There are times when you crave a vacation where you just plop down on the beach and “veg out”. But taking a trip to Europe is something different. We travel to Europe to learn about our heritage, immerse ourselves in different cultures, see great works of art, and experience a different way of life.
Many American travelers have decided that they no longer want to be passive witnesses to the world around them. Instead, they want to become active participants in the world and, therefore, have gravitated toward learning vacations. Learning vacations have become very popular and there are now many opportunities to take a memorable learning vacation in Europe.
Language immersion classes have been offered in every country for years, but now you can learn to paint, cook, sail, and garden as well. You can learn more about architecture, archeology, art appreciation, wine making and much, much more.
Here are some of our top choices for learning vacations in Europe:
Courses in creative writing, culture, social studies, Czech language and photography are offered in the Prague Summer Program sponsored by Western Michigan University and the Charles University of the Czech Republic.
Patricia Wells, the leading American authority on French food, teaches cooking classes in Paris and in her home in Provence. Patricia Wells’ hilltop home, “Chanteduc” is a carefully restored Provencal “mas” (or farmhouse) situated just outside Vaison-la-Romaine, about 30 miles northeast of Avignon.
Art in SW France offers art classes in many mediums. They have flexible residential and non-residential packages and the classes are tailored to student’s needs and abilities. Located in Languedoc Roussillon, one of the sunniest regions of France, the classes are casual and held at sites that are carefully chosen for their picturesque attraction, history and inspiring views.
Recently voted one of the best cooking schools in Italy by Food and Wine Magazine,
The Awaiting Table in Lecce Italy, offers small, hands-on cooking classes and specialty wine classes as well.
Divina Cucina, offers one day market tours with lunch, three day programs and week-long cooking weeks in Chianti and Sicily. Judy Witts Francini, a Certified Culinary Professional and member of Slow Food International, was born in the USA and, after marrying an Italian, moved to Florence in 1984. She started her cooking school in 1988.
You can also take all-inclusive hands-on Italian and Mediterranean cookery courses given in two luxurious villas in Tuscany near Arezzo. You stay in either Torre del Tartufo or Casa Ombuto. Both are outfitted with kitchens specially designed for hands-on classes.
Scuola Toscana offers Italian language classes as well as a combined Italian Language and Art History class.
Obviously there are lots more learning opportunities in Europe. To help you search further, check out Gordon’s Guide for adventure and active travel, Shaw Guides and Transitions Abroad.
Monday 18th of November 2013
I like the point you make about other options to language immersion classes. It's so much more laid-back and fun when you're learning a language while engaged in another adventure. Thanks!