Winter Wonderland: Celebrating the Holiday Season Abroad

Christmas Ornaments, International Holidays

Christmas ornament by Joe Buckingham, on Flickr

Recently, CNNGo featured the top 10 places of 2011 to spend Christmas and with the holidays almost here, GoAbroad is offering a few more ideas to celebrate the holiday season around the world! This time of year marks a great times to take off on an international adventure, and experience a holiday and new culture in a completely different way. Here are a few opportunities to consider as the world prepares to welcome 2012!

Spend a Christmas Working Holiday in France!

How would you like to experience southwest France at Christmas? A three-week Christmas program in France with La Giraudiere will combine the perfect Christmas experience in France with all the highlights of French culture. Normally La Giraudiere is closed for the winter, but this program will allow you to see exactly what happens at Christmas time. There’s no need to study alone at Christmas when you can join others for a unique holiday experience in France! Whether it’s experiencing local French village life, or visiting the excursions and attractions, you’ll never be at a loss of things to do.

Learn Arabic In Egypt this Winter Season!

Spice up your holiday celebrations this year by participating in one of 4u Arabic School‘s Christmas Arabic language courses! The programs are suitable for all levels and combine years of Arabic language teaching experience and perfect spoken standard Arabic with the newest and most creative methods of helping you to acquire the Arabic language. Placement tests take place on the day of arrival, and students are assigned to the appropriate class level. Whether you’re a  beginner or advanced speaker, there is an option for everyone! The Saturday through Thursday schedule also allows students time for social and cultural activities — and for some of that last-minute Christmas shopping. Spend this winter enjoying beautiful Egypt while immersing yourself in a new language and culture!

Spanish Christmas Course in Spain

Spanish Christmas, Holidays Abroad

Christmas in Spain by davedehetre, on Flickr

Perhaps it’s Latin traditions you’re interested in learning about. With the one or two week Enforex Christmas program,  students can enjoy traditional Spanish celebrations and work on language skills at the same time. In addition to the 20 Spanish lessons per week, the school organizes excursions and cultural activities such as visits to typical Spanish Christmas gatherings, nativity exhibits and Epiphany parades. Because the course falls in an off-peak period, museums and other sites of interest are often less crowded than at other times of the year. While classes are held throughout the entire holiday season, the schools observe the 25th of December, the 1st of January and other local/special holidays, so you’ll have plenty of time to get in the holiday spirit!

Volunteer Programs in India – Delhi and Dharamshala

If you’re seeking to make a global impact this holiday season, Volunteering India provides some exciting volunteer programs designed especially for winter break. Participants can also join any of the other ongoing volunteer programs available in all countries during winter, as all the programs run throughout the year!

The Delhi Winter Program offers a unique opportunity to participate in a two-week volunteer trip along with weekend excursions to Agra and a tour to one of the most historic and cultural sites in the capital city of Delhi. Volunteers take part in a variety of meaningful experiences including working with the Street Children Project in Delhi, taking informal education classes, and playing games with the children and introducing them to different new activities. What better present to give this season than the gift of giving back?

Volunteers also have the other option of participating in the Palampur Winter Program, which offers the opportunity to take part in a two-week volunteer trip combined with weekend excursions to Dharamshala and the world-famous Golden Temple in Amritsar. Volunteers are able to work at the various contact points or shelter homes, being run by local organizations, which serve as day care centers for street children. As volunteers assist in providing love, care, basic literacy, and recreational activities to the children, they will come to better understand a brand new culture!

Haiti Winter Program

Volunteer in Haiti, Holidays Abroad

Volunteer in Haiti by emeryjl, on Flickr

How would you like to be a part of youth based initiatives this holiday season? The Colline Foundation works with children in Haiti, by bringing in volunteers from around the world to carry out meaningful projects–one of which is the Christmas Volunteer Week. For many of Haiti’s citizens, Christmas is an immensely important holiday, yet many children aren’t always able to observe the occasion. By volunteering with this program, participants help to bring about the enjoyment that many children around the world receive on the holidays. There is a need in Haiti for those who can and those who are willing to help fill the void in the lives of the children that have lost the family that once supported and nurtured them. The Colline Foundation seeks to give children the care, attention, support and experiences that they are missing; the same experiences that we have cherished ourselves and now have the chance to re-create for others!

Spanish Christmas Course in Mexico or Spain

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t have an educational experience! Why not spend your Christmas holidays in Spain or Mexico with Don Quijote and learn Spanish at the same time! Fellow participants of the program will be students of other nationalities who want to learn Spanish and are also looking to experience Christmas and New Year in a different culture. Together, you can look forward to enjoying cultural events like the Three Wise Men parades – called Cabalgatas de Reyes – on the streets of every Spanish city. Or perhaps you’d like to take part in the house-to-house pilgrimage of Las Posadas in Mexico. As you enhance your Spanish language experience, you’ll have the chance to take part in daily Spanish cultural activities and optional guided excursions to nearby places of interest. What adventure sparks your interest?

Wherever and however you celebrate the holiday season, the GoAbroad Team wishes you happy tidings! For even more meaningful travel opportunities, search  GoAbroad.com!

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