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As seen in Transitions Abroad Magazine May/June 2003

Language Vacations Abroad

The Most Economical and Rewarding Way to Travel

Well, it’s a matter of probability." Joe McKenzie pulls out a waxy Spanish napkin, better for notepads then actually wiping off greasy fingers. He uses the napkin to map out the three types of future tenses in Spanish during the pausa, a daily coffee break in the middle of our intensive language course in Seville, Spain.

Joe is a retired businessman from Fort Worth, Texas. He and his wife, Miki, have been to five language schools throughout Mexico, Central America, and Spain "because there is only so much time one can spend playing golf."

For Joe and Miki, as well as other over-50 globetrotters, full-immersion language schools offer a way to see the world that is more economical and more rewarding than traditional travel.

"You just can’t get to know a place by passing through it," says Miki. "Taking a class allows us to get into the rhythm of the place, get to know the town and really meet people."

To avoid ending up in a less than ideal location, it is recommended to requesting a list of references from the school. Former students can help you better assess the quality of the school and determine if the location fits your needs. As the Web develops, more and more social networking and review sites offer this feature, though going to the schools directly and getting as many email addresses as possible to compare experiences with creative questions is a good way to separate the truth-tellers from those who have been trained what to say. After all, no language school is perfect, though there are many excellent ones.

Wherever you want to go, there is likely a school to suit your needs. Once you discover the world through language schools, you might get hooked.

For More Info

Language Learning,, allows you to search for your school based on location, course, accommodations, and activities. offers a rich section on Language Programs and Language Study Abroad.

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Language Schools and Vacations
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