Why take a gap year abroad?
Are you thinking about taking a break from your formal education career path, work or training? Do you want to broaden your horizons and experience different cultures, people and places, and gain additional professional and personal skills?
A gap year program might be exactly what you are looking for and Madrid is quite possibly the perfect place to start! It offers a huge variety of fun afternoon activities and is sometimes even referred to as the "real city that never sleeps".
The International Language Academy Madrid (“AIL Madrid”) offers a gap year (or bridge year) program directed to high school graduates and University undergraduates, graduates and postgraduates wanting a break from their studies or career. The program is built around you and your goals. We know from experience that our Spanish gap year students value flexibility and are all looking to get something slightly different out of their gap year in Spain. Some wish to:
AIL Madrid’s experienced gap year advisors are on hand to discuss your personal objectives and goals for your Spanish sabbatical gap year and to answer any other questions you may have.
Whatever you are looking for, the International Language Academy Madrid has a Spanish gap year program to meet your needs.
Classes start on the first Monday of each month. The first 12 weeks of the gap year are spent studying on an AIL Madrid Gap Year Spanish course. The choice is then yours.
Available in 6 different levels (A1 - C2) that correspond to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
Some gap year students then decide to study in a different location.
Others fall in love with life in Madrid and wish to continue learning Spanish at AIL Madrid. After spending several months immersed in Spanish, many students rapidly progress and choose to study for the Spanish government’s official exam for non-native Spanish speakers, the DELE. This prestigious qualification is highly regarded by universities and employers. In the weeks leading up to the DELE exam, gap year students who have chosen to sit the exam will join our DELE Exam Preparation course.
Choosing to do a work placement in Spain is also a popular option. The range of positions available are considerable and include office / administration, IT, tourism, teaching, and marketing. Some gap year students choose to do their work placement in Madrid, others by the coast or in other cities.
Please note: Work placements are usually only open to students who have an upper intermediate level of Spanish. Prior experience may be also required for some placements. Pay varies depending on work undertaken, hours worked and the student’s previous experience.Again, our gap year advisors are here to discuss your specific interests and will assist you in your gap year program selection.
When you enrol in the AIL Madrid Spanish Gap Year program, you initially only pay for the first 12 weeks of the program. If you decide you would like to do something completely different with the remainder of your gap year, you are under no obligation to continue with the program – we know that after 12 weeks you will have learned so much Spanish and enjoyed your time in Madrid with the other Spanish gap year students that you’ll want to continue.
At AIL Madrid we can arrange your accommodation on your gap year for you. There is a variety of housing types available to suit your specific preferences. Options include staying with a Spanish host family, staying at a university student residence, and sharing a flat with other international gap year students.Please see our Gap Year Accommodation section for more information.
AIL Madrid cares about your safety and security. For this reason we offer several additional safety and security services to students, e.g. airport pickup, insurance, etc.
Many Universities consider a gap year abroad a good experience, especially for modern languages students or those studying international relations. Universities take into account a period of time abroad in the selection process and a gap year abroad facilitates university entry.
Employers consider a gap year abroad as a valuable asset on your CV; it will give you a competitive advantage, distinguishing you from other applicants. In particular, it is seen as an opportunity to build both work and life skills – such as communication and process skills, as well as leadership capacities and self-discipline.
Numerous research studies have found that upon graduating from University, students who have completed a gap year abroad are more likely to find work faster and at a higher pay rate than those who have not. Your Spanish gap year should be viewed as an investment in your future – this is how we see it.
Taking time out to be immersed in a different culture, learn a foreign language and travel offers you a multitude of opportunities, allowing you to grow as a person whilst helping you to make well-thought out career choices. A gap year abroad has the potential not only to improve your educational performance, but also allows you to acquire valuable life skills, such as intercultural understanding and social values.
No matter what kind of gap year program in Madrid you decide on, the most important thing is to know what you want to get out of it!
Is your objective to gain fluency in Spanish? Or would you rather make a pilgrimage to the Camino de Santiago? Or dance Flamenco?
All of this (and so many other things!) are possible. Your year abroad can be a combination of many different aspects. Our gap year advisers are here to provide you with information so that you can make the most of your year out and give you advice to help your decision.
Get in contact with our gap year advisors to discuss your year out in Madrid!
At AIL Madrid you will not lose any classes due to public holidays. We are the only Spanish School in Madrid which makes up all classes and activities, independent of the course type, the length of booking, the number of public holidays in the week and time of the year.