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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.
Program Information:

Titlesociology italy
Location León, Spain
Academic Term Autumn Quarter
September 27- December 07, 2018
Estimated Program Fee $7,350
Credits 15 UW credits
Prerequisites N/A
Program Directors Lisa Coutu | 
Randal Beam|
Program Manager Katherine Kroeger |
Priority Application Deadline February 15, 2018
Information Sessions Jan. 16, 2018, 10-11am, CMU 126 
Jan. 17, 2018, 4-5pm, CMU 126.
General Now in its fourth year, Communication Spain offers a dynamic learning opportunity for students interested in broadening both their academic and lived cross-cultural experiences.

Program Description

This program, now in its fourth year, offers students a robust living-and-learning opportunity in León, Spain. León is the largest city in a vibrant metropolitan area of 200,00 on the historically important Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route through northern Spain. León is two hours north of Madrid by train, with service offered several times a day.



León, Spain


Students will be housed in home stays with local families arranged by our host institution in León. Home stay assignments will be based on housing questionnaires that students complete. Home stay families provide students with their own room; three meals a day; laundry service; and free access to wifi. If a student has an irreconcilable problem with a host family, he or she will be moved to a different home stay, usually within 48 hours. Each home in which students are placed has fire alarms and smoke detectors.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements



15 UW Credits


COM 485: Fieldwork in Communication (5 Credits)

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.

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 495: Storytelling about Contemporary Life in Spain (5 Credits)

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 COM 485, will help you learn how to effectively tell some of Leon’s compelling stories. You will use the techniques of oral history and journalism to craft accounts of 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 will help you more fully immerse yourself in the everyday life of this fascinating country. Eligible for W credit if requested.

Learning goals include:
•Conduct research for an oral-history or journalistic project
•Prepare for and carry out journalistic or oral-history interviews
•Listen to and evaluate information in the context of a new and different culture and language
•Identify target audiences (academic or journalistic) for nonfiction storytelling
•Gather data, artifacts and other “raw materials” for nonfiction storytelling
•Create nonfiction content by effectively combining common story elements – text, still images, sound, video, graphics
•Evaluate legal and ethical considerations in journalistic or oral-history storytelling
•Present, promote and/or distribute your academic or journalistic work, with particular emphasis on online distribution


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 field 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, Communication, Principal Lecturer

Lisa Coutu has studied and taught communication and culture for almost 30 years. She has directed many study abroad programs in Rome, Italy, and is excited about learning alongside students in León.

Randal Beam, Communication, Professor Emeritus

Randal Beam has taught courses in journalism and mass communication for 30 years. He has traveled extensively in Spain, and has directed the Department of Communication’s study-abroad programs in León in 2015 and 2017. He is eager to share his love of Spain’s culture and people with UW students.

Jerry Baldasty, Communication, Professor

BIOJerry Baldasty, Communication, Professor. Jerry has been a UW faculty member for nearly 40 years, and has traveled extensively in Spain, and read a good deal about the country. He is excited to be returning to León with UW students to explore Spanish life and culture.



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $7,350

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 $5/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date:October 13, 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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