Not all students are introduced to the concept of summer language immersion directly at school by their language teachers or returning peers. This page is dedicated to the past participants who have expressed their personal opinion through short testimonies, videos filmed during summer 2015, and even a book you can read like a novel. Some students studied with us last summer and others ten years ago. This page will give you an idea of how the Magellan travel and immersion experiences have impacted their lives. Most went on to study a foreign language in college, others were inspired to study abroad again, and some of our former students even moved abroad after college graduation.
This selection of unscripted feedback has the potential to help every parent understand the dynamic of an immersion program as they are considering enrolling their teen. The videos filmed on location reflect all the emotions participants experience during their time abroad. Read their words to see why more students are choosing Magellan Study Abroad to show them the world! We have been creating positive lifelong travel memories with students for a decade and we are proud of what has been accomplished with a caring and dedicated staff. If you want to talk to past participants or parents of past participants, reach out to us. We will put you in touch with them.
You have found Magellan Study Abroad, a trusted organizer of quality immersion programs for all students who want the right balance between academics, true language learning, fun and an amazing experience abroad.
A Spanish Journal
The life changing summer of an American teen abroad
We encourage Magellan participants to journal throughout their time abroad. It's a wonderful way for students to record their memories as they take place and it helps them create a priceless keepsake they will cherish as they get older. We're lucky enough to feature a student journal from one of our Salamanca program participants. Take a look through the eyes of Magellan alumni and see why studying abroad really is a life changing experience.
Dahlia Petterson from Los Angeles is a Regents and Chancellors’ Scholar at UC Berkeley. In 2014 she was the 1st place winner in the statewide California “Escribo en Español” Essay Contest organized annually by the Spanish Embassy’s Office of Education, the California Department of Education with the grand-prize sponsored by Magellan Study Abroad. Dahlia was offered an all-expenses paid scholarship to attend one of the acclaimed Magellan immersion programs in Spain for 30 days in July 2014. Dahlia is actively focused on Spanish while at Berkeley.
"My trip to Spain was my first experience abroad. I had the time of my life and I will never forget it. Especially because I got to celebrate my 16th birthday in Spain, what a memorable experience it was. One of my favorite part of the trip was spending time with local teens. That was most enjoyable to play sports, games and have karaoke contests all in Spanish! Ceramics class was another hightlight of the program. I most certainly learned a lot from our native teachers and other students. My month in Spain was an adventure I will never forget. I wished it had lasted longer!"
Sarah Elizabeth G.
"I have traveled with my family extensively since I was a kid but this was my first experience abroad during summer with a group of teens. This was an amazing experience. From start to finish. I was paired with a great roommate who I got along with really well. We both stayed in a great family really close to our school. I made plenty of friends and liked the activities that were organized with local teens. It was my first time using so much Spanish both in class, during the activities, and of course with my homestay family. I loved my time in Spain!"
“I loved everything about Salamanca. My homestay family truly exceeded my expectations, from making delicious vegetarian meals for me and showing my roommate and I the best places to go shopping, to exploring the Rastro (marketplace) and watching Spanish game shows and World Cup games together. In addition to connecting with families, teachers, and classmates, we were able to interact with Spanish teens from Carbajosa, a suburb of Salamanca. We visited their community center once a week after establishing friendships, invited them along with us for our one-day excursion to Portugal, all our communication was in Spanish, of course. At the end of our Salamancan adventure, completed with three weeks of Spanish classes and living with our host families, no one wanted to leave.”
"Attending classes in Salamanca was such an amazing experience for me because of the setting and style of the Spanish lessons. I was at a level that was challenging for me without being too over my head, and I learned a huge amount of Spanish. I became very close friends with three of the Italian girls in my class, which even furthered my Spanish comprehension and relationship with Spain. We would talk on excursions, meet up for ice cream at Plaza Mayor, or go to the discoteca after dinner, all of which I loved. Leaving Salamanca was a bittersweet time, as I hated to leave my homestay family and friends, but enjoyed so many great times with them."
Spring & Summer 2011
"This year I had the opportunity to go on both the Spring and Summer Magellan trips to Spain. I got an amazing experience from both trips but the month long stay was something I never imagined. Every excursion that we had magically had perfect weather which made the experience even better. After a few days in Salamanca I started to know my own shortcuts around town. I really got a kick out of playing soccer with other students at school and around Salamanca. I know this trip had a positive effect on everyone's life."
"Our first stop in Spain was in Salamanca. We all got the privilege to immerse ourselves in Spanish culture. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to stay with a host family and speak only Spanish for 2 1/2 weeks. While staying with our new family we go to try many new things, including many delicious food dishes. Personally, the homestay part of the trip was my favorite. By the end of the time there I noticed how much my Spanish had improved. My mom was very welcoming and my roommates and I considered our mom and her daughter as part of our family now. We were all very sad when it was time to leave."
"I had never been to Europe before and my travel experience was unique in many ways. I had many expectations but I have to admit the program exceeded my wildest dreams. I was in the right place to celebrate my 16th birthday with the perfect group of friends. I gained a lot of self confidence and I am already thinking to travel again next summer. This is by far the best summer ever."
“The greatest experience of my life began in Salamanca and took me to Madrid, Santiago de Compostela, and Portugal, but it also took me into the homes of the people we knew. The different activities we got to participate in included, but were not limited to, ceramics, salsa, an extraordinary scavenger hunt, and traveling. I personally loved the ceramics classes the best. The rich culture of the natives is priceless, and we get a first class journey into their homes. The adventure didn't just take us into the homes but it welcomed us into their hearts.”
"The major component that fostered growth in Spanish speaking skills, was our homestay family. There was a night where we chatted for three hours at the dinner table, long after dinner was over. Our home stay family naturally brought out our Spanish and made speaking so much more comfortable for me. Now, I can not imagine not chatting with them for hours about movies, the economy, and just sharing a laugh every now and then. They truly made us feel as though we were members of their family and my roommates and I missed them dearly after we left Salamanca."
"On my last day in Spain, after 31 days of an incredible learning adventure I grew more and more emotional about my departure. Not even one atom in my body wanted to leave this place. While we drove to the airport for our return flight it all came back to my mind: my arrival in Madrid a month earlier, meeting with all the other participants, our first day of class, my homestay mom in Salamanca, our ceramics workshops, the dance classes. How could I ever forget the beach time in Galicia! And all the great people we met! When our bus took the airport exit that’s when it hit. Everyone in this wonderful group would not see each other for a while. I now know I would like to study abroad when in college. It is a unique time to learn away from home."
"We have done so many things and Madrid was without a doubt, the best city to end our one month trip to Spain. Our itinerary was packed. We saw the major buildings of the city, including the city center: a huge plaza aptly names Sol (Sun). We also walked to the Gran Via, the premiere shopping destination and a favorite with the girls of the group. The next day we went to two big museos, the Prado which featured classical art and the Reina Sofia which featured modern art exhibits. By the end we were tired, both from the walking and from the places we visited, but we were able to rest in a beautiful 4 star hotel! The final night we went to a restaurant located downtown and ate an 8 course meal that finished with Paella to celebrate the end of a wonderful trip."
Looking Back At My
High School Study Abroad
This short video is by students for students gives an inside view to a Magellan Study Abroad immersion program. See it for yourself!
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