Sol Abroad

Sol Abroad

About

Sol Abroad is an affordable high school study abroad, Gap Year and Spanish immersion program for students 14 - 18 years of age. There are programs offered during the summer and semester. Sol students live with local families, take Spanish classes on the weekdays, participate on weekend excursions and afternoon cultural activities and have the opportunity to perform community service hours. Sol Abroad programs are for all students who have a desire to learn about Spanish language and culture! With Sol Abroad you will cultivate relationships, gain language skills, and produce memories to last a lifetime!

Website
Founded
2005
Headquarters

503 Oakland Ave.
Austin, TX 78703
United States

Argentina with Sol Abroad this summer!

Sol Abroad is still accepting applications for our top-ranked Buenos Aires, Argentina program for high school students this summer. Don't miss out on this incredible program! See what the reviews from last summer have to say...¡nos vemos en Argentina!

Reviews

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Alex
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

From the moment I arrived in Argentina, I felt welcomed and supported. My director, Kevin, met me at the airport with a big smile. As we waited for the rest of the group to arrive, everyone in the airport gathered around televisions to watch Argentina play in the world cup.The way the whole airport stopped to watch was surreal. When I arrived at my new home in Palermo, Muchy, my host mother, greeted me with a hug and gave me a delicious, much needed warm meal after my hours of travel. My director then showed me around Argentina with my fellow travelers who would soon be my great friends.

The program was a perfect balance between structured activity and free time to explore the wonderful city of Buenos Aires. Kevin showed us how to use the subway and how to get to our classes. Kevin traveled with us on all our excursions outside of the city center where it was harder to navigate, but I never felt like we were being patrolled. Kevin treated us with respect and became a friend. There were many fascinating day trips. We traveled to the countryside where we rode horses and even traveled to Uruguay. The classes we took during the week were exceptional and greatly helped me improve my Spanish. The class wasn't like school, it was interactive and structured around conversations with peers and the teacher. There is so much to explore in Argentina and Sol gave me the freedom to do that. I was allowed to eat out with my friends and explore the many markets. Regardless of where I went, from La Boca to the countryside, I felt perfectly safe.

During my three weeks in Argentina, I made amazing connections. I am still in contact with those in my group. It feels scary to travel alone, but everyone feels the same way at first. From the first day you will befriend others in your group and the Sol Abroad directors are always around for support. I feel that this trip also helped me mature and become more independent. For the first time, I found myself in charge of my free time and had the ability to make many decisions. It was a very liberating and maturing experience that I would not trade for anything.

Argentina is an amazing and unique place to travel. I learned so much about Argentine culture, grew accustomed to their unique Spanish, and fell in love with Argentine cuisine like empanadas and choripán. Sol Abroad is the perfect way to experience a new country while improving your Spanish.

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Alexa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had an amazing experience studying in Argentina with Sol Abroad. The teachers at the school we attended during the week were eager to help me improve my Spanish-speaking skills. The cultural excursions we went on such as visiting museums, going to a gaucho ranch, and taking cooking and dancing classes were both fun and educational. I stayed with an incredibly kind host family, and my program leaders Beatriz Barragan and Kevin Williams were both very supportive, informative, and helpful. After I returned home from Argentina, my Spanish had greatly improved (I even developed an Argentinian accent while away), and I had gained a much greater knowledge of Argentinian culture. If you are considering study abroad programs in Argentina, definitely choose Sol Abroad - you will have an amazing experience!

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Alejandro
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My time spent in Buenos Aires, Argentina with Sol Abroad was genuinely one of the most amazing experiences in my life. I felt very safe in every situation, which allowed me to enjoy everyday without worries. Moreover, I was able to developer an amazing connection with my host mom, who provided the most comfortable stay I could’ve asked for. The school was never boring, and every class was very engaging and helpful. My program director, Kevin Williams, was one of the most fun-loving and responsible people I have ever met, and is truly one of the reasons my trip was so good. I would recommend that anybody interested in studying abroad chooses Sol Abroad, because not only is it less expensive than other programs, it’s more immersive and enriching.

What would you improve about this program?
I truthfully cannot think of how this program could be improved. For me, it was the perfect balance of schedule/routine and freedom/fun.
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Gabrielle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The three weeks I spent with Sol Abroad were one of the best weeks of my life! I enjoyed participating in the cultural activities with other high school students from different parts of the United States. I will never forget the moments in which I saw Picasso's art in real life, slid down a nearly vertical waterslide, hiked through small picturesque villages in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, took a four-hour tour of the majestic Alhambra, watched a spectacular flamenco performance, relaxed in the idyllic Arabian baths, and much more. This trip gave me opportunities to fully immerse into the Spanish language and culture. I enjoyed conversing with my host in Spanish during long mealtimes. My host mother was very welcoming to my roommate and I. She prepared excellent dishes, with my personal favorites including: an Italian pizza recipe, a three-layered chocolate cake, a spinach and chickpeas dish, and a pie with strawberries and peaches. My host mother has also showed me several landmarks and buildings around Granada, Spain. We even got to visit her family's shop, and we got to meet her friendly and well-mannered grandchildren.
Not only I had a positive experience with the host family and the program's activities, but I also liked attending Spanish classes at the Centro de Lenguas Modernas. Though the coursework was challenging, my Spanish skills have flourished. Both of my Spanish professors were very helpful and understanding. They were open-minded, and allowed me to have fun with the Spanish language. Through the classes, I have also interacted with college students, as well as other high school students, from different parts of the world. I enjoyed participating in group activities, reading authentic texts in Spanish, and writing. I will never forget the time we had to write creative stories in Spanish, and my group decided to write about a "superhero mango."
Overall, this experience was very pleasant! It allowed me to think outside the box, form connections with other individuals, improve my language skills, and overall explore new places. I am definitely interested in participating in study abroad programs when I attend college. I enjoy traveling and learning about the different cultures around the world.
A suggestion I have for future language-immersing participants is to speak the target language from day one. The best way to learn a new language is to start immersing into it. Since I was in a Spanish-speaking country, I heard Spanish all around me, not just in the classroom. I understand that some people may feel a little bit nervous about speaking a foreign language, but the locals are very understanding. From my experience, I noticed that the locals were excited that I was interacting with them in their own language. Even though I may have made some mistakes, they were still accepting.
And to conclude, I definitely recommend this study abroad program for future travelers! It is very educational, as well as adventurous!

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Arvilla
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

When I went to Oacaxa I was terrified that I was going to spend a month doing nothing, being bored, and not making any friends. But when I got there I was pleasantly surprised. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Ena the head person was amazing. She was so kinda and funny. She made everything 100 times better. I made amazing friends who I will never forget. I also experienced once in a life time opportunities. I learned so much about the local culture and increased my ability to speak Spanish, which is a very weak area for me. The program really struck the right balance between school work and studying and fun activities. I always felt safe and well supported. Words cannot express how happy I am that I did this program. I had so much fun and I would do it again if I could.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Alexander Da Rosa

Alex is a high school student who loves to travel and learn about different cultures.

Alexander Da Rosa

Why did you choose this program?

I had been wanting to spend a summer abroad in Argentina since I took a trip there as a small child, but was uncertain how to achieve this goal. A friend of mine raved and bragged to me about his summer with the Sol Abroad program so I decided to check them out. I read through all the descriptions and reviews I could find online and searched for other programs as well. Of all the programs I looked at, Sol Abroad really appealed to me. They have a well-organized website with all the information I needed including testimonials from students, detailed descriptions of many excursions and activities, and specific information about staying in Buenos Aires.

Once I decided to go, Sol Abroad assisted me throughout my planning process and my trip. Prior to arriving, they wrote to me and provided a schedule. When I arrived in Buenos Aires, the program director met me at the airport (where everyone in the airport stopped to watch the World Cup) and took me to where I would be staying.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Sol Abroad provided everything I wanted in a study abroad program. Sol Abroad is the perfect balance between improving Spanish language through coursework while exploring the city and learning about Argentine culture.

I lived with a host mom who gave us meals and a lot of friendly conversation. Our director gave us maps, taught us how to get to our school, and gave us metro (subte) cards. We were given a lot of independence, which I thought was one of the best parts of the trip, but if we ever felt uncomfortable or needed assistance, our directors were very close.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

One piece of advice I would give is to be curious. The most important thing on these immersion programs is to see and try new things, including meeting new people. Curiosity will enable you to discover the unique culture of Argentina and make your trip an extraordinary experience. Begin your trip with a positive, open mind and be willing to explore new experiences.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The typical weekday starts with a few hours in Spanish class every morning. After class, there is a group lunch, planned activities, and plenty of free time to explore the city. The group activities like mate club, tango lessons and cooking are all wonderful and enriching.

On the weekends, we went on excursions and day trips to La Boca, El Tigre, and Uruguay. I felt that none of my time was wasted and that I learned something new about Argentina on every excursion.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was not being able to communicate with my host mom. I doubted my Spanish speaking skills when I first arrived in Argentina. I had never been asked to participate in impromptu conversations in another language. I had a tough time communicating on the first day, but I quickly began to speak with more confidence and my Spanish really improved.

What was the most memorable part of your trip?

The most memorable part of traveling to Argentina was the unique culture and the connections I made. Everyday I experienced and learned about Argentine culture by living in it. In addition, I made great connections with the people in my group and the people I interacted with that I will always remember.

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Monica Guajardo

Job Title
Academic Coordinator
Monica grew up in Dallas, Texas and moved to Austin, Texas for college at St. Edward's University to pursue a degree in Psychology and Spanish. During her time in college, she went abroad to Argentina with Sol Abroad to finish her Spanish minor and now works for their headquarters in Austin helping other students achieve their study abroad dreams!
Monica Guajardo

What is your favorite travel memory?

This past March, I went to visit Sol's program in Spain, and before arriving to Granada, I spent a week in Paris with one of my best friends. She was living in Paris teaching English to high school students and knew the city and language very well. Because of that, she was able to show me a wonderful time. I was completely enamored with Paris and was so grateful that I got to spend my time with a best friend and a great tour guide!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Since working with Sol Abroad, I have become even more in love with travel and the benefits it can bring people. I get to speak to students and parents every day about one of the greatest decisions I ever made (studying abroad with Sol in Argentina) and how that has absolutely changed my life for the better.

I love getting to share my passion for travel with them, and it's easy to do so when the countries I get to promote are so amazing!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

A student recently messages Sol Abroad on Facebook saying that she was getting married that weekend. She mentioned that she went to study abroad with Sol in Oaxaca a few years ago and ended up becoming very good friends with a local Mexican who would eventually become her fiancé!

She reached out to thank Sol for her amazing experience abroad and said that without our program, she would not have met her future husband. I love getting to hear stories like this where students make connections abroad that last a lifetime.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

At this point, I have been fortunate to go to three out of our four program locations. I studied abroad with Sol in Argentina when I was in college, I visited our Costa Rica location in the summer of 2017 and I just recently came back from a trip to our Spain location earlier this year, so I would love to go to our Mexico location!

It is the location where most alumni have returned to live permanently, which I think speaks very highly of Oaxaca! I have heard wonderful things from my coworkers who have visited and would love to experience Mexican culture, as I am half Mexican and have not had a chance to visit Mexico as an adult.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Sol Abroad is unique because we focus on quality over quantity. By only having four program locations, we have really been able to perfect a student's experience in each location. I have been especially proud of my team when we have gone above and beyond for a student to have a successful program.

I have heard from countless students that our directors have helped them through tough times abroad, by following up with them every day and making sure that they are comfortable. I love knowing we have a team that truly cares for each and every student.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Communication. Sol Abroad has a fairly small team, consisting of 9 members at headquarters in the US and four remote, local teams in each of our locations. Since we do have a smaller staff size, we are able to streamline communication and work efficiently.

Another great benefit of having a smaller team is that we are all able to get to know each other and therefore care about each other. Sol Abroad team members not only do a good job because we care for the students, but also because we care about each other and want to help each other out as much as possible.

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Professional Associations

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