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Spanish Studies Abroad

About

Spanish Studies Abroad (The Center for Cross-Cultural Study) has created innovative study abroad experiences since 1969, focusing primarily on academics, Spanish language, and student integration into a culture. Since then, new programs have been created, and old ones have evolved. Now offering multiple study abroad programs in Spain, Argentina and Cuba, studying with Spanish Studies Abroad has never been more exciting.

The mission of Spanish Studies Abroad is to promote students' in-depth understanding of Spanish-speaking countries, through specifically designed academically-rigorous university-level programs. All students must be willing to cross cultural boundaries, to live as members of another culture, and to thus learn about others as they learn about themselves.

Founded
1969
Headquarters

446 Main Street
Amherst, MA 01002
United States

Scholarships

Spanish Studies Abroad Scholarships
Spanish Studies Abroad Financial Aid

Study abroad does not have to be out of your reach financially but understand the burdens that have been placed on students. This is why Spanish Studies Abroad has awarded over $230,000 in scholarships since 2001.

Value
$200 - $1,000

Reviews

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

I studied abroad in Alicante, Spain in May 2019. I went with Spanish Studies Abroad, took classes Monday-Friday at the University of Alicante and stayed with a host family. My first big takeaway from this experience was the language. My goal is to attend medical school after graduation from Marian. I have a Spanish minor in the hopes that I will be able to communicate with future patients in their first language to make them feel more comfortable and open. There is an ever-growing population of Spanish-speakers in the United States and I feel it is very important to attempt to bridge that language gap in whatever ways I can. I believe that my time in Spain has given me some of the necessary skills to achieve this goal. I have become more proficient in my Spanish conversation skills and have learned many words and phrases that will help me in the future.
My second takeaway from studying abroad is how vast the world is and how much there is to explore. My study abroad experience opened my eyes to a different culture and created an excitement to learn about cultures other than my own. I learned about the Spanish culture first hand and being fully immersed opened my eyes to the things I take for granted in my own life. I feel like I learned so much within the 4 weeks that I was in Spain, but I know that I did not get a chance to experience a fraction of the full Spanish culture! I am now even more excited to travel to new countries in the future.
I would absolutely recommend studying abroad to all students! No matter what your major or career goal is, studying abroad is an amazing experience to receive course credits and to immerse yourself into different cultures. There is always something else to learn about other countries through studying abroad. It is an unforgettable and life changing experience and I would recommend staying abroad for as long as you can!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The greatest challenge for me was adjusting to always speaking Spanish and understanding the fast-paced language of the native speakers. I was proficient in the classroom, but it took some adjusting when listening and speaking to the native speakers. Spoken Spanish is much different from Spanish taught in the classroom, in terms of phrases, conjugations (vosotros), and slang. Adjusting to all of this took time.
Default avatar
Aurora
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My semester abroad in Sevilla was the greatest time of my life! I made tons of amazing memories, friends, and had a great support system with my program, so I never felt like I was unsafe or had to worry about anything. The classes I took at the Center for Cross-Cultural Study were both challenging, but also fun and helpful. The professors are super nice and enjoy teaching their students. I enjoyed the different immersions and activities our school offered as well, like our trip to Granada and getting to visit different museums in the city. I stayed with a host mom and was able to live like the locals and improve my Spanish, and also learn some Spanish slang (¡que guay!). I'm glad I studied abroad in the Spring so I could experience Semana Santa in Spain and Feria de Abril because they are definitely note worthy experiences. The one thing I miss most from my semester abroad is not having classes on Fridays! It was an incredible program and I wish I could rewind time.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could do my semester all over again, I would keep a journal or diary of my day-to-day experiences, like what I ate, what I did. It's easy to forget about the little things, but I think they're the most important!
Alexis
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I completed the Spanish Studies Abroad Teaching Practicum in Seville, Spain! It was an incredible experience and I gained an impressive mark on my resume. This really allowed me to grow as an educator and develop my Spanish skills. I partnered this Practicum with 2 sessions of classes beforehand. I think this is my favorite part about customizing your own abroad experience. I was able to stay with a local family in the beautiful barrio Triana and learn about the history. Spanish Studies Abroad helped us to connect with outside adventures in Europe. We were able to visit many different parts of Spain, and travel beyond! I think Spanish Studies Abroad provides 1:1 connections unlike any other program I looked into. I highly recommend future educators utilize this program or create your own like I did!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-wracking moment was finally teaching my own lesson! I was so thankful to my host teacher that answered all my questions. We had an incredible community of educators.
Default avatar
Katherine
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The SSA staff were all fantastic and very easy to talk to. They wanted to make sure I succeeded and were always very friendly. My host mother was kind and I really enjoyed her cooking. My classes weren't too difficult or too easy. I really enjoyed the subjects and relished field trips. Overall, the city was unbelievably fun and entertaining. Barcelona is a great place to go if you're LGBT. I budgeted my money well in this mid range European city and didn't need to sacrifice good food and drinks to do it. I would go back in a heartbeat.

What would you improve about this program?
1 on 1 check ins could be done with greater frequency.
Melinda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was the most amazing experience of my life hands down. I stayed with a mom in a typical Spanish neighbourhood across the river from the city center. She was the most genuine and welcoming woman I have met and she made the tastiest food ever. I cannot express enough how great my professors were as teachers, but also as friends and mentors who were invested in my well-being. I had an invaluable experience that will be with me for the rest of my life. I made friends that I will never forget and experience what it was like to really live in a different culture.

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe more writing in the classes, because that was the only reason my school didn't take specific credit for my courses.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Millie Payne

Millie is a psychology major with a Spanish minor. She is from Toccoa, Georgia but attends school in Rome, Georgia. She is an extrovert who loves people and is always willing to dance no matter the dance move!

Why did you pick this program?

I chose Spanish Studies abroad because they are a huge partner with my University. The program reached out to Spanish students. The program portrayed a great learning environment, easy application process, and a very welcoming staff.

What do you wish someone had told you before you went abroad?

"You are going to wish you studied vocabulary more." Studying another language abroad is difficult either way but preparing and knowing more vocabulary will always help in the long run.

What is the most important thing you learned abroad?

It is really hard to pin point the most important thing because I learned so many great things. Ultimately, I am proud of myself for holding onto my dreams of studying abroad and going and doing it without fear! It is really scary to think about going abroad and studying a language practically by myself. It was a challenge but it was the most rewarding experience of my academic career. I learned about how to push myself to my fullest potential, and I would go again in a heartbeat!

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

DO IT! Don't let anything stop you from going. It is the most rewarding experience of your educational career. You will learn tons about yourself and others. No matter your major, you should study abroad.

What was the hardest part about going abroad?

Just getting exposed and used to another culture. There are several things that are different in Spain versus the U.S. i.e. food, in-house rules/customs, transportation. It was tough at first getting used to the food and wearing shoes inside of the house but after a while, it became second nature.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

One of the scariest experiences was when I arrived at the airport and I only had 15 minutes of free wifi. I contacted my mom and boyfriend to let them know I made it, although I was a wreck! I couldn't locate my luggage, had no idea how to ask or who to ask for that matter, and I had no idea who was picking me up or where they were picking me up. Then once I finally found my luggage and my ride, I couldn't contact my mom to let her know I was safe for about two hours. But everything ended up fine but it was very scary at first!

What made this experience unique and special?

There weren't that many students in my program so I really felt like a family with our instructor and my peers. They were so friendly, and we wanted to do everything together. I got more out of the trip than just learning the language; I made friends for a lifetime and brought back memories that will never fade!

Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.

I had previously taken 7 years of Spanish before going abroad but the amount I learned in one month could not even compare to the 7 years in the states. Taking a language class with none of your native language spoke inside of the classroom will ultimately teach you the most. Also, being exposed to so many other languages and cultures inside the classroom is so unreal and awesome!

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

Get everything out of the experience that you can. Go on excursions, go on cultural trips, and learn! Your time will be over in an instant, and you want to have those memories and no regrets. Experience it to the fullest and enjoy it!

What made this trip meaningful to you, or how did this trip change your perceptions, future path?

I really loved the Spanish language and culture before I left for my trip but experiencing it first hand only fueled my desire to learn more. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my trip abroad. I took two Spanish classes that were for my minor but I still have some Spanish credits I need to graduate, so I am actually returning to Spain this summer! I couldn't wrap my head around doing anything else. After studying abroad, I can ultimately see myself fluent in Spanish and possibly even living abroad!

Any study abroad tips?

Save money and prepare before hand. You don't want to limit yourself when you get there. I had enough extra money so that I never had to say 'no' to anything I wanted. Travel while you're abroad it is easier while you're there!

More Interviews

Professional Associations

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