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Barcelona Summer Program

INDIVIDUAL AND CULTURAL IDENTITY: Language, Art History and Regional Politics

View of Barcelona from the Teleferic


Set in Catalonia, Spain, on the Mediterranean coast, the Barcelona Summer Study Abroad Program continues Georgetown University's philosophy of educating the whole person. The city and its surroundings offer infinite resources that allow for the development of this Content Focused Language Program, comprised of an innovative curriculum that focuses on the subject matter (i.e., politics, sociolinguistics and visual arts) through the language, giving students the best opportunity to improve their proficiency in Spanish. GU offers various similar 'boutique' summer study abroad opportunities that strive to take advantage of each unique location to define their curricular content and offer clearly differentiated options to our students. To learn more about each of these programs, please visit the OIP home page, or visit their Barcelona Summer Program information page for a quick look at the program basics. (Photo of Barcelona from the Telefèric courtesy of Richard Ishida).

The Barcelona Summer Program educators and administrative staff are committed to providing each participating student with the best possible academic, cultural, and personal growth experience that this "Ciudad Condal" has to offer. Detailed descriptions of program academics, activities and admissions can be found throughout this web site, as well as many external links to other sites with supplemental information. If you have further questions, please contact Mr. Graham Hettlinger, Associate Director of Summer Study Abroad Programs at the Office of International Programs, or email Dr. Cristina Sanz, Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Director of the Barcelona Summer Program.

Program Details

The program offers Spanish language courses beyond Advanced II or equivalent. Participants take three courses, either one or two of the courses regularly offered in the Spanish Department (Oral Review, Academic Writing, Peninsular Literature I and II, and Intro to Spanish Linguistics), Business Spanish, History and Politics of Identity (HPI), and Catalan Art History (CAH) for a total of 9 credits. All courses are offered in Spanish, and students sign a language pledge, according to which they are required to speak only Spanish while in the program.

Classes run for 5+ weeks, meeting in the morning Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and all day Tuesdays and Thursdays. Monday and Wednesday evenings are reserved for conversation exchanges with UPF students. Day long organized outings leading to sources of primary data (including but not limited to interview recordings, photographs, library materials, internet, and museums) are required of all participants. The emphasis of these activities is on research (gathering primary evidence), reflection (through journal writing), analysis of the data, and writing. Completion of daily written assignments and journal writing is also required, which connect classroom lectures, reading assignments and primary evidence gathered.

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Curricular Characteristics

The Director. In designing the program, Professor Sanz has combined her experience as Director of the Georgetown Intensive Spanish Program, her intimate knowledge of the city and the region (she was born and raised in Barcelona), and her expertise in adult second language acquisition to develop a program curriculum on the cutting edge of pedagogy. The program's design is characterized by its emphasis on writing, on the development of students' autonomy as language learners, and on conceptual connections between experience both within and outside the classroom, as well as across the disciplines of art, history, politics and language.

Writing-across-the-curriculum. This curricular characteristic of the program is in line with changes completed within the last two years in the Spanish Department curriculum. Specifically, the design of a new gateway course “Linguistic Analysis and Academic Writing” and the incorporation of writing-across-the-curriculum have been implemented as the unifying characteristics of the design of all upper level courses. Notably, the emphasis on writing in the Barcelona Program is also in line with Georgetown's goal to promote the development of written skills and complement the already excellent job that OIP programs are doing on the development of oral skills.

Reflection, awareness, independence. As metacognition and awareness are characteristic of independent learners, the goal behind journal writing is not only the development of written skills, but also an invitation to students to reflect on their own learning and ultimately develop an awareness of their needs and strategies, becoming more independent learners as a result.

Connections. The Program makes an effort to establish connections beyond the classroom, based on the following: connections between curricular learning and resources in the Barcelona area, connections between the courses offered in the BCN Program and GU's Standard curriculum, and conceptual connections between these two.

  1. Field Work: connections between curricular learning and resources in the Barcelona area. As mentioned above, the emphasis of the organized outings is in gathering and analysis of primary evidence in preparation for written assignments as well as classroom presentations and discussions. The activities consist of organized whole day visits to museums, libraries, buildings, institutional sites (City Hall, Regional Government, National Archives, Stock Exchange, markets). Since they count towards university credits, participation in all activities is obligatory. The visits are carefully prepared and conducted and are based on pedagogical tasks developed by native teachers for their students, and then adapted for use with second language learners by the Barcelona Summer Program coordinators.
  2. Conceptual connections. Under the rubric: Individual and Cultural Identity: Politics, Language, and the Arts, the program strives to help students build coherence across three principle areas of study: politics, language, and the arts. In Barcelona, for example, students who admire the famous works by Gaudí come to understand that the constant presence of nature in his buildings (art) is in part due to the nostalgia that the growing middle class felt for its rural origins . This incipient middle class was born as the result of the steam engine applied to textile industry (economic history), the first industry ever to develop in Spain, which in turn prompted unrest among a growing proletariat made up of Catalan as well as monolingual Spanish workers from other areas of Spain (language and cultural identity clash), all of whom rebelled against the Church, the state (politics), and old-fashioned Catalan nationalism (identity). This last vein takes us back to the constant presence of the cross and the Medieval Catalan hero (identity and the Church), Saint George, in Gaudí’s buildings (art).

For a description of a "day in the field" and other program characteristics, please visit the course information page.

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2009 Academic Calendar: Important Dates

The Program is just over five weeks long, with thirteen days dedicated to research gathering in the field, as explained in the above section of this page. Detailed descriptions of classes and fieldwork may be found on the Course Information page.

Orientation: June 26 -Mandatory-
Fieldwork Days
: June 27 and 30; July 3, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30, and 31 and one fieldwork weekend on July 3-5.

Please note: All calendar information is subject to change. Check with the Director and on Blackboard for the most up-to-date calendars.



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Pompeu Fabra University: UPF

Georgetown-at-Barcelona Summer Program is hosted by Pompeu Fabra University (Universitat Pompeu Fabra: UPF), consistently ranked among the best five institutions of higher learning in Spain overall and first in Languages, Humanities, Economics, and Government.

UPF hosts study abroad programs in collaboration with Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, UC-Berkeley, and Duke, offering a variety of curricula and program lengths.

UPF Building at Dusk

For more information on the University, please visit UPF's web site.



UPF has an enrollment of over 7,000 students. Its campus is scattered through several historic neighborhoods of Barcelona, much of it in repurposed historic buildings.

The university library is in the Dipòsit de les Aigües, a reservoir built by Fontserè in 1888; the university also incorporates the former army barracks in Carrer Wellington, buildings in Plaça de la Mercè, Plaça del Teatre, and Plaça de Joaquim Xirau as well as the former Estació de França, Barcelona's historic railroad station.

The Georgetown-at-Barcelona program is located in the Campus-del-Mar (Campus-on-the-Sea) area, in the former XVIII century barracks by the Olympic Villa and Marina.


















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Admission: Eligibility, Application, Costs and Deadlines

Enrollment for the Barcelona Summer program is limited to 25 students with advanced proficiency in Spanish. For general information and about financial matters and deadlines, please visit OIP's Barcelona Summer Program web page. For application processes, documents, rules and general information applying to all Georgetown students, please visit the Office of International Studies application and procedures page.

Program Eligibility Requirements

  • GPA of 2.7 or higher
  • Advanced II or equivalent
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Current enrollment at Georgetown University
  • Adherence to (1) the Conditions of Participation, (2) the GU Code of Conduct, and (3) the Language Pledge. These requirements will be discussed regarding their specific application to the Barcelona Program at the Pre-Departure Orientation Session held in the spring. This session is mandatory for all program participants. Date and time for 2008 will be posted in early spring.
  • All students must take the Language Pledge, through which they will be committing to speaking only Spanish at all times for the duration of the program. The pledge is designed to help students get the most out of this opportunity to be completely immersed in the language, and to help them resist the temptation to fall back on English, utilizing instead the skills they will be continually acquiring throughout the program to communicate.


To apply online to the Barcelona Summer Program, please click here.

**Each applicant is required complete an interview with the Program Director, conducted in Spanish, as part of the application process (make sure you schedule an appointment during Dr. Sanz's office hours shortly after you have submitted your application).**

Costs and Deadlines

Program tuition covers tuition for 9 credits, accommodations, and insurance. In addition, all meals, lodging, transportation and fees associated with field work are covered by tuition. Other meals are not included. Dorm rooms have a kitchenette where students can cook meals.

Specific timetables with costs and deadlines for the Barcelona Summer Program can be found at the Office of International Program's Barcelona Summer Program web page.

The following links will take you away from this page to OIP's web site to provide more general information on financial aid, financial matters, and dealing with money while abroad. Some links may require you to find your topic of interest in the list located on the left margin of the page.

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Important considerations: Visas, Health/Safety & ADA Info, and Student Conduct

Visas: Each student is responsible for knowing and following the visa requirements specific to his or her situation!

If you are a US Citizen, and your stay within the European Union does not exceed 90 days, you do not need to apply for a student visa. If you are a non-US citizen, you may have to obtain a visa to be eligible to study in Spain. Please contact the Spanish Embassy for more information on the requirements and regulations regarding travel, study and visa application for university students who are non-US citizens.

The following are often required of the applicant for him or her to be eligible for a Spanish visa: proof of housing while abroad, copy of ticket for return flight, proof of financial security at present and while abroad, length and nature of program in which he/she is participating, proof of health insurance, clean background check, passport, passport sized photos, all application forms and an application fee. It is advisable that if travel to other countries within or outside the EU is anticipated, it should be mentioned over the course of the visa application process

It is the responsibility of each participant to obtain the exact requirements specific to his or her situation. Applying for a visa can seem like an unending process of gathering information from multiple sources, but if started in a timely manner (many months before your date of departure), the steps are very straightforward. To avoid unnecessary difficulty, it is essential that you find out which Consulate has jurisdiction over your place of residency. This determines the nature of your individual requirements and the deadline by which they must be fulfilled.

You may go here to find the Consulate corresponding to your residency. The Spanish Embassy is located twenty minutes' walking distance from the Georgetown campus. Please see external map. Speaking with someone in person may help clarify any problems that arise during the application or information gathering process.

Ambassador: D. Carlos Westendorp y Cabeza.
Address: 2375 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037

Phones: (202) 452-0100; (202) 728-2340
Phones (from Spain): (1 202) 452-0100; (1 202) 728-2340
Fax (from Spain): (1 202) 833-5670

Hours of Operation: 8:00-5:00, Monday through Friday


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Health, Safety and ADA Information

When traveling to any foreign country, it is important to be aware of how to stay healthy and safe, so as to have the most positive and beneficial experience as possible during your stay. To find out more about vaccinations, healthy practices, and safety while in Spain, please visit the US Department of State's web site on travel in Spain.

There are no special vaccinations required or precautions to be taken with food or water, other than what common sense suggests, just like in the US. As in every country, be very careful with excessive alcohol and also with situations that could result in a contraction of any sort of STD, as some such as HIV can have extremely serious consequences.

For general health, safety and ADA accommodation information, please visit OIP's Health and Safety information page, and the health and medication section of OIP's Information for Parents web page.

Health and Safety considerations specific to the Barcelona Summer Program will be discussed in detail at the Pre-departure Orientation Session in the spring before the program begins. This session is mandatory for all program participants. The date and time will be posted here early in the Spring semester.

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Student Conduct

Attendance to all classes, fieldwork, and activities is mandatory, unless otherwise stated. Attendance policies are the same as if the students were taking classes on the Washington D.C. Georgetown campus, and will be available for viewing on Blackboard.

In addition to the Georgetown Student Code of Conduct, to which every student in the Program is expected to adhere, the Office of International Programs requires each student who studies abroad through their office to agree to the following Conditions of Participation, also listed at this OIP web page. To access the Conditions of Participation, click on the link below, which will take you to OIP's Summer Program info page, then click on the "Conditions of Participation" link, located in the left column of the page.

Violation of either of these codes may result in immediate expulsion from the program.

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The City of Barcelona

Barcelona Night Vista

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, capital of Catalonia and the province with the same name. It is located in the comarca of Barcelonès, along the Mediterranean coast (41°23′N 2°11′E) between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs.

The population of the city is about 1.6 million, while the population of the Barcelona province is calculated to be 5.3 million. As capital city of Catalonia, Barcelona houses the seat of the Generalitat de Catalunya and its Conselleries, the Parliament of Catalonia and the Supreme Court of Catalonia.

Renowned for its international flavor, Gothic and contemporary architecture, well developed art, music and dance cultures, excellent Mediterranean gastronomy, and rich cultural, linguistic and political histories, Barcelona has become one of the most preferred sites for tourism and studying abroad in Spain.

For a more detailed description of the city and what it has to offer, as well as extensive links and information on living and visiting, transportation, expenses and more, please visit this site's City of Barcelona page. (Casa Batlló photo courtesy of Scott Semyan).

Casa Battlo


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Frequently Asked Questions and Useful Information

Please visit our FAQs and Living Abroad page to see a list of frequently asked questions, answers, and generally useful information on what to expect when living abroad.For application information, forms and financial matters, please contact the OIP Summer Study Abroad Director. For more specific academic information, please direct inquiries to the Georgetown-at-Barcelona Program Director. Contact information for both is listed below.

Contact the Program Coordinators:

Application information, forms and financial matters:

Mr. Graham Hettlinger
Associate Director of Summer Study Abroad Programs
Office of International Programs
Poulton Hall, 2nd Floor
(202) 687-5867

Academic information:

Dr. Cristina Sanz
Director, Georgetown-at-Barcelona Summer Program
Department of Spanish & Portuguese, ICC 412
Phone: (202) 687-7213

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