing a familiar detachment. But as time goes by, he/she will develop and grow both personally and academically.
Some changes that you will notice when he/she return are:
Personality: now he/she will be more open, strong and self-confident. The exchange will help him/her to define the personality and to develop skills
Influence: the level of influence will reduce, this means that it will improve the decision-making, based on the personal benefit (what suits or benefits him/her)
Maturity: obviously the maturity will be evident, living away from the family, helps the person to fend for himself (to be independent). Also to appreciate the family, the house, friends and even the material (everything around him , to the minimum aspect)
Self-knowledge: being “alone”, he/she will go through a stage of personal knowledge, he/she will know how to identify his/her emotions and he/she will learn to control them. In the same way he/she will know his/her limits.
The panorama will be completely open, therefore you will have a child who already has a different language, mature, sociable and with decision-making power, as well as increasing professional value and it is possible that he/she acquired skills that he/she had not acquired in his/her native country.
Due to so many changes, it is likely that there are some frictions or discussions when you are all back together under the same roof, but don´t worry, it is part of the process and you will soon overcome it.
We recommend you to read our post in which we talk about the possible situations when your child returns and how to handle them.
Share with us your experience, what changes do your child had after the exchange?
As always I leave you a video which some students share their experience and talk about some benefits when doing a student exchange
It is not enough to sit, read and underline to study. Help your child to have a more effective study. They are very simple recommendations, that if we make them part of the study routine, we will increase the level of learning and also be more dynamic and will be reflected with good grades.
Choose and adapt the study space: it is important that the space is clear, orderly, with good lighting and ventilation. It is always recommended to study in the same place, it will help to concentrate faster
Prepare the material (books, notebooks and pen / pencil) and remove possible distractors such as mobile and computer.
It determines the time of study: it is verified that more information is retained and assimilated stipulating periods of less than 30 minutes
Organize the information: if it is a very extensive topic, it is recommended to divide it into subtopics that are easy to remember or relate them to some topic of daily life.
It is recommended not to memorize the information but to understand it. If you want to know more about the types of learning, click here.
Make personal notes as a summary of what has been learned, it is recommended to use colors and other study techniques such as conceptual maps, mental maps, synoptic charts, sign cards, questionnaires, diagrams and drawings.
Explain with your words the lesson studied to another person: this will achieve significant learning and not memorization. As Einstein said, you should explain things as if you were telling your grandmother, in this way you put to the test what you really learned.
Good nutrition: try to include foods high in antioxidants, such as almonds, walnuts, cranberries
Hydration: it is essential to drink water, you can also drink other drinks such as green tea
Restful sleep: it is very important to sleep for 6 to 8 hours, it helps to consolidate what has been learned.
If you like aromatherapy, you can use a diffuser with lavender essence, this will help your child concentrate more easily.
I leave a video that talks about the cientific study tips
Before knowing the different types of learning, it is important to understand that learning refers to the acquisition of knowledge, values, and the development of skills and attitudes. It is the method by which any human being assimilates certain information.
In the past, it was thought that there were only one or two ways to learn, however there are different, so it is relevant to know each student and the content we want them to learn, so we can choose the ideal type of learning. On this occasion we will mention 13 types.
The first type of learning is the implicit one: this is usually not intentional, it is given by the automatic execution of a motor behavior. If we think, we always learn without realizing it, for example to walk or talk.
The second is explicit learning, which, on the contrary of the implicit one, is conscious and intentional, therefore we require sustained and selective attention. This type of learning allows us to acquire information about places, people or objects.
The third type of learning is associative, as its name suggests it is to relate two stimuli or a stimulus + behavior. A clear example is the multiplication tables or the periodic table, it will be much more effective if it is reviewed with a song, so the brain will retain it more easily. So remember that, to achieve effective learning, use visual or audiovisual elements that the student likes. Ivan Pavlov (Russian psychologist) checks associative learning with his classical condition technique applied to his dog.
The fourth type is non-associative learning, it refers to the change of reaction to a repeated stimulus. They play a key role habituation (process in which a stimulus is repeated and the response is less and less intense) and awareness. For example when a baby is asleep and with the minimum noise, wakes up. If this happens every time he´s sleeping, the baby will stop waking up because of the noise.
The fifth learning is the significant, in this the student goes through a process in which he collects the information, selects it, organize and compares it with previous knowledge (new information vs. information that he already had).
The sixth type is cooperative learning, as the name implies it is carried out together with more students. This is given in educational classrooms, with a maximum of 5 people in the team, they have a teacher who guides and distributes roles.
The seventh learning is collaborative, it´s like the cooperative, more people are required, but the cooperative, unlike the cooperative, is more free; this means that the teacher only proposes the topic and the students decide how to approach it.
The eighth type is the emotional learning, this is very important, since it consists of knowing and managing the emotions efficiently.
The ninth learning is the observational one, also known as learning by imitation or modeling. It requires the participation of two people, the model (who will teach) and the student (who observes the behavior and learns).
The tenth type is the experiential learning. Learning from mistakes is the best example. This type of learning is produced as the name implies by experience.
The eleventh learning is by discovery, also known as heuristic learning (theory developed by the American psychologist Jerome Bruner), is usually an active learning that promotes the student to learn for himself, discovering, relating and reordering the concepts. The ideal for the teacher is to present situations stimulating their students through strategies of observation, comparison, analysis of similarities and differences.
The twelfth type is memoristic or repetitive learning, which consists in fixing in the memory in a mechanical and repetitive way concepts without deepening their meaning. It is when we repeat like parrot, therefore it is normal that we forget it in a short time. Some examples are: mathematical formulas, celebrities, phone numbers, birthdays, addresses among others.
The thirteenth learning is receptive, it is impulsive, passive and it is when the student receives the content but does not do it in his own way. A clear example is when you read a book, you recognize each word and the theme.
Talking about the education of children is a whole world in which we must be submerged, know new trends to apply them and obtain better results.
We invite you to join the international community of families, agreeing to student exchanges.
Since 1994, every may 15th it´s celebrated the International Family Day. It was proclaimed 25 years ago by the United Nations in order to raise awareness of the fundamental role played by families in the education of their children.
It is the main pillar that defines each person, since babies we adopt the values, customs, traditions and is formed by the hand of the family.
The concept of family has been transformed over the years according to trends and demographic changes. However, it is still the main unit of society. It is with whom we share moments full of laughter, love and sometimes anger, but we know that whatever happens there will be.
The family is the home to return to, they are our memories of childhood and adolescence and should be the foundation to create our own. Enjoy together, talk often and be attentive to each other.
It is true that we all by nature need a tribe, a place to which we belong, someone who loves us, a family to belong (anonymous).
In Via Families we believe that among all families we can make a better world if we help each other, because we all want the best for our children, since we all belong to the great family of the world.
All families seek the same, after all: we want our children to be open, empathetic and good people, who contribute their bit to society to make it better.
In Via Families we unite two important aspects in the growth of a person that are: family and education. That is why we offer an international platform of families interested in the international education of their children, proposing three options:
Exchanges, whether simultaneous or not
If you can not send your child, do not worry, you can receive another student at home and learn the culture and language of your guest’s origin.
You can not receive another student at home, do not worry, send your child with a family like yours.
Choose the family with who you want to share with the education of your children.
Living a linguistic / cultural experience of this magnitude brings many benefits, some of them are:
Overcome fears, therefore enhances security, personal growth and self-esteem
In Via Families you decide where, when and with whom, saving you up to 90% of the cost, all the details are freely agreed between interested families. Join the international community of families, by clicking HERE.
I leave the campaign that Ikea made for Christmas last year to reflect if the time we share with the family is of quality. Let’s take a moment to ask our loved ones how are they, what do they do, feel good? enjoy every moment and transform it into a unique, quality moment.
There are many quotes of philosophers, thinkers and pedagogues related with education throughout history of the humanity, but for the International Education Day we want to collect specially those that are focus on one type of endure education and is base on the human creation to create a better world.
Easy, honest, logic and deep quotes that doesn´t matter if these was said 2500 years ago but they are still current. I hope you enjoy it!
“The most important and principal public business is the good education of the youth people”
Platon (S V-IV a DC)
“Educate the mind without educate the heart, is educate absolutely nothing”
“Is the mark of an educated mind to be able to understand the though, is to accept it”
Aristoteles (S IV AC)
“The education is the fire of a flame, is not filling a container”
Socrates (Atenas, S IV AC)
“The school should be a grate prelude of our life”
Comenius (Nivnice March 28th, 1592 – Amsetrad (November 15th, 1670)
“Tell me and I forget it, teach me and I remember it, involve me and I learn it”
Benjamin Franklin (Boston, January 17th, 1706 – Philadelphia, April 17th, 1790)
“If we teach to the students of today as we teach yesterday, we are stealing them tomorrow”
John Dewey (Burlington, October 20th, 1859 – New York, June 1st, 1952)
“Sow it good ideas in kids, even though they don´t understand; the years will be in charge of deciphering them in their understanding and making them flourish in their hearts”
Maria Montessori (Italy August, 31st, 1870 – Netherlands May 6th, 1952)
“The education is the most powerful weapon to change the world”
Nelson Mandela (Mvezo, July 18th, 1918 – Johannesburgo, December 5th, 2013)
“To teach is not to transmit knowledge, is to create the possibility of producing them”
Paulo Freire (Recife, Brazil, 1921 – São Paulo, 1997)
“The unlettered of the 21th Century will not be those who cant know how to read or write, but those who can´t learn, unlearn and relearn”.
Alvin Toffler (New York, October 3rd, 1928 -LA, June 27th, 2016)
As usual, there you have a video, this time is to understand why Maria Montesori was an important pedagogue and why her methodology is still valid
Every 4th of January, is celebrated the World Braille Day, the alphabetic embossed system created to represent letters, punctuation marks, numbers and mathematic symbols contributing to the blind people a valid and efficient tool for Reading, writing and giving the Access to the education, the culture and the information.
It consists on a combination of six raised points divided into cells, organized as a matrix of 3 rows and 2 columns that allows to get 64 different combinations, including the one without a point, which is used as blank (to separate the words), also the differentiating special signs to convert a capital letter, number or a musical note. Usually they are listed top to bottom and left to right.
The UN has recognized and proclaimed the World Braille Day, to celebrate each 4th of January, highlighting multilingualism as a basic value of de UN. The principal main is promote awareness about the importance of braille as a media for full human fulfillment toward the blind people or visually impaired individuals. This day was chosen because of the inventor of the language, Louis Braille birthday (January 4th, 1809).
Louis was playing with some tools in his father’s workshop, and he had an accident with the sharp awl in one of his eyes, so he got an infection, that soon spread and blinding him in both eyes when he was 3 years old. He was learnt to read by feeling studs hammered into pieces of wood in the shapes of letters and numbers. Later, when he was 10 years old, he was accepted in a school, called Institute for Blind Children in Paris where they used crossed twigs were used to signify the letters of the alphabet. There, he also learnt to play cello and organ.
The idea of create the braille language started by the French Captain Charles Barbier, after the Napoleonic Wars; he invented the “night writing” that consisted of raised dots on cardboard used to send written messages on battlefields by night. The Captain continued promoting his writing method to other militaries, but they refused to use it. In 1820, Captain Barbier had the idea that maybe his system could be used by the blind people, so he took it to the school in the rue St-Victor (where Louis was a student).
Louis was tasked to evaluate the Barbiers system; he thought it was interesting but very plain to help blind people. Since that day, Louis Braille got inspired to adapt and complete his own system. And till 1824 (when he was 15 years old), finally he had finished his six dots system in varying patterns cells as domino, providing 63 permutations for different letters and numbers, including the “space” symbol. Later he also included musical notes.
The other students started using his method, because it was a tool to learn easily. Nevertheless, the school didn’t make it official because of the high price, they didn’t have enough money. Years later, Louis Braille, started to teach in that school using his own method of learning.
In 1826, he published his 32 pages book, named “Method of Writing Language, Plain Chant and Music, by Means of Raised Points for the Use of Blind Persons” (printed in embossed text).
Curious fact: on December 30 of 2014, the Braille language had been patented; therefore, it limited its use in any product. The Spanish Braille Commission and the ONCE Foundation, fought for the freedom of use, fulfilling the communicative and inclusive purpose.
As usual, there you have a video in which Deinny, a nine years old girl (part of the skating team, she plays some percussion instruments, sings, participate in the Astronomy club, she loves to read and enjoys every single moment of her live even though she could not see), she teach us how the braille system works and how her process has been.
Nowadays, the term globalization is known by virtually everybody. This concept has not only changed the interactions between the different countries, but also our perspective of the world as a whole. Exchange Programs give you as a student the opportunity to take such interactions to the next level, which has a positive impact on your resumé, among other advantages for your professional life.
Indeed, there’s nothing better than getting out of your comfort zone, and an exchange program is certainly a great way to do so. During the time that you will be far away from home, sharing with new people, speaking a different language, and immersed in a different culture, you will have the opportunity to learn about a different part of you, one that maybe you didn’t even know that existed.
Probably you have been making preparations for a very long time to get ready for your exchange program by gathering documents, going to interviews, saving money, etc. All of that mixed with several emotions like excitement for having this kind of opportunity, longing for leaving your home and family for a while, and a lot of expectations about the new country, host family, University … It is definitely a big change, but don’t be afraid, in the lines below you will find some recommendations to deal successfully with all these things and have a great experience during your exchange program.
Dealing with your emotions
Yes, as I said before there are a lot of psychological and emotional situations that come to the surface during experiences such as exchange programs and you have to be aware of that. It is completely normal to feel a little bit overdosed. In this case, there are three words I like to remind myself: gratefulness, pride, and confidence.
Be grateful for being able to be part of this exchange program that will surely become into a life-changing experience in every way. Be proud of giving you the chance to face this challenge, which will improve your skills in every way. And every time you feel sad or nostalgic for what you left behind, have the confidence and trust that this is the right decision for your own life and future, as well as for your loved ones who will understand and wait for you to come back and share with them all the things you learned during your exchange program.
Before leaving your country and starting your exchange program make sure everything is in order: let your bank knows that you will be abroad for a while in order to avoid problems with your accounts and take copies of the most important documents with you. Also, investigate everything you can about the new country you will be at, it will make things easier for you when it comes to adaptation, and pay special attention to the official currency of the host country and take some cash with you, not only your credit card.
Practice your language skills
The new language will be an important thing when it comes to getting communicated in the new country, so the more you practice the most important words and phrases, the better for you. Get rid of shyness and start incorporating some new words to your vocabulary every day.
Once you arrive
Stay open-minded to receive all the knowledge that this experience brings to you as a student and as a person- The exchange program is a holistic adventure, but don’t forget that its main purpose is that you study. Pay attention to all the options that your new university offers you as an international student and take advantage of them, academic and socially. Make international friends and in your free time travel a lot, there are always options for every budget to enjoy and visit new places near from the place you are staying at.
Respect the new culture
Learning about a new culture
This new country will be full of new traditions and laws. Be sure to respect them, learn and take part in them too. It may take you some time to get adapted to these new rules, but it will worth your while. Finally, find support in your host family, University’s authorities and partners, have fun and appreciate every second. Quite simply: get the most out of your exchange program.
Exchange students are not the only ones to have access to a new culture. In fact, members of a host family also get this benefit, without leaving the comfort of their home. These exchanges not only broaden the general culture of both parties but are a source of joy for all. In this article, we will tell you four ways how a host family can discover new cultures while hosting exchange students.
1. Learn new words and phrases
When a person participates in an exchange program, one of their main objectives is usually to learn the language spoken in the host country. To do this, members of the host family should try to speak to the student only in that language, but this does not mean that from time to time they can’t ask the student how certain words or phrases are said in their country. Indeed, having the host family learn such phrases or words is a way to show the student that this is important for that family.
2. Experience a different culinary culture
Another way to make a cultural exchange within the framework of an exchange program is for the student to cook for their host family. Usually, the opposite happens: the host family prepares traditional food of their country to which the student tends to adapt, but it would not hurt if, for example, a Japanese student prepares sushi or a Spanish one cooks a Spanish tortilla (omelet). By doing this, the host family will be able to break their culinary routine, but it will also be a way for the student to collaborate with household chores at a given time, and the fact that said student may taste food from their country could be a way to calm their evil of homeland.
On the other hand, it is quite possible that the dish prepared by the student in the host family’s home has a flavor that seems different to the one that is perceived when such student cooks the same dish in their country. This is normal because maybe said dished aren’t prepared with the same ingredients, or they have variations that, even if they are minimal, end up influencing the final product. However, the important thing is to have that experience of eating as a family. As the old saying goes: “A family that eats together, stays together”, a union that in this case will take place because of the exchange student’s culture.
3. Sing and dance to other rhythms
Cultural exchanges can also take place from the artistic point of view. If the exchange student sings or plays an instrument, they would do well to do so in the presence of the host family. Also, if they know how to dance rhythms of their country or region, they could do the same. Imagine having at home a Spanish student dancing flamenco, a Venezuelan dancing to drums, a Puerto Rican dancing salsa or an Argentine dancing tango, to name a few of the many rhythms that exist in the Spanish-speaking world. Host family members may not learn to dance these rhythms in one night or even during the whole exchange student stay, but the simple fact of seeing the exchange student dancing to a peculiar rhythm will be cause for joy.
4. Celebrate special holidays
Day of the dead
It’s also a good idea to hold homemade meetings for celebrations that take place in the country of the exchange student, as would be the case of the Day of the Dead, as celebrated in Mexico and which is alluded to in the movie “Coco”. In such a meeting, the exchange student, with the help of the host family or other students, could organize the preparation of typical foods, sing and dance traditional rhythms, and speak their language.
As you can see, there are many ways in which a host family can open a window to other cultures. Are you interested in hosting exchange students? Contact us so we can help you.
Did you choose Spain as the country to go on an exchange program? Excellent decision! You can see for yourself that this country has a series of advantages from an educational, geographical and human point of view that make it the ideal scenario for this type of program. Now, so that you can get the most out of this experience there are some things you need to know. For that reason, in the following article we will give you a guide for exchange students in Spain:
General information about Spain for exchange students
Spain is a European country with a population of more than 46 million people. Its capital is Madrid and Spanish is its official language. The government system is the parliamentary monarchy, the predominant religion is the Catholic, and its currency is the euro. Many international students choose this country because it has many educational institutes that provide high-quality education, but also because life is cheaper there than in other European countries, besides having many tourist sites, picturesque festivities and very warm people.
It should be noted that classes are taught in Spanish and, in fact, it is difficult to communicate in a language other than that. Also, Spain has climates of all kinds, depending on the area and time of year, and in certain territories, there are independentist claims, such as Catalonia and the Basque Country.
Aspects to take into consideration to enter Spain
Embassy of Spain in Washington
First, it is important to go to the Spanish consulate or embassy in your country to clarify any questions you may have, especially with regard to the documents you need, customs and baggage issues, financial services, medical coverage, etc. It is important that you know your host family’s home address, and also that you know how you will move from there to your study center. Also, it is essential that you know how you will manage your finances once you’re in Spain, concerning where you will receive money and the payment methods you’ll use.
By the way, exchange students are recommended to carry cash, as this is the only payment method that is accepted in many places during your trip to Spain. On the other hand, in case the student is a teenager and has credit cards, it is important that they know what to do in case they lose those cards or that they deteriorate.
About the necessary documentation, the main thing is that the exchange student has a valid passport which needs to be in good condition. Also, depending on factors such as your nationality and length of stay, you must report the terms of your visit, have a study visa and a letter of admission issued by the educational center where you will study and. It is very important to emphasize that in case a student visa is required, the exchange student must request it at the consulate of their country of origin, considering that if they arrive in Spain without it they will not be allowed to enter the country.
Additional requirements to study in Spain
Although the visa is exempted in certain cases in which the stay lasts less than three months, all exchange students must request it if their studies or research will take more than six months, as well as having a document that demonstrates their admission to the educational institution where they will study and a residence card issued by the National Police’s immigration offices.
Additionally, some exchange students must present the university entrance exam (PAU, in its Spanish initials), except those from the People’s Republic of China, Norway, Iceland, Andorra, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and they meet the requirements to access the university in their respective countries of origin. However, these students must register with the Central Foreigners Registry and comply with a series of special procedures.
Finally, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of each exchange student going to their respective country’s Spanish consulate to obtain more information about the particular requirements they need to participate in an exchange program in Spain. Once such requirements are met, exchange students only need to prepare to have the adventure of their lives. Do you need more information about exchange programs in Spain? Please contact us.
Are you interested in becoming an exchange student? We are here to help! Read below for more information.
One of the most significant concerns of those who go on an exchange program is their adaptation to the country where the mentioned exchange program will take place. This is natural since they will be in a place where another language may be spoken, and the odds are that it will also have a different culture to that of their country of origin.
How to adapt to the country where you go on an exchange program
When going on an exchange program, students experience differences in aspects that are usually ignored, as is the case of food: when they eat common foods such as pizzas or a burgers, these meals tend to have different flavors, even if they have been prepared by the student themselves, with the same ingredients that they regularly use for it in their country of origin. This can cause students to feel a rupture and make them miss their country of origin. Is this your case? Don’t worry. Here are some tips that will help you adapt to the country where your exchange program takes place
Keep good communication with your host family
The best way to adapt in the country where you go on an exchange program is to establish an excellent communication with your host family from day one. Be honest about your expectations, clarify any doubts and resolve any problems that may arise. A simple misunderstanding can escalate creating an increasingly uncomfortable situation, so it is better to solve problems when they occur. Any issue, however complicated, can be handled provided it is done with enough tact.
Learn basic notions of the language spoken in the exchange program’s country
If your language is not the one spoken in the country where you went on an exchange program, make sure you have a basic knowledge of its language that allows you to at least express the most basic and necessary ideas. However, the objective in this type of exchange programs is usually that the student learns the language of the country in which the exchange program takes place, which they will be doing progressively on a scale of gradients.
Open your mind
Before going to an exchange program make sure to do it with an open mind, because if there is something sure is that you will meet different people and have new experiences. This type of exchange projects broaden student’s horizons: they open student’s eyes to make them see the world with a new perspective and manufacture what we now call “global citizens“: people with the ability to perceive their surroundings in a unique way and who are also able to adapt to all kinds of environments.
Have the right attitude
On having the right attitude
Adapting to a new environment is easier than it seems. In fact, it is something that happens at some point after leaving your comfort zone, as long as you have the right attitude.
A person who wants to live new experiences and goes for their goal without looking back adapts better than others who prefer to keep the same thought patterns and not have to face day-to-day situations. It’s not that it’s wrong to stay at home and have a quiet time, but the world is out there, and an exchange program is not just about moving from home, it’s a paradigm shift.
Moreover, having a collaborative attitude is the best thing you can do when you get to a new home. Share ideas about yourself and your country of origin while you talk, and help your host family with daily chores. The fact that you are in a new place does not mean that those who you live with will be the ones who take care of everything for you. By helping your host family, you’ll build a better relationship with them. Also, while at it, you may practice the new language you’re learning in the exchange program. Good manners are a symbolic way to be grateful to those who are opening a space for you in their home. Rest assured that such details never go unnoticed.
Create or participate in a support network
You should also know that you will rarely be alone. Frequently, exchange programs group several individuals, so there will be people like you living similar experiences. You can reach them to establish a mutual support network while you all adapt to the exchange country. On the other hand, it is highly recommended that you speak with those who have already gone through exchange programs. They can offer you their perspective on the subject and give you valuable advice which can make all the difference in your own experience.
The old continent is a huge place, full of wonders all kinds. It was not there where humans emerged, but it undoubtedly saw our species spread throughout the world. Each European corner has hundreds of different stories about nations and empires that arose and fell, kings, knights, legends, and feats. In short, Europe is a place where there is much to discover, and for those who are interested in doing go on an exchange program, there is one place that’s perfect for that: Spain. In the following article, we will tell you five great reasons to go to Spain on an exchange program.
Learn to speak Spanish from its bases
By going to Spain, you can learn to speak fluent Spanish, since you will be in constant contact with Spanish native speakers in the land where this language was born, so you’ll be able to learn it from its bases. Also, Spanish educational institutes will also help you increase your Spanish proficiency, which in turn will make your process of adapting to the exchange program faster and more enjoyable. It should be noted that Spanish is the official language of 20 countries, but it’s also the second most spoken in the United States. Thus, learning Spanish opens doors for making connections with people and companies that have a relationship with this audience, which exceeds half a billion people.
Spain is the second most visited country in the world. Its inhabitants’ kindness, that joy that spreads in all directions, allows a pleasant coexistence. In addition, Spaniards are passionate people, which can be seen in their music, dances, stories and other cultural expressions. One of the advantages of going to Spain on an exchange program is precisely that: everybody appreciates being well treated but with much more reason the exchange students, who are far away from their country, so they give a lot of value to Spaniard’s warmth.
Internationally renowned educational institutions
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Spain has some of the finest universities worldwide, such as the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, and other educational institutions of the highest level whose degrees have international validity. In other words, going to Spain on an exchange program can give a boost to your resumé, and this will subsequently help you get better job opportunities all around the world.
Artistic expressions everywhere
Spanish fan with a floral design
Spain is full of art. Its architecture, gastronomy, literature, poetry and typical music genres such as flamenco and pasodoble (among many others) make cultural events a unique explosion for the bodily senses. It is almost impossible to travel any Spanish street without witnessing any of these artistic expressions.
Unrivaled tourist destinations
Ibiza town view
Besides Madrid, Spain has many other cities filled with tourist attractions such as Barcelona, Seville, Valencia and the Canary Islands, to name a few. By visiting these places, you will live different and exciting experiences. No matter how many times you go to one of these cities, you will see new things.
In short, Spain is a country where you will find many places to visit, people to know and unforgettable experiences to live. It is no coincidence that Spaniards are so nationalistic and that this country is always flooded with tourists, many of whom return for future vacations or make Spain their new home.
The same is experienced by those who go to Spain on an exchange program: after obtaining such a valuable education, surrounded by pleasant people and so many possibilities for recreation, they end up falling in love with this country. Are you ready to go to Spain on an exchange program? Please contact us so we can help you.
Are you interesting in joining an exchange program? Let us help you. In this article, we’ll give you five tips that will help you learn the language spoken in the exchange program’s country. When going on an exchange program, the most crucial thing is to learn the host country’s language. Not only from the point of what this may imply in the future at a professional level, but also because the exchange student must at times be able to communicate on their own in the host country.
Incredible as it sounds, people can learn the basics of any language in a matter of weeks and handle its fundamental aspects after a few months. From this, we can deduce that the best method to learn a language is to practice it intensively in the shortest possible time. This is why exchange programs are so beneficial to learn a language: students are constantly exposed to such language during the time of their stay in the host country. It’s very likely that during the first months, a student will not have a mastery of the new language to understand literary classics but it will not take them too long to reach the necessary level to hold informal conversations about current affairs, culture, etc. These are the tips:
If you have not started studying the new language, do it immediately
The “perfect moment” to start studying a language does not exist. Waiting to be in a “more favorable” situation ends up becoming a waste of time, a delay in the education process, so when you decide to learn a new language, the best thing you can do is to start doing it as soon as possible. You certainly don’t have to wait for the exchange program to start studying the exchange program’s host country’s language. You can begin by studying its grammar and basic vocabulary. That way, once you are in the exchange program’s host country, you’ll be able to express basic ideas, and this will help you communicate better with your host family contact.
Immerse yourself in the language you want to learn
Some experts believe that the best way to learn a foreign language is through complete immersion in it. This means that you should handle all your contacts with the outside world by using that language reading books, listening to local radio stations, watching programs and movies and using it exclusively while speaking with others. By doing this, you’ll practice what you learn, expand your vocabulary and train your ears to understand that language.
Sometimes we doubt our knowledge and skills, and we feel afraid to talk to others because we think that at some point we won’t be able to express ourselves and this will make the conversation stop uncomfortably. Although this fear is understandable, the way to overcome it is to face it. If you ever make a mistake or don’t know how to say something in the new language, take your time, breathe and find an alternative way to communicate yourself.
If you feel like abandoning the study of your new language you should know two things: 1. That happens to everyone and has to do with misunderstood words in the new language or in yours. For that reason, when you see a word that you don’t understand, be sure to translate it, clarify it in a dictionary of definitions and, if necessary, search Google for images related to it. 2. Success depends on perseverance. Even if you have problems, the most important thing is that you do not stop studying or practicing the new language for that reason. No matter how long the learning process takes, the only way to achieve your goal is by insisting on it.
As you study new content, try using mnemotechnics, which basically consist of associating each learned concept with something that makes it easier for you to remember it like colors, songs, memories, objects, etc. Each person has their particular way of memorizing content. Find what is most suitable for you. Also, using mnemotechnics can be fun because of the kind of associations you can come up with.
Making the person next to you feel comfortable is the best way to demonstrate your education, regardless of our customs or culture.
Always placing the needs of others above ours, would be a good premise.
But how do we have to act when having a guest at home? Here we leave you 9 useful recommendations that will help you:
Greet: the first thing to do as a househost is to welcome your guest. Invite him to come in. Fell totally relaxed and comfortable, this will emanate good energy and will create a nice environment.
Offer a drink, food: your guest might come from a long journey hungry, thirsty or tired. Invite them to have a drink or to eat something. They might be tired, offer them to wash up and rest if they want to.
Run of the house and boundaries of the stay: show your gest around, it is important that he gets familiar with the house. Show them their room and anything he needs to know for his stay. But don’t overwhelm him with too much information.
Give a Schedule: Give your guest a brief explanation or what your plans are, your timetables, when will you be at home, when will the meals take place, cooking menus…
Make them comfortable: make it clear “my house is your house”. Make everything that’s possible to make them feel like at home. For example, give them kitchen orientation, to help themselves whenever they want.
Basic needs: provide them with anything they can possible need. For example, clean towels, clean sheets, hygiene bath items…
Privacy: Give them space and privacy. If they want to be alone in their room, rest or take a nap, respect that. It is not necessary to keep them busy all the time.
Neat and clean house: make sure everything is clean tidy and neat, specially his or her room. You can even leave fresh flowers in their room as a way of saying welcome.
Ask for arrival information: and last but not least, coordinate with your guest so that you are ready for when he arrives and receive him at the right time with a great welcome.
Finally, any standard or custom of the house is much better and more comfortable for everyone to speak from the first day.
I hope you have served this post to prepare the arrival of your guests.
We found a video from the blogger Amy Aniobi about “How To Be a Good Host” vía Youtube, that might be helpful to complement this information.