Spain

St. Lawrence University offers students the opportunity to study in a semester or year-long program in Spain. Fall semester and year-long students begin their studies with an orientation in Salamanca followed by a three-week living/research experience in a village in Segovia. Spring semester students begin with an extended orientation in Salamanca.  After the village/provincial city course, students move to Madrid for the remainder of the program. Housed at the Colegio Mayor Isabel de Espana, the St. Lawrence program provides students with complete immersion in Spanish Culture and a strong academic program in small classes taught by local University Professors.

  • Based in Madrid
  • Fall or Spring semester; or academic year
  • Pre-requisites: 2.8 GPA recommended to apply, 3.0 GPA in Spanish and Spanish 201 and either 202 or 213; 
  • All courses taught in Spanish
  • Live with homestay families

Click here to apply to the Spain program

 

Location     Academics     Co-curricular     Housing     

Calendar     Orientation      Program Contacts

Location

The geographic focus of the program is Madrid, a city of four million, and the provinces of Segovia and Salamanca. Madrid has a dynamic cultural and social life. While modern and very active, it provides access to small towns and villages of more traditional appearance and customs. Within easy reach are the historical cities of Avila, Segovia, El Escorial and Toledo, and the Guadarrama mountains -- popular for skiing, hiking and other sports. Students often comment that "there isn't time to see and do everything in Spain."

Program classes and offices are at the Colegio Mayor Isabel de España, a university residence located in the Ciudad Universitaria area of Madrid. The Colegio Mayor sponsors many lectures, concerts, films and political debates. Some of these activities are co-sponsored by St. Lawrence University, and St. Lawrence program students are invited to all those activities as well as activities and sports events at other colegios mayores in the area. Spain program students, with the guidance of Adjunct Instructor Esthela Calderón, have produced Aquí y Allá (Here and There), a cultural journal containing poems and short stories in Spanish, as well as photographs and other materials that reflect their experiences. The journal was produced as part of weekly creative writing workshop sessions which met at different literary cafes in Madrid.

The Resident Director of the program is a regular member of the St. Lawrence University faculty. In addition to organizing and supervising the academic and co-curricular program, the director advises students, teaches the fall village and the spring small city courses, helps students with cultural adjustment issues, and is responsible for the internship course.

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Academics

In addition to the two required courses (The Spanish Village and Advanced Practical Spanish in the fall semester and Introduction to Spain and Advanced Practical Spanish in the spring semester), students select three elective courses from the list provided below. These classes are exclusively for program participants and are taught in Spanish by local professors who are well acquainted with US college courses. These courses will be offered if there is sufficient student enrollment. 

The courses take full advantage of being in Madrid and Spain, with excursions to several places in Spain, field work in various city neighborhoods, the chance to attend a variety of theatrical performances, and weekly visits to the Prado and other museums.

Fall Required Courses:

SPAN 335S: The Spanish Village (fall) .5 unit

After the orientation phase in Salamanca, group members move to individual villages in the province of Segovia before taking up residence in Madrid in mid-September. Students spend about two weeks in the village. They are housed with families, one student per family and normally one student per village. Students participate in the life of the village and complete a program of research, interviews and study assigned by the program director. The group gathers weekly in the city of Segovia for a seminar.  Through readings, interviews and detailed personal observation, students investigate the economic, political and social structure of rural Spain.

SPAN 301S: Advanced Practical Spanish: 1 unit for semester participants(.5 unit for academic year participants)

Emphasizes spoken and written Spanish skills. The course is designed to help students achieve and maintain the linguistic skills needed for the program's other courses and for personal and professional activities.

Fall Elective Courses (Students select 3):

SPAN 323S: Introduction to Spanish Literature (Required for Spanish majors)

A survey of selected major works from the most important periods of Spanish literature from the Middle Ages to the present. Attention is given to the techniques of literary analysis.

ECON/SPAN 322S: International Economics (1 unit)

The theory of international trade and finance and its application to current policy problems such as protection, intervention in foreign exchange markets, international debt and foreign investment. This course is accepted for major credit. (Prereq. Econ 251, 252 or permission of the instructor)

FA 200S/SPAN 300S: El Greco, Veláquez, Goya and Picasso (1 unit)

A study of the work of four major Spanish painters, each of whom is considered the greatest painter of his period in Spain: El Greco (Renaissance), Velázquez (Baroque), Goya (Neoclassicism/ Romanticism), Picasso (20th Century). The course includes a weekly class in one of the museums in Madrid such as the Prado, the Reina Sofía and the Thyssen collection.

SPAN/ENVS 328S/: Nature and Culture in Spain: Interpreting the Landscapes (1unit)

One of the best ways to learn about a country is to travel perceptively through its countryside, villages and cities. Landscapes are a good indicator of natural and cultural diversity. In observing human interaction with the physical environment, students will understand better how nature, communities, and ways of life developed over time. This interdisciplinary course will contextualize the program field trips.

SPAN 305S/ANTH 203S/CLAS 203S/GS 206S/SOC 206S: Spain and Latin America: The construction of a common cultural space (1 unit)

España y América Latina: la construcción de un espacio cultural común  course touches on Latin American and Spanish fundamental topics on anthropology, focusing on cultural heritage and colonization discourses and how they are reflected in the collective imagination on both sides of the Atlantic. The course analyzes the challenges and the role of such challenges in the globalized world with its sociodemographic and cultural specificities.

GOVT/SPAN 367S: Political Process in Contemporary Spain (1 unit)

Focus is on the various political systems (absolute monarchy, republic, dictatorship, constitutional monarchy) which have characterized Spanish politics during the 20th century. The transition from dictatorship to democracy, and the salient elements of the current system are emphasized. Arrangements can be made to take this course for History credit.

SPAN/PCA 358S: The Madrid Stage (1 unit)

This course is a study of the contemporary theatre in Spain with a focus on the current season and will readings, interviews, discussion and weekly theater attendance.

Spring Required Courses:

ND 480: Internship with Seminar (required for full-year students)

This is a semester-long internship for academic year participants that is conducted during the spring semester. Every attempt is made to match the internship assignment to the individual's interests, and requests for specific types of internships can generally be accommodated.

The internship period complements the class work of the regular courses taken during the program and is designed to be a challenging personal and professional experience. During the internship, students remain under the supervision of the program and continue to reside with the Spanish families. They participate in a seminar and carry out required writing assignments and oral presentations. They are also required to participate in several cultural activities such as visits to museums, films, theater or book presentations in the city of Madrid. The final grade for the internship is based on work submitted for the seminar, the evaluation of the internship supervisor of the host organization, and the program director's evaluation of the student's work in the seminar and at the sponsoring organization.

GS/ANTH 212S/SPAN/SOC 312S: Migrations and Cultural Diversity in Contemporary Spain (1 unit)

Students will become familiar with migration and cultural diversity in Spanish society from an anthropological and socio-cultural perspective. The course will introduce basic notions of socio-cultural anthropology in order to understand contemporary migrations; describe characteristics and problems of Spanish society in the framework of cultural diversity; apply methodological tools of anthropology to present-day Spain.

SPAN 338S: Introduction to Spain (spring) (.5 unit)

An introduction to Spain for students who join the program for the second semester. During the first two weeks of the month-long course, students live in towns in the province of Salamanca where they investigate the economic, political and social structure of the area through readings, interviews and detailed personal observation. The second two weeks are spent in Madrid with daily language and government classes and sessions on Spanish art and culture.

SPAN 302S: Advanced Practical Spanish (1 unit for semester participants(.5 unit for academic year participants)

Emphasizes spoken and written Spanish skills. The course is designed to help students achieve and maintain the linguistic skills needed for the program's other courses and for personal and professional activities.

Spring Elective Courses (Students select 3):

SPAN/CLAS 344S: Introduction to Hispanic American Literature (1 unit)

Required for St. Lawrence University Spanish majors. This course is an examination of major authors and their corresponding literary movements through selected readings from the colonial period to the present.

FA 267S/Span 303S: The History of Spanish Art (1 unit)

An overview of Spanish art from prehistoric cave painting to 20th century masters such as Picasso and Miró. Architectural monuments, sculptures and paintings are studied. Students will be exposed -- on various field trips -- to the incredibly rich art of Spain, including architectural monuments, sculptures and paintings.

GOVT/SPAN 330S: Politics and Governments of Western Democracies (1 unit)

Participants will study the history and present structure of several European democracies and the United States. The class includes a segment on the European Union. This course is accepted for Government majors

ECON/CLAS 265S/SPAN 365S: The Spanish Economy, the E.U., and the Latin American Challenge (1 unit)

This course analyzes the possibilities for economic cooperation between the European Union and Spain, and Latin American economies. Study will focus on the challenges associated with the important structural changes that are taking place in Europe as well as Latin America in the context of the growing integration of both regions in international markets. (Prerequisites: Econ100.)

SPAN 342S: Spanish Novels of the 20th Century (1 unit)

An investigation of narrative prose from the Generation of '98 (Unamuno and Baroja) to the present (Llamazares and Martín Gaite) as representative of the principal aesthetic and historical movements of the century as well as authors from different autonomous regions such as Catalunya, the Basque country and Galicia.

HIST/GNDR/SPAN 383S: History of an Emancipation: Women in Spain, 1750-1995 (1 unit)

A study of women's issues - particularly labor, education, and the right to vote - in Spain from the Spanish Enlightenment, through Francoism, to Democratic Spain.

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Co-curricular

Field trips, cultural events and other activities organized by the program complement the classes and are planned with the goal of furthering the students' understanding of Spanish culture. Recent field trips have been to Santiago de Compostela in NW Spain, Extremadura, Andalusia, and to Picos de Europa in the north.

In addition to field trips to various parts of Spain, the program organizes group visits within the capital itself. The cost of all scheduled group activities is included in the comprehensive fee. Students are also reimbursed, according to program guidelines, for attendance at cultural activities of their own choosing.

The Colegio Mayor Isabel de España, where the program is based, sponsors lecture series and seminars, plays and concerts, as well as group activities such as sports, dance, theater, aerobics, music and photography. English conversation groups (one hour a week) are organized between program participants and local students in an effort to bring both groups together. Students are encouraged to do volunteer work in Madrid. The program also covers the cost of membership to libraries for research purposes.

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Housing

The home stays with Spanish families constitute one of the most fulfilling experiences offered by the program, as they provide a pleasant and supportive atmosphere for the students. Homes are located throughout Madrid and are usually within forty minutes commuting distance from school. Family make-up and homes vary in background and composition. Students are expected to be sensitive to cultural differences and open to understanding and sharing fully in the life of the Spanish family. As a norm, the families host only one student and provide an individual room.  When possible, the program includes families in program activities. All meals are taken with the family.

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Calendar

Please click here to find the Program Calendar 2014 - 2015 and Program Calendar Fall 2015 & Spring 2016

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Orientation

Pre-departure: The CIIS office organizes in depth orientation sessions on-campus prior to the students participation in the program. This includes a program specific session(s) in which the students will learn more about the program, local culture, academic expectations, and any other important information. There is also an orientation session lead by the CIIS office on culture shock, and what to expect, as well as safety and security while abroad.

Fall semester:  Upon arrival in Madrid at the end of August, students travel to Salamanca for a 3-4 day orientation program. The orientation introduces students to Spain, prepares them for the courses they will be taking and for the village stays, and enables group members to become acquainted with each other. In addition to daily work in the language and culture, the orientation program includes several cultural visits. 
After the orientation phase in Salamanca, group members move to individual villages in the province of Segovia during the two week village stay students are housed with families, one student per family and normally one student per village. Students participate in the life of the village and complete a program of research, interviews and study assigned by the program director. The group gathers weekly in the city of Segovia for a seminar. At the conclusion of the village stay the program moves to Madrid. 

Spring semester: During the first two weeks of the month-long Introduction to Spain course (SPAN 338), students live in towns in the province of Salamanca where they investigate the economic, political and social structure of the area through readings, interviews and detailed personal observation. The second two weeks are spent in Madrid with daily language and culture classes and sessions on Spanish art and culture.

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Program Contacts

If you are interested in learning more about the Spain program please contact one of the following people.

CIIS Office: Kelley Lawson-Khalidi, Director of Off-Campus Programs - Questions about eligibility, program logistics, and other off-campus opportunities.

Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Marina Llorente - Questions about program academics.

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     Click here to apply to the Spain program