Individual Spanish Host Family Immersion for High School Students

Video and Photos

Me with my exchange family
Me with my exchange family
Final goodbye to all my new friends
Final goodbye to all my new friends
Exploring the island off San Sebastian
Exploring the island off San Sebastian
The Alhambra
High School ECI group in Salamanca Spain
High school summer immersion programs in Spain with host families
High school summer immersion programs in Spain with host families

About

Live with a volunteer family in Spain this summer. All our families have teen children. You will speak only Spanish.

Spend 2-6 weeks in San Sebastian. We will choose a family most suited to you and your interests, and with a teen of a similar age. You will speak only Spanish from start to finish, and will be completely integrated into Spanish family life and culture.

This is the best way to improve your Spanish. San Sebastian is a beautiful northern beach town. Our families are carefully chosen, and are all volunteers, eager to host and to forge a connection with a student from the US.

There is also the opportunity to enhance your stay by having one to one Spanish lessons or taking part in sports. This is a very flexible program - you choose the dates and length of stay.

During your stay you will have regular contact with our amazing Host Family Coordinators who are on call 24/7.

Highlights
  • Volunteer host families all genuinely interested in hosting and sharing their Spanish culture with you
  • All families have teens of a similar age and with similar interests. All families are carefully chosen. You will speak ONLY Spanish - guaranteed!
  • You choose the dates and length of stay - 2 to 6 weeks in the summer
  • Living with a family with teens like you ensures you will have a unique and authentic Spanish experience!
  • Scholarships available!

Questions & Answers

I don’t know if the program allows for that, and frankly, I wouldn’t recommend it. Here’s why: if the goal is to immerse in Spanish language learning, then having an English speaking friend living with you would be totally counterproductive. I would recommend that friends apply to the program together, but live with different families in the same city. They could see eachother occasionally, but...

Reviews

98%
based on 5 reviews
  • Growth 10
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.5
  • Program Selection 10
  • Pre-departure Help 10
  • In-program Support 9
  • Impact on Student 10
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
Default avatar
Susan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Review of Edu-Culture Immersion (ECI) San Sebastian program - parent perspective

My sixteen-year-old daughter Lauren traveled to San Sebastian, Spain with the Edu-Culture Immersion (ECI) program for two weeks in the summer of 2019. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is interested in a language immersion program for their child. We chose an immersion program instead of a classroom setting as we were concerned that if she were studying with other English-speaking students that her Spanish would not improve significantly.
She had a wonderful experience. We found the whole process – from the initial inquiry to the application to getting her to her host family to be very smooth and well run. Lauren’s availability to travel was limited by other commitments that summer, and Marie Harris from ECI headquarters worked with that schedule to find a time, location and family that fit our plans. And the experience was exactly what we had hoped for and more. ECI placed her with a lovely family that has two girls roughly her age (one was 16 and the other 18), and with a lovely host mom who has an educational background. The family could not have been more welcoming or inclusive. Lauren is a vegan, and she also has some food allergies, so she presented more of a challenge to feed than the average teenager. Her host family embraced her preferences, and they went out of their way to be accommodating. Through her host family sisters, Lauren met many other teenagers her age while she was in Spain, and she was able to fully participate in the regular life of a Spanish teenager, and to learn about Spanish (and Basque!) culture. Her host mother gave her daily Spanish lessons in addition to the immersion. Lauren’s Spanish improved markedly in just the two weeks that she was there, and the experience gave her a new appreciation and confidence for learning the language. The in-country coordinator (Eva Arrospide) met her (along with the host mom) at the Bilbao airport, checked in regularly on Lauren and the host family, and was very helpful and supportive throughout her stay.
San Sebastian is a strikingly beautiful and safe location, with wonderful beaches, architecture and food, and it’s hard to imagine a better place to spend some time learning another language. I can’t say enough positive things about the program; we feel very fortunate to have found it. Lauren is still in touch with her host family, and we expect that this will be a lasting friendship.

What would you improve about this program?
I can't think of anything that would have made it better. I wish she could have stayed longer!
Default avatar
Amy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

San Sebastian summer immersion-Fantastic experience!

I am leaving this review as the parent of my 16-year old daughter who participated in this program. This was a great experience: ECI is organized, informative, and thorough. My daughter felt safe, was paired with a wonderful exchange family, and improved her Spanish skills greatly. I would recommend this program highly. My daughter's chaperone met her in the Bilbao airport and transported her directly to her exchange family's doorstep. The family was well-prepared to greet my daughter and make her feel comfortable. All 4 members of the family were kind and helpful. This is a really important part of a student exchange: making sure the student and family are compatible. ECI did a really great job with this!

What would you improve about this program?
I also participated in a summer exchange program to Spain when I was 16 (way back in the 1980's). With a different company. My experience getting to my family was much, much different: left in the Madrid train station to fend for myself, waiting 4 hours to board my train to Caceres, not knowing if my family would be there to meet me. My chaperone was totally AWOL. My daughter's experience with ECI couldn't have been more different: she felt safe, her chaperone was wonderful, and her family was ready for her. ECI is wonderful, and I see no room for improvement!
Default avatar
Kylie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

San Sebastian Host Family

Through ECI, I had the opportunity to live with an amazing family in San Sebastian, Spain. I was placed with a family who had a daughter of similar age, and a brother about a year older. Although I was better placed than some of my peers, I was fortunate enough to be matched to a very caring and understanding family. Speaking little to no English, I was given the opportunity to truly test my Spanish skills as I put them to the test, while simultaneously learning some slang and out of textbook experiences. While staying with my host family, I had the opportunity to integrate myself into my host sisters close knit group of friends; from swimming in the ocean, to card games on the beach and ice cream breaks, I was able to push my language skills to the test as it was my sole mode of communication with them. This experience had a truly amazing impact on my life. Although I did not explicitly write about it on my college app, the lasting affects the trip had on me and the window it opened for me to have other opportunities like volunteering locally, truly changed the individual I am today.

Default avatar
Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Opportunity

Hi!

My name is Emily Gross and I went on this ECI trip a few years ago. This is truly an amazing trip and opportunity to travel and immerse yourself in Spanish culture.

What is so unique about this trip is being able to go to so many different parts of Spain. Each region in Spain is very different and by traveling to the different regions you learn so much. Not only do you get to see the different parts of Spain, you get to make new friends, enhance your spanish skills, and be abroad in a different setting unlike traveling with family.

My favorite part of this trip was staying in Granada for a couple of nights. We got to see the Alhambra and go to eat at the University of Granada (incredible food). Being in the south of Spain, we got to see the immense Moroccan influence on the spanish architecture and it was breathtaking. If you have any interest in art history or architecture, Spain has some of the best.

Even though I had traveled to a lot of spanish speaking countries before this experience, it solidified my love for the spanish language and culture. It helped me decide to be a spanish minor and to study abroad in college at the University of Granada.

This trip is a must! And if none of that matters to you, it looks really good on a resume.

Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Quality Housing, Language Programs, and Staff.

Hola!

My name is Sarah Behm and I've been a chaperone with ECI for the past three summers for the Salamanca program. ECI is unique in that they provide students with a full immersion into the Spanish culture through content-based language learning (cooking, dancing, art, soccer, horseback riding) in addition to language partner sessions (tapas tasting with local Spanish teens in Spanish), University accredited Spanish courses, and a week with a host family that has a teenager similar in age. Furthermore, we have a local chaperone from Spain that only communicates with the students in Spanish. Plus, our US chaperones are all fluent in the target language - Spanish or French!

Students are also exposed to the variety of Spanish subcultures by traveling from North to South. We start with a full four days of sightseeing In Spain's capital - Madrid. Then we are off to the university town of Salamanca where students stay in dorms (just steps from the center square) and take University accredited Spanish courses. In San Sebastian students spend most of the week on the beach with their host families. And we end with a tour of our favorite southern Spain cities - Seville, Granada, and Nerja. I've seen very few study abroad programs that travel from each end of the country!

We pride ourselves on high quality housing, restaurants, language schools, activities, host families, and chaperones!

Hasta pronto! Sarah