Overview

Live with a host family and learn Spanish through full immersion with Greenheart Travel’s teen summer language camp in Salamanca, Spain. Spaniards call Salamanca “La Dorada,” the Golden City, because of the golden hue cast by the centuries-old limestone buildings. This city is also world-famous for being one of Europe’s oldest university towns. Students from Spain as well as all over the world still congregate in the Golden City, speaking Castilian, the “purest” Spanish.

Learn more about Spain from your Greenheart Travel program coordinators, Allison and Hope!

Eligibility

  • Must be between 14 – 17 years old
  • Be in good mental* and physical health
  • Beginner level Spanish is accepted, but a general knowledge of basic questions and phrases is helpful

What do our past participants say about the program?

My experience in Spain through this program was absolutely amazing! I made so many great friends and really noticed an improvement in my Spanish. At no point did I ever feel unsafe. The best part about my trip was all the people I met. Everyone was SO friendly and sweet, both the students and the supervisors. I made lifelong friends from all over Europe and the US. I COMPLETELY recommend this program to anyone that loves to travel and wants to explore a new language and country.” – Katie Quinn, Greenheart Travel Summer Language Camp Alum

Explore Salamanca with Greenheart Travel Scholarship Winner, Ariela Martin:

Classes and School Info

There are 3 different levels — Elementary, Intermediate, or Advanced. The levels are sub divided up into two sub levels depending on your linguistic skills. You will be given an admissions test on your first day to evaluate your skills and place you in the proper level.

Spanish Courses

  • 3 morning classes for 50 minutes Monday through Friday in air conditioned classrooms
  • Classes are taught by native Spanish teachers who specialize in teaching Spanish as a foreign language
  • Spanish lessons involve speaking, listening, reading, and writing in lively and informal small classes with no more than 12 students
  • You should take a Spanish/English dictionary, notebook and pencil for class but your school will provide all books and workbooks.
  • Students receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the course

School Location and Classes:

salamanca-school-location

Your Day-to-Day

Activities and Excursions

The summer language camp includes cultural, sports, and a wide variety of other educational activities at no additional cost. A different activity is planned for each day except Sunday and includes visits to museums, group events, a day at the swimming pool, excursions and field trips outside of Salamanca. Meeting young people from other countries is a very rewarding part of the program, allowing students to broaden their view of the world.

Here’s a sample of what your day will look like:

Morning
(9:00 – 12:30)
Spanish lesson at the school
Lunch Lunch at family or residence
Afternoon (17:30-19:00) Afternoon activity
Dinner Dinner at family or residence
Evening
(21:00-23:00)
Free time in the city, evening “Disco” (organized and supervised by local staff)

Read Tricia’s blog post to get an idea of what your schedule in Spain will feel like!

School staff supervises all activities. During the excursions, students are expected to do some educational activities like take quizzes, take notes of what they see or interview local people.

Please note: Participants are not allowed to go out at night outside the homestay unless accompanied by a chaperone.

Program Dates

Students choose between a 1-6-week program.

Program Start Date Deadline to Apply Date
June 3, 2019 April 1, 2019
June 10, 2019 April 1, 2019
June 17, 2019 April 1, 2019
June 24, 2019 April 1, 2019
July 1, 2019 April 1, 2019
July 8, 2019 April 1, 2019
July 15, 2019 April 1, 2019
July 22, 2019 April 1, 2019
July 29, 2019 April 1, 2019
August 5, 2019 April 1, 2019
August 12, 2019 April 1, 2019
August 18, 2019 April 1, 2019

Please note: Greenheart Travel can also accommodate off-season requests. Please speak to a program manager about winter programs. 

Arrival & Departure

All students fly on their own to the Madrid Barajas Airport and are then are picked up by a language school representative, transferred to Salamanca and dropped off at their host family. After your child is accepted onto the program, you can start looking for flights and making arrangements.

Flight guidelines: 

All classes start on Monday, but students should:

  • Arrive at the Madrid airport between 8:00am and 4:00pm on Sunday before Monday classes start
  • Depart  on the Saturday at the end of their program after 1:00pm

Transfer information:

The mode of transfer depends on when students arrive, and students will be automatically reserved for one of the transfers depending on the flight details provided to Greenheart Travel.  The travel time between Madrid and Salamanca is around 3 hours. Remember, the airport transfer is included in the cost of the program.

  • Students that arrive at the Madrid airport before 11am travel by train to Salamanca
  • Students that arrive at the Madrid airport between 11am and 4pm will take the group shuttle that departs after 4:00pm

If you are planning to arrive or depart outside of this time frame, there will be an extra fee and you should contact Greenheart Travel directly to discuss.

Program Cost

Program Cost:

  • 1 week: $1,430
  • 2 weeks: $2,120
  • 3 weeks: $2,750
  • 4 weeks: $3,280
  • 5 weeks: $3,810
  • 6 weeks: $4,180

Please note, all prices are listed in USD

What’s Included:

  • Accommodations in a local home
  • 3 meals a day
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • 24-hour emergency assistance and supervision
  • In-country local coordinator contact
  • 15 hours of language classes per week
  • Select cultural activities
  • Arrival orientation and language level placement test
  • Airport pickup and drop off to/from Madrid airport
  • Online pre-departure orientation with Greenheart Travel
  • The Greenheart Atlas, an interactive guide to your cross-cultural experience

Whats Not Included:

  • Flight to Spain
  • Spending money for souvenirs or snacks in Spain

Accommodation

Students live in carefully selected family-owned residences. The residences are private homes that can accommodate between 4 and 8 students at a time. Students will share a room with at least one other student of the same gender. The host family will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. All students in family-owned residences are supervised by local families and have a curfew.

All residences are located near the school – 10-20 minutes walking distance. Prospective hosts undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In order to qualify, the residence owners must:

  • Successfully pass a criminal background check
  • Undergo and pass an in-person interview with program staff
  • Agree to and pass a home inspection

*If you would prefer to live in a dormitory, we do have options available during certain start dates. Please contact us directly with questions.

 

For Parents

The decision to send your teenager abroad can be difficult and there are a lot of questions to consider. We understand your concerns and the Greenheart Travel staff is there for you every step of the way! We want to make the process of traveling and studying abroad as fun and painless as possible for you and your child. Here are some of the common questions we get from parents as they consider the program:

What does it mean to be in good mental health in the program eligibility requirements?

Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to a well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on an exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all applicants.

Therefore, we may not be able to accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Debilitating anxiety
  • Eating disorders

If the student’s mental health issue has been resolved (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will ask for a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.

Is Spain safe?

Spain is indeed a safe country.  However, with any place you travel to, it is always a good idea to take some precautions.  Prevention involves many “common sense” precautions such as staying on well-lit main roads, traveling in groups and not carrying large amounts of cash or expensive items.

Should my child fly using an unaccompanied minor service?

Greenheart Travel does not recommend this service because the “additional” services advertised by the airlines are already provided to all travelers and are not worth the money invested by you the traveler. At any time, a student can ask an airlines professional for help finding their gate or for connecting flight information, and paying for this add-on UM service is not necessary. We have sent hundreds of semester abroad students internationally, for whom we book their flights, and we never use unaccompanied minor services. If you would like the peace of mind a UM service provides, Greenheart Travel offers more self-empowering alternatives (such as reviewing airport maps, mapping connections, etc) that we believe teach teenagers relevant life skills about traveling independently. Please refer to our webinar about navigating international airports.

How much supervision is there?

Students are supervised and chaperoned at all times, unless given permission by the natural parents.

How many other students will there be and where are they from?

A majority of our students are American between 14-17 years old. However, there are students participating from around the world, so your child will have a cross-cultural setting both in the classroom and out. While the number of students does vary by start date, we like to keep small classes with no more than 12-15 students.

Will my child be required to speak Spanish outside of the classroom?

Language practice and immersion are the main priority of this program. While we do not require the students to sign a contact stating they will only speak in the local language, it is highly encouraged that they use their language skills when talking to friends, partaking in the daily excursions and at night in the residence hall or host family home. Program staff and chaperones primarily communicate and answer questions in Spanish to encourage this immersion culture. Check out our alum Emmy’s tips for practicing Spanish outside the classroom in Salamanca.

How will this program improve my child’s Spanish skills?

In a traditional classroom, students may learn language skills; however, they are not forced to practice these skills in real world situations. Through language immersion, your child will both learn the practical language skills in a classroom while also being forced to use them with local, native speakers during the excursions and/or host family experience. Studies show that 4 weeks of a full language immersion experience can be equivalent to a yearlong college language course because of the intensity of use.

Why should I choose Greenheart Travel?

Greenheart Travel provides 24-hour support to you and your child throughout the application, program and alumni processes. We are a small staffed non-profit that is accredited with CSIET, so you know you’ll always be talking to a real person on the other line. We are proud to always be available for your questions and concerns and we always answer our emails and phone calls quickly. We pride ourselves on developing a personal relationship with our participants, and love staying connected with them throughout the experience on social media & email. We offer the personal connection and support that many of our competitors do not.

Will my child earn high school credit?

Greenheart Travel cannot award high school credit. Please talk to your school about earning credit for your child’s time abroad. Refer to this blog post for tips on transferring credit.

Will my child need a visa?

Citizens of the United States and Canada do not need a visa if staying for less than 90 days. We will inform you of your travel and visa requirements. All travel and visa arrangements are your responsibility, but need to be booked according to our instructions. Usually students travel alone to their destination but will be met at the airport by school staff.

What are past students & alumni saying about the program?

We’re happy to invite your child to our exclusive teen facebook group so they can speak with alumni and other participants one-on-one. We also welcome you to take a look at our GoOverseas reviews, which are submitted by past participants and verified by a third party organization.

How will my child get money abroad?

It is best for students to bring an ATM/debit or credit card. Most cards are accepted at ATM machines abroad and this is by far the easiest and most convenient way to access money. We do recommend they bring some cash with them for purchases at the airport or on arrival.

 

ACCOMMODATIONS

How is the host family selected?

Host families go through a rigorous interview process and are carefully screened. They must complete an application, comply to and pass a background check, their references must be checked, and an in-home interview must be conducted by the partner organization. Many current host families have hosted numerous participants year after year.

What are meals like?

Your host family will provide you with three meals per day. You will usually eat breakfast and dinner at home and take a packed lunch to school. You will have the opportunity to experience typical, home-cooked Spanish cuisine!

What if my child has an allergy/specific dietary requirement?

We can cater to vegetarian needs quite easily. Any other specific diets should be discussed with us to see if we can arrange to have your needs met. In some cases you may need to provide your own food.

Can they apply with a friend?

Absolutely! We are happy to accept friends and groups. If both your child and their friend go together, each of them will receive a discount! However, keep in mind your primary purpose of attending this program is to immerse themselves in the language and culture – so make sure your child and their friend commit to speaking French! (Need tips? Check out our language learning tips webinar!)

What happens if my son/daughter gets sick while abroad?

You will be covered by mandatory health insurance. You will receive a policy brochure and insurance card via email 1-2 weeks prior to your departure, as well as supplementary materials in your child’s comprehensive program handbook.

Will they have internet access?

Yes! The school will have WiFi and computer labs with internet access. Most host families also have WiFi but it is not guaranteed.

 

Application Process

Committing to a language camp program can feel a bit daunting, but we are here every step of the way to make the application process as simple as possible. Below are the steps you’ll need to take to be accepted on a Greenheart Travel program.

1. Ensure Your Eligibility: The eligibility requirements, such as age or language proficiency, may be required for certain destinations.

2. Start Your Application Here (Approximately 5 Minutes): Greenheart Travel Application.

3. Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 10 Minutes): After you complete Part 1 of your application, you (and your parent(s) if you’re under 18) will be asked to read through and sign our Terms and Conditions which outline the requirements and policies of the program.

4. Submit your deposit (Approximately 5 minutes): You will need to submit your $250 deposit at this point in the process. A deposit is required in order to reserve your spot on the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.

5. Secondary Application Form (Approximately 30 Minutes): This is the most in-depth part of the application process as it helps us get to know you better. You will need to provide detailed information about yourself, why you want to go abroad, and what you hope to gain from your experience. You will also need to upload your passport.

6. Acceptance: Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 weeks to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.

You’re Accepted – now what?

Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. You should expect to receive a program handbook via email, which talks more about your program, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program. We will also schedule an online pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions you may have. You can expect to receive your host family placement 1 week prior to your start date.

Schedule a Call

Have questions or want to talk to the program coordinator, Allison? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

Don’t forget to review the frequently asked questions!