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IEX J-Term 2019: Placing Valencia: Language, Community, and the Eastern Spanish Coast
Barcelona, Spain; Madrid, Spain; Toledo, Spain; Valencia, Spain (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: January Interim
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This program is currently not accepting applications.
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Fact Sheet:
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Program Provider:
Gustavus Adolphus College
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Program Term(s):
January Interim
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Minimum Class Standing:
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Program Description:
Program Description:
Ciudad de las artes Valencia
Improve your Spanish and engage with Spaniards through service learning, while exploring the Spanish coastal city of Valencia, as well as excursions to Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo.


In this course you will improve your communication skills in Spanish while being immersed in the city of Valencia, which is located in the eastern Mediterranean coast of Spain. Spend January immersed in the culture of this exciting Spanish city. You will also have the opportunity to engage with local community organizations, including work at the Homeless Daycare Center,  elderly assistance, visit to homeless people, and study support for children at risk of social exclusion, and reforestation projects.
You will also have the opportunity to bond with both fellow classmates and locals through a wide array of settings for social exchange and reflection: we will meet regularly to address connections between your classes and your observations both in your service site and in the way you experience Valencia's city life; we will also participate in local conversation exchanges with Valencians at a local restaurant, where you will put your Spanish in practice in an informal setting, while helping members of the Valencia community to improve their English.

You will complement your perspectives on Spain by drawing similarities and comparisons between Valencia and other Spanish cities: Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo. We will have weekend excursions where you will be guided through some of the main cultural sites of these cities. You will explore the Jewish quarters, the Sagrada Familia basilica, the architectural impact of Gaudi and Mont Juic in Barcelona. In Madrid's downtown, we will visit El Prado Museum, the Palace of the Courts, and Puerta del Sol, along with other culturally relevant locations. In Toledo you will have the opportunity to visit the city known as the city of the three cultures, due to the presence of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian medieval sites.

Finally, you will also engage with Valencia's culture and entertainment life, joining a paella-making class, visiting popular sites like Peníscola and Xativá, and exploring the City of Arts and Sciences located in the Turia River Park.

  • Spanish immersion through the language and culture of Valencia and in connection with other cities: Madrid, Barcelona, and Toledo
  • Community-Based Learning by participating in a local service site (assisting the elderly, the homeless, or children at risk of social exclusion or a reforestation project)
  • Weekly guided trips to Madrid, Toledo, and Barcelona and excursions to the Xativá historic site and the beaches of Peñíscola and El Saler
  • Paella cooking course and visits to the City of Arts and Sciences
  • Home stays with host families in Valencia
  • Weekly conversation exchanges in a local Valencian restaurant/bar
  • Tapas dinner and flamenco show
Madrid plaza mayor
  • Valencia: City of Arts and Sciences, paella, El Saler, Xàtiva, Peñíscola, Valencia History Museum, Spanish orxata
  • Toledo: The City of the Three Cultures, medieval city, walled city
  • Madrid: Museo el Prado, Calle Gran Vía, Parque El Retiro
  • Barcelona: Sagrada Familia basilica, Parc Güell and other Antonio Gaudí sites, Mont Juic, La Rambla, Jewish Quarters. Visit to Picasso Museum in Figueres
Carlos MejiaFaculty Leader
Carlos Mario Mejía Suárez teaches Spanish courses at all levels in the department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, but he also collaborates with courses for interdisciplinary programs like Latinx, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies, GWSS, and Peace Studies. He also participates in the Three Crowns Curriculum. Orginally from Colombia, Carlos Mejía has lead study abroad trips to Guatemala and Valencia in the past, incorporating Community-Based Learning.

Academic Calendar
Approximate dates for 2019 are as follows:
Two to three pre-departure meetings: TBA during fall semester 2018.  If you’re studying away during this semester, contact Carlos Mejía for arrangements.
On-site program: January 7 to February 4, 2019

Students will stay with host families in Valencia and in hotels or hostels during the weekend excursions.

Ciudad de las artes Valencia2
Program Costs
The program fee of $4,350 will cover all lodging, meals, local transportation, and entrance fees in Spain. Students will be responsible for their own airfare to Spain to meet the group, but they may consult with CICE for guidance in purchasing their air tickets..

In addition to meeting the general study away requirements for Gustavus, students should have completed up to Spanish 102 or have an equivalent language level. 

Application Deadline
Students must complete the online application by April 30, 2018. 

Entry visas
Currently, U.S citizens do not need an entry visa for Spain for stays of 90 days or less. All students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact Bryan Messerly to check in about possible additional visa needs. All program participants must have a passport that is valid through at least July 31, 2019, by the start of Fall 2018 semester.

The information in this online brochure is subject to change. Please contact CICE with questions.

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This program is currently not accepting applications.