According to the last Open Doors report by the IIE, there is still a majority of US students going abroad to Europe. From these, most of them spend their time in cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Granada and Bilbao still host around 80% of students). The remaining 20% go to smaller cities or to rural areas. But this last destination is still a very unknown destination and presents a good opportunity of learning.
Why do I say so? Well, I believe there are some features that make rural areas the perfect place to study:
- You can create your own unique program according to your needs.
There is no need to adhere to some Universities’ pre-established program for students, no conception of what a program should consist of. You design and implement it.
- Slow pace.
Life in rural areas, at least in Spain, goes slower than in cities. There are not so many 21st Century distractions, activities are more linked to Nature and follow different rhythms.
- Internet still connects .
Students don’t need to be isolated, they can still use technologies to stay in touch with life outside of a small village.
- Little contamination from tourists.
Yes, big cities have everything: cinemas, theaters, museums, high-speed transportation, bars, restaurants, airports… and tourists! At some cities, they are everywhere. No way you can feel yourself immersed in a new culture if you hear people from your home country all the time.
Some Spanish traditions are still strong enough so as to be practiced in big cities, but some many others only happen in rural areas. Traditions are an excellent way to know more about the real culture you are going to be living in for a few months. They link you to the essence (good or bad) of your host country.
- Personal relations.
Despite Spain having a warm culture, life in cities is somehow cold, distant, people run everywhere and don’t have time to talk to foreigners about their culture. This won’t happen in rural areas. People will have time to talk to you, tell stories, draw a picture of their culture and teach you about the Language and Culture.
Ask me if you want to know more about creating a program in a rural area. We can make it happen!