How can I learn Spanish by immersion inexpensively?
October 11, 2012 10:41 AM Subscribe
Year off between undergrad and dental school. Optimally, I would like to go to South or Central America for the purpose of learning Spanish. Best way to do this?
posted by mellosphere to Travel & Transportation around Corvallis, OR (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I graduated in May 2012 with a BA in biochemistry. I have been accepted into dental school beginning August 2013. I have wanted to go overseas to work on spanish for the last 4-5 years. Originally, I intended to have a year off (now) for that purpose. However, as the time approached, those plans were put on the back burner because my girlfriend and I became serious, got engaged, and were planning to get married in the spring, which also made sense to do during the year off. Now, we broke up almost a month ago, and I'd like to resurrect those plans. However, my financial state took a hit throughout the relationship with wedding things to pay for and rings, and just overall spending more money since I wasn't saving for going overseas.
Ideally, I want to go for probably 4-6 months, hopefully January or February - June or July. I can't afford the language learning programs. Those are waaaaay too expensive. Also, I have two requests:
live with a host family so I am immersed in the language
have something (ANYTHING) to do so I'm not bored because I like being busy. this may include working outside, picking up trash, cleaning bathrooms, whatever. I am willing to do anything.
Does anyone have any suggestions or experiences for doing this? Like I said, the language programs are too expensive. You can pay to volunteer but I can't really afford that either. I have medical expenses and I'll have to start repaying loans for a few months as well beginning in November, so I really can't afford to pay much, if anything, for living arrangements down there. I guess I'm not even sure what I'm looking for. Perhaps finding an agency that could give me room and board in exchange for physical labor or something of that nature?
Another remote possibility would be to work down there for pay. But this probably requires a work visa which seems difficult to obtain if you don't have a job before you go out of the country. Which I don't think I will have. Plus, my spanish right now is not conversational.
Any suggestions are appreciated. Any location in south or central america is fine, as long as spanish is the main language.