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IEX J-Term 2020: 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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Program Partner:
Gustavus Adolphus College
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Program Term(s):
January Interim
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Minimum GPA:
Program Description:
Program Description:
1Improve 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.

  • 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

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.

  • 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

Academic Calendar
Expected dates
On-campus orientation: TBD Fall 2019
Study away arrival date: Jan 6, 2020
Study away departure date: Feb 1, 2020

Faculty Leader(s)
MyraMayra Taylor, Instructor in Spanish and LALACS
Mayra Taylor is an instructor of Spanish in the Modern Language Department. She has traveled extensively in Latin America and Spain. As a former high school teacher, she accompanied students traveling abroad and has led J-Term classes to Costa Rica several times since 2010.

Anticipated accommodations will include home stays with local families, except for the excursions to Madrid and Toledo, and Barcelona.

Program Costs
The program fee of $4,200 will cover all lodging, meals, local transportation, entrance fees, activities, excursions, and accident and sickness supplemental insurance 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.

All Gustavus Adolphus College students who meet the general study away requirements are welcome to apply. 

Application Deadline
Students must complete the online application by May 1, 2019. 

Entry visas and passports
US citizens may enter Spain for up to 90 days without a visa. All students who are not U.S. citizens should 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, 2020, by the start of Fall 2019 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.