Blog Archives

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 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

nieve

World Snow Day!

Since 2007, the World Snow Day, thanks of the International Federation of Ski (FIS) that has had interest  to promote the white sports and enjoy the nature.

This year, it will be January 20th, the celebration is going to be all weekend, 3 days full of winter activities and sports. The president of the FIS, Gian Franco Kasper remarked the stadistic that shows that the eighth Edition again overcome the 400 registered events around the world and they expect to have 500 in the future, with a strong foundation.

When we think about snow we probably related only with ski, but there are many different activities to do enjoying the snow and the family.

Some sports are: snowboard, hicking, alpine ski, cross country ski.

Some activities are: dog sledding, snowmobile, snowsegway, ice skating, sled Racing.

Some stations have an interesting and fun igloo specially for kids.

This huge celebration come with big promotions, free classes and unique festivals. The events are located in differents places including urban areas.

There will be 112 events in China, 50 ski and snowboard schools in Poland, giving free classes for kids; 7 events in South Africa, Peru an Brazil, discounts in Austria, free sessions in the Engadin Valley in Suiza, a show for kids in Stockholm, Tallinn (Estonia) and Ullanbaatar (Mongolia). These events are planned to do it with family, there will be activities for adults and also for kids and that is thanks of the “World Snow Day Awards”; this year a prize will be given to the event that makes the most effort in realizing activities focus on kids regardless of what circumstance they are.

At the moment the prizes that are given are of 4 differents categories:

  1. “Best World Snow Day”: for events over 500 participants.
  2. “Best Small World Snow Day”:for events under 500 participants.
  3. “The Innovation Award”; for the most creative actions
  4. “Line Honors”: for the first event to register.

Remembering that the main goal of this celebration is to participate in snow activities, some ski stations have good family programmes, some of them are:

Europe:

  1. Spain
    • La molina:: offers a familiar forfait, it has sports cop creche, adventure parkm tubbing and a track called Fun Park, where your kids will not want to go.
    • Sierra Nevada: it offers sledge and paraski activities.
    •  Madrid SnowZone:  different kind of activities, available all year.
    • Grandvalira: it has a variety of activities and suitable packages depend of the needs and interests of each family.
    • Baqueira Beret: you can rent the equipment or the Package that incluyes classes and the accommodation. It also includes activities for kids.
    • Espot: it has an exclusive fortair, tubbing tracks and sledges and snow garden. Offers a Package that includes the food, so is more comfortable.
  1. United Kingdom:

2.1 Snow Factor : offers plenty snow activities, it has familiar packages as it shows in the final video.

  1. Germany:

3.1 Skischule Neuastenberg : it has classes specially for kids.

3.2 SRC Heimbach weis: it has activities such as hiking and family activities.

  1. France:

4.1 Comité des Sports de Niege du Dauphiné: it has different activities such as shot with laser rifle.

4.2 Val Montjoie Telemark: it has activities focus on kids.

  1. Switzerland:

5.1 Airolo: ski activides: free style, ski tour or free tour.

5.2 Zermatt:  located in Swiss Alps, it offers activities and accommodation.

5.3 Skii-suize: special in Swiss ski zones

  1. Austria:

6.1  OSV: alpine ski, ski jump, cross country skii and freeski.

  1. Italia

7.1 SCIvolare: located in Milan, it offers alpine and nordic ski and freestyle.

Rest of the world:

  1. U.S. and Canada:

8.1  Whistler Blackcomb: located in Canada, is one of the most known stations of the world and also the most visited of Latin America.

8.2 Park City: it is located in the western of U.S. (Utah), the station offers more than 300 tracks of all the levels.

8.3  Big Ski: located in Montana, it has one of the best ski infraestructure of North America.

8.4 Vail: it is in Colorado, is one of the first ski station.

  1. Japan:

9.1 Ramat Niseko: it offers ski and snowboard activities and also cat tour.

9.2 Hokkaido: it has a snow park, an anticue carousel and animatronic show specially for kids.

 

The World Snow Day promotes the white sport and also to spend time with family enjoying the nature. Lets enjoy the sports and activities doing them in family.

The following videos are about the experience of the World Snow Day 2018, the video is from TN Producciones.

The second video is from Snow Factor, it shows us the experience of doing snow activities with family.

Remember that our main purpose is to connect families around the world with similar interests and needs, so they can arrange a student exchange by their own, without intermediaries. Be part of Via Families community, subscribe by clicking HERE.

Happy World Snow Day!

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

Plaza España, Sevilla

Everything you need to know before making an exchange to Spain

If you go to Spain on an exchange program, it is important that you prepare yourself taking into consideration the particularities of this country as its system of government, climate, traditions, and economy, as we explain in this Spain Guide for exchange students. In addition to the above, you should know that Spain is a country with a broad history and cultural tradition, very warm people and beautiful cities where thousands of tourists arrive year after year. However, this country is also the preferred destination of many exchange students.

University of Jaén

Indeed, Spain’s exchange programs offer many benefits for your professional life and cultural development. Regarding this point, one of the main advantages of Spain over other countries in which exchange programs also take place is its renovated universities, which have an excellent educational level at good prices, as well as magnificent infrastructures. In addition, in these educational centers study programs are taught in Spanish, which is today one of the most spoken languages in the world.

On the other hand, Spain is among the most multicultural countries in the European Union because Latin Americans turn to Spain for cultural and linguistic proximity, but also Americans and Asians to learn the Spanish language. In addition, this country offers a safe environment with little endemic violence in which students can experience the joyful Spanish festivities, social gatherings, and its gastronomic culture.

Plaza España, Sevilla

And that’s not all, Spain also has dreamy tourist sites that you can visit in your free time, and doing this in the framework of an exchange program makes the experience much more special. The reason for this is that during such exchange programs students are truly integrated into the culture of the host country so they can have experiences reserved only for those who live in that place. So, with the help of their host family and in the company of other students and other people they meet during their stay in Spain, they will not only have the time to travel throughout the country, but will also attain information from people in the area which will make them live a totally different experience from that of a tourist.

In fact, although a tourist can perfectly meet people and have a good time since their stay is usually short, they could hardly develop personal relationships through which they could have the same experiences as an exchange student. As an example, it’s not the same to go to Barcelona and staying in a hostel than doing it in the house of a friend who is from Barcelona, knows the city perfectly and other people with whom one can not only visit the city but also go to private social gatherings.

Another great advantage of the exchange programs in general is that the student will live with a host family and may develop special links with the members of the said host family. These people will not only give them valuable information in the above sense but will be absolutely interested in the welfare of the student, just as if they were another member of the family, so they will be interested in their progress in the study program of the exchange program, as well as in their adaptation in the host country and Spanish fluency, reinforcing the learning of this language also at home.

As you can see, going to Spain on an exchange program offers you multiple advantages that you can’t miss.  All you have to do is make the decision to embark on this wonderful journey. Are you interested in going to Spain on an exchange program? Please contact us.

The Mayan calendar

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.

The Sagrada Familia

Best plans to do if you visit Barcelona

The sky exists and it’s called Barcelona. This city combines architectural wonders, art, beautiful parks, a dream nightlife, friendly people, one of the best football teams in the world and, as if that were not enough, cool beaches. You must definitely visit Barcelona. In this article, we will tell you some of the best plans to do when you visit Barcelona.

Visit Barcelona’s parks

Parc del Laberint

Barcelona has a wide selection of parks where you can breathe fresh air and connect with nature. Among these can be mentioned the Parque de la Ciutadella, which was built on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition of 1888, has an area of more than 17 hectares and is one of Barcelona’s lungs. This park is characterized by having a large waterfall, a lake, gardens, a grove, a greenhouse, monuments and the Barcelona Zoo.

On the other hand, the Parc del Laberint, designed in 1792 by Domenico Bagutti, is the oldest garden in Barcelona. It has an extension of 55 hectares in which there is a neoclassical garden and a romantic one. The main attractions of this park are the Minotaur’s Grotto, the Chinese gate, the artificial rocky waterfall and the romantic canal.

On the other hand, among many other parks in Barcelona, you can not miss are the Joan Miró Park, the Botanical Garden, Turó Park, the Park of Montjuic and Park Güell, one of the many splendid works of Gaudí, who we will talk about next.

Learn about Gaudí’s work

The Sagrada Familia

Antonio Gaudí was considered the most revolutionary architect of modernism and was characterized by building comfortable and striking buildings. Fourteen of Gaudí’s works are in Barcelona, among these can be mentioned the Sagrada Familia, an impressive basilica whose construction is estimated to culminate in 2030; Casa Milá, a modernist building built between 1906 and 1910; the Casa Batlló, another avant-garde building that represents the battle of San Jorge, and the remodelling of the Güell Palace, in which Gaudí provided creative solutions to increase the elegance and habitability of such palace.

Marvel at Barcelona’s cathedrals and churches

The Sagrada Familia is not the only important religious building in Barcelona. In fact, the Basilica of Santa María del Mar is the church preferred by locals. Sometimes concerts are held in this basilica, as it has an enviable acoustics. Likewise, the Basilica de la Merçé, near Port Vell, has a Gothic style and was restored with baroque tendencies. It is worth noting also the Cathedral of Barcelona, built on the remains of a mosque and a Romanesque church in the nineteenth century, and the Royal Chapel, whose construction was ordered by James II of Aragon and is located in the Roman Wall.

Enjoy tapas, pintxos, and vermouth

The tapas are appetizers that come in many forms, the most famous being patatas bravas. Among the best places in Barcelona to eat tapas are Esquinica, Quimet i Quimet and La Cova Fumada. Now, the “pintxos” are the Basque version of the tapas: bite-size dishes served on top of a loaf, being the classics made of black pudding and cod, as well as the empanadillas, but there are also newer recipes. Finally, the perfect companion for tapas and pintxos is the vermouth, which can be drunk in historic bars or cellars. In this sense, Electricity, La Pepita, and Bar Calders are recommended.

5. Bathe in the Mediterranean

One of the things that makes Barcelona the perfect city is that, in addition to all its architectural wonders and parks, it is a coastal city. In fact, it has more than 4 kilometers of beaches in which to bathe during the summer but also to walk and connect with nature at any time of the year. Among Barcelona’s main beaches are the Nova Icària, Sant Sebastià, and the Mar Bella.

Do you want to go to Spain on an exchange program and visit Barcelona? Please contact us.

Learn Spanish

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

Get to know the world thanks to an exchange program

Know the world thanks to an exchange

In this article, we will tell you how it is possible to know the world thanks to an exchange program. Let’s face it: the best way to do this is by going personally to each place; there is nothing like getting on airplanes to collect each country’s immigration stamps. However, sometimes the barriers to travel seem insurmountable. Below we will explain how to go through these barriers by becoming an exchange student.

How to overcome the reasons not to travel and get to know the world thanks to an exchange program

Get to know the world thanks to an exchange program

There are three main barriers to travel: time, money and personal safety.

1. Time

It could be thought that the fact of traveling to another country could temporarily stop our professional growth. The truth of the matter is that, as Oscar Wilde said: “Every experience is of value”. The fact of traveling per se is a transcendental experience: seeing how other people live, relate to each other and handle their own problems is something that we can extrapolate to our own personal situation, by using good examples as inspiration to improve our lives and the bad ones as a warning so to not make the same mistakes. Thus, even when you travel for pleasure you get something: experience.

 

However, when you participate in an exchange program, in addition to getting pleasure from traveling, you learn the content of the study program taught in the host country, and possibly also a new language, in the event that it is different from the one spoken in the exchange student’s country. In this way, traveling would not be in any way a waste of time but an investment in yourself that will give you a series of advantages at a professional level.

2. Money

Euros

Knowing new places, people and cultures will always be charming, but doing this within the framework of an exchange program goes much further. When traveling for pleasure you are a tourist, but this is not the case of an exchange student, since during your stay that student will be a member of the host country in the same terms as the others during the exchange program.

This has advantages and challenges. Among the first, it can be pointed out that being a member of another country has access to information, relationships and experiences that a tourist could hardly acquire: knowing which are the preferred sites for the people of the area, obtaining better prices on products and services, making friends, getting to know other people thanks to these, etc. This information will not only save you a lot of money but will make you live a more transcendental experience.

Among the challenges (not called disadvantages for the reasons explained below) is that an exchange student will experience the same difficulties as the people in the area: if there is a shortage of food, some basic service is interrupted, etc., said student will have to endure said situations. This has a double advantage: on the one hand the exchange student will learn to appreciate more their country, seeing that there are no such difficulties; and on the other hand, they must learn to handle these situations, which necessarily produce a personal expansion.

3. Personal safety

Another advantage of participating in an exchange program is that the exchange student will live in the host family’s home and will be treated as one of their members. Naturally, this family will ensure this student’s wellbeing and safety, by letting them know the safest places and travel methods and advise against those that could put them at risk. Although a travel agency could provide information in this regard, it is difficult for a company to have the same knowledge of the host country as someone who lives there, nor will it be as passionate about the exchange student’s wellbeing as the host family. Thus, you should not fear for your personal safety when traveling within the framework of an exchange program, as long as you act reasonably and follow the recommendations of your host family.

Taking into consideration the above, a person could participate in multiple exchange programs to get to know the world country by country. Are you interested in being an exchange student? Please contact us.

 

Parc Güell, Barcelona.

Countdown of the best Spanish cities to visit

Each place in Spain has its charm. To say which are the best cities in Spain would be like making the same judgment about an artist or a meal: no matter how good it may be, to say that it surpasses others is almost a sin. What can be done is, based on the facts, to establish which are the most visited cities in this country, and the National Institute of Statistics compiled such information. In this article, we will give you a countdown of the five cities with the most overnight stays in Spain, as well as the main attractions of these cities.

5. Torremolinos

The last but not the least important city in this list is Torremolinos, which is located on the Mediterranean coast of Andalusia and is home to more than 5 million tourists a year. In addition to the beaches El Bajondillo, Los Alamos, Playamar and La Carihuela, in Torremolinos there are theme parks such as Tivoli World, Selwo Marina and Crocodile Park Torremolinos, but also others for moments of relaxation and contemplation such as the Molino Inca Botanical Garden, the Parque la Baería and la Casa de las Navajas.

4. Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca’s Cathedral

Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the island of Mallorca and receives more than 8 million tourists a year. One of the main attractions of the place is the S’Amarador Beach, located in the Mondragón  National Park. It is the perfect place to go with children and picnic. Another natural wonder in Palma de Mallorca is the beach La Calobra, located in the Torrente de Pareis canyon. Now, from the architectural point of view, you can’t visit Mallorca without missing the Palau de l’Almudaina, Llotja and the imposing Cathedral of Mallorca.

3. Benidorm

Evening in Benidorm

Benidorm is the preferred Spanish destination for many older adults, because of its beaches, good prices for lodging and the endless activities that can be done, but as a matter of fact, this place is an excellent destination for people of all ages. There you can go to the beach, compare the old town center with modern skyscrapers, go to the Mirador del Castillo de Benidorm and go on a trip to the islands of Benidorm and Tabasca. Any time of the year is good to go to Benidorm but during the summer its beaches are flooded with tourists. For that reason, it is not surprising that it receives more than 15 million tourists a year.

2. Barcelona

Parc Güell, Barcelona.

Being surpassed by Madrid by only about 52 thousand tourists a year, Barcelona received 19,239,886 tourists in 2015. This city  has impressive cathedrals like those of Santa Eulalia and the Sagrada Familia, but also dream places like the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, which “dances” to the rhythm of music, and the Plaza Real, designed by Gaudí himself, who also designed Parc Güell, created with the idea of serving as a group of homes for well-off people, but which ended up being a 42-acre park inspired by English gardens. Also, Barcelona is a coastal city with great commerce and an enviable nightlife.

1. Madrid

Madrid is the preferred Spanish destination by about 20 million tourists a year. As it often happens in every capital, Spain’s capital has a busier scene than other regions, but it will surely steal your heart. In this article, we refer to the Royal Palace, the Wax Museum and other major attractions in Madrid, but also deserve special mention to the majestic Prado Museum, which among its more than 700 sculptures and 8,600 paintings includes works by El Greco, Goya, and Velásquez.

On the other hand, in the center of Madrid is Plaza Mayor, a place where thousands of tourists spend to eat or have a glass of wine, but also to see the street performers who hover the place. Finally, you’ll find The Retiro Park, which has an area of 300 acres, a site called La Rosaleda that has more than 4,000 roses, and a building named El Palacio de Cristal (in English, the Crystal Palace), which has art exhibitions and is reached by paddling.

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.

 

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.

Monfragüe National Park

5 things you can not miss if you go to Spain on an exchange program

Are you going to Spain on an exchange program? In this article, you will learn about 5 things that you can’t miss while you are at it.

Spain is considered by many as a multicultural paradise that exhibits a mixture of many trends, leaving in each corner of the country a combination of ancient structures and modern facilities. Its capital, the beautiful Madrid, has hundreds of places for leisure and recreation. Know them below:

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Reina Sofía National Art Center Museum)

We will start our journey with this museum, which offers its visitors not only the possibility of witness Guernica, Pablo Picasso’s famous painting but also holds exhibitions that portray the purest moments of art to the point of tearing apart the most dynamic conceptualisms such as those of the exposition Dada Ruso 1914-1924.

El Palacio Real de Madrid (Madrid’s Royal Palace)

Madrid's Royal Palace

Madrid’s Royal Palace

Now’s the turn for Madrid’s luxurious Royal Palace, built by King Felipe V (1683-1746). There, you’ll find the Real Botica, a pharmacy founded by King Felipe II in 1594. It’s the predecessor of the current pharmacy faculties, laboratories, and establishments. Also, in the Royal Palace, you will find the Royal Armory which has an outstanding collection of armors and weapons owned by kings and other members of the Royal House of Spain that will blow your mind.

El Museo de Cera de Madrid (Madrid’s Wax Museum)

Speaking of mind-blowing experiences, watching our idols on the TV is always wonderful, but seeing them in person is not that common, is it? The Museo de Cera, founded on February 14, 1972, offers let’s you stand face to face with sculptures of historical figures ranging from Napoleon Bonaparte to Barack Obama, artists such as Justin Bieber and Leonardo Di Caprio and sports stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Pelé, among other 450.

El Parque de las 7 tetas (7 tits’ Park)

Madrid also offers you a large natural area with a particular name, the Parque de las 7 tetas, an incredible place that owes its name to the 7 hills located in that place. It has a bar or “chiringuito”, as it is known, and a viewpoint. So get ready to take some good pictures there and have a blast with friends.

Monfragüe National Park

Monfragüe National Park

Monfragüe National Park

Outside Madrid, specifically in the Cáceres region, you’ll find the Monfragüe National Park, which, just like the Parque de las 7 tetas, is entry free. Also, it remains open 24 hours a day, each day of the year. Take your backpack and walk by this park’s authorized trails always taking care of its natural spaces. Feeding the animals is not allowed.

El barrio la Latina y el Mercado de la Cebada (La Latina neighborhood and the Barley Market)

A good way to crown this tour by Madrid is by having a few drinks and share time with your friends-or a new flame maybe? This can be done in the La Latina neighborhood. Once there you can visit the streets of Cava Alta and Cava Baja, which have restaurants of great fame thanks to their polite treatment to customers and exquisite food, deserving special mention in that regard the starry eggs of Casa Lucio.

You may also visit the renowned Viaduct of Segovia and shop in the Mercado de la Cebada, one of the largest markets in Madrid where you can get a smoothie to relieve your hangover, in case you had too many bravas and chupitos.

Those were just some of the many places to visit for those who go to Spain on an exchange program. Have you decided yet? Live the experience. Contact us.

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.

 

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.