Madrid, Spain

Honors Spanish Language & Culture

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Language & Culture



4 weeks



Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Enroll Now

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4 weeks



Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Enroll Now

Request Information

Program Overview
Are you up for a unique challenge in Madrid?  

While all our Language & Culture programs offer immersion and college credits, this Honors program is for students with the drive to grow their Spanish and cross-cultural understanding to the max! As an Honors student, you will:   

  • Take a language proficiency test to ensure you have enough fluency to speak in Spanish at all times. Only intermediate and advanced Spanish speakers will be accepted. 
  • Honor your Language Pledge to strictly use only Spanish both in and out of class.  
  • In a weekly survey, reflect on your language learning and set goals to stay challenged.  
  • Live in a homestay and go on cultural activities and excursions only with other Honors students. 

Now, let’s switch to Spanish. If you can continue reading the following without a translation tool...

¡Apúntate al programa ahora mismo y goza de la buena vida en Madrid! 

Tu vida en la vibrante capital de España será una experiencia como ninguna. Vive completamente inmerso/a en la lengua castellana y su rica cultura entre madrileños y sus costumbres. Descubre un lugar rico en arquitectura, arte e historia y explora los barrios de la ciudad con jóvenes madrileños. Disfruta de la exquisita gastronomía de la región y ve de compras donde los madrileños compran. Prepara y comparte cenas con tu familia madrileña mientras conversas sobre temas de interés. ¡Forma un lazo de amistad para toda la vida! 

The Take-Aways

Language & Cultural Proficiency

Come home with a higher level of Spanish and a greater understanding of Spanish culture. Use your STAMP 4S language proficiency pre- and post-test scores to demonstrate your language growth and help you earn a Seal of Biliteracy.

College Credits

Earn 4 college credits toward your future college degree. Take advantage of the credits to stand out on your college applications or to satisfy college language requirements.

Lifelong Skills and Friendships

Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and adaptability. Enjoy a broader worldview and friends of different backgrounds from across the U.S.


Hours of Instruction with a Native Spanish Teacher


College Credits


Life-Changing Experience

The Destination
  • Madrid Calle Gran Via Street skyline
  • High school students sitting on the steps of Madrid Plaza
  • High school students dancing in class in Madrid

The Destination

Welcome to Madrid, the bustling cultural capital of Spain with architectural gems, world-renowned art, fútbol fanatics, and exquisite food.  

Madrid is a walkable city with eye candy at every turn. In the historic heart of Madrid, a walk through the shop- and café-lined Plaza Mayor always pleases, including a stop for fried squid sandwiches or churros con chocolate. At the nearby Mercado de San Miguel, more good tastes await in this lively tapas market. Just blocks away, Puerta del Sol, site of the 15th century gate to the city and El oso y el madroño sculpture and symbol of the city, offers a bustling slice of modern-day life. To the west is the enormous Palacio Real with its 3,148 rooms, the largest royal residence in Western Europe. To the east is a 300-acre green oasis—Retiro Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is replete with gardens, monuments, fountains, and even a Glass Palace.  

Madrid is also home to two of the world’s best soccer clubs and world-famous art museums, such as Museo del Prado and Reina Sofía, both of which you’ll visit, along with excursions outside Madrid to Segovia and the seaside city of Valencia.  

Cultural Awareness

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Madrid. 

Daily Life

Daily Life


Each day offers a balance between interactive instruction and cultural activities with time on your own, too. Morning classes and afternoon activities may swap places. 

  • Breakfast at your homestay  
  • Out and about for authentic conversations in the community and a Cultural Activity 
  • Bagged lunch in the community with your fellow Global Navigators 
  • Engaging Spanish classes with expert language instructors, all native speakers   
  • Dinner and evening discussions at your homestay 


  • Overnight or day excursions to top sites 
  • Quality time with friends and everyone at your homestay 

Check out the blog posts to discover more about daily life and excursions on program.


Carefully-screened homestay

24/7 Support

1 Program Leader for every 12 students and support from local staff

Weekly Learning Goals

CIEE’s Honors programs offer classes only at Levels 2 and 3. Level 2 is for students who can carry on everyday conversations in Spanish, and Level 3 is for those who can participate in discussions on social and academic topics. In the spring before you depart, you’ll take a language proficiency test and when you arrive on site, you’ll participate in an oral interview. How you do on the test and in the interview will identify the level that is right for you. 

Each week, you’ll explore a Theme and create a Project. Each day, you’ll advance your Spanish—through activities and discussions in class and through conversations with locals in the community and at your homestay.  

Week 1: Settle in and meet your classmates as you explore the Discovery Theme. Ask about and describe family members, discover and describe exciting things to do in Madrid, and compare daily routines and customs in Spain and the USA. For your Project, create and present a Memory Book of Your Life in Madrid.

Week 2: Explore Spanish culture during this week’s Creativity Theme. Compare musical performances, express opinions on art, tell what happened in movies, and persuade a classmate to attend a cultural event. For your Project, create a Photo Gallery on Spanish Culture and share it in a conversation.

Week 3: Delve into Madrid in this week’s Community Theme. For your Project, create and present a Neighborhood Tour in Madrid. Describe the city and what happens there. Role play scenes in a market and restaurant. Report on Madrid’s past and future.

Week 4: Consider the impact of your summer during the Personal Growth Theme. Tell what happened in memorable moments and how you felt about it. Make cultural comparisons and persuade a friend to study abroad. For your Project, create a Study Abroad Album and share it in a panel discussion.

Each week, you’ll explore a Theme and create a Project. Each day, you’ll advance your Spanish—through activities and discussions in class and through conversations with locals in the community and at your homestay.  

Week 1: Settle in and meet your classmates during the Cultural Encounters Theme. Tell what happened on a first encounter abroad. Summarize past and current events in Madrid. Express your opinions as you compare cultural norms and stereotypes. For your Project, create and present a Field Report on Madrid.

Week 2: Explore Spanish culture in this week’s Creativity Theme. Describe street art and profile artists, express opinions on magazines and movies, and compare musical performances. For your Project, create an Arts & Culture Magazine and share it in a conversation.

Week 3: Continue advancing your Spanish as you delve into the Discovery Theme. For your Project, create and present an Awareness Campaign about a global threat. Give information on its causes and effects, explain solutions, and persuade others in debates, justifying your arguments.

Week 4: Consider the impact of your summer in this week’s Personal Growth Theme. Conduct a class survey on experiences in Spain and make cultural comparisons. Tell an original story about a memorable moment and speculate on what’s next for you. For your Project, create a Study Abroad Album and share it in a panel discussion.

Program Blogs

Memorias Madrileñas

By Nicoletta Feldman

A note from the PL: As we say goodbye to Madrid, this week's blog post is a guest post from my student, Kingsley, who wrote about his experience in Spain... keep reading

Gymkhana fun!

By Nicoletta Feldman

Can you believe that there are only two full days left of program? The last week certainly snuck up on us, but our Global Navigators are making the most of... keep reading



By Parisa Salahshourian at CIEE

For our Global Navigators' last weekend in the program, we visited the lovely city of Valencia, on the eastern coast of Spain. Our students had a fantastic time on the... keep reading


Sample Activities

High school students posing in the turrets of a castle in Madrid

Just imagine all the fun you’ll have!

  • Bike on cobblestone walkways along the Manzanares River or row a boat across Retiro Park Lake, public spaces enjoyed by madrileños year-round.  
  • On excursion to Segovia, explore medieval walls, Romanesque churches, and the iconic Roman aqueduct. Ever wonder what inspired the Disney castle? Look no further than the Alcázar de Segovia!   
  • Taste the different regions of Spain in fun cooking classes where you’ll make dishes such as tortilla de patatas, gazpacho, and crema catalana
  • On excursion to Valencia, hit the beaches for swimming or volleyball and savor Spanish paella.  Relax on a boat tour on L'Albufera Lake, and see the ninots, gigantic “dolls” burned each year in a traditional festival. 
  • Visit the house-museum of Joaquín Sorolla, the “painter of Mediterranean light,” whose shimmering paintings will transport you to tranquil, seaside escapes. 

Please note activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when arranging activities is always to enhance your experience.

What Students Are Saying

  • "This program changed my life and altered my future's course for the better. I know I want to pursue a career involving Spanish now and travel back to Madrid and travel more in general. I've made friends for life and have seen more than I thought I would see in a lifetime."

    Siena M., Global Navigator Alum

  • "My Spanish class in Spain was taught ONLY in Spanish! I really enjoyed learning new concepts. I occasionally needed to ask for clarification, but when I finally got the concept, I was very proud of myself!"

    Kyren S., Global Navigator Alum

  • "I came to Spain to strengthen my Spanish and today I was told by a local that my Spanish is very good. If you actually want to improve in your target language, you will."

    Yasmin B., Global Navigator Alum

  • "This program was honestly the best experience of my life. I explored a new culture, learned so much, and made the most memorable friends, close enough to be family."

    Hannah I., Global Navigator Alum



  • Participants must be 14 years old and above.
  • Program open to all current high school students—Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors—who have: 
  • Completed high school Spanish Level 2 or higher by the start of the program, and  
  • Attained a minimum ACTFL proficiency level of Intermediate-Low on the pre-program STAMP test that determines language proficiency. 

Don’t Meet the above Criteria? See our other Spanish Language & Culture programs in Barcelona, Madrid, Palma, Seville, Buenos Aires, and Merida. Pick one as your second-choice program to increase your chances to travel to a Spanish-speaking country next summer. You will be asked to transfer to another program if your STAMP score is too low for the Honors program. Please sign up for the earliest possible STAMP test date. Information about the STAMP administration—including test dates—will be released in the spring.   

For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page

For more information, refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

Application Fee


Optional College Credit Fee


Learn more about how to get college credit for your future college degree.

Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. Find additional details about what’s included with your tuition.

More questions? Find answers, get application support, sign up for virtual presentations or contact us.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Program Summer Session I 2024 4 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Costs $7,250
Program Summer Session II 2024 4 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Costs $7,250

What's Included

Interactive Classes


3 Meals/Day

(Dietary Needs Accommodated)

All Ground Transportation

(Once In-country)

Optional Flight Chaperone

(Flight Cost Not Included)

Pre-departure Advice and Orientation

Access to Local Phone and WIFI

All Cultural Activities and Excursions

Comprehensive Medical and Travel Protection

24/7 Emergency On-site Support

Our Staff

Our Staff

Eero Jesurun


Eero Jesurun, Ph.D. completed his B.S. and M.A degrees from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Eero studied at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid where he obtained a Ph.D...

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