Everyone’s reasons for traveling are different. Some people want to be exposed to unfamiliar places and cultures. Others travel to places related to their heritage. But one of the most common reasons to spend time in another country is to learn another language. In a world that is becoming increasingly global, the ability to speak more than one language is invaluable. Spanish is the fourth most spoken language in the world, with over five hundred million worldwide speakers. To improve Spanish language skills, it is essential to spend time in a productive environment. Listed below are four cities that are especially good for Spanish immersion.
Granada, Spain, is one of the best cities in world for studying Spanish. ACIS has seven tours to Granada. Many of these tours visit Alhambra, a preserved palace and fortress that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The advantageous aspect of studying Spanish in Granada is the diverse culture associated with the city. Due to the Moorish influence, Granada is a wonderful place to explore Islamic studies. Another reason to study in Granada as opposed to the North of Spain is that they only speak Spanish there, rather than Basque or Catalan. Granada is also a small city, only a population of 230,000 people, but students make up a significant percentage of this population. With such a large student population and an incredibly rich cultural history, Granada is the perfect place for Spanish immersion.
Moving along to South America, Quito, Ecuador, is another excellent place to improve Spanish skills. There are three ACIS trips to Quito: Andes to the Coast, Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, and Ecuador’s Andes and the Amazon. Quito is a strong environment for Spanish immersion because the people there are very friendly and speak with a clear, slow accent. Quito is a unique place as the Spanish colonial architecture is well-preserved there. Additionally, Quito is home to thirteen universities with the University San Francisco of Quito considered to be the most accessible for foreign students. An additional advantage of traveling to Ecuador is that you do not need to change your currency, as the US dollar is the official Ecuadorian currency.
Another South American city great for Spanish immersion is Cuzco, Peru. ACIS has four trips to Cuzco including the Cuzco Spanish Language Study trip. This itinerary includes four hours of private Spanish instruction daily, cultural classes (focused on dancing, cooking, and music), and visits to Macchu Picchu and other Inca ruins. Cuzco is the former capital of the Inca Empire so there are plenty of interesting historical monuments near the city. It is an exceptional place to learn Spanish because it is quite easy to travel around. There are many restaurants, hostels, and Spanish schools sprinkled around the city. And Peru is cheap, with prices that fall in the bottom half of South American country ranks. In general, Peruvians are kind people who have easily understandable accents. Also, Cuzco is a melting pot of cultures and people, making it a very hospitable environment.
Finally, Sevilla, Spain, is another excellent place to pick up the Spanish language. ACIS has nine trips to Sevilla, including Language Immersion in Spain. In this trip, students spend four days in Sevilla and another three in Madrid. In the Sevilla portion of the trip, students will be able to visit the Gothic Cathedral, Grand Giralda Tower, and Parque de María Luisa among other places. Other highlights include flamenco dancing and Spanish fan painting lessons. Sevilla is beautiful, warm, and walkable, and it is also one of the birthplaces of flamenco. Sevilla is home to three strong, public universities including the University of Seville. This school is one of the top universities in Spain and serves around 70,000 students. Of these students, 11% are not from Spain and many students study abroad in Sevilla.
Immersion is the most surefire way to truly learn a language. The more interconnected countries become, the more valuable it is to speak multiple languages. All four of the cities mentioned above will prepare anyone well to become a strong Spanish speaker.