nrcsa's blog

Language Levels - Estimate Your Level

1. Absolute Beginner
Absolute beginners are true beginners that have no previous exposure to the language.

2. Beginner
Beginners, also know as false beginners, have studied the language at some point in their life. On the ACTFL scale of languages they would be NOVICE LOW and on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages they would be A1.

Upon completion of this level:

Problem Encounter, Problem Sovled!

NRCSA is here to help! While we strive to make sure that all of our participants have a seamless experience - the unknown can always happen, and NRCSA is with you all the way through your program, to help you resolve the unknowns.  Maybe it's a missed flight or lost bag. Maybe it's a bit of culture shock on the first day. Or maybe it's something more serious....

Below are some examples of assistance NRCSA has provided to help our participants resolve issues while abroad (please note that names have been changed to ensure the privacy of our participants):

CHERYL WOOD's Cultural Immersion Experience with NRCSA

The soda (cafeteria) provided a variety of foods for lunch that were various prices as well as quantity.  Due to the large selection of food, I never felt there wasn't a meal that met my needs.  After school there were a variety of enrichment activities that students could sign up for.  I participated in a cooking class and learned how to cook an authentic Costa Rican meal which we enjoyed after preparing it.  There were weekend trips that were offered but since I was there for only a week, I did not participate in any.  My housemate did and she enjoyed


PART I – PERU   BREATH-TAKING, in a word! I felt just like Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham who “discovered” this 15th century Inca refuge in 1911.  Hidden nearly 8,000 feet high on a mountaintop and surrounded by even taller peaks, Machu Picchu is truly a testimony to man’s ingenuity in constructing this sprawling engineering feat!

10 free things to do while you learn Spanish in Barcelona

Our program in Barcelona is well recognized for doing a great job of teaching Spanish. Classes focus on grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing skills, and a wide variety of materials is used including published materials from many different sources as well as materials written by the teachers. So aside from a great Spanish Language program, what is there to do in Barcelona? Below are a list of 10 free things to do while you learn Spanish in Barcelona:

Finding the Best Flights

Air tickets are really hit or miss depending on the day, the wind etc, but here are some sites that we suggest trying:

General Travel Websites

        The first place we look here at NRCSA. Gives a good picture of prices, but not always the best.


How to Prepare Young Children for Travel & Study Abroad

With 45 years of helping families travel abroad, NRCSA has gathered some very useful information about the best ways to prepare young children for the experience. Whether the child is an infant or a preteen, or the family includes multiple children of various ages, parents can make the trip more rewarding and fun for all involved by doing a few simple things before the plane takes off.

Berlin Holiday Program

Last year 75 students from 19 nationalities attended the holiday special. It is a great way to learn some German, but more importantly gain a cross-cultural understanding of the world!

Date: Sunday, 23 Dec 2012 - Sunday, 6 Jan, 2013
Price: $1,392 USD for 2 weeks including:

Discounted Flight to Europe

JetBlue is running specials on airfare to Europe from the USA. Below are some examples from their recent promotion:

State Department updates Mexico travel warning

Mexico has been becoming a safer place to travel, at least most parts of Mexico that NRCSA has programs. The USA State Department has updated its travel warning for Mexico and has revised the warning on a state by state basis. No advisories are in effect for the following areas: the state of Quintana Roo (Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum), Guanajuato (San Miguel de Allende and Leon), Oaxaca (Oaxaca, Huatluco and Puerto Escondido) and Chiapas (San Cristobal de las Casas), as well as Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta and nearby Riviera Nayarit.