Why Volunteer in Spain?
Volunteering in Spain could be a great way to have an international experience that is equal parts adventure and altruism. The country of Spain offers many opportunities for students to possibly make a difference in communities, whether through teaching, medical aid, or social work. You might even pick up some Spanish along the way! And, in return for serving its people, Spain may offer you the chance to explore its rich heritage. This could include anything from using the country’s vast infrastructure to easily explore its historical sites and cities, to tasting heaping helpings of regional delicacies like jamón ibérico de bellota, or just chatting with your new neighbors. When you volunteer in Spain you might have an experience that not only helps others, but helps you grow as well!
What Could I Do When Volunteer in Spain?
Volunteering in Spain could be a great opportunity for students to contribute their time and efforts towards bettering a community, all while broadening the scope of their studies. Are you interested in conservation? Then you might want to volunteer in Valencia where you may get to help with monitoring the welfare of native beach wildlife, like their large sea turtle population! Teaching and humanities majors, on the other hand, might want to help disadvantaged youth in the sprawling urban center of Barcelona by assisting with their education and literacy initiatives. These are only a few program options, though. Volunteer work in Spain could also be available in many other areas, including public health, education, human rights, and social work. Browse program listings below for more potential options and find one that matches your interests.
While volunteering may have its altruistic elements, you should also consider what these programs might be able to do for you in terms of future professional endeavors. Practical skills learnt while volunteering in Spain might be applicable back home, either to your studies or your resume. For example, if you’re in the medical field, you could have the opportunity practice your bedside manner in Spanish. This may help you jumpstart your career in a bilingual hospital or practice. Or, if you’re looking to become a teacher, you could take part in teaching English abroad and potentially gain valuable methods to apply to your future classroom – and maybe even assist students whose parents don’t speak English as a first language. For more professional information, check with your intended program or your home university’s career center. Goes to show you that these programs may potentially benefit you as much as you’re helping them!
Of course, volunteering in Spain includes much more than charitable works. It could also be a great way to explore a new country! Keep reading below to find out what adventures may await you in Spain.
When you volunteer in Spain, you could have the chance to work in many different parts of the country. No matter where you end up, though, you should take the opportunity to explore. Why not try to get the full Spanish experience?
Starting in Seville could set your expectations incredibly high (don’t worry, the other sites might give them a run for their money!). Previously known as the Roman city Hispalis, Seville would later become distinctly Spanish – just look at the architecture. You may especially want to visit the Plaze de España, a sprawling plaza that displays mixes of the Renaissance and Moorish styles. While you’re walking, be sure to check out the museums that line the ends of the plaza. And if you’re in the city around Easter, you should check out the Semana Santa processions (they’re hard to miss). Seville basically shuts down to allow the large, ornate processions to make their way through the streets. The massive floats are carried on the backs hundreds of volunteers who worm their way through the packed parade route. The costumes and decorations honoring Holy Week are not to be missed!
After your time in Seville, you could hop on one of the many buses or trains to visit the sunny city of Madrid. Take the opportunity to check out one of Spain’s favorite sports – fútbol! That’s soccer if you’re Spanish is a bit fuzzy. Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is that city’s main soccer field and is home to many games throughout the year. Grab your new friends and head out for an exciting (and loud!) day!
Continuing on to Barcelona, you could sample some rustic Catalan culture. Unlike the rest of Spain, people in Barcelona speak Catalan Spanish as opposed to Castilian, and their famous recipes are just as different! Many of their dishes draw ingredients from the Mediterranean. This means plenty of eggplant, tomatoes, artichokes, olives, and fish! These dishes are often rustic and let the ingredients shine through. When dining out (or with friends’ families) start off with an order of pa amb tomáquet, an appetizer similar to bruschetta. Follow that up with a plate of esqueixada, a type of cod ceviche. Yes, that means its raw! The cool dish perfectly complements the warm Catalan weather.
Of course, all the events, activities, and sites of Spain could never be covered in a single article! Check with your intended program to see if they have any planned excursions to help you explore
Next Steps to Volunteer in Spain
Ready to get on a plane and help (or ayuda in Spanish) some communities? Then it might be time to take the next step and find a perfect Spain volunteer program. Continue scrolling down this page to a view a list of potential programs. When you find one that interests you, click the appropriate link to request more information. Ready to apply? Head over to your intended program’s official site to complete an application. We hope you find a great volunteer in Spain program today!