International Study Abroad Programs in Spain
List of International Study Abroad Programs in Spain
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About International Study Abroad Programs in Spain
Looking for study abroad in Spain programs? We have included a list of semester or year abroad programs in Spain for students from the United States. American institutions, universities and organizations sponsor the Study abroad in Spain programs listed in this section.
University students: Before you enroll in any of these Study abroad in Spain programs, talk to you home campus study-abroad coordinator to make sure that your home campus will accept the credits you receive from the program selected.
Spain is one of the world’s most popular study abroad destinations, and a wide variety of study abroad programs are available through US-based institutions. Spain’s popularity among traveling college students is due in large part to the high demand for Spanish language classes. As the US increasingly becomes a bilingual society, more and more college students are seeking a high level of Spanish language instruction, and naturally many of them turn to Spain to find it. In addition, Spain offers a warm climate, natural beauty, exciting cities, and easy access to foreign travel destinations throughout Europe and North Africa.
The number of US-based study abroad programs to Spain is simply overwhelming. These programs differ widely in type, location, and quality, so it pays to do a bit of research ahead of time and pick a program with exactly the right combination of attributes.
Spain is a large and diverse country, so location makes a significant difference in any study abroad experience. Study abroad programs in Barcelona, for example, generally focus more on art, history, and culture than on language–this is no surprise given that Catalan, not Spanish, is the primary language there. Programs that go to Madrid, on the other hand, are typically focused more narrowly on the Spanish-language. In addition to the academic focus of the program, different locations make for different study abroad programs by attracting different sorts of students. American students who come to Andalusia, for example, often take breaks and weekends to travel in nearby Morocco, while those who choose the Balearic Islands as their destination are often more interested in beachside lounging than weekend travel.
While the majority of study abroad programs in Spain are based in major cities, there are many in more rural areas as well. Such programs often provide a deeper glimpse of Spanish society and culture than urban programs, especially since they typically include a homestay. Staying with a host family in rural Spain is a superb way to gain insight into aspects of Spanish life that students in urban programs may never glimpse.
Generally speaking, the best American study abroad programs in Spain are those that are structured around a partnership between an American and a Spanish university. Programs of this sort have the most reputable classes and provide a true immersion experience by placing American and Spanish students in the same classes and living quarters. In addition, they often offer classes in English so that students whose Spanish is less advanced can still get a meaningful academic experience.There are a huge variety of international study abroad programs in Spain, ranging from short intersession programs in rural Catalonia to semesters and full years in urban, cosmopolitan Madrid. According to some estimates, Spain is the second-most popular study abroad destination in the world, after Italy. Programs vary based not only on setting but also on topic of instruction. Spanish language, art, and history are all popular areas of study for people who want to spend time in Spain. Given the enormous breadth and diversity of programs available in this country, it is advisable to spend some time doing independent research so as to find the programs most well-suited to your interests, goals, and skills.
The most common reason for spending a semester or a year in Spain is because of the opportunity to learn the Spanish language. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and of course there’s no better place to learn than the country where it originated. Nearly all study abroad programs in Spain will include language courses. In some cases, these will be the main focus of the program, whereas in others they will be supplementary classes designed to help students get by in Spanish society while they spend their time studying another subject.
One of the greatest advantages of studying abroad in Spain is the opportunity to travel to other places not only in Europe, but in North Africa as well. Spain shares borders with France, Portugal, and the small mountain country of Andorra, all of which are very popular places to spend a weekend or a school holiday. The Balearic Islands in the western Mediterranean are Spanish territories that are home to beautiful beaches and some of the most popular resorts in Europe. It’s also a short ride to get from Spain into Italy, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom. Many international students take the opportunity to spend time in North Africa – Morocco is only a few miles from parts of Spain, and a flight to Tunisia or even Egypt is fairly simple to arrange. Spain’s central location and the ease of getting from place to place, along with its mild and sunny year-round climate, is one of the main reasons for its popularity as a study-abroad destination.
Don’t overlook the opportunity to work while in Spain. Many students who opt for work-study programs in Spain find that their time abroad is greatly enriched by the experience of working or volunteering. Work/study and volunteer based programs are as varied and diverse as the academics; everything from museum and curatorial work to park cleanup and environmental conservation is available. Some programs even place students at an apiary – a bee farm! Volunteer programs and work/study opportunities are especially popular during the summer, and can help enable students of less extravagant means to finance their time abroad. Volunteer organizations often offer free housing and food as part of their programs for students.