Spain: Technology & Innovation in Urban Culture

Peace, Politics, and Human Rights

Discover Spain’s cutting-edge role in creating more sustainable city life through technological innovation. Work with tech experts to learn the evolving concepts of urban development.

Peace, Politics, & Human Rights



Physical Activity



July 4, 2019


Program Description

Your Experiment starts in Madrid, Spain’s modern capital city, where innovations such as renewable energy and digital technology are used to transform public spaces, providing
high-tech alternatives to traditional industrial design. Through interactive workshops, you will learn what makes Madrid a “Smart City” that uses urban design innovations to improve daily life, education, and the economy in the growing city.

While in Madrid, you’ll explore the history and culture of Spain—from the Muslim walls to the Palacio Real—and visit El Museo de la Cuidad to see 3D models of historical Madrid. You will also take part in innovation and urban design seminars, learn to analyze urban spaces, and gain hands-on experience mapping and reconstructing the city with digital applications (apps), sketch books, 3D printers, and other cutting-edge devices. Meet fellow young innovators who are tackling issues in their own communities and on a global scale using technology and sustainability. Meet entrepreneurs and artists to get inspired by their digital prototypes; then work on your own project to analyze a public space and create a prototype and design solution.

Travel to Valencia and volunteer on an urban mobility project before meeting your homestay family in Palma de Mallorca, the capital city of Spain’s Balearic Islands, where you will immerse yourself in the daily life of a Spanish family and continue to engage in urban development activities.

Finish your Experiment with a cultural journey to Barcelona, Spain’s second-most-populous city, where you will immerse yourself once again in a different urban lifestyle and culture, using your observations and skills to identify technological advances and discuss concepts of urban development. Explore architecturally astounding sites such as Gaudí’s Park Güell and Sagrada Família. Your final days in Spain will be spent visiting the Museu Picasso or dipping your toes in the Mediterranean Sea.





July 4, 2019 - August 2, 2019

Program Fee:


(does not include airfare)
Group Airfare Cost:


Depart/Return City:

New York


Madrid, 3 days


Palma de Mallorca*, 10-12 days

Other Accommodations:

Hotels and hostels

Sample Itinerary

    Days 1-3

    Orientation in Madrid

    • Learn about the history and culture of Spain as you explore diverse neighborhoods, visit famous sites and museums throughout the city, and get your first taste of Spanish tapas. 
    • Get to know other members of your group during activities and discussions
    • Take a guided historical tour, starting at the Muslim Walls – the oldest construction in the city – then continuing through the Habsbourg District. See a schematic overview of the history of Spain at “El Museo de la Ciudad” where you can observe 3D historical models of Madrid.
    • See important works of art at the Reina Sofia and Prado museums, then go people watch like a local at Retiro Park
    • Practice your Spanish language skills through an interactive scavenger hunt, looking for designated places and asking locals about the environment conservation, contemporary history, and modern architecture
    • Go on a daylong excursion to Torrelodones and visit the interactive urban park, JH Park.

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

    Days 4-8

    Thematic Focus in Madrid

    • Participate in an Urban Workshop designed to demonstrate how using technology to analyze, enhance, and connect people to urban spaces and create sustainable Smart Cities.
    • See how solar, battery, lighting, and mobile technology are used to create more self-sufficient and interactive spaces. 
    • Work alongside local youth as you complete a project in which you generate ideas and prototypes for revitalizing Jardines Architecto Ribera in the center of Madrid.
    • Use sketching, digital mapping, 3D printing, and other technology to plan your project and create your prototype.   
    Days 9-14

    Thematic Focus in Valencia

    Take a guided bike tour of the city and explore historical sites such as Las Cortes Valencianas, the headquarters of the Consell and the Valencian Regional Government, as well as Valencia’s unique shops, restaurants and cafes.

    • Visit the Oceanographic Museum, the biggest aquarium in Europe, and explore the diverse marine ecosystems.
    • Learn how to cook a traditional paella and tortilla de patata  alongside a Spanish chef.
    • Continue to reflect with your group and learn about the various roles, actors, and ways of living that promote smarter and sustainable contemporary cities.
    • Continue your Urban Workshop  with interactive activities, exploring and  physically mapping the city of Valenica, and presenting on how to improve mobility.
    • Participate in a service project promoting the use of the bicycle as a means of sustainable and safe  transport in Valencia. 
    Days 14-25


    • Become fully immersed in the daily life of a Spanish family and community
    • Explore your host community and the surrounding area with your group
    • Take a guided tour of the town of Málaga to see Phoenician and Roman remains and the neighborhoods of Nasrid and Christian influences.
    • Go on a full day excursion to Caminito del Rey in El Chorro to witness the pioneer hydroelectric engineering project in Europe.
    • Explore Astilleros Nereo in the historic neighborhood of Pedregalejo to experience the traditional construction of boats, exemplifying the relationship between Malaga and the Mediterranean.

    During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample host communities: Mallorca, Malaga

    Days 25-27

    Cultural travel, Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Barcelona

    • Fly to Barcelona and spend 4 days visiting famous sites and museums throughout the city, including the Sagrada Familia, the Olympic Harbor, and the Picasso Museum.
    • Explore the Gothic area of Barcelona and walk along La Rambla.
    • See the architecture of Gaudí and  visit Parque Güell.
    • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program and prepare for your return

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

    Day 28


    Please note: 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 above.

Itinerary is subject to change.

Student Voices

  • On this program we learned a lot about different cities in Spain and what changes they have been through and are currently going through. From this information, we brainstormed and came up with many ideas on how we change these cities for the better. On projects we used 3-D printers, laser cutters, models, etc. We also had tons of fun throughout the trip too. We did things such as travel to beaches, bike rides, tours around the city, to staying up late playing cards with each other, and etc. Over all this trip was amazing and it’s the people that I met that made this trip so amazing.

  • From the eye popping murals, architecture, and in general immersion in the country I got I felt as though I was a regular citizen in the country, everyone I met was so nice and relatable that I am glad I got the opportunity to go. I like my homestay family it was really humbling to say the least that what my parents have taught me really helped me in this program and made my bonds with my host family even stronger and with the people in my group even better.

  • When I was in Spain I was able to learn about the culture and visit important sites, while still being able to pursue my interest of technology and urban development. My group was able to create a model, using 3D printing and laser cutting, to help develop a new park in Madrid. In Valencia we helped promote bicycle riding and bike lanes. Lastly in Mallorca we helped paint a wall to bring color to the area.

  • Reflecting from my whole experience, I realize how vital it is to visit different countries. The culture, lifestyle, history, and language made me appreciate Spain and life outside of the US. When the trip was over, I told my family that I wasn’t ready to leave yet. I miss siesta, my host mother’s seafood and chicken paella, strolling through Las Ramblas in the middle of the night with my friends who I’m still in contact with, and my group dinners where we were always laughing.