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Apprendre, Articulo, education, Family, History, Languages, Langues, Learn, Testimonios y Opiniones, Voyage, World,

The best quotes of education!

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

Maria Montesori: her story on YouTube

Maria Montessori: Creativity unleashed | Judi Bauerlein | TEDxLivermore on YouTube

braille
Apprendre, education, Family, Family - Health, Languages, Langues, Learn, School, World,

World Braille Day

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YepYQZOZJ4

Getting organized
education, Languages,

Tips to start the academic year well

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 departure

Getting organized

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.

The Mayan calendar
Languages, Travel, World,

Advantages of learning Spanish, countries that you can visit and communicate without problems

Wanting to learn a new language usually has to do with two causes: 1. Professional reasons or 2. An inclination towards it or with respect to the culture where it is spoken. In the case of Spanish, it can be said that for many people these reasons converge. Indeed, from the commercial point of view, many companies are interested in addressing an audience of more than  400 million people, but from the cultural and tourist point of view, this language is one of the distinguishing marks of more than 21 countries, which are the countries where Spanish is the official language today. In this article, we will talk about the countries that you will be able to visit and communicate without any issues after you learn Spanish.

Communicate with more people in the United States

If you live in the United States or want to connect with more people from this country, it is a good idea to learn Spanish, because according to an article published on the website of The Guardian in the United States there are more people who speak Spanish than in Spain itself.

Spain and Latin America

Speaking of Spain, learning Spanish would allow you to go to this country without having communication issues, and there is so much to do and things to learn in Spain! There you’ll enjoy the most picturesque festivals and traditions, but also stroll through its many cities and towns, these being its main tourist destinations. Also, Spain is an excellent destination country to go on an exchange program through which you can get a quality education and learn or improve your Spanish skills, for which you can also follow these tips.

Also, by learning Spanish you will be able to communicate with Latin Americans and it is difficult to synthesize such a rich culture in a few words. To speak of Latin America is to speak of the Inca Empire, whose Brain surgeries were said to be better than those done during the American Civil War 400 years later. Latin America is also about the Mayan Empire, which, among other inventions, had a great astronomical, scientific and architectural development, which is evidenced by its pyramids, calendar, and writing system.

The Mayan calendar

Moreover, you can learn about the colonial era, the independence wars and all the internal and external conflicts of each Latin American country, which shaped their current geography and idiosyncrasy. In this context, the arts were developed, being some of the more named  Latin artists the Mexican Frida Kahlo, the Colombian Fernando Botero, as well as the Venezuelans Carlos Cruz Diez and Armando Reverón.

 

Fernando Botero’s version of the Mona Lisa

In Latin America there are also writers laureate with the Nobel Prize for Literature, as is the case of Gabriela Mistral (1945), Miguel Angel Asturias (1967), Pablo Neruda (1971), Gabriel García Márquez (1982) and Mario Vargas Llosa (2010) , among other Spaniard and Latin American authors who speak Spanish and received this award and whose books you can read once you learn this language.

Finally, there is also a wide diversity of autochthonous musical genres such as merengue, salsa, bachata and vallenato, being some of the most prolific artists of these genres Wilfrido Vargas, Rubén Blades, Juan Luis Guerra and the Binomio de Oro, respectively -not to mention the many singers and groups of each musical genre that currently exists in Latin America.

Unusual places in the world where Spanish is spoken

Maybe you had some knowledge about what you have read so far, but did you know that by learning Spanish you can also travel and communicate in an African country? That’s right, one of the official languages of Equatorial Guinea is Spanish. However, this last country is not the only unusual tourist destination where this language is spoken. In fact, in Asia there is a country that although Spanish is not its official language, it’s spoken by more than 2 million people: we are talking about the Philippines, which was a Spanish colony for 300 years.

On the other hand, in Andorra, 93% of people speak Spanish and there are minorities that speak Spanish in Aruba, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Guam, Western Sahara, Algeria, Canada, Norway, and Switzerland. Thus, Spanish is spoken in countries of the five continents, so learning this language will open many doors. Now, the best way to learn a language is going on an exchange program. Would you like to become an exchange student? Please contact us so we can help you.

Learn Spanish
Languages, World,

Advantages of going to Spain on an exchange program

Spain not only has amazing tourist sites but also is a destination desired by those who want to go on an exchange program. Its academic offer, low costs, the warmth of its people and the possibility of learning Spanish are among the main reasons why many exchange students choose this country as the venue for their program. In this article we will tell you what are the advantages of going to Spain on an exchange program:

1. Learn or improve your Spanish skills

Learn Spanish

Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the United States, as we explained in a previous post in which we gave tips for studying this language. In any case, whether you do not speak Spanish or want to master this language, what better place to learn it than where it was born? Going to Spain on an exchange program gives you that possibility. Although there are many other places where you can learn Spanish, doing it in a first world country with as much history as Spain is a truly special experience.

2. Low costs of living

As everywhere, in Spain, there are expensive products and services, but usually, the costs of living are low compared to many other places in the world and especially in Europe. In fact, it is possible to cover the costs of living in Spain with about 1,000 euros per month. This is a great advantage for those who participate in an exchange program, as they can easily cover their essential expenses and allocate the rest of the budget to travel and partying. Doesn’t sound so bad, right?

3. Excellent educational offer

The Spanish education is also one of the most economical in Europe and is of quality. Indeed, several Spanish universities are listed in the topuniversities.com listings, the main ones being the Complutense University of Madrid, the University of Barcelona and the University of Valencia, among others.

In Spain, there are 83 universities, of which 33 are private and 50 public. On average, the yearly tuition fees to study at a university in Spain, depending on the career, vary between 750 and 2,100 euros in the case of public universities and between 900 and 3,300 euros in private universities.

These prices are much lower than those of American universities, with the added bonus that anyone whose CV says they participated in an exchange program has advantages over other candidates to obtain work in the eyes of any recruiter. Thus, going to Spain on an exchange program is a low investment that will provide great benefits for your professional life.

4. Thousands of things to do

Soccer match in Spain

In Spain you can do something different every day: there are hundreds of museums, monuments, parks, cathedrals, beaches, mountains, stadiums where football stars play, an off-peak nightlife, sporting events, etc. In addition, the Spanish culture is very rich: throughout the year you can witness so many traditions and festivals that you will have to constantly remind yourself that you went to Spain with the aim of studying.

5. The Spaniard’s warmth

Spaniards are known to be passionate about what they do and also to be kind people. While being an exchange student there will always be someone willing to give you whatever information you need. Also, you will have the opportunity to see Spaniards daily for a given time so many of these will end up being great friends of yours or even something else.

In conclusion, being an exchange student in Spain has advantages from every point of view: you will learn or improve your Spanish proficiency, you will spend less money than in other places, obtain a quality education, know dream places and be surrounded by special people. Are you determined to go to Spain on an exchange program? Contact us

Learning while traveling
Languages, Learn, Travel,

Advantages of making an exchange for your professional life

When seeing an exchange student, it is inevitable to ask questions like these: What language will they speak? Will they be kind people? Will they do well in their new educational institution? We may also wonder if it is worth for them to be part of an exchange program. In this article, we will tell you what the advantages for your professional life of going on an exchange program are.

1. The chance to attain additional knowledge

Learning while traveling

Whenever an exchange program takes place, knowledge is acquired in at least two areas: 1. the host country’s culture and 2. The content of the chosen study program. Additionally, if the language of the host country is different from that spoken at home, there is the possibility of learning that other language. It is not that you can’t learn all the above from home, but it would be like learning about Europe with a geography book: no matter how good such book is, it will never be the same as the experience of going to the Old Continent.

2. It opens your mind

Even if a student goes to a university in another state of the same country, and that is why they have to make certain changes in their life. While being an exchange student, there are many more situations to handle, and this causes that said student is forced to leave their comfort zone and, subsequently, develop the skills that allow them to solve these problems. In effect, the exchange student is always giving the extra mile to solve some everyday situation, ranging from the simple fact of being able to communicate an idea in another language to handle another currency, adapt to a special system of public transport, etc.

3. Traveling is implicit

Although the main objective of being an exchange student is learning, it is also the perfect opportunity to travel. Again, it is very likely that within one’s country there are many wonderful places to know, but traveling by using your passport is a different experience because it allows us to have a first-hand experience of other places, colors, smells and tastes that simply can’t be appreciated on YouTube. Whether you go to any European country or the United States, the possibilities of traveling cheap are endless, especially in the case of an exchange student. Finally, traveling not only gives us pleasure but also allows us to see how people from other places live and take that learning to our professional life.

4. You’ll build new social relationships

Making new friends

For a time, the exchange student will be far from their family and usual social relationships so they will need to bond with other people. Although that may be uncomfortable at first, it will make these students more sociable people by having to share for months and even years with their host family, as well as with their new classmates and teachers. As a consequence of this, it is quite likely that they will develop a strong bond with many of these people, some of which will end up becoming great friends and even allies in their professional life.

5. It makes a big difference in your resumé

Naturally, any human resources manager is interested in hiring the most suitable person for a given position. Now, although qualifications play a major role in this regard, certain qualities tend to tilt the balance in favor of certain candidates over others. Former exchange students possess such qualities: in any case, they went to another country, learn its culture, and had to adapt and respond to situations that they would not have lived otherwise.

So, as you can see, being an exchange student is not just about going to another country; it gives you a series of advantages for your professional life. Do you want to participate in an exchange program? Contact us so we can help you.

 

Train Station in Bulgaria
Languages, Travel, World,

4 essential travel tips for exchange students

Are you interested in becoming an exchange student?  Contact us.

One of the advantages of being part of an exchange program is the possibility of traveling. In the first place, it is necessary to go to the host country, for which there are a series of requirements, procedures, and recommendations (which, in Spain’s case are these),  but once you are there, it is most likely that you want to get the most out of your experience, which includes traveling within that country and (why not?) beyond its borders. In this article, we will provide you with the four essential travel tips for exchange students.

1. Get Organized

Organization

The priority of every exchange student is to learn. Learn the knowledge and skills associated with the study program that will be studied in the host country, the language spoken in that country and its culture. An excellent way to reinforce the learning of these last two aspects is by traveling, which in general requires organization but with more reason when participating in an exchange program, since there are a series of special benefits for exchange students.

For that reason, the first thing you should do is to investigate which are those benefits in your host country. One of the best known is the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which is accepted in 130 countries and allows you to get better prices in certain restaurants, hotels, air tickets, museums and other places. We recommend that you obtain your ISIC card in your country of origin so that you can seize its advantages from the beginning of your exchange program.

2. Save on transportation

Train Station in Bulgaria

Naturally, the less you spend on certain aspects you will have a larger budget to travel. Therefore, in addition to obtaining the ISIC card and any other similar credentials accepted in your host country, we suggest that you travel mostly by bus and train. About this last means of transport, if your host country is located in Europe and you are under 27 years of age, we recommend that you buy Eurail passes, under which you will have discounts of 20% on all your train trips.

As regards air tickets, we recommend that you evaluate them in each particular case, because although they are usually more expensive, it is worth paying the price of certain domestic flights. Furthermore, unless the situation warrants it, avoid using cabs, because, naturally, by doing so your budget will be exhausted much more quickly.

3. Become friends with local people

When traveling, there are usually two scenarios: the one that tourists know and another one special for local people. The first provides a safe and comfortable environment where tourists can spend their money; in the second you will meet places and special people, and you will live experiences that are usually only available to those who live in the area. The only way to get in the second scenario is being introduced to it by people from the area. Therefore, among other reasons, it is important to make friends with these people.

Although this may allow you to obtain better prices with respect to certain products and services, it goes much further: it will allow you to know the city from the inside and, what is more important, connect you in a better way with others. However, for your safety and well-being, do your best to make friends with constructive people, and keep the toxic ones away. For all the above, it is important that you have a good relationship with your host family since it could lead you to live the second scenario or at least they will be there in case you have any concerns about it.

4. Have a blast!

Organizing, saving money and making friends with people in the area makes sense only so that, as mentioned at the beginning, you get the most out of your experience of being an exchange student. For the same reason, you must do all these things at your discretion: if at some point you want to spend a little more or, in general, do anything that gives you happiness, do it! Isn’t that the ultimate goal?

Day of the dead
education, Family, History, Languages, World,

Discover new cultures while hosting an exchange student

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

Tango dancers

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.

Patience is key during exchange programs
Family, Languages,

Keys to being a good host family

One of the less mentioned topics when it comes to exchange programs is that of the host family, the one that receives an exchange student at their home to host such student. However, this topic rarely addressed from the perspective of the family. In the following article, we will give tips to be a good host family based on the experience of people who have fulfilled that role. These are the tips:

Be aware that there will be changes at home

Changes

One of the main points is to remember that the student is not the only one who is venturing into a new experience. It is an unavoidable fact that the host family’s home environment will change at the presence of a new member, especially at the beginning when both are making great efforts to understand each other if the student comes from a country with a different language. It is easier to deal with these changes when you have already prepared to feel them and have taken into consideration the implications of living with a stranger. Above all, remember that many changes, however confusing, help us grow as a person.

Treat the exchange student as a member of the host family

The treatment given to the student must be on equal terms with the rest of the family. They already must feel worried because of being in a new place with strangers. Although the need to adapt is implicit in any exchange program, cultural clashes are inevitable. So imagine that this student is part of your family and treat him kindly and warmly, in such a way that even though your cultures are totally different, that student can feel comfortable in your home.

Honesty and clear rules are the keys

Be honest from the beginning regarding the establishment of schedules, assignment of responsibilities and other types of agreements to maintain proper coexistence. Also, communication with the student should ideally be in the language spoken at the host family’s home. One of the reasons for the exchange program to exist is for the student to learn the language and culture of the host country. In addition, it is necessary to inform them about your house rules, which must be applied in equal terms to the rest of the family. In that sense, respect for family traditions and collaboration in housework is essential.

Support the student exchange in its adaptation process

The host family must help the student exchange to introduce the latter in the country and its culture, accompanying them in their adaptation process. In this sense, they should be informed about how transportation works, how to interact with some people to make more friends. Also, host families should take students to interesting places, restaurants, museums, etc., where they can learn more about history, music, and local traditions. It should not be forgotten that the host family is in charge of helping the exchange student to take their first steps within the society of the host country.

Be patient

Patience is key during exchange programs

The first days and weeks are the most complicated ones because of the adaptation process. Never allow something that you do not understand to make you angry. The best thing is to solve whatever issues with communication. Once the student learns to communicate better in the new language, it will be propitious to inquire them about what life is like in their country of origin; you may be surprised at their answers. The exchange students are not the only ones who get to learn thanks to the exchange program; host families do as well.

Ask for other host families’ opinion

If you know people who have been part of a host family, you can ask about their experience or how they handled a particular situation. Never be afraid to ask questions, being informed is one of the keys to being an excellent host house. If you have any questions or are interested in hosting exchange students, please contact us.

Embassy of Spain in Washington
education, Languages, Travel, World,

Spain guide for exchange students

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

Barcelona Spain

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.

 

How to adapt to the country where you go on an exchange program
education, Family, Languages, Travel,

How to adapt to the country where you go on an exchange program

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.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid
education, Languages, Learn, Travel, World,

5 Reasons to go to Spain on an exchange program

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.

Spaniard’s warmth

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.

Mnemotechnics
education, Languages, Learn, Travel, World,

5 Tips on learning a language while being on an exchange program

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:

Learning languages

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.

Trust yourself

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.

Be persistent

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.

Use mnemotechnics

Mnemotechnics

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.

La Alhambra, Spain.
Languages, Learn, Travel, Voyage, World,

Discover the most beautiful places in Spain

Do you want to go on to Spain on an exchange program? Contact us or keep reading for more information about this country’s most beautiful places.

If you like to have a good time discovering new flavors and an atmosphere of eternal joy, you must go to Spain to live an experience that will exalt all your senses. This country has landscapes with the most varied climates and landscapes to fall in love with, in the presence of live music, tapas, and good beer.

Madrid city tour

For starters, Madrid, its capital, offers endless adventures. A good option to get to know this city is to make a city tour. The only thing you need to do is pay for a ticket, choose one of the two routes and hop on the bus! Then, you’ll be able to ride Madrid’s streets at your pace, since on this bus tour you’ll be able to make stops in the places you prefer.

The Alhambra

La Alhambra, Spain.

Beyond Madrid and its sumptuous western style, you’ll find the Alhambra‘s impressive architecture which invites you to relive the Nazari past. There you’ll find the palaces and gardens where emperors and kings lived. Similarly, in its corridors and courtyards, you can take incredible photographs, as well as in its beautifully decorated rooms, whose domes, tiles and perfectly preserved ornamentation await you. Keep in mind that you should get your ticket in advance because such a beautiful place is usually crowded with tourists.

Cave of Altamira

Next, we went from architectural opulence to the beginnings of civilization: the Cave of Altamira. There you will find a photo gallery where you’ll witness a sample of the European cultural heritage. Also, you must visit the mythical cave, where you can enter every Friday and recreate yourself with the pictorial creations that are there. On the other hand, you can visit the library and appreciate the rock art that is on display in this magnificent museum. Request information through the official website and get ready for an out-of-this-age experience.

Teide National Park

Teide National Park

Now’s the turn for the sensational National Park of Teide, in Tenerife, where you will find Spain’s highest point. Visit it to breathe pure air, walk along trails where volcanic lava made its appearance, and feel tiny in this place, declared as cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO. You can go up the cable car and reach the upper station at 3,555m and see a spectacular view. But this is not all; you must follow a path to ascend the crater for about 40 minutes. Once on the top, you’ll be able to watch up to 4 islands. To live this experience, you must request a special permit on the park’s website.

Hanging Houses of Cuenca

Speaking of heights, the Hanging Houses of Cuenca have a record for their beauty and particular location: they’re on a cliff. You can get to that place from the Bridge of San Pablo, which is by a stone bridge through which you must walk a bit to see these impressive houses whose interior is filled with various relics of a still-alive past.

Municipal Market of Vallehermoso

To close with a flourish, we can’t leave aside the best places to eat in Spain. In this nation, the culinary offer is very extensive, with Mediterranean, coastal and countryside environments. Tapas and other exquisite foods are the order of the day in establishments like the Municipal market of Vallehermoso, where you can find a wide range of fresh foods such as greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers and, of course, the best meats and sausages. Also, there are foreign gastronomic proposals such as Argentine cuisine, Thai, and even Japanese, combined with a range of recreational activities that will amaze both adults and children. Do not think twice and travel to Spain as soon as possible.