Spain: Contemporary and Historic Cultural Diversity

Make Your Summer Matter

Spain: Contemporary and Historic Cultural Diversity

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Trace the historical and cultural influences of Spain’s different religious and ethnic communities while traveling from Madrid to Spain’s southern coast, then to Basque country in the north and ultimately to Catalonia. Learn about the coexistence of Christians, Jews, and Muslims from historical perspectives, and discuss the conditions necessary to fostering a tolerant, multicultural society in Spain today. Consider key issues presently being debated across Spain, such as those related to immigration, environmental conservation, community development, peace, and human rights.

Your high school summer abroad in Spain commences with an immersive orientation in Madrid and Toledo. Visit famous sites and museums throughout the capital, including the Prado museum and the Bourbon district. Explore Madrid’s diverse neighborhoods, meet with Spanish youth at a Jewish community center, and study Spanish language and practice it with locals. Alongside a group of Spanish youth, visit famous sites and museums throughout Toledo, including the Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo. Become better acquainted with the historical and cultural influences important in laying the groundwork for multiculturalism and tolerance in Spain.

Following orientation, live with a host family in a small community along Spain’s southern coast. Visit Arab baths and Roman ruins. Relax on the beach with members of your host family or Experiment group. Following the homestay, you travel to Basque country for a week of regional exploration in the north; activities include community service in the mornings and cultural exchanges with local teenagers in the afternoons. Your journey through multicultural Spain concludes with a stay in the heart of Catalonia. Visit famous sites and museums throughout Barcelona, including the Olympic Harbor and the Picasso Museum. See the architecture of Gaudí and sample tapas on La Rambla, as your knowledge of and experience with Spain’s diverse communities and cultures further deepens.

Orientation: Madrid and Toledo, 3 days
Homestay: Arcos de la Frontera, 11 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels

Subjects

  • Culture
  • Spanish

Related Programs

Spain: Language and Cultural Traditions

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Rapidly improve your Spanish through a month of immersive language study and historical and contemporary exploration through Spain. Begin your month of language immersion in Spain’s capital — Madrid — as you spend time at the city’s famous sites and museums, explore its neighborhoods, and sample Spanish cuisine. Then, travel to southern Spain, to the province of Andalucía, where you will engage in intensive Spanish language training.

This high school summer abroad program has two separate language groups. One group has Spanish training in the historic city of Granada, where, for four hours each day, the group attends small-group, interactive language classes divided by language level at the Centro de Lenguas y Educación Intercultural. Learn inside and outside the classroom through music, film, city scavenger hunts, and field trips. After class, take advantage of opportunities to meet up with Spanish students learning English and join them for sporting or cultural events. The program’s other group has language classes and immersive arts training in Guadix. This group participates in workshops focused on flamenco, ceramics, theatrical performance, and other arts, in addition to the language training. In Guadix, there are opportunities to learn about Romani culture and Gitano identity and to perform flamenco and traditional village dances with local community members.

Both groups explore Granada’s sites — including the Alhambra, city gardens, and local museums — to better understand the city’s historical layers and contemporary culture. All students also have a homestay in an Andalusian town. Enjoy family meals and visit local markets, beaches, and cafés as you continue to enhance your Spanish through constant conversation with host family members. The program incorporates some outdoor activities such as camping, trekking, and excursions to the beach. Students return to Madrid for final reflection and language practice before departing for home.

Language Certificate: At the conclusion of this program, each participant will earn a language certificate noting how many hours of language classes s/he completed.

Orientation: Madrid, 3 days
Homestay: Guadix, Priego, or Motril, 10–12 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels, student residence, camping lodge

Experiment In International Living

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Nicaragua and Cuba: Arts and Social Change

Please visit our website for more information. Delve into the creative arts in Nicaragua and Cuba and examine how people in both countries have used the arts to promote social transformations. In Nicaragua, where this immersive high school summer abroad program is based, experience daily life and culture from several different perspectives. Live with a host family in the working-class Máximo Jérez neighborhood of Managua, where supporters of the Sandinista Revolution lived during the 1980s. Witness how Nicaraguans today are using the arts for economic sustainability and to express their aspirations for the future. Participate in workshops and visit artists’ studios and communities as you learn about art, poetry, and music as mediums for social change. Stay in the coffee-producing rural community of San Ramón, in the mountains outside of Matagalpa. While there, experience a second homestay, with a campesino family, and witness the campo-city differences in Nicaragua. Visit a coffee cooperative, and hike through the lush vegetation of this cloud-covered area. Create “socio-dramas” with members of a community organization, make jewelry with seeds, take a poetry workshop, and learn how to prepare multiple dishes incorporating exotic fruits from Nicaragua. Your journey continues as you travel with your group to Cuba. Learn about Cuba’s significance in Latin American history and the multiple connections between Cuba and Nicaragua. Spend a comparative week in the city of Havana exploring the arts in a different social and cultural context. Visit associations of young artists and African-Cuban community-based arts centers. Participate in a community workshop transformation project (Talleres de Transformación), and dialog with Cubans about their aspirations. Learn about Ernest Hemingway’s life in Cuba at his home in Cojímar and visit other historical sites in Old Havana. Orientation: Managua, 3 days Homestay: Managua, 10 days; San Ramon, Matagalpa,* 7 days Other Accommodations: Hotels

Experiment In International Living

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