Comillas Spain Port

Addie, Spanish Academy

“Going to Spain had a really powerful impact on me, allowing me to see that I was able to live away from home, in a completely foreign place.”

Addie Spanish Academy Student

California student, Addie Knight, dreams in Spanish. She has attended two summer Language Academy sessions in a row and credits the total language immersion for enabling her to learn the language so quickly and excel in her language class at school—and yes, even have dreams in Spanish. “I really wanted to pursue fluency in Spanish,” she says.

Still, Addie is the first to admit that, in the beginning, signing the Language Pledge®—and agreeing to speak only Spanish for the entire four-week session—was a daunting prospect. “Going into the program my first year, I remember regretting my decision, thinking I had been crazy to give up my summer to strictly speak only Spanish.” But she quickly discovered that by truly committing to it, speaking in Spanish became easier and easier everyday.

“You begin to think in the language, dream in the language, and most importantly, speak the language.”

After one a week in the program, Addie started thinking in Spanish, something she had never experienced before.

Speaking a second language had become second nature to her. “At the end of the program, on the ride home, my family asked tons of questions about my experience, but I lacked words to describe it. I was still thinking in Spanish! I would respond to a question with instead of ‘yes.’ Even crazier, a few days after being home I went to the beach with my friends and just blurted out a comment—in Spanish!”

The experience was empowering, and Addie decided to attend the program again the following summer with her best friend, who she met at the Language Academy. This time they enrolled in the summer study abroad program in Spain.

“Going to Spain had a really powerful impact on me, allowing me to see that I was able to live away from home, in a completely foreign place.”

And it’s opened up big opportunities for Addie to continue on her journey toward becoming fluent in Spanish. This summer, she plans to travel to South America and do a home stay with a local family that only speaks Spanish. “I never would have dreamed I’d be able to participate in such a challenging program.” (The program has a strict language requirement and Addie will be away from home for eight weeks, speaking only Spanish.) But thanks to her experiences at the Language Academy, she says, “I see this challenge as something I can most definitely overcome.”

Learn More About Our Summer Study Abroad Programs