In the spring of 2016, my 15 year old daughter Kira participated in a 10 day educational trip to Illescas, Spain, that was organized by Ana Rosales. Kira was placed with a lovely family, that cared for her so much, she immediately felt accepted into the family. During the trip, the students visited numerous places of attraction, including the historic town of Toledo, Madrid, The Real Madrid Stadium, and a Theme Park in Madrid. Kira loved being emerged into the Spanish culture, eating local dishes and taking daily siesta.
I felt safe sending my daughter abroad under the leadership of Ana Rosales, who has kept daily communication with us Parent about our kids experiences. Kira returned home with a newly gained love and appreciation for Spanish language, culture and the people. She made great friends, and memories that will last her a life time.
Tatiana Tosi, Parent
I want to thank you so much for organizing the trip to Illescas. Over those ten days, I made so many memories and had more fun than I ever thought I could in such a short time. Illescas was one of the most amazing trips and towns I’ve ever been to, thanks to the friendliest people, beautiful architecture and great food.
If anybody ever asks you why attend this trip instead of one based in a big city or popular school, tell them how my friends and I made closer friends than we ever would on any of those other trips because of the open, welcoming community. I would rate this trip 10/10. Toledo was extremely fun and scenic and the jamon and churros were to die for. Some of the friends I made will be coming to Boston in May and I’m so excited, and I can’t wait until I can go back. Before this trip, I didn’t take or speak any Spanish, now I have much improved skills in the language and an urge to keep learning, just so I can communicate better next time I go. Thank you so much and I will be forever grateful for you, for introducing me to this community.
Kira Tosi, Student
We have had the privilege of sending two of our daughters to an immersion exchange in Illescas with Ana Rosales and Mario Cintado. As Parent, our top concern was safety and health. Our second concern was learning, culture and fun. We received all of that and more than we ever imagined. The trip was fun and safe and we had no worries with Ana and Mario and the loving families they selected to care for our children as if they were their own. REALLY!
The first exchange was 10 days with our 15 year old, Olivia. It was wonderful and too fun which meant it was too short. Even with a little homesickness and nervousness the first night, our daughter quickly adapted and had a cultural experience of a life time. These people are experts at planning and caring. They love Spain and they love what they do. The second exchange for our 14 year old Caroline was longer. What impressed us most was how Mario prepared for every contingency. From learning, to extra Spanish tutoring, to anxiety and homesickness awareness, Mario addressed these concerns with our daughter in advance. Ana arranged the host family. The family could not have been a better fit emotionally and educationally. Our host family was the most generous and when they assured us they would love our daughter as their own daughters it was relieving and sublime were not kidding. The maturation and independence that this program will safely develop in your children is priceless. The emotional bonds with gracious Spanish people will last a lifetime and start to give your child the tools to learn to be at home in the world. In the end, as Parent, we learned as much or more than our children.
It brought our family closer in a way that we learned to appreciate the love we have for our family that can only be discovered when you are at a geographical distance. These are the surprises that only an exchange like Hola Spanish Immersion can deliver. One word of caution, bringing your children home from an Illescas exchange will be your most difficult challenge, your kids will want to move to Illescas permanently. We can promise this!
In June of 2016 I had the opportunity to go abroad with my best friends and one of my favorite teachers. We went to a small town south of Madrid called Ilescas. At first I was nervous, I spoke Spanish, but when you have to speak Spanish in Spain rather than in class it becomes a whole new and different experience. When we arrived each of the families we would be staying with for the next 10 days welcomed us graciously as if we were already part of their family.
One of the things I love about the Spanish culture is how kind and welcoming the people are. Over our 10 day journey we visited historical and famous places in Madrid. But my personal favorite part of the trip was when we went to Toledo for a weekend. We went there with, Ana Rosales and Alastair Patrick, it was amazing. We toured the city and the cathedral and we went shopping! As we walked around we tried food like Jamon and Churros and we had an overall great time. As our trip was ending we went out a lot, on our last night we went to a party where we met Pepe (Masterchef) and all of our new friends were there too. I loved being in such a small town, because unlike the city when I was walking down the street to school, or the park I would see kids that I knew and they would come join us.
I would recommend this experience to any teenagers!!
Back in 2015 I had the amazing opportunity to visit Spain on a exchange program to be emerged in the Spanish culture for 10 days. We visited sights in Madrid such as the Bernabéu Stadium, the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Plaza Mayor. On a tangent with visiting some of the places that makes up Spain and its history we also visited Toledo where we took a tour around the city, inside the amazing cathedral and the museum there.
The best part for me was being able to experience the new culture and seeing such beautiful sights (not to mention the food was incredible!) We had downtime with our host families and it was a really special experience for me to be brought in by this family and shown their culture, being able to try all types of various different foods and traditions which I had not been exposed to before.
Along with all of the new aspects in Spain I grew closer to people who went on the trip with me and now have friends in Madrid who I still keep in contact with, not to mention many happy memories!