Host Family Immersion in Hyeres

The kids had a blast with their French families! They enjoyed being integrated into “daily French life” – from homemade croissants and quiches to Bastille Day family celebrations and fireworks, the kids were made to feel very welcome in their new “homes”! Many of the families have boats so some of the kids were lucky enough to take day trips to nearby islands such as Porquerolles as well as cruise and schmooze with the chic French in Saint Tropez. Most of all they were speaking only in French so without a doubt their language skills are improving fast! They were  sad to say goodbye to their French families this morning and have hopefully built some lasting relationships that will not soon be forgotten!

Just arrived in Paris today!


image4 image2 image1

The final day of the trip!

photo 3

Sports poses in the Olympic stadium

photo 2

In front of the castle

photo 1

The boys in the gondola with the city in the background

Hola a todos!

Today was a bittersweet day as it was our last day here in Barcelona and the last day of our trip. In the morning, we took a gondola ride up to Montjuic, the mountain that overlooks the city and Mediterranean. Up on Montjuic, we saw the old castle/military stronghold that used to protect the city then took a walk to the Olympic Stadium where the 1992 Olympics were held.

In the afternoon, the group had lunch in the Poble-sec district then we visited “La Boquería”, Barcelona’s open-air market filled with stands of colorful fruit, delicious fruit juices and fresh cheeses, meats and other delicatessens.

In the evening, we had a farewell dinner of pizza and salad and the group had a great time talking about the highlights of the trip and what they liked/appreciated about each member of the group.

On a personal note, I’ve had a great time with the group this year. The students’ eagerness to learn, and desire to throw themselves into the Spanish culture and this experience, was very refreshing and great to see. Many memories were made, many laughs were shared and some very strong relationships were built. I hope the experience will be something the students will always carry with them.

Here in Spain they don’t like to “adios”, instead the say “hasta pronto!”, so I wish everyone the best of luck and see you all soon!


Barcelona – July 28th

photo 4

At Parc Güell with the city and Mediterranean in the background

photo 3

Zane “educating” Scott, Charlie, Celia and Sonnet in Gaudi’s school at the cathedral

photo 2

On the steps of La Sagrada Familia

photo 1

On the bus

Buenos días a todos!

We had another busy day today as we visited Gaudi’s Barcelona. We started the day with a bus tour of the city that took us past many emblematic, modernistic buildings of the city, including Gaudi’s Casa Battló and La Pedrera.

Our first stop of the day was at La Sagrada Familia, an unfinished cathedral designed by Gaudi. Construction began on the cathedral in the late 1800s and continues today as it is one of the most ambitious projects of modern-day architecture. After a very informative audio tour of the church and visit to the museum, we hopped back on the bus and headed up to Gaudi’s Parc Güell.

This park was designed by Gaudi at the commission of a wealthy 20th century Barcelona family, los Güell. It is set upon a hill and filled with Gaudi’s eclectic designs and ideas, all blended in with the natural landscape of the hill. We took a nice stroll through the park, admiring the local artists and musicians dispersed throughout.

Upon leaving the park, we continued the bus tour and were taken through some more of the different neighborhoods of Barcelona before returning to the hotel for some free time before our group dinner.

Tomorrow we’ll be taking a gondola ride up to the Castle of Montjuic and visiting the site of the ’92 Olympic Games.

Hasta mañana!

Barcelona – July 27th


We had a busy day of sightseeing today. We started our morning off with a boat cruise around the bay, which offered us amazing views of the city from the blue waters of the Mediterranean. After the boat ride we took a stroll through one of Barcelona’s oldest areas, the Born district, on our way to the Picasso museum. Inside the Picasso we saw a very impressive collection of the famous painter’s works dating as far back as to when the artist was only 14 years old.

Upon leaving the museum, we continued our visit to Old Barcelona and walked through the Gothic quarter filled with twisty, narrow streets and a stop at the always imposing Gothic-style cathedral.

Tomorrow we’ll continue to discover more of this wonderful city!

Hasta luego,


photo 4

Jessie, Sonnet and Celia in front of the cathedral

photo 3

A balcony at the Picasso museum

photo 2

On our boat

photo 1

With a lion that guards the Columbus monument

Barcelona – July 26th

Welcome back to our blog everyone! We wrapped up our week in Sevilla this morning and caught an early train to Barcelona. Everyone had a great time with their families with some of the highlights being spending time at a beach house in Chipiona, Cádiz, attending a BBQ and visiting Portugal. Saying goodbye was difficult as everyone grew very close to their families during the week, but, hopefully. some life-long relationships were made.

Here in Barcelona we had a light day. After our 5-hr train ride, we grabbed a small bite to eat then went back to the hotel to relax for a bit before dinner. This evening we a had very tasty dinner in a Catalan restaurant and headed over to the Palacio de Montjuic to watch a very impressive light, water and music show. Then we went to the bullring-turned-shopping mall nearby to go to the roof and enjoy some amazing panoramic views of the palace and Barcelona skyline.

Tomorrow we have a full day as we’ll be taking a boat cruise around the bay then visiting the Picasso museum.

Hasta mañana,

photo 5

The group and their families in Sevilla

photo 4

The palace sound & light show

photo 2

In front of the water show

photo 1

On top of the old bullring