Spanish culture is widely known for its unique styles of art and music. The Spanish created Flamenco music and wonderfully unflattering portraits of royalty. The painters El Greco and Francisco de Goya emerged in the 18th century as Spain's most prolific artists. From Spain’s Gothic cathedrals to its breathtaking beaches, Spain is perfect for a gap year.

Volunteering

While Spain is a westernized first world country, there is still a large need for volunteers. Conservation is needed to protect locals species and to keep Spain’s beaches clean for the future. Volunteers often live with a host-family and are provided several weeks of Spanish lessons. Volunteers are placed throughout Spain. Programs range from protecting Spain’s pristine coasts to helping out at inner city orphanages. Volunteering in Spain provides a great opportunity to explore one of the most popular destinations in Europe while also learning about Spanish culture and traditions. If you choose to Volunteer, you must be open-minded and willing to adapt to a new environment. Spain provides both a fascinating and fun place to volunteer abroad!

Internships

Spain is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, especially Barcelona. As one of the most traveled destinations on earth, especially for students, Spain’s metropolitan areas offer a variety of internship opportunities that are tailored to meet your professional goals. While the Spanish economy is struggling at the moment, Spain’s diverse number of businesses means that you will have many placement opportunities with numerous companies. Whether you're interested in healthcare, business, non-profit management, or anything in between you will have no shortage of opportunities to choose from in Spain!

Cost of Living in Spain

Compared to other western European nations the cost of living is very cheap. In fact, the cost of living in Spain has actually come down in several major economic centers throughout the country. Apartment rents have declined about 10-20% since the financial crisis began. However, while rent has become quite cheap, the cost of good in tourist areas has begun to sky-rocket. For groceries and your everyday needs, it’s best to avoid tourist shopping centers.

Culture and Etiquette in Spain

Traditionally, Spain’s social structure emphasizes the family before all else, including both the nuclear and the extended family. They provide both a social and a financial support network. Over the years, familial networks have become less tight, but in comparison to the United States, men and women are less likely to move away from home until their late 20's.

During Spain’s history, there have been long periods where different religious groups have coexisted, including Muslims, Jews and Christians. However, Spanish culture is predominantly Catholic, which becomes apparent in every small town, where the most grandiose building is typically the church.

In business, trust is very important. As a result, there are less quick networking opportunities since most companies desire long lasting relationships built on a slow, but necessary trusting bond. It is important that you spend sufficient time letting your business colleagues get to know you. Face-to-face contact is preferred to written or telephone communication. When meeting a new person, always shake hands and refer to them as Don or Dona before using his/her first name.

The Spanish take Health & Safety very seriously. The Red Cross has a 24 hour emergency ambulance service for anyone in need. Added to this, there is also Chemists (pharmacies) that are open 24 hours a day. If you are sick in Spain, it is not hard for you to receive the aid that your need.

While Spain does not suffer from widespread disease, there are smaller health and safety factors for you to be aware of. Spain is a very hot country, so intense sunburn is prevalent. One should always try and avoid the blazing sun by wearing hats (preferably fashionable ones) and having sunscreen with them at all times. And, on those blisteringly hot days, one should try to buy bottled drinking water if possible. While all of the Food Establishments and Public Swimming Pools are spot checked and regularly examined by the health inspectors, the drinking water in Spain is not held to the same high standards as the water in the countries like The U.S. and England.

While the crime rate is relatively low in Spain, Spain’s economic power has declined in recent years so that rate has risen slightly. The rural towns typically have less crime than the cities, but the cities are still safe and have a strong police force. It’s always best to avoid certain streets at nighttime and to carry mace for you own personal protection.

Gap Year Programs in Spain

Want to take a gap year in Spain? Check out these programs!
Displaying 1 - 15 of 56 programs
API
API Gap Year in Spain
Spain
9 •1 review

API offers study abroad programs for those who want to take their gap...

Seamester
Seamester: Transatlantic, Mediterranean to Caribbean - 90 Days
Multiple Countries
9.81 •16 reviews

Why limit yourself to just one ocean, country or continent? Choose the...

Seamester
Seamester: Virgin Islands to the Mediterranean - 40 Days
Multiple Countries
9.67 •6 reviews

Crewing a yacht on a transatlantic voyage is not something many can...

Carpe Diem Education
Carpe Diem Education | Spain & Morocco Semester: Human Migration & Language Study
Multiple Countries
8.8 •5 reviews

Learn about Human Migration, and immerse yourself in Spanish & Arabic...

Carpe Diem Education
Latitudes Gap Year: Group Semester & Focused Volunteer Placement
Multiple Countries
9.75 •4 reviews

Choose one of our 3-month group semesters during the fall (India...

CIEE Global Navigator
CIEE Gap Year in Seville, Spain – Spanish Language & Culture
Spain
9.5 •4 reviews

What will you find in Seville? The world’s largest Gothic church. The...

EF Gap Year
EF Gap Semester: Customizable 12-Week Program in Multiple Destinations
Multiple Countries
9.75 •8 reviews

Embark on a unique global experience in 12 weeks. EF Gap Semester is...

EF Gap Year
EF Gap Year: Customizable 25-Week Program in Multiple Destinations
Multiple Countries
9.56 •9 reviews

Eager to become more worldly and prepared for college in just 25 weeks...

CIEE Global Navigator
CIEE Gap Year in Madrid, Spain – Spanish Language Immersion for Art Lovers
Spain
8 •1 review

Known as one of the most open-minded and culturally rich cities on the...

Agualivar Spanish School
Spanish Immersion Program for Adults and Families
Spain
9.94 •32 reviews

We are a small and friendly Spanish school with a homestay program in...

EUROACE
Spanish Gap Year Experience in Valencia, Spain
Spain
9.75 •4 reviews

Thinking of taking a gap year? Want to make the most out of it, both...

Verto Education
Verto Education Semester Abroad With College Credit
Multiple Countries
8.95 •22 reviews

Verto was designed to give you the gap year experience while earning...

Trek Epic
Trekking and Personal Development for Emerging Adults
Multiple Countries
9.78 •9 reviews

As a result of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to cancel...

InterExchange
Au Pair Spain
Spain
8 •1 review

As an au pair in Spain you will provide a maximum of 30 hours of child...

A+ World Academy
Sail Around the World with A+ World Academy High School & Gap Year
Multiple Countries
9.67 •6 reviews

A+ World Academy has one of the most unique programs settings in the...

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View the latest job postings on our job board. A great way to earn work experience during your gap year!

What People Are Saying

My case is a little unusual, I decided to take a gap year after already completing a year of college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I stumbled upon this program and knew it was something I...

Me in front of the Eiffel Tower.

My gap semester was tailored to my interests and exceeded every expectation I had of living and studying abroad! I went into the semester not sure where my path after high school was headed, and left...

In front of tower bridge, London

I decided to go on EF's gap semester because I wanted to find myself, while also growing up. I’m from a small sheltered town, and have traveled, but not alone where I’m responsible for my personal...

This picture is of me and one of my amazing friends I met while in language school in Madrid!

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