Transition Year Spain

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Attending a Spanish Secondary School during your Transition Year is a life-changing opportunity for Irish Students to live and study in one of the most charming, vibrant and exciting countries in Europe. 

Spain has some incredible beaches, world-class museums, amazing food and rich culture and history, this Spanish programme is ideal for students who wish to fast track their fluency and experience a Spanish Secondary School classroom. The Spanish are passionate about their food, their sport and their language and once you make the effort to speak in Spanish, they will welcome you as one of their own.


This exciting and rewarding programme gives you the opportunity to live and study alongside your Spanish classmates, make new friends and experience life as a typical Spanish teenager. You can choose to attend either a day or boarding school and length of stays range from 4 weeks to a full academic year. At Tribe Study Abroad we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach and we are dedicated to offering a solution which is customised especially to your needs. So whether you wish to travel on your own or with a friend, go skiing at the weekend, play rugby or keep up your favourite instrument while away, Tribe Study Abroad will work with you to find a placement that is best suited to your interests, language skills and fluency.


  • You are aged between 15 and 17.
  • You have studied Spanish for a minimum of 2 years.
  • You are motivated to speak Spanish and are willing to adapt to a new culture and environment.





Locations in Spain

We have a wide selection of day and boarding schools and the programme is available in a variety of locations throughout Spain including Zaragoza, Valencia, Elche-Alicante, Seville, Salamanca, Cadiz, Madrid etc. In our programme, we guarantee you a placement in 1 of your top 2 location preferences across Spain.

Spanish Secondary Schools


Day School

If you choose to enrol in a day school you will live with one of our carefully selected host families and attend the local day school. You will have breakfast and evening meal with your family and lunch in the school cafeteria. Day schools are generally located within 20 minutes of your host family either on foot or by local transport.


Boarding School

If you prefer a more structured environment, Boarding School may be a good choice for you. You will stay in the boarding school Monday to Friday and have all your meals there during the week. Accommodation in boarding schools is generally in small dorms (max 4 students). At the weekends and during the school holidays, you will stay with a dedicated host family and you will return to the same family each weekend for the duration of the stay.


Your host family

Your host family will be a home away from home while you are away. They will provide you with a friendly welcoming place to stay and they will also introduce you to Spanish life and culture, explain local customs and encourage you to practice your Spanish and speak like a native. Our students often form strong bonds with their host family which continue long after they arrive home. All our host families are carefully screened and visited regularly by the Local Co-ordinator and many have been hosting students for a number of years

Application process

We understand that making the decision to attend a Secondary School abroad is not an easy one and we aim to provide you with as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision.

Step 1.

Students are invited to visit our head office in Goatstown with a parent/guardian or to have an appointment via Skype where we use the opportunity to answer any of your questions and explain the different options available to you.

Step 2.

The next step is to complete a detailed application form, including the provision of two recent school reports and a short paragraph in Spanish introducing yourself to your new host family.

Step 3.

Our partner applies to the school on your behalf and selects a carefully chosen host family, who will be the right match for you based on your interests and personal profile.

Step 4.

Once the placement is confirmed, we encourage our students to get in contact with their host family before they arrive either by email or Skype – it’s a great way to start the ball rolling so you are less anxious about meeting up for the first time, as the ice has already been broken.

Step 5.

Prior to travel, we arrange for you to have a pre-departure orientation either in our office in Dublin or by Skype. This includes an overview of the rules of the programme, health and safety along with tips and pointers on how to make the most of the experience.

Step 6.

You are then all set to begin your adventure!

Dates & Travel

Each placement is individual, meaning we don’t have large groups of students going out on set dates – so you are free to choose your own travel dates. We also don’t believe in sending large numbers of students to the same school, since this defeats the whole purpose of a full immersion experience. Our wide selection of schools and locations means we guarantee, where possible, that there will be a maximum of 3-4 Irish students from Tribe Study Abroad in a school at any one time, and the likelihood is that you may be the only other Irish student there (unless you specifically request otherwise).

We offer stays from a minimum of four weeks to a full academic year. In our experience students who stay longer benefit most and the longer the stay, the greater the fluency and the more rewarding the experience.

We also offer a full transfer service and you will be met at the airport or local train station by your host family or Local Co-ordinator



What’s included?

  • Individual placement in an established Spanish Day or Boarding school.
  • All tuition fees.
  • Full board accommodation.
  • Dublin enrolment and administration fees.
  • Individually assigned Local Co-ordinator offering in-country support and assistance.
  • Airport greeting and transfer from final destination airport or train station to host family.
  • Pre-departure orientation prior to programme commencement.
  • 24 hour emergency contact.
  • Advice, assistance and support, from the time you contact us to the end of the stay.
  • End of programme certificate.

Not included

  • International airfares or train fares.
  • Insurances – Medical and Travel.
  • Local transport.
  • Personal expenses and extra-curricular expenses.
  • School lunches (certain locations only).

The Tribe Difference

With so many organisations offering Spanish Transition Year programmes, you may wonder why you should choose Tribe Study Abroad.
We can think of many reasons… but here a just a few:


We pride ourselves on delivering a high level of individual care and attention at every stage of the process. We arrange to meet each student prior to departure to assess their suitability for the programme and to answer any questions that may arise. Each student is assigned a Local Co-ordinator, who meets the student on arrival in Spain and ensures they settle in well to the experience. Any teething problems are dealt with swiftly and there is a high degree of communication between our head office and our partner organization in Spain. We also have a dedicated 24-hour emergency contact number in Ireland and we are here to offer you advice, assistance and support for the duration of your stay.


Accreditations don’t tell you everything, but they can reassure you that the company you are dealing with adheres to the highest professional standards. We are fully accredited by the Irish Department of Education and Science and our partner organizations in Spain are fully accredited by the relevant Ministries of Education and are international members of CSIET (Council of Standards for International Educational Travel).


We are an established Irish owned company with over 30 years experience offering language travel programmes. We regularly deliver workshops on language learning and are dedicated to helping our students achieves their goals. We take our role as being part of the educational process seriously and we understand the importance of providing a rich, rewarding and safe experience for every student.  But don’t just take our word for it – we will happily put you in touch with former students or parents of former students for a recommendation and we welcome the opportunity to discuss further any questions you may have either in person, by email or Skype.


An outstanding six week trip organized by Tribe for my daughter to visit Spain in 2021 during lockdown and all restrictions. A 100% successful trip which has seen my daughters Spanish come on leaps and bounds. Tribe on the ground there in Spain also organised day trips for skiing, boating, historical sites and beach days.

Sean O’Connor, Parent of Alexandra O’Connor, TRANSITION YEAR SPAIN

I know other friends who have done exchanges elsewhere with a big group of friends and have come back with little to no new Spanish. So I am so glad I chose Tribe as I really felt immersed and thrown in the deep end… which I loved. Going to a Spanish school and having the extra classes made me come home feeling really confident with my language. And I still text my new Spanish friends on Instagram to keep it up. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in all honesty.


Tribe Study couldn’t have given me a more welcoming and easily transitioned stay in Spain. They made my first experience of moving into a new culture so memorable and meaningful. I will forever remember the lessons I learnt and would 100% say to learn a language you must go into the culture and live in the life. I was there for 3 months and wanted to stay for another 3!


I really enjoyed my trip to Spain, I learned loads of Spanish and made loads of new friends.


Overall I would give my experience in Spain a 10/10 everyone I met over there couldn’t have been nicer and everyone made me feel so comfortable in a foreign country. I loved all the activities we did over there such as skiing and going to the beach. I learnt lots of Spanish which will help me lots when I come to do my leaving cert this time two years. I enjoyed myself so much and all my Spanish memories will stay with me forever!!!!


This was the best 6 weeks I’ve ever had while learning, I learned so much new language and I also made lots of new friends and jumped outside my comfort zone, Tribe and my local coordinator were very helpful and it wouldn’t have been possible without them.


I’m really happy I decided to go to Granada, Spain because I think it was such a good experience and I don’t think I will be able to do another thing like that in my life because it was just so unique. I made a lot of new friends both Irish and Spanish and I will try keep in touch with both of them. I learned that Spanish culture is very different to Irish culture and I thought the food was one of the main differences. Overall I’m extremely happy that I got the chance to go to Granada and I would definitely recommend it to a friend or two.


I stayed in a house with a boy my age, a girl younger than me and the mum. They were all lovely and were so helpful and kind. I had such a great experience going to Spain with Tribe. My Spanish improved a lot and I made so many friends and had so much fun. I would definitely recommend going with Tribe.


Tribe Study Abroad is phenomenal. My host family and my friend’s host family were the most welcoming and fun families. They made me feel like I was a part of the family. The location of my house was perfect, I was a two minute walk from the school and I was in the centre of the city and also close to my friend who I went with. Tribe also organised extra language classes these classes were particularly helpful in the first couple of weeks, as I got to grips with the language. I made lots of really good friends in the school that I am still in contact with. Tribe Study Abroad also gives you the opportunity to do activities, for example I had the option to go skiing twice. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life! I will never forget all the memories and experiences I got to make and do during my time in Spain.


 Just to say a big thank you for organising Robert’s stay in Valencia and especially for the wonderful family he stayed with. Rosa Pitarch and her son Victor are a very special family. Rosa treated Robert like her own son and took care of him so well, taking him out with family and friends and helping him with the language as much as she could. We went over for four days expecting to meet Rosa and Victor once – she absolutely spoiled us -taking us to beauty spots off the beaten track, authentic Spanish restaurants and even a wonderful concert one night

Collete Kinsley, Parent of Robert, Blackrock College, TY Spain


What will my school day be like?

School days vary widely region to region across Spain. In general, school starts early at approximately 8.00 am. Lunch in Spain is the most important meal of the day, and so the lunch break can be from one to two hours. Some Homestay students may go home for lunch, depending on where the school is in relation to their host family. Students may have a half-day on Wednesday.

What subjects will I study?

In a Instituto de Educación Secundaria (15-16) the core curriculum is usually Spanish language and literature, mathematics, geography, history, a foreign language and physical education. Optional subjects include music, technology, a second foreign language and social/moral studies. Students placed in a Bachillerato preparation class (16-17) study the core subjects including Spanish, a foreign language and history as well as specialising in one area, choosing between: natural and health sciences, sciences and engineering, social sciences, the humanities or the arts. All classes are taught in Spanish and students typically get used very quickly to what is going on in the class as their ear adapts to the language and their confidence and fluency increases.

Can I request a particular city or region?

Yes. We aim to confirm a placement in one of your top 2 regional preferences.

Can I go with a friend?

Yes. We can organise that you are either enrolled in the same school and stay in different host families, or that you are in a different school with different host families as well. The whole point of going abroad is to immerse yourself fully in the local language and culture, so at weekends your host family will expect you to spend time with them so you may experience as much as possible. We cannot always guarantee that your host families will be right beside each other, but with local transport and help from your family, there will be no difficulty in meeting up at weekends or after school when there is nothing else planned.

How are host families selected?

Host families undergo a thorough selection process and are carefully screened by our partner Agency and the Local Co-ordinator. All host families are required to complete a detailed application form, following which they have a home interview and their references are checked. Many host families have been hosting for a number of years and continue to keep in touch with their students many years after they return home.

When will I find out about my school and host family?

Sometimes placements can be confirmed quite quickly and if so you will receive all the details by emails as soon as the school and host family profiles are ready. The most important thing is to find the right match. This can sometimes take more time but you will have the details at the latest 4 weeks prior to departure, provided you have applied 3 months in advance of your departure. For applications received less than 3 months prior to departure, the placement details may not be available until close to your departure.

Places in schools are limited so we recommend the application process is started as soon as possible so as to not disappoint. The usual time frame to confirm a placement is 3 months and applications received outside this time frame application are subject to a late application fee of €100.

Will the host family have a child the same age as me in their family?

Not necessarily. We don’t guarantee that there will be someone the same age as you in the family, and in our experience even if this is the case it doesn’t automatically mean that you will have a lot in common with them. There is no such thing as a typical host family and just like your own family, they vary in size and composition with either younger children, teenagers or older children. The most important thing is that they are warm and welcoming and they want to share their culture and family life with you. You will be spending most of the day with teenagers your own age at school and that is where you will make friends.

Can I find out how other students got on?

Absolutely! Check out our Student Blogs or contact us and we would be happy to connect you with a former student who can fill you in on how they got on and answer any of your questions.

Can I go home during the programme, school holidays/mid-term breaks or can my parents visit me?

We recommend that students do not interrupt their programme and go home unless it is for an extraordinary occasion. If there are school holidays while you are abroad, you will stay with your host family as they are aware of this and there is provision for this in the programme. It is often an excellent opportunity to spend time with the family and improve your language skills. Besides, if you go home you will start speaking English again and it will be much harder to settle back – therefore, we don’t recommend it.

We also don’t recommend for parents/relatives to visit unless it is at the end of the programme and if your family wish to visit you during the mid-term break, they must first contact TRIBE so we can inform our counterparts abroad. Our partner schools and host families take their responsibility of acting in locus parentis very seriously and we will require your parents to sign a parental release form which releases you out of the care of the programme to your parents’ care.

How can I have access to money while I am abroad?

The simplest thing is to arrange to bring an ATM debit card. Most are accepted at ATM machines and it is the easiest way to access money.

How will I get to school?

Your host family will help you get to school on the first day and show you the way until you are comfortable with the route. Day school students usually live within 15-20 minutes of their school either on foot or with local transport. Boarding school students usually live within 20 – 45 minutes of their school, and return to their host family on Friday afternoon and come back to school on Monday morning either with the host family or on public transport.

What kind of support will I receive while I am away?

There are a whole team of people who will be working hard to make sure your time abroad is successful and that you have a wonderful experience. This includes:

The Local Co-ordinator who lives in the same area and provides support and supervision for the duration of your stay. The Local Co-ordinator will meet you after the first few days to see how you are settling in and will help you with sourcing extra Spanish lessons.

Your host family will help you if you want to join a local sports club or advise you on things to do at the weekend. You can also contact us in Tribe at any time as we have a 24-hour support line in case of an emergency. If you need anything, you can also contact your Local Co-coordinator at any time as well.

Should I take out extra insurance?

Students are required to take out comprehensive travel insurance prior to departure and supply evidence of same to Tribe Study Abroad. Students should also ensure they have their European Health Insurance card with them and provide a copy of the details to Tribe.

When are fees due?

Booking Deposit €500 should be sent with application.

Balance of Fees are due 4 weeks prior to departure.

What is the cancellation and refund policy?

Cancellation by Client

  • €500 booking deposit is non-refundable.
  • 50% Programme Fee 30 days prior to departure.
  • 100% Programme Fee 15 days prior to departure.
  • There will be no refund after the Programme Departure Date.

Please refer to our Terms of Business for more information.

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