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  • Locations: San Sebastián, Spain
  • Program Terms: Spring Quarter
  • Budget Sheets: Spring Quarter
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Quarter 2019 11/15/2018 11/29/2018 03/31/2019 06/08/2019
Program Information:

sociology italysociology italy
Location San Sebastian, Spain
Academic Term Spring 2019
March 31– June 8, 2019
Estimated Program Fee $7,250
Credits 15 UW credits
Prerequisites None
Program Directors Maria Pozueta; TBD
Program Manager Darielle Horsey |
Priority Application Deadline November 15, 2018
Information Sessions TBD. Contact Program Director for more information.
General We will travel to the city of San Sebastián in the Basque country of northern Spain to study the culture, politics, and history of the Basques.
Visas This country is part of the Schengen area. Note that there are strict rules and restrictions for foreign visitors to this area that may impact a student's ability to travel within the region before or after their program, or to attend two subsequent programs in this area. It is critical that the student reviews the information and scenarios here to learn more about Schengen area visa requirements.

Program Description

The Basque culture of Spain and France is one of the most ancient in Europe, having maintained its separate identity since before Roman times. Even though Spanish is widely spoken in the Basque country, the Basques have their own language, unrelated to Spanish, and the death of the dictator Franco in 1975 and the ensuing re-integration of Spain into modern Europe sparked movements of cultural and linguistic renewal in the Basque country—including a separatist movement that would like the Basques to have their own independent country. In San Sebastián we will be situated at the center of all this ferment.

We will also use San Sebastián as a base for excursions around the Basque country: to Guernica, subject of the famous painting by Picasso commemorating the city’s destruction by Nazi aerial bombardment; to the French Basque country, half an hour from San Sebastián by bus; to the historic towns of Pamplona and Estella in Navarre, with their history of independence that dates back to the Middle Ages; to Bilbao, historically the center of shipbuilding, banking, and industry, and today home of the world famous Bilbao Guggenheim museum; and several typical Basque towns, where the Basque language remains dominant.

The program emphasizes learning Spanish for everyday communication of the kind students need for their stay in Spain. Spanish classes will take place at the University of Deusto; the classes will be given in small groups, and divided into beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes, according to the students’ level. Even though the Basque country has its own language, Spanish is commonly used and it is an excellent to practice Spanish.



San Sebastian, Spain


San Sebastián, Bilbao and the French Basque Country


In San Sebastián, the students will stay in a university dormitory called Olarain. Each student has an individual room with a TV set, telephone, and a private bathroom. The program fee includes breakfast and dinner.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

The program is open to undergraduate or graduate students who have a lively interest in the problem of globalization and its impact on local identities, in particular. We are looking for flexible, open-minded students who are interested in ethnic minorities, and who want to learn or improve their Spanish. It is particularly suited to students from CHID, Western European Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Comparative Literature, and Spanish.
There are no prerequisites or language requirements.
The site and cultural visits make no special physical demands on students.


15 UW credits


CHID 471 (5 credits): Basque Identity and the Basque/Spanish Conflict

This class is led by Program Director Dr. Maria Pozueta, and will involve a good deal of out-of-classroom experience. In the classes taught by Dr. Pozueta we will immerse ourselves in Basque culture, spending as much time as possible in the streets. We will focus particularly on the Basque language and the politics of bilingualism; Basque cinema, which we will study both as an art form and for its representation of the recent political conflicts; and Basque gastronomy. There will also be a series of lectures by experts on the Basque situation, focusing on Basque co-operativism (the tradition of sharing equally in the responsibility and reward of group or corporate enterprise); the Spanish Civil War; the terror bombing of Guernica, about which Picasso made his famous painting; the period of the Franco dictatorship; the era of ETA terrorism; and the present situation of Basque society.

Learning goals include:
As indicated in the course description, this course is aimed at transforming our students from mere tourists, who gawk at the foreign sights armed with a handbook of facts, into what in sociology is known as “participant investigators,” people who are trying to get under the foreign surface and achieve understanding from within of the cultural spectacle in which they are temporarily immersed.

CHID 498 (5 credits): What is a Nation?

This course will look at races, tribes, and aspiring nations in the United States and around the world to develop a broad theoretical framework around the question: are the Basques a nation? The concepts of “state” and “nation” are not synonymous, but they are closely related. Peoples like the Kurds, Palestinians, Jews, Catalans, and Basques claim their right to form an independent state on the basis that they are nations. But if a people doesn’t have its own state already, what constitutes it as a nation? Is it racial ties? A common culture? A common language? A common history? In practice, it always turns out to be some mixture of these elements; but defining any one of them is difficult, and establishing a principle that tells us how the mixture is to be evaluated is perhaps impossible. The readings for this course explore these problems of definition, so that by the end of the quarter you should be prepared to intelligently address them on your own. Obviously, the political consequences of the answers one gives to these questions are immense: the Basque country, for example, is only a few years removed from a wave of terrorism and political violence that lasted for decades, and the threat to the unity of Spain from Catalan and Basque nationalisms remains alive. These are the topics we will consider: The concept of a nation. How do we explain what holds a people together, beyond the fact that they happen, or happen not, to have an independent state of their own? The history of the idea of a “nation.” This idea is only a couple of hundred years old. How did the idea of nation evolve, and why does it seem so “natural” today? The concepts of “tribe” and “race.” What do they mean in themselves, and what do they contribute to our understanding of “nation”? The attempt by an American Indian group (the Mashpee of Massachusetts) to persuade the government of the U.S. to recognize them as a tribe. The shifting definitions of what it means to be “black” in the United States and in other countries around the world, and of what it means to be “Mexican” in the United States and in Mexico. How are such groups defined, and to what degree do such definitions correspond to reality? Recent avant-garde theorists have held that group identities are fundamentally illusory (it is widely held, for instance, that there is no such thing as “race”); this argument will be a central focus for our own investigation. The development of Basque national consciousness in tandem with that of Spanish national consciousness in the nineteenth century The issue of immigration into the Basque country, and the shift in the definitions of Basqueness that immigration has caused in the last fifty years, particularly as manifest in the ideology of the terrorist group ETA The way in which Basque punk rock and punk identity in the 1980s became intertwined with shifting ideas of Basqueness.

Learning goals include:
Students are assessed entirely on two medium-length papers (5-7) pages, one at mid-term and the other at the end of the course. The paper assignments call for them to synthesize their experience in the Basque country, their own lifelong lived experience of identity, and the historical and factual information they pick up from class and from their field trips and reading, in terms of the theoretical concepts on which this class focuses.


SPAN 199/299 (5 credits): Spanish Language Skills

This class will focus on teaching students how to communicate effectively in Spanish in their daily situations in Spain. In addition, the curriculum of the Spanish class will be connected to the program's cultural activities and field trips. Students' assessment will be based on homework, class participation, three compositions, and two exams (midterm and final).

Learning goals include:
Students can expect to achieve at least a minimal level of ability to use some simple Spanish for practical use during their stay.



Maria Pozueta, Department of CHID, Program Director



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $7,250

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • CHID fee of $350
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1,600)
  • Food (about $25/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: April 19, 2019

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans.  To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.