Overview

Travel from Madrid to Catalonia while exploring Spain’s culture and practicing your Spanish language skills on this high school summer abroad program.

Trace the historical and cultural influences of Spain’s different religious and ethnic communities while traveling from Madrid to Spain’s southern coast, then to Basque country in the north and ultimately to Catalonia. Learn about the coexistence of Christians, Jews, and Muslims from historical perspectives, and discuss the conditions necessary to fostering a tolerant, multicultural society in Spain today. Consider key issues presently being debated across Spain, such as those related to immigration, environmental conservation, community development, peace, and human rights.

Your journey commences with an immersive orientation in Madrid and Toledo. Visit famous sites and museums throughout the capital, including the Prado museum and the Bourbon district. Explore Madrid’s diverse neighborhoods, meet with Spanish youth at a Jewish community center, and practice your Spanish language skills. Alongside a group of Spanish youth, visit famous sites and museums throughout Toledo, including the Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo. Become better acquainted with the historical and cultural influences important in laying the groundwork for multiculturalism and tolerance in Spain.

Following orientation, live with a host family in a small community along Spain’s southern coast. Visit Arab baths and Roman ruins. Relax on the beach with members of your host family or Experiment group. Following the homestay, you travel to Basque country for a week of regional exploration in the north; activities include community service in the mornings and cultural exchanges with local teenagers in the afternoons. Your journey through multicultural

Spain concludes with a stay in the heart of Catalonia. Visit famous sites and museums throughout Barcelona, including the Olympic Harbor and the Picasso Museum. See the architecture of Gaudí and sample tapas on La Rambla, as your knowledge of and experience with Spain’s diverse communities and cultures further deepens.

Sample Itinerary

Days 1–6
Orientation in Madrid and Toledo

  • Learn about the history and culture of Spain
  • Get to know other members of your group during activities and group discussions
  • Visit famous sites and museums throughout Madrid, including the Prado museum and the Bourbon district
  • Explore diverse neighborhoods, navigate the metro, and sample Spanish cuisine in street-side cafés
  • Practice your Spanish language skills
  • Meet with Spanish youth at a Jewish community center
  • Alongside a group of Spanish youth, visit famous sites and museums throughout Toledo, including the Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo
  • Become better acquainted with historical and cultural influences important in laying the groundwork for multiculturalism and tolerance in Spain

During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in centrally located hotels.

Days 7–17
Homestay

  • Become fully immersed in the daily life of a Spanish family and community
  • Do activities with your host family
  • Explore your host community and the surrounding area with your group
  • Visit Arab baths, go on an excursion to Roman ruins, and spend an afternoon on the beach

During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample host communities: Vejer de la Frontera, Arcos de la Frontera

Days 18–23
Thematic Focus in Zaragoza

  • Volunteer at an urban summer camp for children from low-income families
  • Work side by side with Red Cross camp counselors and coordinators to facilitate games, activities, and discussions for children between the ages of 3 and 11

During this period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hostel.

Days 24–27
Thematic Focus in Barcelona

  • Visit famous sites and museums throughout the city, including the Olympic Harbor and the Picasso Museum
  • See the architecture of Gaudí and taste tapas on La Rambla

During this period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Day 28
Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Madrid

  • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program

During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Day 29
Departure

About The Experiment

The Experiment in International Living is a non-profit organization that has been offering immersive experiential learning programs abroad since 1932. Today, The Experiment offers three-, four-, and five-week summer programs for high school students in more than 20 countries around the world.

Programs are designed to equip participants not only with essential cultural skills and, in many cases, language skills, but also with a deeper awareness of and sensitivity to critical global issues shaping the diverse communities and regions we visit. Each year, hundreds of Experimenters come away from their summer abroad with invaluable new skills, connections, awareness, and knowledge that help them to thrive—and lead—in diverse, intercultural environments.

The Experiment is committed to providing participants from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds with access to The Experiment’s immersive cross-cultural programs through its partnerships, scholarships, and other initiatives.

The Experiment places the highest priority on health, safety, and security. Each program follows a comprehensive structure designed to maximize the well-being of all participants while they engage in dynamic cross-cultural experiences. We have implemented specific risk management strategies that include a 24-hour emergency on-call service and regular safety reviews. We hire and train experienced adult group leaders and maintain longstanding partnerships with in-country offices to support each of our programs.

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