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 57 programs
Global U
Global U Gap Year for Christian Entreprenuers
Multiple Countries
9.92 •12 reviews

You sense that God created you for something more, that He wants you...

4 new reviews
Au Pair in Spain
Be an Au Pair or Language Tutor in Spain: 1-12 months
Spain
10 •4 reviews

An exciting cultural exchange experience! • Do you like children? Do...

Au Pair International
Become an Au Pair in Spain with API
Spain
9.67 •3 reviews

Our Au Pair Program provides young people with a wonderful opportunity...

Cultural Homestay International
Teach English to a Host Family in Spain with CHI!
Spain
9 •5 reviews

Join Cultural Homestay International's World Explorers program in...

Scotia Personnel
Au Pair & English Tutor in Spain
Spain
10 •3 reviews

Oh, Spain! What a beautiful place to spend a month, a summer or a year...

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...

Stoke Travel
Stoke Travel: Van + Surf + Good Times = Surfari
Multiple Countries
9.33 •3 reviews

We can’t guarantee you’ll see any lions or elephants on this Surfari...

Tía Tula Spanish School
Tia Tula: Spanish Gap Year Program
Spain
10 •2 reviews

Learn the depths of a student town like Salamanca, full of life. Also...

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...

22 new reviews
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...

Destino Idiomas
Au Pair in Spain for Summer or Academic Year
Spain
8.81 •16 reviews

Would you like to improve your Spanish? Take a gap year? Or maybe just...

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...

Leaders For Youth
Camp Counselor in Spain with Leaders for Youth
Spain
9 •2 reviews

During 4 weeks (average) participants supervise campers and lead...

Ticket to Ride - Worldwide Surfing Adventures
Surf & Yoga in Spain
Spain
10 •1 review

Several times per year we run a Ticket to Ride takeover at one of the...

EF Gap Year
EF Gap Year: Customizable 25-Week Program in Multiple Destinations
Multiple Countries
9.67 •12 reviews

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

What People Are Saying

This was my first time traveling outside of the U.S. and it was life changing. This trip was a great way to make new connections because you never know who you will meet along your journey. I had met...

1 of the 7 World Wonders

I found out about Verto Education at a time in my life when I really needed to know that there was another way for me to begin life after high school. I feel so lucky to have been able to travel with...

Our last night was truly sad and sentimental. All of the excitement of going home was followed by the sadness of leaving such beautiful places and wonderful people.

The Verto team was very supportive and fun the entire semester, I had so many crazy and immersive experiences when we got to visit villages in Fiji and white water rafting in New Zealand. The classes...

With the village children in nausori

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