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, World Literature and Creative Writing for a total of 15 credits. With enrollment of 25 students or more, Math in Society and Art History 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

Creative Writing- The 10 Week Travelougue (5 credits)

This course will allow you to record and process you experiences abroad as a creative practitioner. You will be exposed to views of Spain by writers as wide-ranging as Miguel de Cervantes, Ramón del Valle-Inclán, Federico García Lorca, and Elena Quiroga. As you do so, you will also set into words you own reflections, both poetic and fictional.

World Literature- Fantastic Spain (5 credits)

This course focuses on genres that are characterized by bold departures from “traditional” forms in order to achieve particular artistic goals. One need look no further than the first Spanish novel, Don Quixote, to find an example of literature that uses fantasy to reflect and comment on social realities. In addition to excerpts from this text, you will also be reading several other Spanish science fiction and fantasy writers in translation (Elia Barceló, Félix J. Palma, Rafael Marín, and others) to examine how these artists use their respective imaginations to reflect Spanish society.

Additional courses offered with 25+ students enrolled:

Art Appreciation (5 credits)

What better place to appreciate art than in Barcelona, a vibrant city full of fantastic architecture and memorable museums. In this inspirational environment, we will cultivate the language, concepts, and principles of visual art. We will analyze works of art, identifying subject matter, themes, composition, and media. We will examine the links between the shaping of cultures and artistic development.

We will explore art from various cultures historically residing in the Iberian Peninsula as well as cultures historically controlled by Spain. Group research and presentations will allow for further discussion of historical importance of the style, form, and content. We will focus special attention on work from Spanish and Catalan artists such as Goya, Velazquez, Gaudi, Picasso, Dali, and Miro. We will learn more about contemporary artists through exploration in Barcelona.

Math in Society – Visionaries and Heretics: Math in Western Culture (5 credits)

The word “math” came from ancient Greek, and meant “learned knowledge”. Mathematicians were the philosophers of their age, and they used the subjects of number, geometry, music, and astronomy to understand their world and the cosmos.

We will look at the impact of multi-cultural centers of Cordoba, Toledo, and Zaragoza in preserving this ancient knowledge. Through research projects, we will learn about mathematicians from the last millennium who added to this knowledge. We will discover mathematicians with breadth of interests and personal idiosyncrasies to rival any “Renaissance Man (or Woman)” of the art world. We will practice the skills that they developed (yes, we will do math) and learn about the cultural context in which the ideas formed.

Throughout this course, we will visualize the beauty of math and communicate in the language of math. We will explore the geometry of Euclid, the mosaics of Islamic tradition and mathematical curves in Gaudi’s architecture. This is a “hands-on” class. Be prepared to cut up pieces of paper and put them together in new, exciting and meaningful ways.

Contact Us

photo of Cindy Card
Cindy Card

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

photo of Megan Swanson
Megan Swanson
Location: IVD 116
Phone: 253-833-9111 ext. 4892

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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