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  • Locations: Leon, Spain
  • Program Terms: Spring Quarter
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:
sociology italy
 Location Leon, Spain
Spring Quarter
March 27 – June 2, 2017
 Estimated    Program Fee $7,300
 Credits 15 UW credits
 Prerequisites None
 Program      Directors Jessica Partnow; Alexander Stonehill; Sarah Stuteville; Santos Rodriguez
 Program Manager Katherine Kroeger |
 Application    Deadline November 15, 2016
 Information  Session(s) Contact Program Director for more information.
  General Study writing and photography in Léon, Spain with Artists-in-Residence and founders of The Seattle Globalist Jessica Partnow, Alex Stonehill, and Sarah Stuteville. Study Spanish language and culture while earning 15 academic credits and living with a local host family.
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

This program offers undergraduates a robust living-and-learning experience in León, a medium-sized city in northern Spain. You will advance your knowledge of Spanish, practice cross-cultural communication, increase your tolerance for ambiguity, strengthen your resourcefulness, gain experience in adapting to differences, reflect on your own cultural backgrounds, and assess your learning.

You will accomplish these goals through a range of academic and nonacademic experiences. You will live with local families, conduct interviews and capture photographs and video in León, interview Spanish colleagues, and draw upon local resources for group projects on Spanish culture. You will go on field trips to other Spanish towns and cities, read and write travel essays, create blog posts, and practice writing to learn.



Leon, Spain


Madrid, Bilbao/San Sebastian


The students’ primary housing will be with home stay families, who will provide students with a room of their own and 3 meals a day. No more than one native English-speaking student will be placed in a home. Students will fill out a form indicating their preferences for characteristics of the family, as well as any allergies. This form will then be sent to FGULEM so that our contacts there can arrange the home stays.



Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

Undergraduate juniors and seniors with a focus on communication studies, journalism, photography and/or nonfiction writing.

There are no strict prerequisites.


15 Credits


COM 464 (5 credits): Writing with Voice

This course will take advantage of its location in Spain as a home for travel writing. The rise of online media has meant not only a shift in economic and publishing models but also in tone and participants. Today's communications professional is just as likely to be called on to write a news story as they are to reflect on how their own experiences connect to larger issues. New audiences are hungry for writing that is transparent and personal—for writers who aren't afraid to be vulnerable and accessible. This course will focus on point-of-view writing that challenges assumptions of the omniscient voice and pushes the boundaries of what travel writing can be.

Learning Goals: 

By the end of this course, students should be able to: Identify and analyze the use of “voice” and point-of-view writing in storytelling across platforms;

  • Explore, and continue to develop, their own “voice” and point-of-view writing in storytelling across platforms (with an emphasis on writing);
  • Identify and discuss the potential power of blending personal experiences and point-of-view writing with more traditional forms of reporting and storytelling;
  • Identify and discuss the potential ethical complexities of blending personal experiences and point-of-view writing with more traditional forms of reporting and storytelling;
  • Identify and discuss the potential individual challenges of blending personal experiences and point-of-view writing with more traditional forms of reporting and storytelling;
  • Understand emerging opportunities and new career paths in communication that push traditional boundaries;
  • Explore how writing with “voice” and point-of-view is specifically relevant to online writing;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity;
  • Think critically, creatively and independently;
  • Critically evaluate their own work and that of others.

COM 495 (5 credits): Understanding Spain through Visual Communication

This class will explore the fundamental principles of visual communication through digital photography and video, drawing on the people and places of northern Spain as subjects.

Learning Goals: 

  • Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information
  • Apply current tools and technologies to multimedia production for an online audience Understand emerging opportunities and new career paths in communication
  • Think critically, creatively and independently.
  • Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy, appropriate style and clarity.
  • Understand interpersonal dynamics between commercial photographers and their subjects

SPAN 199/299  (5 credits): Foreign Study – Spanish

Intensive Spanish language course. Students are placed at an appropriate level depending on experience.

Learning Goals: 

Students learn to speak or perfect Spanish for everyday situations and improve their ability to function successfully in Spanish-speaking countries.


Program Directors & Staff

Jessica Partnow, Department of Communication, Program Co-Director

Jessica is executive director and a co-founder of The Seattle Globalist, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to elevating diverse voices through media. She is an international radio journalist whose work has been broadcast by dozens of public radio stations, networks and programs. She was a Knight New Media Fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She has received two Edward R. Murrow Awards, regionally for her radio series Life on the Duwamish and nationally for Generation Putin, an hour-long public radio special on young people and political change in the former Soviet Union, as well as a Gracie Award for her reporting on humanitarian drug trafficking. Jessica has been an instructor in the undergraduate journalism and graduate Communication Leadership programs at the University of Washington since 2010.

Alexander Stonehill, Department of Communication, Program Co-Director

Alex is a cofounder and editor of The Seattle Globalist, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to elevating diverse voices through media. He has a background as a visual journalist and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Syria, Ethiopia and Pakistan. His work has been published by PBS, The Seattle Times, FRONTLINE/World and the Seattle Weekly. He directed the award-winning feature length documentary BARZAN. Alex teaches journalism and documentary filmmaking in the University of Washington’s Department of Communication at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Sarah Stuteville, Department of Communication, Program Co-Director

Sarah Stuteville is a print and multimedia journalist and a cofounder of The Seattle Globalist, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to elevating diverse voices through media. Stuteville won the 2014 Journalism Educator of the Year award from the Society of Professional Journalists Northwest, and her reporting has been honored with numerous awards including the 2014 SPJNW award for best online column, a Sigma Delta Chi Award for magazine writing, and an Edward R. Murrow award for Audio Documentary. She writes a weekly column on our region’s international connections that is shared by the Seattle Globalist and The Seattle Times and funded with a grant from Seattle International Foundation. She is a former board member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Western Washington chapter, and is a current member of the board of directors of Short Run Seattle. She teaches journalism, writing, and documentary filmmaking at the graduate and undergraduate level in the University of Washington’s Department of Communication.

Santos Rodriguez, Leon Center On-Site Coordinator

Program Expenses

Cost: $7,300

Estimated Program Fee of $7,300, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, 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
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 April 14, 2017
Program Fee Balance $7,300 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 to two recommendations 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.