One of Spain’s smaller cities, Salamanca has become a very popular place for high school programs abroad because of its historic beauty, relaxed pace of life, and emphasis on education. Home to one of the oldest and best universities in Europe, high school programs in Salamanca will deepen students’ knowledge of Spain greatly as they live in this charming cultural hub. With students flocking to Salamanca from all over the world, you may just learn a lot about some other cultures too!
High School Programs in Salamanca
Many high school study abroad programs in Salamanca actually allow students to study at the University of Salamanca, a prestigious institution and the fourth oldest university in Europe (it was chartered in 1218). Classes are generally offered across a variety of subject areas, with the most popular courses being Spanish language, culture, and history. Taking courses at a Spanish university is a great way for students to immerse themselves in the local student life, and also practice for their own college experience.
There are also high school programs in Salamanca that are specifically oriented toward language immersion, which take place in a variety of other educational institutions, aside from universities, such as international schools or local high schools. These language intensive programs offer students at all levels of the Spanish learning process, from beginning to advanced, a great way to improve their language fluency and confidence. Students are typically in the classroom for four hours each day, and can gain further Spanish practice in everyday life by natural communications with locals.
High school programs in Salamanca tend to last between two and eight weeks. Many include guided travel opportunities and field trips throughout the city and nearby regions as well. One last thing for parents, Salamanca is a very safe city and students will be supervised consistently throughout the duration of the trip, as is the norm in almost any high school program abroad.
Life in Salamanca
Located in the northeastern corner of the country, just hours away from both Madrid and Portugal, Salamanca is a small city with a booming student population. There are 154,000 people living in the city proper, and 36,000 of these are students attending the University of Salamanca alone. High school programs in Salamanca, which is known as a very youthful city, are an incredible experience; students will be able to make friends not only with locals, but also with peers from all over the world.
While the population might be young, the city itself is extremely old. Founded in pre-Roman times, Salamanca has been defined since before the Renaissance by its devotion to education and research. Sprawled across rolling hills along the Tormes River, and with stunningly well-preserved architecture (the Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Salamanca continues to be a magnet for academics from everywhere.
Adapting to life in Salamanca might come with its fair share of culture shock, but the relaxed pace of life and beauty of your surroundings will make the adjustment extremely enjoyable nonetheless. Spain runs at a slower pace than most places, days begin late, siestas draw out the afternoons, and dinner is usually not even served until after 10 p.m. Students should be prepared to embrace the local lifestyle and have a summer abroad that they won’t ever forget.
Scholarships & Costs
Although it is a big student town, Salamanca is less expensive than Spain’s other major cities. Spain itself is one of the most affordable destinations in Western Europe, so participating in high school programs in Salamanca should not be too hard on most students’ wallets when it comes to daily expenses.
Still, upfront fees for high school programs in Salamanca can be quite expensive, covering the costs of tuition, housing, transportation, and more. If program affordability is a concern, then students should be sure to check out fundraising and scholarship opportunities to learn about all the ways to make the trip of their dreams happen.
Accommodation & Visas
During high school programs in Salamanca, students will typically have the option of living in a homestay or in student dormitories. These accommodations can offer quite a different experience, so students should weigh the pros and cons of each before making their decision. For example, a homestay might provide students with more authentic cultural immersion, while dorms might allow students to socialize with one another more frequently.
Whether or not you will need a visa to join a high school program in Salamanca depends on your home country and the duration of the program. Students from within the European Union will not need a visa to participate in high school programs in Spain, regardless of program duration, while those coming from outside of Europe will either need one for entry or to stay longer than 90 days. For more information regarding visa specifics for you, check out GoAbroad’s Spanish Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Student Life. Salamanca is a huge student town, and the youthful feeling is contagious. During high school programs in Salamanca, students will make friends with peers from all over the world and share experiences they will never forget.
Learn Spanish. Most high school programs in Salamanca are oriented toward Spanish language learning in one way or another. By taking classes everyday and practicing as much as you can outside the classroom as well, your Spanish will progress tremendously.
Cultural Exploration. The value of participating in a high school program abroad and living in a culture outside your own cannot be put into words. Your eyes will be opened to just how big the world is, and you might just catch the travel bug before your program ends.