Spanish is a world language. After English and Chinese, Spanish is the 3rd most widely spoken language on the globe. With 400 million Spanish speakers worldwide, Spanish opens lots of doors—travel, friendships, career options and more. Having a working knowledge of a sought after second language like Spanish, literally increases your value. Not just in business, but also in healthcare, government, and international non-profits. This means, while you’re young [or not] and opportunity is knocking [or not] a study abroad experience, especially one that includes Spanish language immersion, is a very worthwhile venture, and Latin America is the place to do it!
Studying Spanish abroad means total immersion into the language, meaning you learn faster and more fluently. As well as gaining life-long language skills, studying Spanish abroad provides you with something even more valuable—a natural feel for and comfort with a new culture. Experience with any second language enriches travel and increases professional opportunities. Another important benefit to keep in mind is that language skills produce more language skills—once your brain has wrapped itself around a second language, a third one is that much easier.
The beautiful country of Spain is the most popular destination for studying Spanish abroad. However, if you’re from the United States or Canada, Spain is both far away and expensive; and if you’re from a European country, Spain is just too close to home! If you’re an hour’s flight from home, the immersive effect, in terms of cultural learning, is significantly diminished. When you’re planning an experience abroad, you really do need to get yourself overseas.
The best place to study Spanish abroad is Latin America. Latin America is inexpensive; it has deep and distinct cultures; and it’s loaded with Spanish programs. And that makes it a great portal for learning the language and working, living, and traveling internationally. The region is huge with an almost unlimited number of destinations. Travel to Latin America and you can work—study—travel in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. Now that’s interesting!
Latin America pulls you out of your comfort zone and places you right in the middle of Latino culture—and there’s no better culture in the world! Beyond Spanish language skills, you will experience food, music, family-structure, politics, legal systems, and even love—all of them incredibly distinct from anything you’re accustomed to. After all, that is the whole point of studying Spanish [or even medicine, business, and history] abroad.
Airfares from the United States and Canada are definitely less expensive when flying to Latin America compared to Spain. Whereas European travelers will obviously pay more for their flights, any extra getting-there-expense is quickly absorbed by the low cost of living in Latin America. The region is incredibly cheap—especially in the less developed countries like Guatemala and Peru. Be careful, as your money doesn’t go quite as far in places like Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. But even then, Latin America’s most expensive areas are still very reasonable and provide opportunities for cheap housing and inexpensive food and transportation that you just can’t find in North America and Europe.
Studying abroad enlightens and develops the mind, feeds the soul, and simultaneously develops a sense of both self and others. The more people and cultures you are exposed to, the better you are as a person. And Spanish language skills mean better opportunities in both life and work! Latin America is one of the most exciting and least expensive places to begin a new chapter in working, studying, and traveling abroad.
If learning Spanish and studying abroad appeals to you, learn more by visiting maximonivel.com/spanish/. We’re always happy to answer your questions about Spanish immersion.