CIEE Gap Year in Madrid, Spain – Spanish Language Immersion for Art Lovers

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Known as one of the most open-minded and culturally rich cities on the continent, Madrid offers a welcoming environment for international students. You’ll meet people from all over and have plenty of time to practice your Spanish skills out on the town.

This program was designed for the art lover in you, combining language learning with visits to art shows, major museums or guest lectures and workshops. Madrid is a unique destination for all things art and architecture. Experience the best the city has to offer first-hand through exciting tours, workshops and exposure to those who influence the local art scene!

Most mornings will be spent in intensive, interactive Spanish classes at the Tandem Language Institute. Outside the classroom, there’s plenty to see and do. Walk to open air markets and world-class museums. Tour medieval mansions and royal palaces. Hang out with friends in the city’s many parks and cafés.

  • 15-20 hours per week of Spanish language learning designed to improve real world language skills.
  • Build a strong foundation in the core components of intercultural learning. Come home with an improved sense of self and awareness of what shapes others.
  • Earn a Certificate of Learning in Spanish, and documented language growth through pre- and post-program testing.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Auxiliare de Conversacion

I moved to Spain after finishing up four years of college on the East Coast. I had lived, worked, and traveled through Europe a few times before but there was still a fair amount of nervous energy in me pre-departure. Upon my arrival to Madrid, jet-lagged and in a little bit of shock, I was immediately greeted by some of the most enthusiastic leaders I have ever met. It was honestly so reassuring to see the excitement that they had for our experience and made me feel comfortable knowing that they enjoyed their experience to such a degree that it prompted them to stay for another year. As I approach the end of my first year I couldn't be more excited to be spending another year in Spain and in Europe as an overall whole. Going abroad after graduating, or really before any major life decision has drastically changed my approach on life and the plans that I had laid out for my future self. Putting yourself in a completely new environment culturally, linguistically, and geographically has allowed me to grow and develop in so many ways that I don't believe would have been available to me had I chosen to stay in the US. I have met people from all over the world, traded stories and drinks with some characters straight out of a novel, and have seen some of the most amazing places and monuments that I could only dream of as a child. The road is not always easy and there are honestly times where the pull of returning home is strong and there would be nothing more comforting than returning to everything that is familiar. But with the help of friends and colleagues that you meet in your adventures you can see just how many reasons there are to stay and further develop yourself. Plus it doesn't hurt that I can travel across Europe for half the price of a ticket from Boston to California.

What would you improve about this program?
I think that the thing that I would most love to see moving forward is a greater connection with the returning participants and the new ones. I recall that when I started my University there was the option for Freshman to meet with Seniors for coffee or lunch and just talk. About the transition, about suggestions for classes or places to live, or just fun things to do. Although part of the fun of moving to a new city is discovering things on your own it would be helpful to have the option to pick the brains of people that were very recently in the same position as yourself.
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