At Youth International, we believe in experiential learning— learning by doing.  That is true of all aspects of the intense cultural exchange that you will experience on a Youth International gap semester in South America.  Perhaps the most tangible take-away from this approach to learning is in language acquisition.  Participants join a Youth International gap semester with all levels of Spanish background, ranging from complete beginner to fluent speaker.  At the beginning of the program, in the city of Cochabamba in Bolivia, everyone on the team takes half-day Spanish classes, placed according to their existing level of experience.  Those language lessons set everyone up with the confidence to get out there and try speaking Spanish in real life situations.  You can speak Spanish with your host families, in restaurants, markets, with taxi drivers, guides… everywhere you can!  If you make the effort, you will be rewarded with increased Spanish fluency, meaningful cultural interaction, and fun exploring the local cultures.