High School Exchange in Spain
Plus Ultra - Further Beyond
Spain’s diverse landscape will excite any student that is lucky enough to live within this magical country. Tucked into the hilltops across the country you will find villages that show the ancient history of Spain and a country where resilience has led to the survival of these beautiful buildings and towns. The Pyrenees is one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Europe and contrasts with the magical coves of the Mediterranean coastline. Hiking is a wonderful pastime in this country as even in the sun-baked region of Andalucia, the snow-capped Sierra Nevada rise up and dominate the landscape.
Spain is a land of fiesta. From the bustling streets, to the feeling of warmth that you will get from the people, there will be no place quite like Spain and the joy that it will give you. From delicious food with recipes made many years ago and passed down through the generations, to the ancient buildings that dominate towns and cities. Spain is a feast for the senses and will enthrall you.
Life as an exchange student in Spain
Family life is extremely important for the people of Spain. Even though modern life has affected the tight-knit family groups, the people still look to their family to guide them and support them. As a member of a family in Spain you will be expected to join in with the nuclear family activities and will no doubt also meet and spend time with the extended members of the family too. For families living in a city, they are often in apartments, while outside of the cities they have houses with a small garden.
You will be familiar with the traditional dance of flamenco and maybe get to try this beautiful skill while on exchange. During festivals and fiestas, flamenco will be visible to you as well as large street gatherings and parties. Don’t be surprised if you finish your dinner past 10pm on any day of the week. The Spanish operate on a very different timetable to families in the UK and often eat late and the evening only starts to be busy past 8pm.
The Spanish school system
On exchange in Spain, you will either be enrolled into Educacion Secundaria Obligatorio or ESO. These schools are for age 12 – 16 years. Depending on your age you will enrol here or into the Bachillerato which is the last two years of school in Spain and is the equivalent to our A Level program. Students are rarely enrolled into the final year of Bachillerato as it is a very serious academic year and would not be the most beneficial year for an exchange student.
In Spain, the school year generally begins in mid-September and ends in June. There are regional variations for this though. The year largely consists of 3 terms of 11 weeks each. A typical school day varies from region to region. Some start at 9am and end at 5pm with a 2 hour lunch break. While other schools run from 9am to 2pm with no break for lunch. It is common for students to sit in the same classroom all day and the teachers move to them.
No uniform is required in Spain and many schools provide a low-cost school bus to get to and from school. Spanish, Literature, Maths and Sport are examples of compulsory subjects and other subjects might include, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Music and Modern languages.
High school exchange in Spain 2021 – 22 || 10 months: £7,885 || 5 months: £6,795 || 3 months: £5,805 || 2 months: £5,265
For programs beginning in September, an arrival camp in Madrid is offered to all students. Spend a few days exploring this incredible city. Practice your Spanish language, learn about life on exchange in Spain and get to know the other exchange students starting their program. A lovely way to settle into life in Spain. (NB. orientation camp will only run if there are enough participants.)
No official optional trips are offered by our Spanish partner, however, many host families take the opportunity to travel within Europe and Spain. Also many schools offer trips that you can join too. So don’t forget to budget for possible extra costs for travel.
If you can’t afford to take time off school for an exchange program, why not look at our Language Travel programs. You could spend your summer holidays in Malaga, Seville or Cadiz soaking up the sunshine, while learning the Spanish language with students from across the world. Choose between 1- 4 weeks away. All meals, classes, accommodation, transfers and a full activity schedule are included.