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SPI High School Spanish Language Immersion in San Sebastian

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was completely amazing

It was completely amazing. We got to see a little bit of everything. It's a life changing experience if you really take it all in. I loved every minute i was there.. The food to the people.. to the beach. It was all breathtaking. I'm grateful I got to do it! The program itself was also great. Well-organized and some very kind hearted people.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I love my study abroad experience

I signed up for my SPI Study Abroad program in hopes of becoming fluent in Spanish. While this did happen, I left Spain with so much more than the knowledge of a new language; I left Spain with a second family. I cannot emphasize enough how much I loved my study abroad experience. My mornings were spent eating breakfast with my mamá and my two new sisters, followed by a short bus ride to school. At school I participated in Spanish class with my new friends from all over the world- from cities close to my home town, to kids from Germany and Malaysia. After a few hours of grammar games and vocabulary lessons, school would be over, and my true learning experiences would begin. My friends and I would embark on the seven minute walk to the beach, and we would eat the lunches our families packed for us in the presence of soft sand and glistening blue waves. Our days were spent either shopping in the nearby "Parte Viaje", soaking up the sun on one of the three main beaches, going on boat rides, or even going restaurant to restaurant to find the best Pinchos! After hours of free time, we would participate in one of the many activities offered by SPI including, but not limited to, surfing, cooking, hiking, and dancing. Our days were packed with cultural immersion activities and lots of laughter, and my roommate and I would return to our new home each night for a much needed nap before either cooking dinner with our mamá or going out to eat with our new friends. Concluding my first week in Spain, Mamá threw a dinner party for my roommate and I ate her house. We met our all of our sisters' friends and we even learned some Basque, the native language of San Sebastían. My roommate and I surprised our dinner party by making them tacos with ingredients we brought from Texas. We laughed while we watched them try to figure out how to eat a hard shell taco. Saturdays would be spent with my friends getting our nails done and swimming at the beach, while Sundays would be spent with my family. My second Sunday in Spain, my mamá drove my roommate and I to the town she grew up in. There, we met her mom, her aunt, and her childhood friends; they welcomed us with open arms and lots of kisses. My trip concluded with even more hugs and an abundance of tears. I still talk to my mamá and my sisters weekly, and I have plans to visit my SPI friends later this year. I ventured to Spain with hopes of fulfilling a Spanish language requirement, but I left with family, friends, stories, and memories that will last a life time.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My summer trip To San Sebastián

My summer trip to San Sebastián, Spain was one of the greatest things I've ever experienced. The city itself is small enough where one doesn't get lost, but at the same time big enough where you never run out of things to do. Another thing I loved about this trip is the interactions with the local Spanish people. Whenever I'd walk into a store or restaurant, I was greeted in Spanish and forced to use my Spanish in real world experiences. Now, I am much better and listening, understanding, and speaking the language more than I would have ever imagined. Lastly, the experience was one of a lifetime. On the two week trip, I met tons of amazing people from all around the world and overall fell in love with the culture and country. Everyday I yearn to go back and live it all over again and highly recommend this program for any high school student hoping to be awed by their world.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

SPI, one of the most amazing experiences of my life!

One of the most amazing experiences of my life! I was totally immersed in Spanish culture, and had a culture shock. It was an eye-opening experience, because I saw a world that I did not know existed. Memorable moments included when my young host sisters wanted to play with me. They spoke only Spanish, so I was challenged to dig deep into my vocabulary to converse with them.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

SPI, I found the overall experience immensely rewarding

Initially hesitant, my friend and I stepped off the plane and out of the airport in Madrid, and then traveled to San Sebastian, not exactly sure what to expect, it took my friend and I a little time to adjust. Being the only students in the program at that time who were neither American citizens nor studying in America, the experience was initially a little overwhelming. After all, being fairly well-traveled students, living in Africa, and attending a widely diverse International School, it was a little overwhelming to, for once in a long time, feel like a foreigner. However, in hindsight this feels a little silly, because, despite our natural quietness, and after awkward first interactions melted away, the positive encouragement and friendliness we encountered was very warm and comforting. I even recall being rather suitably dubbed as 'Las timidas', or 'Las tranquilas'! Even though we took a little while to get settled, I found the overall experience immensely rewarding. A mile or so from the beach, and within a fair walking distance of some of the main plazas, he location was utterly stunning and buzzing with life and vibrancy. The classes both interactive and entertaining, there was a healthy balance between attending the school and exploring the culturally rich cities. The experience was a wonderful and utterly raw immersion into the heart of San Sebastian. Seize every opportunity you have to explore this wonderful location, and dive head first into the fusion of lessons and culture.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My experience In San Sebastián

My experience in San Sebastián was better than I could have ever imagined. My host family was really sweet and helped me improve my Spanish speaking skills. My teachers at Lacunza Language school were phenomenal and truly made coming to school fun. My favorite experience was going to Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. We had the ability to experience a cultural traditional and truly be involved in it. My time abroad introduced me to lifelong friends and increased my confidence and independence away from home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

SPI changed my life

My SPI experience was the greatest thing to ever happen to me! it changed me for the better! I attended the Madrid experience before going to San Sebastian. The sites were incredible and the fun was unbelievable! Not only was it educational Spanish-vise, but i learned a sense of independence, how to manage money, and how to take care of myself. I made forever friends from all over the world! We learned all about the culture and way of life in Spain. We visited small cultural towns all throughout Spain and even some France! I could not speak more highly of this program. I miss it everyday and I plan on going back next summer or maybe to try a different program! SPI changed my life and I hope it can impact others as well!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I spent in Spain were some of the best days of my life

The two and a half weeks I spent in Spain were some of the best days of my life. In my opinion, the most impactful part of this program was how you didn't feel like a tourist or outsider but instead a part of the community. In most immersion programs you still feel like an outsider, but after a few days I felt connected to the town. I believe the freedom in the afternoons and evenings was a large part of this because it forces you to figure the dialect, people, and town out. I also enjoyed the provided activities because they helped you embrace all parts of the town. I would highly recommend going if you have the chance too, it will change your life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My SPI Adventure

My SPI adventure was the highlight of not only my summer, but my high school career. I fell in love with San Sebastian from the moment I got off the bus. From the fun daily lessons in school to having lunch on the beach and visiting Boulevard Ice Cream Shop to cool down in mid-afternoon, the experience was like none other. The most memorable moment for me was on the very last night of our stay. After bonding with the other students from America we all hiked Mount Urgull to see the sunset over Playa Zurriola and experience in the breathtaking view of the Basque country one last time. We all put our phones down and spent about an hour admiring the city and being together for the last time. Not only was this a trip that greatly improved my Spanish and cultural appreciation, but I made wonderful friends and now have a home away from home across the Atlantic Ocean.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A Fantastic Immersion Program

As a high school teacher who spent a year abroad in 10th grade as well a year in college, I always tell my students that the best way to acquire a foreign language is to study abroad. As a teacher traveler to Spain this summer with SPI, I was very impressed with the program that they provided for their students. The language classes were very well organized and the cultural experiences like Spanish Dance, Basque Cuisine and the Surfing Classes were all so much fun! The students were well cared for by their host families who are carefully screened as well the SPI staff with were always professional, courteous and kind.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Social Life

    10

An Incredible Immersion in the Beautiful City of San Sebastián

Before this trip, I'd never been to a foreign country for more than two weeks. But this time, I was doubling that amount and I was soloing it, so you might be able to imagine how nervous I was. SPI changed that from the get-go. Provided with fun activities and a great group of people that enjoyed traveling and immersion just as much as I did, I soon forgot my worries. I could tell immediately that SPI was well-versed in everything Spain-related and made sure that everyone got to do and see everything that makes an immersion in Spanish culture what it is meant to be. While holding health and safety paramount, SPI respects your independence and gives you the freedom experience Spanish culture without someone breathing down your neck the entire time. San Sebastián life was as educational as it was immersive; through school and freedom to explore, I tore down my language barrier… which was quite daunting at first… and SPI gave me the resources to accomplish that. While living with amazing homestay families, making lifelong friends, and experiencing every facet of Spanish life, my trip to San Sebastián was revolutionized and SPI was the medium through which that occurred.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The Experience of a Lifetime

My experience in San Sebastian through SPI has changed how I view the world. SPI taught me the value of independence and the joys of going abroad. Their program flawlessly combined culture, education, and freedom. I even still keep in touch with the friends that I made in Spain. Because of this initial wonderful experience I have also gone to Costa Rica with SPI and hope to have many other abroad experiences in college and beyond.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

3 Weeks in Heaven

My study abroad experience with SPI was seriously one of the most incredible months of my life. I could not have asked for a better program. My language skills were elevated by leaps and bounds through the studying in class and also in the Spanish community of cultural immersion. If I could go anywhere for a second time, I would undoubtedly choose to return to San Sebastián with my SPI group. It truly was like being in heaven.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Life Changing

Studying abroad with SPI changed my life! On my trip to San Sebastián I realized how much I love traveling and I want to do it for the rest of my life! I started a travel blog and a non-profit, Over the Seas Foundation, to help fundraise money for teens to study abroad. If it wasn't for this program totally immersing me into the spanish culture I wouldn't be where I am today. This trip was so fun and really opened my eyes. Try it for yourself!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing trip!!!

I love SPI! I’ve taken students to Costa Rica, Santander, and San Sebastian. I can’t wait until next summer. As a mother and an educator, I feel very comfortable promoting this program. The home-stay families are well-screened and loving and really do help the kids learn Spanish. The teachers at the language school keep the learning interactive, relevant, and fun. I enjoy seeing the personal growth in the kids as well; some of my students have said the program was “life-changing” as they learned about themselves and grew in independence.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Time of my life!!

Before going on this trip, I was nervous whether or not going abroad was right for me and if my Spanish skills were enough. When I arrived in Madrid, all my worries went away. I got to meet new people from different parts of the United States who were all there for the same reason, to be immersed in a different country to improve our Spanish. I immediately bonded with my new friends, who I still talk to today, trying to study and experience the culture, so San Sebastian was a great city for that opportunity. The teachers at the school were very knowledgeable and engaged my friends and I. We would do various fun yet academic activities and work that would strengthen our language skill that we could use it in public. San Sebastian was a really safe city, and at no time on my trip did I feel unsafe. The local people were always there to help me when I was lost and needed directions. Situated in Basque country, there were numerous amounts of activites for my friends and I to do, such as surfing, playing soccer, visiting museums, and etc. The local food was amazing. The pintxos in la parte vieja and churros with chocolate was outstanding that my roommate and I would have to eat some every other day. Study abroad with SPI was the best experience of my life because they planned great activities that allowed me to fully live the local lifestyle. I would do anything to go back to this amazing place since I have made memories that will last a lifetime and developed a new viewpoint on the culture. SPI is great for fostering this impression, and San Sebastian is the place to be!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Life-Changing

I saw the world in a different perspective. I was put into their way of life and had to adapt. It was very different than Texas, that's for sure, but it was an amazing experience with long-lasting memories that I will never forget.

Academics:
I liked my teachers! Especially Idoia!!!

Living Situation:
Pepa was super sweet and helpful with us, especially me, struggling to speak in Spanish. She was a wonderful homestay and a great new friend! Also my roommate has been my best friend for 6 or 7 years now, and there was no trouble there! :)

Cultural Immersion:
I felt I had to force myself to speak spanish because English comes so naturally! It was a good and different experience.

Program Administration:
The teachers and tour guides were super sweet and helpful.

Health and Safety:
I felt very confident in the area, and yes I did feel safe, especially when I would go out in groups with my friends.

Social Life:
I loved talking to everyone!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

AMAZING

I had an amazing time on this trip and would highly recommend it! You don't just visit a country, you LIVE there for two weeks!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The greatest culture experience of my life.

The program was amazing. Host families are a great way to learn about the Spanish culture and language. School each day was fun and interactive, and helped me review previous Spanish that I had forgotten.

Living Situation:
Host families were very welcoming and made great food! Talking with them at night greatly improved my Spanish skills and helped broaden my global perspective.

Cultural Immersion:
I got to learn tons of new information about Spain and the Spanish culture. Touring the city and being on your own help you learn even more.

Program Administration:
Administrators trust you to be on your own and make decisions, and rarely interfere with the experience.

Social Life:
The nightlife is amazing and everyone was very friendly

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

Hands-Down AMAZING EXPERIENCE!

It was an absolutely amazing experience! My Spanish improved so much, and the cultural excursions were incredible!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

An amazing month I'll never forget that fundamentally changed who I am and how I see the world

I spent a month with SPI Study Abroad in San Sebastian, Spain, and it was a month I'll never forget for the rest of my life. San Sebastian is a gorgeous city, I learned so much Spanish and so many life lessons (not to sound cliché but it's true), and I gained a lot of self-confidence. Furthermore, as a young adult who wants to travel the world, it gave me a wonderful taste of what traveling has to offer. Thank you so much SPI for helping me a have such an unforgettable experience!

Academics:
Overall, the class experience was great, even though sometimes it felt a little slow-paced, the massive amounts of time we spent conversing helped my Spanish soar to heights it had never gone before.

Living Situation:
My home stay señora was a phenomenal cook and living in her house for a month made my Spanish improve to a level I've never had in my life. All in all, the living situation with your Spanish home stay and your roommates is an extremely valuable experience that puts you way out of your comfort zone and helps you appreciate so many things you have at home that you previously took for granted.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

One of, if not the most, unforgettable, intensive, and exciting trips that I have had the pleasure of participating in.

Thanks to this program, I have had the best time of my life in San Sebastian. The cultural immersion is definitely there and I could tell my Spanish was getting better and better because I was using it everyday! The program set up everything for us from activities to classes and more! The directors were amazing and made it so much better. Not only do you get to enjoy a whole new city for 2 weeks, you get to experience it with a whole new group of people that quickly will become your second family. I am so happy i was able to participate in this program and I definitely miss the city and the people I went with. Thank you SPI!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

I wish I wish I had done the month session!

SPI San Sebastian is such an amazing experience. My Spanish is so much better, I made such good friends, and my home stay was so sweet. I wish I had registered for the month long program instead. The excursions were fun, the directors were awesome. San Sebastian is such a gorgeous city and my two weeks there were two of the most fun weeks of my life.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

SPI gave me an amazing opportunity

SPI gave me an amazing opportunity to make friends not just from across the country, but from across the world. Before I went to Spain I struggled with my Spanish, but by being fully emerged in the language and culture I was able to learn more than I'd ever imagined. I loved the food, people, and places I got to experience!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

A Once in a Lifetime Experience

I had traveled abroad before to other Spanish speaking countries (Ecuador), but I had no idea what a different type of experience SPI San Sebastian would offer. I was fully immersed in the Spanish culture and language through school, my home stay family, and the group leaders (giving directions in spanish and english).
I would say the highlight for me was my home stay family because they made me feel right at home. This was the part that I was most concerned about, but by the end of the two weeks I did not want to leave them.
Another unique feature about SPI is that they try to give you time to experience all San Sebastian has to offer. Some programs would fill up a days schedule with no free time, however, SPI made it a priority to allow time to explore and see all the city had to offer.