My overall experience with Horizon Bridge was excellent, and I would highly recommend this program to anybody interested in government, international business, economics, or Spanish. What this program offered that most other programs lack is Spanish language immersion in a professional setting. Instead of simply conversing with locals or taking language classes, we worked entirely in Spanish with city, island, and national government officials. We learned the economic challenges the island faces, and the development strategies it employs in order to attract foreign investment. Much of the island’s economy is run by the local government, so we were given a unique glimpse into the workings of an economic model that is largely unfamiliar to the average American. I had the fantastically surreal opportunity to discuss high-level, important economic issues and strategies--entirely in a foreign language. We also spoke more colloquial, conversational Spanish with the locals, who are generally friendly and have a very easy to understand accent.
In addition to being a fruitful academic and professional experience, the program is held in an absolutely beautiful location. The island, with its verdant yet rugged terrain, offers an abundance of wonderful hikes and beautiful mountains to climb. As somebody from New York, it was blissful for me to swim in the ocean on a 70℉ day--in January! I will never forget the profoundly sublime feeling that overtook me on the last day, as I sat in the sun on a black sand beach and looked out at the menacing, seemingly endless wall of water in front of me. It was in that moment that I fully appreciated that this place is as close as it comes to a paradise on earth.
What would you improve about this program?
-Accommodations in Santa Cruz so the commute is not so long
-Opportunity to climb the volcano!