When you think about your ideal summer vacation, what do you see?

Close your eyes and picture . . .

  • Beautiful beach views from the Palacio de la Magdalena
  • A stroll through the picturesque village of Setenil de las Bodegas
  • Breathing in the fresh air in a picturesque German forest

. . . Ready to pack your bags?

Immersion Program participant Kylie is pictured smiling near the beach with her Spanish host family.

Our Summer Immersion Programs in Germany and Spain are the ideal way for 14-18 year-old U.S. teens to experience life in another culture. As part of the program, you’ll spend three weeks living with a host family and experiencing all that these different European cultures have to offer, from nature to historic sites and museums to food.

Read on to find out more about the program and how you could apply to go on the adventure of a lifetime.

Who’s eligible for Summer Immersion Programs?

 If you’re a U.S. high school student aged 14-18, have a valid passport, and can travel solo, great news — you’re eligible to apply

Once your application has been accepted for the following summer, you’ll receive a detailed timeline from us for next steps.

Why should I apply?

So you’ve determined that you’re eligible, but you’re not sure if iE’s Summer Immersion Programs are for you. Here are some of the reasons for taking the leap:

1. Practice your German or Spanish language skills.

Real-life practice is one of the best ways to improve your language comprehension — and what better place to practice than with a host family of native speakers who are excited to share their stories and traditions (and inside jokes!) with you.

 Instead of sitting in a classroom, you’ll be living the language every day as you build relationships, explore history, and deepen your understanding of German and Spanish culture. Our Summer Immersion Programs help you gain both the language skills and confidence that will open the door to opportunities and connections all around the world. But don’t worry if you don’t speak German or Spanish, our international partners and families can speak English as well!

2. Learn about European history in the place where it happened

Our Summer Immersion Programs blend learning with adventure, and during your three weeks abroad, you’ll have the opportunity to explore all that your host family’s region has to offer. Centuries of history are there to discover, from stunning castles and cathedrals to breathtaking art and architecture.

 Did you know there are 1,600 museums in Spain alone, and around 6,800 in Germany? Plus, Spain is home to 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and Germany home to 52. Both countries boast many important collections of artifacts and galleries, making them ideal locations to experience history firsthand. 

3. Build confidence and independence

Being away from home for three weeks in a foreign country can be intimidating, and truthfully, it can be challenging at times.

 But as you step outside your comfort zone, you’ll be surprised at your ability to problem solve, adapt, and make decisions. Over time, everyday tasks like ordering food in a different country and maybe even language and learning to navigate public transportation will transform your self-confidence.

 Our Summer Immersion Programs empower high school students to take ownership of their experience, fostering a sense of maturity and independence that will serve them long after they return home.

 Through it all, you can trust that the carefully vetted host family will be there to support you. Plus, for your safety (and your peace of mind!) an iE staff member is available 24/7 for emergency support, and a Local Representative will check in to make sure the experience is going well.

4. Create relationships that last a lifetime

Staying with a Spanish or German host family is the best way to experience life in another culture. They’ll act as your guide and first point of reference as you discover a new country and make a lifetime of memories.

Often, our Immersion Program students stay in contact with their host parents or siblings long after they return from their summer abroad. Three weeks might not sound like a long time, but it’s long enough to create shared memories and bonds that evolve into a global family. 

Don’t take it from us!

 Still not convinced? Take it from these past Summer Immersion Program students:

Gracie - Germany

“The support that I had while abroad was absolutely amazing. People were constantly checking in on me and making sure I was having a safe and enjoyable experience.

The country of Germany and the German people are so incredibly kind and welcoming in many ways. I don’t think there was ever one person that didn’t say ‘hallo’ to me as I passed them.”

Ana -Santander, Spain

“I picked up a few words in Spain, tried new dishes, met new people, and above all, I could visit different places on the Northern coast of Spain.”

Rylan - Madrid, Spain

“It was the perfect trip! And I had the perfect family! I learned so much and had so many great experiences.”

Heather - Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

“I liked every part of this experience. I felt like having a siesta often because we really did a lot of touring around.”

Get more information today

Did you know iE host siblings are eligible for a full scholarship to our Summer Immersion Programs?

 All you cover is the cost of your plane ticket – we provide everything else, including:

    • Lodging
    • Meals
    • Travel insurance
    • A carefully screened host family
    • An English-speaking Local Representative, and
    • A 24-hour emergency hotline.