SPI Study Abroad Participant Reviews
San Sebastian summer 2017
Submitted by Penn Koeneman - Other | October 12, 2017
All around great experience. Good balance between class, family, and free time. The excursions and day trips were well planned and added a great cultural learning experience to the immersion. SPI did a great job in matching me up with a roommate and family. Spending time around the dinner table with my host family was one of the highlights of my trip.
Summer in Queretaro
Submitted by Jake Wangler - Texas State University | March 26, 2017
I had a great time studying in Queretaro on the SPI program. Everything was very organized, I stayed very active every day and the town is very friendly. I can't wait to go back and visit my host mom and all the friends I made there.
SPI gave me an amazing opportunity
Submitted by Margaret Lee - The King's Academy | November 18, 2016
SPI gave me an amazing opportunity to make friends not just from across the country, but from across the world. Before I went to Spain I struggled with my Spanish, but by being fully emerged in the language and culture I was able to learn more than I'd ever imagined. I loved the food, people, and places I got to experience!
It was completely amazing
Submitted by Valentina Davenport - Fort Zumwalt North High School | November 18, 2016
It was completely amazing. We got to see a little bit of everything. It's a life changing experience if you really take it all in. I loved every minute i was there.. The food to the people.. to the beach. It was all breathtaking. I'm grateful I got to do it! The program itself was also great. Well-organized and some very kind hearted people.
I love my study abroad experience
Submitted by Rachel Watson - Saint Agnes Academy | November 18, 2016
I signed up for my SPI Study Abroad program in hopes of becoming fluent in Spanish. While this did happen, I left Spain with so much more than the knowledge of a new language; I left Spain with a second family. I cannot emphasize enough how much I loved my study abroad experience. My mornings were spent eating breakfast with my mamá and my two new sisters, followed by a short bus ride to school. At school I participated in Spanish class with my new friends from all over the world- from cities close to my home town, to kids from Germany and Malaysia. After a few hours of grammar games and vocabulary lessons, school would be over, and my true learning experiences would begin. My friends and I would embark on the seven minute walk to the beach, and we would eat the lunches our families packed for us in the presence of soft sand and glistening blue waves. Our days were spent either shopping in the nearby "Parte Viaje", soaking up the sun on one of the three main beaches, going on boat rides, or even going restaurant to restaurant to find the best Pinchos! After hours of free time, we would participate in one of the many activities offered by SPI including, but not limited to, surfing, cooking, hiking, and dancing. Our days were packed with cultural immersion activities and lots of laughter, and my roommate and I would return to our new home each night for a much needed nap before either cooking dinner with our mamá or going out to eat with our new friends. Concluding my first week in Spain, Mamá threw a dinner party for my roommate and I ate her house. We met our all of our sisters' friends and we even learned some Basque, the native language of San Sebastían. My roommate and I surprised our dinner party by making them tacos with ingredients we brought from Texas. We laughed while we watched them try to figure out how to eat a hard shell taco. Saturdays would be spent with my friends getting our nails done and swimming at the beach, while Sundays would be spent with my family. My second Sunday in Spain, my mamá drove my roommate and I to the town she grew up in. There, we met her mom, her aunt, and her childhood friends; they welcomed us with open arms and lots of kisses. My trip concluded with even more hugs and an abundance of tears. I still talk to my mamá and my sisters weekly, and I have plans to visit my SPI friends later this year. I ventured to Spain with hopes of fulfilling a Spanish language requirement, but I left with family, friends, stories, and memories that will last a life time.
My summer trip To San Sebastián
Submitted by Brianna Corrie - Bishop Lynch High School | November 18, 2016
My summer trip to San Sebastián, Spain was one of the greatest things I've ever experienced. The city itself is small enough where one doesn't get lost, but at the same time big enough where you never run out of things to do. Another thing I loved this trip is the interactions with the local Spanish people. Whenever I'd walk into a store or restaurant, I was greeted in Spanish and forced to use my Spanish in real world experiences. Now, I am much better and listening, understanding, and speaking the language more than I would have ever imagined. Lastly, the experience was one of a lifetime. On the two week trip, I met tons of amazing people from all around the world and overall fell in love with the culture and country. Everyday I yearn to go back and live it all over again and highly recommend this program for any high school student hoping to be awed by their world.
SPI, one of the most amazing experiences of my life!
Submitted by Alisa Chokshi - The Pingry School | November 18, 2016
One of the most amazing experiences of my life! I was totally immersed in Spanish culture, and had a culture shock. It was an eye-opening experience, because I saw a world that I did not know existed. Memorable moments included when my young host sisters wanted to play with me. They spoke only Spanish, so I was challenged to dig deep into my vocabulary to converse with them.
SPI gave to me ignited a desire to learn
Submitted by Isabella Williams - Verona High School | November 18, 2016
Because of SPI, my French has improved tenfold. It has provided me with the edge that I need to start a life that intricately involves France; I will never be the girl who just "took French in high school." Not only that, but the experiences that SPI gave to me ignited a desire to learn new cultures, places, and people--more valuable than any language.
SPI, I found the overall experience immensely rewarding
Submitted by Phoebe Allison - American International School of Lusaka | November 18, 2016
Initially hesitant, my friend and I stepped off the plane and out of the airport in Madrid, and then traveled to San Sebastian, not exactly sure what to expect, it took my friend and I a little time to adjust. Being the only students in the program at that time who were neither American citizens nor studying in America, the experience was initially a little overwhelming. After all, being fairly well-traveled students, living in Africa, and attending a widely diverse International School, it was a little overwhelming to, for once in a long time, feel like a foreigner. However, in hindsight this feels a little silly, because, despite our natural quietness, and after awkward first interactions melted away, the positive encouragement and friendliness we encountered was very warm and comforting. I even recall being rather suitably dubbed as 'Las timidas', or 'Las tranquilas'! Even though we took a little while to get settled, I found the overall experience immensely rewarding. A mile or so from the beach, and within a fair walking distance of some of the main plazas, he location was utterly stunning and buzzing with life and vibrancy. The classes both interactive and entertaining, there was a healthy balance between attending the school and exploring the culturally rich cities. The experience was a wonderful and utterly raw immersion into the heart of San Sebastian. Seize every opportunity you have to explore this wonderful location, and dive head first into the fusion of lessons and culture.
My experience In San Sebastián
Submitted by Grace Resnik - La Reina High Schooll | November 18, 2016
My experience in San Sebastián was better than I could have ever imagined. My host family was really sweet and helped me improve my Spanish speaking skills. My teachers at Lacunza Language school were phenomenal and truly made coming to school fun. My favorite experience was going to Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. We had the ability to experience a cultural traditional and truly be involved in it. My time abroad introduced me to lifelong friends and increased my confidence and independence away from home.