Spain has so much to offer to its visitors, especially its exchange students. It is enriched with culture, language and some of the most welcoming people in Europe. There are many activities that are unique to Spain and can only be experienced when you are immersed in the Spanish culture. As you admire the beauty of the architecture surrounding you, listen to the music and enjoy a “siesta”, take a moment to appreciate this amazing country and all it has to offer. Students with no Spanish knowledge may apply on a case by case basis.
The school year in Spain is divided into 3 terms with a long summer holiday break of almost 3 months. In secondary schools the school day is usually from 08.00 – 15.00 or 08.30 – 14.00 and 15.30 – 17.30 (on 1 or 2 days a week). In secondary schools usually children usually go home for lunch during the siesta break. The first 4 years of secondary school is compulsory at the end of which a Certificate of Education is received. Students commence secondary school at age 12 and can leave when they have successfully completed the Certificate of Secondary Education. In the last 2 years of secondary schools students study for the Bachillerato which is considered to be rigorous and similar to the International Baccalaurate.
Most Spaniards live in nuclear-family households of parents and unmarried children, however living with the extended family is very common. Often 3 or more generations of the same family live together in the same house. Whilst Mum and Dad go out to work, Grandma will cook and clean, and Grandad will look after growing the fruit and vegetables and, maybe even pick the kids up from school. The midday meal ( comida ) around 2:00 pm is the day’s principal meal, usually taken by families together at home. In the late afternoon, between 6:00 and 8:00 pm, people may eat a substantial snack ( merienda ) at or away from home, as dinner is not usually until about 10.00 pm. Eating and drinking together are the main ways Spanish families spend time together, either during the week, on Sundays, or on special occasions. Children are valued by parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and older siblings showing but are expected to show respect to their parents.
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