The distinct regions of Spain offer an array of choices for the language learner
Spain is divided into autonomous regions, each with its own government and often with an entirely different character, and even some different languages, like Catalan, Gallego, and Basque (Euskadi).
There are 15 regions on the Spanish mainland, with the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands bringing the total to 17.
• Andalucia: (with provinces Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Heulva, Jaen, Malaga, and Sevilla) covering most of the south of the country and with historical influence from the Moors.
• Aragon: (with provinces Huesca, Teruel, Zaragoza) a landlocked region running from the center/east of the country to the Pyrenees, with some stunning surprises.
• Asturias: a green and in some parts spectacularly beautiful region in the north of Spain.
• Balearic Islands: (with islands Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca) a group of four inhabited islands in the Mediterranean with quite diverse attractions for the tourist.
• Basque Country: (with provinces Alava, Biscay, Gipuzkoa) on the western end of the Pyrenees, bordering France, and famous for its cuisine.
• Canary Islands: (with islands El Hierro, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, La Palma, Lanzarote, Tenerife) a group of islands approximately 1,200 km southwest of Spain, with one of the best year-round climates to be found anywhere.
• Cantabria: a green and attractive region in northern Spain.
• Castilla–La Mancha: (with provinces Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Toledo) a large central region south of Madrid, well known for its saffron production.
• Castilla y Leon: (with provinces Avila, Burgos, Leon, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid, Zamora) a large central region north of Madrid.
• Catalunya: (with provinces Barcelona, Gerona, Lerida, Tarragona) the northeast corner of Spain, bordering France and the Pyrenees, including the fascinating city of Barcelona, the stunning scenery of the Pyrenees and Pre-Pyrenees, plus the river Ebro and its delta.
• Extremadura: (with provinces Caceres, Badajoz) a landlocked region bordering southern Portugal.
• Galicia: (with provinces La Coruna, Pontevedra, Orense, Lugo) the wild and rugged northwest corner of Spain, with its almost fjord-like deep-sea inlets known as rias.
• La Rioja: the well-known wine producing region (but not the only wine producer).
• Madrid: the exact center of the country and home to the capital city.
• Murcia: a small region on the southeast coast including the inland sea known as the Mar Menor.
• Navarra: running from the River Ebro up to the Pyrenees.
• Valencia: (with provinces Alicante, Castellon, Valencia) the mid-eastern coast of Spain and including Spain’s third-largest city.
ENFOREX Don Quijote
Since 1986, Don Quijote has been at the forefront of Spanish language teaching, with over 35 schools in Spain and Latin America offering a wide range of study abroad programs and accommodations, combined with exciting activities and excursions. Their programs are available any time of the year and provide official academic transcripts recognized by American universities and the highly regarded Instituto Cervantes. Among their study abroad programs are Spanish language and cultural immersion programs for groups or individuals, internships and volunteering projects, and tailor-made programs for specific majors or minors, like business or nursing. Moreover, they have an international college in Barcelona, called BIC, where students can experience the multicultural atmosphere that characterizes the campus while studying for a semester abroad: fall, spring, or summer. For younger students, they offer a unique experience in their junior programs and international summer camps. They welcome students aged five to 18 from around the globe (mixed with local students, who make up 60% of participants) to spend an incredible time in Spain, Costa Rica, or México, making friends and having fun while learning and experiencing the Spanish language and culture.
Language & Friendship
A host family awaits each student that embarks on an experience abroad with Language & Friendship, which offers individual immersion family-stay experiences in France, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Spain. They are ideal for students who have had at least two years of language study and are ready to speak the language and experience a new way of life in the culture by living the daily life with a host family. Each individual family stay lasts three to four weeks. Students grow in self-reliance and personal responsibility, expand global career opportunities, and, most importantly, forge new international friendships. With 25 years of experience with language-immersion programs, Language & Friendship is a wonderful option.
ISE — Intercultural Student Experiences
Intercultural Student Experiences (ISE) has more than 40 years of experience coordinating educational travel programs to Spain that immerse students in the language and culture and help them launch a lifelong interest in becoming global citizens. Students learn firsthand about Spanish history and culture, use the language in real-world situations, and engage in la vida española with an authentic family stay.
ISE’s immersion programs in Spain offer much more than a typical tour. Students will marvel as history comes to life in the plazas, forts, and cathedrals they’ve only seen in textbooks. Whether they’re exploring sunny coastal towns in the south or taking in the snowcapped mountains to the north, students will practice their language skills through genuine encounters with native speakers. But the real adventure comes as students experience authentic Spanish life while living with a Spanish family. They’ll participate in family traditions, put their language skills to the test, and build relationships that will last far beyond their return home. This is real life, en español!
USAC (University Studies Abroad Consortium) has provided affordable, valuable study abroad programs and contributed to the internationalization of universities in the U.S. and abroad for over 30 years, with programs located in 26 countries. They take pride in providing well-rounded, academically sound, credible programs in non-traditional locations or in unique parts of more traditional places. In Spain, USAC programs are in Alicante, Bilbao, Madrid, and San Sebastián. Each offers summer, semester, or year programs and a range of courses to choose from, plus small class sizes, a multitude of disciplines taught in English, and Spanish language study available at any level of proficiency from beginning to advanced and with no language prerequisite. Students have the option of intensive language study, where they can earn up to four years’ worth of credit in one semester.
For 25 years, Global Works has been offering community-service-based adventure-travel programs for students and groups. There are two options for Spain: a two-week tour of Andalusia and a four-week “Authentic España” tour which features Madrid, Barcelona, and a homestay in Valencia. Global Works programs are the bridge for meaningful cultural exchange with people around the world. They travel to over 20 countries and take students to visit three to five different communities on each trip, providing a cross-section of cultures and environments — from rural villages to capital cities. Community-service projects are an integral part of every trip, and students can earn up to 70 community-service hours.
Academic Experiences Abroad (AEA)
There is no better way to learn a language or understand a culture than to connect with native speakers in natural settings. On these Spanish immersion programs, students will have daily opportunities to not only to study with local teachers but also to immediately put skills to use, while visiting the sites, exploring the markets, and experiencing the local cuisine and culture. All AEA programs are customized to specific requests and academic focuses. They can incorporate activities such as salsa lessons, cooking courses, and service projects for the communities, which enhance the experience and create ample opportunities to interact, and, of course, speak Spanish.
The Nerja Language School
Nerja is a small coastal town in Andalusia with 20,000 inhabitants, near Malaga, Granada, Seville, and Cordoba. Add more than 1,000 students a year from 45 countries that come to Nerja Language School, located in the center of the village in a traditional Andalusian house, with a large tropical garden, just a few minutes’ walk from beautiful beaches. It makes for a perfect learning environment.
Facilities consist of 16 indoor and outdoor classrooms (the garden is a wonderful place to read) as well as a bookshop and a cafeteria. Furthermore, about three minutes away from the school is the Club Costa Nerja where students, in addition to staying in accommodation with all the modern facilities, can also make use of services such as a library and internet. Programs aim to satisfy the needs of the students both in terms of general aspects of the language and more specific aspects such as administration, business, tourism, Spanish civilization and culture, literature, Spanish teaching methodology, and official exams. They also provide students with a monthly activities program.
Escuela Montalbán has been teaching Spanish as a foreign language in Granada since 1986. The Granada school building, characterized by its Andalusian style, its friendly classrooms, and its beautiful courtyard, retains much of the charm and intimacy of a family home. Students from all over the world and from different age groups participate in the programs throughout the year. An extensive cultural program always complements the courses. The school is accredited by the Instituto Cervantes.
Granada, the birthplace of the poet Federico García Lorca, is an important university town with almost 300,000 inhabitants and more than 60,000 students. With its world-famous Alhambra, rich culture, and lively nightlife, it is the ideal place for both studying and taking a holiday. Students can enjoy a weekend on the Mediterranean coast or organize a trip to the marvelous villages in the Alpujarra mountains. They can practice winter sports, horseback riding, or trekking in the Sierra Nevada. They can watch Gypsy flamenco in Sacromonte or stroll through the narrow streets of the old Moorish quarter of the Albaicín to enjoy a glass of red wine with tapas in one of the small squares looking over the Alhambra and the beautiful snow-covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada.
Centro de Lenguas Modernas
The Centro de Lenguas Modernas is part of the prestigious University of Granada in southern Spain. It offers college-level courses in intensive Spanish language, Spanish language and culture, or Hispanic studies throughout the year taught by highly qualified professionals in a unique setting, halfway between snowcapped mountains and subtropical beaches. Foreign students enjoy a singular multicultural and multilingual atmosphere, sharing their daily lives with Spanish students learning other languages, thus stimulating a mutual interest in their different languages and cultures. Among the academic options available, students can complete an internship in a local business, educational institution, or NGO or enroll for classes with Spanish students at other university centers. Outside the classroom, specialist guides take students to monuments, buildings, places of interest, and the different neighborhoods of the city, offering information on history, legends, traditions and customs, art, society, and economics. The center is fully equipped with a library, and the most up-to-date audio-visual aids, both in classrooms and in language laboratories. Granada’s vitality and riveting history are reflected in its 70,000 university students.
Lenguaventura offers a unique, adventurous, bilingual camp experience to teens between 14 and 17 years old from all over the world, supported by a team of passionate young people who really love what they do. The camp is a mix of language learning (Spanish or English) focused on communication skills, adventure activities, and cultural visits.
Tarifa in southern Spain is famous for sport activities, such as kitesurfing and windsurfing, as well as for its endless beaches and beautiful views toward Morocco. Lenguaventura has selected the best activities out of the many offered. For students who do not want to focus on one sport, the multiactivity option is the ideal choice, with varying activities every afternoon. The camp is a home away from home and offers a limited number of places with a maximum of 60 students, in a school residence in the center of town, two minutes’ walking distance from the old town center and three minutes from the beach. Tarifa is a safe and secure place to stay that students especially enjoy.
Pylmon Barcelona is a language school located near the Sagrada Família and specializing in Spanish programs for foreigners. They strongly believe that the main engine when learning a language is the student and they focus teaching on awakening the innate abilities of each person to learn a new language. Their aim is to enable the student to actively communicate and interact in a wide range of communicative situations and contexts while they get to know the culture of the country. For many years, they have worked in the area of teaching Spanish as a foreign language, and they offer a personalized service in order to develop the student’s self-confidence and thereby to obtain the maximum linguistic efficiency.
AIP Language Institute
AIP Language Institute is an Instituto Cervantes–accredited school in Valencia with 20 fully equipped classrooms. Students enjoy the convenience of booking excursions through their own travel agency devoted to organizing study and cultural tours for groups all over Europe and Morocco. Students can get more out of the immersion experience by taking advantage of internships and volunteer programs, with more than 100 positions available in all fields. Multilingual staff and teachers are available to coordinate all aspects of the student experience in Valencia.
They specialize in high school and college groups, and AIP is proud to have received more than 2,000 U.S. students in the last ten years.
Colegio Internacional Alicante
Colegio Internacional Alicante is a small and modern cooperative of teachers dedicated to Spanish language instruction. Their goal is for students to be the center of instruction, and that for them to speak Spanish on their first day. The methodology is active and communicative, with homework and classwork based on the fun theory. The campus is located downtown, five minutes from the ocean. All of the professors boast university degrees and experience. The small class sizes and rapport create a friendly, dynamic, and fun environment. The school also offers a robust list of extracurricular activities such as excursions, festivals, sports, dancing, cooking class, and golf. Private classes and Spanish for specific purposes are also offered. The Colegio organizes accommodations and is accredited by Instituto Cervantes and FEDELE and recognized by Bilsungsurlaub, OÖ Bildungskonto, CSN, and Lånekasse. College credit is available through Eastern Connecticut State University (U.S.) and Collège de Maisonneuve (Canadá).
Lacunza International House San Sebastián
With 25 years of experience, Lacunza IH San Sebastián offers an extensive range of courses, from general conversational classes to specialized courses such as exam preparation, business Spanish, an internship program, and a junior summer course for teenagers ages 14 to 17. With the program’s high-quality and proven methodology of teaching Spanish as a foreign language, students are often surprised at how quickly they improve their Spanish. The school is located next to a park, a five-minute walk to the city center and a ten-minute walk to the beach. Whether in class, on the outdoor terrace, in the spacious reception area, or in the social break area, students immerse themselves in Spanish. They have a year-round activity program and language-exchange meetups. San Sebastián has the ideal combination of a great city surrounded by three urban beaches and picturesque mountains. It plays host to events on the global stage, such as the Jazz Festival and International Film Festival, as well as the local festivals, Semana Grande and Carnival. The city’s reputation for world-class cuisine attracts foodies for a taste of pintxo, enjoying a daily set menu, or dining in a Basque cider house.
Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute
Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute is the only Spanish language school in Pamplona, making it necessary for students to speak Spanish in the streets, in restaurants, and in stores. There are not many English speakers, nor is Pamplona a typical tourist destination. It is a tourist destination for eight days out of the year during the Fiestas de San Fermín, from July 6 to 14 every year, when Pamplona becomes the most international city in Spain. Hemingway made Pamplona famous with the novel The Sun Also Rises. The running of the bulls in Pamplona is the most famous one in the world and televised globally. Pamplona is among the safest, most peaceful, and greenest cities in Spain, so students can enjoy the city and the nightlife. The school offers general and specialized programs for individuals and groups that are accredited by U.S. universities, such as Clemson University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Alabama.
La Aventura Española
La Aventura Española is an Instituto Cervantes–accredited school which offers a great variety of courses for all levels and needs, with the advantage of having no more than six people in each group. This guarantees more personalized attention in class and ensures quicker progress. Spanish classes are fun, dynamic, and communication oriented. Students learn grammar and develop language skills in a relaxed and student-focused environment. The school offers a wide range of cultural activities that provide the perfect opportunity for students to get fully immersed in Spanish culture. Highlights include visiting museums and parks, and going for tapas. The team helps students make the process of coming to Spain as easy as possible. They take care of accommodations, allowing students to fully focus on learning Spanish and having fun.
Aula Toledo is an excellent choice for those who want to make the most of their time learning Spanish and enjoying Spain and its culture in a privileged location. Students of every age come to visit this World Heritage City, homeland of Don Quixote, City of the Three Cultures, and one of the most beautiful towns of Spain. Toledo is an artistically and monumentally awesome town. But Toledo is also a safe and friendly town with easy access to Madrid, only 30 minutes away by train. Aula Toledo specializes in teaching adults and organized groups of students. They offer totally personalized and high-quality instruction. Small groups allow them to monitor individual progress and needs. Additional private tutoring is also available.
Castilla y León/Salamanca
Tía Tula is a lovely Spanish school with two centers, both situated right in the historical, university center of Salamanca. It is accredited by the Instituto Cervantes as a school of high-quality Spanish teaching. Just like Salamanca — a city globally recognized as a center of Spanish teaching — Tía Tula combines its classical framework and facilities with the modernity of its people and their methods. Inside, there are comfortable and pleasant classes with views of the monumental zone of the city. Tía Tula has an excellent academic program with university credits and an extraordinary body of teachers. Highly qualified and experienced, the teachers also specialize in teacher training. They are also proud of their high-quality accommodation and wide range of extracurricular activities to complement the lessons and live Spanish in the streets. All services are offered with a warm, personalized treatment and efficiency when it comes to incident resolution.
Programs/Scholarships for Spanish Teachers
As the use of technology becomes more natural to students, understanding how to teach with technology is becoming irreplaceable to teachers. Mester now offers specific courses and workshops for Spanish teachers — which aim to focus on both language & culture content, as well as training teachers to use technology to successfully improve their own teaching of Spanish language and culture. The program may begin any Monday of the year, and last from one to four weeks. Content topics include Literary Texts for Spanish Classes, Written Expression, Creative Writing, Reading Comprehension, Music as a Resource. Cultural Topics include; Modern Spain, The Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, and Important People throughout Spanish History. Specific technological topics include; Use of Technology and Culture in Class — the use of images, videos and music, interactive apps, how to create a blog.
The price of the course includes housing, online course materials, airport transfer, health insurance, and afternoon sociocultural activities.
Each year Mester offers 150 scholarships for Spanish language teachers/professors, which pay for all costs of a one to two week program. Professors who accompany a group of at least three students, or who sign up at least three individuals in Mester programs will automatically receive a scholarship.
Lingua Globe, a center accredited by the Instituto Cervantes, offers completely personalized instruction with class enrollments capped at five students per course. The school has general language and culture programs for adults, Spanish for specific purposes, and Spanish for youth and senior citizens. Classes seek to mirror the real world through communicative language instruction in multimedia classrooms. Salamanca is famous for being a college town. The university, founded in 1218, is considered the oldest in all of Spain and one of the first in Europe.