- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Destination: Spain
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Provided By: Independent Provider
- Session Start: June, July
- Session Length: Three Weeks, Five Weeks
- Entering Grade: 10th, 11th, 12th
- Gender: Coed
- Category: Travel/Cultural Immersion
- Sub-Categories: Spanish
- Selective: No
- Ages: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
- Minimum Cost: > $3,000
LITA is a unique, academically challenging language immersion program offering motivated high school students a completely different approach to experiencing the vibrant elements of the Spanish language and culture.
The name LITA alludes to the philosophical foundation of our program: a Spanish word ending with the diminutive “ita” often denotes something that is small, personal, and is something or someone toward which one feels great affection. This informs all elements of our programs.
We focus on language acquisition via a comprehensive exploration of rural Spain, a dynamic experience far removed from English-speaking tourism. Through small, intimate groups of 12-14 students and two group leaders, individual attention and personalized experiences throuthout the trip process, LITA participants advance their language skills while acquiring a genuine understanding of the diverse nature of Spanish culture through a safe, structured, and personalized immersive experience.
Students can choose between programs that are five and three weeks in length. Both programs center around a homestay with families in a small/medium sized community in northern or southern Spain.
As part of the five week trip, students elect to participate in a volunteer internship with a local business or take language classes and complete an independent research project on a cultural topic of their choice. The remaining two weeks of each trip are spent exploring other more rural areas of the country, focusing on language study as it relates to family life, food, music, history, art and outdoor experiences.
The newly launched three week trip stems from feedback from prospective students that wanted a LITA program that was just as academic and incorporated a homestay, but that would be shorter in length. We understand that our student population is dynamic and busy over the summer, so the three week program is an optimal choice for those that still want the linguistic and academic rigor of LITA programs, but that cannot make a longer commitment. Students in the three week program will not be able to partake in an internship in their host communities.
I absolutely loved the homestay! I got very close to host family and now have bonds that will last a long time. This was the part of the trip where my Spanish improved the most because I made the effort to completely immerse myself by going out of my way to speak to my host siblings and parents and by including my host siblings in any night activities with the group so that I always had someone to speak with.- Amy Weinreich, student, 2017 & 2019 - November 4, 2019
The scene that is most vivid in my mind was when we were having 'comida' and about 9 of us were cramped into this kitchen eating this huge spread of food... Bread, sea snails, potatoes, chicken and so much more were lying before us. And once we all began eating and all the fun conversation began, I took a moment to look around, and I felt a feeling of belonging that was surreal. I felt the sense of family all these people had, and even though it was an activity as simple as comida, ever member of the family that was seated was more than happy to spend their time together.- Jack Soto, student, 2019 - November 4, 2019
The best part of the trip, and what makes LITA an incredibly unique program, is the eclectic group of people we were introduced to. I loved our various guides and guests. They were all so interesting, and the fact that they joined us for meals was incredible. Their passion was evident and certainly helped our Spanish rapidly improve. I learn when I'm engaged by the topic, and nothing is more engaging than hearing an accomplished journalist discuss the independence of Catalunya or a photographer teach us how to take meaningful pictures. Other programs offer homestays, classes, or interesting tours, LITA however adds incredible guests who are excited to spend time with and teach the LITA students. We were constantly surrounded by Spanish speakers, and that is really what made this program so unique.- Livia Kunins-Berkowitz, student, 2015 - November 3, 2017
The LITA program is ambitious in the type of experiences it seeks to provide for students in such a short amount of time. From outdoor experiences of hiking beautiful landscapes, to living with wonderful host families, to gaining real practical experiences living, talking and working among local folks in a small town --wow! This requires a lot of coordinating, vetting and planning. It is obvious to us that Jordan and Michela know España very well and have created a very unique experience for young people to grow and learn in.- Pilar Aguero-Esparza, parent, 2017 - November 3, 2017
The most outstanding part of LITA for me was the homestay portion of the trip. During this time, I felt that I was truly immersed in local culture and was living a Spanish life. My family took me all over Spain, showing me many different local traditions that I had previously not known about. They opened my eyes to what it means to be Spanish, and I could see that they really worked hard to make my experience the best possible.- Will Milberg, student, 2017 - November 2, 2017
The trip exceeded my expectations in every way. I went to Spain with the goal of improving my Spanish and what I got from LITA was fluency I couldn't imagine achieving in five weeks, lasting friendships with both Spaniards and Americans that I will have for the rest of my life, and a wonderful insight into Spanish culture and history.- Grace Palmer, student, 2015 - November 2, 2017
My daughter came home from LITA glowing and transformed, and it was so good to see the increase in confidence and enthusiasm for Spanish. The trip helped crystallize a few things in her thoughts about herself - how she viewed herself, her role in the world, the world in general, and her possible future studies. That, in itself, was priceless. The Spanish acquisition, making of new friends, etc was the cherry on the cake.- Kashmira Baldauf, parent, 2017 - November 2, 2017
I am so thankful that I have gotten to take part in this unique program for two summers. There is no program quite like LITA. It has taught me so many lessons about life and has changed the way I view the world.- Claire Darrow, student, 2015 & 2016 - November 2, 2017