With around 410 million native speakers worldwide, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world. It is the first language in many countries and the second most spoken language in the US.  The potential benefits of learning this language are vast and can really help diversify your existing skill set. The best part for US citizens in going for a Spanish study abroad program is that when you come back home, you can offer your services in the vast community of Spanish speakers in the country and remain in touch with the language and culture. In addition to that, you get to experience an exciting trip which exposes you to the cultures and various dialects of the people whose first language is Spanish.

Study Abroad Spanish Course Types

The Spanish language is a diverse mode of communication, spoken in numerous countries around the world. This means that you have a variety of options to choose from when deciding where to go for your Spanish study abroad program. And the country you choose will have a lasting impact on how you learn to speak, the particular accent you pick up, the vocabulary you develop and so on. One of the best ways to learn Spanish is through immersion or culture based programs. What better way to learn the beautiful language than through tango and salsa?

If you are coming in from the US and are looking for a short term course, Latin America would be a wonderful location for you since the costs would be significantly low.

The most popular Spanish study abroad programs are study abroad semester or joint study immersion programs, particularly the ones that have a home stay aspect involved. Some of these may be more focused on grammar or written Spanish while others would target the speaking aspect. These kinds of courses and semesters can vary in length from around 6-weeks to one semester. You may also take short, intensive courses at local Spanish universities throughout Spain and Latin America that are particularly famous among travelers and backpackers. These are more intensive than semester long courses and have an almost daily schedule.

Another option for you could be volunteering or doing an academic internship in a Spanish speaking country or organization. This is one of the best ways to learn the language since you will be interacting with native Spanish speakers on a daily basis.

If you want to learn the language firsthand and experience the culture and colloquial vocabulary as well, home stay programs are your best bet. So whether you are in a semester long program, an internship or a short course, choosing to stay with a host family would be a greater learning experience for you.

Popular Spanish Study Abroad Destinations

There are so many great locations where you could head to for a taste of traditional Spanish. The wide range of countries available as options means that there is something for everyone, whether you want huge cities or tiny town, mountains or beaches, etc. Have a look at the potential Spanish study abroad options available:

  • Spain: For many people, there is no better place to learn Spanish than Spain itself. With numerous programs in major cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Seville, Spain is certainly the ideal destination for those who want to learn its native language. Keep in mind though that Spanish spoken in Spain is unique to this region, in terms of grammar and accent.
  • South America: Chile and Argentina are the two favorites among prospective Spanish learners. Numerous cities here, such as Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Santiago and Valparaiso, have wonderful opportunities for those looking to get a hang of the Spanish language. However, the Spanish you learn here will also be quite different than what you would come across in Spain.
  • Central America: Central America has plenty of language institutes with a smaller number of formal university programs. Costa Rica and Guatemala are two popular destinations for students looking to learn Spanish.

Costs and Funding for a Spanish Study Abroad Program

With so many great locations available to study Spanish, the choice becomes quite difficult. But do not base your choice on just how appealing a place looks as a study abroad destination. There should be a careful consideration of all the associated costs. This would include the tuition fees, air fare and tickets, travelling within the city, residence and utilities, food costs, etc.

Learning Spanish is certainly an added skill that you can even make an entire career out of. With more than 20 countries where it is spoken as the first language, there is something out there for every Spanish speaker.