My Summer Spanish Immersion Camp Experience This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

November 26, 2017
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The past two summers I attended different language immersion programs that teens might be interested in. Both were based in the United States. I was specifically interested in attending programs that were domestic and fully immersed in the Spanish language and culture.

This past summer I attended a four-week Spanish immersion youth program at Middlebury Interactive Languages – Summer Language Academy in Vermont. I signed a “language pledge” and committed to communicating in Spanish for the duration of my time there. We all did. We were in this together. The Spanish program is housed in a college dorm at St. Michael’s College and I was paired with a roommate. I attended classes, ate in the cafeteria, and socialized just like a college student would. My Spanish language skills improved so much, and I left campus after four weeks feeling more confident and comfortable speaking Spanish. I was thrilled to learn that I even advanced a level in school for the following year. I made so many close friends from around the country and the world that I still keep in touch with. You need to be determined, but if you are fully committed, this program will greatly improve your Spanish abilities and I highly recommend it.

The summer before, I attended a two-week program at Concordia Language Villages – El Lago del Bosque, immersing myself in Spanish. The village is located in Bimidji, MN, complete with architecture, sights, sounds and tastes of the Spanish culture. Arriving at camp, I went through customs with my passport and chose a Spanish name that I would use for the duration of my experience. As “Gabi” I went to my cabin and met my new roommates. We were encouraged to only speak Spanish and completely immerse ourselves. International Day was a highlight and included all programs – Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Swedish, Swiss, Portuguese and Russian. I learned so much about my target language, the global community, and how to communicate with others in it. I made lasting friendships and would recommend this program to other teens interested in learning a new language or immersing further into one they have already been exposed to. 

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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