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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

Life transformation

The best decision I could make! My three months in Spain have been really great.My flatmates in the apartment were very nice and always willing to help if there was a problem. I also really liked my project and enjoyed the work and time with the pets in the animal sanctuary.The trips that I took part with the School were always very organized and full of new experiences. Since Spain has a lot to offer regarding it’s nature, cities and scenery I was always able to discover new and different parts of the country. I have met a lot of amazing people there and enjoyed my stay very much. Now I want to get a degree as a vet.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
A strong understanding and background of the Spanish language is needed. In addition, being an Undergraduate student studying a STEM major would be recommended.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing overseas experience

I carefully researched volunteers programs abroad and I am so glad I chose Instituto Hemingway! They leave no stone unturned in preparing you for success. My program was absolutely perfect!

I had an enriching experience in Bilbao. I'd say plan for a minimum of two weeks to have some sort of impact on the dogs lives. The program could have benefited from some more structure and concrete objectives, but it was flexible to accommodate each volunteer's interest.

The accommodations were brand new and very nice. This program far exceeded my expectations. Bilbao is easy to settle into. I felt very safe in this incredible international city.

I would highly recommend Instituto Hemingway without any hesitation. I experienced numerous once in a lifetime moments and will forever have wonderful memories of Hemingway

What would you improve about this program?
The programme is a great - animals, the accommodation, Bilbao is a great town for those new to Bilbao. It's really safe, interesting, a great place for culture and people - full of great restaurants and shops. The programme could be improved by having more of a set curriculum for the volunteers to follow rather than having each volunteer create their own as it would improve consistency for the dogs. Maybe, they could also give the volunteers some pre-work to prepare before they reach Spain.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Eye-opening opportunity

6 weeks in Spain as a high school student was a catalyst for much needed and life changing introspection and inspiration. Traveling in a country/culture so vastly different than my own pushed me into patience, acceptance, wonder, and gratitude. My heart grew, my determination blossomed, and I began to see that there is a place in the world for me with all my specific passions.
I look back so grateful for our instructors, who pushed us while supporting us. Who lead us both through meditation, and silly games to play with my roommates. I laugh when remembering trying to communicate with my teacher the time I showed off a whistling trick, and was eventually told it was disastrously bad luck.

I loved beach cleaning and doing something rewarding for nature and humankind. We were people from all over the world doing that experience, contributing to pick up thrash from oceans and friendships I made on that placement are definitely true and strong.

I cherish all these memories, the beautiful and the challenging; and embrace the confidence it's given me to keep searching for both beauty and challenge.

What would you improve about this program?
Recipes to take home! I would have liked to spend more time learning Spanish and taking more lessons. It is such a beautiful language!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful volunteer experience in Spain

The programme is a great - the placement, the accommodation, the cultural activities and the staff. Bilbao is a great town for those new to Spain. It's really safe, interesting, a great place for culture and people - full of great restaurants and shops. Instituto Hemingway organizes all professionally and with a touch of sense of humour that makes you feel welcome. The art therapy was super in just one word. I learned so much about people with disabilities and about ways to express themselves through art!

What would you improve about this program?
The programme could be improved by having more of a set curriculum for the volunteers to follow rather than having each volunteer create their own as it would improve consistency for the children. Maybe, Instituto could also give the volunteers some pre-work to prepare before they reach Spain. I am sure that most volunteers would be happy to do this and it would be easier than trying to prepare in Spain, specially if first time in Europe. Overall, a great programme.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible trip to my favourite country!!

My trip to Spain with these guys was one I will never forget, I am a teacher in the States and I really wanted to go out of the country and give back. I never could have imagined what I was walking in to.

If I were to describe this experience in only one word I would say it was mind-opening. It has helped me evolve from so many points of view. Not only did I learn to be more independent and choose for myself, but I also I got to know amazing hard-working people. I managed to do my project and build friendships with the other volunteers. I felt that I truly belonged to that world and I was devastated when I had to leave. The program was simply marvellous

What was your funniest moment?
I can say I got to live one of the best moments of my life when I encountered an octopus that gripped my hand. I have never felt something like that ever before. I think that this experience helped me grow a lot and made me understand how beautiful and unique the marine world really is. Furthermore, I managed to learn new things about a foreign culture and I loved exploring different parts of Bilbao on my own and with other volunteers. Even more, the staff was so kind and helpful that I almost felt part of their family. All in all, I find it incredible that even after a month I still think about those moments and me and the other volunteers are still keeping in touch. Now, all I want to do is embark in a similar adventure as soon as possible.


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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.

Jose Lopez

Jose has worked in Instituto Hemingway since 1999 looking after the study abroad programs . He has traveled all around Europe and spent two years living in USA, an incredible life changing experience. He enjoys helping students and making things easier for everybody. His aim is to make sure that everybody is satisfied with their experience. He is a reachable accessible person.

What position do you hold at Instituto Hemingway? What has been your career path so far?

I am the director and I also hold a bachelor degree in psychology. I have a passion for traveling around and making things easy and enjoyable for everybody. I honestly think that having experiences overseas has a deep impact on personalities of all types and upgrades the resumes of each one. I think that the world is small but the only thing we need to do is get some motivation and leave fears aside. We only have one life to enjoy. We will have time to stay at home when we get old.

Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you?

Jose: I think it is important because you get another soul, you open your heart and have more confidence in your self and tolerance. It is the fastest way to understand culture and people. Otherwise you will always be a tourist with the eyes of an adult but not with the eyes of the child you have inside that has an interest and curiosity for everything. Nowadays we live in multi cultural ethnical religious societies and the more languages you know the richer you are, more complex and adaptability in terms of learning life.

What was your favorite traveling experience?

Jose: I have learnt from my wide range of visits to different countries all over the world, unique experiences that took place in cities that are not promoted so much in terms of marketing. At the end of the day many tourists go to places they have seen or read on media. Why not going to places that are not so crowded with foreign tourists?

This is what I do when I travel, not going to places where other foreigners like me would go because, one thing is where foreigners go and a different issue is where local people go and that does not fit in. In massive touristy cities everything is more expensive, less authentic and less dedicated to you as a tourist.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

Jose: Fantastic prices for everybody, irrespective of age, time of the year or academic background. We open all year round, answer questions in 24 hours max. and guarantee a unique experience. We also have Skype interviews before coming to our programs to avoid all problems of adaptation.