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Art, Culture and History in Madrid


Madrid, Spain

Program Description

We are offering a choice of three courses during the Madrid program. Students will take two of the three for six credits. The three courses we are offering in the program have been carefully designed to complement each other and will take advantage of all the historical and cultural opportunities that the city has to offer. HIST 341 "Modern Social Movements and Events in Spain as a Global Lens (Selected themes in World History)” and SPAN 407 "Aspects of Spanish Civilization: Movimientos sociales modernos y acontecimientos históricos en España y su relación con el munro” will explore the history of Madrid and Spain during the twentieth century. Students will learn about the transition to the Second Republic and the rise of the anarchist and fascist movements, the Spanish Civil War, the Return to Democracy and transformation of Spanish society during the last decades of the twentieth century. We will also learn about current popular movements in Spain. Students will chose one of these two courses. 

All students will also take SPAN 446 Special Topics in Spanish Literature. This course focuses on the same time period, from the 1930’s to the present, includes a selection of literary works by key Spanish authors of the 20th and 21st centuries in which the city of Madrid plays a central role. As part of both courses, we will visit important sites in and around Madrid that are relevant to the time period and the literary works we will be studying. By using the city and its surroundings as a classroom, our goal is to enrich the students’ experience and to provide a hands-on understanding of the city of Madrid and of modern Spanish history and culture.

Location Description

Spain is one the most vibrant and culturally rich countries of Europe. In this study abroad program, students will have the opportunity to experience Spanish cultural life, its art and history by living and studying in one of the most exciting cities of the world: Madrid. The Prado Museum with its world-class art collection, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation, the Reina Sofia, the Palacio Real and other cultural venues will be the backdrop against which students will have access to an unforgettable educational experience. The history of the “villa” of Madrid reflects every passage of the history of Spain, from its pre-historic beginnings to the conquest by the Islamic armies to the declaration of Madrid as capital of Spain.

While students will reflect on the development of the city, the program will focus on Spanish literature, cultural life and history of the turbulent and exciting twentieth century. Teaching will include classroom time in Madrid as well as visits to museums, theaters, important neighborhoods and longer excursions. As part of the course assignments for this fascinating program, each professor has designed excursions and visits to sites of interest related to their courses. As a result, the student will experience the city and countryside as a living classroom that will enrich their understandings of the academic content of the course. The program also includes several excursions including day trips to Segovia and El Escorial, and Alcala de Henares, an overnight trip to the cities of Toledo and Consuegra in the region of La Mancha, as well as a four day visit to Andalucía including the cities of Granada, Sevilla, and Córdoba.


William Van Norman | | History


Students will be housed with families (2 students per house). All meals will be provided. Laundry once a week is provided. 

Additional Items to Consider

Students will be housed with families, all meals will be provided, laundry once a week is provided. Spain as part of the European Union does not require visas or immunizations for stays of less than 90 days. OIP does require a background check of students which they perform. Cell phones or sim cards are provided upon arrival.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 3.0

Prerequisite: SPAN 300 and SPAN 330 for SPAN 446, SPAN 447 and SPAN 434 and SPAN 439

Application Process

For this program, students need to complete the online application (a $25 fee required), which includes:

  • Short essay
  • Recommendation
  • Official transcript required for first-semester transfer and non-JMU students.

Online Application Coming Soon

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


SPAN 446: Special Topics in Spanish Literature (3 credits) *required course

HIST 341: Selected Themes on World History: Modern Social Movements and Events in Spain as a Global Lens (3 credits)

SPAN 407: Aspects of Spanish Civilization: Movimientos sociales modernos y acontecimientos históricos en España y su relación con el munro