University of California, Riverside

Summer Study Abroad

2014 Spain

Image of Drs. Patricia and Jim Parr sitting next to a statue of Gaudi.

Madrid, Spain

June 30 - July 26, 2014   

Major Moments in Spanish Culture and History (Cumbres de la Cultura e Historia de España)

Spain, a country of tremendous cultural resources, a crossroads of civilizations, and a contributor of consequence in all the arts, in literature, and ideas.

     Spend five weeks exploring the cultural resources of Madrid's unique cluster of great museums; see Velázquez's masterpiece "Las Meninas" in the Prado and Picasso's powerful "Guernica" in the Reina Sofia. The group will move outward from the city via weekly excursions and independent travel to see a very different Spain of castles, palaces, cathedrals, and surprising natural beauty. Students will learn about student life in Spain by living in a Colegio Mayor. The program will be directed and led by Dr. James Parr, UCR Distinguished Professor of Spanish Literature. Participants in this program must be proficient in Spanish. Students will earn 8 units of UC credit by successfully completing two 4-unit courses.

     Visit three of the great museums of Europe, within easy walking distance of one another. Independently, take in theater productions, films, and take trips on weekends on high-speed trains to visit other cities of interest, such as Sevilla and Barcelona. Weekly excursions are planned for the group (by chartered bus) to Toledo, a city of unending fascination; to Segovia, with its magnificent Alcázar, and then to a summer palace of the Bourbons at nearby La Granja; to the unique palace built by Philip II, El Escorial, from which he ran the Spanish empire; to Ávila, the city of Santa Teresa, and Salamanca, with its great plaza mayor and university. Students will be housed in a Colegio Mayor on the campus of the Universidad Complutense, along with the director and his wife. 

     The classroom will seldom have four walls but will be all of Madrid and as much of the outlying area as time permits students to visit and study. Study Abroad participants are more likely to meet in the Prado or the Reina Sofía or the Palacio Real-or in Toledo or Segovia-than in a traditional classroom.

     Major Moments in Spanish Culture and History is a four-week course which requires Spanish language proficiency in order to participate.


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