Number 9 – Get the most value for your money. Do not be afraid to shop around and get price quotes from more than one school. And pay attention to exactly what that price includes. Is it just the price for Spanish lessons or does it include a home-stay, food, activities, excursions, etc.? In addition, with the US dollar at an all-time low against many world treaties, you may want to consider the exchange rate in your Spanish-speaking country of choice. For example, the dollar is still quite strong in Mexico.
Number 8 – Limit your free time. This tip may surprise you, but it only refers to during your Spanish immersion program. You may very well want to plan some free time before or after your program, but you'll get much more out of your Spanish immersion program if you're constantly engaged through its duration. That includes lessons lessons, activities, and excursions, the best of which your Spanish school should plan for you.
Number 7 – Choose the right learning methodology for you. Familiarize yourself with the teaching / learning methodology of your Spanish school of choice. Make sure the school's methodology meshes with the way you know you learn best. If you like, some schools can improve your Spanish fluency without teaching grammar or memorization.
Number 6 – Take advantage of organized activities. Some schools have pre-planned organized activities for all students. Some schools have optional personalized activities available. And some schools leave you on your own when it comes to organized activities. You will want to choose a school that offers interesting organized activities. Along with a memorable outing, it will also be a great chance to use the Spanish you're learning in a real situation.
Number 5 – Enjoy true cultural experiences. Some Spanish schools make an effort to integrate you into the local community. The best Spanish schools integrate you into the community by arranging activities that are also of interest to the local people. This is an important component of your Spanish immersion experience, as your goal should be to become bi-lingual and bi-cultural. For example, your school might offer a language exchange or an authentic local food night.
Number 4 – Rewarding social programs. This is an overlooked, but very rewarding part of your Spanish immersion experience. Some schools offer you volunteer opportunities in the local community to give back to the local people. Some schools also emphasize the importance of community service by giving education, training, and work opportunities back to the local community.
Number 3 – Stay safe. You'd be wise to choose a Spanish school with an established reputation of not only teaching Spanish but keeping its students safe. This has as much to do with the school as it does with the location of the school. Some places are more dangerous for tourists than others. Some are more dangerous for Americans. Simply, you must trust that your school will take care of you.
Number 2 – Location, Location, Location. Each school's location is among its largest assets (or liabilities!). You should carefully weigh the different locations of different Spanish schools because, after all, this is a vacation for you, so the destination certainly matters. If you like the beach, you can find a school in a beach town. Or if you like big cities, or historical sites, or mountains. The list goes on and on.
Number 1 – Participate in a home-stay. Most Spanish schools offer you the option of living and eating in a home-stay with a local family. Choose that option! It is in the home-stay that you will eat the best, most authentic food, meet the warmest local people, and practice your Spanish in real situations. You should only consider a Spanish school that offers home-places.