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Cross Cultural Solutions, Well-polished tourist destinations are great but if you have ever thought about a new kind of vacation experience, it may be time for you to try volunteering abroad. Unlike a typical vacation, an organized volunteer travel program allows you to donate a portion of your day to a local community while you vacation. Volunteer organizations tend to operate in local communities with greater need for services – communities off the beaten path. Spending time in a local community with a group of fellow volunteers is a far cry from a typical tourist vacation and can be a real eye-opener. Working closely with local people gives you a much richer and unique insight into a culture that you would not have otherwise experienced. Many people who volunteer abroad are amazed at the depth of their cultural exchange experience. For some, it is life-changing. “I spent 4 weeks working in a classroom of five-year-olds within an orphanage. It was the most amazing experience of my entire life. Because of that trip I came to realize how big the world is — how enriching it is to live among different cultures. Today, over a month after I returned, I think of my experiences, and especially the people I met there, constantly. I am a more aware, open person, and I have found not only things within myself, but my life calling and aspiration.” Sarah, Cross-Cultural Solutions volunteer Headquartered in New Rochelle, NY, Cross-Cultural Solutions is a leading organization in the field of international volunteering. CCS has an infrastructure that supports approximately 4,000 international volunteers each year and over 250 sustainable community initiatives. More than 250 CCS in-country staff work year-round, ensuring that volunteers are involved in projects that contribute directly to the goals of each community. The CCS experience includes cultural and learning activities giving volunteers the opportunity to learn about the local culture. There is an in-depth orientation, language training, guest speakers and more. It’s not all work and no play. After volunteer work in the mornings and over the weekend, there is plenty of free time to relax, reflect, or explore the community. To contact CCS, visit their website at www.crossculturalsolutions.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Way with Words
Input-Based Incremental Vocabulary Instruction by Joe Barcroft
TESOL International Association 123 pages ISBN 193-1185752
Joe Barcroft premises his new book, Input-Based Incremental Vocabulary Instruction, by pointing out that while the subject of grammar acquisition has been the centerpiece of second-language acquisition research, newer studies suggest that vocabulary has a central role in language acquisition. Therefore, Barcroft posits that vocabulary should also be central in the development of programs and in the teaching of second languages. He writes, “The purpose of this book is to explain and exemplify an approach to L2 vocabulary instruction that relies heavily on concrete research findings and the theoretical advances that they support.” The explanations and examples are intended to give teachers the tools they need to create their own activities, appropriate for their students, using input-based incremental vocabulary instruction.
The first chapter, “Getting Started with Five Questions,” fosters the reader’s self-assessment of his or her current vocabulary instruction style and brainstorming on how to implement an input-based incremental (IBI) approach. In the next chapter, “Ten Principles of Effective Vocabulary Instruction,” Barcroft outlines ten principles to IBI vocabulary instruction and then thoroughly discusses each principle, looking at its rationale, research support, and theoretical grounding. This chapter answers theoretical questions of how and why, while preserving a more detailed description of how teachers can use an IBI approach in the classroom for later chapters.
Chapter Three, “Checklist for Designing and Implementing Vocabulary Lessons,” is like a how-to guide for creating and executing IBI vocabulary lessons. The seven-item checklist includes deciding on target vocabulary and materials; ensuring that activities are meaningful, educational, and interactive; using cultural and historical information if appropriate; presenting the target vocabulary repeatedly in the input; increasing difficulty of tasks gradually over time; incorporating a number of the principles from Chapter Two; and including directly applicable research findings, which demands “an ongoing consideration of the L2 vocabulary research literature.” The chapter offers a sample lesson and concludes with guidelines for creating vocabulary lessons.
Chapters Four and Five, both entitled “Lessons for Your Classroom,” have a total of ten lessons that teachers can use or adapt for their own classrooms. All ten lessons use the IBI approach independently. Chapter Four’s lessons use multiple sources of input, while Chapter Five focuses on reading as a primary source of input.
The final chapter, Chapter Six, shows how the IBI approach can be used to supplement existing materials. Barcroft recommends supplementing whenever “new vocabulary is (a) not presented in the input with sufficient repetition, (b) not presented using meaning-bearing and sufficiently comprehensible input, and (c) not treated in a manner that respects the incremental nature of vocabulary learning.”
Input-Based Incremental Vocabulary Instruction encourages readers to assess their own methods for teaching vocabulary and gives them tools for how to make their vocabulary lessons more effective using the IBI approach. The book is well-organized, tightly written, and to the point. This book would be a good addition to the reading list of a professional development course, or an excellent tool for language teachers who want to implement this cutting-edge research into their courses and upgrade their vocabulary lessons. Teachers who are not comfortable reading theory or research might face difficulties in trying to use this book. Because it focuses on a newer approach that goes against long-standing approaches that center on output, Barcroft uses numerous research studies and theories to support the IBI approach to convert skeptics. Teachers who are comfortable reading theory will be rewarded with a book that successfully bridges the gap between research on the IBI approach and its practical implementation in the classroom.
Kristal Bivona is assistant editor at Language Magazine.
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Renovating Your Writing: Shaping Ideas into Clear, Concise, and Compelling Messages
ISBN-10: 020525439X • ISBN-13: 9780205254392
(c)2013 • Pearson, White Plains, NY
Writing successfully is often a challenging task, one that many people struggle with throughout their careers and lives. In school, students are taught a specific format for writing and revising papers. Out of school, writers are faced with many other types of writing needs that can be taxing and difficult to master. Whether you are writing or revising an essay for a class, drafting a business proposal, or trying to engage in creative activities, writing can prove to be a frustrating and complex process, one that requires precision, time and thought. Richard Kallan’s text breaks down the difficult and often daunting task of writing by providing clear and effective strategies, explanations, and exercises. Renovating Your Writing serves as a useful tool in and outside of the classroom setting, one that offers a detailed insight into the methods of writing, drafting, and revising, of using particular grammatical functions, of creating concise sentences, and more.
Each chapter outlines a particular writing function, offering definitions and simple explanations and providing helpful hints and exercises that allow readers to apply theory to practice. Kallan affirms that the text is designed to hone the skill of a writer who has prior experience with writing but is looking for improvement and mastery. He notes that successful writing takes years of practice and his text serves as a working tool designed to offer tips and strategies that can increase the quality of writing and revising.
Kallan divides the text into two main parts, each of which is separated into chapters with clever titles such as “State Your Purpose Like You Mean It,” “Build Them (Paragraphs) Right and They (Readers) Will Come,” and “Drive Home Your Message: Format Your Document.” Avoiding complicated or coded language, the author offers a non-threatening view of the writing process. His easy-to-follow explanations, numerous examples, and practical strategies encourage the reader to consider effective writing as a feasible and engaging activity.
Part one focuses on the construction of sentences and paragraphs and explains how to make them concise and clear, emphasizing the importance of tightening up a sentence or paragraph while retaining the meaning. Part one also stresses the importance of writing direct statements using active words that result in stronger, clearer, and more coherent sentences. Each chapter in part one provides examples of poorly constructed paragraphs along with their revisions, giving the reader an idea of how well-structured sentences and paragraphs should read. Kallan also discusses the importance of sentence structure for creating an effectively organized paragraph or essay. Part two examines the use of punctuation, clarifies the protocol of writing emails, provides a system to gauge a writer’s skill level, and offers guidance for short story creation.
The value of Kallan’s text resides in its comprehensive approach to writing as an activity inherent to many spheres: academic, professional, and private. He utilizes a clear, informal writing style that allows readers to follow his methods and strategies effortlessly. Kallan’s helpful and easy-to-follow tips bestow confidence on those writers who might be hesitant when learning how to improve their writing. Renovating Your Writing is a relevant and useful text, one that focuses on the rewarding benefits of writing successfully. Kallan’s text is insightful and well structured, offering readers comprehensible rules and tactics to improve their skills in the process and production of writing.
Cristina Fucaloro is an English MA candidate with options in literature and rhetoric/composition at California Polytechnic University, Pomona.
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Stephen A. Schwarzman, founder of financial services giant Blackstone, has announced a $100 million (¥600 million) personal gift to build and endow an elite scholarship program in China A simultaneous fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $200 million (¥1.2 billion) will make the program the largest charitable effort in China’s history with funds coming largely from outside the country. The “Schwarzman Scholars” program will be housed at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities, dedicated to academic excellence and integrity, and the interaction between Chinese and Western cultures.
Schwarzman Scholars will support 200 students annually for a one-year Master’s program at Tsinghua University under the direction of Dean David Daokui Li, a prominent Chinese economist and former member of China’s currency board. Students will hail predominantly from the U.S., but also from Europe, South Korea, Japan, India and other areas of the globe. Students will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures by heads of state, traveling throughout the country, and developing a true understanding of China.
The first class of students is slated for 2016, upon the completion of Schwarzman College, a residential building designed specifically for the program. The admissions season will open in 2015.
Schwarzman claims to have been inspired by the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship program created in 1902 by British statesman Cecil J. Rhodes, “When Cecil J. Rhodes created the Rhodes Scholarship program in 1902 to promote international understanding, Europe was at the center of gravity for the world’s economy, and the United States, the British Empire and Germany were the world’s most influential global players. While the 20th century was defined by U.S. ties to Europe, there is no question that the nature of China’s international relationships will play at least as important a role in this century.”
He continued, “China’s economy is growing at three times the rate of the West, and if that growth continues, China will become the largest economy in the world within the next couple of decades. Disproportionate levels of growth often create global imbalances and tensions, which will need to be addressed in the decades ahead. Looking to the future, it is crucial that both countries and others around the world work hard to build on a foundation of interdependence, to foster stronger and deeper relationships, and to develop a real and full understanding of each other’s cultures among the next generations of business and political leaders. In the 21st century, China is no longer an elective course, it’s core curriculum.
“For the West, this means developing a far richer and more nuanced understanding of China’s social, political and economic context. A win-win relationship of mutual respect between the West and China is vital, benefiting Asia and the rest of the world, and enhancing economic ties that could lead to a new era of mutual prosperity.
“Leveraging the world-class resources and talented people at Tsinghua University, one of China’s most prestigious universities, the program will bring together an exceptional group of students who, we hope, will one day have the power to change the course of history.”
Honorary embers of Schwarzman Scholars advisory board include Tony Blair, Nicolas Sarkozy, Henry Kissinger, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, Brian Mulroney, Kevin Rudd, and Tung CheeHwa, vice chairman of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
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Salamanca may be famous for its tradition of educational excellence as well as the fun-filled fiestas that ignite the city in February
Salamanca is renowned for its university, which was granted a royal charter by Alfonso IX of León nearly 800 years ago in 1218. Soon, it became one of the most significant and prestigious academic centers in Europe. Now, Salamanca is probably the most important seat of learning in Spain and attracts one in six of the country’s overseas students of Spanish language, creating a wonderfully diverse academic environment.
However, residents of the city and its local region also know how to celebrate, and every year, Salamanca offers a considerable calendar of events, including the Muestra Nacional de Jazz (National Jazz Festival) at the beginning of March, the Holy Week festivities at Easter, and the Corpus Christi festival in June — which is based around the Old Cathedral.
Another local event is the Romeria de la Virgen del Castanar in September, which is held in El Castanar and attracts thousands of visitors from the Salamanca area.
Somewhat surprisingly, the most popular festivals in Salamanca are the lively carnivals held in February. The events include parades, fancy dress, and open-air dances. Everything is street-based and suitable for any age, but it is best appreciated at night, when the stylish Casino de Salamanca and the bars in the Gran Vía or Calle Bordadores put on entertainment, allowing everyone to give free rein to their imagination whether or not they are in fancy dress.
• Las Candelas — early February, major folk celebrations in nearby Candelario, which stands around 72 km / 45 miles from Salamanca, with many local festivities, including a charity auction, gastronomic events and a vibrant atmosphere.
• Carnaval del Toro (Carnival of the Bull) — early February, a range of festivities involving young bulls, fancy dress and parades, in nearby Ciudad Rodrigo, around 89 km / 55 miles from Salamanca.
• Carnaval — early February, the popular Salamanca Carnival consisting of numerous parades and festivities in various regions of the city, together with concerts, dancing and plenty of evening entertainment.
• Las Calendas — early February, annual celebrations held in nearby Ciudad Rodrigo.
• Fiestas de San Juan — early February, with a varied program of events in and around Salamanca, including performances by magicians and general street entertainers, culminating in a fireworks display and evening bonfires.
• Muestra Nacional de Jazz (National Jazz Festival) — mid-February / early March, an impressive and extremely popular jazz event with concerts taking place all over the city. It features many international jazz musicians and attracts large crowds of visitors.
Schools in Salamanca
Founded in 1991 and located in the center of Salamanca, Mester’s mission is to develop students’ communicative and intercultural competency in Spanish so that they can express themselves in any Spanish-speaking country. Most of the students come to the school via recommendation from their Spanish teacher or from former students. Their enthusiasm and satisfaction is the best image of the school.
At Mester, education does not finish in class. The school organizes activities which offer the opportunity to see different aspects of Spanish life, such as visits to historic monuments, weekend excursions, salsa or guitar classes, and tapas tours. Staff are trained to help students find the most suitable program depending on academic, professional, or personal needs and objectives.
Tía Tula Colegio de Español
Tía Tula is a lovely Spanish school in the historical university center of Salamanca and accredited by the Instituto Cervantes as a centre of high-quality Spanish teaching.
Just like Salamanca — the city which is always referred to when talking about Spanish teaching throughout the world — Tía Tula combines its classical framework and facilities with the modernity of its people and their methods. Inside there are pretty and comfortable classrooms with views of the city monuments. Tía Tula also has excellent teaching staff with high qualifications and lots of experience and an amazing administrative team.
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Educational materials in the Arabic language, will be available for free online through the Open Book Project launched last month by the U.S. Department of State in cooperation with the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO).
“Through the Open Book Project, we will work to expand access to free, high-quality, open education materials in Arabic, with a focus on science and technology. Our hope is to lower geographic, economic, and even gender-based barriers to learning,” said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a briefing to announce the initiative. “Anyone with access to the Internet will be able to read, download and print the open materials for free or adapt a copy that meets the local needs of their classrooms or education systems.”
The project will focus on the creation of Arabic-language resources on science and technology, so Clinton pointed out the historical connection, “You could say we are returning to a very old tradition, because at a time when Europe was still in the dark ages, Arab scholars preserved seminal writings from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome that would have otherwise have been lost.”
According to the secretary, working with ALECSO and others to create free access to quality educational materials demonstrates to Arabic-speaking publics America’s interest in helping them realize their economic aspirations, “We see educational diplomacy as the means for fulfilling the obligations to try to match reality and actions with the aspirations and hopes of the men and women across the Arab world.”
But, she also stressed the importance of local input; “We know it’s not enough to generate the right material. We have to work together to make sure it is connected to Arab educators, students, and classrooms, and I hope we can put a full year of high-quality college-level science textbooks — biology, chemistry, physics, and calculus — online, for free, in Arabic. And we also want to help Arab professors and intellectuals create their own open courses.”
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Daniel Ward can hardly conceal his passion for this most Spanish of regions
Castilla y León is not only the largest region of Spain, but the historical land which gave birth to Castellano (Castilian Spanish), the legendary hero El Cid, and Saint Teresa of Avila. The elevated plain which boasts more medieval castles than anywhere else in Europe is defined by the mountain ranges Sistema Iberico to the east, Cordillera Central to the south, Cordillera Cantabrica to the north and by the River Duero towards Portugal.
History and legend have come together here to create a magical atmosphere so it is hardly surprising that Walt Disney used Segovia’s Moorish fortress as the inspiration for his famous fairytale castle. The ancient kingdom of Castilla (or Castile) was first united with the neighboring kingdom of León in the early part of the 11th century. It takes its name from the many castles built by the Christians as a defense against the Moorish invaders in the 8th and 9th centuries. In the early years of Arab domination, the region was at the vanguard of the centuries-long battle to oust the Moors. The most famous champion of the Christian reconquest was El Cid el Campeador who was born in Bivar near the city of Burgos and whose coffin lies in the city’s truly magnificent 13th century cathedral (yet another of the region’s many World Heritage sites).
Students from all over the world come to absorb the rich history of the region and benefit from its impeccable educational tradition.
The region’s capital, Valladolid, has one of the most important sculpture museums of all Spain, and the famous Easter week processions are of great tourist interest. The city itself is monumental, and it is surrounded by innumerable castles. It is also claimed that the city’s inhabitants speak the most pure form of Castilian Spanish. Valladolid began to become important from the 11th century, when Count Ansúrez came to govern the city in the name of Alfonso VI. It reached its peak during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs (15th C.), when the university became one of the most important in the country. And, as well as playing a leading role in key episodes in Spanish history, Valladolid has twice been the capital of Spain, firstly with Carlos I (16th C.) and later when Felipe III came to the throne (17th C.). Of particular interest to American students are the Casa de Cervantes, where the icon of the Spanish language gave the finishing touches to his masterpiece Don Quijote, and the Christopher Columbus House-Museum, where the navigator spent the last years of his life. Nowadays the palace exhibits various pieces and documents related to the discovery of America.
The golden city of Salamanca (so-called because of the yellowy-red sandstone used in the construction of many of its ancient and modern buildings) is home to Spain’s oldest university which was founded in 1218 by King Alfonso IX. It is a city of outstanding beauty and rich cultural heritage.
Segovia’s most famous monument is certainly its colossal Roman aqueduct which dominates the town. Additional attractions include the Alcazar and the Gothic cathedral.
The fortified medieval town of Avila, the birthplace of Saint Teresa, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the whole of the region. It is still encircled by 11th century walls with nine gates and more than 80 look-out towers.
Besides its vast wealth of historic and cultural treasures, Castilla y León is also blessed with some of Spain’s loveliest scenery including dramatic mountain landscapes and protected nature reserves inhabited by the rare Iberian Lynx and brown bears. One of the most stunning protected reserves in Spain is the Sierra de Gredos.
University of Vallodolid
The history of the University of Valladolid stretches back over 700 years, making it one of the oldest universities in Europe and one of the leading centers of higher education in Spain. University of Valladolid therefore plays an important role as one of the key institutions for learning Spanish in Spain. Spanish courses are held in an open and friendly environment in the new Miguel Delibes University campus. The University offers a wide range of courses at all levels and the curriculum is wide-ranging, aiming to combine a practical knowledge of Spanish with immersion in various cultural aspects of the country through its history, art, and literature. Valladolid offers experience in teaching, historical heritage, and cultural traditions. The combination of these features offers a strong option for studying and experiencing Spanish culture in its natural environment. It is a medium-sized city that is safe and pleasant for walking around and boasts a hospitable atmosphere.
The Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes (UEMC) is a private and independent university created in 2002. It is characterized by its international focus, personal treatment of students, and aims to provide the best theoretical preparation and practice for future professionals. The UEMC is a certified testing center for the Cervantes Instiute DELE exam and offers the possibility of studying Spanish in a personalized way according to the different levels, in small groups and with a maximum of 15 students per classroom.
Tía Tula Colegio de Español
Tía Tula is a lovely modern Spanish language school in the historic center of Salamanca. It is a location bustling with student and tourist activity, surrounded by the main monuments of the city.
The teaching staff is composed of experienced instructors specializing in teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Staff meet continually to track each student’s progress. Classrooms are spacious and light, with big windows and balconies featuring views of the monumental center, all with the modern audiovisual tools (internet connection and wi-fi included) and air conditioning.
The administrative staff helps students to feel at home in Salamanca, assisting students in whatever they may need: information about life and cultural activities in Salamanca, planning trips, organizing extracurricular activities, and selecting accommodations according to the student’s needs.
Letra Hispánica attracts students interested in the wide array of Hispanic cultures. Students, as well as participants in other programs, are offered individual instruction that attends to special needs and requests. The teaching philosophy is based on the old motto “enseñar deleitando,” which in English means, “To teach so that learning is enjoyable.” Teachers strive for each student to acquire theoretical knowledge in the classroom as well as knowledge based on experience in the real world, which is why the school promotes personal contact with professors, intellectuals, writers, and artists, in addition to other students from Salamanca. The genuine regard for Hispanic cultures results in dedication, enthusiasm, and a staff committed to a vision without stereotypes. It is located near the center of Salamanca, which is full of monuments of great beauty and historical value. In addition to the quality of educational aspects, the school provides accommodation with carefully selected families, apartments, residences or shared flats. Cultural activities are available in the evenings and thematic trips are available on the weekends so that students may better understand the Spanish culture and landscapes.
Recognized by the Instituto Cervantes and situated in a historic building near the the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, Colegio Delibes has been recently restored and equipped with the latest technology. The school features twenty air-conditioned classrooms, a video and conference room, an audio lab, library, and an IT room with free internet and wireless access. There is also an enclosed patio with a Castilian well where students can relax with a coffee and socialize during breaks. The college is best characterized by its international student body (3000 students from 55 different nationalities during last year) with a complete program of extracurricular activities, most of which are free of charge for students of the school. Accommodations vary between host families, student residences, shared apartments, studios, and hotels. Colegio Delibes is known for its intensive, wide-ranging courses, small class sizes, and personalized attention: the staff strives to help students feel at home while living abroad. The school works with U.S. universities and high schools and it is possible to obtain college credit.
Hispano Continental is located in the historic center of Salamanca, close to the famous Plaza Mayor and at the heart of the city: cinemas, bars, restaurants, and an immense variety of shops are all easily accessible. The school, founded in 1989 with the aim of creating a pleasant atmosphere in which to learn Spanish, has seen increasing numbers of students from all over the world in attendance. The school is characterized by personalized instruction, allowing students to progress easily and rapidly. Groups are small and students can begin courses every Monday of the year. Hispano Continental offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities and a full cultural program to all its students. The school also organizes specific courses and activities for individual groups. Many U.S. universities and high schools have formed study abroad partnerships with the school which it attributes to its ability to adapt to each school’s needs.
Enforex, a large and prestigious organization specialized in teaching Spanish as a foreign language, gives students the opportunity to integrate into the Spanish life. The school is located in the center of the gorgeous “Golden City” of Salamanca, home of some of the most fascinating architecture in Europe. A city with many students and vibrant nightlife, this European culture capital stands out with its stunning Old Town and beautiful Plaza Mayor. The school offers six different levels of Spanish which are divided into three sublevels, ensuring that there is an appropriate level available for each student. Courses start every Monday of the year in a renovated and modernized former convent with a large patio and salamantino adornment throughout. Enforex welcomes students to be a part of over 35,000 students from more than 72 countries joining its programs every year.
I.T.S. began operation in 1993 as a school specializing in courses on interpreting and translation. These specific and high-level courses were, and still are, geared towards future interpreters and translators and also towards professionals currently employed in this field. Since students who had not yet attained the level of Spanish required for interpreting and translation courses wanted language courses at lower levels, the school began to offer general courses in Spanish at six different levels. As the Spanish courses are divided up into modules, students can design their own course of study and tailor it to their needs. The modular system is particularly flexible at higher levels, where students can chose from eight different offerings. This way of organizing courses is appealing to a wide cross-section of ages ranging from 18 to 70. All teachers have ample experience in their specialization, whether it be interpreting, translating, or Spanish as a foreign language.
Since 1996, The Official Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Soria Province (EISORIA) has organized Spanish Courses and Practical Trainings. This is an accredited center of the Cervantes Institute, in collaboration with Valladolid University. The main target of the Chamber is offering Spanish studies that are linguistically and culturally focused, combining language lessons with games, sports and cultural activities. This year’s courses are July 4-29 or August 1-26. Students may live with local families, in residence halls, or in apartments. The Official Chamber of Commerce of Soria gives students the opportunity to fulfill professional training in local companies. Training positions can start at any time of the year and, while any length of time is acceptable, a minimum stay of three months is recommended.
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This famous 2009-mile strip of land, sandwiched by the Pacific Ocean to the West and the Andes to the East, offers geographic diversity rivaled by few other nations. From the frozen tip of Patagonia to the arid, hot Atacama Desert, through all the temperate landscapes, jaw-dropping beaches, and hazy wine regions in between, Chile keeps its visitors mesmerized with natural beauty and cultural wealth. Chile also boasts some of the best universities in Latin America.
Students who love the extremes, or those who are content with a beautiful sunset and a good bottle of Cabernet will add value to their Spanish-immersion experience in Chile. Aside from the offerings of the land, the Chilean people possess a rich literary tradition, a bittersweet national history, and an exciting culinary scene.
City slickers can see and be seen in the sprawling metropolis of Santiago, or seek weekend refuge at a smaller beach town. Easter Island is an ideal destination for admirers of flora and fauna. Skiers and snowboarders can spend months slaloming at the country’s numerous ski resorts while couples can take a romantic trip over to the wine country for some of the world’s finest vino.
A recent survey by QS World University, shows that Santiago is the third best Latin American city in which to study abroad, ranking 41st within the 98 cities considered in the survey. Among the best universities in Latin America are Pontificia Universidad Católica (2nd place) and Universidad de Chile (4th place).
Chile’s strength relies on high quality education services and the prestige it has abroad, particularly within Latin America; the country’s secure and stable political, economic and social environment; and the diversity of educational programs on offer at universities with wide international networks.
Tandem Santiago has offered Spanish immersion courses in Chile for 20 years now. Students choose group courses with 20, 30, or 35 lessons per week or private courses that instruct general Spanish, which can be personalized to delve into specific purposes such as Spanish for teachers, lawyers, doctors, or business as well as DELE preparation classes. Other educational opportunities include a wine course, salsa classes, weekend excursions to the Andes and the coast, and exchange activities with local students.
Tandem Santiago is a founding member of the AMERIGO network of high-quality Latin American language schools. AMERIGO schools boast excellent track records and are locally owned and operated. By studying in the AMERIGO network, students can choose city combination programs, spending their immersion experiences in different locations, such as Academia Uruguay, Academia Buenos Aires, and SET Idiomas in Córdoba, Argentina.
Chile-Spanish is a student residence language school in the center of Puerto Varas (Lake District), where students can learn Spanish by immersing themselves in the local culture. Native teachers create a custom curriculum to fit the individual needs of each student. Their teaching method aims to make students feel good about language learning. Extra-curricular activities include nature walks, cooking classes, visiting museums and local markets places, while also affording opportunities to visit locations that are off the beaten path.
The student residence offers private bathrooms, kitchenettes, WiFi, and a library. With direct views of two volcanoes nestled behind lake Llanquihue, this small town is the ideal starting point for adventure sports like zip-lining, canoeing, mountain biking, horseback riding or rafting.
Posted 11 months, 4 weeks ago at 6:50 pm. Add a comment
Colombia is a fantastic destination for students wanting to experience South America. Although Colombia is still working to shake a bad reputation from its tumultuous political past, policies implemented over the last two decades have made the country very safe. Now is the time to discover all Colombia has to offer.
Students who come to Colombia can choose to study in the hustle and bustle of Bogotá, Colombia’s capital, or in one of its smaller cities, like Cali, Medellín, or Shakira’s hometown, Barranquilla. Colombian Spanish is often considered to be clear and easily understood, crucial for students hoping to improve their language skills. Colombia has rich cultural traditions and a growing economy, which makes it an attractive place to study for students of all majors.
Colombia also boasts impressive ecological diversity. From the rugged peaks of the Andes Mountains to pristine beaches of the Caribbean Sea to the biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest, there is no shortage of natural beauty to explore. After their time outdoors, students can dance the night away to the rhythms of salsa or vallenato.
For students looking to study in Latin America, Colombia offers an ideal mix of urban sophistication, colonial charm, and natural wonder.
Universidad Tecnológica de Bolivar
In beautiful Cartagena de Indias, Colombia students can gain top-notch Spanish language training at the Open Access Language Center at Universidad Tecnológica de Bolivar. Cartagena was declared is a UNESCO World Heritage History Center for its port, fortresses, and monuments. It is located by the Caribbean Sea in the north of South America with great tropical weather, coaxing students to enjoy the sea, the warm Caribbean breeze, the delicious regional food, and vibrant music while learning Spanish.
Students can earn up to five university credits for attending their four-week program, which is approved by the Cervantes Institute. The Open Access Language Center has courses on a weekly basis as well as group Summer programs and individual, personalized courses. The program is ideal for students at any level of Spanish, and offers various cultural activities, such as visits to touristic and historical points of interest in Cartagena de Indias, sports, diving, dancing, and sailing.
Universidad de La Salle
The La Salle University Language Center aims to enhance the academic and cultural development of students based on language acquisition within the ¨Lasallian¨ values and philosophy. Their teaching methodology is grounded in communicative and task-based approaches so that students can achieve specific objectives in the target language by using it in real life.
Students can take up to 20 hours of class per week and embark on daily cultural trips where they can practice their newly acquired language. La Salle also offers personalized course plans for students with specific needs.
CEPEX Universidad Externado de Colombia (Bogotá)
Founded in 1999, the Centre, part of the Faculty of Finance, Government and International Relations, offers courses in Spanish as a Foreign Language courses to both foreign residents in Colombia and students from abroad to learn Spanish and take university courses.
All teachers working for CEPEX draw on years of teaching experience, employing in the most recent developments in pedagogical research their teaching practice and methodology.
With start dates throughout the year and both intensive and semi-intensive courses on a wide variety of course topics, CEPEX offers flexibility to fit any lifestyle. The school is located in one of the most desirable parts of Bogotá, the historical center of the Candelaria. This neighborhood is renowned for its colonial architecture and old world charm, offering many activities for time between classes.
The Amazon Spanish College
The Amazon Spanish College offers the opportunity to discover the wonders of the Amazon rainforest while studying Spanish and being immersed in the Colombian culture. The Colombian Amazon is a destination replete with life and unparalleled fauna and flora. Few places this pristine exist on our planet anymore.
The school is located in Leticia, in the southernmost part of the country where Colombia, Brazil, and Peru meet on the Amazon River. It also serves as the perfect base for different kinds of eco-tourist activities like nature hikes, overnight stays in the jungle, fishing, night safaris, bird-watching, kayaking, and canopy activities. Furthermore, students learn about Colombian culture, with typical local meals and even learn how to dance salsa and merengue.
The Amazon Spanish College offers group language courses and intensive courses at all levels, accommodation at the college’s on-campus bungalows, or with local host families, weekend eco-adventures, and volunteer programs.
EAFIT University’s Spanish Program provides total immersion in Latin American culture and Spanish in Colombia.
EAFIT offers the chance to have daily intensive Spanish lessons at a vibrant university campus surrounded by the friendliest people, and live with a local host family to help students boost their command of the language and get to know Latin American culture. The EAFIT University program in Medellín is internationally accredited by the Cervantes Institute and ACCET, ensuring quality Spanish language training. Outside of class, students can connect with conversation partners who help with the acquisition of colloquial language.
Medellín is one of the world’s most exciting cities. Students get to know Colombia and its culture through mixing with the locals and traveling in the region. Studying with the Latin American Culture and Spanish Immersion Program at EAFIT is an exhilarating way improve Spanish proficiency and become a part of the local culture.