There are places famous for hosting students who learn the language and culture of the country while they get lost to discover its best corners like a local. However, to the summer immersion in cities such as Cambridge, Berlin, Dublin, Brighton, Edinburgh or Malta, there are increasingly exotic plans and destinations, with themes for all tastes. Language tourism is a consolidated trend and with an upward growth, and for this reason it opens a section at the 2021 International Tourism Fair. Fitur Lingua offers a meeting point between industry professionals and the main actors of language tourism, such as the teaching schools of the chosen destinations, and with special emphasis on how Spanish can play a leading role.
Environmental conservation in Cuba or New Zealand, fashion courses in New York or Paris, football with the British first division … The experience of a language trip becomes a completely different experience if the objective is to study another language, but also if what you learn goes beyond the dictionary.
Immersion in Morocco
Wake up in the oasis of Oubira, surrounded by dunes in the Sahara desert; visit the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate, the so-called door of the desert and the setting of movies like Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator or Star Wars, and tour the Todra gorges while learning French or Arabic. This is the proposal of the Granada company Celei, which each year adapts its programs “to the present, to the issues on which to raise awareness”, explains Antonio Gutiérrez, head of the project. “We see destinations as experiences that help us understand the place and the lives of the people who live there, their circumstances and their surroundings.”
Its education programs abroad have a humanitarian and total immersion vision, adding value to the territory that is visited, one of the main compasses of responsible tourism. In that sense, they also offer Spanish courses in Cuba while learning marine ecological conservation on the Isle of Youth by spending three weeks in Cocodrilo, and studying French and Arabic in programs focused on migration, in which they visit Morocco. Recently, they have just closed another course in North Africa, of an itinerant nature, accompanied by a teacher. In it they invite you to visit the corners of Asilah, Chefchaouen, the cedar forests of Azrú, Merzouga or visit the Todra gorges, in the High Atlas mountains, 25 kilometers from Tinghir, with majestic palm groves on the routes to it. They plan to include Marrakech and Essaouira in the itinerary.
The Pacific hides some of the most unspoiled destinations in the world. Like New Zealand where language consultancy The Georgian Manor House organizes programs to learn other languages related to environmental conservation – they will be ready as soon as they reopen their borders to visitors. Students will work alongside conservationists on the ground in one of the countries that most zealously defends its natural heritage.
Programs in other exotic destinations such as the Fiji Islands or the French colony of Martinique, in the Caribbean, also await the reestablishment of regular flights. There, with courses throughout the year, they plan to once again offer scuba diving combined with French classes.
The language embassies, the counterparts of the Instituto Cervantes, with offices around the world, also have their own thematic course offerings. Thus, centers like the Goethe Institut of Germany They offer programs segmented by different themes – for example, a month of studies focused on art and culture in Dresden – although this year the offer in centers like this adopts a digital format due to the pandemic. It is the same that has happened with Sotheby’s Institute, which offers gap years (sabbaticals) and whose courses in art, history, fashion or painting are currently taught in telematic format.
Time for sport
In the city of Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers stadium, this same consulting firm teaches a course on marketing sports, from June 27 to August 5 for young people from 14 to 18 years old. Y Soccer Camps International It organizes soccer summer camps with first division teams from the United Kingdom (Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City), Italy (Juventus and AC Milan), France (Paris Saint Germain Academy Camp) or Portugal (Benfica). For basketball lovers, in June and July the International Basketball Camp in the USA, where while studying English the technique is perfected.
Companies specializing in language courses try to make Spain adopt the same custom that exists in other countries of taking a sabbatical year to practice a language outside the country before beginning higher studies. EF, traditional company of language courses abroad, it offers them. The so-called Gap Years – lasting six to twelve months – currently have the advantage, explains Teresa Corrales Bescós, project manager, “of being able to easily create bubble groups and that the activity does not stop” due to the pandemic. Its courses, all called Advanced Diplomas (higher diplomas), are dotted around the main cities of Europe, the United States and Australia. New York and Paris are the capitals with the most offers, but cities such as London, Oxford and Brighton also stand out; Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Miami, and Sydney (Australia).
The British capital and the city of Bristol host an EF course in Business & Marketing, a program that can also be followed in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Sydney. Fashion and Design are taught in Paris and New York; in the same American city they organize one of Media and Art, also present in London; and in Brighton and Miami Beach, another for Hospitality and Tourism. In Oxford and New York you can study International Relations and Political Science; in San Diego and New York, Health and Fitness.
Various plans to enjoy the destination and perfect a language.