Many of my students say that they want to go study Spanish in a foreign country.
They ask me if I have any tips.
You can read all about how I got to live in Spain for 2 years here through student visas (and other ways you can do it through work visas).
But in this email I wanted to point out a different way of studying abroad.
The cool thing about this way is that:
- It’s cheap
- You can usually stay for as long or as short of a time as you want
- You can not only learn Spanish through classes, but also through living with the locals
That could actually lead you to some amazing travel experiences if you’re willing to teach others for free!
For me, obviously, it’s languages. I’ve been teaching other people a foreign language since I was 14, and I’m still at it!
Luckily, this passion of mine is in high demand all over the world.
So, I took it to Guatemala to teach English through arts and crafts at El Nahual Community Center in Xela, Guatemala.
I stayed with a host family for about $100/week and got 3 meals a day for that price. I worked in the afternoons on the weekdays at their community center, teaching English to the kids, along with arts and crafts every other day.
Since I loved and worked with Guatemalans every day, I spoke Spanish all the time. Other volunteers took one-on-one classes with some of the staff each morning. If I remember correctly, they had to pay $50 extra for the classes.
This is so cheap compared to some of the language schools that are down there.
That was an incredible experience. I hiked to the tallest peak in Central America, viewed the ancient architecture of the Mayan civilization, and roasted some marshmallows from an active volcanic vent.
But really, you don’t need to go volunteer only to teach English.
If you’re really into organic food, choose a country and go work on an organic farm for a few weeks.
If you love business and finance, go help a small business abroad get their finances together.
If you’re in the medical field, go help others abroad.
If you’re passionate about women’s rights, lend a hand to a woman in need.
If you love animals, help out a veterinary clinic in Mexico or Peru.
As you can see, there is most likely a project out there that you can help out with no matter what your passion is. Get googling!
People don’t think about this route, but it’s cheaper than staying in hotels and more rewarding than staying in hostels.
The only catch is that this hands-on type of travel is going to be more stressful and maybe less fruitful if you don’t have a good grasp on conversational Spanish yet.
Luckily, we have a brand new course that will help get your conversational and travel Spanish up to par.
If you're not ready to enroll, you can download our Travel Spanish Phrasebook for free.