Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Preparations for a school visit to Spain

Preparing pupils for a visit to Spain

Factors to consider for visits abroad include:

  • language - particularly common phrases;
  • culture e.g. body language, rules and regulations of behaviour, dress codes, local customs, attitudes to gender etc;
  • drugs, alcohol-usage;
  • drink - the law prohibits the purchase and consumption of alcohol in public places for those under the age of 18 years.
  • money - how to carry money and valuables discreetly e.g. money belts, zip armlets.
  • how to use phones abroad, money required (a BT contact card allows calls to be charged to the home number) and the code for phoning home (0044 then omit the first zero of the area code);
  • what to do in an emergency.


The group leader must ensure that the group has comprehensive travel insurance.

Language abilities

It is recommended that the leader or another adult in the group learns enough of the language to hold a basic conversation and knows what to say in an emergency. It is also advisable that pupils have a basic knowledge of the local language before the visit.


The group leader should ensure that all members of the group have valid passports and visas (if appropriate) in the early stages of planning the trip. Photocopies of the individual  passports should be taken for emergency use.


If the group includes pupils whose national or immigration status or entitlement to a British passport is in doubt, it is advisable to make early enquiries of the Home Office's Immigration and Nationality Directorate concerning the requirements of the immigration rules and the right of re-entry.

Pupils who are not nationals of any EU member state may need a visa to travel from the UK to another member state. However, they may receive visa exemption if they are members of a school group. Details and forms are available from the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges.

Citizens of countries belonging to the European Union do not need visas to enter Spain. Visas, if required, can be obtained from:

Draycott Place
London SW3 2RZ
(020) 7589 8989 Consular Section
FAX (020) 7259 6487

Emergency Medical Facilities: European Health Insurance Card (Form E111)

Some emergency medical facilities are available through reciprocal health care arrangements in European Community (EC) countries to EU Nationals. The European Health Insurance Card (which replaces the old E111 reciprocal medical treatment form), is the certificate of entitlement to free or reduced cost treatment in the EU. It may be applied for online at or via a form from any Post Office.


The group leader should ensure that they obtain and take with them: travel tickets, passports and visas. It is also advisable to carry a separate list of the numbers of any travel documents/passports, and photocopies of all the group'sdocuments.

Information retained at the school

Full details of the visit should be retained at school while the visit is in progress. This should include:

  • the itinerary and contact telephone number/address of the group;
  • a list of group members and their details;
  • contact names, addresses, telephone numbers of the parents and next of kin;
  • copies of parental consent forms;
  • copies of travel documents, insurance documents, and medical papers.

During the visit

It is advisable for pupils to carry a note in the Spanish for use if they get lost, asking the reader to re-unite them with the group at the hotel, or to take them to the police station. They should also carry the group leader's name and the duty contact's phone number.

All group members should carry an appropriate amount of foreign currency at all times e.g. money for telephone (or a phone card).


All adults in the group should know how to contact the emergency services in Catalonia. These are:

General information number: 012

(All services) 112

Security services:
Tourist assistance +34 93 423 18 00
Municipal police 092
National police 091
Fire brigade 080

Medical emergencies:
Emergencies 061
Ambulances +34 93 329 97 01 / +34 93 300 20 20
Hospitals +34 93 454 60 00 / +34 93 418 34 00
Dental emergencies +34 93 415 99 22
All-night chemist's 010

British Consulate
Av. Diagonal, 477, 1er. Tel. +34 93 419 90 44


Health and Safety

If appropriate, parents should be asked to provide suitably factored sun protection creams and sun hats/glasses. Group members should be advised about the dangers of over-exertion in the heat and of dehydration, which can cause headache, dizziness and nausea. In warm climates it is important to keep fluid levels high, take extra salt and wear loose, lightweight clothing - preferably made of cotton or other natural fibres.

The use of seat belts in coaches in Spain is obligatory for our student groups.