Applying for a Masters Degree (in Ireland?)

I have wanted to complete a masters degree in Spain. Whenever anyone asked me what my plan was, I always said “apply to a Spanish university and study art history.” I still very much want to do this, but right now, my best bet applying for a  masters course elsewhere.

Applying for a Spanish university is tough process as an American, and to be fair, I know it is for plenty of others as well (and can be worse). The system is very bureaucratic. There needs to be a lot of copies, but since my degree is from outside of Europe, then I need to prove that my degree is worthy/matches the standards of European universities. Even though 9 times out of 10, this process called “validation” is approved, the amount of copies, certified translations, and notarizations/apostilles needed is, well, excessive.

I recently moved away from my home/university state, and I am two hours behind. It has already been proven difficult enough getting into contact with references to write letters of recommendation. So, I can not imagine trying to do the whole degree validation process while in-limbo between two states (and not necessarily a resident anywhere.)

Therefore, I did some research on universities I could apply to that:

  • Allow me to take out federal loans or were free/low cost
  • Offered a degree where I had the opportunity to study abroad/continue Spanish
  • Was not difficult for me to apply to
  • Had an easy visa process

I found a degree in Ireland pretty early on in my search. The degree is “Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies,” which perfectly combined both my Spanish and art history studies into one single degree. I immediately thought it was perfect but had to calm down for the impending, soul-crushing realization that it was not. Though, once I read more about the degree/masters degrees in Ireland in general, I discovered that I could continue on with Spanish and not be severely in debt!

So, I applied for the degree!

As of right now, I do not entirely know what will result of my application, but I hope it is good news.

 

 

 

A Few Thoughts

I remember when I lost all motivation to write about Spain. And to be honest, the motivation still has not totally come back yet, but I am trying.

My entire life and everything I had planned out for myself changed within the past months. You know, continuing to go abroad to Spain despite what’s happening at home, everything going wrong in Spain (except: meeting some of the nicest people, which made it harder to leave), and then ultimately, having to return to America. And figure out what to do next.

My step-dad was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks before I left for Spain, and to say the least, the diagnosis was not good. He told me to go to Spain despite everything. To not stop living. And, more than anything, he wanted to see me get my degree.

To leave or not to leave. That was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I had never been so unsure about anything in my whole life. I remember getting onto the plane and wanting to run away, never mind, I can not do this. But, there was a whole line of people behind me. I was already on my way and could not turn back.

Of course, the program ended up not working out. Really, the program was not even close to what I expected. I tried to make it work out, tried to study directly in the university instead/tried to find another university to study in. I called and e-mailed so many people, but the fall term started throughout Spain. I could not enroll in classes now. Everything was telling me to go home.

And I did, without my degree and unsure what to do next.

Over the next couple of months, very condensed, I: helped out at home, picked up a job at a retail store, quit when my step-dad’s health was worsening, tried figuring out where I would go to college next and when, etc. And then, I decided to go back to Morris in the spring.

And actually, the decision was very sudden just like that. I woke up one morning and thought, I need to re-enroll for spring term at Morris. I need to stop trying to make the Twin Cities campus happen. And did all of that in a day, meaning re-enrolling, registering for classes, signing up for on-campus housing.

Did not know how everything would be paid for. Did not entirely know what I was doing, but I wanted to get my degree. I wanted to make my step-dad proud.

Financially, a tough semester. Emotionally, more difficult than anyone could ever imagine in a semester. I did not know until about a month into the semester on how to even begin to pay for my tuition bill. Thankfully, I finally received a positive response from the financial aid office.

A few weeks after that, on February 20, my step-dad passed away.

Long story, really really really short: this has been the most difficult semester of my entire life, but I finally did it. I am in my last week of undergrad, and my final exams are on Thursday and Friday. I think I can say “I am done” at this point.

I graduated.

Hope you are proud.

Reasons to Complete an Undergraduate Degree in Spain

I’ve previously posted about some undergraduate degrees that are offered in Spain in English. If you are interested in reading those posts, they are located here and here.

Studying in Spain is a good option for many individuals. If you are considering going abroad to complete a degree, then let me tell you a few reasons why studying in Spain could be right for you.

1. Affordability

We have all probably heard about how affordable college is many European countries.  Although studying in Spain is not free, the cost to attend university is no more than 2,000 euros a year, if you are attending a public institution. For private universities, the costs can vary, but even then, they can still be affordable options.

You do have to worry about the costs of other items while studying abroad, such as the overall cost of living, but it is still very affordable! Excluding the larger cities in Spain (like Barcelona and Madrid), rent would most likely be a lot cheaper than you are used to. It can also be very cost-effective to buy groceries in Spain, especially if you are buying more organic foods than pre-packaged foods.

Often times, it is more affordable to study and live in Spain, then simply paying your tuition at an American university.

Also, for Americans, while holding a student visa, you are able to work up to 20 hours a week while living in Spain. Getting a job could help cover any costs that may arise.

2. Options to Study in English

If you do not speak Spanish, you are not out of luck for being able to complete a degree in Spain. Even if you do speak Spanish, and want to complete the majority of your course in English, that is an option too.

There are some undergraduate offerings available to complete a degree in only English, or at least, primarily in English.

3. Learning Spanish

But remember, if you are not completing a degree that is taught in English, you will have the opportunity to learn Spanish (or even, the chance to learn Galician, Catalan, or Basque languages!)

By living in an environment where you are constantly exposed to another language, you will learn it rather quickly. This will allow you to become fluent, or very close to fluent, in another language by the time you complete your undergraduate degree.

4. Unique Experience

Studying in Spain would be an unique experience. You could not compare it to what you would receive from an American degree.

You will have the chance to make friends and networking connections from all over the world. You make a home away from home in a new country. You have a cool tidbit to add to your resume. How awesome would it be to explain to a potential employer that you completed your degree in Spain?

Plus, the experience causes you to be much more independent. You will have the opportunity to be living alone for the first time, but in a whole new country. This really forces you to be much more independent, because your family cannot quickly come over to help everything that goes wrong. It helps you learn to solve problems independently, which is a great trait to have!

5. Permanent Residency

After living in Spain on a student visa for 3 years (and doing the same course of study), you will have the opportunity to extend your student visa to being able to reside and work full-time in Spain.

If you see a future in Spain, then you should totally jump on the opportunity to complete an undergraduate degree in the county.

Hopefully, you are a bit more convinced to complete your degree in Spain. Can you think of any more reasons to obtain your undergraduate degree in Spain? I would love to hear some of your reasons in the comments section below.

7 Common Words and Phrases Used in Spain

When you are first arriving to your term abroad in Spain, you may become quickly overwhelmed. Everyone is speaking fast, you hear words you do not completely understand, and it is difficult to keep up with basic conversation.

Trust me, this feeling is normal. I remember being confused with my first conversation with my landlady, when she asked me if I had a “bolí.” She then tried “bolígrafo” and I still did not understand. Eventually, she described it as a “pencil with ink” and it finally made sense. Bolígrafo. I had only learned the word “pluma” in school.

At first, I thought I had no clue about Spanish, but that was not the case. I did know Spanish, a lot of it, in fact. Yet, I was learning words and phrases more commonly used in Mexico. First step when going to Spain, learn typical words and phrases of the country.

1. Vale: One common Spanish word I learned before heading abroad was, of course, vale. I was instructed by professors that I would hear this word a lot, and I did. Upon landing in Spain, it was one of the first words I heard. Well, understood.

Vale is an interjection, which most closely means “okay” or “all right.”

2. Me cae gordo: I heard this phrase a lot during my time in Spain, and the only word I could really pick out  was “gordo,” meaning fat in English. I thought, why is everyone calling people fat?

I soon found out, through this phrase and others, that it is troublesome translating directly.  “Me cae gordo” means that someone is bothering you or you do not like a particular person.

3. Chaval: this word was confusing to me at first because I heard it in a variety of instances.

You can use chaval to describe someone who is naive and does not have a lot of experience. To me, it seems like something a baby boomer would use to describe a milennal. Y’know, those darn chavales.

Also, it is also used as a way to say “dude” amongst younger people in Spain. Another way to say “dude” (which confused me profusely) follows.

4. Tío/tía: I heard teenagers talking on the street, and every other word, I heard a tío or tía. Why are they calling each other uncle and aunt? Surely, they must mean something different in this case.

While these words do meant uncle and aunt when used formally, they mean dude informally.

Like vale, this is a very important word to add to your vocabulary.

5. Ser la leche: you will hear a lot of phrases related to milk while you are in Spain. This one is the most common. While it literally means “to be the milk,” it has a much more complex meaning.

It can either mean one of two extremes, “that’s awesome” or “that’s disgusting.”

6. Mono: I wondered why everyone was throwing the word “monkey” in the middle of their sentences, and simply put, they were not. Mono means cute or adorable in Spain.

Qué mono, ¿no?

7. Guay: I knew every possible way of saying “cool” everywhere besides, y’know, Spain. Quickly, I discovered the words I was using to say cool, awesome, great, etc., that I had learned from my Spanish classes were no longer cool in Spain.

In Spain, you use guay.

I hope you enjoyed this quick, little list of common Spanish words and phrases. I keep thinking of more to add, but decided I will split it up into future posts.

Do you have any funny stories from hearing certain Spanish words and phrases for the first time? I would love to hear your experiences with Castilian Spanish (and so I do not feel like the only one who was completely clueless with it, haha.)

Hasta luego!

 

6 Words to Master the Murcian Accent

I was honestly convinced that I didn’t know any Spanish when I first arrived to Murcia for my semester. However, I was also living in Murcia, a region known for its interesting (to say the least) accent. As for how the Murcian accent is interpreted, take a look at this tweet below:

In addition to having a very difficult accent to understand, there are also a lot of words that are unique to Murcian Spanish. I am going to list a few words that I heard and learned about during my time in Murcia.

1. Acho: one word that I was told I would hear a lot of in Murcia before going abroad was this one. I honestly heard it at least once everyday.

I heard it so often walking down the streets to university, particularly paired with “tío/a” (dude).

What does acho even mean though? There really is no meaning, but I have interpreted the word as a way to call to someone’s attention.

Murcians are so associated with saying acho, that they took it upon themselves to make a “pataticas fritas” (also, a super Murcian way of saying potato chips) brand called Acho.

2. Bonico: in the Whatsapp group for my classes, I would all too often see this word surface in the chat. I had absolutely no idea what it meant for awhile, but knew that it had to have meant something positive. My classmates always used the word in response to something good happening or a picture of a cute dog.

I later came to out that this word means nice, friendly, or cute.

It actually turned out to be one of my favorite Murcian word and was one of few that I adopted into my everyday vocabulary. It seems to be used across other parts of Spain, as well. If you are interested words that are commonly used throughout Spain, check out my blog post on that here!

3. Pijo: this one is a bit confusing to explain, because there are so. many. different ways this word can be used. This word can be used for just about anything.

By itself, it can be used to emphasis something, show indifference, express quantity or speed.

When “pijo” is combined with other words, it can mean something totally different.

Confusing? I remember my mentor who had gone to Murcia the year before me, telling me about the words I heard. She had no idea how to explain this one. After hearing it for myself, I do not either.

It is just one of those words you just have to hear for yourself to understand, or at least, pretend like you do. This one is also used in other parts of Spain, but sometimes, has a way different meaning.

4. Chico: you are probably thinking, is this not already a word in Spanish? You are right. It typically means “boy,” but of course, Murcians tend to use this word a little bit differently. What else would you expect with good ol’ murciano?

Chico in this case means “pequeño,” or small. Once you think about it, saying chico to describe something small does make a lot of sense, which is unlike other Murcian words. I am looking at you, pijo.

5. Fuste: if something does not make much sense to you or is not all that funny, you use the word “fuste” to express this feeling.

Fuste is a noun, so you use it in instances such as: “¡Qué poco fuste tiene ese chiste!” At first I thought it was a tú verb in past-tense, but nope!

6. Chuminá: another way to express an annoyance, but more murciano. How else would is you would say something bothers you?

Of course, the above list is not exhaustive. There are so many “palabras murcianas,” I could not even begin to possibly list them all.

If you have ever been to Murcia, what are some of your favorite Murcian words? Or, if you have gone to other regions of Spain, what are some unique words of that region? I would love to hear your responses.

3 More Undergraduate Degrees in Spain Offered in English

If you are interested in finding out what I first recommended for 3 undergraduate degrees in English, check out the previous version of this post at 3 Undergraduate Degrees in Spain Offered in English.

If you are searching for an article like this, you probably already know the affordability of obtaining a college degree throughout Europe. Completing a degree in Europe, particularly in Spain, can leave you with less debt than you would obtain at an American university, or even debt-free. If you need, you may also be able to use federal financial aid, depending on the university you choose to study at.

Degree in Hotel & Tourism Studies, HTL International School of Hospitality, Tourism, and Languages, Barcelona

The following university is private, which typically  means the cost of attendance is a bit higher than completing your degree at a public university. I decided to include this degree on this list,  since you would be able to finish your degree in 3 years, rather than 4 years. Each year of study is 4,700 euro, so the degree will only set you back less than 15,000 euro, which could be just a semester or year of study in an American university.
This degree, as well as all the degrees offered at this university, are unique because they are strictly offered in English. You will have the opportunity to learn Spanish, through the courses offered by the university or during your internship period.
If you want to learn more about this degree, here is a link to it here.

Degree in Transportation Design, IED (Escuela Superior de Disseny), Barcelona

Another private university in Barcelona, but the degree, Transportation Design, is unique.  Even in American universities a degree in transportation design is not commonplace, so if you are interested in studying this, why not study in Barcelona? I would also argue that it’s one of the best places to study this degree, as you are surrounded by one of the best public transportation networks in the world

You have the opportunity to take the degree in either English or Spanish, and you will complete it in 4 years. For more information on how the 4-year course is laid out, read more here.

Since this university is a private university, tuition fees will be higher. Also given that it is a design school, materials fees will probably raise the cost. However, IED has many scholarships available that will help offset the extra fees associated with a private university.

Double Degree in Law and Political Sciences Administration, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia

Unfortunately, this degree is not completely in English, though there are plenty of course offerings in English. This would be a great degree option if you are interested in political science, and you also want the opportunity to learn more Spanish.

Since this is a double degree, the amount of time it takes to complete is five years. There is also a higher course load each semester to allow for the degree to be completed in this amount of time. If you find the double degree too difficult to manage, at any time you can choose to drop it to a single degree.

The university is public, which allows for cheaper tuition fees. The city of Valencia is also pretty affordable to live in, all while being connected by an excellent public transportation system. If you find yourself wanting to study law and/or political science administration, then Universidad de Valencia is the place for you to be. For more information, read the curriculum page.

Let me know if you have enjoyed this addition of Spanish undergraduate degrees offered in English. If you would like to know more about offerings in English for any particular degree, let me know in the comments below.

 

5 Must-Visit World Heritage Cities in Spain

As someone who studies art history and Spanish, Spain has always been a place of interest for me in terms of cultural heritage. The country is filled with magnificent cities that hold so much cultural history. The art and architecture of Spain, as a result, is a delightful mix of the major cultures that were once active in Spain’s history. The following list will highlight five Spanish cities that are considered “World Heritage Cities.” They may not been at the top of your “must-visit” list before going abroad, but I certainly hope this adds a few places to your list.

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Photo credit: WikiImages, The Roman Aquaduct of Segovia

Segovia

Segovia, a city located northwest of Madrid is known for the Roman aqueduct that runs through the heart of the city, shown in the photo above.  In addition to this, centuries of history relating to Segovia’s blend of cultures resulted in the beautiful architecture and monuments which are found in this city.

Must see places:

Alcázar of Segovia – a Moorish castle that overlooks the Spanish plains below.

Aqueduct of Segovia – one of the most well-perserved Roman aqueducts alongside the Pont du Gard in France.

Image result for toledo spainPhoto credit: WikiImages, Overlooking the Cityscape of Toledo

Toledo

Toledo is a magnificent city set upon a hill above the plains of central Spain. This walled medieval city is known as the “city of three cultures,” as there are many Moorish, Jewish, and Christian monuments found within the city’s walls. There is definitely a strong cultural history in Toledo. If you’re interested in studying abroad in Toledo and are a University of Minnesota student, definitely check out my post on the Learning Abroad Center’s program in Toledo here.

Must see places:

Cristo de la Luz
– a former mosque later transformed into a Romanesque style Christian church.

Synagogue of El Transito – a well-preserved, fourteenth-century Jewish synagogue.

El Greco Museum – an art museum dedicated to the Spanish painter El Greco who spent the majority of his life in Toledo.

Image result for santiago de compostela

Photo credit: Spain.info, View of Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compestela is a city situated in far northwestern Spain; it is known for being the final stop of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. This is a very well preserved historical city, filled with an interesting religious and cultural history.  If you want to learn more about this city’s fascinating history, definitely check it out. Santiago de Compostela is filled to the brim with museums, most relating to the city’s art and religious history.

Must see places:

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela – this is a grand cathedral from the 11th-century and is marked as a World Hertiage site.

Praza do Obradoiro – the main plaza in Santiago de Compostela’s old town.

Museum of Pilgrimage and Santiago – a museum dedicated to sharing the history of Santiago de Compostela and its purpose in the pilgrimage route of Camino de Santiago.
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Photo credit: WikiImages, Aerial view of the city of Jaén 

Jaén

Most people have not heard of Jaén, but it is a great Spanish city. The city is located in southern Spain; if you enjoy other cities from the Andalusia region, it will be perfect place to visit. Jaén is mixed with Moorish and Christian cultural history, which you will be able to see from the architecture throughout. In addition to all of this cultural history, Jaén is the world capital for olive oil.

Must see places:

Villardompardo Palace – a palace built in the 16th-century that was later discovered to have concealed 11th-century Arab baths.

Alcázar of Jaén – a Moorish castle standing upon a mountain-top that overlooks the city.

Image resultPhoto credit: WikiImages, Lovely View of Salamanca City

Salamanca

Salamanca is located in northwestern Spain and is known as the “golden city” of the country. The foundation of this city dates back to the Celtic era. Salamanca is known for its rich cultural history, as well as being the location of the country’s first university, the University of Salamanca. The city is loaded with wonderful architecture from several style periods. If you love architecture and its history, this is definitely an awe-inspiring place to be.

Must see places:

Escuelas Menores – a beautiful cloister near to the historic University of Salamanca, where the Cielo of Salamanca is also nearby – a painted ceiling of the night sky constellations from the Middle Ages.

New and Old Cathedrals of Salamanca – unlike most Spanish cities, Salamanca has two cathedrals and both are incredible places in terms of style.

 

[This post has been adapted from the information provided Spain.info’s list of destinations of historical World Heritage cities in Spain. For more ideas places to visit while in Spain, check out Spain.info’s website and Facebook page.]

Art Museums to Visit in Spain

Spain is full of culture heritage, throughout the whole of the country. You will never be bored while living and studying in Spain, as there is a historical monument to admire or a museum to wander through, always within walking distance.

The following list will include the most obvious and commonly visited Spanish museums, but also, the ones you might not think of straight away.

1. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain
This is one of the most famous Spanish art museums, since it specifically is the main Spanish national art museum and located in the capital city of Madrid. El Prado contains one of the greatest and finest collections of European art in the world; the museum itself has art dating from 12th to the 20th centuries and holds several masterpieces. The best-known work on display is Diego Velazquez’s Las Meninas, though there are also many other paintings from master artists such as Francisco de Goya, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and more.

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Interior of Museo Nacional del Prado

2. Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
The Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao houses a comprehensive collection of art from 12th century to the present. There are not only paintings from masters from in Spain and throughout Europe, but the museum also contains art originating from the Basque Country, as well. The museum’s extensive collection contains over 10,000 works, such as 1,500 paintings, 400 sculptures, and more than 6,500 works on paper. These works are spread over 33 rooms, ordered chronologically.

3. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
This incredible museum is in the magnificent Palau (yes, palace!) Nacional of Montjuïc, which was originally made for the International Exhibition of 1929. In addition to this, the museum contains several masterpieces from the 11th to 20th centuries. Their most important and prize collection in the museum is their collection of art from the Romanesque period, most noted by the the series of mural paintings it includes.

I stopped by this museum when I was in Barcelona. During the first Sunday of the month, the entry was free. If you are in Barcelona during this time, take advantage of the free entry to MNAC. The museum is quite expansive, and you will probably not be able to get through everything in a single day, but it is worth entering free.

4. Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, Cuenca, Spain
This museum of modern art is located in the city of Cuenca. Although the collection here is much smaller than the previously mentioned museums, its primary focus is on Spanish abstract art from the 1950s to the 1960s and provides a decently-sized collection of  around 1,500 paintings and sculpture.

800px-Museo_de_Arte_Abstracto_CuencaInterior of the Spanish Abstract Art Museum in Cuenca

5. Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain
Finally, the Museum of Fine Arts in Sevilla contains a collection ranging from the Medieval period to the early 20th-century. One of the largest series in their collection is from works from the Golden Age of Sevillian painting in the 17th century, or the Baroque period, which includes works from artists such as Murillo, Francisco de Herrera and Zurbarán. Even though the museum primarily focuses on that of Baroque art, it has been adding a greater variety of art to the collection since the 20th-century.

Where on this list are you most interested visiting? Or, if you have a favorite museum that is not on this list, what is it? I would like to hear what you think.

Advantages to Studying Abroad in the Summer

Summer programs are excellent ways to study abroad in a country for a short period of time, though still becoming well-immersed in the language of the country or cultural studies.

Study abroad for a semester or an academic year may not be possible for everyone, depending on a number of factors. One factor could be your major, where there may certain courses you have to take at your home university that only offered during the academic year. If that is the case for you, then a study away program during the summer may be the best option for you.

Summer programs are offered in 3 to 4-week sections, and they often bear 3 semester credits per section. So, if you were to do 3 sections, you would be able to bring back 9 credits to your home university.

Course offerings for summer programs in Spain will be intensive language courses or general courses on Spanish culture, going across humanities and social sciences divisions. If you have a few general education courses left to take, especially that pesky second-language requirement, then studying abroad in the summer may be beneficial.

Summer programs can also be excellent for Spanish majors or minors. Summer-term programs are an great way to get you acclimated living abroad and to prepare you for a semester or year abroad in the future. They are also a good way to improve your Spanish quickly, in a more intensive environment then you would receive at your home university.

Semester and year-long programs are higher in cost because longer-term programs tend to offer more college credit. The more credits, the more costly the program will become. Summer-term programs are great for not spending a lot of money, while also being able to go abroad and gain new knowledge in Spanish language and culture you would not otherwise get. If financial reasons are preventing you from going abroad for a semester or year, I would consider a few sections during the summer.

I hope this guide helped you gain some interest in summer program options. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

For those who are considering a summer program or those who have gone abroad during the summer before, what encouraged you to do this sort of program? Did you enjoy studying abroad in the summer months?

Finding the Perfect Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most, so finding the perfect type of program is essential. There are a variety of exchange types, and I hope this guide will help you discover which one would be perfect for you.

Direct Exchange

If you are looking to do a direct exchange programs, ISEP offers the most options for undergraduate students, whether in Spain or across the world. A direct exchange program allows you to study directly in a university abroad. Often, they require you to already have studied the official language of the country for at least 5 semesters at university-level. It is recommended that you have at least with a B1 (intermediate) level of Spanish if you are wanting to do an exchange in Spain.

Direct exchange in Spain is especially great for students who are majoring or minoring in Spanish Language and Literature, and they are looking to put a capstone on their studies. It is a great way to become more comfortable speaking the language. This can be quite an intensive type of study abroad program, and it requires a lot of focus and studying. If you are looking for the challenge though, there are more than enough benefits doing direct exchange.

This option is also great for those who have their degree offered in English in a Spanish university. I have seen universities with degrees such as engineering or business administration instructed in English. This can be a great way to study abroad in Spain, even if you are not studying Spanish in university.

By doing direct study, you will have to become accustomed to the Spanish university system.

 

Learning Center Programs

You can find “learning center” programs are offered by ISA and CIEE. I would say that these programs are great for everyone. They have learning center program options for those at all Spanish language levels, as well as those who are not studying Spanish at all.

Learning center programs are not directly study in a Spanish university, even though the center may be supported by a Spanish university. They are specifically catered to international students.

Courses in Spanish

In learning center programs, courses are offered in either Spanish or English. If you are a Spanish major or minor, learning center programs are wonderful, as they provide intensive language and culture courses in Spanish. This is great for students who are looking to take Spanish courses for major or minor credits, but are not quite ready to leap in direct university studies.

The level of Spanish needed for courses can vary. Students will typically take a Spanish level test to determine which courses they would be most successful in prior to arrival.

Learning center programs, in general, are great because the courses are structured like American university courses, where you have several assignments throughout the course and two or more exams that make up the final grade.

Courses in English

There are also learning center programs where all the courses are offered in English. If you are looking to study abroad in Spain, but are not studying Spanish, then these courses can be the most beneficial. This could be a great way to complete outstanding general education requirements, but being able to complete these courses outside of your home university.

If you have a major or minor in addition to Spanish, such as history, art history, political science, economics, then courses in English at a learning center can be beneficial. It allows you to combine both of your areas of study together, by being able to take a class regarding the history of Spanish or Spanish business.

 

If you are interested in studying abroad, which type of program would you most like to go abroad on and why? For students who have been abroad before, what kind of program did you do your studies with, and what did you like or dislike about it? I would love to hear your responses in the comments section below.