Spain Language Immersion and Discovery (21 Days)
$6,795 + Airfare
Jun 30 – Jul 20
9, 10, 11, 12
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Places we visit:||
Bilbao, San Sebastián, St. Jean de Luz (France), Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante
|Optional group flight there:||
New York (JFK) to Bilbao
|Optional group flight back:||
Alicante to New York (JFK)
The beaches, the paella, the people, the language…What’s not to love about Spain in the summertime? On this extended version of our 14-day Spain Language trip, spend another full week soaking up the Spanish culture and language in this immersive program. Not only will you come to know this beautiful Mediterranean country like a local, but you’ll have three full weeks of intensive Spanish courses so you can learn to speak like one too! We invite you to join us in exploring several diverse regions of Spain, where you’ll have a unique learning experience both inside the classroom and with real-world interactions with Spaniards.
Begin in serene San Sebastián, the capital of the Basque Country, where you’ll get to try surfing at an international surfer’s paradise, go on our one-of-a-kind Tapas Tour through the Historical Quarter, and hike a portion of the famous Camino de Santiago. We’ll also take a day trip to France! Next, relax for the weekend in regal Madrid, where you’ll get to stroll around the Puerta del Sol, pay homage to the legendary Real Madrid Football Club at the Bernabéu Stadium, and go for a rowboat ride in Retiro Park. Finally, we’ll spend a week in fun and funky Barcelona. Amble down its palm-lined pedestrian boulevards, explore the twists and turns of the Gothic Quarter, take a bike tour through the city and of course go to see Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona. Best of all, you’ll get to practice your Spanish with everyone you meet! You’ll spend the second weekend of your trip in vibrant Valencia, the original home of paella–even learn how to cook it for yourself! We’ll spend the final week in Alicante, one of Spain’s top vacation destinations, soaking up the sun and the Spanish culture as we do water sports, explore the quaint surrounding towns, and meet locals.
Our experienced bilingual staff will accompany the group at all times. After classes, take your newfound knowledge to the streets, where you will chitchat with shopkeepers, order your own food at restaurants, and participate in fun activities such as scavenger hunts to practice what you’ve learned at the academy. Learning another language is a must for every savvy traveler, so why not try one spoken by over 300 million people around the world? Come us with this summer for an enriching experience you’ll never forget!
- Attend a total of 60 hours of Spanish language class in the mornings and practice your Spanish in real-world situations in the afternoons
- Eat your way through Spain’s culinary capital, San Sebastián, with our unique Tapas Tour
- Hike a portion of the centuries-old Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail
- Take surf lessons at Spain’s hottest surf spot (for all skill levels)
- Ride a funicular up the mountain for a breathtaking view of the mountains and sea
- Take in the best of Bilbao’s contemporary art scene at the Guggenheim Museum
- Learn how to make delicious paella from the place where it originated
- Hop over the border to France for an afternoon
- Practice your royal wave at the Palace of Madrid
- Indulge in churros con chocolate at the king’s favorite churrería
- See Picasso’s masterpiece, Guernica, at the Reina Sofía Museum
- Gaze in awe at the Magic Fountain of Montjuic
- Soak in Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces at the Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, and Parc Guell
- Bike through Barcelona’s wide boulevards for an insider’s look at the city’s off-the-beaten-path sights
- Tour Camp Nou, home of the legendary FC Barcelona
- Take day trips out to beautiful Girona and historical Tarragona
- Learn how to make delicious paella in the place where it originated
- Cruise the Bay of Valencia on a sunset catamaran ride
- Explore the famous rice fields where paella rice is grown
- Try stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling, and more in the crystal-clear Mediterranean
- And so much more!
Day 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS NEW YORK-JFK
Days 2 – 7: San Sebastián, Bilbao, and St. Jean de Luz (France)
Welcome to Spain! We’ll begin our journey in rugged northern Spain for the weekend–specifically, the Basque Country. You’ll have a day to settle in and get your bearings before class begins on Monday morning. Your Spanish teachers–all locals–will put you in classes based on your Spanish ability, and you’ll have classes just in the morning. Then, after lunch, you’ll spend the afternoon exploring all the sights of San Sebastián while practicing what you’ve learned in class. Chitchat with shopkeepers, order your own food at restaurants, and haggle with street vendors–you’ll be amazed at how much Spanish you can pick up by being totally immersed in the culture!
Widely considered to be the culinary capital of Spain, you’ll get to go on our unique “Tapas Tour” just like the Spanish do–hopping around to a number of different restaurants, and eating a little snack at each one. We’ll have a week full of adventure as we take surf lessons on one of the world’s best surfing beaches, ride a cable car up to the top of the mountain for a beautiful view of the harbor, and go for a coastal hike along the ancient Camino de Santiago trail! We’ll also visit Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, where you’ll soak in one of the world’s best collections of contemporary art, and spend an afternoon over the border in the quaint French beach town of St. Jean de Luz.
Days 7-9: Madrid
No trip to Spain would be complete without a stay in its decadent capital. Hear the true, authentic castellano spoken in the streets and in the shops, taste local specialties like calamari and fried green peppers, and shop til you drop along the grand boulevards. You’ll get a tour of the Royal Palace (still in use by the Spanish monarchy today!) and relax in the Parque del Retiro just as Spaniards do on Sunday afternoons. Laugh at the street performers in la Puerta del Sol, Madrid’s version of Times Square, and get an ice cream in Plaza Mayor–formerly the site of several bullfights and beheadings. Take in some of the world’s best art at the Reina Sofia and the Prado museums. And let’s not forget Madrid’s most famous resident–a trip to the Bernabéu Stadium to see the home of Real Madrid Football Club. By this time, you will have had 20 hours of Spanish practice–you’ll be amazed with how much you’ve learned and how well you’ll be able to talk to Spaniards!
DAYS 9-14: Barcelona
Barcelona awaits you with its sandy Mediterranean beaches, lively boulevards, and traditional cuisine. Marvel at Antoní Gaudí’s spectacular architecture at Parc Guell, Casa Mila, and of course the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Explore for yourself all the hidden twists and turns of the ancient Gothic Quarter, and take an off-the-beaten-path bike tour to learn the city’s secrets. You’ll even get to see the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, an amazing lights and music show, and of course go to Camp Nou to try to get a glimpse of Messi.
Days 14-16: Valencia
Sunny Valencia is where we’ll spend the second weekend of our trip! Soak up the sun on Valencia’s stunning beaches, go shopping in the neat boutiques, and practice your Spanish with the people you meet. And let’s not forget that this is the birthplace of Spain’s most famous food, paella! We’ll spend an afternoon at Valencia’s amazing Albufera rice fields, where paella rice is grown. You’ll get to take a cooking class to learn how to make this dish for yourself. Then, go for a relaxing sunset catamaran ride through the Bay of Valencia.
Days 16-21: Alicante
We’ll move on farther down the Mediterranean coast to the top summer destination region of Spain, Alicante. Spaniards take refuge from the heat of central Spain by taking a whole month of vacation and coming to their apartments here! You’ll get to try different water sports like stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling, and even have the option of taking a scuba-diving course. After your classes in the morning, you’ll be able to practice your Spanish with scavenger hunts and other fun activities designed to get you talking to locals. We’ll also explore the beautiful towns around Alicante. Finally, we’ll conclude your time in Spain with an elegant final dinner overlooking the ocean!
Day 21: Flight home
Say “hasta luego” to Spain, as we’re sure you’ll be back!
Who can go on this trip? What kind of teen typically goes on this trip?
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
Our hotel in Barcelona is steps away from the port and from la Rambla–in other words, central enough to be close to the action, but far enough away to get a good night’s sleep. In San Sebastián we will be staying close to the beach in the heart of the Old City. In Valencia we will stay at a traditional guest house right in the center. Our Madrid hotel is right in the heart of downtown.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a trip.
Do most travelers go by themselves?
Yes, in fact over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new BFFs on another TFT trip the next summer!
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What do students generally like most on this program?
Students love that they are able to learn and practice their Spanish with locals in the best possible place to do so, while at the same time learning about Spanish culture and seeing some of the best sights both Atlantic and Mediterranean Spain have to offer.
What is unique about this program?
Between our Spanish lessons tailored specifically to each individual student, the out-of-the-classroom learning and cultural exploration experiences, and of course getting to see so many of Spain’s most vibrant metropolises, this program provides unique insider access to Spain and Spanish culture.
What is included?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, 60 hours of language classes, trip related activities, trip related activity admissions, taxes and tips.
Not included (not intended to be an exhaustive list): Airfare, rail passes, lunches, visas and visa application fees, beverages other than tap water, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not trip related such as movies, clubs and the like, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the trip description such as damage to hotels, excess baggage fees and the like, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances such as transportation strikes, natural disasters and the like, personal and medical expenses.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this trip’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the trip starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on trips that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.
Who are the counselors on the trip?
The Trip Director for every trip is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.
It is the job of the counselors to keep the trip fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Trips may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
All of our staff members attend a week long training session every May to prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check.
What is the average group size?
Group size is important! A smaller group size provides unique opportunities that a large group cannot accommodate. Think of your favorite local restaurant; could it easily accommodate a group of 50 teens? Probably not! Our group sizes average between 14 to 21 students, which means that we are able to comfortably use local transport, enjoy local restaurants, and have a more authentic experience overall! A smaller group size also eliminates the likelihood of cliques, meaning that our groups all tend to bond as a cohesive unit. We guarantee that you’ll have enough people to meet some new best friends, but not so many that you feel like “just a number” or lost in a crowd.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Most of our Europe programs are designed specifically so that participants can combine them with other trips. If you are connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the trip and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group. In particular, the Spain language program has the option of being a 14-day trip, a 21-day trip, or a 28-day trip.
What is the food like on this trip?
In a word – Delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
The food in Spain can be a variety of styles, but one of the most amazing food traditions to ever exist remains the same throughout the whole country – tapas! Can’t decide on what to order? No problem! With tapas, you can try a little bit of everything. Tapas are small, shared dishes that accumulate to a full meals served in multiple appetizer sized plates. We will also have an opportunity to cook and eat paella, a traditional Spanish dish, in Valencia.
We also love to have picnics al fresco, and do this whenever possible, which is a great way to taste some local food while sitting out in the fresh air taking in the sights and sounds of our surroundings.
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do I need any vaccinations for this trip?
We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/.
How much free time do we get?
Our counselors are with the group nearly always. Every day we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. We do offer some free time to do some shopping, for example, in defined areas that we are very familiar with. If participants are ever shopping by themselves within these defined areas they go in groups and for no more than an hour. On this trip, the group will have some free time to explore some of the safe pedestrian areas in every city. A counselor will always be nearby when participants have free time in each city.
What kind of visa do you need for this trip?
Any US citizen that enters Europe is automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa. If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country specific visa requirements.
Do I need to speak the language?
No! Our Spanish classes at the academy are for all levels, from beginner to advanced, so there’s something for everyone. You will be given a placement exam to see which class is most appropriate for you.