At Centro MundoLengua we have been organizing middle school and high school study abroad programs in Spain since 2005. All members of our team work in situ and know better than anybody the possibilities available in your study destination and how to get the maximum out of them. Our study center in Sevilla has received formal accreditation by the Instituto Cervantes; the only international accreditation for schools that teach Spanish as a foreign language and one that demonstrates our commitment to excellence and to continued development. Our study center stands out for various reasons:
• Multi-focused programs. With Centro MundoLengua you will not only be improving your knowledge of and proficiency in the language, but also thoroughly enriching various aspects of your life (academic, cultural, personal etc.) during your middle / high school study abroad program.
• Security and client orientation. We provide one group coordinator for every 15 students and 24-hour responsive assistance in case of emergency.
• Unforgettable experiences. We are dedicated to transforming your stay with us into a major life milestone. You will get the chance to fully live the Spanish culture as the locals do and connect with new friends from different countries.
• Complete immersion. You will be learning Spanish in an environment and in a fashion that is typically Spanish (with host families, classes, volunteering work, language exchanges….).
As far in advance from the program start as possible via our our website www.centromundolengua.com. Bear in mind that spaces for our middle / high school study abroad programs are often limited and demand is high.
Yes. Generally speaking, a deposit corresponding to 20% of the total program price is required to reserve a space for one of our middle / high school study abroad programs. However, the amount can change depending on the program. Please get in touch in order to clarify the deposit value in your specific case.
You will receive an automated message that confirms the successful receipt of your registration. If you have not already by this stage, you must pay the program deposit. In addition you will be required to provide us with a copy of your passport, a recent photograph and, if you are travelling to Spain alone, your travel itinerary.
You must ensure that you have a passport that will remain valid for the duration of your program (and in some cases up to 6 months after the scheduled departure date for your program). You may also need to apply for a visa if you are doing a longer term program. Remember; you must provide us with a copy of your passport, a recent photograph and your travel itinerary if you are travelling to Spain alone. Furthermore you will be responsible for your travel arrangements (including purchasing flights) if you are travelling alone to Spain. For students who are not travelling with a school group, you must prepare your travel arrangements so that you arrive in the location in question on the Sunday before your classes are due to begin, and leave Spain on the Saturday immediately following the conclusion of your classes. We advise you to purchase your flights as soon as you know the dates of your stay with us. Spain is an extremely popular tourist destination all year round and prices can quickly rise as you approach the date of travel.
If you eventually decide not to participate in a middle / high school study abroad program you have already registered for and wish to cancel, you have three options; confirming cancellation by email, filling out our withdrawal form available on our website or cancelling via the student portal. For more information concerning refunds, please consult our legal terms and conditions.
You are able to make any change to the contracted program you like as long as you notify Centro MundoLengua of the desired changes 45 days prior to the beginning of the program at the very latest, excluding personalized programs. In this case, please get in touch.
After having paid the deposit to reserve your space for your middle / high school study abroad program, the remaining amount should be paid in full 8 weeks (56 calendar days) before the program start date. If you complete the online registration less than 8 weeks prior to the beginning of your middle / high school study abroad program, you must complete the payment for the program in full as soon as you receive confirmation of your participation from us. All associated bank charges must be covered by you.
In some cases we can offer flexible payment plans. Get in touch for more information about this possibility.
Yes. Centro MundoLengua offers support for our summer high school study abroad programs. Click here for more information. If you are ineligible for one of our high school study abroad scholarships but still require financial support to participate in one of our middle / high school study abroad programs, we advise you to use the crowd funding platform FundMyTravel.
The quickest and most convenient payment method we offer is debit / credit card payment through our secure website. We also accept payment through PayPal, checks (made payable to Centro MundoLengua) and bank transfers. Remember that in order to confirm your participation in your middle / high school study abroad program, you must complete the deposit and pay the remaining balance at the latest 8 weeks before the start date of your program. All transaction costs associated with payment shall be borne by the student.
Generally speaking, our middle / high school study abroad programs include Spanish language and culture classes, a social, cultural and recreational activity program, accommodation and full-board in a homestay with a local Spanish family, transfer to and from the airport closest to our facilities and 24-hour supervision and assistance throughout the program. Furthermore, weekend excursions and health and travel insurance can be included. Please contact us for more information reagarding your specific program.
Lightweight and comfortable clothing! Modest, everyday clothing will suffice for the majority of the activities you will be doing with Centro MundoLengua. That said, bear in mind that Spanish dress sense is often more formal than just a combination of flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt. What’s more, during visits to specific monuments such as places of worship, entry will be denied to individuals who fail to dress appropriately.
Begin by thinking of the simple, essential items you will need before you begin to pack. Start with items of clothing that you will be able to easily match up with others. You will definitely need a good pair of walking shoes! Please include at least one elegant outfit that you can wear for evening and more formal events. It is also important that you bring hygiene products and a couple days’ worth of clothing in your hand luggage, just in case of complications regarding your suitcase.
Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list, but it can give you an idea of the sort of things that you may need. Always bear in mind that if you come from outside Europe you will need a travel adaptor that transforms the voltage of all electrical appliances purchased in your country of origin that you will use in Spain. If not, you run the risk of fusing your appliances.
Once you are there, you will proceed to baggage claim and collect your luggage. A representative from Centro MundoLengua will be waiting for you as you exit the baggage claim area. The representative will be easily identifiable in some way.
If you get to the arrivals hall and you do not see anybody from Centro MundoLengua already waiting for you, do not panic. Just ring one of our 24-hour emergency contact numbers that you will have been given prior to departure. DO NOT LOSE IT. Save this number to your telephone and also write it down somewhere in case your telephone battery dies, though airports usually have zones where passengers are able to charge electrical devices. If necessary, you can speak to a member of airport staff and ask them to help you find a way to make the call. The Spanish are often very helpful and friendly; don’t be afraid to ask!
Arrival of our students for our middle / high school study abroad programs usually takes place on specific days. Normally a monitor will remain in the airport during the day of arrival of our various students to ensure that the arrivals and transfers run as smoothly as possible. Additionally students and parents have multiple emergency contact numbers that are available 24 hours a day. If you need to check or change the time of pick up at the airport due to some sort of delay, just call one of those numbers.
Recognizing the Centro MundoLengua monitors is extremely easy; they will be wearing an official name tag issued by Centro MundoLengua and they will be holding a sign in order to be visible inside the terminal. They are easy to spot!
Our classes contain a maximum of 15 students, even though the normal average is lower (around 12). This facilitates a greater degree of student-teacher contact time.
They are university graduates (of languages, journalism, translation and education) who are specifically trained to teach Spanish as a foreign language. They are all friendly, outgoing, very supportive and, above all, they truly care for the wellbeing of their students. All are native Spanish speakers, though the majority also speak English or another second language.
Before beginning your middle / high school study abroad program you will have to complete an online Spanish Level Test and answer a few questions about your history of studying Spanish. If you have no prior knowledge, you will be placed into a beginners’ group.
You will work on all competencies that form part of the Spanish language; oral expression, listening comprehension, reading comprehension and written expression.
We use a very dynamic and communicative methodology. In the classes a focus is placed on student participation with activities that are designed to simulate an authentic Spanish-speaking context.
Absolutely. The classes are conducted completely in Spanish, including those for beginners. In the end, you are in Spain, and you have to adapt to your surroundings in order to get the most out of your time here. And when you make a mistake (which is a question of when, not if), take it in good humour and don’t get put off. It is critical that you keep trying to communicate in Spanish, including outside of our school. Conducting classes in English would not be fair for your friends and companions with whom you may have travelled to Spain in search of a true immersive Spanish experience, or for yourself. You will see how the effort of constantly pushing yourself to communicate in Spanish pays off at the end of the program.
Students spend multiple hours per day in the school. The majority of Spanish classes in your country of origin last for an hour or less. One day studying at Centro MundoLengua is equivalent to three spent studying at another academic center. In two weeks, you will have done the equivalent of thirty hours of class. Bear in mind that all of our teachers are native Spanish speakers, each capable of conducting classes completely in Spanish. This is a major benefit to the learning process, and means that students immerse themselves in the language at all moments; in our school, at home and out and about in the street. The difference it makes will surprise you!
The vast majority of the work takes place within the classroom. There may occasionally be light homework to do, but the real progress to your proficiency is made by practicing your Spanish in day-to-day situations, applying what you are learning inside the classroom outside of it. In some cases, there may be an exam at the end of the course or small written tasks that test your comprehension. Students at an advanced level may be required to write an essay to practice what they have learned.
You will receive a final grade and evaluation of your performance during the course. You should not be worried by this, because it is not a competition. Above all else, the objective here is to help you by identifying areas of current weakness. We absolutely do not want our students to worry unnecessarily about grades that we give them. On the contrary; our intention is to facilitate the learning process of each of our students at their own pace and in a relaxed environment.
Once you have completed the course, you will receive an official Centro MundoLengua certificate. You must attend all classes in order to receive it; you may only miss a maximum of 5% of the planned teaching time.
The majority of our students are aged between 14 and 17. Occasionally we receive students between the ages of 12 and 14. The majority of our students come from the United States of America, Canada and Europe (predominantly from Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium).
Yes, at our school in Sevilla. There we have a section dedicated to studying, reference and book lending (Spanish manuals, dictionaries, movies etc.).
We strive to offer a wide range of activities to satisfy all types of students we receive. Our activity program therefore includes everything from those that further immerse students in the daily life in Spain, such as flamenco dancing classes or cooking workshops, to exciting visits to points of interest (monuments, landmarks, viewing platforms of the entire city etc.). We also organize activities that give students the chance to socialize and make new friends (tapas nights, language exchanges with other students….) and sporting and fitness activities that promote a healthy lifestyle (kayaking, surfing….).
Saturdays and Sundays are usually dedicated to excursions to other cities in Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
Our activities and excursions are all chosen with our students in mind. The majority of the activities form part of our middle / high school study abroad programs. However, there may be a few that are not automatically included in your program that need an additional payment if you wish to participate in them. Also, depending on the middle / high school study abroad program, certain excursions are not always included. Please get in touch for more details.
Centro MundoLengua collaborates with a large number of partners in many different fields; social exclusion, the environment, infancy, disabilities, the elderly, etc.
Some organizations will permit you to work daily, others will not. The total time our students spend volunteering varies depending on your needs and the needs of the organization.
If you work with minors during your volunteering program, you must request a criminal background check certificate from the corresponding authorities in your country that confirms you have no criminal record of sex offences.
If you choose this program, we only ask one thing of you; commitment! We can adapt to your specific needs, but once you have agreed to collaborate with a local organization, you should honour your agreement and fulfil your duties.
While native-level Spanish is not required, it is imperative that you speak an intermediate level of Spanish so that you can communicate with your colleagues and with the individuals you will be helping.
We are very lucky here at Centro MundoLengua. We work with a range of carefully-selected Spanish host families, and we have considerable experience when it comes to hosting students; we have being doing this consistently since 2005! Our housing director personally visits every house and interviews each family member, while also developing a dossier of the feedback of students that have already stayed with the host family on previous middle / high school study abroad programs.
Prospective new Spanish host families get in touch with the housing director for an initial interview. After this first stage, our housing director visits the property to assess the living conditions and to take photographs, as well as meeting and speaking to the entire family that resides at the property. If our quality standards are met, the family will be invited for a final interview. If both parties are satisfied at this stage, the family will sign an agreement that stipulates the host family guidelines so that the homestay is satisfactory for both students and for Centro MundoLengua. The homes of our Spanish host families are visited every two years from the day of our first visit in order to ensure that our standards are continuously being met.
Furthermore, we constantly evaluate our Spanish host families and respond to the feedback that we receive from students who stay with them, removing host families from our homestay system when necessary on a case-by-case basis. For more information about the selection process, visit our family homestay section.
The first time you meet your Spanish host family can be an odd moment sometimes. Students are often nervous when meeting people who will form a big part of their life for several weeks. At Centro MundoLengua, our advice is always the same; stay calm, stay calm and furthermore stay calm.
If you are coming to Spain for one of our middle / high school study abroad programs in a group, the Spanish host families will be waiting for you with a Centro MundoLengua coordinator at a central, designated meeting point in the city. The coordinator will introduce you to your Spanish host family. Please remember that it is custom in Spain to kiss somebody twice (once on each cheek) when you meet them– so don’t be alarmed if this happens! Afterwards you will walk with your Spanish host family to the place that will be your home during your stay in Spain. Once there, you will have time to unpack, familiarize yourself with your new surroundings and relax.
If you are travelling alone, a member of the Centro MundoLengua team will meet you in the airport arrival hall or the train/ bus station where you arrive, before giving you a lift directly to the house of your Spanish host family, who will be waiting for you there.
As in any new situation, it can sometimes take a bit of time to get used to your new home. Be patient and remain open-minded. Sooner than you imagine, you will feel at home.
This might seem a bit strange to begin with, but in Spain practically everybody lives in apartments. It is highly likely that your bedroom will be smaller than what you are used to. The homes of all our Spanish host families are clean, comfortable, equipped with all home-comforts you will expect (as the vast majority of our host families belong to the middle-income bracket) and are within walking distance from our school. You will receive either full-board (with three meals a day) or half-board (breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner), and you will have a weekly laundry service at your disposal.
But staying with a host family means so much more; your hosts will provide companionship, conversation and support. Absolutely every single person that we have the pleasure of working with in our homestay system really loves receiving international students and introducing them to Spanish hospitality.
The most likely answer is yes, but this is a good thing. The objective of your study abroad program is to totally immerse yourself in the language and culture of Spain. The host family may include children or teens who have learned a bit of English at school, but don’t expect them to be able to say too much. Obviously, this means that you can find yourself in funny or awkward situations of misinterpretation; the important thing is to simply take them in your stride and with good humour. Trust us and our experience when we tell you that it is completely possible and surprisingly easy to communicate your needs with your Spanish host family with even only a basic knowledge of Spanish. In fact, our program director began his studies in Spain with a homestay with a host family without being able to speak a single word of Spanish.
Our Spanish host families are very diverse. For example, you could be staying with a middle-aged divorced woman with a child, with a married couple with two children, with a couple whose children have left home etc. Whatever the case, spending time in a homestay is a very enriching experience with individuals with whom we are sure you will learn a lot. And you will always be able to get to know other students your age in our school. In any case, the extremely warm and friendly character of the Spanish will allow you to feel part of the family very quickly. Don’t be surprised if they invite you to their own family events and meals.
It depends, some do and some don’t. Those that do often live with small dogs or birds. If you are allergic to any specific animal, we urge you to let us know when you register online.
If you ask us to, we can place you with a non-smoking family. If an individual within the family smokes, they usually respect those who do not and ensure they are not affected by it by choosing to smoke outside or in designated smoking areas, such as a balcony. If this becomes a concern for you, let us know; we will contact the family as quickly as possible to raise the matter with them and to find an appropriate solution for both parties.
It can be the case that your Spanish host family simultaneously hosts students from other programs. This isn’t unusual and actually works really well. We will never place more than four students together with the same host family, and we will always place students of the same sex together. The vast majority of students living in the same homestay will also be of a comparable age (and at a maximum age of 20). Centro MundoLengua regularly monitors the homestay situation over the course of the study abroad program to ensure that everything runs smoothly. If you do not feel comfortable with the amount of students that are living in the homestay at the same time, get in touch with us immediately. We will resolve the situation directly with the host families.
Generally, bedrooms are shared with one other student, but cases can vary. Your roommates will be of the same sex and age as you (a maximum of 2 years difference).
Of course! If you are travelling to Spain with a friend and both of you want to share a host family, please let us know during your online registration and ask your friend to do so too.
You will almost definitely be sharing a bathroom, not just with other students, but also with members of the host family. The lack of space in Spanish cities and the rising costs of living in Spain mean that Spanish apartments have to make do with what they have. Remember that you will be a member of the family and therefore you should respect the amount of time you spend in the bathroom. This is another part of an authentic experience of life with a Spanish family!
In Spain, not only is the food different, but the mealtimes are as well.
• Breakfast: usually eaten around 8 o’clock in the morning and consists generally of toasted bread (with olive oil, butter, jam,….), coffee, tea or juice. It can also include fresh fruit or pastries.
• Lunch: usually eaten at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon. It is the most important meal of the day and can consist of one or two dishes, depending on the family. Don’t be afraid to ask for more of a dish if you think the quantity is too low or if you don’t like one of the dishes.
• Dinner: eaten very late in the evening, very rarely before 9 o’clock and quite similar to lunch in terms of food.
Meals are often accompanied by tap water. Tap water is absolutely safe to drink in Spain.
Food quality in Spain is extremely high. It is normal to find fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, bread, cheese etc. in Spanish pantries. A good number of Spanish families purchase food daily in order to always have fresh food available.
A tip: come with an open mind and try as many new things as possible. This will be a fundamental part of your Spanish experience.
You will receive two or three daily meals, depending on whether full-board or half-board has been agreed in your contract. The optimal would be for you to eat all meals together with your host family; it is the best way to sample Spanish gastronomy and to integrate yourself in Spanish home life. The more time you spend with your Spanish host family, the more effective the learning process of the Spanish language and culture will be.
That said, Spanish restaurants are generally reasonably priced and it is normal to find open-air markets with high quality food options. As your stay in Spain goes on, you will make new friends and possibly consider eating together outside of your homestay. And that’s perfect! We only ask you to inform your host family long enough in advance so that they can prepare their day around your plans instead of wasting food (something which is frowned upon in Spain). A day in advance is our recommendation.
These should be communicated to us during your online registration. We will communicate your requirements to your Spanish host family prior to your arrival so that they are able to accommodate your needs. For all the time we have been organizing study abroad programs for high school students, we at Centro MundoLengua have accommodated for countless dietary requirements and specific circumstances of our students. It is absolutely not a problem. That being said, we still advise you to remind your host family what food you can and cannot eat. Don’t worry; you won’t hurt their feelings.
The homestay system includes a laundry service; one cycle per week for your clothing.
Yes, you will be given a set of keys so that you can come and go from the homestay at your own leisure. It is imperative that you do not lose them. If you do and the family deems it necessary to change the locks in their home, you will be responsible for covering the costs, and changing a lock is not exactly a cheap and easy process in Spain. Please remain vigilant over your possessions in order to avoid any easily-avoidable problems. On the final day of your stay you must return the keys. If you don’t, you must send them back to the family and you will be responsible for covering the cost of doing so.
Your Spanish host family will provide you with towels and bed linen. If you normally use a hand towel, you should bring one as Spanish bathrooms normally do not have them. You should also pack a beach towel in your suitcase.
It is a good idea to bring a small gift for your host family at the beginning of your stay. This could be a small symbol or reminder from your country or city.
Centro MundoLengua will provide you with the information and contact details of your host family two to three weeks before the beginning of your study abroad program. Please remember that if you want to get in touch with them, you should do so in Spanish, given that they may not be able to speak any other language.
The accommodation arranged by Centro MundoLengua will always be within reasonable walking distance away from our school or close to a public transport stop0. In Sevilla, the furthest away you will be is 30 minutes on foot, even though the majority of our host families live 20 minutes away or less. In Cadiz, all our homestays are 20 minutes away or less.
If your desire to change your homestay is justified, yes. Once your intention has been communicated and once we ensure that it is not just a case of misunderstanding, our housing director will look for a new host family that matches your needs. As soon as we can find one, the housing director will inform you and organize the change, together with a representative of Centro MundoLengua to assist you. You will pack your suitcase, return the house keys to the host family and move to your new homestay accompanied by a member of our team. You will not be left alone for any moment during this process.
You should follow the house rules, look after the house keys (don’t lose them!), not damage the property, respect the family and their timetables and use electricity, gas, and water responsibly.
The main thing is that you come with an open mind. Make an effort to speak Spanish and enjoy the good home cooked Spanish food. Be inquisitive, don’t be afraid to ask questions; your host family will thank you for showing interest in their lives.
Individual students in our middle / high school study abroad programs are only able to stay in a homestay, as the objective is an authentic immersion experience. It gives you the chance to get to know real Spaniards, and believe us when we say that it makes your study abroad trip more effective and more enjoyable. Groups of students travelling together are able to stay in the residency alternative (subject to availability).
Much like the homestays, the student residences are located centrally within the cities and offer a wide variety of services. They have individual rooms (for teachers) or double rooms, private and shared bathrooms and, depending on your destination, they may also be air conditioned. They also feature communal areas such as living rooms and dining rooms. Also it is normal for them to offer food options.
It depends. Many residencies are organized with double rooms, but in some cases it is possible to get single rooms. Get in touch for more information.
That depends as well! Some residences offer it, while others do not. Those that do often do so under certain conditions. Get in touch for more information. Whatever the case, there are cheap self-service laundrettes in all the cities we organize study abroad programs in.
Generally you can purchase full-board during your stay; breakfast, lunch and dinner. This service can change slightly on weekends. Often on Sundays only breakfast is served, or no food is served at all. Get in touch for more information.
Let us know far enough in advance if you have any dietary needs and we will inform the residence. Don’t worry; we always offer a viable alternative for meals.
All our residences are centrally located in the cities where we operate. It is probable that you will be able to walk to the school. If not, you will have a public transport link available that you can use.
You will normally be able to get there and back on foot, as your accommodation will be very close to the school.
International calls are not a problem. As you probably know, you can use telephone applications to contact your family using a wifi connection at no extra cost. No matter what, remember not to use your phone’s data and instead connect to a local wifi network.
The vast majority do. Homes in Spain that do not have wireless internet access are rare.
For small amounts and purchases made in small businesses, yes. In your country of origin you can exchange your local currency for Euros perhaps at a better rate than you will be able to get in Spain, even though the entity you use may take a couple days to process the exchange. Think ahead and consider how much money you will need to bring to Spain. Between 100 and 200 Euros per week is normally more than enough. As well, there are multiple currency exchanges in each city where you will be able to exchange your home country’s currency for Euros. In any case, the majority of goods and services can be purchased with a credit or debit card in Spain. Bear in mind that your bank may charge a commission for activity conducted abroad.
In the current Covid climate, it is necessary to show a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain. As the European Union is working on a Covid passport system, vaccination might become obligatory in the future. Additionally, you should keep up to date with your country’s medical guidelines concerning vaccinations and vaccinate yourself against tetanus, just as you would before travelling to any part of the world. In exceptional cases, the Spanish health authorities can subject you to a medical exam before entering the country in order to check that you are not suffering from any contagious illness.
You will be given the number of an emergency contact from Centro MundoLengua that will be reachable 24 hours a day. In Spain you can call the number 112 without charge in the case of medical emergencies or immediate security concerns when there is a legitimate and immediate danger to your state of wellbeing.
If you become ill, it is very important that you let us know as soon as possible. We will help you decide how to proceed with the next steps, and if necessary, we will accompany you to a doctor. A member of the Centro MundoLengua team will always accompany you if you need to see a specialist, without exception.
Although it isn’t obligatory, it is advisable that you undergo a medical review prior to travelling to Spain. If you use glasses or contact lenses, bring an extra pair at the right prescription level. If you regularly take medication, pack sufficient amounts in your luggage to last you the entirety of your stay. You should always have on hand any medical records and prescriptions for any chronic conditions, such as insulin or syringes for example. Make sure all your medication is correctly labelled to avoid problems in customs and pack any absolutely essential medication you have in your hand luggage in case your suitcase goes missing.
If you are travelling from the USA, the majority of Centro MundoLengua’s middle / high school study abroad programs include full coverage, with specific limitations that will be communicated to you prior to signing a contract. They include medical consultations, hospital stays, medical treatment, transport etc. In no case do they cover the cost of commonly used drugs and medication such as aspirin and decongestants. Non-prescription medication is easily obtainable at any pharmacy in Spain and is readily affordable. If you are travelling from another country, the most likely outcome is that health insurance is not included in your program. Get in touch for more information.
Yes. Remember that all our high school programs provide a 24 hour assistance service and constant adult supervision.
Yes, not just for safety reasons but also to avoid interfering with the lives of your host family too much. A curfew time to arrive back at the homestay is vital so that your host family knows everything is under control. In exceptional cases (such as a late dinner or a party) the curfew can be momentarily suspended, but this is rare and only ever done with prior agreement. Please BE PUNCTUAL; the host families always contact us immediately if you fail to arrive home before the curfew time.
Of course. In all programs participants will have free time each day. This will allow you to get to know the city at your own pace, develop new friendships, complete your experience in Spain and, of course, rest. Furthermore some schedules include optional activities which you can choose not to participate in if you would like more free time. If you have any doubts concerning specific programs we offer, get in touch.
The purchase, consumption or possession of alcohol or drugs, including association with individuals consuming them, is strictly forbidden to participants in our middle / high school programs, regardless of their age. Any student found to be violating this zero tolerance policy may be expelled from our school and sent back to their country of origin at the expense of their family. The minimum penalty we can apply is a ban on the participation in our nighttime activities; the student(s) in question will have to remain at home with their host family after dinner for the remaining days of the study abroad program.
The penalties depend on the seriousness of the breach. They can range from exclusion from certain recreational activities of the program to the termination of the contract signed by Centro MundoLengua, which in practice would mean a premature end to your program and a return to your country of origin at the expense of your family.
You must be prepared to change your lifestyle for a few weeks. In truth, this is the really interesting part of an experience of life abroad. In certain situations you will perhaps feel a bit frustrated by not being able to do things exactly the way you would in your home country, but we assure you that you will end up feeling proud of your ability to adapt. Your world view will be much richer and you will be better prepared to face any and every eventuality in your life. The more you embrace the Spanish lifestyle, the better you will understand it and the easier it will be for you to adapt to it and, of course, the more you will enjoy your experience. So before you go pulling your hair out in frustration on your first few days, stop, relax, observe and ask any question that comes to mind.
A few things that might seem different and strange to you in Spain:
• Friends and acquaintances often greet each other with two kisses, one on each cheek.
• Personal space is a lot smaller than it is in other countries, meaning that it is probable that someone you are speaking to will “invade your space” while talking to you.
• Meal times are very different to those in other countries.
• Smoking in public places is prohibited in Spain, except in designated areas.
• In some cities in Spain it is not the norm for apartments to have air conditioning or central heating.
• Apartments and living quarters in Spain are often a lot smaller than our students from other countries (particularly from the USA) are used to, and large Spanish families often live together.
• Social events generally begin and end far later than is normal in other countries. The Spanish go out to celebrate the same time people go to sleep in many other places.
• It is normal to see children out in the street at night, especially during summer; their parents are often to be found having a drink or some food in a terrace nearby and the children are simply playing together with their friends.
• The Spanish love pets, and most have at least one at home. You can sometimes find dog excrement in the streets in spite of attempts on behalf of local authorities to fight against the issue with fines.
• In some areas particularly in larger cities you can often find a lot of graffiti. However, in Spain this phenomenon is not associated with dangerous gangs and instead with young urban artists.
• Spain can often seem very noisy for foreign visitors. The Spanish speak in a loud voice when compared to other nationalities. You may also find their body language a bit exaggerated.
• The attitudes of the Spanish are generally more flexible than they are in other countries. They simply take situations that may be stressful in other countries such as traffic jams, delays, large crowds of people etc. in stride.
• As a general rule, don’t do anything you wouldn’t do in your own country. Staying safe is often a matter of common sense.
In Spain there aren’t serious problems concerning citizen safety. The majority of crimes committed are minor, such as theft and fraud, but be careful in the following situations:
1) You sit down with your friends to enjoy an ice-cream, and you leave your backpack on a chair next to you. As your conversation becomes more animated and you let your guard down, somebody takes it without you realizing and walks away immediately.
2) You are walking in the street and suddenly somebody politely stops you to ask a question or simulates interest in speaking to you for some reason. Meanwhile, their accomplice takes advantage of your fixed concentration to slip their hand into your backpack in order to try take your valuables. It is also important to pay special attention to your belongings while riding any sort of public transport.
3) You are walking completely lost in thought and not paying special attention to your bag. You hear the sound of a motorbike or scooter approaching you and, without realizing it, a rider gets closes in on you, snatches your bag and continues at full speed.
Of course these situations can be avoided. How?
1) Try to be inconspicuous. Foreign tourists are always the prime target for pickpockets.
2) Stay alert of everything that is going on around you. Enjoy the sights and sounds but do so without becoming unaware of what may be happening right behind you.
3) As a general rule don’t carry your credit cards or all your money with you. You also won’t need to be carrying all of your documentation at all times (driving licence, passport etc.). Your student card should suffice in the majority of occasions. Leave the rest at home!
4) It is better to not wear expensive or eye-catching jewellery.
5) It is never a bad idea to place your most necessary or valuable items inside interior pockets of your clothing. In a big crowd of people it is easy for skilled pickpockets to rob you without you even noticing, so keeping your belongings close to your body makes their job a lot harder.
6) Never leave your bags unattended. If you sit down to have a drink or some food in an open terrace, place your belongings between your legs instead of leaving them by your side.
7) Be on guard if a group of individuals is acting in a strange way close to you. Thieves often work in groups in order to try confuse or distract their targets. Don’t always trust appearances.
We are sure that you are not going to experience any sort of problem in Spain if you remain alert and if you use your common sense. In any case, we will address all of these topics during the orientation discussion at the beginning of your middle / high school study abroad program.
Ask someone for help! Don’t hesitate to do so. The Spanish are often very friendly; if you have your emergency contact number with you, you will definitely be able to find somebody who can help you get in contact with us.
Of course. In addition to the photos you and your friends take, we have an internal photographer at Centro MundoLengua that will accompany you to some of the activities. We will normally send you all images taken of your group approximately one week after the program concludes. If you have any special interest in a specific image (i.e. a photo of yourself in a certain landmark), feel free to communicate such a request to a member of the Centro MundoLengua team.
Get in touch and we will inform you of the benefits that we reserve for our most loyal students.
We work with former students of our study abroad programs that share their experiences at Centro MundoLengua with other people who are interested in improving their Spanish. If you wish to help us reach more students after you finish your course with us, let us know and we will inform you of the benefits that you could receive for doing so.
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