Spend your summer learning Spanish in Salamanca and exploring the beautiful city with your new international friends.
Live with a host family and learn Spanish through full immersion with Greenheart Travel’s teen summer language camp in Salamanca, Spain. Spaniards call Salamanca “La Dorada,” the Golden City, because of the golden hue cast by the centuries-old limestone buildings. This city is also world-famous for being one of Europe’s oldest university towns. Students from Spain and all over the world still congregate in the Golden City, speaking Castilian, the signature Spanish style of Spain.
Explore Salamanca with Greenheart Travel Scholarship Winner, Ariela Martin:
2020 Program Costs:
Please note, all prices are listed in USD.
*There is a supplemental fee of $45 a week for students with special diets (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, lactose free, etc.). Please check with us if you have any questions.
Worried about the program fee?
Our goal is to help make travel accessible to everyone and we are here to help when you are deciding if this experience is financially do-able. Each year we offer scholarships for high school study abroad students! We also have a guide to fundraising your program fee, and many high school students fundraise in their hometown ahead of their program.
We also offer discounts for applying early (plus there are many other benefits to applying early!) for each start date and for US families that have hosted an exchange student with Greenheart Exchange.
Please inquire here if you have questions about the program fee, scholarships, or fundraising for your program.
*If you are between the ages of 13 – 15, you will be enrolled in the Junior course. If you are between 16 – 18 years old, you will be in the Teen program. The defining factor between the programs is the amount of supervision, with Juniors required to be chaperoned during free time.
**What does it mean to be in good mental health?
Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to a well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on a long-term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all high school abroad applicants.
Therefore, we may not be able to accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition. Each student will be addressed on a case by case basis.
These include, but are not limited to:
If the student’s mental health issue has been managed (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will ask for a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.
There are 3 different levels — Elementary, Intermediate, or Advanced. The levels are sub divided up into two sub levels depending on your linguistic skills. You will be given an admissions test on your first day to evaluate your skills and place you in the proper level.
Activities and Excursions
The summer language camp includes cultural, sports, and a wide variety of other educational activities at no additional cost. A different activity is planned for each day except Sunday and includes visits to museums, group events, a day at the swimming pool, excursions and field trips outside of Salamanca. Meeting young people from other countries is a very rewarding part of the program, allowing students to broaden their view of the world.
Here’s a sample of what your day will look like:
(9:00 – 12:30)
|Spanish lesson at the school|
|Lunch||Lunch at family or residence|
|Afternoon (17:30-19:00)||Afternoon activity|
|Dinner||Dinner at family or residence|
|Free time in the city, evening “Disco” (organized and supervised by local staff)|
Read Tricia’s blog post to get an idea of what your schedule in Spain will feel like!
School staff supervises all activities. During the excursions, students are expected to do some educational activities like take quizzes, take notes of what they see or interview local people.
Please note: Participants are not allowed to go out at night outside the homestay unless accompanied by a chaperone.
Students choose between a 1-6-week program*
*Please note: Greenheart Travel can also accommodate off-season requests and programs during Australian and New Zealand summer breaks (December-March). Please inquire here for more info.
All students fly on their own to the Madrid Barajas Airport and are then are picked up by a language school representative, transported to Salamanca, and then dropped off at their host family. After you are accepted onto the program, you can start looking for flights and making arrangements.
All classes start on Monday, but students should:
The mode of transfer depends on when students arrive. Students will be automatically reserved for one of the transfers depending on the flight details provided to Greenheart Travel. The travel time between Madrid and Salamanca is around 3 hours. Remember, the airport transfer is included in the cost of the program.
Arriving or departing outside these designated windows will incur additional fees.
Students live in carefully selected family-owned residences. These private homes can accommodate between 4 and 8 students at a time. Students will share a room with at least one other student of the same gender. The host family will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. All students in family-owned residences are supervised by local families and have a curfew.
All residences are located near the school – 10-20 minutes walking distance. Prospective hosts undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In order to qualify, the residence owners must:
*If you would prefer to live in a dormitory, we do have options available during certain start dates. Please contact us directly with questions.
Spain is indeed a safe country. However, with any place you travel to, it is always a good idea to take some precautions. Prevention involves many “common sense” precautions such as staying on well-lit main roads, traveling in groups and not carrying large amounts of cash or expensive items.
Flights to Spain are not included in the program fee. Students are responsible for booking their round-trip airfare to Madrid, Spain. We will collect your itinerary to organize your arrival and airport pickup.
Yes! All students fly on their own to the Madrid Barajas Airport and are then are picked up by a language school representative, transported to Salamanca, and then dropped off at their host family.
Greenheart Travel does not recommend this service because the “additional” services advertised by the airlines are already provided to all travelers and are not worth the money invested by you the traveler. At any time, a student can ask an airlines professional for help finding their gate or for connecting flight information, and paying for this add-on UM service is not necessary. We have sent hundreds of semester abroad students internationally, for whom we book their flights, and we never use unaccompanied minor services. If you would like the peace of mind a UM service provides, Greenheart Travel offers more self-empowering alternatives (such as reviewing airport maps, mapping connections, etc) that we believe teach students relevant life skills about traveling independently. Please refer to our webinar about navigating international airports.
Students are supervised and chaperoned at all times, unless given permission by the natural parents.
A majority of our students are American between 14-17 years old. However, there are students participating from around the world, so you will have a cross-cultural setting both in the classroom and out. While the number of students does vary by start date, we like to keep small classes with no more than 12-15 students.
Language practice and immersion are the main priority of this program. While we do not require the students to sign a contract stating they will only speak in the local language, it is highly encouraged that they use their language skills when talking to friends, partaking in the daily excursions and at night in the residence hall or host family home. Program staff and chaperones primarily communicate and answer questions in Spanish to encourage this immersion culture. Check out our alum Emmy’s tips for practicing Spanish outside the classroom in Salamanca.
In a traditional classroom, students may learn language skills; however, they are not forced to practice these skills in real world situations. Through language immersion, you will both learn the practical language skills in a classroom while also being forced to use them with local, native speakers during the excursions and/or host family experience. Studies show that 4 weeks of a full language immersion experience can be equivalent to a yearlong college language course because of the intensity of use.
Greenheart Travel provides 24-hour support to you and your child throughout the application, program and alumni processes. We are a small staffed non-profit that is accredited with CSIET, so you know you’ll always be talking to a real person on the other line. We are proud to always be available for your questions and concerns and we always answer our emails and phone calls quickly. We pride ourselves on developing a personal relationship with our participants, and love staying connected with them throughout the experience on social media & email. We offer the personal connection and support that many of our competitors do not.
Greenheart Travel cannot award high school credit. Please talk to your school about earning credit for your child’s time abroad. Refer to this blog post for tips on transferring credit.
Citizens of the United States and Canada do not need a visa if staying for less than 90 days. We will inform you of your travel and visa requirements. All travel and visa arrangements are your responsibility, but need to be booked according to our instructions. Usually students travel alone to their destination but will be met at the airport by school staff.
It is best for you to bring an ATM/debit or credit card. Most cards are accepted at ATM machines abroad and this is by far the easiest and most convenient way to access money. We do recommend you bring some cash with you for purchases at the airport or on arrival.
Host families go through a rigorous interview process and are carefully screened. They must complete an application, comply to and pass a background check, their references must be checked, and an in-home interview must be conducted by the partner organization. Many current host families have hosted numerous participants year after year.
Your host family will provide you with three meals per day. You will usually eat breakfast and dinner at home and take a packed lunch to school. You will have the opportunity to experience typical, home-cooked Spanish cuisine!
We can cater to vegetarian needs quite easily. Any other specific diets should be discussed with us to see if we can arrange to have your needs met. In some cases you may need to provide your own food.
Absolutely! We are happy to accept friends and groups. However, keep in mind your primary purpose of attending this program is to immerse yourself in the language and culture – so make sure you and your friend commit to speaking Spanish!
It is hard to generalize Spain as a country, but each year Greenheart Travel sends several LGBTQ travelers on our teen summer language camps. Our staff and in-country partners are very welcoming and accepting of all gender identities, and we will ensure you are placed in a homestay that is also accepting. We can provide extra support if needed. For one of our alumni’s experiences, read this blog.
Greenheart Travel welcomes travelers identifying as LGTBQ+, and is committed to helping you find the best program for you. We can provide information on the cultural norms of our destination countries and are prepared to advise you on the best programs based on your needs and interests.
There are no required vaccinations to travel to Spain for US/Canadian citizens. We follow the CDC’s guidelines for travelers to Spain: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/spain
You will be covered by mandatory health insurance. You will receive a policy brochure and insurance card via email 1-2 weeks prior to your departure, as well as supplementary materials in your comprehensive program handbook.
Yes! The school will have WiFi and computer labs with internet access. Pretty much all host families also have WiFi but it is not 100% guaranteed.
Absolutely! If you are an educator who would like to organize a group trip, please inquire here to speak about dates, pricing, and special requests.
We recommend you apply as early as possible as this is our most popular teen program and start dates fill up very quickly.
The sooner you can apply the better, as acceptance, gathering documents, etc. can take a long time. Read more about why applying early is a good idea.
We also have a list of mentors (teens and parents) that are past participants open to chatting about their experience with potential new participants. Please inquire here if you want to be put in touch with a mentor.
A great next step is doing our High School Abroad Spain program! You’ll go to a local Spanish high school for a trimester, semester, or academic year.
Greenheart Travel has been sending teens to Spain for many years, and there are advantages of applying for this program through us:
We also have some unique offerings to our Greenheart Travel students and alumni!
Greenheart Global Impact Grants (GIGs)
Greenheart GIG Grants are funds awarded to Greenheart Travel participants to use for community development projects in their host or home country after they return home. A GIG is the opportunity to create, improve, or maintain an impactful, community-focused project abroad or at home. Grant funds could be applied to supporting women’s cooperatives, schools, community centers, or health clinics, for example. Grant winners will be featured on our website, social media, and blog. You can see our past winners on our blog here.
Greenheart Alumni Program
We created the Greenheart Travel Alumni Program to provide resources and a community to support alumni in their advancement as global leaders, and a way to celebrate and reward our participants for being ambitious, inspiring catalysts of cultural exchange!
Junior Greenheart Global Leaders Conference
Each May Greenheart offers full-ride scholarships to around 10 teen alumni to attend our annual conference in Chicago. You can see more about what Jr. GGLC is and what you could do at the conference here.
Committing to a language camp program can feel a bit daunting, but we are here every step of the way to make the application process as simple as possible. Below are the steps you’ll need to take to be accepted on a Greenheart Travel program.
Once you start your application, you have two weeks to finish.
1. Ensure Your Eligibility: Must be between 14 – 17 years old, in good physical and mental health, and open to learning about Spanish culture.
2. Start Your Application Here (Approximately 5 Minutes): Greenheart Travel Application.
3. Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 10 Minutes): After you complete Part 1 of your application, you (and your parent(s) if you’re under 18) will be asked to read through and sign our Terms and Conditions which outline the requirements and policies of the program.
4. Submit your application fee (Approximately 5 minutes): You will need to submit your $300 fee at this point in the process. This is required in order to reserve your spot on the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.
5. Secondary Application Form (Approximately 30 Minutes): This is the most in-depth part of the application process as it helps us get to know you better. You will need to provide detailed information about yourself, why you want to go abroad, and what you hope to gain from your experience. You will also need to upload your passport.
6. Acceptance: Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 weeks to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.
You’re Accepted – now what?
Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. At this point you will be required to submit a second $300 commitment payment that also goes towards the total amount (it’s not extra). This is your commitment to your start date and once we receive it is when details will start to be booked on your behalf.
You should then expect to receive your Greenheart Travel program handbook via email, which talks more about your program, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program. We will also schedule an online pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions you may have. You can expect to receive your host family placement 1-2 weeks prior to your start date.
Take a glimpse into life in Japan through some student’s photos. Make sure to also check out #greenhearttravel on Instagram for more!