Planning to Learn Spanish Abroad Part 3 – How Long to Study

Often students hesitate before booking their trip to attend Spanish language schools in South America because they can’t decide how long their trip should be. After all, you can find programs that run anywhere from 2 to 20 or more weeks. As a result, it can be tough to make a decision.

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When you are planning to study Spanish abroad, consider the following guidelines. A session of four weeks of classes is a bit more time than that of a college semester. However, due to the fact that these study abroad programs make the experience more intensive, you will learn more in 4 weeks in Spanish schools in Latin America than you would have if you had simply attended a one semester Spanish class in college.

Many students aim for a trip of at least six to eight weeks as this extended duration of time offers a clear break from normal life. Additionally, this trip length provides enough time away that students will be able to feel “at home” while abroad.

One word of advice in the case that your course is five weeks or more is to break up your study between locations. The change will reinvigorate you and your studies. For the most seamless transfer of your classes, choose a single program that has multiple locations. When you study Spanish abroad in various locations, you will also find that you encounter different regional Spanish accents in different locales. Experiencing these varied accents is good for learning.

If you have the time, a four-month program spread out over 4 or 5 schools will leave you an expert in several countries. Plus by the end of the program you will be very conversational, if not fluent, in Spanish.

However, not everyone can manage to get away for this length of time. If you plan to travel for four weeks or less, one rule of thumb is to stick to just one location. After all, it can take two weeks to feel fully settled, and you won’t want to leave a location just when you are starting to feel at home.

Of course, a trip of even this length is often not possible if you only have a few vacation weeks. For people who can only get away for two weeks at a time, one strategy is to study two weeks each year. However, don’t forget to review material and practice between trips. One major benefit to studying just a few weeks each year is that you will make new friends each time you study Spanish abroad.

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