API Gap Year in Spain

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, API has decided to pause some of their upcoming programs temporarily and may be offering flexible booking options as well. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

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API offers study abroad programs for those who want to take their gap year in Spain in five different locations (Barcelona, Granada, Madrid, Salamanca, and Seville), spanning the country regionally, culturally, and linguistically. Most locations offer courses in Spanish in a variety of disciplines such as Hispanic and cultural studies, business, and communications. Spanish courses are taught at all levels, from the beginning to the bilingual level. Internships (for credit and not for credit) are available in Salamanca and Seville.

If you are coming to Spain for the first time, be warned: this is a country that fast becomes an addiction. You’ll be hooked by the celebration of some local fiesta, or the amazing nightlife in Madrid, by the Moorish monuments of Andalucía, by Basque cooking or the wild landscapes and birds of prey of Extremadura. And by then, of course, you will have noticed that there is not just one Spain but many. Spend your gap year abroad in Spain with API!

Aspire by API is now known simply as API. API (Academic Programs International) has been the parent company of Aspire by API since 2009, and API has sent thousands of students abroad since 1997. Our name has changed, but our mission will remain the same. We still aim to transform lives by providing enriching experiential programs abroad that foster increased self-knowledge, cultural sensitivity and understanding of the global nature of our contemporary world.


API Scholarships
API Scholarships and Financial Aid Information

API awards approximately $500,000 in study abroad scholarships annually ranging from $250 -$1,000 per student.

$250 - $1,000

Popular Programs


API offers two programs in Salamanca for gap year students: International Studies & Business program and the Spanish Language & Culture program.
The Spanish Language & Culture Program takes recent high school graduates (minimum age of 17) on the trip of a lifetime! All students will focus their studies on Spanish language at an appropriate difficulty level.
In the International Studies & Business Program, students to take Spanish language courses with other electives taught in english.


API offers two gap year programs in Seville:
The Contemporary Hispanic Studies program takes place at the Universidad de Seville, and is designed for students who do not have any background in the language. In addition to language courses, electives are offered in many subjects. The Spanish Language, Business, and Applied/Social Sciences Program is geared towards those with little to no background in Spanish, but classes for the more advanced Spanish speaker are available as well.


API gap programs in Madrid include:
A Spanish Language, Business, and Humanities Program gap year course in Madrid is a great way to spend your time before college learning about Spanish culture and language. The Spanish Language and Culture Program in Madrid gives gap year students the opportunity to learn the essentials of the Spanish language including oral speech, reading comprehension, and grammar.

Plaza de Espana

Join API Gap Year at the Universidad de Barcelona! Students are not required to have any Spanish but at least one year is recommended. At the beginning of the program, students will be given a test to ascertain their Spanish language skills and then placed in the appropriate class. The courses in Spanish are supplemented by courses on Spanish culture as well as cultural activities outside of the classroom.


API gap year students have three programs to choose from in Granada: two Spanish Language and Culture programs for Beginning/Intermediate-level and Advanced-level speakers. These are ideal for students who would like to study abroad in Granada to improve their Spanish, while also taking cultural and other elective courses. The Intensive Language Program is designed for students who want to quickly advance their Spanish skills over the course of one semester.

Questions & Answers


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Yes, I recommend this program

Salamanca, Spain

Daily Schedule: My roommate and I would wake up to coffee provided by my host mother. Then 9am class until about 1:30 (that was about 4 classes in a row) then straight home to have lunch at 2pm with the host family. The city is relatively small so it was easy to get around. I walked everywhere. After lunch we would have a siesta (or break) and then at around 5pm go outside for some daytime exploring, coffee shops, hanging out with friends, homework--general daily life things. By 9pm we arrived home to dinner. Then there were always nighttime activities to be had with friends.

Salamanca is an absolutely beautiful city. It is a college city, and there are lots of people from all over the world. It was really easy for me to meet people and make friends, but be wary that if you don't put yourself out there, you'll spend your entire semester hanging out with Americans. The accent that is used in Salamanca is very easy to understand, and if you use it as often as you can, you will absolutely improve.
In my time there, I made the mistake of keeping to my American friends for the majority of my time there. Once I finally began hanging out with Spanish friends I picked up the language so quickly, and began having all sorts of Spanish adventures. I am still very very good friends with both my host family, and my international friends from my abroad trip almost 4 years ago.

Salamanca is a relatively safe city. There are very few cases that I heard of pickpocketing, mugging, or violence. I walked home alone very often, and I very rarely felt that I was in any real danger. It is a city; however, and I heard stories, although nothing ever happened to me directly.

I had a very wonderful host family experience. I chose to live with a roommate (also an American), and she and I became quick sisters. We had a very great relationship with our mother and her children (when they came home--they were moved out by then). My Spanish mother was exactly that--a mother. She was strict, but very loving. By the end of our time together, we had a very close relationship. My roommate and I are still dear friends, and we still send letters to her and the family, as well as visit as often as we can.

Lastly, the API program directors were absolutely amazing wonderful women. Every single staff person that I ever met or talked to in the program was so helpful and kind. The directors in Salamanca walked us through everything we could possibly need to know for the program and the city. They were willing and able to help us out of any problems that we encountered (class scheduling, sickness, homesickness, traveling, host families etc.). Likewise, they were so approachable and really cared about each student.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish that the program had had a better way of setting people up with internships, or tutoring in English. I would have really loved to have been able to have something else to do with my time in the afternoon after class. I originally went with API because there was a possibility that I would have been able to find an internship. But upon arriving, it didn't end up being a reality.