St. Lawrence University offers students the opportunity to study for a semester or an academic year in Spain. Program participants will begin their studies with orientation in Malaga. The University of Málaga will provide students with intensive Spanish instruction and a cultural introduction to Andalucía. The program is open to students from beginner to advanced Spanish levels. 

Upon completion of this component, students move to Madrid for the remainder of the program where they live in homestay families and participate in program-related excursions, Spanish classes, and elective courses. 

  • Based in Málaga and Madrid.
  • Fall or Spring semester.
  • Academic year- option. Students must meet with Caitlin Hatz to discuss program courses. 
  • Program can accommodate 15 students per semester, including academic year students.
  • Pre-requisites: 2.8 GPA; 1 Spanish class on-campus prior to departure. 
  • Open to beginner and advanced level Spanish speakers, a perfect opportunity to improve language skills for post graduate opportunities in a number of fields. 
  • All  elective courses taught in English; language courses taught in Spanish. 
  • Live with homestay families.

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Location     Academics     Co-Curricular     Housing     Calendar     Orientation      Program Contacts


The program is based in Málaga and Madrid and will include components in other areas of Spain. 

Málaga is a city of a million and half inhabitants located on the Mediterranean coast, and well known as the birthplace of Pablo Picasso. While in Málaga, students complete coursework at the International Center of Spanish Language at the University of Málaga. 

Madrid, Spain’s capital, is a city of four million, and boasts a dynamic cultural and social life. Madrid also provides easy access to more traditional small towns and villages in Segovia and Salamanca. Also within easy reach of Madrid are the historical cities of Avila, El Escorial, 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."

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The Program Director is a member of the St. Lawrence University faculty. The director teaches one SLU unit course related to his/her area of expertise in the context of Spain. In addition to organizing and supervising the academic and co-curricular program, the Director advises students, teaches in fall and spring, helps students with cultural adjustment issues, and is responsible for the work placement course.

In Madrid, in addition to one required Spanish-language course, students the Director's course and select two elective courses from the list provided below. These classes are exclusively for program participants and are taught in English 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 visits to the Prado and other museums.

Fall Required Courses: (Students select 2 electives)

New courses in Economics, Environmental Science, Psychology and Cinema will be offered. Details of the specific course titles and descriptions will be confirmed by November. Please check back for more information. 

Spring Elective Courses (Students select 2 electives):

TBD, please check back in November for full offerings. 

ND 480: Internship with Seminar
(1 unit; For full-year students only)

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. If there are no internships available, full-year students will take 3 electives instead of 2 or will do an independent study with the Director. 

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.

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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 Valencia on the east coast of Spain, Extremadura, Andalucía, and to Bilbao 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.

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. 

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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 a forty-minute commute 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 provide a private room for SLU students. When possible, the program includes families in program activities. All meals are taken with the family.

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The Fall semester typically begins in late August and ends in mid-December. The Spring semester typically begins in early/mid-January and ends in mid-May.

Fall 2023


Friday 18: Departure from U.S.

Saturday 19-20: Orientation In Malaga

Monday 21-Thursday 31: Intensive Language Course


Friday 1: Transportation to Madrid

Monday 4-Tuesday 5: Madrid Orientation 

Wednesday 6: Classes Begin

Saturday 30- Sunday October 1: Program Excursion


Sunday October 1: Program Excursion

Monday 9- Wednesday 11: Mid-Term Exams

Thursday 12- Sunday 22: Fall Break & National Holidays

Monday 23: Classes Resume 


Wednesday 1: National Holiday

Thursday 9: Holiday in Madrid

Friday 10: Free Day


Friday 1: Last Day of Classes

Monday 4- Tuesday 5: Final Exams

Wednesday 6: national Holiday

Thursday 7: Final Exams (continued)

Friday 8: End of Program for Fall Only Students 

Saturday 9: Fall Students Depart for the U.S.

Saturday 9: Christmas Break for Academic Year Students 

Spring 2024


Saturday 6: National Holiday 

Monday 8: Internship Begins for Academic Year Students 

Friday 12: Spring Students Departure from U.S.

Saturday 13-14: Orientation begins in Malaga

Monday 15-Thursday 25: Intensive Language Course in Malaga

Monday 29- Tuesday 30: Program Orientation in Madrid

Wednesday 31: Program Excursion


Friday 23- Sunday 25: Program Excursion 


Monday 4-Thursday 7: Mid-Term Exams

Saturday 23- Monday 1: Spring Break


Monday 1: Spring Break

Tuesday 2: Classes Resume

Wednesday 24: Last Day of Classes

Thursday 25: Free Day

Friday 26: Final Exams 

Monday 29-Tuesday 30: Final Exams (continued)


Wednesday 1: National Holiday & Program Ends

Thursday 2: Depart for the U.S. 

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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.

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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 Coordinator: Caitlin Hatz, Director of Off-Campus Programs- Questions about program academics, eligibility, program logistics, and other off-campus opportunities.

Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Shelley McConnell - Questions about academics

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