Why Santander Is Our Destination Of Choice for A Foreign Exchange Student Program & 10 REASONS Why SANTANDER/CANTABRIA Is The Most Preferred Location Within The Spanish Territory.
1- Because of its Weather. Santander temperatures range from 70º to 80ºF in the summertime (June 21st -September 22nd). It’s very mild and comfortable weather that cannot be enjoyed in other parts of Spain at this time of year. In Madrid, Barcelona, and South Spain, summertime highs run between 95º and 110º F, which for many people is too hot to enjoy outdoor activities. Here, gentle ocean breezes cool the atmosphere and create a nice, comfortable outdoor temperature very similar to that of the Caribbean!!!
2- Because of its Beautiful Seaside and Coastline. Santander´s peaceful and tranquil surroundings, charming countryside, and pristine beaches have been rated as some of the prettiest and cleanest in Europe by the E.E.C. And most beaches are located within the city limits!!! This means that anyone can reach them by a 20-minute walk or short bus ride.
3- Because of its Moderate Size. Santander´s population is only 180,000 people. Metropolises like Madrid or Barcelona hold a few million inhabitants, making eachof these cities difficult to explore, and even dangerous.
4- Lack of Pollution. Santander is a non-industrial city. There are very few factories. Most people’s jobs are in the service industry, tourism being a prime example.
5- Almost 0% Crime Rate. In other big cities around the world, security is an important issue. CondÉ Nast travel magazine (October 1996 issue) talks about Madrid and Barcelona as two of the least safe places to visit in the world because of their high crime rates. As per today´s data, NOT ONLY crime rate has increased significantly but additional Spanish cities have been included in that list. Luckily, there is almost 0% crime in Santander, which is a relief to parents, whose teenagers, may be away from home for the first time. SANTANDER is considered the SAFEST CITY in Spain and one of the top 5 SAFEST in Europe.
6- Because the Purest Form of the Spanish Language is Spoken in Santander: Castilian Spanish. Many exchange students who have participated in programs in the Barcelona area (where Catalonian language is the official one) or in the South of Spain (where Spanish is spoken with a very funny and close accent, which makes it extremely difficult to be understood even by native Spanish people), or in Valencia, where they use a dialect, just as they do in the Galicia region, or Basque country where Basque is the official language, etc,… say they ended up feeling very frustrated, because the Spanish they had learned in school, had nothing to do with the Spanish they were listening and being exposed to!!!
7- Because Santander has a Very High Quality of Life. Santander is a cosmopolitan city, where people are highly educated, polite and kind. “Santanderinos” are considered very sophisticated. They enjoy dressing up, especially in the evenings. They are regarded as the best-dressed people in Europe, along with the Italians.
8- Because of its Magnificent Leisure Options: Water sports, golf, nature trails, winter sports, fine dining, museums, monuments, and of course the world famous PREHISTORIC CAVES, being Altamira, regarded as the Sistine Chapel of the Paleolithic.
9- Because Santander is the Vacation Resort Most Preferred by national and international travelers.Several national and foreign publications have named it “THE IDEAL CITY,” as the weather is mild, the city is not too large, there is no crime, the people are pleasant, the beaches and surroundings are clean and beautiful, the leisure options are many, and the local transportation is efficient.
10- Because of the Numerous Host Families, willing to host exchange students. Our Host Families Adore the Students from the US. This condition is not the rule in other parts of Europe and Spain.
We have a good number of host families anxious to host exchange students-very often more families than students!!! (EXTRAORDINARILY RARE IN ANY OTHER PART OF THE WORLD). This allows participants, their parents, teachers, escorts, and sponsoring organizations, etc,... to feel stress-free because they are able to know far in advance important information about their kids´ experience in the safest, most relaxed and enriching environment they will be immersed in. Thus allowing both participants and their Spanish families to get in touch before the trip.
Most host families have children. This makes it easier for you to feel more involved in a Spanish family lifestyle. Santander host families have been carefully screened, and they warmly welcome program participants. Students feel like members of the families whose homes, customs, language, and daily life they share.
We do our best to place each student with the most compatible host family, based on the students´ interests, hobbies and personality.
Sometimes teachers that promote this kind of program do not make the best choice when deciding about a specific destination for their summer stay. They end up going to cities of high risk, safety wise as for example, Barcelona, where the spoken language is Catalonian, or they think students will be placed close to each other, within a certain area of town, and the reality is that they are not placed in Barcelona proper but in a little town in the suburbs far from the city, and the students are all spread apart, very far from each other. In Madrid, similar situations occur due to the large size of the city. Other times, teachers feel attracted by the idea of going down south to the Mediterranean, etc... where they will find the weather unbearable, host families living inland, away from the beaches, and shockingly English language more commonly spoken than Spanish, due to the high percentage of the population there, comes from England, as well as, from Germany, Scandinavian countries, etc... Or they are offered a Mediterranean town, which they assume will be on the beach, but in reality happens to be far inland, because “Mediterranean” does not necessarily mean “by the ocean.”
YOU WILL REALIZE SOON WHY SANTANDER IS THE BEST OF THE CHOICES!!!
FOR ALL OF THESE REASONS, SANTANDER IS THE BEST DESTINATION FOR A STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM!!!
The fact that Santander is a non-industrial town and on the conservative side are only some of the reasons why it is so much safer, unlike other Spanish cities, large in size. Santander with almost 0% crime rate is considered the safest town in Spain.