In 2005, Brent Hunter and Esteban Lardone took their first steps towards realizing their shared mantra: to create a unique study abroad program based on quality services and focused on the individual experience. After living throughout the world most of their lives, they knew they wanted to help their students achieve the same experience they dreamed of when they studied abroad.
The team soon realized that to deliver this experience, they could not cater to over-sized groups - over time, the "magic formula" has simply been to form small groups, creating an environment where the on-site directors, faculty, and students can all share an intimate experience. Part of this experience involves going where other programs don´t go - that is, venturing to the "off the beaten path" gems that each of the carefully selected locations have to offer. Certainly, we don´t miss the most magnificent destinations, but we always look to give these visits a unique twist. In the end, through each program´s excursions and cultural activities, our students come home with experiences that will forever form part of their lives.
Of course, we also wanted our students to come home actually speaking Spanish - there is no better way to experience a culture than by sharing the language. So we´ve made sure to give students plenty of opportunities to use Spanish daily. With the constant support of our on-site staff, we facilitate plenty of interaction with the locals. Constant access to tutoring is also key in this interaction. Ultimately, our objective has become to provide a holistic, hands-on approach to learning the Spanish language, while immersing our students in the unique cultures of each of the program countries.
Sol Education Abroad also believes in sustainability. More specifically, we believe we have to create and maintain sustainable relationships in each program. Every host family or individual that we work with in-country is part of a bigger picture, and we want to ensure a long-lasting relationship that not only improves the participant´s experience, but also the lives of everyone we work with. As part of this vision of sustainability Sol Education Abroad gets our students and staff involved in community service and volunteer opportunities, working with organizations that promote social welfare and environmental stewardship.
We´ve come a long way since 2005 - Sol has become an established company, and our programs have continuously reached our maximum number of participants. But what we are most proud of is that we´ve never lost sight of the mantra that drives us. Our "global family" now includes over 45 directors in all four of our locations and continues to consistently provide our students the best possible study abroad experience.
We look forward to working with you,
Esteban Lardone & Brent Hunter