Study abroad in Spain, famous for spectacular architecture, sandy white Mediterranean beaches, and siestas.

Why study in Spain?

If you love afternoon naps, churros con chocolate, and football, you’ll love studying in Spain. Famous for its laid-back lifestyle, Spain is the land of siestas. The day starts slow and runs late, ideal for night owls. A student exchange to Spain is a great way to learn Spanish and experience this laid-back lifestyle for yourself.     

Overall, doing this exchange was the best decision I’ve made so far. I’ve vastly improved my language skills, gained confidence, had my mind opened to a new culture, and most importantly, made life-long friends.

Kathy, Hamilton


You can choose to study in Spain for as little as eight weeks or as long as one calendar year. Our short programmes (8-12 weeks) are very flexible, with start dates throughout most of the year – please email to see if your preferred start date is available. Gap year students are welcome to apply but must not be older than 18.5 years upon departure. 

Placements can be anywhere in the country but are more likely to be in suburbs or rural areas. On the map below you can see some of the areas our past students have been placed. All of our host families are carefully vetted. We conduct home interviews, inspections, and police checks to ensure our students are placed in a secure and supportive living environment.

NZIIU exchange students have been placed in Cadiz, Cordoba, Bilbao,  Zaragoza, Navarra, Madrid and Leon.

Application deadline
8 - 12 weeks after arrival
5 months before departure
February 2021
June 2021
1 September 2020
September 2021
January 2022
1 March 2021
Academic Year
February 2021
December 2021
1 September 2020
September 2021
June 2022
1 March 2021

Covered expenses

Included in the fee:

  • School and family documents for your student visa application
  • Placement in a suitable host family and school
  • Full board and lodging (except school lunch)
  • Pre-departure orientation in NZ and arrival orientation in Spain
  • Meet and greet at the airport in NZ and at the airport in Spain
  • Monthly progress reports to your parents
  • Transfer from Madrid to your host community (please note return transfer is not included)
  • Ongoing monitoring by the host organisation
  • 24/7 emergency assistance in Spain and NZ
  • Certificate of completion upon return

Other costs

Not included in the fee:

Flights You are responsible for paying all domestic and international airfares between your home and Madrid.
Insurance You will be required to purchase comprehensive travel and medical insurance prior to your departure.
School setup Depending on your school and subject choices, you may be required to pay for expenses such as basic school fees, books, and equipment.
Visas If you require a visa, you are responsible for paying the application and translation fees to the Spanish Embassy in Wellington.
Spending money We recommend allocating approximately $450 NZD spending money per month to cover things like transport, school lunches, and weekend activities.
Optional trips It’s a good idea to save some money for optional trips organised by your host family or your host organisation in Spain.


Students must be:

  • Aged between 15 and 18.5 years prior to the programme start date
  • A New Zealand Citizen or hold Permanent Residency
  • Enrolled in a high school
  • Willing to learn Spanish prior to and during the exchange
  • Fit, well, and have a suitable personality profile
  • Academically motivated


You will need to obtain apostille stamps and other visa documents before you leave. You will also be required to visit the Spanish Embassy in Wellington or the Honorary Consul in Auckland or Christchurch. Please remember to factor the travel costs into your budget. If you are staying for less than 90 days, you do not require a visa.


Students are expected to learn basic Spanish (oral and written) prior to departure. At least one year of Spanish is highly recommended.

The experience has opened my eyes to so many new opportunities and I have learnt so much about myself and the Spanish culture.

Talia, Tauranga

Make an enquiry

Information Days

Online Info Sessions

You don’t need to travel – or even leave your couch – to learn more about NZIIU’s student exchanges and how they work. Register for one of our online informational webinars, and you can find out all you need to know from wherever you are in the country.

‘Meet our Ambassadors’ Day

If you’d like the full lowdown on the student exchange experience, this is the event for you! Our NZIIU Education Perfect Ambassadors are students who have recently been on exchange and are enthused, ready, and raring to share their knowledge, experiences, and stories.’

Learn More »

Need extra pocket money?

NZIIU Scholarships

We know that financing your exchange might be a bit of a challenge but don’t let that be a deterrent! NZIIU offer a select number of scholarships each year to eligible students who require some financial assistance, as well as a fundraising kit.

Explore now »

NZIIU fundraising kit »

NZIIU Fundraising Kit