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FLIGHT BOOKING INFORMATION

Booking Your Flight is Easy!

SPI FLIGHT & ARRIVAL OVERVIEW

BOOKING YOUR FLIGHT IS EASY!

  • Every SPI participant is required to independently book their own flight that fits within the booking guidelines & arrival/departure windows below.
  • Students are encouraged to book on non-stop flights when possible or book on the same flights as other students (provided upon request.)
  • Fares range between $600-1,200 for Latin America and $1,600-3,000 for Europe.

TRAVELING TO THE PROGRAM DESTINATION

  • Some airlines offer unaccompanied minor (under 16) and connecting gate “meet & greet” services by contacting them directly.
  • Please see the Permitted Flight Deviations section below for specific information on available options.
  • Due to disruption to the immersion experience, SPI strongly discourages parents visiting their students during the duration of the program.

ARRIVAL INSTRUCTIONS & ARRIVAL RECEPTION

  • To ensure a smooth arrival, we provide each student an ARRIVAL INSTRUCTIONS DOCUMENT with specific contact information.
  • Students will be met outside of baggage claim by on-site staff holding an SPI sign.

FLIGHT ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE WINDOWS

Program & Airport Suggested Airlines Arrival Window Departure Window
SANTANDER
Santander Airport (SDR)
American/Iberia (OneWorld Only) 12 – 6 PM 7 – 9 AM
SAN SEBASTIAN
San Sebastian Airport (EAS)
American/Iberia (OneWorld Only) 12 – 6 PM 7 – 10 AM
BIARRITZ
Biarritz Airport (BIQ)
Delta/Air France (Sky Team Only) 4 – 6 PM 9 – 11 AM
SIENA
Rome Airport (FCO)
American OR Delta 8 – 11 AM 10 AM – 1 PM
COSTA RICA
Liberia Airport (LIR)
American OR United 12 – 3 PM 12 – 4 PM

FLIGHT BOOKING GUIDELINES

Book a Continuous Itinerary with One Confirmation Number

Book a continuous itinerary (not two separate tickets) all the way to the program destination site (ie. Santander).

Book with 2+ Hours of Connection Time between All Flight Segments

Book each segment with 2+ hours of connection time between all flight segments (especially the outbound domestic to international flight as well as inter-European flights ie. Madrid to Santander).

Book on Exact Program Arrival and Departure Dates

Spain, France, Italy – Students depart on the listed PROGRAM START DATE from North America, fly overnight & arrive abroad the following day. (Depart Friday – Arrive Saturday)

Costa Rica – Students will depart the U.S. & arrive Costa Rica THE SAME DAY (depart Saturday – arrive Saturday)

Book within Arrival & Departure Windows

Book within the specific arrival and departure time windows below. You will be required to change your flight and pay any airline fees.

FLIGHT DEVIATIONS

Arriving and/or departing outside of the booking window or guidelines will incur a $300 FEE

Certain permitted deviations are exempt from any fees.

All flight deviations outside these windows MUST BE PRE-APPROVED by SPI to ensure your plans can be accommodated (please email [email protected]).

Families must provide complete deviation details and sign the release form.

Failure to provide Flight Deviation Details by MAY 1 will incur a $200 LATE PLANNING FEE

Permitted Arrival Locations – NO FEE

PERMITTED (NO FEE):  Arriving outside of the Arrival Window and INDEPENDENTLY TRAVELING to the designated meeting point. Families must provide complete deviation details and sign the release form above.

You must be at the designated meeting point by:

SPAIN: 6:00 PM at designated meeting point on arrival day
FRANCE:  6:00 PM at designated meeting point on arrival day
ITALY: 9:00 AM at Rome Airport on arrival day
COSTA RICA: 12:00 PM at Liberia Airport on arrival day
CHINA: 9:00 PM at designated meeting point on arrival day

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Permitted Departure Locations – NO FEE

PERMITTED (NO FEE): Departing before the program ends and TRAVEL INDEPENDENTLY to the airport/transportation facility by taxi, private car, with parents, etc.

PERMITTED (NO FEE): Parents picking-up students or students having been authorized to INDEPENDENTLY DEPART the program. (See Designated Program Release Points & Times for guidelines).

*SPI cannot assist with ground transportation arrangements for permitted deviations.

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Designated Program Release Points & Times

All students are released from the SPI program at the airport check-in counter in the program site’s airport (i.e. Santander) on the program end date. Below are alternative program release points and times if students will not be departing as scheduled in program itinerary.

Picking Up Child in Program City: Students meet parents at their hotel or at designated meeting point at an agreed upon time. Officially released from SPI on Saturday morning at 9 AM.

Deviation Release Form 

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Start Your Summer Immersion

Schedule a call with one of our Program Advisors and request a digital or print catalog. We can help guide you and your family to the best High School Language Immersion Summer Program.

Request Your Catalog Today.

Fill out the form below and we will send you a catalog and get in touch.

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ABOUT SPI HIGH SCHOOL STUDY ABROAD

Since 1996, SPI High School Study Abroad offers intensive FrenchItalian and Spanish language immersion, cultural leadership and volunteer service summer programs in Spain, France, Italy, and Costa Rica.

Top Youth Travel Program

Get In Touch

SPI Study Abroad
11149 Research Blvd. Suite 100
Austin, TX 78759

P: 512-502-7505
[email protected]

Copyright 2017 SPI Study Abroad | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy & Terms

On-Site Supervision Team Abroad

We hire bilingual high school teachers, university professors, and caring local staff who, as a team, serve as international “moms and dads” throughout the program. Directors actively participate in all aspects of the immersion experience: helping with housing adjustments, checking in on classes, and making sure students are taking advantage of the wonderful excursion and activity opportunities. All SPI staff go through extensive reference checks.

Training & Experience

Directors are selected based on their experience working with teenagers in an international setting, their ability to communicate fluently in the language of study, and their academic & professional background. All on-site staff go through an intensive training process.

Daily Supervision

Students are expected to be respectful of their directors’ guidelines and abide by the SPI standards of conduct at all times. SPI directors and program staff are available 24 hours a day. Directors check in with students on a daily basis in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings; they also frequently monitor all aspects of each student’s progress. Homestays and residence directors are contacted to learn how students are adjusting, and to handle any concerns. Daily curfews are enforced.

Student Behavior Expectations

Since 1996, we have proudly attracted an academically-minded student body focused on improving their language skills and growing from cultural experiences. At SPI, we take our role as teachers seriously — we recognize that we are responsible for guiding students through one of their most life-changing experiences. We expect students not only to abide by our standards of conduct at all times, but also to serve as ambassadors of their local communities, schools, and cities.

No Alcohol Policy

SPI maintains a strict policy against the use of alcohol. Directors check in with students in the evenings; however, parents are expected to review our standards of conduct with their children and set clear family expectations prior to the start of the program with regards to their behavior abroad.

Afternoon Elective Activities

Our meaningful afternoon elective activities make local culture, art, architecture, museums, sports, and attractions come to life! Each program offers a variety of engaging activities designed to combine serious fun with truly inspiring “once in a lifetime” experiences. Electives are not included in the program price, and we suggest students budget $100 per week for participation in these incredible learning experiences.

Common Afternoon Electives

CULTURAL: Cooking, Dance, Art & Architecture, Museum & Theater Visits, Local Sporting & Cultural Events

SPORTS: Surfing, Volleyball, Soccer, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Hikes & Walks

ENRICHMENT: Photography, College Prep (Essay Writing, Admissions Prep), Photography, Guest Speakers

Sample Travel Excursions

SPAIN: Bilbao, Pamplona, Santander, San Sebastian, Guernika, Biarritz (France), Comillas, Picos de Europa

FRANCE: Bordeaux, Bayonne, Anglet, San Sebastian (Spain), St. Jean de Luz, Pyrenees Mountains

COSTA RICA: Liberia, Cloud Forest, Puntarenas, Rincon de la Vieja, Tamarindo Beach

ITALY: Florence, Orvieto, San Gimignano, San Vincezo, Castiglione della Pescaia

Our Screening & Selection Process

Students live with roommates in a local homestay or student residence that is experienced in hosting foreign students. SPI has worked with most participating homestays and student residences for a number of years, and they understand students are there to learn the language and experience the culture. SPI diligently screens each homestay and student residence facility with the following in mind: safety, location, cleanliness, and previous experience hosting students.

HOMESTAY EXPECTATIONS

Most homestays have hosted students for many years and take their jobs and duties as cultural ambassadors very seriously. Our foreign schools also work with each family on a year-round basis to ensure a positive experience is had by each student. It is critical to understand that most homestays come from humble means and different dynamics.

Location of Housing

All housing options are located within a 10-30 minute commute from the school. Students will walk or take the local bus, which is a safe and normal way for students their age to get around in our host cities. The majority of our housing options are located in the same areas where students will be close to each other.

Evening Curfews

Student curfews are set based on what a culturally appropriate weekday and weekend curfew would be for teenagers in the country of study. This is normally between 10 PM – 11 PM on weekdays and a little later on the weekends depending on location and group dynamic. As an important safety measure, program staff diligently monitor student curfews. Specific curfews are listed on each program page for your reference. 

Typical Housing Dynamics

Students are well supported in all housing options and are provided with: meals, a living and study space, laundry service or facilities, linens and towels. It is fundamental that students have an open mind to trying new foods and living in an environment different than “home” to benefit from this transformative experience!

HOMESTAY EXPECTATIONS
Although SPI homestays come in all shapes and sizes, the majority are older couples or single/widowed women in their 50s – 60s who have extra room in their home and are eager to host students. We have found this dynamic provides the best support, the most interaction, and the most culturally rich experience. Some homestays do have children, but students should keep in mind that homestays with children are busier and often offer less interaction — much like a busy American family.

Language Course Overview

The language courses focus on developing communication skills by simulating real-life situations through interactive class activities that include writing, oral expression, film, music, food, and literature.

> 2 Hours – Grammatical Concepts

> 1-2 Hours – Conversation, Culture, Literature, Film, etc.

> Small class sizes with levels 1 through AP/IB

College Credit Opportunity

SPI uses foreign universities and accredited language institutes for coursework abroad. These institutions provide high school students, upon successful completion of their courses, with an official transcript that they may use to petition college credit from their future university or college. Official transcripts are first sent to SPI in September, and then we will mail an official copy of the transcript in a sealed envelope to each participant. You will mail the official transcript packet directly to your U.S. university once you are enrolled.

Credit Hours vs. Credit Granted

Most SPI language immersion programs give 30-80 contact hours, or classroom hours, enabling for a potential of up to 1-6 semester college credit hours by your university. Contact hours are treated differently at every school. Some schools will grant specific class credit for the hours (e.g., Spanish), although most give a general foreign language or elective credit. Normally, 15 Contact/Class Hours = 1 College Credit Hour.

IMPORTANT:  Due to the nature of college credit granting by each individual U.S. university, it is impossible for SPI to guarantee credit for any student.