The 13 Best Study Abroad Programs in Spain

Alex Bartlow A Student's View Of Alicante

Photo by: Alex Bartlow "A student's view of Alicante"

The 13 Best Study Abroad Programs in Spain

That’s right; we chose thirteen

We have written many times on this blog that Spain is an excellent place to study abroad – there are reasons that it’s one of the world’s top destinations for tourism and educational programs. In this article, we will present to you various programs that have caught our eye in Spain, not just at the university level but also for youth programs.  

“Best of” can be a subjective term, of course. Still, all of these programs have demonstrated that they provide excellent student experiences, so they are at least worthy of your consideration, depending on your age and interests.

Studying abroad is a thoroughly enriching experience, and we believe that these programs offer authentic cultural experiences, immensely valuable to those who take them.

Our work has been predominantly in for-credit university study abroad programs. Such programs can often be expensive, so we’ve also put together material on how to make the most of available financial aid, as well as creative ideas to help fund your trip.

So what is the reason that Spain is so attractive?

Well, there are many, and we each have personal motives too. We often hear reasons from our students such as Spain’s relaxed lifestyle, culture and history, the climate (in most of the country), and the chance to learn such a widely-adopted language in a European setting. Your reasons may be different, but there is no question that it has a powerful draw.

Best study abroad programs in Spain - Youth (under 18)

Best Study Abroad Program in Spain:
Interway's Cultural and Linguistic Tours

Interway

What's the program like?

These structured programs start with tours and end with a homestay weekend with a Spanish family for young people to experience the culture authentically. Students travel with their teachers and must have a minimum of 2 years of Spanish experience. Hands-on learning experiences are fundamental to the tours, and students take home a lot of memories.

Why do we include Interway's Tours?

Interway works exclusively with school groups – from the USA and Europe – and has a well-refined system thanks to 40 years delivering excellent programs. They know what they’re doing!

They design programs to include leisure and cultural activities, which bring you close to  families and students of other nationalities around the world. All of this generates the perfect language and learning experience for the student.

InterWay has offices in 6 major cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Valencia, Santander and Alicante and a wide network of coordinators in more than 40 towns throughout Spain.

Best Study Abroad Program in Spain:
Boarding school excellence at Mas Camarena international school.

SSA Valencia trip

What's the program like?

Mas Camarena is one of Spain’s best schools, and its facilities are excellent for both academics and extracurricular activities such as soccer and boarding. Education is bilingual at Mas Camarena (English and Spanish).

Mas Camarena offers exclusive programs for athletes who are enrolled in their sports academies. Join the Valencia Basketball club, G-Tennis academy, the Soccer club or follow your own personal sports program.

Why do we include Mas Camerena?

Mas Cameran offers all International Baccalaureate programs. It is bilingual through Primary and Secondary school, however the last two years students may choose to maintain bilingual classes or study the IB exclusively in English or Spanish.

It has been included in lists of top boarding schools in Spain. World-schools.com agrees with us; they named Mas Camerena among the top international schools in Spain as well. International students normally stay at their fantastic student residence.

Apple has also recognized the school as a school for continuous innovation.

Best Study Abroad Program in Spain:
Boarding school and soccer training at Kaptiva Sports Academy

Kaptiva Sports Academy

What's the program like?

Kaptiva Sports Academy is one of the leading international soccer boarding academies in Spain, allowing players ages 12 to 18 to develop at a high-performance center. All participants enter a specialized program that guides them towards the perfect balance of studies and renowned Spanish soccer methodology.

They follow an American education curriculum led by the European International School of Barcelona while receiving the fundamentals to succeed in sport. Players have the full 360° student-athlete experience at their disposal; a sports psychologist, video analysis, asports nutritionist, high-level tournaments, international and national training clinics, post-graduation guidance, cultural activities, 24/7 staff, and much more.

They also have an agreement for their best players to train with Sant Cugat FC, a feeder club for Barcelona!

For players seeking a shorter term program, there are 6-month programs, 1-week programs, and summer camps available mirroring the experience of the kaptiva Sports Academy players. All programs give a taste of the successful Kaptiva Sports methodology at the best location – a high-performance center in the sunny football hub of Barcelona, Spain.

Why do we include Kaptiva Sports Academy?

This program is a unique combination of academics, experiences, and sports training. World Schools includes KSA as one of its top 9 international high schools in Spain. 

Best study abroad programs in Spain - University age

Best Study Abroad Program in Spain:
One-year filmmaking program at ESCAC (Escola Superior de Cinema i Audiovisuals de Catalunya)

Fachada De La ESCAC

Why do we include ESCAC?

They use a hands-on approach to the craft of filmmaking. And studying elements of cinema in one of the world’s most beautiful and artistic cities is inspirational. The school has ample support from many of Catalunya’s most renowned institutions meaning that this is a great place to learn the craft of filmmaking. 

Besides traditional careers in television and film, there is a growing demand for video content in many other fields, such as Youtube and company videos. Because of this, we feel that this is an important area to include. And studying in such a vibrant place as Barcelona brings out your creativity.

Frankly, there are not many one-year programs anywhere globally like this, much less in this beautiful and cosmopolitan city on the Mediterranean.

Best Study Abroad Program in Spain:
University of Alicante's Centro Superior de Idiomas and its mix of nationalities

universidad-alicante

What's the program like?

If there were a category of “best place to study Spanish on the coast of the Mediterranean,” this program might win as well. The Centro Superior de Idiomas attracts students from across the E.U. as well as the USA and Asia. American students can benefit twofold; meeting international classmates while also learning the Spanish language and culture. 

The U.A. is unique because it began as a language learning school and evolved into a large research university. The university offers language classes ranging from beginners to advanced and has specialized courses to help students learn specific areas of biography. American students receive transcripts from a renowned university.

Why do we include the U.A.'s language program?

CSI has a history of high-quality programs taught by qualified professionals. Students love the mix of nationalities and the amenities on this beautiful campus.

Best Study Abroad Program in Spain:
Practicum in Education at the Centro Norteamericano in historic Seville.

Svq Keosha Cosby 2019 Seville Intl Studies Usev Fall Semester

What's the program like?

Spanish Studies Abroad offers this excellent option for American students seeking a practicum in teaching English to speakers of other languages. SSA works with its affiliate, the Centro Norteamericano, during its summer program for local students to “live” English through its day camp. American education students are placed with experienced teachers to teach students from early elementary up to teen years.

Students can start with a May term class in the Spanish language if they wish to work on their Spanish fluency before starting the summer camp program.

Why do we include the Practicum in Education?

It’s a unique opportunity, and finding a worthwhile practicum in the USA can sometimes be a challenge. Students get a chance to work in a fun learning environment while experiencing Spain and Andalucia’s culture. Michelle Durán, Spanish Studies Abroad’s top academic official, said this about the practicum, “Students love the Practicum in Education because it’s a “hands-on” program focused on working with local children in developing their oral skills in English through fun and dynamic activities.”  

Best Study Abroad Program in Spain:
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona's "Pre-Established Programmes" offerings for students in Business and Area Studies / Political Science / History, taught in English.

Alew Bartlow. Bubbles In The Air In Barcelona

What's the program like?

Spain is not limited to students wishing to study Spanish and take culture courses in Spanish. UAB attracts students – from the USA and elsewhere – with a broader academic interest through its robust English offerings. These courses are taught at their Sant Pau area campus, right in beautiful and cosmopolitan Barcelona.

UAB has courses in various business areas, from Marketing and Finance to Business Administration and Economics. It also has a wide range of courses that cover History, Area Studies, and Political Science. Students rarely find any difficulty transferring back these credits to their university thanks to UAB’s academic reputation.

Live in one of the world’s greatest cities and add to your education, all in your native language!

Why do we include UAB's study abroad programs?

This program is packaged in such a practical way that we love that it brings students to Spain who may not have a strong language background.

Best Study Abroad Program in Spain:
Brown University's collaboration with Universidad de Granada in the area of translation and interpretation

Granada

What's the program like?

The Ivy League’s Brown University runs this program in conjunction with the Universidad de Granada’s Faculty of Translation and Interpretation.

It’s a program for students with both excellent grades and a very high Spanish proficiency. Students drastically improve their language and cultural knowledge by staying with homestay families while following a superb course in advanced translation.

Why do we include this Brown in Spain program?

We like this program’s specialized nature, and there are not many places to focus on high-level translation skills. The prestige of Brown and Universidad de Granada’s advanced translation course combine for an excellent offering.

Best for-credit language immersion program:
Spanish Studies Abroad / Center for Cross-Cultural Study

Jillian Michales Of Susquehanna University800*1000

What's the program like?

Spanish Studies Abroad has a 50-year history with Seville, with approximately 30 years in this beautiful 19th-century building. Located in the historic Barrio de Santa Cruz, American students have the chance to lose themselves in the history and atmosphere of the building and the entire neighborhood.

The Spanish Studies program focuses on language and culture immersion for students who want to develop fluency and have a memorable study abroad experience. The program is primarily for Spanish majors in mind, but all majors are welcome to apply.

With so many years of operation, SSA boasts a long list of wonderful homestay families. These families are crucial links to the community and culture while being the best speaking partners any student could have.

Academic experts have developed coursework to be transferable, and on the cultural side, fun, unique educational excursions are included.

Why do we include this program?

It has stood the test of time. SSA’s roots in Seville date back more than 50 years. It’s one of the most established study abroad programs for Spanish majors (or minors) that exist for U.S. students.

For more information reach out to [email protected].

Best Study Abroad Program in Spain:
Internship in Madrid with Absolute Internship

Madrid

What's the program like?

We understand that some may not view an internship as “studying,” but it’s indeed a big part of majors at many universities and can often be used for academic credits. And it is a valuable learning experience, even more so when done outside of your country.

Absolute Internship specializes in quality places and a high level of service in their internships. They arrange everything, including housing. Your job is to prepare, work hard and learn! Internships are in the areas of Business, Fashion, Entrepreneurship, and Marketing.

Knowing Spanish can help with your placement and the type of internship that you’re assigned. But Absolute Internship will place English-only speakers.

Why do we include Absolute Internship in Madrid?

After researching internship programs, this program has the best reviews across the internet.

Best Study Abroad Program in Spain:
Internship in Barcelona with Connect 123

Barcelona By Angela Grubic Of Ithaca College800*500

What's the program like?

Not to be out-done by its rival, Madrid, Barcelona is an excellent place for an internship, and Connect 123 has a wide range of businesses to place you. Internships can be in Law, Web Development, Public Policy, Animal Science, and Hospitality Management.

Check with your university regarding what requirements you have, but this is a program with a lot of flexibility. The beauty of Barcelona is an excellent backdrop to your learning experience.

Why do we include Connect 123?

Again, we searched the internet for internship programs, and this program came out on top.

Best study abroad program for interdisciplinary programs:
Universitat Pompeu Fabra's BaPIS

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

What's the program like?

The Universitat Pompeu Fabra has developed this program – the Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies – across multiple departments. UPF has developed a curriculum to reflect that societal challenges are not confined to one academic field of study. Classes are in English and include local students and international ones.

Why do we include BaPIS?

For starters, UPF’s reputation as one of Spain’s best research universities is evident from many rankings. And where else can you take study abroad classes with local students under titles such as “Analytics for Social Good” and “Art, Mind and the Brain”? It’s a 21st-century program to get students to think in broad terms, which is what education should be about.

Best Study Abroad Program in Spain:
Integrated Coursework at Universidad Pablo de Olavide

universidad-pablo-olavide

What's the program like?

Universidad Pablo de Olavide (UPO), a “newer” university in Seville, welcomes students with high levels of Spanish proficiency into regular (“integrated”) university classes with Spaniards. This program is ideal for promising students who want to challenge themselves to perform academic work with native speakers in different fields.

Keep in mind that you do not have to do this with your entire schedule – it could just be one class or two. The rest of your schedule can include typical language, literature, and culture classes with other American students. But what an experience for your C.V. to show that you handled university coursework in Spanish that was geared for native speakers.! And it’s a great way to meet locals of your age for friendship, cultural learning, and practicing the language. 

Understand that this is challenging academically, so Spanish Studies Abroad provides extra tutoring support to help you understand content assignments and expectations. You got this.

Why do we include UPO?

In our experience, it is rare to find such a broad offering of courses where American students have the chance to integrate with locals and study in such diverse areas as STEM subjects, Business, and Communications.

Summary

Again, we know that there is subjectivity in these types of rankings, but all these programs merit this “shout out.” If you or a family member is interested in studying in Spain, we hope this article gets you started.

Match your interests with your needs, such as whether credits will transfer and keep you on track for graduation. We always recommend that you begin the process long in advance of your trip. 

Whatever type of program you choose, your outcome will always be better with higher language proficiency so start working hard now for the best possible start.

Here are some additional resources for studying in Spain to continue your research.

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