Enjoy an eye-opening two-week adventure in Valladolid, a historic city to the north of Madrid. You’ll have the chance to take language lessons and explore cultural sites like palaces, castles, and Roman ruins. Practice your Spanish both in the classroom and around the dinner table while spending quality time with a local host family. Outside of class, you and your group will get to know the real Spain by meeting with students and sharing your experiences with them through English language tutoring. You’ll also gain unique insight into contemporary global issues by volunteering with refugee children in the area. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance your second language skills, make lasting friendships, and give back to the community!
Most Global Prep programs accept participants between the ages of 13 and 18 years old. However, 13 and 14 year old’s aren’t eligible to enroll for certain Global Prep destinations. If you wish to participate and will be 13 or 14 years old at the date of departure for the program, please contact AFS for more information about specific program eligibility. Please also keep in mind that due to regulations mandated by the airlines, 13 and 14 year old participants will be considered Unaccompanied Minors and additional charges will apply.
On this program you are likely to learn about these Sustainable Development Goals:
Sample Program Itinerary to Spain
The below itinerary serves as an outline for the program, and each Global Prep experience will vary based on group size and opportunity.
Your journey to Spain
Your journey will begin in New York, where you’ll meet up with the rest of your group and travel with your Group Leader to Spain. When you arrive at the airport in Madrid, you’ll be greeted by AFS Staff or Volunteers. Then you’ll take a short trip to Valladolid and meet your Spanish host family. You’ll attend a welcome party with your whole group and enjoy a traditional Spanish merienda (snack) together. As you’re surrounded by Spain’s fun-loving culture, you can absorb the sights, sounds, and smells of your new home for the next two weeks.
Your Language Classes and Volunteer Projects
After settling in with your host family, you’ll get started on your Spanish lessons so that you can better communicate with the locals. You’ll be split up into groups according to your proficiency level in classes with no more than 15 students. You and your group will have class every morning from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and then venture into Valladolid or the surrounding areas to experience the area’s rich culture and traditions.
When you’re not in class, you and your group will take part in rewarding service-learning activities. You’ll get together with young people in the Roma community to discuss and compare your cultures and traditions. You’ll also work with local children at day camps, organizing sports and activities and helping them to improve their English-speaking abilities. Finally, you’ll meet with a group of refugee children and accompany them on a field trip to a science museum, which is sure to be an impactful experience for everyone.
Your Host Family
During your two weeks in Spain, you can expect to spend many of your evenings growing close with your host family. Take this opportunity to enjoy homemade Spanish cuisine and practice your language skills as you chat with your neighbors! On the weekend, you and your host family will have the chance to go hiking in the countryside together or enjoy other local activities. Your family will likely have children, and host brothers and sisters are often encouraged to join in class and group activities!
Exploring the Area
Besides taking language lessons, volunteering and hanging out with your host family, you and your friends can enjoy some sightseeing in downtown Valladolid. You’ll also go on an excursion to Salamanca, where you’ll explore the city square, taking in its lively local character before visiting the famous cathedral. Look out for the carving of an astronaut on the 12th century church’s walls—it was added in a restoration in 1992!
As you near the end of your time in Spain, you’ll have the chance to visit the legendary Roman aqueduct in Segovia and see the city’s medieval cathedral and Alcazar (palace). Then you and your group will continue on to Spain’s capital, Madrid. Before heading home, you’ll take a tour of the Plaza Mayor, the Prado Museum, and the Puerta del Sol (which is like Spain’s version of Times Square).
What's included in your program fee?
- Round trip international airfare chaperoned by an American staff member
- Accommodations, meals, and transportation
- Secondary Health Coverage Plan
- Access to a 24/7 Emergency Duty Officer
- Visa Support
- Please review the Terms and Conditions for complete guidelines.
What’s not included in the Program Fee?
“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one.
When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.
That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in Spain.
In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.