Spain has a rich cultural heritage, a majestic blend of topographies, and internationally recognized museums and cathedrals. This country has something to offer everyone, whether you want to experience the mountainous northern region of Cataluña, the rich beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the south, or the beautiful beaches of the Costa del Sol. Its prime location in Western Europe also makes it easy to visit bordering countries like Portugal, France, and even nearby Morocco.
Salamanca is known for being one of the top locations in the world to learn the Spanish language. It is home to the oldest university in Spain and is ISA’s first program site, where our first group of students studied abroad in 1987. As a student here, you will benefit from living in a gorgeous medieval city small enough to navigate on foot, allowing you to gain an intimate understanding of the local landscape and culture. As you explore, you'll find yourself amidst the glowing sandstone buildings that have earned Salamanca the nickname “La Ciudad Dorada” (The Golden City).
Salamanca is an enticing location for service-learners who seek an immersive Spanish experience with authentic local culture. Salamanca is a small, college city that is very active during the spring and fall semesters but much quieter during the summer as many organizations and local shops are closed in August. You can find service-learning opportunities within community development, education, environment, family and youth development, and health. Our unique partnership with the Salamanca City Council opens the door to over 80 additional non-profits serving the local community. You can request a specific field during the interview and advising session, after acceptance into the program.
Living in ISA housing will give you the opportunity to experience aspects of the Spanish lifestyle that are inaccessible to the average visitor. Uncovering the uniqueness of your neighborhood and the surrounding areas will help you to feel right at home. With an open and adaptable mind, the experience of living in another culture can be highly rewarding.
Homestays are best if you are seeking full linguistic and cultural immersion during your time abroad. Each host family has been carefully selected by ISA's resident staff to best accommodate your needs and to ensure a comfortable living situation. Homestays provide three meals a day (except on ISA excursion days) and laundry service once a week. You will typically share a room with another ISA student of the same gender. Single rooms may be available for an additional fee.
The student residence (residencia in Spanish) is similar to a small dorm and is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The residencia houses Spanish and international students, giving you the opportunity to meet Spaniards and practice your language skills. Three meals per day are included, as well as laundry service once per week. Students will share a room with another ISA student but have the option of paying extra to secure an individual room. A $500 housing deposit is required from students choosing this option. ISA may retain some, or all, of the housing deposit in the case of damage to property.
You may opt to secure housing independently. If you select this option, you will receive a discount equal to the housing portion of the program price. By choosing to opt out of ISA housing, you are responsible for researching and reserving housing, and paying all fees, deposits, and rent directly to the housing facility that you choose.
My experience in service-learning abroad changed my entire perspective on healthcare. I have a better understanding of intersectionality regarding underserved communities and their mental health, along with the external circumstances affecting them. Now, I feel better prepared to enter into career settings, as I feel that my distinct worldview has become an asset.
(Cusco, Summer 2022)
Service Learning was one of my favorite aspects of study abroad. I couldn’t imagine my experience without it. I feel like I gained so much knowledge and experience, as well as many professional connections and lifelong friends!
(Meknes, Fall 2022 and Spring 2023)
This unique opportunity allowed me to directly participate in the host community. I was able to interact with locals while also gaining skills that I can apply to my future career. There is a service learning opportunity for everyone regardless of their interests and passions.
(Costa Rica, Spring 2022)
I would highly recommend this experience to anyone considering! My experience at my host organization allowed me to learn exponentially about my host country while making meaningful connections every day.
(Valparaiso, Fall 2022)