Spain: Spanish Language & Culture

Video and Photos

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Our time spent in Guadix
Our time spent in Guadix
Our time spent in Madrid
Our time spent in Madrid
Our time spent in Madrid
Our time spent in Madrid
Spain
Spain
Spain
Spain

About

Begin your journey in Madrid, exploring famous sites, museums, and neighborhoods while sampling local food. Travel to the province of Andalucía and dive into Spanish language classes.

This program has two language groups. Group One has language training in Granada, where the group will attend exclusive classes divided by language and learn through music, film, city scavenger hunts, and field trips. Group Two has language classes and arts training in Guadix. This group will practice Spanish with classes in ceramics, theater, and flamenco. Students will learn about Romani culture and practice their flamenco with local community members. Both groups explore Granada, including the Alhambra palace, city gardens, and local museums.

Your immersion continues with a homestay, where you will visit local markets, beaches, and cafés with a host family. Experience Spain’s outdoors while trekking along a river and canoeing. Return to Madrid for final language practice.

Highlights
  • Language
  • Arts
  • Culinary
  • Water Activity
  • Homestay

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 18 reviews
  • Growth 9.6
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 15 of 18
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Kelvin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best time ever

The trip overall was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I got to meet the most amazing people from all around the U.S and Spain. I feel so lucky to have met them. We all created such a great bond with each other. They have become some of my best friends for life. Same goes with the group leaders. They were so kind and nice to all of us and always made sure that we were having fun and safe. I miss them more and more everyday. We are all planning on meeting up again. I was really surprised of how much I immersed into the culture. This trip has made me feel more confident to meet new people and try new things. I will always cherish the memories I I have about this trip. If I could do this trip all over again. I would. I am so grateful for such an amazing experience.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I would have to say the most nerve-racking part of the trip was the homestay. I am personally very timid when meeting now people. So I was a bit anxious, but as my stay went on I became in love with my family. They were so sweet and kind. They always made sure I was having a good time and safe.
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Nicole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing: Would not take it back

I had such an amazing time abroad. Coming in, I was admittedly nervous, but I have never met a more supportive, kind group in my life. We were all so enthusiastic and willing to learn and explore, and the group leaders were so kind and really ensured that we had fun. The scheduled activities ensured that we found out the history and were showed some classic sites, while the freedom allowed for us to travel in small groups and live like locals, finding miradors around the cities, finding places to buy souvenirs, or just to buy snacks. I made new best friends, whether it be with spaniards or with americans in my group. I will forever have a group of people that shared this amazing experience with me, and i will forever keep them in my life. I can't wait to go back some time.

What would you improve about this program?
I wouldn't change anything. It was honestly so amazing.
Default avatar
Citlalli
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Most Memorable Month of my life

This program allowed me to have the most amazing summer of my life. The leaders were amazing people who were so helpful, fun, and loving. They wanted to make sure we had a great time and they really succeeded. The experience was shared with an awesome group of other teenagers. We all shared our memories together and we became close super quickly. Overall, The Experiment does everything they can to ensure we really enjoy our trip. I highly recommend. Spain is amazing and it is so great to be able to make memories with some of your new best friends. The experience was overall amazing and I would recommend it to anybody who has never traveled overseas. It was my first time travelling overseas and I'm so glad I did it with The Experiment. Nothing could have been better for first travellers.

What would you improve about this program?
I do not think I would change a single thing about this trip.
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Claire
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Without a doubt the best month of my life.

During my time in Spain I was deeply immersed in a culture which held little in common with what I had been living my whole life. This allowed to both my mind and my heart to open in ways that could not be possible by staying in the United States forever. The country itself was almost as beautiful as the people living within it who opened their arms to me without a second thought. I was overwhelmed by the mesmerizing scenery, the fascinating history, and the intricate language which filled every street. My group leaders never once failed to give me and the rest of my group anything less than an awesome experience. The in-country partners were just as organized and intelligent, enabling me and my group to receive education and inclusion way beyond what we would ever get as simple tourists. My host family were incredibly kind, caring, and funny, and my time with them flew by. Never did I have doubts or feel unsafe during this trip. Every single aspect and every single detail allowed me to grow and form new appreciation for the world and for life. Because of this trip I now feel as though I have a second home and a second family, neither of which I will ever forget.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
GO FOR IT! Take chances whenever you can. Try everything and talk to everyone. The more people you meet and connect with the more you grow and learn and become better. Also; don't be afraid to pack some cute clothes because I didn't and I regretted it big time.
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Fiona
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Becoming One With The Culture

My experience was unique because I learned how to live in the moment and let myself be a part of the culture instead of only observing it from a distance. Because I let myself be emersed into Spanish culture it allowed for me to have a stronger bond with my host family. I began adapting to their household norms and behavioral norms such as the cheek to cheek kiss greeting. If I were to give any advice to any newcomers to the program would be to stay away from your phone as much as you can. You will see beautiful views but sometimes it's better to just observe the scene through fresh eyes instead of through a camera lens or phone screen. I also recommend giving yourself time every day to reflect on your journey and journal about it. I found that writing down what I did each day very helpful because I have a horrible memory and it will be something you can always look back on in the future. Applying for this program was one of the best things I could have done for myself so I highly recommend traveling with The Experiment of International Living.

What would you improve about this program?
If I were to improve one thing about this program it would be the social scene within the group. I think that frequent changes within groups that break off for dinner and such would be more beneficial for the social aspect of the trip because the students get to become closer with the entire group instead of just a few people. I think this would prevent anyone from feeling excluded and isolated from the rest of the group.
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Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Trip

Activities were very enjoyable and helped the group become closer and work together. The classes we took were pleasant and fun. The host family made me feel comfortable and included me in all of their activities and made me feel as if I was back in Florida. They made me feel comfortable. The group leaders made me feel safe and made sure I was feeling okay considering my dietary needs. My overall experience could not have gone any better than it did.

What would you improve about this program?
My experience couldn't have gone any better.
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Tiffany
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Summer Ever

Going to Spain with the Experiment was the best decision of my life. Not only was I able to understand the Spanish culture and language but i was also immersed in courses where I learned Spanish, ceramics, and flamenco dancing. I was able to do tours of authentic places in Spain where the tourist population is minimal to none. I felt like doing this i was able to have a better experience and understanding of the Spanish culture and improved my Spanish because I was forced to communicate by speaking only Spanish. I was also able to make friends who are now like family to me and I consider like my brothers and siblings. There is nothing I would want to change about my experience and the program.

What would you improve about this program?
This program can be improved by the group leaders giving more heads up of what the day's activity would be so that a student can dress more accordingly to the activity.
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Nathan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Experience of a Lifetime!

This program was so much more than a simple trip abroad. From living with a wonderful, caring, and supportive host family to making countless connections with locals and fellow Experimenters alike, this experience was truly one that I will never forget. Despite previous travels abroad, this experience allowed me to completely immerse myself in a foreign culture more fully than any opportunity that I had had before. It was truly amazing to be able to meet local Spaniards and create unique, memorable friendships with them while learning about Spain’s beautiful language and culture. However, I still believe that the best part of this experience was the ability to live with a host family for an entire week and a half. Although the availability of this aspect of traveling abroad is harder to find nowadays, it is, in my opinion, what made this trip so unbelievable. During this time period, my Spanish skills improved remarkably and I made unforgettable personal connections with my host family and their friends which will undoubtedly last a lifetime. All in all, my participation in this program has provided me with indescribably precious memories and friendships that I am sure to treasure for the rest of my life.

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Iliyah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

Going abroad by itself can be lifechanging, but the ease of transitioning and the help of my group leaders is really what helped me be as open and excited as I was. Not only were leaders there to teach us life skills and skills for abroad, they also were emotionally there for us when the reality of situations hit. Being with The Experiment, I never felt unsafe or out of place wherever I went. The bonds I've made and people I've connected with exceeds any other group experience I've had domestic or abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
The only issue I had was finding my way around the airport
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Adreanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Homeless

"Por favor ayudame"- A piece of cardboard held between tired hands grabbed my eye. A woman, maybe late 30's, held out this cry for help, asking pedestrians for spare change. Her sign then continued to describe how she has 2 children in need of food. Unfortunately, during my time in Spain, I saw this too often. "How are they allowed to beg?" I asked. Arturo, our in-country advisor, had a solemn look on his face and explained how homelessness is a big issue in Spain. It seemed to me that asking for change was legal and often ignored. As well as sleeping on benches, ledges, or anywhere you can lay your belongings down. I had never seen something like this before. I knew homelessness was a problem, but I have never realized it was to this extent.
In my hometown of Key West, begging is not tolerated. So this situation was something extremely odd and foreign, but to Arturo, it was something sad and typical. In Granda, as we took our hike to where we would have our language classes, we stopped at "La Mirador de San Nicholas" A viewpoint overlooking La Alhambra. There sat an older woman, next to her, boxes of castantes. Shell-shaped clappers connected with string. As people passed by she looked longingly. As if praying for someone to look at her product. As someone would walk by, she would play the castantes.
This woman stayed in my mind throughout the day, as we began to leave the school, I saw her again still playing her castantes. Then almost every day on our way to school I would see her. It bothered me so much I began to not even look at her. But as we pass more and more people without homes, I saw others do the same. Too ashamed to watch and to distracted to care. I then saw how instead of becoming the solution, I was ignoring the problem.
Over 40,000 people in Spain are homeless,1.5 million families are living in shelters, and over 100 million people are homeless worldwide. As these statistics continue to rise, so does the rate of unemployment. These events have unexpectedly made me realize that because of my actions I might have affected someone's life. I was feeding into these statistics without even realizing it. Although I might not be able to help them financially, I could help with my body expression and what I say. Sometimes just being kind to someone can change an attitude. Or perspective.
Too many times have I seen mothers with their children hold just a little bit tighter while passing by someone less fortunate than them, or see someone looking down at them because of their situation. Unfortunately, people are put in that position of being homeless because of being laid off at work, addiction, etc.…
Since my Experiment in Spain, I've found myself being kinder. Saying hello instead of silently judging, or offering a warm smile while passing by instead of moving away. I believe that people follow by example. I am now a senior in high school and have learned that what I do is seen by others. Therefore what I do or say can influence people positively or negatively. I want to be that change that people see in the world. I am a leader and a role model to the younger generation. I believe that educating people on the statistics of homelessness and showing how to be kind to people can help better the future and help create a more peaceful world. This program has enlightened me in so many ways that I could go on forever about my experience. I've chosen this story to talk about to show that actually experiencing the country does not always mean rainbows and butterflies. This has opened my eyes to an issue that I otherwise would have never thought about and has made me realize that I can influence change from the knowledge I've learned in my experiment abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
I believe this program is perfect the way it is.
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Jake
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experiences in Spain

I must say that my trip to Spain was all that I expected and more. Throughout the trip, I was taught the Spanish language through complete immersion, and I learned more than I thought possible. I think it's important that future participants realize that this trip is a learning experience designed so that any Spanish language background is fine. This was most emphasized by my lack of in-depth knowledge because of the few language classes I had taken prior. However, it is essential that I state, that this lack of knowledge, though troublesome, was efficacious in altering the experiences I had. Through my struggles with the language barrier, my trip was made unique. I forced myself out of the so called 'comfort zone' and into the unique country of Spain. I learned the names of foods in Spanish by simply eating them and figuring out what I ate after, and I learned subjunctives through the explanations of kids my age in Spain. Overall, I must say that this trip was a learning experience, and any future experimenter should know that the best way to learn in Spain is full immersion. No matter how little Spanish you know, it's good to meet locals and just talk to them.

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Ciara
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

No Pain Spain

This program provided me with a comfortable and encourage setting of kids from all of the US as well as kids from Spain to help improve my language skills as well as explore the culture. The in country leader was fantastic at explaining historical sites and significance to us both in Spanish and in English, allowing us to have a deeper understanding of our surroundings. The homestay portion was for me, as well as many others, was another great highlight of the trip. Personally, the activities done with the host siblings made everyone feel included and allowed us to make unforgettable friendships. A lot of us still have shared group chats to keep in contact with one another.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing that caused a little concern were the living conditions in Granada. This included things like not being able to eat outside the cafeteria, the rooms smelling, but these were eventually compromised.
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Janet
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spain 2018

My experience on the Experiment was beyond incredible. Initially, I was extremely hesitant to be immersing myself in such an unfamiliar culture for what seemed to be for such an extensive amount of time, but these emotions quickly faded. The 15 strangers that made up my group turned into my close friends almost instantaneously, and the experiences we shared were beyond compare. From exploring the streets of Madrid and Toledo, to meeting our homestay families in Guadix, to taking language and history classes in Granada, my time in Spain succeeded all my expectations. While I was the most anxious about the homestay portion of the trip, I ended up absolutely loving it. My family was beyond welcoming, and even though the language barrier was difficult to take in at first, I grew more comfortable communicating as time went by. I have so many great memories with my family from Guadix and they were, without a doubt, one the hardest goodbyes. I highly recommend this program, as not only is Spain such an amazing country full of endless culture and beauty, but I also met some of my best friends through this experience.

Jane
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

I went into this trip with not super high expectations because I was a bit nervous about spending a full month in a different country (my first time in Europe, no less!) and a different language with a group of people I'd never met before. My Experiment group turned out to be some of the coolest, funniest, most loving and wonderful people I've ever had the honor of meeting. They are like my second family. We still keep in touch and talk quite often! The program itself was also amazing! I learned so much about Spain's history and culture. We were able to visit some beautiful museums and see great pieces of art. I loved every second of it. Our homestays were in Granada, and that was a very immersive and interesting experience for us all! I think my Spanish skills improved, my interpersonal skills improved, and I had the best summer of my life (: We also did ceramics, flamenco, and language sessions for 2 weeks in a small town named Guadix. There, I was able to explore the town at night with friends and it was truly magical. To be in a new place and breathe the air and experience life and love and friendship was so incredibly special. Also, my leaders on the trip were super knowledgeable and cool!

My favorite part of the program was the 2 weeks we spent in Guadix because I just felt so much personal growth. In a language class activity, we had to ask locals for directions to a "secret" place (the house of a famous artist) and it was so strange to see strangers stop their day and help a group of Americans to find a seemingly random place. A lady we encountered actually waved to a moving car, motioned for the driver to stop, and asked him if he could help us out. And he did! Incredible.

To future participants: Look at the Spanish sky; it's so unbelievably blue and beautiful. Take those siestas, the naps will do you good. Don't get distracted, focus on being in Spain and truly experiencing it. Make each moment last. Don't be afraid to speak Spanish. Listen to the history lessons and museum guides; Spanish history is one of the richest and most fascinating in the world! And last but not least, have fun!

What would you improve about this program?
Spending some time in Barcelona would be incredible!
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Sahil
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A life changing opportunity!

I learned a lot and grew as an individual by traveling abroad to Spain through the Experiment. The group leaders, host families, and coordinators made this trip especially memorable for me. I not only learned more about myself and how independent I was traveling to another country, but I also was able to strengthen my Spanish skills greatly. This was an experience that I'll cherish and I'll never forget.

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About The Experiment in International Living

The Experiment in International Living is the most experienced provider of summer abroad programs for high school students. For more than 85 years, our immersive programs have allowed participants to explore the world in an authentic and impactful...