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.
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.
Students take the two required courses and select three electives. These classes are exclusively for program participants and are taught in Spanish by local professors who are well acquainted with the American system of course work, examinations, papers and readings. 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.
Field trips, attendance at selected 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 different 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 residents 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.
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.
Please click here to find the 2013-2014 Program Calendar.
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 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 willage 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 government classes and sessions on Spanish art and culture.
If you are interested in learning more about the Denmark program please feel free to contact Dr. Ana Estevez who serves as the on-campus, program faculty coordinator.