Summer Language Study Program — 2018
Jun 27-30, 2018 -> Jul 28-31, 2018 Application deadline: February 1, 2018
Advance your Spanish with both formal study and first-hand cultural experience during this four-week program in Málaga, Spain. You’ll have the unique opportunity to make friends with students from around the world by living together on a high school campus. In your free time, you can explore Málaga, lounge on the beach—which is just a 5 minute walk from campus—or play sports like soccer, volleyball, and basketball. On weekends, join friends on trips to destinations in southern Spain such as the famous and beautiful Alhambra in Granada and the sun-drenched cities of Seville, Cordoba, and Marbella.
As you explore your community, you’re bound to notice southern Spain’s laid-back and social culture. You’ll find that people like to take a step back and enjoy life, a philosophy that is reflected in the traditional mid-day siesta. Your school meals will be prepared using typical Mediterranean ingredients like fish, vegetables, rice, and fruit.
Your journey to Spain will begin in New York, where you’ll meet your fellow AFSers from the US. Together you’ll attend an overnight orientation, and then travel to Málaga where you’ll be welcomed by AFS staff and volunteers.
Soon you’ll be ready to head to your community. Southern Spain is known for its mix of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian cultures; you’ll likely notice the Islamic influence in the region’s architecture and colorful mosaics. In Málaga you’ll find yellow-sand beaches and palm trees amid the backdrop of ancient fortresses and narrow stone alleyways. You’re also bound to see locals enjoying espresso or tapas (small plates or appetizers) in cobblestone plazas lined with busy restaurants.
You’ll be staying in the Málaga area in the province of Andalusia. Your school, San Estanislao de Kostka, is located in a tree-lined residential area called Pedregalejo, which is just a 5-minute walk from the beach. You’ll be rooming with students from around the world, giving you an additional opportunity for intercultural exchange. An AFS Spain group leader will be nearby and available to you 24/7 in order to provide any support that might be needed.
San Estanislao de Kostka has been in operation since 1882. Over the past 130 years, famous personalities such as the philosopher Ortega y Gasset and the painter Revello de Toro have walked through its halls. This picturesque campus will serve as a backdrop for your Spanish adventure, and you’ll have the chance to take advantage of both the academic and sports facilities.See where past AFSers have lived
The primary focus of your program will be on language-learning, so that you can take advantage of the immersion experience and really skyrocket your Spanish skills. Over the course of the four weeks, you’ll get approximately 80 hours of Spanish lessons. Classes are taught by professional language teachers in both classroom and real-world settings. Your Spanish speaking ability will be evaluated at the beginning of the program to help ensure that you’re placed in the level that’s best for you. Each class will have around 15 students, and beginners are welcome. In addition to time spent in the classroom, you’ll also get to practice your Spanish when you’re out exploring the community.
When you're not learning Spanish from your teachers, you can put it to use in the surrounding area on some of the group excursions. On weekends you might visit nearby destinations like Seville, Cordoba, Granada, and Marbella. Other excursions could include a trip to the Picasso Museum, walking tours, nature walks, or cathedral visits. You’ll have the opportunity to play fútbol (soccer)—which is the most popular sport in Spain—as well as volleyball and basketball. You might even get to take part in the festivities that surround fútbol matches, with fans passionately supporting the national team La Roja (“The Red One”).
With traditional Spanish tapas, you can try all different kinds of food, such as albóndigas (meatballs), calamares (fried squid), or tortilla de patatas (a potato omelet). Spanish food is usually cooked in the Mediterranean style with olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers, and is known to be quite healthy for you. Some popular summer dishes include paella (rice with vegetables and seafood) and gazpacho (a cold tomato soup). Dinner is normally eaten late, around 9 pm, but you can have a snack or sandwich to tide you over around 5 or 6 pm. For dessert you can enjoy churros dipped in chocolate or flan (a kind of custard) with caramel.
"Life-changing" is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
"Transformed" is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.