Spain | Grades 10 – 12 | Language Learning

From Mountain Passes to the Costa del Sol

Immerse yourself in Spanish language and culture as you visit renowned art museums and explore ancient castles, learn to surf on Spain’s northern coast, hike and ride horseback in the Picos de Europa mountains, and pair up with a local teenager for a language exchange and daystay. End your student travel program in Spain on the gorgeous beaches of the Costa del Sol after outdoor adventures in the Alpujarras region.

June 25, 2017  –  July 27, 2017
At A Glance:
  • Adventure
    Outdoor exploration, hiking, biking, swimming, and other active pursuits
  • Beach
    Stay on the ocean with time to swim, surf, boat, or snorkel
  • Daystay
    Time paired with a local family and children, evenings spent in-group residence
  • Immersion
    Language Immersion: Speak in the target language with local people and your Putney group
Completing grades 10 – 12
US Gateway City:
New York
Language Learning
33 days
Typical Group:
20 – 22 students, 3 leaders
$ 8,690 + airfare
  • Use your Spanish to interview the chef at a tapas restaurant in Madrid
  • Spend a week paired with a local teenager, joining in Spanish daily life
  • Learn to dance flamenco with an authentic gitano instructor
  • Hike to the top of the highest mountain on the Iberian Peninsula


Education: Georgetown University, B.A., Art History, B.A., French

Camila is a Hawaii-born Spaniard with an interest in art, language, and literature. She grew up partially in Madrid and studied abroad in France during… read more

Camila is a Hawaii-born Spaniard with an interest in art, language, and literature. She grew up partially in Madrid and studied abroad in France during college. After graduating from Georgetown, she worked as a Spanish–English translator at a law firm in Chicago and as a communications officer at a school in Hawaii, reporting on issues pertaining to education and campus life. She then moved to a small town in southern France where she taught English as a second language. In her free time, Camila surfs, hikes, and cycles. In the fall, she will pursue a master’s degree in human rights in Germany. She is fluent in Spanish and French, and is learning German. She has led Putney’s Language Learning Spain program.


Departure • Travel Day • Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your leaders in New York, and fly together to Oviedo, Spain, by way of Madrid. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

The Northern Coast • 5 days • Begin in a fishing village on Spain’s gorgeous northern coast and get to know your group as you participate in language lessons, visit a local fiesta, and play soccer on the beach with new Spanish friends.

Picos de Europa • 4 days • Travel south to a mountain inn located among the snow-capped Picos de Europa. Hike and ride horseback on spectacular trails.  

Madrid • 5 days • Explore Madrid’s lively streets, visit world-renowned museums — the Prado, Reina Sofía, and Thyssen Bornemisza — sample local delicacies at a sidewalk café, and take in a show at a taberna flamenco. Take a day trip to Segovia to see its Roman aqueduct or to Toledo to visit the Alcázar and ancient synagogue.

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Daystay • 6 days • Experience Spanish life as it is really lived, alongside your new Spanish brother or sister. Take day trips as a group and hike to a swimming hole, attend a concert, or share a meal. Spend time in the home of your host family and practice Spanish as you join in their daily activities, meet the family, and form lasting friendships. Reconvene with your leaders and Putney group at the end of each day to stay in a local hotel. To learn more about how we organize daystays, click here.

Granada • 5 days • Head south to Andalucia to the city of Granada. Visit the Alhambra Palace, soak in a traditional Arabic bath, and take a flamenco lesson in a traditional cueva.

The Alpujarras • 3 days • Travel to a white-washed village in the mountainous Alpujarras region for several days of outdoor adventure. Hike to the summit of Mulhacén, the highest peak on the Iberian Peninsula, and enjoy the crisp mountain air and stunning natural beauty.

Costa del Sol • 3 days • Continue south to a small town on the Costa del Sol. Relax, enjoy a picnic on the sunny beaches of Spain’s Mediterranean coast, and recount your adventures with new friends.

Return • Travel Day • Fly from Málaga to New York with your group and a leader, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

A Day in the Life: MADRID

Due to the traveling nature of this summer program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in Madrid.

9 AM Breakfast at our hotel
10 AM Language lesson focused on Goya and Velazquez
11 AM Learn about Spain’s masters at El Museo El Prado
2 PM Picnic lunch in the Retiro Park
4 PM Siesta and downtime
6 PM Play pick-up soccer at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
8 PM Evening group walk through Plaza del Sol
10 PM Dinner and a visit to a churreria for Spain’s famous churros y chocolate
11 PM Group meeting to discuss the day and upcoming schedule

The trip leaders were excellent and awesome. She absolutely loved them!

— Anne and Marcus Wedner, Chicago, IL

What to Expect

Language Pledge • The goals of this immersion language program are to improve your fluency in Spanish by building vocabulary and confidence in speaking, and to explore Spain’s culture through outdoor activities and interactions with locals. Each day, leaders hold dynamic conversational language lessons designed to help students let go of their inhibitions and communicate more easily. Language lessons are fun and interactive, and incorporate active, hands-on elements such as scavenger hunts, games, and informal interviews. Students on this program must have completed at least two years of Spanish. This program is designed for students who are excited about immersing themselves in language and culture, open to new experiences, and willing to challenge themselves to step out of their comfort zone. Students on this travel program are required to speak Spanish during the program and must sign a pledge to do so, not only with the many local people you meet, but also with the leaders and within the group. To learn more about our Language Learning programs, click here.

Independent Project • Pursue an independent project and explore an aspect of local culture of particular interest to you — become an expert on Goya’s most famous pieces, create a recipe book with family recipes from your daystay family, or learn Real Madrid’s chant song.

Physical Activity • This is a physically active summer program. You can expect to hike, surf, go horseback riding, and do a lot of walking during this program. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities.

Accommodations • Accommodations in Spain are varied, ranging from Old World-style hotels to mountain chalets. Many of our residences are run by welcoming Spanish families that Putney has known for years. Rooms are a mix of doubles, triples, and quads. Leaders reside together with the students throughout the program.

Meals • Begin each day with a traditional Spanish breakfast at our residence. For lunches and dinners, we find small restaurants or go to local markets to purchase food for a picnic. Lunches tend to be the biggest meal of the day in Spain, followed by a siesta. Restaurants range from traditional regional cuisine to a more international selection in Madrid.

I gained confidence and independence from being away from home in a foreign country for a month. I also gained so many new friendships and experiences with amazing people, which I am so grateful for.

— Lauren E., Northern Highlands Regional High School, Upper Saddle River, NJ

Ask Us

Call Kelsey at 802.387.5000 or email

The Language Learning Spain summer program is directed by Kelsey Burns. If you have questions, are interested in receiving more detailed information, or would like to talk further about the program or any of our high school student travel abroad summer programs, please get in touch!

Kelsey Burns

St. Lawrence University, B.A., Spanish

A Vermont native, Kelsey has led Language Learning programs in Spain; Community Service programs in Ecuador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Ghana; and directed our Middle School program in Costa Rica. She has worked as an associate director at Putney since 2003, and coordinates programs in Spain, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. Kelsey loves to travel, ski, dance, make music, and spend time with her family.