We moved two weeks ago, and one of the best parts about moving has been rediscovering my belongings – especially since we rented while looking for a new house and things like photo albums were in storage. I discovered all sorts of great photos from when I was a kid, including a ton of my years I spent at Concordia Language Villages as a kid. Since I’m headed back there again this summer, it seemed like someone was trying to tell me to share more of my experience.
I attended Concordia Language Villages for the French immersion program for years growing up – by my choice. In fact, when I was in high school I begged my parents to let me go for four weeks and do the high school credit program because it was such an amazing experience (and I’d do it again in a heartbeat). I learned so much there, not just about the French language, but about culture and food and most importantly about myself. I am absolutely thrilled that my family will be returning there next month for a Family Week where I can experience it all over again.
The programs have expanded so much from when I was a child. Not only are there more languages, but there are so many more options, which makes the immersion experience something that can fit just about any schedule. I shared already about so many of the reasons I want to attend Concordia Language Villages for my family, but it never fails to amaze me how this is a great experience for anyone, no matter where you live.
When we go, all of us will be at very different language abilities, but we will still all enjoy the program and learn. My daughter is in a Spanish immersion school and speaks nearly fluent Spanish. My son has taken Spanish classes since kindergarten but doesn’t really speak it. My husband has passable Spanish and can communicate but isn’t fluent. And me? Well, I do French. I can read a fair amount of Spanish, but every time I hear Spanish, I translate it to French in my head and then it’s all over. Yet we’ll all be perfectly comfortable and able to understand and enjoy our experience.
Couple that with the fact that Concordia Language Villages offers so many different programs, and it’s something that can fit into just about any schedule or fit any need. We were originally looking at doing a Family Weekend, of which there are several throughout the school year. The timing didn’t work for us, but all those three day weekends are perfect to sneak away and immerse yourself in another language. Instead, we’re doing the week long program as summer camp, which has options for people essentially from birth on up. No matter your age, there is a place for you. And as we get more comfortable with sending my kids away, we’ll start moving them up to the one, two, or four week sessions at the villages that are segregated by age.
Considering all the fun I had as a kid – and that I’m still in contact with some of the friends I made while there (how often can you say that?) – I would easily recommend this as a camp experience to anyone I know. And it’s possible that I already have. Repeatedly. Even those I don’t keep in touch with, I was amazed to look at some of the photos I discovered and realize that I still remember the names of so many of them. I see Laure and Aimee. Me in the center. And I remember the people who always wore berets because… it’s simply what they did. And the guy who was an extra in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (and mentioned it periodically).
I promised the top five reasons to consider attending Concordia Language Villages though, didn’t I? I could talk about my experience all day long. But I didn’t. I kept it pretty short. There are so many reasons why this unique foreign language immersion program is one that works for anyone, but I kept it to just my top five.
So are you ready to sign up yet? Any questions you have, ask away, and I’m happy to share my experience at Concordia Language Villages. Follow along on our adventure as we travel to Minnesota this summer. It’s just over a month before we head to El Lago del Bosque!