(These testimonials have only been slightly edited)
I can honestly say that my summer spent in Salamanca was the best summer of my life. From the magnificent beauty that the city holds in its classic architecture and cobblestone streets, to the friendly locals that smile at you on your way to class, the city is breathing with splendor and bliss.
I learned more Spanish in six weeks than I did in seven years of high school and college level classes. My classes were authentic and stimulating, helping me master the Spanish language and gain understanding of the remarkably rich history of Spain. Every afternoon I met with my conversation class in a quaint café around the city to sip on café con leche and chat casually. At night I went out dancing, meeting people from around the world, enjoying delicious tapas, and practicing my Spanish with the locals. On our excursions, I gained insight into the diverse beauty that is Spanish culture. With our own personal tour guide, we were able to experience the unique personality of each city that we traveled to. Dr. Ferreiro has an immeasurable knowledge for the region; he made the trip pleasant and informative.
“Fun” cannot describe the experience I had. It was amazing. If I could do it all over again I would not change a thing, and, if given the chance, I would do it every summer. This experience changed my life, and I feel as though I am able to see the world through new eyes now. I will never forget my summer in Salamanca.
Sara Emmitt, Western Washington University
I cannot praise this program enough. It was everything I had wanted. I learned an unbelievable amount from all my classes--grammar, literature, and history--and yet I feel like I hardly spent time in the classroom. Salamanca is a beautiful city in which you never run out of things to do. I made tons of friends from all over the world. The excursions are a wonderful way to see more of Spain (and Portugal) and learn about the history of Spain from Dr. Ferreiro, our fearless leader. I do not know anyone who did not have the time of their lives--I'd recommend this program to everyone.
Mary Mahoney, Western Washington University
Studying in Spain was a life changing experience; initially I was supposed to be there for four weeks, which just wasn’t enough time. Six weeks was perfect, by the fifth week I was immersing myself with the locals, and speaking Spanish almost 24 hours of the day. Studying and walking around a city like Salamanca that has been around for centuries was amazing, looking outside your dorm window at the lit cathedral or going to La Plaza Mayor to watch the lights go on or listening to music in the square or just to hang out with some friends. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my summer and to continue my studies in Spanish from speaking to writing to learning about a different culture. I would definitely recommend this program especially if you cannot afford to study for a year, quarter or semester during the academic year.
Estie Sarvasy, Western Washington University
On arriving in Salamanca, I was immediately embraced by Spain’s warm and welcoming attitude. Being a small city, it was easy to settle in and everything lies within walking distance. It was great having the opportunity to attend classes with people from all over the world and I cannot speak highly enough of the teachers who were so keen to help their students get as much as possible out of their lessons. The lessons were challenging, but at the same time were conducted with a relaxed approach. Never before had I had attended a class which involved chatting in a café alongside a free drink! By the end of the trip my Spanish had greatly improved and I was so immersed in the language that on leaving Heathrow airport, I answered a man offering me a taxi, in Spanish, and it was a while before I realized why he had such a startled expression on his face.
The classes weren’t all about language, however. From valuable literature classes to cooking lessons, I learnt a lot about Spanish culture. This cultural learning was also enhanced through wonderful city excursions or just by exploring Salamanca itself.
Being a small city by no means signifies that Salamanca lacks things to do. From seeing Harry Potter in Spanish to watching live Reggae in O’Haras, I can honestly say I was never bored. I have so many great memories from this trip and have made lasting friendships that will live with me forever.
Deborah Marx, Bristol University UK
I loved this program so much. I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants to improve their level of Spanish or just wants an excuse to see more of the world. Salamanca is a small, charming, and beautiful city. The professors at the university are incredible—they’re funny, kind, and teach you a lot of Spanish. Attending classes in the morning left tons of free time to wander the city and shop, go to movies, eat ice cream, sit at a café, or visit some of the churches or museums throughout Salamanca. The weather was phenomenal throughout the entire month. I had a wonderful experience and am very glad I went.
Emily Hazelton, Seattle Pacific University
Although I have been studying Spanish for a number of years, my opportunities to learn the language through study abroad programs were limited by my course load during the academic year. Dr. Ferreiro's summer program provided a perfect way for me to fulfill the study abroad requirement for my major. I thoroughly enjoyed my classes at the University of Salamanca. The program is structured to give you a taste of everything. A grammar class at an appropriate level for you, a cooking class where you learn about some of the most popular Spanish dishes, an interesting history course taught in a cafe and also on-location as you tour major sights in nearby cities, a Spanish class of your choice (culture class, for example), a casual conversation class that also meets in a cafe and a fun Flamenco class which gives you an appreciation for this expressive beautiful dance.
This trip combines the academic study with touring important sights and enjoying the Spanish culture firsthand. Some of the more memorable experiences I had involved interactions with local Salamantinos. I feel as if my confidence with using Spanish improved thanks to my time in Salamanca. It was so much fun getting to know the other students from our trip and also the students from around the world that were also studying Spanish and the university. Playing soccer with students from over ten different countries is one of my fondest memories! I would highly encourage you to seriously consider traveling to Salamanca with Dr. Ferreiro and Centro Fray Luis de Leon. You can anticipate entertaining live music, enthusiastic professors, fun nightlife, and an experience you will never forget.
Amy Cannon, Seattle Pacific University
My experience at the University of Salamanca and with the Centro Fray Luis de León program has brought me countless memories and new friendships from across the world. The knowledge and practice with the language from the professional, friendly professors’ goes beyond any Spanish class I have previously taken due to the complete Spanish immersion and cultural experiences that could only be gained abroad. For any individual motivated to greatly improve their Spanish and broaden their global perspective, I give this program my highest recommendation.
Claire Michel, University of Oregon
Being from another school other than the main group in Seattle, I was slightly nervous to join a group of students from other universities. However, from the moment I met Dr. Ferreiro and the entire group, I was immediately welcomed. I loved every moment of my experience in Spain from the Spanish classes, to the weekly excursion, to the lasting friendships that I made. I also loved the city of Salamanca. Salamanca is a small city that is full of life. Two of my favorite things to do at night included watching the musicians perform and dancing Salsa at El Savor. During the day I enjoyed attending my Spanish classes, getting to know new people and exploring the beautiful monuments in Salamanca. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to spend 5 weeks in Spain with Dr. Ferreiro and the rest of the group. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is looking for the opportunity to visit Spain, practice Spanish and develop long lasting friendships.
Christine Moore, Gordon College
After completion of the month at the University of Salamanca with Dr. Ferreiro, I would highly recommend this program to anybody that is considering it to either simply improve their Spanish-speaking skills or if one has interest in European culture and history. The classes taken through the university are very beneficial and are taught by helpful, intelligent, and friendly professors. Students from all over the world come together with a common goal, to immerse themselves in Spanish culture. Dr. Ferreiro’s classes are filled with information that not only relates to history, but encourages development of spiritual and intellectual thoughts. Furthermore, sitting in a terrace while sipping on one’s favorite refreshment being surrounded by historical buildings is one of my favorite things I’ve been a part of in Salamanca. The excursions accomplish a similar goal while at the same time allowing one to see the very cathedrals, palaces, and castles that are being discussed. The cultural events such as Flamenco concerts, going out to the bars, seeing and dancing to live music are extremely fun. The people and city of Salamanca are incredibly friendly, outgoing, willing to help one learn, and fun to be around and make friends with. I have not regretted my decision at all to be a part of this program.
Alex Hancock, Seattle Pacific University