Gap Year in Spain

Travel the world & explore Spanish culture

Want to spend part of your gap year in Spain?

Experience new cultures. Volunteer & learn. Dive into yourself.

A group of young women share coffee in Thailand at an outdoor cafe decorated in graffiti


2-3 participants from 1st semester, ages 17-23. Prior Spanish study encouraged.

An ocean view in Spain with a old blue and white building on the shore


Javea, Spain + destinations you want to explore.

a man bags produce for a customer at a Spanish market


Any time between November 11-February 10

young man smiling on the side of the road with his thumb up, hitchhiking


$150/week–three week minimum. Does not include flights.

Gap Year in Spain Details

A young boy smiles in his home, standing in front of a stove

Home Stays & Cultural Immersion

A gap year in Spain can be full of adventure and meaningful travel, and this experience promises both. This is a great opportunity to practice your Spanish and form connections. While traveling alone can feel liberating, living in homestay makes it easy to get to know the place you're visiting and really dig into a new culture.

When you stay with a family you have the opportunity to enjoy the local cuisine and culture. It's one thing to read about cultural customs, like the way Spainards eat a large, late lunch and an even later dinner, however it's another thing to experience it first hand. Additionally, you'll learn about the secret spots that make the area special beyond the typical tourist attractions. Another benefit of a homestay is you will get to know your host and their world, making  memories and connections that often last long after you leave.

A bakery in Spain with thick rustic loaves on display, pasteries, and a case of oranges

Volunteering & Bread Making

If you get excited about hands on learning, this experience will be right up your alley. You will have an opportunity to volunteer with an artisanal baker or at a small school that focuses on self-directed education. Here you have the opportunity to learn new skills or hone ones you already have. In addition, these opportunities are great places to practice your Spanish speaking in new and challenging contexts.

Both the bakery and the school are part of an intentional community where you can meet new people and be part of any events that they are offering. When you're not working, you will be free to explore the area, which is known for great hiking, incredible markets, and breathtaking views.

Young woamn stand on a rock jutting out over the ocean

Adventuring in the Area & Beyond

While there's enough happening in Javea to keep you busy for a lifetime, it's important to take advantage of the traveling opportunities in Spain. We will help you to create the experience you're excited about--from visiting Madrid to taken Flamenco lessons in Granada, or hiking on the Camino de Santiago, a trail that crosses the country from east to west. If you and your traveling buddies are feeling the travel bug, you could take the train through Europe, traveling to places you've always wanted to visit


Young man smiling wearing floral shirt in Colorado desert


Grass Valley, CA

If you are looking for a Gap Year program where you expect the unexpected, this is it. Be prepared for something that will change you in ways you never anticipated. This program is an amazing combination of outdoor leadership skills, emotional growth, and community building, which makes for an amazing Gap Year that could never be repeated.

young woman smiling with her hand in the air standing on a hole in the snow


Rohnert Park, CA

During this gap year, I have grown into myself. I first joined the High Desert Center (HDC) feeling unsure about the future and nervous about my responsibilities in it. Throughout this year I have become grounded in my sense of self and excited to go out into the world. I attribute this to the spaciousness of the program.


Today! We are currently accepting applications.


When we ask our students why they chose us, many say words like “community,” “philosophy” or “strong recommendations.”  Another thing we commonly hear is that our programs are relatively affordable. Read more about how the HDC offers the most affordable gap year program out there.

three girls together with the ones on the ends kissing the girl in the middle on the cheeks