Cultural Discovery

Explore Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, and Toledo as you learn about the differences in cultures across Spain’s distinct regions. Experience flamenco, taste tapas, see renowned works of art, and interact with locals along the way.

  • Art

  • Culinary

  • Language

  • Outdoor Activity


Your journey begins with an immersive orientation in Spain’s capital and largest city, Madrid. Immediately begin practicing your Spanish as you navigate the city’s lively streets and visit the Reina Sofia and Prado Museum on Madrid’s “museum mile” to see original art by Spanish artists such as Picasso and Dalí. Order tapas in local cafés as you visit the Habsburg district. Take a full-day excursion to historic Toledo as your knowledge of Spain’s history and culture deepens.

Experience an entirely different region of Spain as you and your group travel from Madrid to your homestay location. Spend two weeks immersed in a Spanish community as your language skills grow through daily interactions with your host family and local students. Visit Valencia to take a bike tour through the Gardens of Turia, explore multiculturalism in Spain, and learn to make paella in a cooking class.

Your discovery of Spain’s cultures and regional differences continues as you and your group travel to Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city and the capital of Catalonia. Visit Barcelona’s numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites and parks, and see the Picasso Museum. Discover some of Europe’s most intriguing architecture as you visit Gaudí’s La Sagrada Família, one of Spain’s most famous landmarks. Shop along La Rambla, Barcelona’s bustling central street.


The Experiment’s programs are designed to build skills that will help you succeed. In Spain, you will learn: 

Technical Skills

  • Spanish language  
  • Spanish cooking

Interpersonal Skills

  • Intercultural communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability
  • Relationship-building  


  • Outdoor activities will include biking. 
  • Temperatures and humidity can be high during the summer. 
  • Students will explore urban life by foot (lots of walking!) and learn to navigate the public transit system. 
  • Cities in Spain are increasingly vegetarian/vegan-friendly and gluten-free options are not difficult to find. 
  • Access to the internet is limited and internet speeds and connectivity vary. 
  • The diverse personal and social identities of participants may, in part, shape their experience abroad. In-country partners will discuss cultural norms and the local context during orientation. Please read our approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for further information. All students will have a safe space within the program spaces and with the local staff and group leaders. 
  • The Experiment program structure is rooted in experiential learning and cohort-based learning. The participant group experience is a major source of learning for Experimenters and is facilitated by trained Experiment group leaders.


Program Availability

Accepting to Waitlist

Program Date

Jul 1 - Jul 22


Spanish (at least one year)

Program Fee*


(does not include airfare)
Group Airfare Cost


Departure City

New York

*Program fees may increase by
$500 -$1000 to account for changes
to lodging accommodations.

  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • All program activities
  • In-country transportation
  • Health insurance
  • Experienced group leaders
This program was so much more than a simple trip abroad! My Spanish skills improved remarkably and I made unforgettable personal connections with my host family and their friends, which will undoubtedly last a lifetime.

Sample Itinerary

This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented below.

View Itinerary Details

Days 1-4

Orientation in Madrid

  • Dive into the history and culture of Spain by immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of Madrid, a golden metropolis renowned for its architecture and rich art scene.
  • Get to know other members of your group during activities and discussions.
  • Visit famous sites and museums throughout the city, including the Habsbourg District, famous cathedrals, and the Prado museum. 
  • Explore diverse neighborhoods, navigate the metro, and sample Spanish cuisine in street-side cafés.
  • Practice your Spanish language skills.
  • Go on a daylong excursion to Toledo.

During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Days 5-17

Homestay in Valencia

  • Become fully immersed in the daily life of a Spanish family and community by engaging in activities with your host family.
  • Explore your host community and the surrounding area with your group.
  • Cycle along the Turia river to the beach.
  • Cook traditional cuisines such as paella and tortilla de patata.
  • Visit Oceanografic of Valencia, the biggest aquarium in Europe.

During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample host communities: Valencia, Vilagarcia, Úbeda, Logrono

Days 18-20

Travel and Wrap-up in Barcelona

  • Visit famous sites and museums throughout Barcelona, including the Olympic Harbor and the Picasso Museum.
  • See the architecture of Gaudí, Spain’s most famous architect, like la Sagrada Família, and sample tapas and shop on La Rambla, in the Gothic Quarter.
  • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program as your prepare to travel home.

During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Day 21


Experienced Group Leaders

The Experiment’s group leaders go through a rigorous selection process and have extensive experience with youth education, local expertise in the country or region of their program, language abilities, knowledge in their program theme, travel logistics and management know-how, and experience with health, safety and risk management.


Kelsey Cloonan

Hometown: McDonald, Pennsylvania
Education: University of Pennsylvania
Experience in: South Africa, Costa Rica, Spain

View Full Bio

While attending high school in McDonald, Pennsylvania, Kelsey was awarded a scholarship from the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh to travel with The Experiment to Turkey in 2009. This trip transformed her life and made her realize that she was meant to be out there engaging with as many cultures, people, and places as she possibly could. She left for Philadelphia to study Cultural Anthropology and Music at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 2014. Her time in college provided her with more opportunities to travel—exploring the Jordanian deserts, living in South Africa and Argentina, and even returning to visit her Experiment host family in Turkey. After graduating, she worked for a few years as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Pennsylvania in the Music department teaching classes on music, language, and culture. Currently, she is working and living in Granada, Spain as a language teacher. Later on she plans to pursue graduate studies in Ethnomusicology and International Education.

Program experts

The Experiment's programs are led by accomplished and experienced faculty and staff who typically live in the country of study. Program leaders are responsible for instructional content, classroom and field experiences, and daily program operations.

José Antonio Cámara Martínez

José Antonio Cámara Martínez, one of our oldest and most trusted local representatives, has years of experience managing educational and cultural programs. He coordinates homestays with families in Valencia, giving students a deep cultural experience. Many students say their homestay is unforgettable, integrating them into Spanish family life and culture, local traditions and this wonderful region of Spain.