The capital city Madrid and trendy Marbella on the Costa del Sol are where you will study Spanish this summer! We team up with International House (IH) Spanish Language School to give you a unique educational experience featuring two separate school/learning locations in different regions of the country that each have a unique vibe. In Madrid, you will improve your conversational skills in Spanish class. While in Marbella, the city becomes your classroom as we are accompanied by certified IH teachers and you are immersed in “outside the classroom” interactions, so you can master your Spanish. Afternoons and evenings are for cultural outings, Mediterranean beaches, flamenco dance lessons, adventure, nightclubs and city touring, including incredible Barcelona. During this three-week high school student program, you will feel like a Spaniard and will never want to bid adios to this incredible country.
Improve your Spanish in Madrid & Costa del Sol
Practice speaking as you visit Seville and Granada
To learn a language, go where it is spoken!
Take Flamenco lessons, taste delicious tapas, marvel at the works of Gaudi and Picasso
Eight mornings are for instruction; afternoon and evenings are for cultural outings, touring, adventure, Spanish nightlife, or fantastic Mediterranean beaches.
Participants on this program have the option to fly overseas on our chaperoned group flight that leaves in the early evening from the New York area to Madrid. Our staff will be with you from the time you check in onward. For the many travelers from outside the New York area, you can choose to join the chaperoned flight and we are happy to assist you with arranging connecting flights at suitable times into New York, or if you prefer, you may meet us in Madrid and we will help you coordinate your flight and times and greet you after you proceed through immigration and customs.
For the 21-day program return flight from Barcelona, our leaders help with check-in and remain in the airport until flights in designated times have departed. They then remain in Spain for the duration of the longer 28-day program and chaperone that group flight home. Depending on the number of students departing after 21 days, one staff may chaperone that flight as well.
This program is open to students with at least one year of previous Spanish through advanced levels. You are assessed on day one and assigned to your level with a class size of 6-10 students. The 8 mornings of class meet from 10AM-1PM. All of our classes are private and exclusive to Westcoast Connection students.
Spanish Language School: International House (IH)
A center of learning for over 42 years, IH Spanish Language Schools are conveniently located in exciting cities throughout Spain, so you can easily combine study and travel. IH specializes in teaching Spanish to students from all over the world, which makes them highly effective when it comes to helping students maximize learning. The focus is on enhancing your verbal skills; however, attention is given to grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing skills.
Classes in Two Locations – One Continuous Curriculum
WEEK 1: MADRID – This location is in the city center near Madrid’s university zone, a neighborhood full of students and energy. Learning and staying in the capital will make you feel like a true “Madrileño” in no time.
WEEK 2: MARBELLA, COSTA DEL SOL – Enjoy four days immersing yourself in “out-of-the-class” language activities (rather than formal classes) under the guidance of your IH Spanish teachers. Marbella becomes your classroom as you participate in real life Spanish interactions such as bargaining at a local market, interviewing local community leaders and other fun, learning activities.
WEEKS 3: BARCELONA – Experience the incredible touring highlights of this popular seaside city.
*Classes in Barcelona and the Sitges Grand Finale are for 28-day students only.
Practice Your Spanish throughout the Day
Our staff team is fluent in Spanish, so get ready to practice daily. Whether ordering delicious tapas at a local café or shopping on Las Ramblas, your Spanish language skills are sure to improve.
All included in your tuition!
HIGHLIGHTS BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
MADRID – Near Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, your location is the perfect location to explore Spain’s colorful capital. Discover Spanish master artists Velásquez and Goya at the Prado. Check out cool Euro styles in Spain’s fashion mecca. Row boat in Retiro Park and visit the impressive Royal Palace. Enjoy getting to know Castellano cuisine at local cafés and restaurants
MARBELLA, COSTA DEL SOL – It’s time for la playa at this exciting Mediterranean resort town along the Costa del Sol; your location is a convenient walk to the best Marbella beaches! Explore the Old Quarter’s cobblestone streets and specialty shops. Browse for leather goods in the Andalucía market or the trendy Puerto Banus. Try the banana boat, if you dare, and chill out on the beaches of La Fontanilla and La Venus!
BARCELONA – Experience magical Catalán culture and stroll through Plaza Cataluña, Plaza de España, and along the Gran Vía. Discover Gaudí, including famous Park Guëll mosaics. Visit the famous Basilica Sagrada Familia, the Gothic signature to the Barcelona skyline. Stroll the very happening Las Ramblas down to the harborfront for colorful street performers. Savor local cuisine and feast on tapas in the Gothic Quarter. Enjoy creating your own local culinary delights during an evening at an authentic Spanish cooking lesson. Take a bike tour through the Olympic Port. Enjoy the Mediterranean Sea and sun at Barceloneta Beach.
Discover the historic town of Toledo. Witness the decorative craft of Damascene – rubbing gold or silver onto metals that are less precious to make jewelry and swords
Visit Cordoba’s historic city center and famous Mezquita-Cathedral.
Stop in Alicante and visit the scenic waterfront boardwalk and hillside castle
Experience an evening in Tarragona to view the Mediterranean beaches and ancient Roman ruins
All included in your tuition!
Seville – The Center of Bullfighting & Flamenco
Visit the Alcázar Royal Palace, the largest Gothic building in Europe. Tour the historic neighborhood of Barrio Santa Cruz. Put your flamenco skills to the test with a lesson followed by a live show.
Granada – The Medieval City
Pose with the renowned Palace of the Lions statue in one of the most visited sites in the world, the Alhambra palace. Visit Royal Chapel of Granada, home to the remains of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Explore the narrow streets of the Albaicin full of local merchants, visit gypsy caves or simply enjoy a café con leche in the famous Plaza Nueva.
Located in the heart of Madrid the Hotel Opera is located among the historical buildings of the Royal Palace, the Opera Theatre, Puerta del Sol and the bustling El Rastro Market.Visit Website
Our hotel is located in the heart of the city and offers amazing views from the roof top swimming pool. Seville is Spain’s 4th largest city and is best known for flamenco music and tapas.Visit Website
Our hotel is situated in a prime location near the city center and beaches. It is a short walk from Marbella Old Town with its cobbled streets, flower gardens and the famous Plaza de los Naranjos.Visit Website
Our premium hotel boasts views of the world famous Alhambra and is centrally located in the Puerta Real in the heart of the city center making it just a short walk away from all the attractions.Visit Website
A great place to stay just five blocks from school, your hotel is centrally located in the Plaza España. You’ll find time to relax in the swimming pool and solarium or enjoy the gymnasium.Visit Website
At Westcoast Connection nothing else comes first. From our extensive trip planning department through our management team and our leaders, it is our single biggest priority! Safety procedures, equipment – we’ve got it covered. All Trip Leaders and Directors are certified in First Aid and CPR. We are extremely proud of our safety record and welcome all questions you may have in this area. Please see more under Safety First.
Once you are on your trip, you will have sensitive leaders that are caring, approachable and always there for you. Your Trip Director and Trip Leaders are people with incredible backgrounds including teachers, guitar players, IRONMAN triathletes, SCUBA divers, volunteers, and so much more.
Every staff member takes part in and must complete our extensive training weekends that review our philosophy and procedures to provide a well-supervised and fun-filled program.
Our Trip Directors, the individuals responsible for overseeing each itinerary, take on the roles of teachers, coaches, camp counselors, mentors, concierges and hosts. They’ve been trained to provide individual attention and create an all-inclusive family atmosphere (our EACH & EVERY philosophy). There’s a definite art to building dynamic groups, and we’ve worked hard to master it! We want you smiling on day one right through to a teary goodbye at your farewell banquet.
Our leaders are non-smokers. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Summer Leaders section.
We can’t say it too many times, this is a really incredible group experience. A great dynamic starts with our secrets for group bonding. Our bag of tricks goes way beyond traditional ice breakers. Imagine people hunts, Rock, Paper, Scissors championships, Ninja tournaments, flash mobs and so much more. On our Spanish language programs, get ready for a word of the day, fun Spanish language routines and other activities to help improve your language skills. We work hard to get everyone moving beyond first impressions and creating an atmosphere of total acceptance. Our staff hiring and training emphasizes social safety and establishing an inclusive culture. Many of our travelers come as individuals and we have a geographically diverse enrollment with students joining us from across the U.S., Canada and internationally. This mix helps eliminate cliques at the outset and establish an open environment that benefits you. We take great care in assembling groups to create an unforgettable social experience.
In Spain, we partner with International House (IH) Spanish Language School. IH teachers are certified to teach Spanish to visiting students. They are one of the largest and oldest groups of language schools in the world. The IH Spanish language curriculum is continuous throughout the duration of the program.
Classes are designed for students of different levels, from those with one year of Spanish language instruction through advanced. All of our classes are private and exclusive to our students. On day one, students will be assessed and assigned to a class of 6 to 10 students based on their Spanish ability.
Outside of the classroom, Spain will become your classroom. While interacting with the locals and speaking with your fellow trip members and leaders, your language skills will inevitably improve. Through the use of Spanish morning songs, announcements of the day and daily news (among others) by the end of your program, your skills will be muy buenos!
Planning teen trips is both an art and a science. We know when to pick up the pace to get the adrenaline flowing. We also know when it’s time to chill on the beach or have a sleep in. As you review our Spain Language program, know that we have worked year after year to make every minute of every day just right.
If we’re not seeing the sights, eating like there’s no tomorrow or resting up because there is a tomorrow, we’re out there playing! Learn to cook delicious tapas during an evening at cooking school, lounge on the beaches of the Mediterranean, and ride the night away at PortAventura amusement park. Cultural and historical sites include the Salvador Dalí Museum, the Medieval town of Girona, and Park Güell. Nightlife ranges from modern dance clubs in the Marina District of Barcelona, a night of karaoke near the beach and even the unforgettable light show of Montjuïc. Your Spain Language program will combine the best of hip Barcelona, cosmopolitan Madrid, small charming towns and great beach resorts.
If you come prepared with a positive attitude, ready to speak and improve your Spanish, you will be ready to embrace the challenges and reap the many rewards of your program. Make a commitment to see your Spanish improve by actually speaking Spanish with your staff, fellow Trip Members and when interacting with the locals in the communities you will visit.
As you travel to new places and experience different cultures, your journey may challenge your ideas and preconceived notions. We recognize this and strive to provide an environment where you are free to question and learn. This is nurtured by our leaders’ open and non-judgmental guidance. Our experience lends itself to trying new things and stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. While living and learning together, you are afforded the chance to interact with very different communities. Everybody grows in their social acceptance of others. Your perception will change as your understanding of and empathy for others grows. Whereas prior to your travels, you may have held stereotypes for some communities, your new first-hand experience will enable you to see we often share more in common with others than we may have known.
There really is a difference in how different summer programs operate! Motivated teens going away with qualified leaders is a given. But what sets us apart is the depth of our qualified personnel that allow us to perform with the greatest consistency at the highest level.
Your Trip Director and Trips Leaders are with you throughout your program. They have daily contact with one of our two 24-hour Communication Centers and are in regular contact with our Company Directors. Our Company Directors are the most seasoned veterans who each oversee specific programs providing support to trip staff and to assist with any situations that may arise. Our Company Directors alternate between traveling to visit programs and being reached in the office. Program visits enable us to provide ongoing support and development to our Trip Directors, allows trip staff to have a sounding board for their own progress in reaching trip goals, helps us to identify any challenging areas for improvement while it still has relevance to your summer rather than as a mention on your end-of-summer survey, and helps us to identify the future Directors from the current crop of all-star summer staff. These visits are by Company Directors along with our Regional Supervisors, who are former Trip Directors with further experience out in the field. Collectively our planning, supervisory and management team is an incredible resource with over 420 summers of combined teen travel experience.. This way, we can lend a hand wherever and whenever a little extra effort is called for. Last year, we had 205 scheduled supervisory trip visits to make sure all was running well, provide ongoing support to our staff in the field, and have fun! This investment in depth of personnel is unrivaled in teen travel and is a critical element to achieving consistent, excellent program quality and surpassing client expectations!
Included in the trip tuition are all activities and entertainment described, breakfast & dinner daily, lunches as indicated on your specific program, gratuities, taxes, land transportation, accommodations, and fanatical customer service from our full-time team and summer Communication Centers. This can add up to tremendous value!
Once your action packed day is over, you’re going to need a place to crash. You will enjoy terrific centrally located hotels. Every participant gets his or her own bed to ensure a proper night’s rest. For more detailed information, visit the section marked Where We Stay.
A big part of a program’s success depends on how well you eat. We are proud of the fact that year after year we are complimented for our quality and quantity of food and variety of options. Meals vary by destination. Part of your travel experience will be immersing yourself in the local cuisine and culture, so please bring with you an open mind and a willingness to try new things. In Spain, taste seafood from the coast, paella, incredible fresh fruits and plenty of fresh vegetables and meats. But don’t worry, they also have North American style options on the menu.
We have satisfied the choosiest of eaters and gladly accommodate most special dietary requests including vegetarian, anaphylactic food allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease and kosher style. We welcome discussing your individual requirements with you and have extensive personal experience in this area. International travel may present more challenges than domestic locations and we are happy to review your personal needs and help you select an appropriate itinerary.
On our Spanish Language program, you’ll ride in an air-conditioned motor coach with a professional driver.
You only need to bring one week’s worth of clothing as outlined in our packing list. Every week you may drop off your laundry at a local wash and fold service and then pick it up clean, folded and ready to go.
While you’re out having the summer of your life, your parents should feel like they are in on the action as well. We post updates to our blog and Facebook page and e-mail photos approximately once a week so those at home can be in on the fun. Parents also have access to our dedicated office Trip Monitors 24/7 for any questions and/or concerns. We’re as in touch as any trip operator could possibly be via smartphones with e-mail and text. The goal is uncompromising safety and peace of mind, day after day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Participants may bring their personal cell phones.
In last summer’s surveys, 98% of responding teens and parents said they would recommend us to others. We must be doing something right!