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Instituto Hemingway

Why choose Instituto Hemingway?

Our Spanish School offers Spanish courses in Bilbao and other cities in Spain with excellent reviews all year round starting from one week on, internships in culinary arts in Spain, jobs in hospitality management in Spain, Spanish online courses, unpaid internships and School trips to Spain for graduate and undergraduate students.
Our teachers are energetic, bubbling over with enthusiasm, and spontaneously combust from laughter on a daily basis. Instituto Hemingway is welcoming, friendly, happy, excited, Cervantes accredited, and so fabulous it's out of this world!

Get out of your comfort zone and study in Northern Spain. Instituto Hemingway will give you more friends than Facebook, more professional skills than LinkedIn, more family than you can count to embarrass you on holiday, and will make your heart explode from loving your life too much.
You the student are the center of our universe. Like your new friends you come from all over the globe, are of all ages.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Great online lessons with fantastic teacher

I've been to many educational environments and This organization is in a class of its own. The staff is very calculated and professional, the foundation and fundamentals are tailored towards the student so there's no one-size fits all approach. anybody looking to grow in the education space by learning a new language, I don't think you can compare a college classroom to what this program offers, there's no unnecessary electives thats required. Only pure installation of the language and culture.

Eduardo was the best ever teacher I could have, professional and at the same time with deep knowledge of cultural issues, experimented traveller and nice person too.

I would highly recommend this experience for anyone interested in learning Spanish in a fast and efficient way

What would you improve about this program?
I have no improvement suggestions; I am completely satisfied with this course.
  • Great teacher
  • nice facility
  • helfpul staff
  • It was Spanish from Spain
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Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Spain with meaningful impact on environment

Wonderful experience meeting and working with a great bunch of people from around the world. Can’t wait to undertake another programme . Had great support from staff and participants were eager and keen to learn and improve the skills about permaculture and environmental impact Have made friends for life and have discovered a beautiful country. Accommodation was beyond my expectations. Great outdoor area to sit and thankfully the weather was amazing . Would highly recommend this programme for people all ages as a great way to meet and engage with others, If you're seeking an experience that combines language learning, cultural exchange, and personal growth, I wholeheartedly recommend giving Instituto Hemingway a try. It's an investment in yourself and a step towards a more interconnected global community

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I found the work rewarding as you can really feel the impact you have had on the participants at the end of each programme.

The team was extremely supportive especially when I felt unwell or stressed during the programme. They always tried their best to accommodate the needs of the international participants.
  • Experience different culture
  • Learn a new language
  • Making friends with people from all over the world
  • Language barrier at first but then with language lessons no problems
  • schedules can be a bit chaotic but you get used to it
  • weather changes quite a lot sometimes
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Yes, I recommend this program

This program is a must for people who love animals

This program was beyond amazing! I had the time of my life working with dogs at the animal shelter in Northern Spain. I really felt like I was making a difference in there lives. Not too mention being able to see a lot of city attractions along with other cities in Spain. This experience also taught me how to be more responsible and how to work with other people well. It is definitely an experience that without a doubt I will remember for the rest of my life and I would recommend this project to anyone who is interested in working with animals

What would you improve about this program?
I think the exact organization of day to day volunteering could be improved but that is a simple thing to fix.
  • Everyone was super friendly.
  • The dogs were so fun to work with
  • I got see many of city attractions and other cities in Spain
  • The language barrier is a little difficult at first.
  • It’s a little confusing getting to the animal shelter because you have to use the train
  • You have to be really patient with people.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Memorable experience in Spain

This program in Spain is so rewarding in so many ways. This country and this program is fantastic in block capitals. I met wonderful people, immersed myself in the culture , worked hard yet still had fun and relaxed, ate more than I should and laughed. This was a stunning experience that I would recommend to any traveler of any age

I feel this experience provided me more perspective on how other people live. It made me more humble and allowed me the chance to explore some difficult emotions around privilege which I think is important. If someone was hesitant I would tell them that the local team is amazing and super supportive. They ensure you are safe and taken care of. I would encourage anyone to go in with an open mind and remain flexible. Just embrace the culture and experience because your time will go by extremely fast.

What was your funniest moment?
I ate for the first time rabbit. This was one of the best thinks I ate. If you are not vegetarian, defenetly try it. You can eat it with the head off. It makes you not to think what you eating.
  • You will practice and gain confidence with the Spanish language
  • You will be inmersed in another culture
  • You will participate in ethical community service
  • Sign up early or the program you want may fill up
  • Your friends, relative and family will not be with you. Challenging if first time solo abroad
  • Best to plan ahead and take Spanish classes before you go
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Yes, I recommend this program

Internship Instituto Hemingway

I am a student from Ireland, that had to complete co op placement in Spain to improve my Spanish. I stayed in Hemingway working as an intern for approximately three months. I was welcomed with great positivity and a friendly work atmosphere. At the beginning of my trip to Spain I felt overwhelmed and unfamiliar with the culture and country.
However, after first day with Hemingway I felt more at ease and excited for the journey ahead. I met all my work colleagues who welcomed me with kindness, friendliness and knowledge. I was properly trained within the office, and soon understood my task and responsibility within the company.
I learned a lot through my internship with Instituto Hemingway, about office administrations, teaching skills and also have developed my Spanish. The people at Hemingway all became my close friends as we went to events hosted by the company and all worked together as a team within the office.
I could not have asked for a better group of people to complete my internship with! I hope you all get to experience what I have loved !

  • fascinating culture
  • Improvement in Spanish level
  • beautiful city of Bilbao


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I wanted an opportunity to change my career path from a dissatisfying corporate job to a rewarding career that can take me traveling around the world and enable me to gain cultural experiences in Spain.

Instituto Hemingway had preplanned excursions included in the program that allowed me to do even more traveling and check off some things that were already on my bucket list, without the hassle of planning more things by myself. Not to mention, the pre-departure support, day of traveling support, and on-site support allowed me to be confident in my safety and ability to endure so a large adventure all on my own!!

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The Instituto Hemingwa provided me with top quality information travel assistance, support staff and teachers who were extremely knowledgeable and made the whole experience extremely worthwhile.

They organized my program and also the accommodation in a fantastic shared apartment next to school, and assisted with holiday and activity options.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

If I were to do the course again, I would definitely choose a professional organization that is well-credentialed and respected like Hemingway. It makes it so much easier having a strong support base and experienced team.

I would definitely allow for more travel time either before or after the course, so you can get to appreciate the country you are visiting.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The program is very solid and lots to fit in every day, as it is a compact course.

Having said that, there were still afternoons off and a couple of free days to chill. And an average day consisted of about 4 hours at school with a mixture of theory and practical class observations and activities.

After school, you would generally need to do 2 hours of homework or reading.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I guess my only fear was not finishing the course or not being able to do the assignments and lesson plans in time. But the course structure and support of the teachers was a huge benefit in allaying my fears. This made a big difference in my ability to manage the course effectively and get everything done.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Rodrigo Llorente Alarcón

Job Title
Manager Assistant
He was born in Mexico but at the age of 11, his parents moved to Spain. Since he was 19 years old, Rodrigo has been working with Instituto Hemingway.
Rodrigo Llorente Alarcón


What is your favorite travel memory?

My most memorable travel experience would have to be my trip to Egypt. My girlfriend and I decided that rather than planning the typical tourist holiday to visit Egypt, we would go about it in a more unorthodox way, to try to get the most authentic experience possible. The day we went to see the Pyramids, we left our hotel and went by metro, and then got on a bus to go the rest of the way. As soon as we arrived we were stunned - despite having seen pictures and films all our lives about these majestic structures, it couldn't compare to seeing them for the first time in person. We bought tickets to go see them up close as well as to go inside. Being there, face to face with these gargantuan objects, these huge one-tonne blocks, its impossible to imagine what they did to get one on top of the other. We entered the Pyramid and passed through tight corridors, less than one meter wide, going by galleries, fearing the the unimaginable weight right above our heads might collapse at any moment for its sheer mas. Inside we even saw the inscription, Scoperta da G. Belzoni 2 mar. 1818 left by the first explorer to re-enter the pyramid in the modern era.

But the most special moment of all was when we left the site, and walked for a distance, enough to see them from far away. We entered a bar, ordered some drinks and sat outside on a sofa where we looked at the Pyramids as night fell, and then we slept right there. The next day we made the trip back, and listened to Echoes by Pink Floyd, which was the most magical moment for us.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I started working for my company when I was 19 years old, and for me my work has been a fundamental part of my development. I had to learn to be responsible, to deal with sensitive issues and above all else I had to learn to listen to others.

At the same time, I have seen how all sorts of stereotypes are proven false, as when working with people from various different countries, social status, levels of education and ages, you realize that each person is their own world, with a personality that often doesn't match up with first impressions.

Generally speaking, my job has given me the opportunity to have a home in nearly every country in the world. It has given me a curiosity and desire to learn other languages like German, and has made me realize that English truly allows it to not matter where you are from, and that someone will always be able to understand you at some point.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I met a student from the United States named Liam. He was here in Spain for nearly a year and afterwards he began to travel the world. One day he returned to Bilbao and told me incredible stories about going to some islands in Polynesia. It was so exotic and outside of everything I knew that it seemed fantastic, and he impressed me as well with his artwork, as he enjoyed sketching from time to time too.

After his time with us, he continued speaking Spanish in the United States and even went to see Ernest Hemingway's house. Nowadays, he works as a surf instructor and we are hoping he will return one day to tell us more about his life.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Without a doubt I would choose our Beach/Mountain Cleaning Project. It seems really fun and I find particularly interesting the sheer quantity of hidden rubbish that is produced in our society. We are always in clean places, with bin containers close by our homes and we are led to believe that rubbish isn't a real problem However, going to the beaches and finding sofas, shoes, tennis balls, lighters, all sorts of bottles etc, and then returning the next day to find the same things back again, the only thought it brings to mind is that we are too many in this world and we don't do enough. Its like when you go inside a warehouse and see rows and rows of new products waiting to be used and you think that it wouldn't even matter if you took one, tomorrow there'll be another one just the same, and so on. Truthfully, collecting litter in the most unsuspecting places makes you reflect on the quantity of objects that we use and how irresponsible it is for us to throw them away improperly.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I think that our company is unique in that we always try to do the best we can even if we aren't perfect. We are a small school, with few staff and a variety of projects, but when a problem arises we strive to find a solution. I'm proud of our team when we are able to fulfill our students wishes and make sure they have a good time, and when they confess to us afterwards how happy they are to have chosen Bilbao, even though it isn't the biggest or most famous city, because of their choice to study or volunteer with us. Overall, we are unique for the way in which we help people to learn and enjoy their stay while they forge relationships and have new experiences which give them a connection to here.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I consider the key to our success to be our drive to constantly reinvent ourselves and look for new initiatives. It is a process of using our own motivation to bring new experiences to our students. On the others hand, our flexibility is perhaps what most characterize us, as while we may not follow the most standard protocols as a larger business might, due to us being a closer and more familiar company, we get to enjoy the chance to meet and get to know our students, sharing experiences and listening to their recommendations .