Trusted tips for you to create your own Spanish immersion program! So many of us moved to Spain to immerse ourselves in Spanish, so let’s get it done! Including day-to-day life, the culture, the food, and the language. Sometimes that is easier said than done. It doesn’t matter if you are in Spain for a week or years, many of these suggestions will help you work towards your Spanish language learning goals. Nearly everything is great for adults, kids, retirees, singles, couples, families!
We didn’t say it would be easy to immerse in Spanish! So many people are under the assumption you can just be in Spain and soak up the language naturally. This is true at a very basic level, but you are going to have to work a bit harder than that to really create Spanish immersion. Please find our suggestions below to help you get closer to the Spanish fluency you desire.
Step Out Solo (SOS)
One of our biggest immersion help tips is to Step Out Solo (SOS)! Okay, so we made this acronym up, but SOS means help and this will give you a huge HELP boost when you are out on your own once in a while. Don’t always have others you know around you, as it may make you clam up and not speak as much. Yes, we all have our fears of not saying things correctly, and having someone you know who may be more fluent around you can be intimidating. Get out and spread your wings on your own for some of the activities. We all tend to be a little more open and willing to step out of our comfort zone when we are on our own. We may approach people or speak to them when we normally wouldn’t.
Embrace the community and Volunteer!
One of the best ways of connecting to others in your local community is to take part in many of the activities offered. Why not immerse in Spanish while giving a little of your time as well? You can not only take part in the community, but give a bit of your knowledge, time, and expertise.
There are many volunteer opportunities in the Costa Tropical area and within Spain, so don’t limit yourself. Step out of your comfort zone and learn new vocabulary, meet new people, and make more connections. Not all of these are in Spanish, but you can be certain you will be interacting with the locals and can make it a Spanish immersion opportunity.
Read more about some Costa Tropical Volunteer opportunities
Connect in Spanish Classes
There are many local Spanish classes and courses offered, but take it a step beyond the classroom. Connect with the other students and the teachers and see what experiences you can create together, outside of the classroom. Some of the local schools offer experience programs, walks, and hikes, tapas nights, and more! So, take part in everything you can.
Read more about the local Spanish classes and other activities to enjoy.
Speak with everyone!
Just speak! No matter how well or poorly you speak, just do it. If you know five Spanish words or 5000, use them! Speak as often as you can and with anyone, anywhere. Walk on the paseo, stop and ask about a dog with simple questions (how old is your dog? what breed is your dog? etc…). You can even google a couple of phrases to use before going out and approach people using these phrases. You may not always understand the response, but you are making that first step. If you do it often enough, using the same phrases or questions, you just may learn and understand the responses too!
Initiate the conversation and build your confidence by speaking about the topic you like. If there are too many people you know around, it may hinder you to initiate a conversation. Just challenge yourself to speak with someone new each day. Get out of your comfort zone and allow room for growth!
Speak to a shopkeeper, the waiter, the cashier, the gardener, the butcher, the baker, a family with kids, a fisherman, a sports person, your neighbor, someone you see out for a walk, anyone! Every time you are in a shop, just say hello and over time, say a little more. In no time, you may just have some new local friends. The best time of day is in the evening on the paseo or the afternoons in one of the main plazas. You will see so many people out walking and you can have a quick conversation with anyone.
Join Social Groups, Sports, & Clubs
Okay, this isn’t for everyone, but there are so many groups and clubs available, there must be something for you! There are hiking and walking groups, cycling, sports, intercambios (language exchanges), international groups, music classes, choirs, coffee meet-ups, women’s groups, men’s clubs, Pétanque, book clubs, and so much more. Read more about the various social groups, clubs, and sports.
Attend the Holidays, Ferias, Fiestas, and Celebrations!
What better than to join in on a party! There are so many fiestas and celebrations throughout the year. Attend them all, learn about the culture, traditions, food, and meanings of each and every one. We can help you out with our annual calendar of events. Many of these fiestas, events, and celebrations have a full post written about them as well. Enjoy!
Take a Trip!
Why not take a group trip or tour in Spanish! There are several tour group companies in the area and you can do this on your own or with your loved one. You can go for a weekend or a week and it will be full Spanish immersion for you. You will need to have a good understanding of the language, but you will certainly improve your listening skills and you will meet new people on the trip too. Not only will you have time to chat while on the bus or train, but if they organize meals out, you have time to speak then as well. Maybe it is a trip to Madrid or even Morocco, who knows what offers they currently have?
Some local companies to check with would be Halcón Viajes and Eroski Viajes.
Of course, we have a list of movies in English in the area, but you may also go to see the movies in Spanish!
Read more about movie locations and just look for the Spanish versions. Over the summer there are 2 outdoor theaters showing movies in Spanish each week.
Act it Out!
Okay, this may be a stretch for many of you, but it can be a fun way to improve your Spanish! Why not join a local theater group or audition for a play? We know of a family who was here for a year of Spanish immersion and most of the family were thespians. They loved acting and wanted to use that as a means to create their immersion in Spanish. They learned their lines in Spanish and performed with local theater groups, what a great way to get involved! Here are a few links to get you started with research and see where they lead you. We don’t have personal experience with this topic, so keep us posted on how you make out. If you don’t want to act, you may at least go to see the local performances.
Various theater links and groups:
- Escuela Municipal de Musica Danza y Teatro Almuñecar
Offering a variety of events and activities for you in the arts. Visit the Facebook page to read more.
- PLATEA es el Programa Estatal de Circulación de Espectáculos de Artes Escénicas
PLATEA is the State Program for the Circulation of Performing Arts Shows in Spaces of Local Entities, organized by the INAEM in collaboration with the FEMP (Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces). The purpose of the Program is to promote the joint programming of professional dance, lyric, theater, and circus companies, through scenic spaces owned by local public entities, to reactivate and enrich their cultural programming, facilitate communication between the Autonomous Communities and guarantee the citizens access to culture. Read more about what is offered throughout Spain and locally too.
- Asociación de Teatro Segundo Acto
A non-profit cultural association whose objective is to promote theatrical culture, as well as social coexistence, promoting equal opportunities between men and women. Facebook page link
- Difusión de Entradas Anticipadas en Almuñécar
Difusión de.Eventos culturales Almuñécar. Granada, music, flamenco, theater dance Facebook page link
- Teatro Granada
Amateur Theater Groups in Granada. Read the full list here.
- Theater in Salobreña
Permanent theater workshop. Interpretation, voice, staging of works. The shooting of shorts, mediums, and feature films.
Visit the Facebook page to read more.
- Teatro Calderón (Motril)
The Calderón de la Barca Theater or simply Calderón Theater is a theater in the Spanish city of Motril, declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 2005. Since its inauguration in October 1881, it has played a leading role in local culture, hosting performances by the best companies. national and being the scene of the most important cultural events in the city. Likewise, it constitutes the culmination of a theatrical tradition that began in Motril in 1634 when the Real Casa de Comedias was built, which in 1639 received a royal privilege from the hands of Felipe IV. Visit the Facebook page to read more.
- Umbriel Teatro
“El teatro es poesía que se sale del libro para hacerse humana. Y al hacerse humana habla y grita, llora y se desespera” (Federico García Lorca) . We were born in 1993 within the Municipal Theater Hall of the Motril City Council, under the direction of the playwright Rolando Salas Cabrera, staging in 1995 “Las Criadas”, by Jean Genet.
In 1997 we became independent, forming ourselves as a theater group within the Umbriel Teatro Cultural Association. Visit the Facebook page to read more.
Spanish Immersion School & Living with a host family
Many of the local schools offer this as an option, in combination with their classes. It is also possible to find various opportunities around Spain, just be sure to do it solo! When you are on your own, you tend to step out of your comfort zone a bit more, and this way you won’t be tempted to speak your native language. You can plan a week away to another location in Spain and get full Spanish immersion!
Read more about an immersion experience in Ronda Spain.
Spanish Immersion Programs
A full week of Spanish Immersion for those at the speaking level of A2 or higher with Pueblo Español. Read more about the experiences of an immersion Spanish speaking course
This goes without saying, but the more you can do what the locals do the better it is for your Spanish immersion. If you have kids, attending the local public schools is the best way for them to immerse themselves. This will be a challenge for the first several months and is usually easier for younger kids. That said, it all depends on your child, their personality, their teacher, their classmates, and so many other variables. Not one experience is the same as another, so do keep this in mind.
As an adult, if you can work, volunteer, or be with locals for a set amount of time each day, this will help you as well. Many foreigners are living here in Spain without permission to work, so be cautious with this one. Of course, you may always refer to the volunteer opportunities we’ve previously mentioned.
As you can see, the list goes on and on! As we think of more things for you to immerse in Spain, we will add them. Feel free to comment below and tell us about your experiences.