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

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Affiliated Department: Communications Primary Language(s) of Instruction: English
UW Credits: 15 Estimated Program Fee: 7000
UW Program Director: Jessica Partnow, Randal Beam UW Study Abroad Program Manager: Katherine R Kroeger
UW Program Staff Email:,
Program Information:

Location Leon, Spain
Academic Term Spring Quarter
03/28/2020 - 06/05/2020
Estimated Program Fee $7,450 (includes the $450 Study Abroad Fee)
Credits 15
Prerequisites Some ability to communicate in Spanish is recommended though it is not required. Students will enroll in a Spanish language course, and some field trip content will be delivered in Spanish, though it is understood that comprehension will vary widely from student to student.
Program Directors Jessica Partnow |
Randal Beam
Program Manager Katherine R Kroeger |
Priority Application Deadline November 15, 2019
Information Sessions TBD - Please contact program directors for more information
General Study Spanish and communication through writing, audio storytelling, and content analysis in Leon, Spain.
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 offers undergraduates a robust living-and-learning experience in Leon, a medium-sized city in northern Spain. No Spanish is required. During the program, you will 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 audio in Leon, interview Spanish colleagues, and draw upon local resources for group projects on Spanish culture. During the second half of the program, you will conduct a content analysis that compares and contrasts Spanish media content with that of another country. 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. Finally, you will study conversational Spanish (at whatever level is appropriate for you) with students from around the world at our partner institution, the Centro de Idiomas of the University of Leon.




Leon, Spain


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.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

Some ability to communicate in Spanish is recommended though it is not required. Students will enroll in a Spanish language course, and some field trip content will be delivered in Spanish, though it is understood that comprehension will vary widely from student to student. This program is based in Leon, Spain, a city where walking is the primary form of transportation. Classes take place in the Leon Center; there is a wheelchair accessible classroom though the default classroom is not accessible. The instructors are committed to making this program accessible to all students and welcome interested applicants to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns related to accommodations.


15 UW Quarter Credits


COM 464: Writing with Voice (5 credits) VLPA

Focuses on point-of-view writing that challenges assumptions of the omniscient voice and pushes traditional journalist boundaries. Students are encouraged to experiment with transparency and authenticity in their tone and - through a series of written assignments - explore points of intersection between their own experiences and larger issues. This course will take advantage of its location in Spain as a home for travel writing, with a focus on writing for audio broadcast and podcast. 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 audio storytelling that challenges assumptions of the omniscient voice and pushes the boundaries of what travel writing can be.

Learning goals include:
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 with a focus on audio stories; Explore, and continue to develop, their own "voice" and point-of-view writing in audio storytelling; 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 audio storytelling; 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 381: Content Analysis (5 credits) VLPA

Content analysis is a popular research method in mass communication and other social sciences and other academic disciplines, such as political science, sociology and psychology. Content analysis has many applied uses too. The U.S. government conducted content analyses of propaganda in World War II to gain insights into German society, and news organizations have used content analysis to examine their coverage of different social groups. The main goals of this course are to introduce you to content analysis through a research project that you'll conduct with others in a research team and to give you experience presenting the results of your work publicly.

Learning goals include:
Introduces content analysis, a research method used in the discipline of communication. Students work in groups to design and execute a content analysis.

SPAN 199: Foreign Study - Spanish (5 credits)

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

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





Jessica Partnow
Senior Affiliate Faculty, Comm Lead, Communication

Jessica Partnow is a radio and multimedia journalist who has produced stories for NPR, KUOW, The World and many others. She received the 2014 Edward R. Murrow award for Audio Documentary for Generation Putin, a radio special about young people and political change in the former Soviet Union. She is one of the founders of The Seattle Globalist, a nonprofit news website and education organization dedicated to elevating diverse voices through media. In 2019, she earned her MBA from the UW Bothell School of Business, and for ten years she taught Advanced Multiplatform journalism and other courses for the UW Department of Communication. She has lived in both Mexico and Spain, and is excited to return to Leon to lead her second study abroad program there.

Randal Beam
Professor Emeritus, Communication

Professor Randal Beam does research about social and economic influences on the news. He teaches courses about journalism, mass media and society, and media business and economics. He is a co-author of The American Journalist in the 21st Century: U.S. News People at the Dawn of a New Millennium. That book, based on a national survey of about 1,300 newsmen and newswomen, examines the social characteristics, values, working conditions and ethical beliefs of U.S journalists. He has published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Newspaper Research Journal and Journalism Practice, and he has contributed to the Handbook of Media Management and Economics. Beam also has collaborated on research with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. Beam is active in the Media Management and Economics Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He serves on the editorial board of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. Beam enjoys teaching at the Leon Center and has led Communication Study Abroad programs there for several years.





Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $7,450

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 - $1300)
  • Food (about $5)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.64/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: April 17, 2020

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 contacting the consular offices of those countries. You can read more about this topic on the Passports and Visas page of the UW Study Abroad 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

The program will include several field trips within Spain, as well as a week long break during Semana Santa (April 5-11, 2020).