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World Youth Skills Day

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.

YouTube  2018

inmersion-linguistica

How does an exchange influences your child?

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. 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

Source: YouTube                                                                                                                                        Year of publication: 2014

educación

Types of learning

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.

Via Families – #thatstheway

As always, I leave a video of a girl that explain and give examples of the types of learning.

Source: YouTube                                                                                                                                Year of publication: 2019

Other sources of consultation- https://psicologiaymente.com/desarrollo/tipos-de-aprendizaje

FOTO FAMILIA

International Day of Families!

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:

  1. Exchanges, whether simultaneous or not
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. Overcome fears, therefore enhances security, personal growth and self-esteem
  2. Promote autonomy and personal growth

Do you want to know more benefits? Click here

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.

 

 

 

 

 

educación in

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

solidarity+viafamilies

International Human Solidarity Day

December 20th is the day that the General Assembly proclaimed as the International Human Solidarity Day which promotes to focus on eradicating poverty, maintaining the hope of a better world, enhancing the protection of the dignity of people, the defense of the environment and the planet.

Days like today we celebrate our diversity, we take awareness of the importance of solidarity, we encourage the debate to achieve common goals, as well as the eradication of poverty. In the same way, we promote 3 actions to improve human solidarity. The first is assistance, facilitate basic services to all people. The second action is the help of development, we lay the foundations for communities to work for their own development. The third is cooperation; this is not only to empower vulnerable communities, but to generate an ethical bond between donor communities and beneficiaries.

 

May all our actions be humanitarian, let’s take our arms to help!

The Charities Aid Foundation, made a study that evaluates the solidarity behaviour of 153 countries, it focuses on 3 main values: the financial donations, the time had spent as volunteer and the time spent helping other people. Spain is number 83 of 153.

The top 10 countries most solidarities are:

  1. United States
  2. Ireland
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Netherland
  7. Canada
  8. Sri Lanka
  9. Thailand
  10. Laos

Now, we can also help as a personal label, some actions you can do are:

  1. Give your time (volunteer)
  2. Donate (specific objects, food, medicines, clothes)
  3. Make a financial donation.
  4. Organize a solidarity activity (non-profit fund raising, charity events)
  5. Solidarity education (teach to the kids the importance of being supportive through movies or stories)
  6. Fight for the human rights of all the people.

Remember that our mision in Via Families is to contribute in young education and their future to eradicate the poverty and inequality for a better world.

The following video will make us think about the daily actions in which we can collaborate.

Source of reference:

http://www.un.org/es/events/humansolidarityday/

https://www.campodecriptana.info/fechas-celebres/1555-20-de-diciembre-dia-internacional-de-la-solidaridad-humana  

http://www.worldvision.es/noticias-ayuda-humanitaria/los-10-paises-mas-solidarios-del-mundo?gclid=EAIaIQobChMImPqn36Su3wIVReh3Ch3JJwNAEAAYASAAEgJ6kvD_BwE

E-learning

New trends in education

Learning foreign languages is becoming more important every day due to the globalization, helped by the rising of the new trends in education. There is no doubt that every professional who wants to be up-to-date in their respective field should be interested in learning foreign languages. Although the ideal thing for a person who wants to learn a new language is to do it during an exchange program, other options help exchange students to advance with their language learning process before going to the exchange program’s host country.

The combination of technological tools with knowledge in Pedagogy is known as “Edtech initiatives”. The application of these technologies aims to take better advantage of the educational process, to create and reinforce new teaching methods to facilitate the work of teachers and increase efficiency in student learning.

Educational centers of all levels have incorporated virtual platforms as a means to offer their lessons while allowing students to deliver their homework and deepen the knowledge acquired in class. Moreover, there are countries in which state-of-the-art technologies such as Virtual Reality are used within the classroom. Teachers and school leaders must keep up with these trends to ensure they provide their students with the best education possible. These are the main Edtech trends:

Curricula digitalization

New curricula will address students’ digital needs by being digitized and therefore accessible to all audiences. This way, students can acquire full knowledge about what they will learn in a specific career and how they will be able to use that information.

Data Analysis for learning customization

Data Analysis will be fundamental in the future of education, particularly to determine the satisfaction of students with different training options to meet their needs better.

Personalized training

Each action carried out by students creates data, which are used by teachers to offer the first personalized training. By knowing their pupils’ weaknesses and strengths, teachers can take action to work on the first and reaffirm the latter.

Hybrid learning

The combination between the classroom and online teaching will be increasing, as teachers will begin to take advantage of the possibilities offered by technology to offer lessons in virtual form or recommend their students to use online resources as a complement to what was learned in the classroom.

Distance education and e-learning

E-learning

On the other hand, online or distance studies are a good option for those students who want to study in a certain educational institution without leaving their homes. For this reason, study centers create intranets in which teachers can leave assignments to their students, accompanied by support material, such as guides and videos, and pupils will upload such assignments to the same system, and teachers will evaluate them, all of which is done online.

Computers and mobile devices

By using computers and mobile devices, students can communicate with their teachers, classmates, and people whose mother tongue is the one they are learning, improving their communication skills. On the other hand, students can search for new words using the dictionary option on mobile phones and enrich their vocabulary. Also, they can send queries to their instructors by instant messages to quickly clarify their doubts.

Mobile applications

Mobile apps

Likewise, there are also varieties of applications that are very useful for students who are in the process of learning a new language, because they allow them to meet and communicate with people from around the world. These are some of those apps:

HelloTalk

This app offers a system with which it’s possible to learn a new language’s grammar and pronunciation. You can also make video calls and send voice or text messages, as well as exchange pictures with other people.

Duolingo

Dualingo allows you to learn languages step by step. It contains various exercises that will teach you pronunciation as well as how to write words. The best of all is that you learn with images and games.

Wibbu

This game teaches its participants to learn English and is aimed primarily at children and young Latinos.

Voxy

This Android app helps students prepare for academic exams, such as the TOEFL test. It measures the levels of learning and progress regarding pronunciation and vocabulary.

Wlingua

It has more than 600 lessons to learn the English language at any of its levels.

Memrise

Another game that allows you to study languages such as French, German, English, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Italian. You can download it for free for basic courses, and there is also a Premium version for more advanced courses.

In short, the opportunities offered by the new trends in education are numerous. Students can conduct research and obtain resources at times that best fit their schedules, from different places and according to their needs. For Jaime Ibáñez, coordinator of the Master’s Degree in ICT Applied to Education at the National Pedagogical University, integrating technology into learning environments allows greater personalization of processes which tend to respect “individual differences regarding cognitive or learning styles. ” In addition, he affirms that technologies “promote differential and adaptive learning”, because they can adapt to situations of disability and cultural differences.

Many parents are concerned about their young children’s insistence on using digital devices, with which they spend a lot of screen time and “disconnect” from the real world. But actually, this demonstrates their abilities to cope with these technological devices. Is that really a bad thing?

Now we are experiencing a period of great technological development and digital transformation, in which many adults are having trouble adapting. If children from a young age show that they are doing well with technology, their parents should let them develop their skills, which will be of great help to them in the future. They could even end up being their parent’s teachers!

Learning while traveling

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

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

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.

Embassy of Spain in Washington

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

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

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

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.

The Spanish typical letter ñ

Tips for studying Spanish

Do you want to study Spanish? In this article, we will give you some tips that will help you learn that language.

Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world. It is the official language of Spain, but also of 19 other countries located in Central and South America, the Caribbean islands (Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic) and Central Africa (Equatorial Guinea). It’s also worth mentioning that it is the second most spoken language in the United States and that, according to an article by the BBC, in the year 2017 it was estimated that there were 567 million Spanish speakers worldwide.

The Spanish typical letter ñ

Given the above, there are not a few companies that require a bridge that connects them linguistically with this public, and that is where a bilingual and trained worker becomes essential. Besides, learning Spanish opens the doors to a millenary culture, fascinating people and architectural structures whose context will make you hallucinate.

If you are already determined to learn Spanish, follow the tips below. It should be noted that to maximize your learning you must clarify every word you do not know in an English-Spanish dictionary and even in a dictionary of definitions in case you don’t understand the translation of a word or phrase in your native language. These are the tips:

Listen to Spanish music

Gustavo Cerati, Argentinian musician.

There is nothing as stimulating as a sticky melody. So if you want to feel good vibes and learn Spanish while you are at it, you may experiment with genres such as flamenco, salsa, merengue and captivating tango. You can also listen to the masters Gustavo Cerati (rock), Fito Páez (rock), Juan Luis Guerra (ballad, merengue, salsa, and bachata) and Rubén Blades (salsa) with whom you can not only learn new words but also enjoy their great melodies and exquisite prose.

Watch Spanish films, television series and documentaries related to topics that interest you.

Consider learning more about a given topic every single day. Make it your goal to progressively cover portions of this content and comment on what you have learned in class or with your acquaintances; you could also start your journal or Blog for this purpose. This way, you will stimulate your memory and comprehension of what you experienced, at the same time that you will be learning new words and expressions. Movies by Benicio del Toro, Antonio Banderas or those directed by Pedro Almodóvar and Alfonso Cuarón provide an excellent opportunity in this regard.

You can also enjoy your favorite films in a didactic way: If possible, first watch the movie in English with Spanish subtitles, a second time with Spanish dubbing and English subtitles, and a third time dubbed and subtitled in Spanish. By doing this, you will work on your reading comprehension and habituate your ears to understand this language.

Read as many Spanish authors as you can

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

If your passion is to put those little eyes of yours to work and devour books, you will enjoy the great classics of Spanish literature, by the hands of Gabriel García Márquez, Miguel Otero Silva, Rómulo Gallegos, Julio Cortázar, Ernesto Sábato, Horacio Quiroga, Mario Vargas Llosa, Isabel Allende, Garcilaso de la Vega and Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer. In them, you will find a repertoire of stories that will take you on a historical and cultural journey.

Use mobile applications in Spanish

There are mobile applications such as Fun Spanish, Duolingo, Busuu, and Babbel whose daily use work miracles in learning any language, and Spanish is no exception. You can also configure your other applications so that their default language is Spanish. It is an additional way to continually expose yourself to this language’s learning process.

Go on a student exchange program

Enjoying a great album, song, book or television series in Spanish is an excellent way to practice that language but if you really want to take your learning to a new level, a trip to a Spanish-speaking country that immerses a student into a new language through natural learning contexts after hard study would constitute a  motivational contribution that will reinforce the learning process of that language.

Now, if you are interested in studying Spanish in Spain or another Spanish-speaking country, we will be happy to help you in this regard. Please contact us to receive more information.