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  • Locations: Leon, Spain
  • Program Terms: Autumn Quarter
  • Budget Sheets: Autumn Quarter
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Affiliated Department: Communications Foreign Language Required: None
Primary Language(s) of Instruction: English UW Credits: 15
Estimated Program Fee: 6850 UW Program Director: Geral Baldasty, Lisa Coutu, Randal Beam
UW Study Abroad Program Manager: Katherine R Kroeger UW Program Staff Email:,
Program Information:

Location Leon, Spain
Academic Term Autumn Quarter
09/26/2019 - 12/06/2019
Estimated Program Fee $7,300
Credits 15
Prerequisites No language requirement. Selection will be made based on a written application, letters of recommendation and an interview.
Program Directors Lisa Coutu |
Randal Beam
Program Manager Katherine Kroeger |
Priority Application Deadline February 15, 2019
Extended Deadline March 3, 2019
Information Sessions Monday, 1/14, 2:30 - 3:20pm, CMU 126
Thursday, 1/17, 5:00 - 5:50pm, CMU 126
General Communication Spain is an immersive program where students live with host families, research Spanish culture, learn to tell Spaniards' stories, and study the Spanish language.
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

This program, now in its fifth year, offers students a robust living-and-learning opportunity in León, Spain. León is vibrant city of about 130,000 on the historically important Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route through northern Spain. During the program, students will advance their knowledge about Spain through a range of academic and nonacademic activities. They will participate in field trips to other Spanish cities and towns; write about and photograph their travel and living experiences; interact with "pilgrims" from all over the world who are walking the Camino; conduct and create written accounts of ethnographic observations in various sites; learn to speak Spanish (or improve their Spanish if they already speak the language); live with local Spanish families; and meet students from other countries who are studying in León. In addition to a rich academic experience, students should gain important life skills. They will practice cross-cultural communication, increase their tolerance for ambiguity, strengthen their resourcefulness, and learn to appreciate the values and customs of another culture. Students will take two 5-credit Communication courses and a 5-credit Spanish class.




Leon, Spain


Home stays assigned by FGULEM host institution. Assignments based on housing questionnaires that students complete. If a student has an irreconcilable problem with a host family, they are changed within 24-48 hours. All host families must have wi-fi that student can access. Each house in which students are placed has fire alarms and smoke detectors. FGULEM accepts UW wire transfer payments.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

No pre-requisites. No language requirement. (Selection will be made based on a written application, letters of recommendation and an interview.) Students will live within walking distance of the Centro de Idiomas, where they will take classes and have access to study space. In some instances, students may need to take a bus to the Centro de Idiomas; a bus pass will be provided.


15 UW Quarter Credits


COM 485: Fieldwork in Communication (5 credits) VLPA, I&S

You can learn a lot about a culture by reading books and websites. But there's a part of culture that you can only truly understand by living in it and paying close attention to the people around you. In COM 485, you'll learn tools to understand some aspects of the culture of León. The underlying idea of the course is that whenever people interact with each other, they use and reveal culture. When we enter a new culture, our own culture and communication preferences can come into clear relief. Through ethnographic observation and reporting, you will gain a deeper understanding of the communication and culture(s) of León. In so doing, you will also gain a deeper understanding of your own culture. Eligible for W credit if requested.

Learning goals include:
In this course, students will learn to observe a culture from an ethnographic perspective. write detailed ethnographic notes about observed communication phenomena. build arguments about culture and communication grounded carefully in observed interactions. take a step back from their own cultural understanding of the world to begin to understand and represent a different cultural understanding of the world. be able to write and speak about León's multiple cultural spaces. become more reflective and articulate about your own cultural views on the world by juxtaposing them to a different set of views.

COM 464: Writing With Voice: Storytelling about Life in Spain (5 credits) VLPA, I&S

León is a city with many stories to tell. They emerge from its warren of medieval streets, from its twice-weekly farmers market, from its ultramodern cyber-security center, from its language schools and university, from its diverse inhabitants, and from its location as a key stopover for the 200,000 pilgrims who trek the Camino de Santiago each year. This course, building on the knowledge and research tools that you will acquire in Com485, will help you learn how to effectively tell some of Leon's compelling stories. You will use the techniques of oral history and/or journalistic storytelling to develop your voice as a writer so that you can craft nonfiction narratives about contemporary life in Spain. Along the way, you will experiment with combining text, moving images, still images and sound to weave together the information and insights that you draw from your explorations of Spanish culture. These communication skills will be an asset in future professional and personal endeavors and and will help you more fully immerse yourself in the everyday life of this fascinating country. Eligible for W credit if requested.

Learning goals include:
In this course, students will learn to conduct research for an oral-history and/or nonfiction storytelling project; to prepare for and carry out interviews in which they will gather information for their oral history and/or storytelling projects; to evaluate information in the context of a new and different culture and language; to gather data, artifacts and other "raw materials" for storytelling; to create a nonfiction story by combining two or more storytelling elements (text, still images, sound and video, or graphics); and to present, promote and/or distribute their story in English and Spanish.

SPAN199: Foreign Study - Spanish (5 credits)

Intensive Spanish language course. Students are placed at an appropriate level depending on their knowledge of Spanish. (No knowledge is assumed.) Instruction is provided through the Centro de Idiomas, which is affiliated with the Universidad de León. Students will take part in four field trips (three of which are overnight weekend trips) to help develop their understanding of Spanish and Spanish culture.

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





Lisa Coutu
Principal Lecturer, Communication

Randal Beam
Professor Emeritus, Communication

Gerald Baldasty
Professor Emeritus, Communication; Provost Emeritus




Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $7,300

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1500)
  • Food (about $10)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.64/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: October 11, 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 Study Abroad 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.
  • To be considered for a UW Study Abroad Scholarship fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application.  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. Below 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 complete the mandatory pre-departure online orientation provided by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You will be able to access the online orientation through your study abroad application once you have been accepted to a program. 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 you have submitted a contract. 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 will be 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 application 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 withdrawal application to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.

Additional Info