Many people like to travel and take vacations abroad, but you only ever see things as a tourist. Have you ever thought about actually living in another country and experiencing life as the local people do? And if you've considered it, how do you go about accomplishing this goal? Where do you begin? This is why Adelante was established, to enable participants to achieve their dream through our own experience and expertise.
Adelante has been in business since 1999, when it began with the internship program in Madrid. The program followed a simple formula - airport pickup and orientation to assist in your arrival; a good, clean, safe place to live; intensive Spanish classes to practice and improve your language skills; and internship placement in a local company working with Spanish people in a real workplace environment. This worked, providing candidates with the essential components needed to live abroad while still allowing them independence to find their own way in a new city and to create their own unique experience.
Adelante is a small, family run business that gets to know each participant through the placement process. The main office is based in California, USA, and there are Adelante Directors in each city and country where we have programs. All our US-based staff are seasoned travelers, most having lived abroad for two years or longer at some point in their lives. Our in-country staff are also inveterate travelers, speak multiple languages (including English!) and have experience with foreign visitors and the education and tourism industries.
Following the successful launch of Madrid, the program in Barcelona, an increasingly popular location, was created. Then came the University Study Program in Seville. Since then we have moved into Latin America, adding programs on an annual basis, increasing our locations to include Intern in Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile and Uruguay, as well as adding Intern in Seville and Intern in Marbella to our Spanish programs.
Adelante finds an internship for each individual candidate and for this reason our annual numbers are never in the thousands as with some other study and language programs. On average we send anywhere from 1 to 10 candidates to each of our international programs every month. While the majority of participating candidates are aged 21 to 26, we have had a growing number of younger 'gap year' candidates, plus a steady number of older candidates who wish to experience a city in a different way than as a typical tourist.
The Adelante program illuminates the language and cultural aspects in a way that no other program does, through work assignments and independent living situations, so candidates experience life much like the locals live. The program is much more than the four hours each day of studying or interning, it is also about absorbing, experiencing and learning the life and language of the host city. We provide an 'open door' in more ways than one.
There really is no better way to learn a language than to live in a country where it's spoken. The key is not to be afraid to try. Local people are almost always pleased at attempts by foreigners to speak their language and the more you try, the more your confidence increases - you'll soon be amazed at your ability to communicate. Our most useful tip is: speak English as little as possible once abroad. Read this useful article about learning and using Spanish.
In addition to the language acquisition, work experience in another country is becoming more and more popular, giving candidates a competitive edge when looking for employment on their return home. Our unpaid work assignments are designed to provide professional experience and language improvement at about an even 50-50 rate. Resumes, or "CV's", are enriched for future careers. Working and living as the locals do enables participants to gain in maturity - sometimes the hard way - and global understanding.
Initially, candidates see everything based on their own cultural expectations. As part of the learning process some lifestyle adjustments may be necessary and by the end of your program, whether you intern, study, teach or volunteer, you are sure to return home (IF you return home!) with a different set of values - a blend of who you were and the new person you've become.