Summer Language Programs Abroad

Parent Q&A

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  • Can any BPN parents of teens out there recommend a 2-3 week summer language program in Japan that is geared toward high school students?  Our 16 year-old daughter has enjoyed studying Japanese through ATDP at UC Berkeley, but would also be interested in trying an immersion program abroad.   We are aware of a program run by Green Heart Travel which is located in Fukuoka and would love to hear from anyone who has experience with this or another program.

    Thanks so much,


    Hi Anne,

    Bravo for your daughter wanting to abroad! I used to work in the industry and am familiar with Green Heart Travel although it has been a few years. The people then were very good. There are many programs out there.

    I had some other thoughts that might be of interest for your daughter as well. If Fukuoka is of particular interest, Oakland happens to be a sister city of Fukuoka and there is a very active group here in Oakland. They may have some Fukuoka specific suggestions regarding programs and other possibilities. You didn't mention what city you live in but the odds are good that your city (if not Oakland) has a sister city in Japan. They may be a good resource for you as well. Lastly, your daughter may be interested in a program my wife and I run at UC Berkeley during the summer. We bring 100 Japanese high school students to campus for 3 weeks to study leadership. These students are all from the Tohoku region which is the area that was hit by the tsunami and earthquake in 2011. There is a mentor program where we invite American high school students to interact informally with our students through events like ice cream socials, dances, etc. It's a great place to practice Japanese since our students don't speak much English. The time commitment is very flexible and there is no cost to participate. I hope this is of some use! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to learn more about the mentor program.



  • Our daughter is interested in improving her French this summer. We've found a bunch of language schools that do French and surfing lessons in Biarritz. Does anyone have experience with any of these programs? Is there any real cultural immersion? Is the language training good? If not Biarritz, experiences with other summer schools in France welcome! Many thanks.

    No responses received.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

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Summer Spanish for 8th Grader going into 9th

Dec 2014

Looking for summer Spanish class or immersion or some sort of Summer Spanish program that my son can take in preparation for high school. He is at beginner level, and I want him so badly to be fluent! Thanks in advance !

If you're open to sleepaway camp, the Concordia Language Villages in Minnesota were doing immersion language camps decades before it got popular. Kids can do 2 weeks or 4 weeks of high-intensity in which they cover 1 year of high school material. They're fantastic and kids come from all over the country. former camper and counselor 

Summer programs in China for high schooler

March 2012

My daughter has been taking Mandarin at Berkeley High but would like to take it to the next level with a summer program, internship, or volunteer activity in China that demands speaking the language. She has just finished level 5/6 with an A so is conversational but not fluent. Can anyone suggest an interesting option?? Berkeley mom

You may want to look into LPI Abroad's program in China. My son went to Costa Rica for a month last summer with them. The program, staff and families were amazing. My son loved it and learned a huge amount. I would think their China program is just as wonderful. Linda

Spending a month in Paris to learn French

Feb 2009

My 9 year old daughter has been learning French for about 6 months and has made remarkable progress. I know the window to learn a language is rapidly coming to a close. Therefore I am thinking of spending a month in central Paris. I have found numerous schools for adults I have not found any for kids.The only kids summer school program i found in paris is somewhere in the suburbs and I really dont want to commute :) I would like my kid to learn french in a natural, fun way and enjoy her month in Paris. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you. chris

Are you planning to go in the summer? France offers these reasonably-priced summer day camps in virtually every community. The staff are government-certified so there is a pretty uniform standard of care. Since the camps are for French children, they are conducted in French. The camps are fun and offer a wealth of activities, which vary according to where you are. When we took our (then 8 year old) daughter to France for a few weeks, we researched before we left and located the camp nearest where we were staying. The camp activities were fun (we were on Lac Leman and the kids went to the ''beach'' most days), our daughter needed to function in French, and the other kids were amazed that she could speak English, which helped overcome the difficulty of being the new kid. We took her to camp in the morning, then did some adult-themed and -paced sightseeing before picking her up in the late afternoons. You can usually get info about these camps at the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) of the area in which you are staying. English-speaking Mama to bilingual Sophie

We went to Paris last summer and rented an apartment in Arond. 4, which was a great neighborhoody experience. However, we were just doing the tourist thing and having my son practice his French. Have you heard of Concordia Language Villages? It's very highly regarded language immersion summer camp program in Minnesota. They have several French ''Villages'', and my son attended for 2 weeks last summer (at age 9) and LOVED it. There is also ''family week'', if you're not comfortable sending her alone. We booked my son on a direct flight from SFO last year, and there were 2 other kids on his flight flying solo to the camp. If you want to know more, feel free to e-mail me: c_shepler [at] We're still working on our summer schedule and aren't sure if he'll be going back this year, though he'd very much like to.

I have a friend from Berkeley who has her children in a Montessori near Jardin des Plantes this year.

I do not know of a specific program for 9 yr olds in Paris for a month, but you could check out on line, or call these folks and see if they know of one, even if it is runby someone else:
- Alliance Francaise (these are centers all over the world that teach French and are gathering places for those interested in French culture. There is one in Berkeley (Alliance Francaise de Berkeley), but they probably do not know of a specific program in Paris.(
- The American Consulate in Paris
- The American Church community in Paris - a cultural node for Americn ex pats (
- Fodors talk board online at
- Rick Steeves talk board online.

- day camp classes given by the museums. Hope you have a wonderful time. Wish I were going, too! 

I came across this and it sounds just like what you are looking for: From: 6 July 2009 To: 7 August 2009 At: International School of Paris, 6 rue Beethoven, 75016, Paris - Metro: Passy International School of Paris - Holiday Language Program

International School of Paris Holiday Language Program

Your children aged 3 to 18 will receive the best education ever in French or English when they attend the various and stimulating programs HLP proposes this year. They will be received by a team of experienced and dedicated teachers and coaches, in the dream facilities that ISP offers to its students, right at the heart of Paris.

You can choose a classic session of linguistic immersion composed of language classes in the morning supported by a diversity of cultural, artistic and sportive activities in the afternoon. Or you can challenge yourself and choose our very new project based programs. Teenagers can choose to work on a lstar academyn show, youngsters can work on a theatre play, even adults this year have the option to join us in a cooking program in a foreign language! All language classes will be related to the project. There is no better way to learn a language than to use it purposively! Whatever your favourite options are, they are available over 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 weeks, from July the 06th to August the 07th 2009.

Summer Chinese Language Study in China

Feb 2009

Our ninth grade twin boys have started Mandarin this year and we would like to send them to camp in China this summer for 2-3 weeks. We know of Sino Language Gateway (from a BPN post), Mandarin House and Hebei Overseas Chinese School. Has anyone had personal experience with any of these? Does anyone recommend another program or have general advice about how to pick a program (e.g. more structured time vs. less structured time, international vs. American student body, etc.)? Karen

Our Chinese Daughters Foundation was started for (and by) China adoptive families. We went on one of their tours. OCDF is terrific. Ask about their language programs. You can write to their director: Jane Liedtke Jane [at], Tell her Peggy from Berkeley sent you.