The Complete Adventure Guide to Studying Abroad in Spain
Spain is truly a wonderful country in all respects, but especially to visit as a study-abroad student learning Spanish. There is something magical about Spain that only those who have lived there, even briefly, can understand. Perhaps the warm and beautiful people, sultry Spanish accents, delectable seafood, astounding architecture, glorious history, and magnificent climate make Spain so idyllic, but Spain is even more than the sum of these exceptional parts.
This guide will help ensure that you get the absolute most out of your Spanish experience. Learn the Spanish language from its source, see historic buildings, fall in love with a flamenco dancer, wander the majestic countryside, eat some cured ham or salted prawns, stay out all night at a club, dance on the beach to an African drum, and watch the sun rise over the Mediterranean with a group of new found friends from around the world... That would make for a good first week.
Why Go to Spain in Particular?
There are many study-abroad options for students looking to learn Spanish. Spain has a unique set of cultural virtues and an unparallelled atmosphere that make it an incredible place to study. The unique Spanish culture thrives on the combination of deep national pride and the infinite variety of influences from its European and African neighbors. Spain's tremendous collection of European art, Old-World castles, Moorish palaces, and Roman architecture immerse visitors in Western history. To top it off, the people and nightlife are amazing.
Finding the Right Study-Abroad Program
Once you've decided on Spain, you'll need to start investigating study-abroad programs. Many will provide you with the perfect environment to stretch your Spanish adventure to its limits. However, read in advance about what to look for in order to choose the right program.
Choosing the perfect program is an art. Before choosing a school, you need to know what kind of students it attracts, what access it will give you to the Spanish community, how much of your time it will take up, where you will be housed, and how they expect you to learn Spanish. After all, you need to make sure that your time in Spain is packed with dozens of life-enriching experiences, not just drills about conjugating pluscuamperfecto.
Your living arrangements are the key to a successful stay in Spain. Learn about all of your options and weigh the pros and cons of a homestay before you sign up for anything.
Finally, the best trips to Spain for students combine study and travel. If you have the flexibility, leave some time after your study-abroad program to engage in nomadic wanderings. But, make sure that you strike the right balance between your study-abroad program and your unstructured travels.
The Greatest Cities in Spain
Where you go in Spain is at least as important as how and why. Guidebooks can give fine descriptions of a city, but choosing a city to visit for a weekend is very different from picking a place to call home while you learn Spanish for weeks or months.
With our guide, get the low-down on the people, culture, nightlife, tourism, language and climate of each city you are considering. You'll find quality programs in all of the cities we've reviewed.
Prepare Your Body for Spain's Extreme Social Schedule
Spaniards need their afternoon siesta to make it through the day. If your trip is properly action-packed, you too will covet that precious hour of afternoon rest that helps compensate for going to bed at 5:00 a.m.
If you like dancing, live music, techno and electronica, bars, beach parties, house parties, or tea houses, Spain will have what you're looking for. However, partying in Spain is different from the partying you're used to. Know what to expect and you'll own the night in no time.
At some point you'll want to trade in the crowds and parties for some serious one-on-one time with someone special. No trip to Spain is complete without some romance by the Mediterranean or on a hill overlooking Madrid. Play your cards right, and a little summer romance will come to you more easily than you might think.