I am writing with a tip for those who enjoy learning about other cultures but perhaps find it difficult to make the time to get away. Why don’t you bring the culture to you? In my case I played the host “family” (though I live alone) to a Spanish girl doing an English course in Ireland (my beautiful home country). I had learnt a little Spanish at school and loved it so it was a delight to be able to further my knowledge a little during the evenings with my guest. Of course, she was here on one of her school’s “cursos de ingles en extranjero” to learn English but sometimes it was nice for a change, for her to teach me a little rather than the other way round. I learnt a lot about her culture, a lot about Spanish cooking and made a friend; in fact, I have booked into one of the hostels in Madrid to spend a weekend with her shortly – will be great to have a local show me round! I really would recommend this experience to anyone – you can go about your daily life but also earn a little money and widen your horizons, not to mention make lots of new contacts for future weekends away!