About Us

Gap Year/ Year Abroad Specialist (or just one semester)

AHA offers unique Host Family/School/Cultural Adventures for Gap Year students, or any students who want a semester, academic year, or summer experience.

We have a very special GAP YEAR Spanish program that includes 3 months in Ecuador, and then 3 months in Spain to experiece two very different Spanish language cultures (can include language classes, volunteering, music, art, dance, sports). Also get to know both counties with excursions especially for your interests. Please open the file at the bottom of the page or call us (415-509-6757) to know more!!

In China we offer a program that includes both boarding school and weekends with a Host Family, as well as language classes. Sports, art, and other activities included. This unique program gives you two 3-month programs in 2 different cities in China. You will also have excursions especially for your interests.

AHA is a Homestay, Gap Year, and student travel organization adhering to strict regulations. AHA is built on the tested methods and experiences of foreign language teachers, and we are constantly updating our ideas about international study and language-learning. Equipped with over 30 years of experience in organizing Homestays, AHA designs and employs materials that will help the student to prepare for, enjoy, and understand their experiences abroad.

AHA is directed by Basil Hamblin, who taught high school and college students, ran independent schools, and has organized student trips for the past 30 years.

Basil was founding Head of Sage Ridge School in Reno, Nevada, where he created a curriculum that integrated traditional subjects, such as science and English, through semester-long projects that tied together a student's work across several classrooms. The school fostered this cross-pollination of ideas with its Anytime/Anywhere program, which provided each student with a laptop and advanced learning software.


Basil began conducting educational travel programs while he was dean of students at Northern California's Branson School in the late 1970's. During his six-week summer discovery tours, students performed street theater in Europe, met families in then-Soviet countries, such as Czechoslovakia, and learned Greek mythology as they toured the Dodecanese Islands by ferry.

Later, as a private educational travel consultant, Basil took California high school students on week-long tours of East Coast colleges, where they got a feel for student life at a dozen campuses by attending lectures, and staying overnight in student dormitories.

While Basil has spent much of his career as a school administrator, he continued to teach courses each semester and take students on travel adventures. "I believe administrators should spend time directly interacting with students to stay in touch with the constant changes in youth culture," he said.

Basil has traveled to many countries around the world with students, usually including a Homestay, and he appreciates the importance of this exposure for them. He believes exchange students are our most positive and effective ambassadors, bridging cultures and building true global awareness.




The focus of all that we do at AHA centers on the idea of world discovery and self discovery that goes well beyond mere sightseeing, and hectic city exploration. Our Homestay Adventures allow students of all ages to thoroughly embrace the culture, language, and character of a foreign country / city / town / countryside / family with guidance, safety, and support. Homestays also give students instant access to a community, giving an insider's advantage! Further, most host families have children of comparable age who not only serve as excellent language partners, but often forge friendships that last a lifetime. The exchange idea comes about through the dynamic interaction and exchange of ideas, world view, even personal goals, and everyday simple activities.

Homestay Families are carefully chosen and local coordinators are available to help students understand and get acclimated to their new surroundings and the local culture. In long term Outbound Homestays, students attend school and experience the differences and similarities between US education and exchange of ideas between US schools and that of their host country.

Short term Homestays often center on a common interest like soccer, dance, tennis, outdoor adventure, or golf. These common interests make language acquisition more dynamic, focused, and fun.

We provide US Outbound Homestays for short term (3weeks to 2 months), semester, and academic year to the countries we serve.

US Inbound (foreign students visiting the States) are for 3 weeks to 3 months.


Travel/Gap Year  

Travel to AHA means world discovery through more than just seeing: it means building bridges to cultural understanding, to having an adventure while having fun. We usually include a Homestay for each of the trips we create. We try to focus travel on the interests of a group or on a particularly fascinating region of a country. We never do the ten cities in two weeks tour. We find the special interests of our travelers and introduce them to new interests.

For instance:

In Costa Rica the travel part of this Homestay Adventure focuses on the Green Coast and the mountains around Liberia…..mainly experiencing the incredible nature of this beautiful country. The Homestay part is very personal and filled with local activates.

In China, after staying with local Host Families and getting to know their region through daily life and family excursions, we follow with a very special tour. You can spend 1-3 weeks traveling through both iconic and out-of-the way places throughout this huge and varied country. Now that you are more comfortable with the Chinese language (usually Madarin), you can talk and listen to them tell about what's best about their particular area. And of course discover the amazing variety of food.

In Spain, we offer a wealth of local activities with the people of Santander. Students stay with local Host Families and also take flamenco dance lessons, hang out at the beach, surf, sail, and play tennis and soccer. Then there are excursions to hike the nearby Picos de Europe Mountains explore the beautiful and famous medieval town of Santillana, visit the port city of Bilbao for the Guggenheim Museum and finally discover Segovia and Madrid and the Prado Museum.

Or as a terrific Gap Year cultural/language adventure, spend three months Eduador, come home to finalize college choices, then go to Spain for three months of a very different Spanish language/Hispanic cultural experience.

We "tailor make" each of our travel experiences. We are known for finding the unusual, for challenging the traveler, and for providing access to local people - usually with similar interests.





3 file(s) have been attached to this page.

Spanish Gap Year (Saturday, June 11, 2016 11:36 am Size: 4.47 MB)


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