Spain

Forum Nexus

I traveled with Forum Nexus last summer and it was amazing

We started the program in Barcelona then traveled to Paris, Interlaken, Milan, Athens and Rhodes all this in one month.

I learned a lot from this program during classes and professional visits. Also i made a lot of friends from various backgrounds

Highly recommend

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Oct 26, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
9

CEA - Cultural Experiences Abroad

stay away, stay away, stay away! classes are complete fluff and no academic rigor at all. this is a "mill" designed to get your $10,000 so your kid can spend a month abroad.

housing situation is sleezy, poorly maintained apartments that previous students destroy. they then meticulously document all this BS as damages when you leave, and deduct if from your security deposit as stuff you did.

would not recommend, and would never ever let another one of my kids go w/ CEA.
OHP

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Oct 3, 2011
Overall:
3
Support:
3
Value:
3

Comments

sorry, i'm in NY, travel was to Barcelona.

AmeriSpan

We decided to use Amerispan for our Spanish language immersion program last summer and it was a BIG MISTAKE! The only thing Amerispan cares about is making money off of uninformed consumers. Facts- 1. We discovered that we easily OVER-PAID 30% more for the same one month program compared to other people by using Amerispan. 2. Amerispan fails to screen their hosting families. We had an absolute nightmere with our first family. The mom was super cheap and started yelling at us for using too much shampoo and toilet paper! 3. Amerispans customer service is horrible. We tried contacting our Amerispan rep multiple times and it seemed to us that once they collected your money they stopped talking with you. 4. We tried getting a refund, but all Amerispan did was send us a nasty letter stating it was not their fault and too bad.
Do not use Amerispan! Lesson learned. There are,much better and cheaper options out there.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Aug 27, 2011
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

CSA - Center for Study Abroad

The initial point that brought us to CSA was the money- it was extremely cheap for a program, but in that lay the problem: All you are doing is paying them to pay a university tuition you could have paid yourself. It was a major hassle. They knew nothing when you emailed them and the support was low, almost not there at all. There was coordinator to make sure I got the same information as everyone else and because of that I missed my first culture class. I basically did this whole program on my own and just paid them to let me do so. And also, they were last minute with everything, questions, support, housing, the University. The things they do for you you can do yourself, in a mostly likely cheaper setting. I have enjoyed my time out here immensely but I am not impressed with this program and would not recommend it to anyone.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Jul 8, 2011
Overall:
6
Support:
5
Value:
7

Comments

CSA was very convenient and provided me with everything I needed. They answered my emails and returned my phone calls. My confirmation docs were sent promptly, they helped me with my housing, and they offered a flexible payment option. Overall, CSA was a good value !

Intrax Study Abroad and AYUSA Study Abroad

They were unorganized from the beginning, I felt that they did not give me a lot of info before I left. Host family was not encouraged to contact me before being there. My local coordinator was a rotten person to say the least and blamed problems on the student, and not the family. She would also call people out in embarrassing ways and make them feel incredibly inferior.

If you are thinking of going to Spain DO NOT! The families are paid and therefore host students for reasons other than personal interest. (I have heard differently of other programs though - specifically Argentina)

Although my host family was very nice I never felt like I was part of the family, and they were almost never home. Nobody that I talked to in my group liked it - some kids at specific high schools were incredibly mean to the American students and would refuse to talk to them.

The trip back was VERY stressful. They cooped you up with a random family for overnight and did not give you your general itinerary for leaving until last minute.

Not once did I complete any homework in school - I wasted 8 hours a day doodling because the classes were so boring and all but one teacher refused to include me in the class.

Looking back on it there are things I would have done differently - but I will never forgive Intrax for the lack of comfortability they gave.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Apr 17, 2011
Overall:
3
Support:
1
Value:
5

Escuela Montalban

I've already been to some Spanish schools in Spain, but I've never felt so welcome as in the school Montalbán. In my opinion the great advantage of the Escuela Montalbán in Granada is its size. It is quite a small school, so if you look for personal and individual treatment, it's the perfect option. Concerning classes and progress in learning Spanish, they try to find the perfect level for you and don't mind to open a „new“ level for 3 students. Anyway, mostly there are just about 5 to max. 10 students in each class, which makes every lesson very intensive. Furthermore, all the staff is really nice and open as far as wishes for changes were concerned and I felt that they really cared, if I or others had a problem.You can see in every detail that the owners want to create a nice atmosphere – you will recognise the school as soon as you enter the street for all its plant decoration and in the classrooms there are nice pictures of the city and cultural events.
Studying here you don't only learn Spanish, the qualified teachers (who even manage to make shy people talk) will provide you a hugh range of information about the Spanish culture, even more if you take part in the extra activities in the afternoon, which I highly recommend!!! And there are so many options!!! You can go to the impressive Sierra Nevada for a long walk or for skying, depending on the season, you can see a lot of dance festivals and even take classes at school by Carina and „William“ - they were so patient with us!!! - and don't miss the arabic baths to relax enjoying a massage. Really, it's impossible to be bored in Granada! Even the beach is just about 50km away and there are buses with a good frequency... So, what are you waiting for? :-)

Program:
Location: Spain
Posted: Mar 27, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Eurolingua Institute

Last year I arranged a nine week homestay language course in Granada through Eurolingua to improve my Spanish.

The literature I received before and at the time of payment confirmed:

- The accommodation with the teacher would be luxury, full board.

- I would receive 20 hours of private lessons per week.

- Each week my teacher would take me on an excursion each week to experience Spanish culture.

Unfortunately, the services listed above were not provided.

- Accommodation was substandard (my single wooden bed was in a computer room),

- The teacher refused to answer questions I asked in class. If I did not understand a lesson as per the text book, she would simply move on,

- The teacher often complained frequently that I was not learning fast enough and made abusive comments about my regular teacher. She also made comments to me about previous students, none complementary, and complained that Eurolingua did not pay her enough.

- She charged me for class time which did not occur and tried to charge me extra for laundry.

-On my first day my teacher informed me that there would be no excursions and, indeed, no excursions were provided during my stay. I pretty much had to arrange and pay for all out of class experiences myself, even those in Granada.

I contacted Eurolengua as soon as possible upon my return to raise my concerns.

After not providing any real response for around four months, I received an email from their CEO in March this year that stated that they had no case to answer and they would not provide any explanation for the conditions I encountered.

They instead made disparaging comments about my learning ability; none of which was true and all of which were irrelevant to my complaint about services promised and paid for not being provided.

I would caution anyone who is thinking of using this organisation against it.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Mar 20, 2011
Overall:
5
Support:
0
Value:
4

Academic Studies Abroad

ASA was an awesome experience and I had an amazing time in Sevilla with the program. Even 3 years later when I needed help locating my transcripts, ASA was still more than helpful and got me just what I needed. A smaller more personalized program is what you will get with ASA and I highly encourage considering it!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Jan 25, 2011
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

Escuela Montalban

Hola amigos:
I have now completed a three-month internship at the Escuela Montalbánâ language school in Granada and I loved it.
All the qualified teachers and the staff are very friendly and helpful. I have learned a lot of Spanish and other useful things during my internship time. In this school you have the possibility to learn Spanish very fast and well in a fantastic atmosphere. The school is in the typical Andalusian style and has a lovely courtyard. Every week, they also offer to all students a great cultural programm, which contains a lot of different and interesting activities and courses for the participants.
On the various streets monuments, buildings etc. you can still see the former Muslim history of Andalusia and also the artistic churches and cathedrals, which are very impressive.
Don´t miss the opportunity to visit the gorgeous palace Alhambra, Sierra Nevada which is the highest mountain of Spain and where you can ride horses and the incredible view of Sacromonte with its caves. Granada has many faces!
In Granada, there is something for everyone: culture, history, art, music, food, nightlife etc.
I had a great time here and this was an unforgettable experience for me. I can just recommend you to visit Granada and discover it for yourself !!!

Muchos saludos.
Serap

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Nov 25, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

GeoVisions

I applied to join the Conversation Corps with GeoVisions in January 2010. My summer trip was to teach English to a family in Spain and travel on the side.
To make my response an easy read, here are the key points:
1. GeoVisions seems like a great volunteering program, but they failed in finding me a placement in due time. Therefore, my plans for Spain ended up spoiled.
2. The customer relations is very poor due to the fact that they rely solely on email. My questions and concerns were not responded to in a timely fashion.
3. Beware of $350 US program fees at the start.
The details...
GeoVisions was to find me a host family by June 22, 2010. This gave them ample time to find me a family.
I paid a program fee of $350 US in February with high hopes about this dream vacation. During this time, I received sparse emails from my program director in regards to the status of my file.
By June 22, 2010, there was NO FAMILY placement! This was 21 days before my departure date of July 12, 2010.
Finally, on June 23, 2010, GeoVisions found me ONE placement an hour outside of Madrid. I replied and said I would think about it. Then I called the executive director and cancelled my program and I asked for a refund!
According to the GeoVisions Terms and Conditions, I am entitled to a $300 refund because of these statements:
"If GeoVisions is unable to place you within 21-days of your program start date, or the program is cancelled prior to departure, all payments, less $50, will be refunded. You may request that GeoVisions continue to look for a host family. Please note: If GeoVisions is successful in placing you after the 21- day opt-out policy above, and you decline the placement, you do not qualify for any refund."
GeoVisions denied my refund because they said that the program fees were already sent to the family in Spain. I didn't say I was taking the family.
After this, GeoVisions did not respond to my emails and calls until I threatened them that I would be filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau if there was no response. They responded pretty quickly.
In the end, after a mishmash of emails and them telling me that they didn't get my emails, etc. They did not honor the refund policy of which they clearly did not meet their own deadline. And went on to blame me for not cancelling in due time.
Lesson learned:
1. $350 US is a good sum of money. If you are able to risk it, then go ahead with GeoVisions. If not, I suggest you look for some other NGO (not for profit) organization who will not eat your money.
2. Be studious in not only reading the Terms and Conditions, but memorizing them to heart so they don't backfire on you.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Oct 23, 2010
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Comments

In this case, the reviewer uses the June 22 date. In fact, the family was found on June 21. We called and offered the family or the refund. The volunteer asked for a period of time to "think about it." We offered the family or the refund. But it took so long for the volunteer to make the decision, were were forced to pay the fee to Spain, and that is why it was not possible to offer the volunteer a refund. Please see the BBB response here: http://www.bbb.org/connecticut/business-reviews/employment-contractors-temporary-help/geovisions-in-guilford-ct-87064815#complaint

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