City Discovery: Spanish Royalty’s Seaside Spot is Santander

The 2015 City Discovery Series will showcase one of ISA’s program locations each week. Facts about each location and Discovery Compass activity examples will be given, highlighting the areas of Intercultural, Historical, Sociopolitical, Professional and Environmental discovery. The Discovery Compass aims to help students have the best possible study abroad experience by helping them to gain a better understanding of the local environment, customs and people through a variety of experiences.

Discover Santander!

Surfing is king in Santander! With amazing breaks, beautiful scenery and surrounded by incredible beaches, Santander is a popular surfing destination in Spain.
And speaking of kings, Santander was the summer home to Spain’s royalty during the early 1900’s.

Don’t miss these Discovery Compass activities in Santander:

Intercultural experiences highlight exposure with the local culture, promoting a multilateral exchange of ideas, language and opinions.

Take a stroll along the city’s harbor and discover regional delicacies during an evening tapas tour through the city. Get a taste of the city by exploring its culinary scene. Caught fresh every day, restaurants throughout the city serve fish and other seafood along with other traditional Spanish tapas dishes that you won’t want to miss.

Greet someone the Spanish way. The concept of personal space is different – hugs and kisses are common, including when meeting people for the first time. When passing locals in the street, don’t be surprised if eye contact is made but no smile or greeting is exchanged.

ISA excursions and cultural activities highlight historical parts of the local culture to help students better understand their new environment.

Explore the historic Santander  Cathedral. Built between the 12th and 14th centuries, the cathedral complex sits on top of the site of the former Santander Abbey also known as the “Abbey of the Holy Bodies.”

Palacio de Magdelena
Visit the Palacio de la Magdalena, the former summer palace of Spanish royalty in the early 20th century. The palace was named a cultural heritage site in 1982 and is now the most emblematic building of the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo.

Sociopolitical discovery highlights social and political activities or experiences.

Take an excursion to Bilbao or San Sebastián to experience the Basque Country which has a very strong regional identity.

Professional experiences provide exposure to professional development opportunities during an ISA program.

One of the best ways to get exposure to the local culture and build professional experience in Santander is to volunteer. While there is no structured volunteer program, students are encouraged to work in conjunction with ISA on-site staff to identify local volunteer opportunities suited to their particular interests.

Environmental experiences expose students to different environmental aspects of the host country.

Picos de Europa
Go hiking the Picos de Europa (Peaks of Europe) to see the incredible mountain views that surround Santander. The Picos de Europa is known for being the first site of the continent for ships arriving from the Americas.

While in the mountains, enjoy a hike on the Camino de Santiago, an historic pilgrimage and series of trails that stretch from France through the north of Spain.

Find out more about ISA Santander Study Abroad Programs!


Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.