Originally Posted by ORDMDW1
Is there anyone around these parts who have done the Spanish Immersion trips to be fluent in the language?
I know google exist, but I would like to know what schools you attended and your thoughts of them.
Also, did you stay in a home with a host family or a hotel?
I would like to go somewhere other than Mexico. I'll be 30 soon and would like to explore a lot so I don't think staying with a host family suites me.
Any recommendations would help. Madrid and Buenos Aires are on the top of my list but I am also looking for cheaper options.
I haven't attended any of these schools, but I know people who have, and I've been told that Quito is a great place to study - it's a beautifully preserved colonial city and far cheaper than Madrid or BA.
I have studied Spanish in Madrid, however - university study abroad program. I'd definitely recommend living with native Spanish speakers if you're really trying to learn the language. That doesn't necessarily have to be a family - you might be able to find some younger people looking for a roommate, which would give you far more flexibility in terms of having a social life. Particularly if you're in a big city like Madrid or BA, you could find a housing situation through CL or a local equivalent.
One thing to keep in mind: You don't say how long you're going for, but it takes a long time (think: years of study) to really become proficient in a language, so make sure your expectations for an immersion program are realistic. In a couple of months of intensive study, you should be able to get to a point where you can travel around on your own, engage locals in basic conversations about everyday topics (i.e., not 18th century Central American political history), and handle most everyday-type situations. If you're just thinking of going for a couple of weeks - you use the word "trip" - then you might actually find more value taking a regular old class for a year or so back home, perhaps postponing the immersion until you already have a basic grounding in Spanish and can then progress more rapidly at the intermediate/advanced level.
You might find it helpful to call up the Spanish department at a local university and ask whether someone on the faculty can recommend a program or two.