Study Abroad Spain and Spanish Immersion Program

Study Abroad Spain and Spanish Immersion Program

study abroad spain and spanish immersion program

GTGA is proud to offer a challenging and rewarding Spanish immersion program in Pamplona, Spain.

Pamplona is an excellent location for our Spanish immersion program gap year for several reasons, including: a high degree of safety, a youthful population of college aged students, and city size is large enough to stay interesting and provide many things to do, yet small enough to become intimately familiar with and not feel overwhelmed. Our Study abroad Spain program happens in a classic European destination, and Pamplona is a classic Spanish city with a rich history, old world feel, and some of the best food in all of Europe.

This program includes:

  • Homestay with a local family, private room, full room and board, 1 student per household, near city center, (shared apartment option for those 18+)
  • Spanish language and culture classes
  • Audit two university classes per semester at Universidad Publica de Navarra  (or attend local high school)
  • Internship/service work (for example, variety of work with the Red Cross)
  • Backpacking trips & local excursions 
  • 24/7 onsite support from GTGA staff and partners

2019-2020 Program dates and tuition

Semester One-(September 15-December 8) 12 weeks –$13,500

Semester Two-(January 15-May 1) 16 weeks –$18,000

Full Academic Year– (September 15-May 1) 8 months –$36,000

Spanish Language and Culture Classes

Primary goal is to provide some formal language training and guidance to ensure Spanish language development. Total of about 6 hrs/week. Additional language classes arranged on request.

Small group language lessons designed to develop fluency. Non academic in nature, no pressure; simply learn at your own pace. Students meet for six hours per week, with half of the time to be spent on Spanish culture, including experiential learning trips. A typical schedule might include Spanish language and culture class on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-12. On these days, the first 90 minutes (9-10:30) are spent working on language skills, while the second half of the morning (10:30-12) might be spent in a cafe practicing conversation skills.


study abroad spain and spanish immersion program

University classes at Universidad Publica de Navarra (option to attend local high school instead)

Primary goal is to have students meet their peers. Secondary goal is to provide weekly structure and a taste of university lifeTotal of about 8 hrs/week

Attend two classes per semester at the University of Navarra (UPNA). Get a taste of what university life is all about minus the academic pressure. Classes will likely be in Spanish and not for academic credit. Students will have a choice in terms of which classes they audit after consulting with GTGA staff. For example, a typical schedule might include a morning and afternoon university class on Mondays and Wednesdays, ie: from 11-1 and again from 3-5.

Internship and Service Opportunities

Primary goal is to explore a potential university major, career track, or just to do something productive and different from the normal routine. Secondary goal is to provide weekly structure. Total of about 10 hrs/week.

This is a valuable piece of the program so as to provide students with opportunities for career exploration, service, and gratitude for being in a position to do so. A typical schedule might include internship or service work on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2-5, and again on Fridays from 9-1; generally a few afternoons per week with Friday being a flexible half day.

Possible internship placements include: variety of work with the Red Cross, teach English (all ages), work with children, work in a restaurant, hostel, marketing, local store, art gallery, farm near town, renewable energy project, or for local professional sports team.

Sample Excursions

Primary goal is to introduce students to backpacking and inspire a lifetime of travel. Teach and demonstrate the essential planning and risk management skills necessary for successful backpacking trips.

Day and overnight excursions chaperoned and guided by GTGA staff. One extended backpacking trip from 7-10 days. Students help to plan transportation, lodging, and learn how to backpack safely. 2-3 day trips per semester to sites both well known and off the beaten track. Private and public transportation utilized.

study abroad spain and spanish immersion programstudy abroad spain and spanish immersion program

  • San Sebastian-beautiful beach, town roughly 90 minutes from Pamplona 
  • Backpacking-extended trips within Spain and greater Europe
  • Madrid- visit St. Louis University-Madrid campus, Prado, Retiro Park, Sol-centro
  • Picos de Europa National Park, other national parks near Pamplona
  • Larraga-quiet village along Camino de Santiago-walk a stretch of Camino de Santiago
  • Running of the Bulls route

Host Families / Homestay

study abroad spain and spanish immersion programThrough years of experience in Spain and Latin America we understand what makes for successful homestays. We carefully vet host families, while responding immediately to any concerns, up to and including quickly moving the student to another home in the unlikely event of a poor fit. We adhere by a strict code of conduct for both host families and students/clients. GTGA maintains local law enforcement/political contacts in program site cities.

Homestay is the lynchpin of the gap year experience.

A homestay can provide the sort of personal connection that makes for an unforgettable experience, and there is tremendous value in it. Students always have someone to practice their Spanish with, and improve just by listening to it being spoken around the home. It is one thing to visit or live in a foreign city, but quite another to live in a foreign city with a local family. This is the full immersion experience where you see how they cook, how they eat, to hear their views on things, to watch the news together, and even watch a favorite television show. This is the best way to understand the culture of a place.

A homestay can also help you navigate the city and understand and partake in local festivals and customs. There is also a built-in security element to the homestay as there is a family keeping an eye out for you. GTGA requires gap year participants under 21 years old to live with a host family. Gap year participants under 21 may be granted an exemption on a case by case basis. Full immersion through homestay is strongly encouraged for all GTGA participants.


Optional Coursework (not included)

University- level coursework, lectures, and discussion groups on business, politics, culture, travel, and current events. Coursework is customized with an emphasis on the development of critical thinking skills.

College and career advising. Identify learning styles, personality types, and career interests to prepare for college or career. Modeled off American MBA curriculum. See more in ‘Courses’ section.

es_ESSpanish en_USEnglish