Gap Year or Semester in Spain
97% Rating
(12 Reviews)

Gap Year or Semester in Spain

Travel to Spain for a semester or year and learn Spanish in one of the world's greatest cities. With centers in Madrid, Malaga, and Barcelona you will not only learn the language but also live it.

Join students from around the world on the ultimate study abroad experience. Achieve fluency, see the world, expand your international network - and launch your global future. Study for 6, 9 or 11 months and start in April, June, September or January. College credit and internship opportunities ensure you're always adding to your resume during the adventure of a lifetime.

EF’s Spanish schools are accredited by Instituto Cervantes, the world's leading organization promoting Spanish language education. Earn college credit through our partner in education, The University of Montana. Globalize your future, boost your international career and prepare for the DELE Exam with a Spanish Language Diploma from EF.

EF provides visa support for all student's requring a student visa.

  • Study for a semester, academic year, or join a multi language year and study 2+ languages.
  • Start dates in January, September, April, & June.
  • Top activities include Bachata classes, bike tours of the city, surfing in Tarifia, and weekend excursions to Montserrat and Morocco.
  • Choose to reside with a local host family or in the EF Residence, an international dorm.
  • EF students hail from over 100 countries around the world.
Europe » Spain » Malaga
Europe » Spain » Madrid
Europe » Spain » Barcelona
Europe » Spain
Program Tags
Cultural Exploration
Hands-On Learning
Language Immersion
Post-High School
Study Abroad
Volunteer Abroad
6-12 Months
1 Year+
Academic Year
Year Round
Host Family
Airport Transfers
Tour Guide
Travel Insurance
SIM cards
Some Activities
Primary Language
Age Min.
Application Fee
Starting Price
Price Details
Host family accommodations and a meal plan are included in the course price. Contact the Admissions Team for a personalized price quote.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Housing
  • Support
  • Fun
  • Value
  • Safety
Show 1 - 12 of 12
Default avatar

Life experience

When I started my course in January 2017 in EF Madrid, I thought it was going to be a difficult experience for me because it was one of the first times I left home without my parents. After arriving there, I quickly realized that this was going to be a great trip or even one of the best trips I ever did in my life. Indeed, I met great people throughout my journey in the school and in the city (people from all around the world that I still go see when I have the time). The EF staff is also amazing, everybody is there for you and everybody is really nice. If you are a shy person and you want to change that, I really recommend this school.
I was suppose to stay there for only 3 months but at the end I stayed 5 months there, I wanted to stay even longer but I couldn't due to personal things back in France but if I had a choice I would of stayed there.
I thank EF Madrid and EF Lyon for making a big part of my year really memorable and I would go back again and relive this experience if I could.

How can this program be improved?

Sometimes there're some students that don't really want to learn the language even if they made the choice to go to EF. So I think that the school should try to inform themselves on that student and try to make them want to learn the language and not make their trip only a "little unmemorable vacation". Everybody deserves to

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Becoming a Madrileño

Hola Madrileños del futuro,

If you are considering traveling to a vibrant, wonderful, and indsutrious city, Madrid is the right place for you! In addition to immersing yourself in a new culture and language, Madrid caters to every type of person. This city is home to some of the best soccer teams (Real Madrid and Atletico), breath-taking museums, lucious parks, and great cafes.

As an EF student, you have all the support in the world. At school the curriculum is very interactive, instead of a traditional lecture. The teachers are here to help your Spanish improve every day. Although school is a great place to practice your Español, speaking with local Madrileños is extremely beneficial. Whether you are staying with a host family or at the EF Residence, I would strongly encourage you to engage with the locals. Including EF students and staff, everyone in Madrid is very approachable and nice.

My experience in a homestay has been superb. My host-mom cooks delicious traditional Spanish dishes, and I can always rely on here when I need help. The transit system here is very user-friendly. Many students take the metro to get to school and experience little difficult. If you are wanting to travel outside the city, there are regional buses that go to Segovia, Toledo, and Aranjuez for cheap prices. I have only been here for roughly two weeks, and my experience has been awesome!


How can this program be improved?

How to save your money! It is best to go to the super- market instead of buying lunch everyday. Also, check out the free activities.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

The experience of a lifetime in Madrid

I am currently studying Spanish in the EF school of Madrid. For those of you who are still doubting the benefits of coming here, let me turn them to dust.

This school has been, so far, the best experience of my life. Not only did I meet unforgettable people but ,while doing so, I also got to learn one of the most spread languages of the world.

Moreover, learning Spanish in the capital city is, according to me, the best choice one can make. Indeed, Madrid is the heart of Spain and therefore offers all the extracurricular activities you could ever imagine. Not to say, the amazingly nice staff members will for sure do everything they can to make of your stay here the best time of your life.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

My experience with EF Málaga

It seems like I couldn't have chosen a better place to study Spanish than the EF School in Málaga. The beautiful school with residence is located in the neighorhood of Pedregalejo, 5 minutes away from the beach and about 20 minutes away from Málagas city center, which is stunningly beautiful and exciting by the way. I had an amazing time there and would recommend this exact school to anyone who really wants to learn Spanish and have fun whilst doing that. The teachers at this school are the best, they really want you to learn the language, improve your skills and encourage you to speak Spanish outside of the classrooms as well.
The staff in general is really great.
The Residence Advisors and the other people taking care of the residence (if you choose to stay there like I did) are always around and help you with whatever problem you have.
The people that take care of the academics stuff always make sure you're in the right level and feel comfortable.
The extremely dedicated Activities Coordinator makes sure you're also having a good time outside of school with activities like visiting museums or going surfing but also helps you if you want to e.g. play the guitar or find a football team you can train with and keeps you updated about events in the city that you can go to.
They just know how hard it can be for someone to leave family and friends behind to study in a foreign country on their own so they try to make your experience as enjoyable and rewarding as it could be.
All together I can say that I really had the best time ever at EF Málaga, I improved my Spanish, met amazing and interesting people, made friends from all over the world and experience the southern Spanish way of living...

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

My experience in Málaga

I chose to study spanish in Málaga because it's a beautiful city and it's not that far from my country, Norway. Education First Málaga is a school where you learn spanish. The teachers care about you and want to help you learn the language and about the spanish culture. You can choose to live at the school or in a host family. I chose a host family because I wanted to see how they live in spain, and also try new food. The school is only 20 minutes on the bus from the city centre. A normal day strarts at 09:00-13:20 or 12:00-16:40. We learn spanish by playing games, group work and grammar. The teaching is always in spanish, so if we don't understand a word they explain it in spanish or show us a picture or we google it. In the afternoon you can do different activities like horse riding, sports at the beach, kayaking and more. It's different every week and in the weekends you can travel to Marocco, Portugal, Sevilla, Cadiz, Granada, or wherever you want. I recomend Education First Málaga if you want to learn spanish and like the beach and a city that's not to big. I've leared a lot and the malageños are very open and welcoming.

How can this program be improved?

The program could be improved if the students would try to speak spanish all the time, not only in class but also after school. The teacher are encoruaging us a lot, and we learn faster if we try to speak the lenguage all the time.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

My experience in Spain

I came to Spain for a year before college to play football (soccer) at a level higher than that availible in the US for 18 year olds. In order to obtain a Student Visa and stay in the country I had to take 20 hours of classes a week and chose to do this at Education First Barcelona. Being on a team of only Spanish speakers, the obvious choice was to study Spanish. At the same time to stay in touch with my future major, I took two online classes from MIT in physics and calculus. On top of that to keep me even more busy, I worked as a model in Barcelona through a local agency. A normal day for me included waking up at 7:30 am and essentially being on the move doing something until 12:30 am. That was my goal, to be busy and through it I believe I have gotten a ton out of my experiences. I have gotten better at soccer, depending on your definition, become fluent in Spanish, and above all else lived on my own as an 18 year old far far away from just about everything I know. All the pieces lined up exteremely well and I am sure that I have developed more individually over this year than any of my previous years and I highly recommend challengeing yourself as I have.

How can this program be improved?

I have found that kids who come to Barcelona with the idea to only study Spanish end up not having as full an experience. I understand that I am biased, but I believe that if the program were to improve, it would be with finding ways for kids to pursue and find hobbies outside of school, with clubs or other programs. I have found that piece outside of school with soccer and I feel like other students would have more fun, if they had that piece. This is also as much up to the student as it is to the program.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Attract your inner Spanish!

Being in Barcelona with EF really brought out a side of me I never knew! I came home being more outgoing and more informed about the world outside my little bubble at home. This program is truly unique and different from others. EF forces you to open up in so many great ways, you're pushed out of your comfort zones and you reach goals you didn't even knew you had. I have traveled before but EF had helped me view the world in a different light, in a more respectable and unique way that I'll constantly use everyday.

How can this program be improved?

Focuse more on helping the students to get to know each other more. Helping students create a friend basis with their classmates. (More activities, ice breakers, etc.)

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Great year

School was great, especially the teachers were fun and engaging. Barcelona is a great city to live in, and going to the school there was great because of all the activities and the awesome staff. It was very easy to get settled in.
The night life was great too, as Barcelona is one of the true party hubs in Spain, where you can find a load of different clubs and bars depending on your taste.
The school is placed perfectly around the centre of the city.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Ef Barcelona

After nine months in Barcelona i feel like a different person, i learned soo much! Before i left i was really nervous, about the school, the people, the country, but already the first day at school i felt like home. I met the most amazing people, that i know will be my friends for life! If you are thunking about going abroad, i can honsetly recomend ef barcelona, the teachers are amazing, and the city is beautiful. Also, i want to add that if you are a bit shy, and wish you could become a bit more extroverted, this kinda course is the thing for you, at least it worked wonders with me!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

EF Barcelona

I wen't to Barcelona for a gap-year after finishing highschool. I could not have recieved a warmer welcome from the lovely EF staff. From day one they made me feel at home and were always there to help me. Engaging in a basic everyday conversation in Spanish has definitely become a lot easier.

I loved the trips that the school organized daily and the trip to Madrid was definitely a highlight.
Participating in these trips made sure that I got to know the city and got to know my fellow students. The welcome drinks that were organized every Monday were also fun and a great way to get to know everybody. I also loved the trip to Porto Aventura, one of the best amusement parks I have ever been to.

The residence (Anna Ravell) was very clean, had a great location and had good facilities (kitche, tv-room, terrace). The rooms were slightly small though.. However, as most time was spent on the the rooftop terrace, this wasn't really a problem. This was a great place to hang out with your friends and enjoy the sunsets over the city.

I met so many lovely people and made some great memories. I am still in touch with many people I met in Barcelona and I will even get to see one of my friends from Barcelona this summer.

How can this program be improved?

The program could definitely improve it's accomodation. The rooms should be more soundproof and bigger (especially considering the price). Also, it should be allowed to bring friends to the residence as people from school live all over the city (as some are in a different residence or in a hostfamily) and it would be nice to be able to meet up more.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

EF Málaga

After 8 months here in Spain I can really say that I´ve grown as a person. Visiting beautiful places around the country, did surfing, danced and meanwhile learning one of the biggest languages that there is. Ef Málaga was a perfect mix of all that with awesome weather the year around. I also got to live with one of the fantastic hostfamilies that have been taking care of me. It´s true that a year abroad changes you, it really did, that hard part is deciding wether you want to change or not.

How can this program be improved?

Speed up the learning a little by not getting stuck in meanless conversations, little more stricter.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

EF Málaga

My year abroad was an awesome experience. I met a lot of new friends from around the world and I can now call it my home. Leaning a new language is so much more than just the grammar or the vocabulary. It will build your character and become a part of you. It was definitely the best decision I made in my life and I can only recommend it to everyone else.

My year abroad was an awesome experience. I met a lot of new friends from around the world and I can now call it my home. Leaning a new language is so much more than just the grammar or the vocabulary. It will build your character and become a part of you. It was definitely the best decision I made in my life and I can only recommend it to everyone else.

How can this program be improved?

I cant really think of something to improve the accomodation or my language ecxperience.

Yes, I recommend

About The Provider

The world is waiting. Learn a language abroad. See the world, experience a new culture, and make friends from around the world as you prepare for your global future. EF's fun and interactive classes help you learn faster while living the language...