A Unique Approach to Language Immersion in Spain

Video and Photos

Our group taking a rest during a steep hike
Our group taking a rest during a steep hike
Our small homestay town, Osuna
Our small homestay town, Osuna
I mapped out everywhere I went during the trip
I mapped out everywhere I went during the trip
Our attempt at taking a jumping picture while on a hike in Velilla del Río Carrión
Our attempt at taking a jumping picture while on a hike in Velilla del Río Carrión
Some of my American friends and I
Some of my American friends and I
My host sister and I
My host sister and I
When we learned flamenco!!! Both my sisters were flamenco dancers.

About

LITA is a unique, rural focused language immersion program in Spain. Our dynamic, academically challenging programs offer students finishing 9th-11th grades a different approach to exploring the vibrant elements of Spanish language and culture. Through small groups and individual attention, LITA offers personal, highly authentic immersive experiences to motivated students with a true commitment to language acquisition.

Programs are three and five weeks in length and center around a family homestay in small/medium sized communities in northern or southern Spain. All students take language classes and complete an independent project on a cultural topic of their choice. Five-week program students have the option to participate in a volunteer internship in the community. LITA programs focus on language as it relates to family life, food, music, history, and art. All groups end their trip exploring an urban center that serves as a direct contrast to their small-town homestay experience.

Highlights
  • Rural travel.
  • Dynamic homestays.
  • Personalized programs.
  • Internship and research project opportunities.
  • Small group experiences.

Summer 2020 Dates

LITA has four program options for summer 2020:

Five-week programs
North Group: June 22nd - July 28th
South Group: June 22nd - July 28th

Three- week programs
North Group: June 29th - July 20th
South Group: June 29th - July 20th

Questions & Answers

Reviews

99%
based on 31 reviews
  • Growth 9.9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 9.9
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 16 - 30 of 31
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Carlotta
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience with Lita South Group 2017

I don't even know where to begin to explain my experience on the LITA trip this summer. It was hands-down the best trip and experience of my life. It's now September while I'm writing this review and I still think about the trip everyday. Nothing compares to the people I met, the foods I tried, the improvement of my language skills, and the beautiful places I got to see. I truly believe there is no other program quite like Lita. Lita focuses on staying in rural areas so students can really focus on improving their language skills. The thought of being somewhere where very little English is spoken was terrifying to me at first, but while I was there all my fears vanished because I knew my Spanish was improving each day and the people were so kind and understanding and helped me any time I needed it. We traveled all throughout Spain and I will never forget the beautiful cities and rural pueblos we visited. I stayed with a host family in a medium sized city in Andalucía called Osuna, and nothing can compare to that experience. I talk to my host sister almost everyday and I'm so happy to have a second family in Spain. They were the most kind, genuine people and wanted me to learn and succeed at Spanish as much as I wanted to. We had a daily routine of going to my host mother's churrería, where I had the best churros of my life, for breakfast and then my host sister would walk me to my internship at the local elementary school, where I was a teacher's assistant and got to interact with the cutest children from the ages of 2-4. After my internship, my sister and I would go home for lunch, have a long siesta, and then go to the pool with friends. Even though we had this routine, some days we would do other things. One day, we spent the night in Chipiona, a beautiful beach town, and other days we would go to my host sister's friends' campos to swim and hang out. I could go on and on about my host family and I'm so lucky that I was able to meet them, and I wouldn't have been able to if it wasn't for Lita. I also have made some of my best friends from around the United States through this trip. I now have friends from Tennessee, Rhode Island, New York, California, Florida, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. I talk to these people everyday still and know they will be some of my best friends for the rest of my life. Despite living from all over the country, we were all united through the Lita experience and I honestly can't recommend this trip enough. I had the best summer of my life thanks to Lita, and would go back to Spain with Lita a million times if I could!

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Haley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

LITA

I can't speak enough about the past summer I spent with LITA. My Spanish improved exponentially in the five weeks I spent there, and I think that's from the structure of this particular program. I loved every single second of my time with LITA, and I think that the part that helped me to grow the most was the people I got to spend them with. We were really breathing, sleeping, and living Spanish the entire time we were there, and everyone was there to support each other: my awesome group, my host family, Jordan, Michela, and my counselors Ilan and Olivia. I especially enjoyed my time in my volunteer internship in a bakery that I got through the program in Benavente for the three weeks we spent there with our host families. It was there that my Spanish was constantly expanding, as I was interacting with people I wouldn't otherwise be interacting with, and learning and seeing so much of the small town culture in which we were immersed. I also formed a really special bond with my host family, who were more warm, welcoming, and helpful than I had imagined they would be. I found this program online after a few weeks of looking through several summer programs, and I'm so glad I did, because I think that everything that goes into it is so unique and makes for an incredible learning experience.

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Marlie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Experience of A Lifetime

I got back from my trip in August. It is currently mid September, and my parents have just returned from their week-long trip to Spain. As they describe their trip to me, I almost laugh. They got to see Spain through the eyes of a tourist, I got to see Spain through the eyes of the local. My personal connection I now feel to Spain is all thanks to the strategic planning of LITA. The majority of the trip was focused on the three week home stay in small towns. The lack of commercialization in these small towns is purposefully chosen to make sure that we do not have locals trying to practice their English on us. Each group has its own small town where everyone knows everything about everyone, the kids all go to the pool by day and out for ice cream by night, and the Spanish culture is thick and raw. Sure, my Spanish sister might have helped me once or twice with a word I couldn't remember in Spanish because she was good at English, but other than that she respected my wish to only speak Spanish. My American friends and I also only spoke Spanish with each other. We all thought of it as a fun challenge, and knew we would be excited to show off our skills in the upcoming school year. I left the trip in tears, not wanting to speak English, or leave my new Spanish and American family and friends. I bonded with everyone on the trip, no matter if it was through a friendly conversation with a tour guide, playing childish games in the town pavilion until 2 am, singing with my group, or even chatting with our bus driver, the beloved Manolo! There was not one part of the trip I would recommend to be taken off. From the first week to the very last, I cherished every single moment and wish that I can go back and relive them. I still can't get over what an amazing time I had this summer with LITA, and even more so can't wait to see where I take my newfound love for speaking Spanish in the future.

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Claire
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Lita: An Eye Opening Adventure

My wonderful time with Lita can only be described as “alucinante.” Alucinante is a spanish adjective (of course!) that roughly yet beautifully translates to being so captivating and amazing that it is hard to put it into words.
Spending my summers with Lita was easily the best decision I have ever made. As many of the other reviews allude to, Lita is a program that stands above the rest for its level of authenticity and attention to detail. Directors Jordan and Michela truly get to know each and every student on a personal level: their passions, their hopes, and their fears. They are always available and attentive to the needs of the individuals and the group. The attention to detail is very apparent from matching families in charming small towns to making sure students find an internship or class that encourages them in their passions and language abilities. This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern with a local ceramicist. Our mornings included lots of painting and numerous conversations over coffee that opened my eyes to Spain past and present. My spanish improved exponentially over the course of just a few weeks during the homestay and classes. While I came away with a better knowledge of spanish, I also came away with a better understanding of myself and the world around me, as well as a heightened awareness and appreciation for the things that connect us all.
Before embarking on this experience, I truly had no idea how monumental it would be for me going into the future. I truly needed this experience for it pushed me out of my comfort zone, gave me friendships and skills that will last a lifetime, and showed me where my passions lie. While it can be challenging, it is wholly worth the time and effort. This experience will open your eyes and encourage you to keep opening. If you are looking for authenticity: in your relationships, experiences, and yourself, then I highly encourage you to consider this amazing experience!

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Nelson
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

LITA: A Pretty Life Changing Experience

I had an incredible experience traveling to Spain and living with a family there through the LITA Program. The program is uniquely small and only does trips to Spain which means that you receive a lot of individual attention. This is very nice when faced with the difficult yet incredibly rewarding task of being totally immersed in the Spanish culture. It can be overwhelming to all of a sudden be living with a new family that only speaks Spanish and lives in a part of the world you have never been to before. However, LITA prepares students very well for the language barrier, culture shock, and other challenges that they will face living abroad. Once students are living with their host families they are in for a very special and pretty life changing experience. LITA puts students in small and rural Spanish towns so students will get to know not only their host families but also the surrounding community and all the kids who live in the town. Furthermore, the fact that these are rural towns means that the majority of people in the town don't speak English. This forces students to become totally immersed in the Spanish culture and use Spanish almost 100% of the time. Being forced to use Spanish greatly improved my understanding of the language and made my experience much more authentic. Living in a small community also allowed me to form strong relationships with many people from Spain some of whom I am still in contact with today almost 2 years later. By the end of the trip I had a much greater understanding of Spanish. I also looked at the world in a much different way as a result of my experiences. LITA is a very rigorous experience but it is more than worth it in the end. The program definitely changed how I see the world and gave me some of the best memories of my life. This is an incredible program and I would highly recommend it to anyone with a passion for Spanish and a passion for adventure.

What would you improve about this program?
To be quite frank this program doesn't really need any improving. It is designed very well to give students a taste of the great diversity of Spain well also allowing students to live with a family and become fully immersed in the Spanish culture. I only wish that I had more time living with my host family during the home stay portion of the program.
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Carly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

LITA Review

LITA is by unarguably one of the most enriching, educating, and enjoyable experiences I have ever had. It is a perfect opportunity to see how beautiful Spain is while also improving your Spanish, I only had two years of serious Spanish classes before I travelled to Spain through LITA, and by the end of the fifth week I felt confident in my ability to both understand and have meaningful conversations with native speakers. The most important thing I got through LITA was a second family. The homestay is really the highlight of the trip - my host sister and I have stayed in touch throughout these past two and a half years and will continue to throughout all of the years to come.

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Chase
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Beautifully Put Together

What makes LITA so special is the detail with which the program is put together. Every day brings an opportunity unavailable to without the connections the program holds, whether it be a field trip to a private farm for bulls, a cheese store, an ancient castle. The three-week stay with a host family was such a special time-- living out an entirely different way of life, and meeting fantastic people.

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Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My LITA Experience-Southern Spain 2016

I can hands down say that my trip to Spain with LITA was not only the best summer of my life, but also the best experience of my life. I remember so clearly waking up and thinking to myself that any given day on the trip so far had been the best day of my life. I expected to have an amazing experience but am still shocked on how much the trip exceeded my hopes and expectations.
I lived with my host family in a small pueblo named Estepa and grew inseparable from my four host sisters, specifically the younger two closest to my age. I don't have any sisters in Texas and I couldn't even believe how incredible it was to live with four. My host sister, Celia, and I couldn't be more in common. We both loved doing the exact same things and bonded more and more every day. Our days usually consisted of waking up, going to the internship, swimming in her or one of her friend's pools, going home for a family dinner, and meeting all of the other Americans with their host siblings at the parks. However, we strayed from this routine many days, like when I went with all of my sisters to go shopping an hour away in Banalmádena, this beautiful beachy little town area. There, along with countless other experiences, I began knowing what it's like to have sisters. Not only was I completely welcomed into the family, but Celia's friends group readily accepted me and even added me to their ongoing group text. I felt so welcomed and blessed each day that I was there and with each new experience. Celia and I still talk every single day..(we have over a 120 day snapchat streak :)))
Not only was my host family incredible, but the American group could not have been better. I met one of my best friends on the Spain trip and we also still talk every day. We were able to experience the beautiful culture of Spain with some of our closest friends, and I still remember each dinner with the strange but delicious Spanish food we shared. We went to so many different areas of southern Spain with the group and each location was filled with so many fun and distinct opportunities. Our group leaders were incredible and the whole American group completely bonded into a family.
I honestly cannot recommend this trip enough. Seriously. It was so amazing. I miss it so much some days, I just sit at home looking through all of the pictures and talking to Celia. I have to text my American friends from the group from time to time to literally just rant about how much fun it was (I'm serious, this happened last week). I would do the whole thing again and a million times after that. I loved it so much and will cherish the memories for the rest of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
Possibly less cathedrals? :)
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Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Summer with Memories to Last a Lifetime

Participating in LITA was honestly one of the best decisions I have made so far. Every moment was filled with an exciting new learning opportunity. Whether it be sitting at the dinner table with my Spanish family, conversing in Spanish about whatever came to mind, or wandering the streets trying to navigate this foreign place, every moment was one that I will remember forever. I felt completely welcomed with open arms as I hopped off the bus and was introduced to the family I would be staying with for the next few weeks. Truly living like a Spaniard for these five weeks, I was able to open my eyes to how people in a different society may live.
The attentive and unique nature of this program gave me experiences I would never be able to find elsewhere. Jordan and my group leaders personalized the trip in an amazing way. Activities like singing songs and eating homemade paella in a bodega with a highly appraised musician and making cheese in a cheese factory are only two of the many things that I was able to partake in on this once in a lifetime journey.
I keep in touch with my host sister to this day. I even went back to Spain the following summer so that my parents could meet my Spanish family. The relationships created during this trip are so strong. I felt the support of my group members as we all were suddenly exposed to a new culture, a new way of life, and a new way of communicating for these few weeks. I learned so much not only about speaking Spanish, but about Spain in general and the people that live there. This trip allowed me to gain an independence I did not have before. It created a love for Spain that I still embody to this day and even inspired me to possibly minor in Spanish in college. LITA is a trip you will most definitely not regret going on. I would go back year after year if I could.

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly, there isn't really anything about this program that I think could be improved. I loved every moment of it and would not change any experience I had while in Spain for anything.
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Spencer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Amazing, Memorable & Challenging One-of-a-Kind Experience

I attended LITA the summer of 2013, and I can say with absolute certainty that my decision to attend is, without a doubt, the most impactful experience I’ve ever partaken in. I’m from Los Angeles, CA, and yet despite Los Angeles’ large Hispanic population, prior to LITA, I did not have a passion for Spanish, and was consequently struggling to get by in my high school Spanish classes. Attending LITA, I was given a cultural worldview and a passion for Spanish and Spain that I still hold to this day. This is what led me to pursue a degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, where I am currently a sophomore.

This may come as a shock given how far my University is from my hometown of Los Angeles, but when I was younger, I had a bad experience attending a summer program, and suffered from homesickness. For a long time, I thought a summer program on another continent would never be something I would be interested in; I wanted to stay close to home—to have ready and constant access to what’s ‘familiar’. I decided to step out of my comfort zone & applied to LITA because it gave me both the opportunity to intern in a Spanish restaurant (kitchen) and to hone my Spanish skills. LITA was the most incredible experience I’ve ever been fortunate enough to participate in; it taught me that in order to fully experience the opportunities you’re presented in life, you have to be comfortable and confident enough to step out of your comfort zone.

In high school, the focus is to get into a good college, which is done through high-level academic achievement and by differentiating yourself from the competition. However, what high school doesn’t prepare you for is your first few months of college. Much like one's freshman year in college, an immersion program removes you from your comfort zone. The difference is that an immersion program is far more temporary than a college career. Practicing pushing through the discomfort prior to attending college is monumentally important to one’s academic and social success.

Jordan Romm, the head of the LITA program, makes a strong effort to compile a group of students that bond with each other, and to pair students with host families that they will stay in contact with for the rest of their lives. I am still in constant contact with my host family from what is quickly approaching 4 years ago, and have had the good fortune of visiting them the two summers succeeding the summer I spent in Spain with LITA.

To summarize, in just under 6 weeks, LITA made me proficient in Spanish, which allowed me to excel in my Spanish course, which was the most difficult level offered by the school, and played a huge part in the success I had with the college applications process by differentiating me from other applicants. My host family and I have become incredibly close--we 'WhatsApp' each other at the very least once every two weeks, and sometimes send care packages to each other for special occasions.

The only problem I feel compelled to warn about it that you may leave the program with a vastly altered world-view and increased sense of confidence. You will likely develop a strong passion for Spain; its culture; its people; and its language, and develop relationships to last a lifetime.

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Will
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

High Quality Immersion Program, Extremely Personalized Experience

In one word, I would describe my LITA experience with the 2015 South Group as transformative. However, ’transformative’ does no solely reflect how my mastery of the Spanish language improved, yet in stead it reflects how, through my phenomenal experience, my outlook on life, my interpersonal skills, and my ability to accept and adjust to other cultures and people have changed for the better. Throughout my LITA experience I was challenged to make these changes. Whether it be the first day in Spain when we truly began to speak Spanish, or our last day in the homestay when we gave full speeches in Spanish to thank our host families, my LITA experience challenged me to advance my mastery of Spanish, which resulted in an enormous improvement in proficiency by the end of the trip. I went from having a shaky control over the language to feeling like a fluent speaker, complete with Spanish dreams. However, as I mentioned, my LITA experience also challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and mature intellectually and socially. Each day during the entire trip, whether it be the homestay, the hike, or the time spent in Seville, I was presented with the opportunity to meet and interact with a new person in Spanish. While this clearly helped my speaking abilities, it also taught me to be courageous and to be more outgoing. I developed interpersonal skills that I can use in any situation and any language. My most vivid image of this type of challenge took place one day while I was working in my internship on a farm, La Communidad Tierra Esperanza. That day, I was working along side not only the usual inhabitants of the farm, but also a group of new Spanish students from Madrid. I took a chance, and began to introduce myself to some of these new students. One of them, Jesús, managed to carry on a conversation with me, in which I discovered that he was actually from Italy and had even met the pope. Although those factoids aren’t as significant to me today, that memory reminds me not only of the incredible relationships that I was able to build through my LITA experience, but also the interpersonal skills that I developed. In a similar way, I also developed an appreciation and respect for cultures different than that of the United States. By living side by side with my host brother everyday and having no choice but to live the Spanish lifestyle, I realized that different doesn't mean worse, as I often had perceived of other cultures from the American perspective. Through my experience with LITA, I feel that I have become more open-minded and accepting of all types of people and cultures that I encounter. I believe that LITA truly did transform me in a unique way that other programs might not have, and for that reason I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to take part. What a wonderful experience!

What would you improve about this program?
In my opinion, there are few ways to improve this program because it already offers such a personalized, meaningful experience. I have many friends that went abroad on similar programs in the summer of 2015, and all of the would admit that my experience transformed me as a Spanish-speaker, a traveler and a global citizen more than any program that they went on. The only improvement that could be made would perhaps be a greater emphasis on speaking Spanish within the group of Americans. Obviously spending 3 weeks with a Spanish family that speaks no English will force one to improve their Spanish, but I think that effect could be deepened further if there were more emphasis on staying in language the entire time. That being said, I felt like my Spanish improved exponentially that summer, and that this program transformed me into a nearly fluent Spanish-speaker.
Response from LITA

Thanks, Will! It is so nice to hear from you here. We appreciate your thoughts on the commitment to speaking Spanish within the group of American students. This is something we have discussed a lot since your group's experience, so we appreciate your continued thoughts on this. It is definitely a priority of ours to continue to think critically about this aspect of the language experience in Spain, although always with the understanding that students may need a mental language break every now and then. It is definitely a fine balance, but I think we are getting there. Thanks so much again! Un abrazo!

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Rebecca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Perfect Combination of Independence and Cultural Interaction

When I reflect on the experience I had with LITA, I only have amazing things to say. When I was looking for an immersion program in Spain, I wanted one that would be extensive, personal, and teach me both about the culture and language of the country. It was a brief search, for as soon as I heard about LITA, I knew it was perfect, and my expectations were only exceeded when I actually had the privilege of going. The rural focus of this trip leads to an experience you would never get as a tourist, allowing you to go behind the scenes of what you would typically expect from a travel program and focusing on the people and culture. I built amazing relationships with my group and locals alike, many of which are still maintained through social media and mail, and I felt like I was able to genuinely experience the country as a native. This program had the ideal balance of structure to ensure safety and engagement, and plently of time and opportunities to explore and grow independently. There were definitely times where homesickness, the total Spanish immersion, or a variety of other factors became overwhelming, but the program was always there for support, and ultimately, these challenging moments helped everyone become more resilient, self-aware, and independent. Finally, I think what truly sets this program apart from others is the homestay. I became incredibly close with my host family, especially my host sister, I was able to apply my Spanish by working in the mayor's office for my internship, and I learned so much about what it means to be a teenager and person in Spain. LITA truly helped me improve my Spanish, increase my confidence, and become a global citizen, and I recommend it wholeheartedly to any student willing to throw themselves into an incredibly rewarding experience.

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Jesse
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Experience

Imagine developing a new understanding of a language and culture, becoming a part of a new family, working in the studio of a renowned sculptor, learning how to cook delicious food, spending three days hiking in the Pyrenees, and making lasting friendships with people from your own country and another--all in just 5 weeks. That is what I had the opportunity to do on my trip to Spain with LITA. What makes LITA so unique is the true immersive feeling of all aspects of the trip. Not only did we spend three weeks living and connecting with Spanish speaking families, but we were also immersed in the language and culture of Spain every second of the rest of the trip. Whether attending cooking classes in Barcelona, doing a scavenger hunt in Santiago de Compostela, or simply sitting around the dinner table with my host family, I was immersed in and learning about Spanish language and culture all the time. After five short yet incredibly exciting and fulfilling weeks, I came back from LITA with a greater understanding of myself and the world around me.

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Zoë
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Family Abroad

It may sound like an exaggeration, but I can honestly say that my trip with LITA was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I learned so much about myself and Spain; all together, it was an unforgettable time. I quickly became incredibly close to my group and new friends in my homestay town. We got to know each other incredibly well; I would not hesitate to call them my family. We still keep in touch today! It was incredible to see the similarities and differences in culture, language, and lifestyle between Spain and my hometown. Furthermore, it was awesome to have the constant practice speaking Spanish; my proficiency definitely increased immensely.
Another great aspect of LITA is all of the incredible activities Jordan and Michela plan. You are able to explore a number of beautiful cities, towns, museums, environmental landscapes, cathedrals, etc and see all of the diversity Spain has (geographically, culturally, etc). I was able to try things I never would have imagined (ex. Seaweed harvesting! So cool!) and learn a number of cool new skills.
Overall, LITA is a great experience. I'm so glad that I applied and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in Spain, wants a new experiences, and/or is ready to take their speaking skills to a more advanced level. You won't regret it!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish it was longer :)
Jacob
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

LITA

On this trip, I had the time of my life, and also really improved my Spanish. My favorite part of the trip was far and away the homestay. I stayed in a very close knit family, where I had three brothers. I have always wanted brothers, and it was so fun to spend time with them. We spent most of our time playing soccer, swimming, watching soccer at a cafe in town, fishing, or just hanging out around town with their friends. Dani, my 16 year old host brother, helped me assimilate, and introduced me to his friends in town. Three days a week, I worked as an intern at a graphic design studio in town, which was really fun and I got to try things I would never have done at home. Our backpacking expedition to the Pyrenees was amazing, and I also loved going to Barcelona. I am not a big foodie, so I was a little indifferent about trying all sorts of new types of food in Spain, but we went to a ton of incredible restaurants, and I actually loved how much effort was put into trying to find new and delicious places to eat. I have stayed in touch with my host brothers and their friends, and hope to go back to Peñafiel, and also would love if my host brother Dani could come visit me in the US. I would completely recommend this trip to anyone who is social, outgoing, willing to try some new things, and eager to improve their Spanish. Overall, it was an amazing trip, highlighted by the three weeks we spent in our homestay.

What would you improve about this program?
I had an amazing time, so I didn't really see any ways it could have been improved. Personally, I loved the hiking in the Pyrenees, but some people were not as keen on it.