Shut Up and Go with Apple Languages!
Many of you may already know that we have recently teamed up again with our good friends at Shut Up and Go – this time we’re providing an incredible two weeks of *free* language tuition in France or Spain to the lucky winner!
Shut Up and Go was first set up by the itchy-footed duo that is Jo Franco and Damon Dominique over 10 years ago, as a way to share their experiences. Originating with Youtube videos documenting their travels, the pair now have over a million followers across various social media platforms. They’ve also grown the partnership. Now a core team of 4 with over 20 regular contributors, Shut Up and Go provides advice and guidance on what not to miss on your own journey, how to make the most out of your time in any of the hundreds of locations the team have visited, and even about learning new languages. Their Spunky Word of the Day is similar to our own Weird Word Wednesdays, giving viewers the opportunity to learn vocabulary as they browse.
Apple Language Courses, meanwhile, have been helping international students of all ages and backgrounds realise their dreams by providing a variety of language courses and accommodation options for almost 30 years. We’re a member of the Wyse Travel Confederation, the Association of Language Travel Organisations (ALTO), and IALC (the International Association of Language Centres), all organisations which are committed to maintaining a high standard of language tuition. We’re a small team based in the UK, and each of us is passionate about learning languages and providing excellent advice and service – you can find out more about us here!
We at ALC are always keen to get more people involved in language travel – especially at a time when funding for languages is decreasing in UK schools. This goal is shared by our friends at Shut Up and Go; regular readers may remember Jo’s trip to Athens last year, and Damon’s time in Vienna; Nasir also went on a language course in Malaga with us! This time, the team decided to give one of their followers the chance to experience a course abroad, and we were more than happy to provide the opportunity!
The chosen locations – Valencia, Seville, and Montpellier – are three of our most popular schools, with modern facilities, friendly staff members, and proximal locations to the best sights and sounds of each city. Hundreds of students of all ages and backgrounds attend these schools each year, enjoying both the high-quality tuition and the exciting social programmes offered by each facility.
Our new-look Valencia school is situated in a stunning 153-year-old property in the heart of the city’s Old Town, the Carmen district. The building – newly renovated and still containing segments of the city’s 11th-century Arabic walls, a vestige of Spain’s Moorish occupation – boasts 28 spacious classrooms spread across two floors, a kitchen used for cooking workshops, and air-conditioning throughout. It also has an outside patio area, two terraces, and a café where students can relax and enjoy a snack between lessons. Various quiet study areas dotted around the building allow for extra-curricular study. Its central location makes it a perfect base for exploring the city, while its friendly and welcoming staff will do their utmost to help you learn Spanish, whether you are a complete beginner or already have some experience.
Our Premium school in Seville is located just a short walk from the main historical centre of the city, with its winding alleyways and narrow ‘kissing streets’. With 35 classrooms and a maximum of 10 students per group, this school is able to offer its students bespoke attention and language instruction that is tailored to their individual needs. The building boasts a student lounge and a ground-floor patio with its own café, providing snacks and drinks directly on-site! If you want to catch some sun after class, look no further: the school has its own rooftop terrace, complete with a small pool! For those looking for quiet study, the school also has a library offering free textbooks and video resources to all students, as well as a self-study room.
The language centre in Montpellier is one of our most popular French locations, perhaps in part because it is so close to the famous and luxurious Côte d’Azur. Lessons take place in a gorgeous Neoclassicist building located right in the centre of the city, which boasts bright classrooms across four floors, a computer lounge, a library stocked full of multi-media learning materials, vending machines serving drinks and snacks, and its own courtyard, complete with a Greek-style sculpture and a small garden! With a maximum of just 10 students per class, this school is also able to provide tailored instruction to all students, with a level test prior to arrival to ensure that students start at the right level.
Our ethos of encouraging students to step out of their comfort zone and immerse themselves in a language and a culture, in order to get the maximum educational benefit, really lines up with the ethos of the Shut Up and Go team. So what better way to celebrate this ethos than to give others the opportunity to get involved, too?
We asked participants to post a photo or collage of themselves explaining why they wanted to win a study-abroad experience and what ‘Shut Up and Go’ meant to them. Over 60 contestants entered the competition over a single week, providing amazing insights and feedback about their own experiences with travel and language travel.
We’ve featured some of our favourite comments and pictures below.
Several entrants even made videos – such as @jenschaller_ …
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✈️ Contest Video ✈️ After practicing my French in Montreal this year, I caught the language bug!! And thanks to @shutupandgo and @applelanguages for hosting this suh-weet competition, I could be able to check off my next language: Spanish. Enjoy this video that looks like a combo of a medicine commercial and a University promo lol. Special thanks to my sister @sarahschaller3 for helping me film this in a couple of hours. Also to the cute couple sitting outside the coffee shop and laughing with me when I told them I wasn’t trying to vlog but create a competition video 😂🤷🏼♀️ [this video is for @jenschaller_ because my personal account has to stay on private!]
… and @somethings_okay:
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#shutupandgo I’ve been trying to sum up what shut up and go means to me and I just don’t think I can do it justice. I guess it’s part of the city I live in that feels stuck, and when me and my siblings finally convinced our parents to go on a trip, we ended up going to the Dominican. That was the first time I experienced a language barrier, I remember making one Spanish friend and the only words we could communicate with were “uno duez tres” and that was it. Even knowing 3 words we made up endless games, and if 3 words did so much, what could knowing a whole nother language do? That thought bounce around my head so much a few years later I made a list of vocab words and studied it on the plane for the next trip, everyone on the plane KNEW how to say “buenos Dias” by the end of the flight wether they wanted to or not. From there things have escalated, I (shut up and) booked my first solo trip this year!!! My parents weren’t comfortable with me leaving the country alone yet so I went AS FAR as I could, to the east coast of Canada, including Montreal and Toronto. It was one of the best things i could’ve done, everyone I met was willing to go, I witnessed everyone just booking flights left and right! (I didn’t think that was a thing irl, I thought it was just in the movies) I also took a high school Spanish class which I haven’t retained much from, cause I mean who REALLY remembers everything if you don’t use it in your daily life? And I have developed the best and worst habit of always looking at flights, I even actually just booked a trip back to the east coast BECAUSE I HAD 3 DAYS OFF AND I JUST CANT RESIST OKAY The more I go, the more I don’t want to stop. And that’s become the only problem I want to have. In the end shut up and go means shut up and stop the excuses, the hesitation, and the doubt, it means shut up, and go. -it’s okay🐙 (and The Facts™️ just incase, I live in Canada right now, I’m 18, I can’t believe there’s even an opportunity for something like this, and keep doing what ur doin💛)
We should also give a special mention to @gulnaazj and her friend, who both got tattooed for the occasion!
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To me, Shut Up and Go is the mindset that’s changed my life. Shut Up and Go means accidentally stumbling upon awe-striking views so beautiful that you need to do double/triple/quadrupole takes. It means meeting amazing people who go from complete strangers to best friends within minutes. It means waking up and deciding you’re flying to Morocco, and a few hours later, lying in the Sahara watching shooting stars all night. Although the positives stand out more, Shut Up and Go also means running around train stations and airports in the middle of the night on 2 hours of sleep, walking 40,000 steps daily and being forced to deal with situations you never would have imagined yourself in, in languages you don’t speak. Most of all however, Shut Up and Go means making the most of every experience. It means turning being stranded on a road outside a bus station all night, into an opportunity to make friends with the fellow travellers stranded outside. It means working long shifts and making what you want happen. And as cheesy as it sounds, Shut Up and Go has taught me that if you stop making excuses for your dreams, you can make your life into whatever you want. I’d love to win the study abroad experience so that I can continue to travel the world, learn new languages and make amazing connections all around the world. @shutupandgo @applelanguages
In the end, the winner was Seattleite Kritika Sharma, who created a lovely, thought-provoking homage to the delight that is learning a language!
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To me, Shut Up and Go means to open your mind and experience the world without any excuses. Whether this means through physically traveling or simply opening a book and learning the way a population different from your own communicates. As an aspiring international studies and linguistics student, I hope to someday work for the UN or become a video journalist, to simply make a difference in the lives of those whom society marginalizes for being different; for that intercultural communication is key. Shut Up and Go has inspired me to unwaveringly pursue what I love and this opportunity to study abroad and immerse myself in yet another language and culture would be truly invaluable. 🌍 A huge thank you to Shut up and Go and Apple Languages for offering this opportunity to us! 🥰 @applelanguages @shutupandgo @damonandjo
Jo and Damon noted that Kritika’s post “was a shining star when it came creatively expressing what Shut Up and Go means to [her] … [she did] solid work with the voice over, telling the story, and having a thought-provoking caption.”
Personally, we loved Kritika’s eloquent passion and how we could feel the enjoyment she gets from language-learning through her voice and her word choices. She clearly articulated what a difference it makes to attempt to learn another’s language, and the bonds that such an interaction can create. It was also really great to see parts of Kritika’s day-to-day life, and how her tri-cultural background has encouraged and nurtured her present love of learning. Her determination to expand her linguistic horizons and develop her language skills, in her own words, “has become my way to shut-up-and-go see the world – because there are 7 billion beautiful stories on this planet worthy of being heard.”
Kritika now has a choice to make: does she want to study French or Spanish?!
She will be deciding soon and will be recording parts of her course so you can keep up with her progress. Stay tuned for updates on how her amazing language experience went!