The Spanish Program

The Spanish Program

About

The Spanish Program is part of The Spanish Course, a family run business that focus on offering each student the best support, attention and care.

Merche, Fernando and their two twin daughters, Victoria and Raquel, will welcome you to become another member of our family. You will be living in our home, having meals with us, helping and learning how to cook Spanish food among other family related activities. However, you will have your own bedroom with en-suite bathroom to enjoy all the privacy you require.

Our programs have limited student numbers. That’s why we can offer individualised programs to each of our students.

The Spanish Program has teamed up with the Universidad de Cantabria, one of the best Spanish universities, to offer you academic year and semester programs. We can also offer you a long list of

Cantabria and Santander, are the safest region and city in Spain. They're also the best tourist destination in the country according to Lonely Planet.

Reviews

Default avatar
Mary
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome!

A totally unique experience. Santander is a small city with breathtaking views. I could walk to the beach every day before or after class. I always felt safe exploring the city, even walking alone at night. During my stay I lived with Fernando and his family in lovely village just outside Santander: perfect for relaxing after a busy day of lectures. Fernando is so enthusiastic about Spanish and I got to take an intensive Spanish course, before the semester started, which really helped! This program is great because it is exactly what I was looking for. The university and its staff were brilliant plus it is very easy to explore Spain and other European cities like Rome and Vienna from Cantabria!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would come for longer. A semester was way too short!
Response from The Spanish Program

Hola Mary,

I hope you're OK.

Thanks for your comment.

It was lovely to have you here! You were great.

Un saludo,

Fernando.

Default avatar
Ethan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Santander is an amazing city!

Enrolling to study in Cantabria, through the Spanish Program, was the best thing that has ever happened to me. The program I chose was so much fun and I was lucky to be able to meet many other students from across the States. I made so many new friends. I stayed with my host family, Fernando, Merche and the girls, which really helped my language skills and my Spanish is at a much higher level now. Overall, a great experience and I highly recommend it! Ps… Santander is a fabulous city with one of the most beautiful bays in the world!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Explore as much of Cantabria as you can. It's a gorgeous part of the world!
Response from The Spanish Program

Hola Ethan,

We loved to have you here.

Thanks for the review.

Un saludo,

Fernando.

Default avatar
Maria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Santander is an amazing city!

Enrolling to study in Cantabria, through the Spanish Program, was the best thing that has ever happened to me. The program I chose was so much fun and I was lucky to be able to meet many other students from across the States. I made so many new friends. Staying with my host family, Fernando, Merche and the girls, really helped my language skills and my Spanish is at a much higher level now. Overall, a great experience and I highly recommend it! Ps… Santander is a fabulous city with one of the most beautiful bays in the world!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Explore Cantabria as much as you can. It's a gorgeous part of the world.
Default avatar
Maria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I'll never forget my time in Cantabria!

Picking my study abroad program was a stressful for me. Having never left the country, just the idea was daunting, lots of options. However, from the moment I contacted The Spanish Program, I was immediately put at ease by their Fernando, who amazingly, never got tired of my questions. In Sept 2018, I enrolled at the University of Cantabria through The Spanish Program. I was so excited!
When I got to Spain, both Fernando and Andy were there to greet me. We had an afternoon and evening exploring gorgeous Madrid then the following morning we all caught the train north to Cantabria.
My experience abroad was brilliant. The sights I saw, the friends I made and the home I lived in during my stay will forever be part of my life. When not in class, I encourage you to immerse yourself in the city of Santander. It’s a wonderful city.
100% recommended!

What was your funniest moment?
Watching soccer with Fernando. His favorite team is terrible :)
Response from The Spanish Program

Hola Maria,

It was a pleasure to host you. We loved to have you here.

Thanks for such a good review.

Un saludo,

Fernando.

Selfie
Maria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The University of Cantabria was brilliant. The campus is breathtaking!

My experience in Spain was definitely positive. I was debating on where to go in Europe and a friend recommended Cantabria in Northern Spain. I can never thank her enough!
I was nervous as I had never traveled abroad before and Europe is so diverse, I had planned to travel with my friend but she pulled out. In the end my family gave me the courage to go through with this exciting adventure and I am so thankful to them and The Spanish Course for this experience.
They helped me a lot with my initiation and I soon settled in.
I chose to study my subjects in English and it was great. Most of my classes were full of people from all over the world.
The village is a lot different to back home, it is very quiet and calm and the villagers are so friendly.
Tip : Eat at the Marques restaurant in Puente Viesgo. They have the most amazing seafood paella.

When I arrived at Madrid, we (the group) were met by Fernando & Andy from the Spanish Course. We spent the next few days discovering the city before heading north to Cantabria. Great way to start our stay.
Andy recommended watching a game of soccer. I would have liked to watch Ronaldo play but he had already left for Italy.

The University of Cantabria was brilliant. The campus is breathtaking, directly facing the beach!

Andy and Denise’s home in Puente Viesgo is gorgeous. I had my own en-suite bedroom, TV, wi-fi etc...everything i needed. My host mom, Denise, cooked us a variety of delicious English/Spanish meals.

I loved my time in Cantabria. I would recommend it to anyone considering a Study Abroad program.

What would you improve about this program?
If i could change anything, I would have arrived in August for the fall semester. Better weather than Jan/Feb.
Response from The Spanish Program

Hola Maria,

Thanks for your excellent review and for choosing us. Hope you're enjoying your time now.

Un saludo,

Fernando.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

A friend recommended studying a semester in Cantabria, Northern Spain, specifically the homestay program offered by The Spanish Course.

Great weather (considering I arrived in January), plenty of sports, on the coast and most importantly they have an award winning university with a great reputation.

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

In total, I had three video conference meetings with Fernando, one of the directors of my program. I was given all the relevant information on university application deadlines, help obtaining a visa , travel recommendations, advice on travel insurance, etc.

I just needed to arrange flights to Madrid International airport.

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

The one piece of advice I’d give to anyone thinking of studying abroad in Spain is to think carefully about whether of not your language skills are up to the level needed to attend dozens of classes and then the final evaluations in Spanish. Our small group were offered a free two week Spanish course on arrival before we started university, but I’d chosen to study in English.

I consider myself quite good in Spanish, but I wasn’t too sure whether I was at the level needed for studying at University.

The University that I attended for my semester, the University of Cantabria, offered dozens of subjects with the classes and exams in English.

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

For me, the average week involved four hours of lectures per day, Mon-Thurs. Two hour lunches and strolls along the beach in Santander. Dinner with the ‘family’ at Spanish times (8pm).

Attempting to cut the Jamon. Youtube tutorials didn’t really help!

Unwinding at the weekends with a meal in Puente Viesgo. We also managed a couple of weekends to Rome and Dublin. Brilliant!

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

Going to study abroad and being so far away from home, my biggest fear was not having anyone to chat too and maybe feeling a bit isolated.

As it happened, my fears were unfounded because, as well as Andy and Denise, I shared my ‘home’ with two other students from the States. Obviously, we all took the opportunity to practice our Spanish whenever we could. We were placed in a lovely village with plenty of bars, stores and restaurants where we could chat with the locals. I didn’t understand everything (local dialect).

I’d say that, if you are browsing this website just thinking about studying abroad, you probably have fears and doubts. Forget them. Go for it. I promise you, you will love the experience!

Staff Interviews

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

I was born in Santander but grew up in Madrid. After spending a decade working as a Spanish lecturer in England, we settle back in Northern Spain and created our own business: The Spanish Course

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favourite travel memory is when we traveled along the Northern coast of Spain, through Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia. It was 2015 and we spent the whole of the summer in our little caravan with our two, four year old twin girls. Most nights we parked up on beaches and watched amazing sunsets. It was an incredible summer, one we will never forget.

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

After growing up in Spain and then later teaching in Great Britain, it became an ambition of mine to teach the Spanish language and share its amazing culture and history with as many people as I could.

I started 'The Spanish Course' with my wife, Merche, in 2004 and since then we've created so many wonderful memories with our students. Football matches, tortilla making nights, visiting castles, museums or simply sharing family meals together. I've loved every minute. Receiving students from all over the world into our home is a wonderful experience. It made me realise that the world is really a small place but an amazing one and we all need to enjoy it while we can.

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

A few years ago we had a student, Mike, from Dublin staying with us. He was obsessed with improving his Spanish level and stayed three times with us in total. He was great at playing the guitar and had spent some time busking around a few European cities. We had many sing-a-long nights listening to him on the guitar.

Anyway, recently we received an email from him out the blue and it seems he's in South America on tour with a Queen tribute band. I bet he didn't think he'd be doing that when he grew up!

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

I would choose the total immersion program that we offer at our home. I would spend four months at the Universidad de Cantabria, studying my chosen subjects in Spanish whilst living with us at our 18th century family home just outside Santander. Its the best way by far to improve your Spanish level and get some credits at the same time.

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

We offer 2 programs were students can study their chosen subjects in Spanish or English at one of the top 3 universities in Spain whilst living 'at home' with either a Spanish or an English family. All this situated in Cantabria, one of the safest places in the whole of Europe and voted 2nd best destination 2018 by Lonely Planet. I'm really proud of what our company offers and believe we offer real value for money when compared to other Study Abroad providers.

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

I believe that the biggest factor in being a successful company is being 100% committed to our students, understanding their needs and differences whilst remembering that every one of them is unique and special. It is also important to offer a top quality service and welcoming students to live with our family is the best quality anyone could offer.