By Janet Castrejon
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Looking to brush up on your foreign language skills, teach your children another language, and have exciting adventures abroad? Consider participating in a family study abroad program. Many people are familiar with study abroad as an excellent way for teenagers or college students to learn a second language and experience a foreign culture. Many language schools abroad are now conducting study abroad programs for the whole family.
Family study abroad programs generally provide separate classes for children and adults, but some allow mixed groups. In the children's classes, the language is often taught through fun activities and games that are geared towards kids. Some programs even include opportunities for children to play with local, native-speaking children. They may pair up with children in a local school or summer camp to give children the opportunity to interact with local children.
Some schools offer family study abroad programs year-round and others just offer them during the summer. Programs may be of different durations (e.g., one week, two weeks, one month, etc.) or some schools allow you to choose how long you want to stay. When searching for a program, look for one that is the length that you want and find out about start and end dates to make sure they fit into your life.
Most family study abroad programs have different accommodations available. They will allow you to stay in a hotel or arrange for you to stay with a local family. Some larger programs have residences available on campus. If you really want to be immersed in the language and culture, choose to stay with a local family. The family may even have children that your children could play with.
Some study abroad programs also offer fun activities or excursions. Many programs offer field trips or weekend excursions to local tourist attractions. Some are run like a summer camp and include activities like swimming or art.
Try to find out all you can about the program before booking. Talk to people who have gone on the program and ask about what their experiences were. Do some research on the web to learn more about the program.