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Spanish Immersion and Intercultural Exchange in Latin America


Expanish: The New Way to Learn a Language

Yesterday the Argentine Secretary for Tourism announced a 20% rise in tourism in Argentina than during the same period last year. On average the people arriving are staying for longer, and coming from further afield.

The Deputy Secretary of Tourism, Daniel Aguilera, said: “This information shows that tourism continues to be one of the most dynamic sectors in the Argentine economy. There are few places in the world which can offer the cultural and tourism attractions that are available in our country.”

In fact, tourism has overtaken agriculture as Argentina’s biggest industry. This is partially due to the economic crash of 2001/2, which makes it so much cheaper for the visitor when they arrive. And as the people who come are coming for longer, incorporating language study into the trip seems to be at the top of many visitor’s lists.

Buenos Aires-based Expanish is at the forefront of this new wave. Their Spanish language programmes include the traditional classroom language lessons, but also a much more natural kind of learning through fun activities outside the classroom.

Managing Director, Agustin Vignale says: “We have decided to nurture our Spanish programmes with the philosophy of ‘Learning by Doing’. Our service is designed around the belief that getting your hands dirty through activities beyond the classroom is the best path to learning, fluency and enjoyment.”

Their complete packages not only include extensive language lessons, hand-picked accommodation, gym and yoga passes and your own mobile phone; they can also include activities like scuba diving, rock climbing, tango lessons, theatre workshops – and even the flying trapeze!

Of course the traditional grammar exercises and text books still feature, but so does learning rock climbing from your language teacher, or learning to juggle in Spanish.

And as 61% of the students who come to Buenos Aires to study the language are between the ages of 19 and 30, courses like this are much welcomed. “Everything we do at Expanish is deeply rooted in personal experience. Nearly everyone in our team has gone through the experience of either studying abroad or immersing themselves in other cultures, so our Spanish programmes, workshops and services are based on how we ourselves would like to study and experience a language,” Vignale explains.

Expanish has an extensive network of schools throughout South America. It is possible to study in Argentina, Chile or Ecuador in locations as diverse as cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, cultural Quito, or stunning Bariloche.

And if the decision of which destination is too much, Expanish can create a multi-destination package including two or even three countries, at the click of a button. The Expanish homepage, www.expanish.com is fast and easy to navigate, and it is possible to book a course in a matter of minutes.

Expanish also work with many local non-profit organisations and can arrange for students to stay on in-country and volunteer with an organisation after their language programme ends. They do not take any money to arrange this, wanting to distance themselves from the recent boom in organisations which charge people to give their services for free.

What this boils down to is the personal touch Expanish brings to each student’s experience. A welcome pack with maps, phone cards, subway tickets and personal recommendations about which pub, club or supermarket is best is given on arrival.

The staff is always available to give advice and help. And Expanish also organises trips on weekends to nearby destinations. Vignale adds: “While professional service is our foundation, we always keep everything light, flexible, funny, personal and enjoyable.”

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact the Expanish bi-lingual press department on 0054 11 4821 3055 or 0054 9 5847 7424. You can also email press@expanish.com - http://www.expanish.com

Submitted by:

Alejandra Livschitz

My name is Alejandra Livschitz, currently in charge of the development of our Intercultural Activities. I am the head of the Long Distance Learning and Cultural departments of Expanish, an organisation dedicated to teaching the Spanish Language to non-native speakers that choose to travel to South America to gain knowledge of the Spanish tongue, a project based on the idea that there is a need to promote an understanding of other cultures, languages and customs in a globalized world. This is why we have created Language and Culture courses tailor made for students that want to get a head-start on studying foreign languages and cultures that are outside the normal high school curriculum.





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