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, 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. 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. Dahlia is actively focused on Spanish while at Berkeley.





“I cannot believe it’s been 10 years since my study abroad experience in Granada! I still think about the trip to this day and reflect on all of the wonderful memories I made during my time there.

I was fortunate enough to travel to Granada with a group of high school students led by Christophe Chabaudie and his staff during the summer of 2005. Little did I know, I was embarking on one of the most remarkable and life-changing experiences that shaped who I am today. Going to Granada, I was a bit discouraged with my poor Spanish-speaking skills and little knowledge of the culture; however, hopping off the bus and being embraced by my loving host mother definitely eased the transition. My host mother, Pilar, was a local artist in Granada who was truly passionate about her country. Pilar did not speak any English, so I resorted to my high school Spanish and charades to get by. The more I practiced speaking Spanish, the more natural and fluent it became. I eventually found myself understanding jokes on television, conversing through entire family dinners, and even having dreams in Spanish. Spanish quickly changed from a high school requirement to something I was genuinely passionate about. By living with Pilar, eating her home-cooked meals, conversing on various topics in Spanish, and admiring her art, I couldn’t help but develop that same love that Pilar had for her language and country.

In addition to the homestay, the school we attended was equally inspiring. The view from the school was absolutely breathtaking as we glanced out at La Alhambra and the colorful, decorated Spanish rooftops in class every day. The teachers were my favorite part; they came to our class daily with an enthusiasm that captured and inspired all of us students. I could tell the teachers not only had a major impact on me, but other students in the class. The classes were very rounded, more than any Spanish course I had taken before. We practiced conversation, ate like the locals, listened to music, watched movies, attended various cultural events and went on great excursions. We were surrounded by Spanish all day, every day and were absorbing it like sponges. This is what language immersion was all about! I will never forget our farewell party, where I cried my eyes out and dreaded going back home. I promised myself I would return again…

At the end of the summer, I went home and couldn’t stop thinking about Spain. I listened to the same music, kept in touch with my former classmates, and looked at old photos reminiscing on the fun times. After some major convincing, I finally persuaded my parents to send me back the following summer. Once again, I stayed with Pilar, my Spanish homestay mother. My Spanish continued to improve and developed into a strong passion of mine. At the end of my second trip to Granada, I decided that I wanted to further my education in Spanish and continue exploring the world. I attended university in San Francisco, studying international business and Spanish. Once again, I studied in Spain and even visited my old teachers.

I can honestly say that my experiences in Granada were life-changing and prepared me for all the changes that were around the corner when I left for college. Not only did I learn a new language, but it changed me into the worldly and travel-hungry individual I am today. I currently work and manage teams all over the world at an international software company, I travel in every single opportunity presented! Thank you Christophe and Magellan for having such a positive influence in my life! Abrazos, Jill”

Jill works in San Francisco and was prompt at sending us her testimony. Just like many other alumni she has stayed in touch with our executive director and the staff that made her stay in Spain so special.


Looking Back At My

High School Study Abroad


See this short video testimony of Lucia and Francesca reflecting on their amazing homestay experience in Salamanca, Spain.



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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