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  • Locations: San Sebastián, Spain
  • Program Terms: Spring Quarter
  • Homepage: Click to visit
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
sociology italy
 Location San Sebastian and Barcelona, Spain
Spring Quarter
March 27 – June 3, 2017
 Estimated    Program Fee $6,850 (includes $300 CHID fee)
 Credits 15 UW credits
 Prerequisites None
 Program      Directors Maria Pozueta; Henry Staten
 Program  Manager Darielle Horsey |
 Application    Deadline November 15, 2016
 Information  Session(s) November 2, 4:30-5:30, Padelford C101.
Where You Will Study
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships
  Visas This country is part of the Schengen area. Please click here to learn more about important rules and restrictions for foreign visitors to this area.

Program Description

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. The Basque culture of Spain and France is one of the most ancient in Europe, having maintained its 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. We will also walk part of the famous Camino de Santiago, from southern France into Spain.

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 place to practice Spanish.



San Sebastian, Spain. The city is located a few miles from the French border, and conveniently communicated by high speed train with Paris, Barcelona and Madrid.


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



Pre-Requisites/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. We are looking for flexible, open-minded students who are interested in ethnic minorities, and want to learn or improve their Spanish. It is particularly suited to students from CHID, Western European Studies, Political Sciences, 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 Credits


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

In this class 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 of 1934-36 and World War Two in the Basque Country; the terror bombing of Guernica, about which Picasso made the most famous painting of modern times; the period of the Franco dictatorship; the post-Franco era of ETA terrorism; and the present situation of Basque society.

Learning Goals: 

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 u¬¬¬nderstanding from within 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

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

Spanish grammar and conversation from a communicative approach. Students will be placed in groups according to their level.


Program Directors & Staff

Maria Pozueta, Department of CHID, Program Director

Henry Staten, Department of English, Program Co-Director

Program Expenses

Cost: $6,850

Estimated Program Fee of $6,850 (includes $300 CHID fee), the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, food (about $25/day), UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$1,600 - $2,000* roundtrip

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

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.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
CHID Fee $300 April 14, 2017
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 April 14, 2017
Program Fee Balance $6,550 April 14, 2017


To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

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

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Application Process

The 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 on-line application process students 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.


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. You can do so 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 $350 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. 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 date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. 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 for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.

Please see the CHID website for information on the CHID Fee withdrawal policy: