Spain: Language, Community, and Social Change
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“Not only have I become more confident and refined in my Spanish language skills, I have immensely improved my confidence and knowledge of communication. I understand the culture more through assimilation in Spain and by living with a Spanish family.”
Kaitlyn Saruwatari, University of California - Riverside
Complete Spanish Immersion
All program coursework and components are conducted in Spanish, enabling students to rapidly improve their language skills in one semester. Students are placed in one of three language levels, which provides each student the appropriate language acquisition necessary to complete a thematic seminar on community and social change.
Spanish classes strongly emphasize student involvement and inquiry in order that students are fully engaged in the language learning process. Students are able to acquire the tools needed to successfully engage with host families and conduct community service. Throughout the program, students are motivated and encouraged to use their language not only in the classroom but with host families and other community members.
Students are able to greatly improve their conversation skills by completing volunteer service or participating in a community group, class, or study.
Sample community projects include:
- Tutoring at a school (in subjects such as math, language, and social science)
- Volunteering at a homeless shelter
- Assisting in environmental or sports activities
- Studying the Mediterranean diet and its influence on modern societies
- Working as an assistant English teacher at a local elementary or high school
Students typically commit to a minimum of four hours of work a week. The community project usually takes place during the final two months of the program. At the conclusion of the semester, students will conduct a final oral presentation and submit an 8 to 12- page written paper in Spanish. Students must also keep a reflection journal registering their observations, interviews, and critical analysis of their community experience.
The community project is a core component of the program and grants students the opportunity to critically examine a topic, community, or situation related to social change in Spain, in a field-study context.
Uncovering Spain's Layers of Diversity
The program’s thematic seminar focuses on the political, social, and cultural forces shaping contemporary Spain in the context of the country’s turbulent history, growing diversity, and deeper integration within the European Union. Spain is a country long shaped by the cultural traditions of the diverse inhabitants that have called it home over the course of more than two millennia; these include Roman, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. Present-day Spain has strengthened its role within the EU and developed strong relations with Latin American and Arab communities. As a result, Spain has one of the highest immigrant populations (at approximately 4.5 million) in the EU today.
Students uncover the traces of Spain's historic communities while experiencing firsthand its present diversity highly apparent throughout the city of Granada.
The seminar is conducted entirely in Spanish. Lecturers are drawn from the University of Granada, government agencies, local NGOs, and experts from the community.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Spain, Granada
Language Study: Spanish
Prerequisites: One semester Spanish. Read more...
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