Courses in Barcelona, Spain

Academic Program

This is a study program. Students must carry a 15-credit load and are expected to fully participate in all class activities. Students will take Spanish Language, Literature and English Composition for a total of 15 credits. With enrollment of 25 students or more, Intro to Comparative Politics and Intro to Gender Studies will also be available to choose from. See detailed descriptions below.

Course Descriptions

Spanish Language - All Green River levels (5 credits)

The language professors at the Barelona School for International Studies (SIS) are specialized in teaching Spanish as a foreign language, accredited through Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida. SIS is located inside of a prestigious language school called International House (IH). IH is a top leader in Spanish language acquisition, not only in Barcelona but internationally.

SIS combines different methods of communicative language teaching to reach every type of student. The main aim is to teach the students all the skills and concepts needed to feel comfortable in a Spanish-speaking atmosphere where different cultures of both sides of the Atlantic come together.

SIS gears its Spanish Language and Culture classes towards developing the linguistic skills but also attitudes, knowledge, and awareness needed to:

  • Communicate in an intercultural context
  • Interact with other people in any situation
  • Increase confidence in order to encourage more direct contact with native speakers, leading to a better understanding of the culture

Introduction to Literature: Barcelona in Literature (5 credits)

Students will explore a selection of poetry, short fiction, novels and drama that represent Barcelona in its pages. We will read both Catalan literature and works by Spanish and international writers set in Barcelona from the 17th century to the present day while learning about literary genre. Studying the literature of Barcelona in its setting will deeply enrich students' understanding that the Barcelona of literature is an imagined one, allowing them to explore how literature transforms the city into art. The class will also grapple with a question raised in much of the literature about Barcelona: What darkness lurks beneath the image of Barcelona as a romantic, artistic and cosmopolitan city?

English Composition: The Self in Barcelona (5 credits)

Personal narrative is a powerful tool for inquiry, understanding, and communication. This way of thinking and writing guides students to delve into their inner lives and their own stories in order to discover the meaning of their own experience; question their own ideas and beliefs as well as those of society; and connect personal experience and insight to the wider world. To this end, students will write stories about their Barcelona experiences and use them as a jumping off point for analysis, reflection, and research, which may lead them to new perspectives on the essential questions, "Who am I?" "Where am I going?" and "Why does it matter?"

Emphasis on specific writing and analytical techniques, assignments, some readings, and research requirements would differ from course to course. English 101 and 102 fulfill the general education core Communication requirement for the AA and AS degree; English 276 satisfies a Humanities distribution requirement for the AA and AS degree.

Additional courses offered with 25+ students enrolled:

Introduction to Comparative Politics (5 credits)

All European states, including Spain, and most states (countries) in the world are governed by parliaments and prime ministers. Spain is also a constitutional monarchy.  How do these systems compare with the presidential systems of the United States, Latin America, and elsewhere? We will undertake these and many other questions as we compare and analyze the politics and workings of political systems around the world.  We will place a special emphasis on Spain and the European Union. Social services are much more extensive in Europe (e.g., free or cheap health care) and college costs a lot less. Spain, however, is one of the states hit hardest by the 2008 Recession and austerity measures have made for some hard adjustments. Let's learn about this!  Additionally, we will focus on human rights issues in Europe and elsewhere. Lastly, students will also learn the basic methodologies for carrying out comparative politics research.

Introduction to Gender Studies (5 credits)

This class provides an introduction to the historical constructions - socially, politically, culturally, biologically, and legally - of gender (masculinity and femininity), sexuality and the body, and relations between the sexes. It also examines gender as informed by race, class, ethnicity, culture, religion, age, and nationality. Students will compare and contrast Spanish and European policies (i.e., same-sex marriage, paid child care), culture, and attitudes about sex and gender with those found in the United States, Latin America and the Philippines (former Spanish colonies), and elsewhere. We will draw on a wide variety of fields including political science, sociology, psychology, biology, medicine, history, anthropology, criminal justice, economics, and others. We will watch and analyze movies on a near weekly basis, including one or more by the Spanish director, Pedro Almodóvar. There is no essay in this class, but students will write analyses of assigned readings which will inform class discussions.

Contact Us

photo of Cindy Card
Cindy Card

Program Coordinator
Phone: 253-833-9111, ext. 2160
Fax: 253-288-3419

photo of Bjorn Myhre
Bjorn Myhre

Location: IVD 127
Phone: 253-740-5456

Detailed brochures and applications are available for each program. Information meetings are arranged as needed. Group orientation sessions are scheduled prior to departure.


McIntyre International Village D (IVD) 115


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