Is this program right for you?
The Intensive Spanish program is designed for students at a beginner to intermediate level of Spanish who are seeking a structured study abroad program focused on the academic theme of Spanish language and culture. This program is organized by full-time staff members at the AU Center in Madrid who coordinate the coursework, homestays, internships, excursions, and other cultural events. This program runs concurrent with the Iberian Experience program, which is a track of the program for advanced Spanish speakers. So, if you have completed SPAN 253 at AU or higher, you should instead consider the regular Iberian Experience program.
Check out the AU Madrid Center Facebook page and follow what current students are up to in Spain!
Explore the narrow streets and busy restaurants while studying the Spanish language. This study abroad program will expose you to much more than one European city life as the semester travels to the many other regions of Spain. From Galicia to Granada, Seville to Barcelona it is a semester filled with fun and learning.
The Iberian Experience program offers you a broad range of opportunities to learn about this cultural metropolis and the rest of the country as you will be living, studying and interning in Madrid and traveling to other regions. Through the program's academic curriculum, field trips, internships and other activities, you will be able to immerse yourself in Spain's politics, history, culture and society, an experience that fosters international consciousness and cross-cultural learning. Students earn a full semester of American University (AU) credit.
Students in the intensive Spanish program will complete 8 credits of Spanish language courses during the spring term. Student will take a language placement exam upon arrival in Madrid to determine their appropriate level. Students usually complete a combination of two 4 credit courses.
LANGUAGE COURSES - REQUIRED
- SPAN 136 001 Intensive Beginning Spanish I, 4 credits
- SPAN 137 002 Intensive Beginning Spanish II, 4 credits
- SPAN 236 001 Intensive Intermediate Spanish I, 4 credits
- SPAN 237 002 Intensive Intermediate Spanish II, 4 credits
Students will combine their language courses with one required seminar course and other optional content courses taught in English or Spanish (depending on language level).
SEMINAR COURSE - REQUIRED
SEMINAR - Spanish Culture and Civilization (SISA-363-003 AND SISA-319-001; Taught in English; 4 credits)
The purpose of this Seminar is to examine the development of the cultures and civilizations of Spain and the constructions of the various Spanish national identities. In the second part of the class, students will study Spain's interactions with the rest of Europe, Northern Africa and Latin America in order to better understand the current realities and complexities of the country. The students will also learn about Spanish art and culture throughout the history of Spain.
ADDITIONAL COURSES (chosen based on individual student interests and academic needs)
Spain & Latin America: The Immigrant Experience (SISA-363, Taught in English; 3 credits)
This course will review the different migratory waves as well as the social, political and economic impacts in both the sending and the receiving societies. It will include comparative case studies related to demographic, sociological, economic, and policy interests. This course will attempt to examine the exile as a crucial channel of intercommunication among societies by highlighting the importance of the support and solidarity shown in times of social upheaval, economic failure, and/or political instability. Spain and Latin America have significantly changed their position in the world migration system. The study of this shift would allow students to get a better knowledge of both the evolution of Latin American economies and societies and the close interaction between migratory flows and the world economy, as well as the nature of societies engaged in transatlantic contact and the characteristics of both voluntary and involuntary migration.
Spanish and European Art History (ARTH-255, Taught in English; 3 credits)
***This course counts as general education credit in foundational area one, The Creative Arts.***
This course examines the European and Spanish Art from the Middle Ages until the beginnings of the 20th century. Main trends and individual styles will be made clear by analyzing the art pieces and masters of the different periods under study. Classroom teaching combines lectures with visits to important museums in Madrid: Prado Museum and the Thyssem-Bornemisza Museum.
Students in the Intensive Intermediate or Advanced Spanish level of the program are allowed to take a course taught in Spanish from the offering in the Iberian Experience program.
Spain's Soccer Obsession: Managing and Marketing Soccer Clubs in Spain Taught in English. KSB-350.
Description: This course will provide students with an understanding of the dynamic and growing field of soccer as a business. Topics addressed include: league formation; team and player promotion; sponsorships and events; media; soccer tourism; and soccer goods and brands. Special emphasis will be placed on the soccer fan/consumer in order to understand various consumer-related issues such as participants versus spectators, research, behavior, segmentation, brand association and loyalty, customer relationship management, and globalization. Theoretical and practical cases and visits to Spanish soccer clubs and organizations will expose students to the techniques and strategies applicable to the business of soccer.
Students who actively play soccer and wish to play while in Madrid will have the ability to play on several different soccer teams at various levels.
Independent Study (SABD-490; 1-3 credits)
Students in this program are encouraged to work with a faculty member to develop and complete an independent study project during their semester in Madrid. The Program Director and other Faculty who teach at the AU Center have various research interests and can guide students in their preparation of independent research. Students interested in this should discuss their research interests with their study abroad advisor and on-site Program Director during the pre-departure process.
Internships in Madrid (SABD-391; 3 credit hours)
Internships are for students who have completed SPAN 253 here at AU and conducted in the Spanish language. Otherwise, a very limited number of internships conducted in English are also available. Internships of two days per week provide a unique opportunity to work and interact with Spaniards outside the academic context, while at the same time including academic requirements such as projects and papers. Students who wish receive credits towards a Spanish Major or Minor for the internship course must take this course on a pass/fail basis!
HOUSING AND MEALS
Full language integration happens in the home as well as the classroom. During your participation in the Iberian Experience Intensive Spanish program, you live in a Spanish home. Your homestay allows you to experience the warmth and hospitality of Spain while improving your language skills. In the homestay, students enjoy breakfast, evening meals, and in most cases, weekly laundry. Students may be in single or double rooms. Students commute approx. 30 min from their homestays to the program offices in the center of Madrid. During program excursions, students stay in pensions and hotels.
Students enjoy two meals a day with their host families in Madrid. One meal a day is usually provided during the study trips.
The multifaceted nature of the history and culture of the Iberian Peninsula can not be fully understood though study in the classroom! Students take several field trips to the different regions in Spain and to nearby countries. The program often visits Catalonia, where they speak with leaders of a region with a distinct people and language propelled by a strong separatist movement, as well as, Andalucía in southern Spain, where they observe the depth of Moorish and Semitic influences on the culture of Spain. And this is just the beginning...
In past semesters, students have traveled within Spain to Andalucía, the Basque country, Barcelona, the Canary Islands, Galicia, Salamanca, Toledo, and Santander, as well as destinations outside of Spain like Lisbon, and Rome. Students also frequently visit sites in and around Madrid to expand on the topics covered by the courses. Field trip destinations vary each semester and students will receive a schedule of the semester upon arrival in Madrid.
Upon acceptance, AU Abroad staff will provide students with a letter to obtain their Student Visa. Students are responsible for contacting the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to find out which additional documents are needed to obtain a student visa. Any visa requirements for program excursions are handled by on-site staff. Non-US citizens are encouraged to check with all relevant embassies to be aware of any special circumstances or requirements.
Often student visa applications will not be accepted more than 90 days in advance or less than 45 business days prior to departure date, passports must be left at the Consulate General for processing. It may take four to six weeks to process your application.
CONNECT WITH SPAIN
AU students are lucky to live in the DC area near the Spanish Embassy and DC Consulate. The Embassy and Consulate is located near George Washington University in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of DC. There is also a cultural center near 16th and Fuller St., NW where many events are held. The Embassy often holds events related to Spanish culture that will be of great interest to AU students before and after a study abroad semester in Spain.
SPAIN arts & culture is another great site that features events and exhibits of the most cutting-edge works of international renowned Spanish artists in fields such as design, urban culture, architecture, visual arts, film, performing arts, literature and music. Take advantage of your DC location by participating in events and soaking up some Spanish culture stateside!