Spain is the land of flashy Flamenco dancing, the adrenaline-pumping Running of the Bulls, and the thrillingly messy La Tomatina food throwing festival. This country is a goldmine of activities, delectable food, and delicious drinks, and it is also the perfect place to learn Spanish. Would you rather learn a new language sitting in a classroom or by going out into the streets and shopping at the local market and then sipping sangria at the local café? It has been shown over and over again that the best way to acquire a language is to be immersed in the culture. If you are serious about gaining fluency and improving your skills, then Spain would be a perfect place for you to study abroad.
Spain at a Glance
Domestic Population: 47.7 Million People
Capital City: Madrid
Trivia: Spain has three other officially recognized languages – Euskara/Basque, Catalan, and Galician.
When is The Best Time to Study a Language in Spain
Language study is a very popular route to choose when traveling since you can find anything from a month-long class to a yearlong program. One of the best parts about studying abroad is being able to choose a program that fits you. The shorter programs are great for beginners, those who are very advanced, and those who need a refresher course.
For students in the intermediate range, a longer program would be better. Shorter programs can feel overwhelming since a full semester’s worth of material will be taught in a month or two months. If you are really dedicated to learning the language, then a yearlong program is recommended.
Do not be afraid to mix and match. You could choose to do a summer class as an introduction and then continue on in the fall in a more advanced class.
Programs and Popular Cities
Madrid: The capital of Spain is a phenomenal city of fine art, fabulous food, and friendly folk. You must visit the numerous museums, especially the Museo del Prado, in between sampling the epic nightlife and trying to eat your weight in tapas.
- Academic Programs International (API) Madrid
- CEA Study Abroad Madrid
Barcelona: This seaside international city is famed for its architecture and for its beaches. Do not forget to swing around Parc Güell and La Sagrada Familia, both designed by famous architect Antoni Gaudi.
- Academic Programs International (API) Barcelona
- CEA Study Abroad Barcelona
Salamanca: The Old City of Salamanca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the perfect place to go for those language students who enjoy history. After sitting down for a meal in Plaza Mayor, you should visit the impressive Old Cathedral (Catedral Vieja) and the New Cathedral (Catedral Nueva), and do not forget to pay a visit to the University of Salamanca (Universidad de Salamanca).
- AIFS Salamanca
- Academic Programs International (API) Salamanca
Seville: This enchanting city is the capital of the Andalucian region and boasts impressive performances of Flamenco and bullfighting. Make sure to visit during their Holy Week (Semana Santa) and be sure to swing by the Cathedral of Seville which is the largest Gothic building in Europe and one of the largest cathedrals in the world.
- CIEE Study Abroad Seville
- Adelante Abroad Seville
Housing Options in Spain
There are a few options available for housing. One of the most popular choices is a homestay where you would live with a local family. You can opt to have a roommate share this experience with you. This is a great opportunity for immersion and to really experience how locals live. There are some homestays that permit you to have access to the kitchen to prepare your own meals.
Another option is to live in a residencia. These are a cross between hostels, dormitories, and homestays. Residencias are usually run by families but house up to 30 students. This is a great way to mingle with fellow students but to still be a part of the local lifestyle.
You can opt for a shared apartment that you either find on your own or that the program provides for you. With this choice you can have greater privacy and a chance to unwind from a day of learning Spanish.
Finally you can stay in a dormitory (Colegio Mayor). This would place you with a mixture of local Spanish students and other internationals. This would be perfect for those with a higher level of fluency since you could make local friends and experiment with learning slang and other colloquial mannerisms.
Costs of Language Study Programs in Spain
Summer programs start at around $3,000 and this cost includes housing and most meals. There are some programs that also include field trips and other excursions. Double check with each company to see what else is built into the price.
Semester programs start at around $7,000. You might even be able to find a program that offers insurance as a part of their package.
Yearlong programs cost anywhere from $18,000-$30,000 and up depending on where you go and what is included in the price. Make sure to shop around to see what program best suits you along with the cost. Also check to see what scholarships and grants are available to you.
Spanish is an incredibly important language to learn since it will help you communicate in many parts of the world. Having a foreign language under your belt will make you marketable and it might also expand your field of opportunities. You might also find your own world view expanding as you travel and live and learn abroad. Spain is a fantastic country that is diverse, beautiful, and filled with culture. You will not go wrong by choosing to learn Spanish in Spain.