Sol Abroad

Sol Abroad

About

Sol Abroad is an affordable high school study abroad, Gap Year and Spanish immersion program for students 14 - 18 years of age. There are programs offered during the summer and semester. Sol students live with local families, take Spanish classes on the weekdays, participate on weekend excursions and afternoon cultural activities and have the opportunity to perform community service hours. Sol Abroad programs are for all students who have a desire to learn about Spanish language and culture! With Sol Abroad you will cultivate relationships, gain language skills, and produce memories to last a lifetime!

Founded
2005
Headquarters

503 Oakland Ave.
Austin, TX 78703
United States

Argentina with Sol Abroad this summer!

Sol Abroad is still accepting applications for our top-ranked Buenos Aires, Argentina program for high school students this summer. Don't miss out on this incredible program! See what the reviews from last summer have to say...¡nos vemos en Argentina!

Reviews

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Christy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Our daughter had the best time in Oaxaca learning Spanish, taking in the local culture, meeting friends, touring beautiful sites, and bonding with her host family. We were obviously concerned at the outset, when we started looking for a Spanish immersion program, that she book with a reputable organization that would ensure her safety and provide a rewarding experience. Sol Abroad definitely did that and more! From the beginning, the staff were always responsive to our questions. They helped us throughout the registration process, and communicated during the weeks leading up to the trip. While she was in Mexico, they kept us informed. She loved her host family and became close with them. We also felt it was a good value for the cost. Thank you, Sol Abroad, for everything!

What would you improve about this program?
Our daughter wished she had gotten more out of her opportunities to converse in Spanish. The classes at the university were similar to others she has taken in that they focused primarily on grammar and vocabulary. So the after-school activities meant to get them talking are important, yet it was hard to make the most of them because high school students often are shy, especially on their own in a foreign country.
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Olivia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This program was amazing! From the moment I signed up to go, the Sol Abroad staff was engaging, personable, and worked to help adjust the dates of the program to better fit my schedule. The directors involved in helping us when we arrived were very welcoming, informative, and funny! The host family I stayed with was so inviting and truly made me and my roommate feel apart of their family. Everyone involved in coordinating/helping with this program went above and beyond to ensure our safety and enjoyment throughout the trip. I would recommend this program for sure! It not only helped improve my Spanish, but it allowed me to make lifelong friends, who I still talk to even after the trip, and broadened my perspectives on many topics. This program is completely worth it for the experiences you gain by participating!

What was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment came on the first day I arrived. My roommate and I were outside talking to our host family so we could all get to know each other. It was so fun to share stories and laugh together as we figured out our similarities and differences. It was fun to be able to laugh when we messed up our Spanish; our host family always made us feel comfortable and
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Mia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went into this program not now what to expect, but it was more than I could have ever asked for!! The flight there was the most nerve racking part and it went very smoothly. Once I arrived the Sol Abroad staff welcomed me. My housing and host family were more gracious and kind than I could have ever anticipated! The teaching staff was also very encouraging and enthusiastic about our Spanish speaking journey. Our excursions and daily activities enhanced the trip as well. We had a huge variety of activities that gave us a good sense of the Costa Rican culture. The food we ate also enriched our experience. I will forever remember the compassion and knowledge I was given from this experience. I highly recommend this program to increase cultural awareness and your Spanish skills.

What would you improve about this program?
I would improve the diversity of each group. Making sure there are a more even number of boys and girls as well.
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Posy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica is amazing and I got the best out of it using Sol Abroad. Last year I did the same program in Granada, Spain and loved it so much that I decided to do another. One thing I didn't like about Spain was the food since I don't eat meat very often but in my small town in Costa Rica the food was amazing and my host mom was so kind. It also felt like everyone was just so nice everyone says hi to you and I never felt unsafe while I was there. I stayed for the whole two months and I saw many come and go but that experience will last a lifetime. Over the years I learned that it is so hard to understand a culture without living there and this is exactly what I needed to understand and love Costa Rica. It was truly a great two months and I would totally do it again.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish there was a wider verity of activities but nothing else.
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Erin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had so much fun! I spent my birthday in Atenas, Costa Rica and the directors made sure I had a wonderful birthday. They even ordered me a vegan cake and made us reservations for the vegan restaurant in Atenas. Other than that, the host family was very welcoming and the directors made sure I was accommodated along every step of the way. I really enjoyed the excursions and all the activities we did. The classes were very helpful and the professors were very knowledgeable. If you have dietary restrictions I would highly recommend this trip. This was the adventure of a lifetime and I made so many great friends that I know will be lifelong friends. I never thought this trip would impact me as much as it did. I will definitely recommend this program to underclassmen at my school.

What would you improve about this program?
I would make the excursions last longer. I think it would be a lot more fun if we left for Manuel Antonio on Friday then stayed until Monday, same for La Fortuna.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Alexander Da Rosa

Alex is a high school student who loves to travel and learn about different cultures.

Alexander Da Rosa

Why did you choose this program?

I had been wanting to spend a summer abroad in Argentina since I took a trip there as a small child, but was uncertain how to achieve this goal. A friend of mine raved and bragged to me about his summer with the Sol Abroad program so I decided to check them out. I read through all the descriptions and reviews I could find online and searched for other programs as well. Of all the programs I looked at, Sol Abroad really appealed to me. They have a well-organized website with all the information I needed including testimonials from students, detailed descriptions of many excursions and activities, and specific information about staying in Buenos Aires.

Once I decided to go, Sol Abroad assisted me throughout my planning process and my trip. Prior to arriving, they wrote to me and provided a schedule. When I arrived in Buenos Aires, the program director met me at the airport (where everyone in the airport stopped to watch the World Cup) and took me to where I would be staying.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Sol Abroad provided everything I wanted in a study abroad program. Sol Abroad is the perfect balance between improving Spanish language through coursework while exploring the city and learning about Argentine culture.

I lived with a host mom who gave us meals and a lot of friendly conversation. Our director gave us maps, taught us how to get to our school, and gave us metro (subte) cards. We were given a lot of independence, which I thought was one of the best parts of the trip, but if we ever felt uncomfortable or needed assistance, our directors were very close.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

One piece of advice I would give is to be curious. The most important thing on these immersion programs is to see and try new things, including meeting new people. Curiosity will enable you to discover the unique culture of Argentina and make your trip an extraordinary experience. Begin your trip with a positive, open mind and be willing to explore new experiences.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The typical weekday starts with a few hours in Spanish class every morning. After class, there is a group lunch, planned activities, and plenty of free time to explore the city. The group activities like mate club, tango lessons and cooking are all wonderful and enriching.

On the weekends, we went on excursions and day trips to La Boca, El Tigre, and Uruguay. I felt that none of my time was wasted and that I learned something new about Argentina on every excursion.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was not being able to communicate with my host mom. I doubted my Spanish speaking skills when I first arrived in Argentina. I had never been asked to participate in impromptu conversations in another language. I had a tough time communicating on the first day, but I quickly began to speak with more confidence and my Spanish really improved.

What was the most memorable part of your trip?

The most memorable part of traveling to Argentina was the unique culture and the connections I made. Everyday I experienced and learned about Argentine culture by living in it. In addition, I made great connections with the people in my group and the people I interacted with that I will always remember.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Monica Guajardo

Job Title
Academic Coordinator
Monica grew up in Dallas, Texas and moved to Austin, Texas for college at St. Edward's University to pursue a degree in Psychology and Spanish. During her time in college, she went abroad to Argentina with Sol Abroad to finish her Spanish minor and now works for their headquarters in Austin helping other students achieve their study abroad dreams!
Monica Guajardo

What is your favorite travel memory?

This past March, I went to visit Sol's program in Spain, and before arriving to Granada, I spent a week in Paris with one of my best friends. She was living in Paris teaching English to high school students and knew the city and language very well. Because of that, she was able to show me a wonderful time. I was completely enamored with Paris and was so grateful that I got to spend my time with a best friend and a great tour guide!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Since working with Sol Abroad, I have become even more in love with travel and the benefits it can bring people. I get to speak to students and parents every day about one of the greatest decisions I ever made (studying abroad with Sol in Argentina) and how that has absolutely changed my life for the better.

I love getting to share my passion for travel with them, and it's easy to do so when the countries I get to promote are so amazing!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

A student recently messages Sol Abroad on Facebook saying that she was getting married that weekend. She mentioned that she went to study abroad with Sol in Oaxaca a few years ago and ended up becoming very good friends with a local Mexican who would eventually become her fiancé!

She reached out to thank Sol for her amazing experience abroad and said that without our program, she would not have met her future husband. I love getting to hear stories like this where students make connections abroad that last a lifetime.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

At this point, I have been fortunate to go to three out of our four program locations. I studied abroad with Sol in Argentina when I was in college, I visited our Costa Rica location in the summer of 2017 and I just recently came back from a trip to our Spain location earlier this year, so I would love to go to our Mexico location!

It is the location where most alumni have returned to live permanently, which I think speaks very highly of Oaxaca! I have heard wonderful things from my coworkers who have visited and would love to experience Mexican culture, as I am half Mexican and have not had a chance to visit Mexico as an adult.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Sol Abroad is unique because we focus on quality over quantity. By only having four program locations, we have really been able to perfect a student's experience in each location. I have been especially proud of my team when we have gone above and beyond for a student to have a successful program.

I have heard from countless students that our directors have helped them through tough times abroad, by following up with them every day and making sure that they are comfortable. I love knowing we have a team that truly cares for each and every student.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Communication. Sol Abroad has a fairly small team, consisting of 9 members at headquarters in the US and four remote, local teams in each of our locations. Since we do have a smaller staff size, we are able to streamline communication and work efficiently.

Another great benefit of having a smaller team is that we are all able to get to know each other and therefore care about each other. Sol Abroad team members not only do a good job because we care for the students, but also because we care about each other and want to help each other out as much as possible.

More Interviews

Professional Associations

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