Details & Itinerary
Join us on one of our most popular and longest running Spanish immersion programs. Discover Spain by living with host families in Valencia and participate in a community model for sustainability in a beautiful region north of Madrid. You won’t miss out on the landmarks in Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona and you will develop a deep connection to the people that make appreciating this culture so enriching.
We start our journey in Madrid, the capital of Spain. Our lodging is right off the Puerta del Sol and gives us easy access to the cosmopolitan inner city and the palaces of another era. During our stay, we visit the world-renowned Prado Museum, and stroll through the Plaza Mayor and Retiro Park. We get to know each other, establish both personal and group goals, and begin the Global Works Leadership curriculum, specifically designed for this program.
We leave the big city life of Madrid behind and head north towards Sebulcor. On our way, we stop in the historic, walled city of Segovia for lunch and a chance to see the world famous Roman Aqueduct that is 2,000 years old! In Sebulcor, we spend the next two days kayaking, hiking, and getting to know one another through team building activities. Students are divided into task forces to complete projects, take responsibility of trip discussions and reflection activities, and coordinate the schedule for the upcoming stay in Amayuelas and the homestays.
From Sebulcor, we travel to the small town of Amayuelas de Abajo, a formerly abandoned Spanish town that has been reclaimed by Spaniards looking to create a sustainable community. Amayuelas provides an inspiring setting for many interesting environmental restoration and conservation projects. Our students break into small groups and join with Spanish community members to work on various projects such as making adobe bricks for construction, gardening, and bread baking. We’ll learn about their work to conserve native regional seeds and collaborate on restoration projects using traditional, sustainable building methods. Global Works Ambassadors are assigned each day to collaborate with the local project leaders, communicate plans with the group, and conduct evening activities with the our hosts. Students practice skills such as public speaking, interpersonal communication, problem solving, conflict resolution, and teamwork. Naturally, it is not “all work and no play.” In the late afternoons and evenings, there is time for exploration, activities, and soccer games!
After Amayuelas, our group continues east to Valencia. Homestay families are eager to meet and welcome us into their homes. For the next week, you are able to practice your Spanish with your homestay family. Your confidence and language skills improve with the help of informal Spanish lessons, focused on supporting and enhancing your language learning and interactions with your family. We spend most weekdays working on environmental restoration and preservation projects. We learn about the important biodiversity of the wetlands and dune habitats that we help to restore. Volunteers from Spain and around the world join us to help with our preservation efforts. During several afternoons, we enjoy swimming, biking to the beach, and exploring Valencia’s many historic and artistic wonders. The farewell dinner and celebration brings to a close an unforgettable time with this community. Please see The Homestay Experience for more information on how we select our homestay communities and families!
Our group continues to Barcelona for our final three nights. Prepare yourself for the fascinating buildings designed by architect Antoni Gaudí, including the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. We combine visits to the monuments and museums of this fantastic city with time to visit the waterfront, explore the incredible Boquería market and enjoy a Flamenco show. During a final celebratory dinner, we exchange laughter and stories from the past weeks, then top off the evening watching an epic Magic Fountain Show! Although it is hard to part from this marvelous country, your memories of Spain will last a lifetime!
The Global Works chaperoned Group Flight departs from New York (JFK) for this program. Airfare is not included the tuition. Please visit Dates & Tuition for group flight costs and Flight & Travel Arrangements for more information about travel days.
Adventure & Cultural Activities
Our hostel is just off of the bustling square, Puerta del Sol, and a few blocks walk to the majestic Plaza Mayor and the renowned Prado Museum. The historic 19th century building was a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway and the location of the first cinema projection in Spain before it became the simple but comfortable hostel that it is today. All rooms have private bathrooms.
AMAYUELAS DE ABAJO
In Amayuelas de Abajo, participants stay in a beautiful 17th-century house that has maintained many of its old-world charms. The proprietors have conserved as many of the home’s original elements as possible, including its numerous cozy plazas, large communal dining areas and a gorgeous covered patio. Lodging is simple, clean and cozy with bunkbed sleeping arrangements. Owners of this hostel work hard to promote community-based living environments with a focus on healthy agricultural initiatives and sustainable rural development.
Our homestay families are carefully selected and the majority have hosted Global Works students in the past. Most families live in simple homes and all are committed to providing a caring, secure environment for our participants. Participants eat meals, sleep, and spend weekends with their homestay families. Most weekday mornings, afternoons, and evenings, the groups come together to work on projects and engage in organized activities with fellow Global Works participants and members of the community. Students will have a private room within the home or the room will be shared between two Global Works students.