Study Abroad

The 10 Best Study Abroad Programs in Spain

Lola Méndez

Lola Méndez is a travel writer and full-time traveler. She is passionate about sustainable travel she seeks out ethical experiences that benefit local communities.

Felicidades! You’ve made the excellent decision to study abroad in Spain. In between study sessions and exciting coursework you’ll be able to unwind to the sounds of Flamenco music, indulge in endless plates of delicious tapas, and explore the country’s incredible history, nature, and culture -- all with a glass of sangria, of course!

There is an overwhelming number of fantastic study abroad programs in Spain, so we’ve gathered up all of our data from the entire country and closely evaluated reviews from alumni to narrow down the list to these top 10 study abroad programs in Spain. Each is well known for providing constant support to students, having safe and fun environments, strong academics, comfortable accommodations, and more that will make your study abroad experience in Spain incredible.

How did we pick these programs?

In choosing the best programs to be included in this article, we took into account two main factors: the review scores of each program and the number of reviews that program had received.

For all programs on Go Overseas, we ask reviewers to rate six key variables that reflect the core components of any experience. These vary depending on the type of program, but include items such as Housing, Support, Fun, Value, Safety, and an Overall score. We average these scores in order to find a numerical representation of the typical experience, and we use this number to compare all of the many programs in a certain category.

From there, our goal is to choose those programs which are truly the best: they have more and better reviews than the average for similar programs and are verified by enough reviews for us to feel confident giving our stamp of approval. Lastly, we base these decisions on our own industry knowledge. We want to make sure we're recommending programs that are vetted both by you, the users, and us, the experts, so that we feel confident the programs included are the best of the best!

The programs listed below are not ranked in any particular order; instead, they reflect a breadth of excellent program options.

#1 - USAC Spain: Study Abroad in Alicante for a Semester or Full Year

Spend a semester studying abroad in the coastal city of Alicante located on Spain’s Costa Blanca at the University of Alicante with USAC. Courses are available in Spanish language learning, Gender Studies, and more, either for a semester or entire year abroad. What could be better than taking a study break at the beach and a dip in the Mediterranean Sea?

The University of Alicante is known as one of the most beautiful school campuses in the country with sleek architecture, plenty of outdoor sitting areas, and a massive sports center that even includes an indoor swimming pool!

Studying abroad with USAC in Alicante is perfect for students who want to embrace Spanish culture, language, and cuisine. You’ll also have volunteer and internship opportunities where you can engage in the local community while enhancing your career skills.

The USAC study abroad program at in Alicante has received over 50 reviews from former students who’ve given the program an overall rating of 99%! Program alumni have called their time at USAC in Alicante the greatest experiences of their lives thanks to the helpful support, interesting professors, and immersive Spanish cultural experience.

Here are highlights from their USAC Alicante study abroad program reviews:

  • "Making the opportunity to study abroad with USAC may have been the all-time best decision I made during my college career. The USAC staff were wonderful and always there to help, they would never judge your circumstance and no problem was big enough for them to help you through." -- Jack
  • "Universidad de Alicante had great professors, my apartment was perfectly located near the beach, I made some of the greatest friends of my life, all while indulging in Spanish culture." -- Dante
  • "I loved my semester in Alicante. I would recommend living with a host family. It really helped me improve my Spanish and get to know the city." -- Caroline
9.92 Rating
based on 61 reviews
  • Academics 8.3
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.8

#2 - IES Abroad in Granada for a Semester or Full Year

If you’re fascinated by the Moorish influence in southern Spain, then you won’t want to miss the chance to study abroad in one of the most diverse Andalusian cities, Granada! The IES Abroad program in Granada offers two distinct courses with the goal of helping you to improve your Spanish proficiency. Study abroad students may choose between the Intermediate Spanish Program and Advanced Spanish Program. The major difference being that the advanced program coursework is all taught in Spanish while the intermediate program has some classes in Spanish and others in English.

After a semester your Spanish will greatly improve, but you can also study abroad with IES Abroad in Granada for an entire year to become especially proficient in your Spanish language skills.

Why should you choose to study abroad with IES Abroad in Granada? Out of almost 70 reviews, the program has earned a 96% rating on Go Overseas! Former students rated the program between 8-9.7 for support, academics, fun, housing, and safety due to intercambio (language exchanges) with local Spanish students, engaging courses, and immersive homestays.

Read these reviews from IES Abroad Granada alumni:

  • "Studying abroad through IES Abroad Granada was the best decision I could've made. From the amazing program staff, to my beloved host mom, and the city Granada itself, I felt supported, challenged, and excited on a daily basis." -- Lindsay
  • "From the constant life on the street to sunsets from the top of old fortress walls and hills covered in olive trees and murals, playing pick up soccer before watching Granada FC home games with the extended homestay family or stumbling upon festivals and music on my walk home, I absolutely loved my time abroad with IES." -- Jessie
9.65 Rating
based on 80 reviews
  • Academics 8.2
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.5

#3 - CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts in Barcelona, Spain

What’s not to love about Barcelona? Historic architecture, vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, delicious tapas, and friendly locals. With CIEE you can study abroad in the Catalan city at a Spanish university with their Advanced Liberal Arts program.

The program is available for those who wish to study abroad for the fall or spring semester, or even the entire academic year! CIEE places students with advanced-level Spanish in a variety of courses for subjects such as Anthropology, Art History, Biology, International Business, and more.

The immersive cultural program in one of Spain’s most famous cities gets rave reviews from former students. Over 25 alumni loved staying with a local family, having Spanish classmates, and exploring all that Catalonia has to offer. It’s no surprise they’ve given the program an overall score of 95%!

This is what they have to say about their time studying abroad with the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program in Barcelona:

  • "I'll always remember my time in Barcelona and the amazing friends that I met thanks to CIEE. I learned about a completely new culture and was able to experience academics in a truly Spanish way." -- Molly
  • "CIEE provides a tight-knit community and an academic/social support network to facilitate your overseas transition." -- Alex
  • "My time in Barcelona has been an experience I will never forget. With respect to academics, I could not be more grateful for all I have learned in Barcelona." -- Alec
9.62 Rating
based on 39 reviews
  • Academics 9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.6

#4 - AIFS Study Abroad in Granada: Semester or Academic Year

We can’t rave about Granada enough here at Go Overseas, and study abroad students agree! The people, culture, food, music, architecture, and overall charm make the Andalusian city a dream location to study abroad. As you can tell from this list, there are several highly-rated study abroad programs in Granada such as the AIFS program for a semester or academic year.

Unlike other Spanish study abroad programs, AIFS in Granada doesn’t require international students to have previously studied the Spanish language, as courses can be taught in English.

The AIFS study abroad program made the list because of its focus on cultural experiences, with visits to historic sites, museums, traditional flamenco shows, and interactive workshops, advanced Hispanic studies, internship opportunities, and included group excursions to nearby Andalusian towns such as Seville, Cordoba, Ronda, and more!

For students gave the program 96% rating making the AIFS program in Granada a Go Overseas alumni favorite:

  • "I know saying "it was amazing" is very vague but honestly, it was the most amazing time of my life. Everything went smoothly with AIFS. They are very organized and are always ready to help, but they still give you the space to be independent." -- Rachel
  • "The AIFS staff in Granada also made the experience one of a kind. The work hard to have us fit in and they would answer any question we had for them. They were also very patient with us and they guided us when we needed it." -- Isabel
9.65 Rating
based on 31 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.3

#5 - International Studies Abroad (ISA) in Barcelona, Spain

Study abroad students who want some flexibility in their academic program with the ability to customize their courses will love to study abroad in Barcelona with ISA. To best fit your academic needs, you can choose to study at any of these local four universities: Pompeu Fabra University, Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Barcelona, or Menéndez Pelayo International University-Barcelona.

No matter which school you select, you’ll be able to soak up Barcelona’s complex 2,500 years of history, enjoy fresh seafood, stroll through the gothic quarter, and taste delicious cava -- Spain’s version of champagne.

Having the flexibility to decide which university program was the best fit for them resulted in past ISA Barcelona study abroad students giving the program a near-perfect rating, including a fantastic 10/10 score for fun:

  • "ISA was extremely accommodating every step of the way. Their staff was always there for each student and ready to help in any situation. ISA made me feel safe and like I would be taken care of no matter what." -- Savanna
  • "ISA was very organized and helpful. Their staff had a lot of advice and was easy to get into contact with. I had some family problems while abroad and the staff was more than generous throughout the process. The only thing I regret about studying abroad was that I should have gone longer!" -- Katie
9.67 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • Academics 8.3
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 9.9
  • Safety 9.4

#6 - API Study Abroad Program at Universidad de Salamanca

Salamanca is easily Spain’s most notorious college town, and certainly the oldest. Universidad de Salamanca was established all the way back in 1218, making it one of the first higher education institutions in the world! Pope Alexander IV even called it one of the greatest universities in the world! 96% of students who’ve studied abroad with API in Salamanca loved their experience.

Study abroad students can either enroll at the Universidad de Salamanca via API for an entire year or just one semester. The program offering includes courses in Spanish Language & Culture, Humanities, and one of the best study abroad programs for business students.

If you study abroad in Salamanca during the fall semester you’ll have the chance to participate in one of Spain’s biggest parties: New Year's Eve at the University of Salamanca in the beautiful town square, Plaza Mayor. The party has been happening for almost 100 years and there are usually over 35,000 students in attendance! The event is in mid-December and not actually on NYE.

The program comes with rave reviews from former students who enjoyed support from the university staff and professors, enjoyed living in local homestays, and felt very safe in the collegiate town:

  • "I had a really great abroad experience with API. They helped us to travel all over Spain and made sure we knew where we were when we traveled to ensure our safety and location at all times." -- Christina
  • "API made the trip amazing with their continuous support and the excursions. When I began the journey I was terrified to be going alone, but they were with me every step of the way." -- Bridget
9.64 Rating
based on 14 reviews
  • Academics 8.1
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.7

#7 - Study Abroad in Seville, Spain - Semester and Summer Programs

This semester-long study abroad program in Seville is quickly gaining popularity due to the fully-accredited Hispanic Studies Department, modern facilities, and affordable program fees. All levels of Spanish speakers are welcome to study abroad with Adelante Abroad in Seville!

The Adelante Abroad in Seville makes the top 10 list because of its perfect 100% score from alumni. Their feedback gives future students like you confidence that you’ll receive excellent support while studying abroad in Seville, great housing options, a safe and fun environment, and interesting courses!

Here’s why alumni loved studying abroad in Seville:

  • "I studied abroad in Seville, Spain with Adelante this past semester. It was a wonderful experience to be able to live and study in beautiful and historic Southern Spain. Throughout my stay there my Spanish improved tremendously." -- Sasha
  • "Thanks to Adelante Abroad, I spent a fantastic semester in Seville. From the application process to my arrival in Spain and even throughout my time there, I felt very well taken care of and able to concentrate on the most important things: improving my Spanish, experiencing the culture, and getting to know Spain and the Spaniards." -- Matthew
9.86 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • Academics 9.1
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.6

#8 - Study Abroad in Spain with Instituto Franklin-UAH

Alcalá de Henares is one of the most picturesque towns near Madrid and is home to one of the oldest universities in Spain, Universidad de Alcalá. Students have the opportunity to learn in the historic educational institution which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site via the Instituto Franklin-UAH program which has been helping foreigners study abroad in Spain since 1987!

The study abroad program in Alcalá de Henares focuses on students who wish to study abroad during their undergraduate studies and offers a variety of lengths of study, from short-term to a full academic year with the possibility to take courses in Arts Education, Health Sciences, Hispanic Studies, International Business, and more.

Alumni loved studying abroad with Instituto Franklin-UAH and gave it a perfect score for support, fun, housing, and safety, with academics still rating high at 9/10. From the historic campus, inviting atmosphere, and a dedicated support team, study abroad students loved their time at Instituto Franklin-UAH. Here are some of their reflections:

  • "I consider this study abroad program to be the peak of my collegiate experience. I learned about the Spanish culture, literature, and linguistics." -- Rachel
  • "The three best things about Study Abroad at Instituto Franklin are the homestay program, the university classes, and the university-organized trips throughout Madrid and Spain." -- Joseph
  • "I could not recommend this program more enthusiastically. ...[T]he staff are welcoming and warm people who will help you navigate the various challenges of being abroad." -- Kacey
10 Rating
based on 9 reviews
  • Academics 9.1
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.6

#9 - Linguistic Horizons: Summer Spanish Immersion by the Beach

If you’re pressed for time and can’t dedicate an entire semester to studying abroad in Spain don’t fret, Linguistic Horizons offers a short-term summer study abroad program! The specialized program takes place at Universidade Da Coruña in northern Spain’s historic region of Galicia. What could be better than spending the summer at the beach and learning a new language directly from native speakers?

You’ll spend the summer fully immersed in Spanish language classes and will receive up to 12 academic credits for your coursework. All levels of Spanish speakers are welcome -- this is an excellent study abroad option for beginners. If your Spanish speaking is proficient, you’ll have the chance to take on a local internship. After you’ve studied, be sure to do as the locals do and catch a few waves if the surf is good then head out with your new local Spanish friends to try the famous Galician organic apple cider, sidra, and grilled octopus, pulpo.

Read what alumni had to say about the program in La Coruña:

  • "I can not express how incredible this experience was for me through Lingustic Horizons. The program director went above and beyond to help me reach my goals." -- Hailey
  • "This is a great program. My Spanish improved tremendously both from the full immersion and the university classes." -- Julie
  • "Coruna is an incredible city, and my spanish class was the perfect mix of difficulty and fun. Nicole, the programs leader, is extremely prepared to help with anything you might need." -- Ecco
10 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • Academics 9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10

#10 - EUROACE: Spanish and culture program

The Spanish Language and Culture Program with Euroace is available year-round for international high school or college students like you that are looking to improve their Spanish language skills and live like a local in Valencia, Spain. Valencia is one of Spain’s most historic towns with a beautiful coastline, cultural city center, a number of festivals, and the birthplace of some of Spain’s most cherished foods like horchata and, of course, sweet Valencia oranges.

The unique Euroace study abroad program combines Spanish language learning with cultural activities for incredibly immersive experiences. You’re encouraged to enhance your Spanish by living with a local host family to see the daily way of life and forge life-long friendships.

Alumni loved having the chance to gain Spanish fluency with Euroace. Here’s what they had to say about their experience with the program:

  • "My study abroad experience was by far the best 5 weeks of my life. Immersing yourself in another culture is a challenging, yet highly rewarding process and Euroace is definitely the most friendly and accommodating group to guide you on your trip!" -- Jessica
  • "Euroace are the reason why I have fallen in love with Spain and the Spanish culture. Their outstanding teaching methods, vibrant language exchanges, diverse range of cultural activities, but above all their warmth and generosity, have made every ounce of this experience worthwhile." -- Ghaz
9.5 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • Academics 9.3
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.8

We’ve narrowed it down to the ten best study abroad programs in Spain, based on the feedback former students shared on Go Overseas. The results are based on alumni’s real experiences so you can be confident that their appraisals are honest. Now it’s your turn to choose which program is the best for you! Where will you study abroad in Spain?