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High School Spanish Immersion
San Sebastián, Spain
Overview
Santander Spain

San Sebastián

SPAIN

2019 Sessions

Two Week – $3,795
Summer 1:  June 14 – 29
Summer 2:  June 28 – July 13
Summer 3:  July 12 – 27

Four Week – $7,095
Month 2:  June 28 – July 27

Six Week – Inquire
6-Week:  June 14 – July 27

The Basque Country’s Seaside Gem…

Located on the beach in the lush rolling hills of northern Spain, San Sebastián is an inviting and enchanting city where old meets new. For years, European families have traveled to San Sebastián (also called Donostia) to relax, surf and enjoy the city’s pristine beaches and surrounding landscapes. Founded in 1180, the city serves as the capital of the Guipuzkoa province of Spain and has evolved into a culturally rich cosmopolitan destination; it is ideal for Spanish language and immersion students. The SPI high school study abroad program in San Sebastián allows you to truly experience life as a native – students live with a caring homestay, attend Spanish classes during the week, and travel to some of the country’s most amazing sites! The San Sebastián program will captivate and inspire you as you immerse with locals (or donostiarras), participate in a variety of exciting cultural activities, and soak up the beauty of this region and its culture. You simply won’t want to leave!

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San Sebastián Program Overview

Academics & Leadership

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Academic Overview

School: Local language institute

Course Hours:  40 Hours (2 Week), 80 Hours (4 Week), or 120 Hours (6 Week) of Spanish Language & Culture

Spanish Language & Conversation: Students are broken up by levels, and attend Spanish language and conversation classes Monday – Friday in the mornings. The courses focus on developing Spanish communication skills by simulating real life situations through interactive class activities that include writing, oral expression, film, music, food, and literature.

> Spanish levels 1 through AP/IB
> 5-15 Students per Class
> Certified native instructors with advanced teaching degrees

Cultural Leadership Enrichment

SPI offers a unique cultural leadership enrichment component for our European programs.  This component is geared toward connecting students with their local surroundings and language while engaging them in real-life skill building exercises.  The component incorporates unique activities, excursions and daily group discussions with a focus on team building, leadership, personal growth, travel skills and cultural awareness.

> SPI Leadership Building Seminars
> European Travel Skills Workshop
> Exchanges with Spanish locals
> Spanish Culinary Experiences

Activities & Excursions

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Elective Activities

In addition to SPI’s cultural leadership enrichment program, students will have the exciting opportunity to enhance their experience abroad by participating in optional elective courses and activities! Electives range from sports activities to unique cultural events and are designed to further engage students into the local culture and, of course, just have fun! Exact electives will vary per program and are based on student interest and weather. Upon arrival abroad, students will choose which electives they wish to participate in.

San Sebastián Elective Activities:

> Elective Courses: Flamenco or Latin Dance, Surfing Course (Beginner to Advanced), Spanish & Basque Cooking and Gastronomy, Stand Up Paddle-boarding

> Additional Potential Electives: Gym Sessions, Basque Art & Architecture, Soccer, Volleyball, Tennis, Swimming.

*Optional elective activities may have an additional cost

Travel Excursions

From visits to world class museums to magnificent hikes through lush mountains, students explore the most important monuments, cities and natural wonders in the San Sebastián region. Weekend and cultural day travel excursions help students dynamically use the language of study and interact with the local community.

San Sebastián Travel Excursions:

> Pamplona
> Santander
> Bilbao
> Biarritz, France & St. Jean de Luz
> Zumaia

Safety & Supervision

Dana Caron4
On-site Directors & Staff

Directors and on-site staff are professional multilingual educators and caring leaders who serve as international “moms and dads”. We maintain a highly personal student to director ratio of typically one director for every eight students. Directors actively participate in all aspects of the immersion experience focusing on student well-being, cultural adjustments, and daily check ins to ensure active student participation.

Daily Supervision & Free Time

To ensure student safety, on-site directors are available 24 hours a day and carry local cell phones at all times. Directors check-in with students on a daily basis in the mornings, afternoons and evenings and monitor all aspects of the program. At SPI, we believe in the educational value of giving students a structured amount of free-time on certain afternoons. Students are expected to abide by SPI’s standards of conduct at all times, and we implement a “buddy system.”

Curfew: 11 PM Weekdays & 12 AM Weekends 

Pre-Requisites

Age Requirements: In grades 9-12
Language Requirement: 1 year of Spanish

AP/IB Prep

Upper level courses incorporate AP/IB course material, themes & exercises to prepare students for these classes

Flight Information

We can help with your flight, all of our guidelines and info available on our Flight Information page.

What's Included

All SPI Programs include books, tuition, room and board and more. View What's Included.
Itinerary

San Sebastián - 2 Week Itinerary

Day 1

Depart for San Sebastián, Spain!

Board your flight and get ready to embark on the study abroad journey of a lifetime!

Day 1
Day 2

Arrive in San Sebastián & Meet Your Homestay

Bienvenidos!  Step off the plane and into your new vida española . Enjoy an orientation party with your peers and your directors before meeting and spending the evening with your local homestay.

Day 2
Day 3

Settle Into Your New Home!

Enjoy a captivating orientation tour of this charming seaside destination and continue getting to know your group!.

Day 3
Day 4

First Day of Spanish Classes

Meet your Profesor/a and class after a language placement exam in the morning. In the afternoon, tour the city’s famed Palacio de la Magdelana and visit the park-like grounds.

Day 4
Day 5-8

First Day of Spanish Classes

Meet your Profesor/a and class after a language placement exam in the morning. In the afternoon, tour the city’s famed Palacio de la Magdelana and visit the park-like grounds.

Day 5-8
Day 9

Travel Excursion to Picos de Europa Mountains

Discover the amazing natural beauty of Spain’s Picos de Europa in the nearby province of Asturias with a cable car ride to the peak and a hike along its crests.

Day 9
Day 10

Travel Excursion to Bilbao

Expand your love of northern Spain by traveling to the city of Bilbao in the neighboring Pais Vasco.  Visit the famous Guggenheim museum, and discover the slight culinary and cultural differences of this amazing region.

Day 10
Day 11-14

Regular Classes, Elective Activities + Leadership

Be amazed by the progress you’ve made in your language skills and ability to thrive in a new culture!

Day 11-14
Day 15

Last Day of Classes & Farewell Party

As your time in San Sebastián comes to a close, enjoy a final day with your homestay and friends!

Day 15
Day 16

Depart San Sebastián for Home

¡Buen viaje! Return home with amazing memories of España!

Day 16

San Sebastián - 4 Week Itinerary

Day 1

Depart for San Sebastián, Spain!

Board your flight and get ready to embark on the study abroad journey of a lifetime!

Day 1
Day 2

Arrive in San Sebastián & Meet Your Homestay

Bienvenidos! Step off the plane and into your new vida española . Enjoy an orientation party with your peers and your directors before meeting and spending the evening with your local homestay.

Day 2
Day 3

Settle Into Your New Home!

Enjoy a captivating orientation tour of this charming seaside destination and continue getting to know your group!.

Day 3
Day 4

First Day of Spanish Classes

Meet your Profesor/a and class after a language placement exam in the morning. In the afternoon, take in the striking views from the city’s famed Monte Igueldo.

Day 4
Day 5-8

Regular Classes, Elective Activities

Continue improving your Spanish fluency through morning language and conversation courses followed by afternoon leadership and electives activities.

Day 5-8
Day 9

Travel Excursion to Biarritz, France

Discover the beauty of this stunning city situated just across the border in the French Basque region will amaze you with its pristine beaches, incredible shopping districts, and unparalleled French cuisine.

Day 9
Day 10

Quality Time with Homestay & Friends

Spanish Sundays are the perfect day to dar un paseo along the waterfront, lounge on the beach, and take in the local culture while enjoying a café con leche on an outdoor patio.

Day 10
Day 11-15

Regular Classes, Elective Activities + Leadership

Be amazed by the progress you’ve made in your language skills and ability to thrive in a new culture!

Day 11-15
Day 16

Travel Excursion to Zumaia or Zarautz

Explore the picturesque seaside pueblito of either Zumaia or Zarautz. These lovely, quaint towns will deepen your appreciation of northern Spain and its unique culture and history.

Day 16
Day 17

Quality Time with Homestay & Friends

Relish life as local Spaniards do by eating un helado while basking in the coastal sun or spend the afternoon at the Spanish cine.

Day 17
Day 18-22

Regular Classes, Elective Activities + Leadership

Spanish fluency is in your grasp and Santander has become your ‘home away from home’!

Day 18-22
Day 23

Travel Excursion to Bilbao

Expand your love of northern Spain by traveling to the city of Bilbao in the neighboring Pais Vasco.  Visit the famous Guggenheim museum, and discover the slight culinary and cultural differences of this amazing region.

Day 23
Day 24

Quality Time with Homestay & Friends

Take advantage of your last full Spanish Sunday with your homestay and friends by going out for tapas or exploring a new part of the city.

Day 24
Day 25-28

Regular Classes, Elective Activities + Leadership

Dreaming in Spanish yet?! Your Spanish fluency has allowed you to discover another world!

Day 25-28
Day 29

Last Day of Classes & Farewell Party

As your time in Santander comes to a close, enjoy a final day with your homestay and friends!

Day 29
Day 30

Depart Santander for Home

¡Buen viaje! Return home with amazing memories of España

Day 30

San Sebastián - 6 Week Itinerary

Day 1

Depart for San Sebastián, Spain!

Board your flight and get ready to embark on the study abroad journey of a lifetime!

Day 1
Day 2

Arrive in San Sebastián & Meet Your Homestay

Bienvenidos! Step off the plane and into your new vida española . Enjoy an orientation party with your peers and your directors before meeting and spending the evening with your local homestay.

Day 2
Day 3

Settle Into Your New Home!

Enjoy a captivating orientation tour of this charming seaside destination and continue getting to know your group!.

Day 3
Day 4

First Day of Spanish Classes

Meet your Profesor/a and class after a language placement exam in the morning. In the afternoon, take in the striking views from the city’s famed Monte Igueldo.

Day 4
Day 5-8

Regular Classes, Elective Activities

Continue improving your Spanish fluency through morning language and conversation courses followed by afternoon leadership and electives activities.

Day 5-8
Day 9

Travel Excursion to Biarritz, France

Discover the beauty of this stunning city situated just across the border in the French Basque region will amaze you with its pristine beaches, incredible shopping districts, and unparalleled French cuisine.

Day 9
Day 10

Quality Time with Homestay & Friends

Spanish Sundays are the perfect day to dar un paseo along the waterfront, lounge on the beach, and take in the local culture while enjoying a café con leche on an outdoor patio.

Day 10
Day 11-15

Regular Classes, Elective Activities + Leadership

Be amazed by the progress you’ve made in your language skills and ability to thrive in a new culture!

Day 11-15
Day 16

Travel Excursion to Zumaia or Zarautz

Explore the picturesque seaside pueblito of either Zumaia or Zarautz. These lovely, quaint towns will deepen your appreciation of northern Spain and its unique culture and history.

Day 16
Day 17

Quality Time with Homestay & Friends

Relish life as local Spaniards do by eating un helado while basking in the coastal sun or spend the afternoon at the Spanish cine.

Day 17
Day 18-22

Regular Classes, Elective Activities + Leadership

Spanish fluency is in your grasp and Santander has become your ‘home away from home’!

Day 18-22
Day 23

Travel Excursion to Bilbao

Expand your love of northern Spain by traveling to the city of Bilbao in the neighboring Pais Vasco.  Visit the famous Guggenheim museum, and discover the slight culinary and cultural differences of this amazing region.

Day 23
Day 24

Quality Time with Homestay & Friends

Take advantage of your last full Spanish Sunday with your homestay and friends by going out for tapas or exploring a new part of the city.

Day 24
Day 25-29

Regular Classes, Elective Activities + Leadership

Dreaming in Spanish yet?! Your Spanish fluency has allowed you to discover another world!

Day 25-29
Day 30

Travel Excursion to Pamplona

Walk down the same streets that play host to the Encierro or Running of the Bulls! and see why Pamplona is one of Spain’s most famous destinations!

Day 30
Day 31

Quality Time with Homestay & Friends

Spend your Sunday relaxing on the beach, riding the waves, or hiking along la costa!

Day 31
Day 32-36

Regular Classes, Elective Activities + Leadership

Continue improving your Spanish proficiency as you start to carry on fluid conversations with native speakers.

Day 32-36
Day 37

Your Choice of Travel Excursion

For your last Saturday, you get a choice to which exciting city you’d like to re-visit! Dive further into the contemporary art obras at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao or return to France for delicious macaroons!

Day 37
Day 38

Quality Time with Homestay & Friends

Take advantage of your last full Spanish Sunday with your homestay and friends by going out for tapas or exploring a new part of the city!

Day 38
Day 39-42

Regular Classes, Elective Activities + Leadership

Have fun and enjoy the games and conversation during your last week of total Spanish immersion!

Day 39-42
Day 43

Regular Classes, Elective Activities + Leadership

As your time in San Sebastian comes to a close, enjoy a final day with your homestay and friends!

Day 43
Day 44

Depart San Sebastian for Home

¡Buen viaje! Return home with amazing memories of España!

Day 44

Your Day Abroad in San Sebastián

MORNING

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast at Homestay & Travel with Roommate to Classes

Enjoy a light breakfast of breads, cereal, and juice/coffee. After breakfast, you will either walk or take a short bus ride to classes M-F.

9:30 – 1:30 Spanish Language, Culture, and Conversation Courses

Be amazed at how quickly your Spanish improves with SPI’s master instructors at the university in San Sebastián! Classes are both engaging and fun.

AFTERNOON

2:00 – 4:00 Afternoon Comida and Siesta or Break

After classes, enjoy lunch with your homestay. In Spain, the main mid-day meal is the heaviest, so bring your appetite!

4:30 – 7:00 Electives & Cultural Leadership Enrichment Activities

From surfing to photography and exchanges with locals, there are afternoon activities for everyone! SPI’s program also incorporates a cultural leadership enrichment component where students will interact with the local community. (There is structured free time on some afternoons after activities.)

EVENING

7:00 – 8:00 Meeting with Directors and Evening Free-Time

In the early evening, you will have an informal group meeting to review tomorrow’s activities with directors.

8:30 – 10:30 Evening Meal & Conversations With Your Homestay

Enjoy the evening practicing your Spanish while talking with your homestay around the dinner table. You will have some free time after evening meals to meet up with other students for ice cream or an evening stroll.

Gallery
Testimonials

What SPI Alumni Say…

"Learning Spanish in San Sebastián was incredible! The town felt comfortable to explore the beaches, and restaurants as locals, not tourists."

“This has been a fantastic experience! This trip has not only gave me an opportunity to be very independent living so far away from home, but also has built my confidence speaking Spanish. Learning at the institute greatly expanded my knowledge of Spanish culture and colloquial expressions. Also, I made many new friends from all over the world!”

John, Oregon

“My homestay made my trip really special. They were so welcoming and we spent hours after each night’s dinner talking to them. They taught me endless information from vocabulary, cultural information to the best place to go out to eat.”

Valentina, London , England

“I would definitely recommend SPI San Sebastian. It was a great place to explore and there was always something new to try. Yet at the same time, I felt the city getting smaller and more navigable just a few days into my stay.”

Eli, California
Enroll

Enrollment Form

The SPI Online Enrollment is best completed on a laptop/desktop and will take 15-20 minutes to complete. Parents and students should complete the enrollment form together. A $1,000 deposit is required to enroll and counts toward the final program price (you may pay with e-check or credit card.) Please have a clear face photo of the student ready for submission. All notifications, invoices, and pre-departure information will be sent via email. We look forward to your participation!
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