Spain | Grades 8 & 9 | Language Learning

From Madrid to the Mediterranean

Immerse yourself in Spanish language and culture as you visit Madrid’s renowned art museums and explore ancient castles, 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. Cap your student travel program in Spain on the gorgeous beaches of the Mediterranean.

At A Glance:
  • Adventure
    Outdoor exploration, hiking, biking, swimming, and other active pursuits
  • Daystay
    Time paired with a local family and children, evenings spent in-group residence
  • Language
    Opportunities to practice or learn the language of your host country
Completing grades
US Gateway City:
New York
Language Learning
Typical Group:
14 – 16 students, 2 leaders
$ + airfare


  • Practice your Spanish vocabulary during a language lesson in a Madrid market
  • Hike in fields of summer snow to a summit in the Picos de Europa mountains
  • Savor traditional Spanish food like paella or churros con chocolate
  • Catch a wave during a surf lesson off one of Spain’s famous beaches


Education: University of New Hampshire, B.A., Spanish, University of New Hampshire, M.A.T., Secondary Education

While at the University of New Hampshire, Elizabeth studied abroad in Spain, Chile, and Mexico, and focused on adolescent development in schools, clubs, and other… read more

While at the University of New Hampshire, Elizabeth studied abroad in Spain, Chile, and Mexico, and focused on adolescent development in schools, clubs, and other group settings. After completing her master’s degree, Elizabeth lived and worked at a boarding school in Rhode Island for four years. There she taught Spanish, served as a dorm parent in the freshman boys’ dormitory, coached cross country, and organized the school’s Weekend Activities program. In 2014, Elizabeth received a fellowship to attend Columbia University’s Klingenstein Summer Institute. There she met with professors and other early career teachers to discuss successful classroom environments and student needs. Currently Elizabeth teaches Spanish at a middle school in New Hampshire, while also coaching track and leading the Rubik’s Cube Club. She has spent the past five summers in Spain and has led high school students to Seville, Spain. Elizabeth is fluent in Spanish and proficient in German and has led Putney’s Language Learning Spain program twice.


Departure • Travel Day • Meet your fellow 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 • 4 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 • 3 days • Travel south to a mountain inn located among the snow-capped Picos de Europa. Hike and ride horseback on spectacular trails.  

Students practice Spanish in Madrid on our language learning program in Spain

Madrid • 4 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.

Daystay • 5 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.

Mediterranean Coast • 3 days • Travel to a small town on the Mediterranean Coast, and relax, enjoy a picnic on the sunny beaches, recount your adventures with new friends, and enjoy a final celebratory meal as a group.

Return • Travel Day • Fly from Valencia 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.

Working on my Spanish and being able to communicate with the locals gave me the biggest sense of accomplishment. On this program I learned how to be a better traveler, and that within myself I have the abilities to be flexible and ready for anything.

— Claire S. Ramaz School, New York, NY

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

Students practice Spanish by discussing artwork at a museum on our language learning program in Spain


What to Expect

Language Pledge • The goals of this language immersion 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 one year of Spanish. This travel 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 your comfort zone. Students on this 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, ride horseback, and do a considerate amount of walking during the 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 hit the 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.

She learned past tense during the program. My husband and I speak Spanish and after the program we noticed a big shift in her comfort level speaking; she is quite comfortable holding her own in Spanish.

— Susanne Vasquez & Jonathan Sheindlin, Larchmont, NY

Ask Us

Call Kate at 802.387.5000 or email

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

Kate Reigeluth

Hamilton College, B.A., Spanish; Middlebury College, M.A., Spanish

Since finishing her master’s degree, Kate has dedicated herself to sharing her two loves with students: travel and Spanish. She taught Spanish to middle school and high school students for many years in Connecticut, and founded an exchange program for her students in Zaragoza, Spain. Kate began leading trips for Putney in 2008, and they included three Language Learning trips in Spain as well as programs in Belize, India, and Costa Rica. Kate currently coordinates programming in Spain, Belize, and Patagonia. When she is not dreaming about travel, Kate loves to hike, bake, and row.