Spanish Semester Abroad: Santiago de Compostela

Spring 12-week, 2017

The Faculty

Dr. Elena Iglesias-Villamel, Assistant Professor of Spanish at Hiram College 

The Program

Come with us and live in Santiago de Compostela. Considered a World Heritage City by UNESCO because of its cathedral and old city center, Santiago receives thousands of visitors, attracted mostly to the ancient history and/or to the religious tradition - according to a legend, the remains of Apostle Saint James are located in the cathedral, which makes the city a pilgrimage destination.  Santiago is a marvelous monumental town and a young city (a third of its population is composed of university students).  Compostela has a great artistic and historic value, and offers multiple cultural activities, such as concerts, museums and exhibitions.  Crowded with students, tourists and pilgrims, is one of the main cultural crossroads of Europe.

The Courses

SPAN 203: Conversation on Site Abroad.  
This course focuses on the daily interactions necessary to survive in a Hispanic nation. Participants will begin with fields of vocabulary that involve terms not commonly taught in textbooks (e.g. sports, religion, politics, fashion, native foods, cinematic terms, etc.)  Each person will develop their conversation skills from the basic (report what happened yesterday on the local soccer scene) to more complex (barter for an item at the local food market) to the most complex (if the President ruthlessly prosecutes corrupt officials, what would the consequences be in the future).  Readings will include historical accounts, newspapers, television, documentaries, and movies.

SPAN 380: Spanish Movies and the Transition to Democracy.
This course is a critical overview of film representations of Spain since 1960.  Participants will analyze Spanish films and will read critical issues in Spain.  Each person will learn to identify the strategies used by film directors when dealing with real historical events and cultural issues.  Also, the course will provide each participant with the concepts and notions of film theory needed to sharpen film analytical and critical skills.

SPAN 250: Peninsular Spanish Culture.
In this course, each person will explore Spanish history and culture as manifest in three centuries of literature, theater, music and art.  Through in-depth analysis of these media, participants will examine numerous events, philosophies and trends from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries that have played pivotal roles in the formation of Spanish national identity.  Underlying themes will include gender roles and gender identity in literature and society, the country's peculiar notions of Enlightenment and Romanticism, and "Las dos Españas," or Spanish society's historic conflict over tradition versus modernity.

Prerequisite: SPAN 202 or permission from the instructor

The Program Itinerary

The itinerary includes twelve weeks in Santiago de Compostela and several excursions and field trips that will integrate cultural and regional distinctiveness with course content.  A guided visit to the Cathedral of Santiago - one of Europe's most cherished architectural sites - demonstrates the immense influence of pilgrimage.  Tours of Santiago's historical sites (as well as other cities such as Lugo) and visits to museums will reveal ample evidence of the rich history of Spanish culture (from pre-history through the modern day).

This program offers three courses in Spanish.  A student who successfully completes these three courses plus six additional classes at Hiram will have a strong major in Spanish and will have satisfied the requirement for study abroad.

The very prestigious University of Santiago de Compostela will provide conversation classes and cultural activities, including guided tours to the city's historic heart and guided tours to museums, films, talks, sports, etc.

Program Details

  • Estimated Program Costs:  $7,550 above tuition, room, and board.  Costs include round-trip airfare from Cleveland, in-country programming, honoraria for local resource people, all meals and lodging, transportation to in-country group activities, entry and exit taxes, and group activity fees/entrances.  Personal expenses, passport fees, and independent travel are not included.
  • Application Deadline:  October 7, 2016; $75 non-refundable fee due upon receipt of application.  This fee is used to pay for processing costs, an International Student Identity Card, passport holder, and luggage tags. 
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Study Abroad Staff

For more information, contact:

Brittany Jackson
Assistant Director
Strategic Academic Initiatives
Hiram College
PO Box 67
Hiram, OH  44234

Phone: 330.569.5380
Fax: 330.569.6005

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