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  • Locations: Leon, Spain
  • Program Terms: Summer A-Term
  • Budget Sheets: Summer A-Term
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:

UWB IAS Spain France: Americans in Europe (Exile & Belonging)
Location Madrid, Spain; León, Spain; Paris, France
Academic Term Summer A
June 16 - July 18, 2018
Estimated Program Fee $5,150
Credits 12 UW credits
Prerequisites N/A
Program Directors Alice Pedersen (; Jed Murr (; Lani Phillips
Program Manager Katherine Kroeger |
Priority Application Deadline January 31, 2018
Information Sessions 11:00am, Jan. 23, UW Seattle, Study Abroad Office Conference Room 1:15pm, Jan. 18, UW Bothell, Husky Hall 1412 Please RSVP to Program Directors.
General Following in the footsteps of artists, revolutionaries, exiles, and travelers before us, this program will take students from Paris to Madrid to León in an exploration of transnational cultural exchange, migration, and belonging. Our focus on the politics of travel and study abroad, the Spanish Civil War, and Black cultural production in Paris will allow us to situate ourselves as embodied travelers, thinkers, and cultural producers alongside the writers and artists we study.
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

Take classes in a 14th century palace along one of the world’s most famous pilgrimage routes; follow in the footsteps of Josephine Baker and Jay-Z in the streets of Paris; explore the Madrid of Hemingway and Langston Hughes; study Spanish over tapas in the shadow of one of Europe’s largest cathedrals. Europe has long been a site of belonging, exile, fantasy, sex, freedom, and death for the “Americans” who have lived, traveled, and created there. This program focuses on a diverse group of cultural workers — from Henry James to James Baldwin — to explore the meanings and practices of gender, race, (trans)nationalism, empire, and belonging that emerge in encounters between “Americans” and “Europe.”

As we work and travel together in both Spain and France, participants in this program will be asked to think critically about identity, diversity, location, and belonging; to situate themselves as embodied agents and learners; and to reflect — through journal entries and creative visual or written texts — on their own experiences of (dis)location as travelers in a new land.

The program begins Paris, where we will begin to situate ourselves as travelers and thinkers and to turn our attention to the experiences of Black and other American migrants, exiles, and artists. Our Parisian experience will ground our program in the present moment as we think comparatively about contemporary struggles over immigration, belonging, and national identity. Then we will move to our beautiful, cosmopolitan León, in Northwestern Spain, situated along El Camino de Santiago, one of the world’s most famous pilgrimage routes, which will be the program’s primary home. We’ll meet each day in the Palacio del Conde Luna, the palace that houses the UW León Center, as part of a seven-credit course. We’ll also travel together to vibrant Madrid, where we’ll explore art and the artists and everyday citizens who flocked to Spain to serve in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade or to draw attention to the global struggle against fascism.

Throughout the program, students will reflect and create both individually and collectively, and the program trips to Madrid and Paris and to key sites in and around León will enhance and enrich our work together, opening up a range of living histories to investigate. These include but will not be limited to: showgirls shaping modern urban culture; Black writers and artists seeking freedom they did not find in the U.S.; soldiers fighting for and against empires; feminist and anti-colonial poets and painters changing modern art; jazz musicians and hip hop artists creating global pop culture.

Additionally, students will take a five-credit course that focuses on Spanish language, literature, and culture, providing both historical context of their location and language skills that meet each students at the level in which they enter the program. Living with host families while in León will provide further opportunities for improving Spanish proficiency. Outside of class, students will have the opportunity to explore El Camino, participate in cooking or dance classes, and go on excursions to nearby cities and provinces, which will allow them to gain a deeper understanding of the culture in which they are immersed. León is known for its 13th century Gothic Cathedral and monumental buildings, as well as for its fiestas. Every year people from all over the world visit León to see and participate in its many processions and colorful traditions.




Spain and France


Madrid, Spain; León, Spain; Paris, France


The students’ housing in León will be with homestay 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 and dietary requirements. In Madrid and Paris, students will be housed in hostels or hotels, with roommates from the program..




Prerequisites and Language Requirements

Physical Components: We encourage students to pack lightly and to anticipate carrying their luggage over distance. In previous iterations of the program, we have encountered conditions that do not meet standard ADA regulations. Please contact us with questions or concerns. Finally, it will also be summer, when the weather in Spain is hot. Students need to be able to function well in such conditions.


12 UW Credits


BISGST 497: International Study Abroad: Americans in Europe (Exile & Belonging) (7 Credits)

As part of an immersive study abroad experience in Spain and France, this course will focus real and imagined experiences of U.S. Americans in Europe and the creative cultural and political texts, tensions, problems, and possibilities that emerge from those experiences. From Henry James to Jay-Z, from Josephine Baker to James Baldwin, the literary, musical, and visual texts we take up explore the meaning and practice of gender, race, (trans)nationalism, colonialism, exile, identity, war, and belonging. Students will also produce their own creative and reflective writing and art in dialogue with course texts and in response their own experiences of (dis)location as a traveler in Europe. While the majority of the class meetings will take place in León, the course will begin in Madrid and conclude in Paris.

Learning goals include:
Over the course of this study abroad program, we will aim:

  • to critically engage with histories of US travel to (and imaginations of) Europe via literary texts, performance, visual art, and other artifacts;
  • to situate ourselves as embodied agents, learners and cultural workers in relation to diverse and uneven power relations;
  • to contribute to and reflect upon these histories via the production of written and creative work;
  • to create a collaborative class online resource that indexes our investigations and cultural productions. Assessment will be based on active, daily contribution and collaboration in class activities, daily homework and in-class reading and writing assignments, contributions to a collectively curated online resource for documenting class experience, and final course project.

VLPA, I&S, Diversity

BSPAN 196 OR SPAN 296: Study Abroad Immersive Elementary Spanish OR Study Abroad Spanish (5 Credits)

B SPAN 196 Study Abroad: Immersive Elementary Spanish Elementary-level Spanish language course taken through a UW-approved study abroad program. Explores language, culture and history in a Spanish-speaking country.

B SPAN 296 Study Abroad, Spanish, VLPA: Intermediate-level Spanish language courses for which there are no direct University of Washington Bothell equivalents, taken through a University of Washington study abroad program. Further study at 200-level subject to placement test scores.

Learning goals include:

  • Students will increase their skills in both written and conversational Spanish.
  • Students will become familiar with the history and culture of the city and region in which they are living, as well as Spain as a whole.
  • Assessment will be conducted by the local instructors, all of whom have immense experience in teaching such classes to non-native Spanish speakers from around the world.

If 100-level, this class is a general elective. If 200-level, it is VLPA.



Alice Pedersen, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, Program Director

Alice Pedersen teaches courses on 18th and 19th century transatlantic literature; writing; and the cultural politics of yoga in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. She studied abroad in Cuba as an undergrad, as has tried to spend as much time in Spanish-speaking countries as possible ever since. In the classroom, Alice centers experiential, student-driven, and contemplative pedagogies.

Jed Murr, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, Co-Director

Jed Murr teaches course in American & Ethnic Studies and Cultural Studies, primarily focused on the politics of American literary, visual, and popular culture, particularly Black political and aesthetic movements. He studied abroad in London, received a Bonderman International Travel Fellowship as a graduate student, and spends as much time working and traveling outside of the US as he can. He believes classrooms should be critical laboratories of collective and creative engagement with the texts, life experiences, and world-making projects that surround us, where we find new ways to be and move together.

Lani Phillips, College of Arts & Sciences, Program Coordinator



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $5,150

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 - $1,500)
  • Food (about $39/day while in Madrid & Paris; all meals included in Spain)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

July 5, 2018

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 complete the mandatory 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.

Additional Info

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