Language Camp in Spain

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  • Overview

    Live with a host family and learn Spanish through full immersion with Greenheart Travel’s teen summer language camp in Salamanca, Spain. Spaniards call Salamanca “La Dorada,” the Golden City, because of the golden hue cast by the centuries-old limestone buildings. This city is also world-famous for being one of Europe’s oldest university towns. Students from Spain and all over the world still congregate in the Golden City, speaking Castilian, the signature Spanish style of Spain.

    Explore Salamanca with Greenheart Travel Scholarship Winner, Ariela Martin:

  • Eligibility

    • Must be between 13 – 18 years old*
    • Be in good mental** and physical health
    • Beginner level Spanish is accepted, but a general knowledge of basic questions and phrases is helpful

    *If you are between the ages of 13 – 15, you will be enrolled in the Junior course. If you are between 16 – 18 years old, you will be in the Teen program. The defining factor between the programs is the amount of supervision, with Juniors required to be chaperoned during free time.

    **What does it mean to be in good mental health?

    *Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to a well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on a long-term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all high school abroad applicants.

    Therefore, we may not be able to accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness, specifically within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition. Each student will be addressed on a case by case basis and ultimately it is Greenheart Travel’s in-country partner who holds the right to accept or decline a student based on their individual policy.

    These include, but are not limited to:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
    • Eating disorders
    • Chronic debilitating migraines
    • Bipolar Disorder

    All students who currently experience one or more of these conditions will be required to submit an addendum to the terms and conditions as well as a letter of support from their current mental health specialist. If the student’s mental health issue has been managed (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will still require a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.  We encourage you to discuss your specific situation with us directly before securing these documents.

  • Costs and Inclusions

    2021 Program Costs:

    • 1 week: $1,760
    • 2 weeks: $2,520
    • 3 weeks: $3,220
    • 4 weeks: $3,810
    • 5 weeks: $4,490
    • 6 weeks: $5,210

    Please note, all prices are listed in USD. 

    Packaged into the Price:

    • 15 hours of language classes per week
    • Airport pickup and drop-off upon arrival and departure at the Madrid airport
    • Transportation to Salamanca
    • Host family accommodation
    • 3 meals per day*
    • Comprehensive medical/accident insurance
    • Fully chaperoned daily cultural activities & excursions
    • Half-day arrival orientation in Spain
    • Online and on-site language level placement test
    • Comprehensive program handbook with cross-cultural communication training and Spanish culture tips
    • Certificate of completion at the end of the program for use on college applications
    • Access to Greenheart Travel Facebook groups to connect with alumni and others on your start date ahead of your program.
    • Greenheart Atlas Program 

    *There is a supplemental fee of $45 a week for students with special diets (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, lactose free, etc.). Please check with us if you have any questions. 

    Our Support and Services: 

    • Extensive pre-departure advice and support from your US-based program coordinator! We will be with you from your first inquiry, all the way through preparing to leave and your arrival in Spain.
    • Support services from in-country staff upon arrival to Spain.
    • Online pre-departure cultural and logistical orientation before you leave
    • 24-hour in-country and emergency support for the duration of the program, including 24-hour emergency phone numbers to reach a program manager at any time.

    Additional Expenses to Budget for (Estimates):

    • Flight to Spain (Madrid)
    • Spending money for souvenirs or snacks in Spain

    Payment Details

    • $300 Application Fee due by the program deadline to formally apply
    • $300 Commitment Payment due after acceptance within 14 days to save your spot on a certain start date
    • Remaining balance is due 8 weeks before departure to Spain

    Worried about the program fee?

    Our goal is to help make travel accessible to everyone and we are here to help when you are deciding if this experience is financially do-able. Each year we offer scholarships for high school study abroad students! We also have a guide to fundraising your program fee, and many high school students fundraise in their hometown ahead of their program.

    We also offer discounts for applying early (plus there are many other benefits to applying early!) for each start date and for US families that have hosted an exchange student with Greenheart Exchange.

    Please inquire here if you have questions about the program fee, scholarships, or fundraising for your program.

  • Program Dates

    As of 6/10/21 – Spain is welcoming vaccinated Americans!

    We are running this program for Summer 2021 and will be accepting applications up to 2 weeks prior to your start date. Please review the entry requirements here and make sure you are eligible before applying.

    Students choose between a 1-6-week program.

    Program Length Arrival date Departure date
    1 weeks 6-Jun 12-Jun
    13-Jun 19-Jun
    20-Jun 26-Jun
    27-Jun 3-Jul
    4-Jul 10-Jul
    11-Jul 17-Jul
    18-Jul 24-Jul
    25-Jul 31-Jul
    2 weeks 6-Jun 19-Jun
    13-Jun 26-Jun
    20-Jun 2-Jul
    27-Jun 10-Jul
    4-Jul 17-Jul
    11-Jul 24-Jul
    18-Jul 31-Jul
    3 weeks 6-Jun 26-Jun
    13-Jun 3-Jul
    20-Jun 10-Jul
    27-Jun 17-Jul
    4-Jul 24-Jul
    11-Jul 31-Jul
    4 weeks 6-Jun 3-Jul
    13-Jun 10-Jul
    20-Jun 17-Jul
    27-Jun 24-Jul
    4-Jul 31-Jul
    5 weeks 6-Jun 10-Jul
    13-Jun 17-Jul
    20-Jun 24-Jul
    27-Jun 31-Jul
    6 week 6-Jun 17-Jul
    13-Jun 24-Jul
    20-Jun 31-Jul

    *Please note: Greenheart Travel can also accommodate off-season requests and programs during Australian and New Zealand summer breaks (December-March). Please inquire here for more info.

  • Classes and School Info

    There are 3 different levels — Elementary, Intermediate, or Advanced. The levels are sub divided up into two sub levels depending on your linguistic skills. You will be given an admissions test on your first day to evaluate your skills and place you in the proper level.

    Spanish Courses

    • 3 morning classes for 50 minutes Monday through Friday in air-conditioned classrooms
    • Classes are taught by native Spanish teachers who specialize in teaching Spanish as a foreign language
    • Spanish lessons involve speaking, listening, reading, and writing in lively and informal small classes with no more than 12 students
    • You should take a Spanish/English dictionary, notebook, and pencil for class but your school will provide all books and workbooks.
    • Students receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the course
  • Your Day to Day

    Activities and Excursions

    The summer language camp includes cultural, sports, and a wide variety of other educational activities at no additional cost. A different activity is planned for each day except Sunday and includes visits to museums, group events, a day at the swimming pool, excursions and field trips outside of Salamanca. Meeting young people from other countries is a very rewarding part of the program, allowing students to broaden their view of the world.

    Here’s a sample of what your day will look like:

    (9:00 – 12:30)
    Spanish lesson at the school
    Lunch Lunch at family or residence
    Afternoon (17:30-19:00) Afternoon activity
    Dinner Dinner at family or residence
    Free time in the city, evening “Disco” (organized and supervised by local staff)

    Read Tricia’s blog post to get an idea of what your schedule in Spain will feel like!

    School staff supervises all activities. During the excursions, students are expected to do some educational activities like take quizzes, take notes of what they see or interview local people.

    Please note: Participants are not allowed to go out at night outside the homestay unless accompanied by a chaperone.

  • Arrival & Departure

    All students fly on their own to the Madrid Barajas Airport and are then are picked up by a language school representative, transported to Salamanca, and then dropped off at their host family. After you are accepted onto the program, you can start looking for flights and making arrangements.

    Flight guidelines: 

    All classes start on Monday, but students should:

    • Arrive at the Madrid airport between 8:00am and 4:00pm on Sunday before Monday classes start
    • Depart on the Saturday at the end of their program after 1:00pm

    Transfer information:

    The mode of transfer depends on when students arrive. Students will be automatically reserved for one of the transfers depending on the flight details provided to Greenheart Travel.  The travel time between Madrid and Salamanca is around 3 hours. Remember, the airport transfer is included in the cost of the program.

    • Students that arrive at the Madrid airport before 11am travel by train to Salamanca
    • Students that arrive at the Madrid airport between 11am and 4pm will take the group shuttle that departs after 4:00pm

    Arriving or departing outside these designated windows will incur additional fees.

  • Host Families

    Students live in carefully selected family-owned residences. These private homes can accommodate between 4 and 8 students at a time. Students will share a room with at least one other student of the same gender. The host family will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. All students in family-owned residences are supervised by local families and have a curfew.

    All residences are located near the school – 10-20 minutes walking distance. Prospective hosts undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In order to qualify, the residence owners must:

    • Successfully pass a criminal background check
    • Undergo and pass an in-person interview with program staff
    • Agree to and pass a home inspection

    *If you would prefer to live in a dormitory, we do have options available during certain start dates. Please contact us directly with questions.

  • FAQs

    Is Spain safe?

    Spain is indeed a safe country. However, with any place you travel to, it is always a good idea to take some precautions.  Prevention involves many “common sense” precautions such as staying on well-lit main roads, traveling in groups and not carrying large amounts of cash or expensive items.

    I am a parent with questions, where do I go?

    Please head to our Parent Handbook page. You’re also welcome to set up a time to chat with us about your child’s program abroad here. We’re happy to chat with you about this big decision!

    Are flights included?

    Flights to Spain are not included in the program fee. Students are responsible for booking their round-trip airfare to Madrid, Spain. We will collect your itinerary to organize your arrival and airport pickup.

    Will someone pick me up at the airport?

    Yes! All students fly on their own to the Madrid Barajas Airport and are then are picked up by a language school representative, transported to Salamanca, and then dropped off at their host family.

    Should I fly using an unaccompanied minor service?

    Greenheart Travel does not recommend this service because the “additional” services advertised by the airlines are already provided to all travelers and are not worth the money invested by you the traveler. At any time, a student can ask an airlines professional for help finding their gate or for connecting flight information, and paying for this add-on UM service is not necessary. We have sent hundreds of semester abroad students internationally, for whom we book their flights, and we never use unaccompanied minor services. If you would like the peace of mind a UM service provides, Greenheart Travel offers more self-empowering alternatives (such as reviewing airport maps, mapping connections, etc) that we believe teach students relevant life skills about traveling independently. Please refer to our webinar about navigating international airports.

    How much supervision is there?

    Students are supervised and chaperoned at all times, unless given permission by the natural parents.

    How many other students will there be and where are they from?

    A majority of our students are American between 14-17 years old. However, there are students participating from around the world, so you will have a cross-cultural setting both in the classroom and out. While the number of students does vary by start date, we like to keep small classes with no more than 12-15 students.

    Will I be required to speak Spanish outside of the classroom?

    Language practice and immersion are the main priority of this program. While we do not require the students to sign a contract stating they will only speak in the local language, it is highly encouraged that they use their language skills when talking to friends, partaking in the daily excursions and at night in the residence hall or host family home. Program staff and chaperones primarily communicate and answer questions in Spanish to encourage this immersion culture. Check out our alum Emmy’s tips for practicing Spanish outside the classroom in Salamanca.

    How will this program improve my Spanish skills?

    In a traditional classroom, students may learn language skills; however, they are not forced to practice these skills in real world situations. Through language immersion, you will both learn the practical language skills in a classroom while also being forced to use them with local, native speakers during the excursions and/or host family experience. Studies show that 4 weeks of a full language immersion experience can be equivalent to a yearlong college language course because of the intensity of use.

    Why should I choose Greenheart Travel?

    Greenheart Travel provides 24-hour support to you and your child throughout the application, program and alumni processes. We are a small staffed non-profit that is accredited with CSIET, so you know you’ll always be talking to a real person on the other line. We are proud to always be available for your questions and concerns and we always answer our emails and phone calls quickly. We pride ourselves on developing a personal relationship with our participants, and love staying connected with them throughout the experience on social media & email. We offer the personal connection and support that many of our competitors do not.

    Will I earn high school credit?

    Greenheart Travel cannot award high school credit. Please talk to your school about earning credit for your child’s time abroad. Refer to this blog post for tips on transferring credit.

    Will I need a visa?

    Citizens of the United States and Canada do not need a visa if staying for less than 90 days. We will inform you of your travel and visa requirements. All travel and visa arrangements are your responsibility, but need to be booked according to our instructions. Usually students travel alone to their destination but will be met at the airport by school staff.

    How will I get money abroad?

    It is best for you to bring an ATM/debit or credit card. Most cards are accepted at ATM machines abroad and this is by far the easiest and most convenient way to access money. We do recommend you bring some cash with you for purchases at the airport or on arrival.

    How is the host family selected?

    Host families go through a rigorous interview process and are carefully screened. They must complete an application, comply to and pass a background check, their references must be checked, and an in-home interview must be conducted by the partner organization. Many current host families have hosted numerous participants year after year.

    What are meals like?

    Your host family will provide you with three meals per day. You will usually eat breakfast and dinner at home and take a packed lunch to school. You will have the opportunity to experience typical, home-cooked Spanish cuisine!

    What if I have an allergy/specific dietary requirement?

    We can cater to vegetarian needs quite easily. Any other specific diets should be discussed with us to see if we can arrange to have your needs met. In some cases you may need to provide your own food.

    Can I apply with a friend?

    Absolutely! We are happy to accept friends and groups.  However, keep in mind your primary purpose of attending this program is to immerse yourself in the language and culture – so make sure you and your friend commit to speaking Spanish!

    I identify as LGBTQ+. How will I be supported?

    It is hard to generalize Spain as a country, but each year Greenheart Travel sends several LGBTQ travelers on our teen summer language camps. Our staff and in-country partners are very welcoming and accepting of all gender identities, and we will ensure you are placed in a homestay that is also accepting. We can provide extra support if needed. For one of our alumni’s experiences, read this blog.

    Greenheart Travel welcomes travelers identifying as LGTBQ+, and is committed to helping you find the best program for you. We can provide information on the cultural norms of our destination countries and are prepared to advise you on the best programs based on your needs and interests. 

    Please read more here.

    Do I need vaccines?

    There are no required vaccinations to travel to Spain for US/Canadian citizens. We follow the CDC’s guidelines for travelers to Spain: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/spain

    What happens if I get sick while abroad?

    You will be covered by mandatory health insurance. You will receive a policy brochure and insurance card via email 1-2 weeks prior to your departure, as well as supplementary materials in your comprehensive program handbook.

    Will I have internet access?

    Yes! The school will have WiFi and computer labs with internet access. Pretty much all host families also have WiFi but it is not 100% guaranteed.

    Do you accept groups?

    Absolutely! If you are an educator who would like to organize a group trip, please inquire here to speak about dates, pricing, and special requests.

    When should I apply?

    We recommend you apply as early as possible as this is our most popular teen program and start dates fill up very quickly.

    The sooner you can apply the better, as acceptance, gathering documents, etc. can take a long time. Read more about why applying early is a good idea.

    Can I speak to current students or alumni?

    Yes! Check out our blog or you can join our exclusive teen programs Facebook group to talk to current and past students.

    We also have a list of mentors (teens and parents) that are past participants open to chatting about their experience with potential new participants. Please inquire here if you want to be put in touch with a mentor.

    After I complete my program, how can I continue studying Spanish?

    A great next step is doing our High School Abroad Spain program! You’ll go to a local Spanish high school for a trimester, semester, or academic year.

  • Why Greenheart Travel?

    Greenheart Travel has been sending teens to Spain for many years, and there are advantages of applying for this program through us:

    • 33 years of experience with cultural exchange programs
    • Friendly, responsive, and professional support from your program manager, Connor.
    • Connect with alumni and others on the program via our Greenheart Travel only Facebook forums, before you even leave!
    • We try and make our program fees as inclusive as we can. We include things like medical insurance so you don’t run into any hidden fees down the line.
    • Greenheart Atlas Program. The Greenheart Travel Atlas is a cultural training interactive guidebook alongside five videos where you will find three main topics covered: Personal/Professional Development, Cultural Understanding, & Environmental Awareness.
    • Our alumni recommend us! GoOverseas.com Reviews // GoAbroad.com Reviews
    • Hands-on support and personal attention every step of the way
    • 24/7 emergency phone number to reach a staff member at any time
    • Pre-departure “Culture Shock and Adjustment” Webinar before you leave
    • Discounts for future Greenheart Travel programs
    • We are a non-profit, mission-based organization
    • Continued support throughout your time abroad

    We also have some unique offerings to our Greenheart Travel students and alumni!

    Greenheart Global Impact Grants (GIGs)

    Greenheart GIG Grants are funds awarded to Greenheart Travel participants to use for community development projects in their host or home country after they return home. A GIG is the opportunity to create, improve, or maintain an impactful, community-focused project abroad or at home. Grant funds could be applied to supporting women’s cooperatives, schools, community centers, or health clinics, for example. Grant winners will be featured on our website, social media, and blog. You can see our past winners on our blog here.

    Greenheart Alumni Program

    We created the Greenheart Travel Alumni Program to provide resources and a community to support alumni in their advancement as global leaders, and a way to celebrate and reward our participants for being ambitious, inspiring catalysts of cultural exchange!

    Junior Greenheart Global Leaders Conference

    Each May Greenheart offers full-ride scholarships to around 10 teen alumni to attend our annual conference in Chicago. You can see more about what Jr. GGLC is and what you could do at the conference here.

  • Application Process

    Committing to a language camp program can feel a bit daunting, but we are here every step of the way to make the application process as simple as possible. Below are the steps you’ll need to take to be accepted on a Greenheart Travel program.

    Once you start your application, you have two weeks to finish.

    1. Ensure Your Eligibility: The eligibility requirements, such as age or language proficiency, may be required for certain destinations.

    2. Start Your Application HereYou will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application. You’ll be able to save your progress along the way.

    3. Sign the Terms & ConditionsAfter you complete the first part of your application, you (and your parent(s) if you’re under 18) will be asked to read through and sign our Terms and Conditions which outline the requirements and policies of the program

    4. Submit your application fee: You will need to submit your $300 application fee at this point in the process. This is required in order to reserve your spot on the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.

    5. In-Depth QuestionnaireThis is the most in-depth part of the application process as it helps us get to know you better. You will need to provide detailed information about yourself, why you want to go abroad, and what you hope to gain from your experience. You will also need to upload your passport.

    6. Acceptance: Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 1-2 weeks to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.

    You’re Accepted – now what?

    Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. At this point you will be required to submit a second $300 commitment payment that also goes towards the total amount (it’s not extra). This is your commitment to your start date and once we receive it is when details will start to be booked on your behalf.

    You’ll then be able to download program handbook from the portal, which talks more about your program, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program. We will also schedule an online pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions you may have. You can expect to receive your host family placement 1-2 weeks prior to your start date.

  • COVID-19 Policy

    Please refer to our COVID-19 blog for the most up-to-date information on current programming.

    Adhering to COVID-19 Guidelines

    Closer to your start date, you will participate in an online pre-departure training with a Greenheart Travel staff member. The details will be provided to  you upon acceptance onto the program. During this online training, the Greenheart Travel staff member will provide any specific COVID-19 guidelines or entry requirements (such as getting a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to departure). All students will be required to adhere to any local or federal government guidelines while on program, such as wearing a mask and maintaining six feet of distance with anyone outside of this program. These will be discussed with students during the online pre-departure as well as upon arrival. Guidelines, requirements, and restrictions change frequently, so we will give you the most accurate information as possible as close to your start date as possible.

    Cancellation in Case of COVID-19 or its Effects

    Our policy is to still evaluate programs 6 weeks prior to your intended start date. If we determine we are unable to run your original start date due to factors like health & safety of students or entry restrictions, you will have options to defer to another start date/year, switch to a new program or request a partial refund. Please refer to our COVID-19 Cancellation and Refund Policy for more details.

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