Where Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic connect, Spain has a fascinating history, a diverse culture and five official languages: Catalan, Galician, Basque (Euskara), Aranese and Spanish. Embrace the rich local cuisines, lifestyles, festivals, architecture and music. Stroll trough the the bright and colorful cities and villages, and stop by one of the carts selling hot churros that you dip in thick, hot chocolate.

Fútbol (soccer) is the most popular sport, with fans passionately dedicated to the national team, La Roja (The Red One). Cycling, basketball, lectures and concerts take up a lot of teens’ free time. Weekend evening: parties, movies and hanging out in cafés or the local town square.

Why go to Spain?

Suitable for complete beginners right through to advanced students, each programme uses the latest education techniques in a safe and supported environment to ensure the best results. In partnership with a number of carefully chosen Spanish partners, we have put together a range of programmes which are suited for Irish teenagers and adults alike.

Host Families & Communities


Host Family & Community

You’ll most likely live in an urban or suburban area of Spain, even in the Canary or Balearic Islands.  Many families eat both lunch and dinner together. You’re bound to enjoy the tradition of long, multi-course meals and mid-day siestas (when you can go home for lunch and a quick nap). Extended family members visit each other often, especially for large weekend gatherings.

Schools & Classes


School & Classes

You’ll likely attend a public high school with a variety of different classes like Spanish language, literature, and physical education. School runs from Monday to Friday, 8am to 3pm but you may have additional classes on some afternoons. It’s also customary for students to call their teachers by their first name.

Language Fluency


How Fluent do I need to be?

Spain has five official languages—Aranese, Catalan, Galician, Basque (Euskara) and Spanish. With Spain being a multilingual nation, 70% of the students hosted there live in bilingual communities where Spanish is not the primary language spoken in school and by the host family. However,  Spanish language study is compulsory in all schools and many people are bilingual so you will still have the opportunity to practice your Spanish. AFS offers the Rosetta Stone Spanish course to prepare you for your exchange.

The Food!


What is the Food like?

While each region of Spain has its own food specialties, Spanish cuisine is generally Mediterranean in style with lots of olive oil, garlic, onions, tomatoes and peppers. Lunch is the main meal of the day and is served around 2 or 3 pm, while dinner may start as late as  9 pm when most family members can be together. Fish and seafood are abundant, but red meat and pork are also eaten nearly every day. With traditional Spanish tapas, you can try all different kinds of foods. Don’t miss the paella (rice with vegetables and seafood) and gazpacho (a cold tomato soup).

Let AFS/EIL guide your intercultural adventure

Go abroad with AFS/EIL to discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.

Secondary School Abroad

All Secondary School Abroad

Programmes offered in Spain

Long term placements for Transition Year students are offered by our Secondary School Abroad programme, whereby students live with a Spanish host family and attend a local secondary school with other Spanish children from the area.

Please browse the different options below to find the programme that is right for you or your child.

Explore the Programs Available in Spain