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Madrid Courses – 2021 Fall

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.

Academics

You will enroll in 12 to 18 credits per semester comprised of language courses plus electives in Spanish language and literature, Spanish, and European studies. All students must complete a minimum of one language course, although we strongly encourage students to complete an entire language track. Course availability is contingent upon student enrollment and is subject to change.

Click the course title to view course details, description, and availability.

Spanish Language Tracks

USAC offers intensive language courses grouped into tracks in which courses are taught sequentially (back to back) within one semester. If you have already taken the first course in a track, you do not have to take it again for credit, but you must audit it to be prepared for success at the next level. Language courses are small and typically have a maximum enrollment of 15 students each.

Track I-A: 11 credits

Fall or Spring semester

Prerequisite: None

  1. Elementary Spanish I
  2. Elementary Spanish II
  3. Intermediate Spanish I

Track I-B: 8 credits

Fall semester only

Prerequisite: None

  1. Elementary Spanish I
  2. Elementary Spanish II

Track II: 9 credits

Prerequisite: 2 semesters of college Spanish

  1. Intermediate Spanish I
  2. Intermediate Spanish II
  3. Spanish Composition I

Track III: 9 credits

Prerequisite: 4 semesters of college Spanish

  1. Spanish Composition I
  2. Spanish Composition II
  3. Advanced Spanish I

Track IV: 6 credits

Prerequisite: 6 semesters of college Spanish

  1. Advanced Spanish I
  2. Advanced Spanish II

Language Courses

  • Fall
    Spanish 100-level 4 credits Taught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish 100-level 4 credits Taught in Spanish

    This course is designed to help learners of Spanish to develop basic communicative competence and critical thinking skills. It offers an intensive study and practice of the productive and receptive language skills in the oral and written modes. The main emphasis of this track is on communication.

  • Fall
    Spanish 100-level 4 credits Taught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish 100-level 4 credits Taught in Spanish

    This course is designed to help learners of Spanish to develop basic communicative competence and critical thinking skills. It offers an intensive study and practice of the productive and receptive language skills in the oral and written modes. The main emphasis of this track is on communication.

    Prerequisite: one semester of college-level Spanish, or equivalent

  • Fall
    Spanish 200-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish 200-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    This course is designed to help learners of Spanish to develop basic communicative competence and critical thinking skills. It offers an intensive study and practice of the productive and receptive language skills in the oral and written modes. The main emphasis of this track is on communication.

    Prerequisite: two semesters of collge-level Spanish, or equivalent

  • Fall
    Spanish 200-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish 200-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    This course is designed to help learners of Spanish to develop basic communicative competence and critical thinking skills. It offers an intensive study and practice of the productive and receptive language skills in the oral and written modes. The main emphasis of this track is on communication.

    Prerequisite: two semesters of collge-level Spanish, or equivalent

  • Fall
    Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    The focus of this course is to improve learners´ written abilities through the analysis and the production of different types of texts. In addition, several grammatical topics will be reviewed in order to enhance and refine the learners´ grammatical competence.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish, or equivalent

  • Fall
    Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish Cancelled
    Spring
    Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    The focus of this course is to improve learners´ written abilities through the analysis and the production of different types of texts. In addition, several grammatical topics will be reviewed in order to enhance and refine the learners´ grammatical competence.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish, or equivalent

  • Fall
    Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish Cancelled
    Spring
    Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    This course is designed for students who may manage in daily tasks and interactions, but still need to improve their control over different oral and written registers. In addition, these courses will offer them the opportunity to enhance their vocabulary in specific and technical areas, and to improve grammatical accuracy in their oral and written expression.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college-level Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish Cancelled
    Spring
    Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    This course is designed for students who may manage in daily tasks and interactions, but still need to improve their control over different oral and written registers. In addition, these courses will offer them the opportunity to enhance their vocabulary in specific and technical areas, and to improve grammatical accuracy in their oral and written expression.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college-level Spanish

Fall Semester

Spanish Language and Literature Electives

  • Fall
    300-level 1-3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Spring
    300-level 1-3 credits Taught in Spanish

    An optional one or two credit course addressed to students that have already completed a year of Spanish at the elementary level and want to start participating in the oral activities that the immersion setting facilitates.

    Prerequisite: two semesters of college-level Spanish

  • Fall
    Art Film History 300-level 3 credits Taught in English

    The fundamental objective of this course is to examine the history of Twentieth Century Europe through the analysis and interpretation of a series of films that reconstruct key moments of this period. As the most influential artistic medium of the twentieth century, the cinema becomes both product and producer of historical processes and rhetoric, constructing and deconstructing myths, stories and identities. As such, studying cinema in a diachronic context allows us to examine the social, economic, historical, artistic and ideological movements related to a particular timeframe. We will simultaneously reflect on the connection between historiographic narratives and their corresponding on-screen versions. History as presented in film and the history of film.

Art and Spanish/European Studies

Many of these elective courses will be shared with other international students attending the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.

  • Fall
    Spanish 200-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Anthropology Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    This course will develop student understanding of topics related to contemporary Spanish culture and civilization. Students will build a strong theoretical and historical foundation to effectively analyze life in Spain in the present, and the changes that have taken place in society related politics, religion, economy, and society.

Spring Semester

Spanish Language and Literature Electives

  • Fall
    300-level 1-3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Spring
    300-level 1-3 credits Taught in Spanish

    An optional one or two credit course addressed to students that have already completed a year of Spanish at the elementary level and want to start participating in the oral activities that the immersion setting facilitates.

    Prerequisite: two semesters of college-level Spanish

  • Spring
    Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    This course has been created for students who wish to develop competence in an area of Spanish that normally does not constitute a part of language learning. The objective of this course is to familiarize the student with the terminology and syntax related to the world of economics, business administration, markets and related topics, so that they are able to communicate correctly in the business context.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish

  • Spring
    Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    A través de una selección de textos, se estudiarán algunas de las obras más representativas de la literatura española, desde el siglo XVIII hasta la actualidad. Este estudio tendrá dos elementos básicos de análisis: contenido temático y formal.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish

  • Spring
    Art Film History 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    The course explores the history of twentieth-century Spain through the study of selected texts and the analysis of relevant films of the period in Spanish culture and society. We will examine such questions as women´s roles, dictatorship and censorship, exile and migration, experience of war and repression, economic development, democracy, social movements and globalization, and how these issues are represented through cinema in Spain.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish

  • Spring
    Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    This course features several major novelists from the different cultural communities of Spain, who are regarded on both sides of the Atlantic as among the most representative of Spanish 20th century fiction. Their work is symptomatic of a whole 19th and 20th century project of inventing a novel, which represents a national form of fiction in Spain.

    Prerequisiste: six semesters of college-level Spanish

  • Spring
    Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish
    Spring
    Spanish 600-level 3 credits Taught in English

    A study of the most important authors and movements from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, including Unamuno, Garcia Lorca, Damaso Alonso, Cernuda, Celaya, and more.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college-level Spanish

Art and Spanish/European Studies

Many of these elective courses will be shared with other international students attending the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.

  • Fall
    Art 100-level 3 credits Taught in English Cancelled
    Spring
    Art 100-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This is an on-site art studio course, based on drawing, open to art and non-art majors. Previous

    drawing experience is not needed.

    In this course, students will explore and develop drawing skills through the completion of a travel sketchbook. Taking as a point of departure the notion of the city as a social form and students’ positioning as travelers in Madrid, this course offers an exploration of the city through drawing and interactions with the visual arts. In dialogue with Michel De Certeau’s understanding of everyday practices like walking as ways to create spaces that contest dominant city circuits, we will visit and draw prominent sites - monuments, museums, neighborhoods, gardens, among others. Students’ sketchbooks will be related to students’ own artistic and intellectual projects and will allow them to experience the city in unique ways.

    Weekly reviews of their work will allow students to develop drawing skills gradually in order to reach the goal of understanding and using drawing as a powerful visual form of communication. Students will have weekly individual feedback on their drawings and homework.

    Drawing techniques, art history, and cultural theory readings, as well as references to contemporary painters and artwork will be used to demonstrate concepts discussed in class and to broaden student's visual vocabulary and understanding of art.

    Students will produce a sketchbook during the semester based on drawings made during class time, site visits and homework. Students’ conclusions and experiences will be reflected in a final project. Students’ final drawing will be directly related to their own interests and intellectual projects.

  • Spring
    Economics History Political Science 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

    From Ancient times, many thinkers have tried to create a politically united Europe. After WWII the conditions materialized and since then, we have experienced the process of integration and the creation of European Law. Currently, EU´s political, economic and legal agreements affect not only its Member States but also the rest of the World, in a similar way that the USA does. This course is designed to provide a broad understanding of the major political and economic changes occurred in the European Union (Economic European Communities until 1992) after the Second World War. Special attention will be given to the study of institutional and public policy issues. The course will examine the ongoing process of the making of the EU. In addition to a review of the history of European integration, its nature and functioning will also be analyzed. Finally it will focus on a discussion of specific issues related to current problems facing European construction, and the challenges ahead.

  • Spring
    Anthropology Music Sociology 200-level 3 credits Taught in English

    In this course, students will develop knowledge of the history and culture of Flamenco and the specific musical components of the art form. This course will include a variety of activities including, video screenings, audio sessions, and theoretical discussions. Students will develop analytical skills through a close reading of recordings, poetry, and film.

  • Spring
    Art Journalism 300-level 3 credits Taught in English

    Students will begin by navigating and engaging their new surroundings with their cameras through a series of short assignments. They will then learn to define and apply what makes a good, information-full photograph and begin to execute more thorough assignments. Feedback will be given directly by the instructor and by the student’s peers in critiques. Towards the end of the semester, students will do a long-term narrative story based on a topic of their choice. By the end of the class, it is my hope that each student will create a narrative project that visually communicates an aspect of their experience abroad.

    The following will be covered throughout the course of the semester:

    -History of/contemporary trends in photojournalism

    -Story-telling via assignments and projects

    -Ethics and methods

    -Personal picture editing

    -Long Term Project planning and execution

  • Spring
    Nutrition 200-level 1 credit Taught in English

    An introduction to Spanish cuisine in a hands-on kitchen environment. Authentic preparations of several local dishes will be taught. Correct cooking techniques are emphasized. Readings and lectures on local food customs and traditions will support and contextualize the cooking instruction.

    This course has a maximum capacity of 15.

    This course has an additional fee for materials.

  • Fall
    Spanish 200-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Anthropology Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    This course will develop student understanding of topics related to contemporary Spanish culture and civilization. Students will build a strong theoretical and historical foundation to effectively analyze life in Spain in the present, and the changes that have taken place in society related politics, religion, economy, and society.

  • Spring
    Art 200-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

    The aim of this course is to offer an introduction to Western Aesthetics analyzing forms and contents in different schools during a specific period of time: from the Baroque period (17th century) to the 20th century. The course will offer a general survey of Western Art and Architecture of the period with a particular emphasis on Art and Architecture on the Spanish Peninsula.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish

To request a course syllabus: syllabus@usac.edu

Field Studies

Optional field studies are an excellent way to deepen your academic experience abroad. During your 1-credit field study course, you will participate in carefully planned excursions that allow you to explore the cultural, historical, and natural features of Spain. These overnight field experiences, combined with required academic components such as readings, research, and written assignments, will increase your understanding of the sites and locales visited.

As an experiential learning method, optional field studies complement the larger academic program and provide you with opportunities to learn in new ways, to gain hands-on experience, and to connect your classroom learning to the world around you.

Optional field studies have an additional fee and are subject to meeting minimum enrollment requirements to run.

For more information about field study options, see the Madrid tour and field study page.

Internships

USAC in-person and virtual internships are rich resources for your academic and professional development. Whether onsite or virtually, you will work closely with a USAC Resident Director (RD), an internship coordinator, and a professional supervisor to gain valuable experience and skills that can be applied to your chosen career field. Internships are also a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of Spain, deepen your cross-cultural understanding, and help you develop intercultural communication and language skills in an internationally focused organization or other professional work setting.

Among the many benefits of an internship experience, USAC in-person and virtual internships help you

  • Learn about a career that matches your academic and personal interests
  • Gain practical, hands-on experience
  • Master highly sought-after soft skills such as time management, teamwork, and problem solving
  • Build a network of professional contacts
  • Improve your resume
  • Cultivate intercultural communication skills that are essential in a globalized workforce
  • Develop an understanding of the workplace norms, expectations, and culture of Spain

For eligibility requirements and application information, see the USAC internship page.

For more information about placement options, see the Madrid internship page.

Additional Offerings

Courses

  • Fall
    Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish Cancelled

    This course is an advanced Spanish elective designed to develop students’ written communication and expression skills, and to increase Spanish reading and writing proficiency. The highly collaborative classroom environment will also encourage students to ask and answer questions and discuss topics, all while building Spanish language competency and confidence.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college-level Spanish

  • Spring
    Spanish World Languages and Literatures 200-level 1 credit Taught in English Cancelled

    There is much more to Spain than its capital. Hence, the aim of this course is to introduce students to regions beyond the confines of Madrid. As autonomous learners, students who opt to do the Field Study course will develop a more global view of Spain and its history, culture, geography and people. This will be achieved through reading and basic investigation, both within and outside Andalusia. As a result, students will come to better understand the diversity of Iberian cultures, in particular that of Andalusia.

    This course has an additional fee.

  • Fall
    Anthropology History Music 300-level 3 credits Taught in English Cancelled

    The course will draw upon current frameworks in ethnomusicology and culture studies in order to examine several important aspects of music-making and reception in contemporary Spain such as identity, collective sociability, and musical change.

  • Fall
    Anthropology History 200-level 1 credit Taught in English Cancelled

    This course will introduce students to regions beyond the confines of Madrid. Students will develop a global view of Spain and Galicia’s history, culture, geography, and people. This course will include a series of readings and research about Galicia and Iberian cultures.

  • Fall
    Political Science 400-level 3 credits Taught in English Cancelled

    This course will cover topics related to the Spanish political system including, the crown, parliament, judicial system, constitutional court, autonomous communities, and the electoral system. Students will develop a theoretical foundation for analyzing current political issues related to the European Union, constitutional protection, post-Franco democratic processes, and the development of autonomous communities.

    Prerequisite: coursework in college-level political science or international relations

  • Fall
    Dance Recreation / Physical Education 100-level 1 credit Taught in English Cancelled
    Spring
    Dance Recreation / Physical Education 100-level 1 credit Taught in English Cancelled

    This course will introduce students to a variety of Spanish and Latin American dances including Tango, Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, Cha-cha-cha, and Flamenco. Students will develop an understanding of the spirit of dance, as it is understood by the Spanish community.

  • Spring
    Service Learning Sociology Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish Cancelled

    Using a service-learning experience as a field laboratory, this course seeks to examine the socioeconomic, cultural, political, and historic elements that shaped and continue to shape modern Madrid. Students work 42 total hours (2 hours and 40 minutes per week) alongside Spanish volunteers and their professor in a soup kitchen that serves over 100 people. Once a week, the students, under the guidance of volunteers from all strata of Spanish society, prepare meals, serve lunch, wash up and fulfill other on-site activities to complete the service-learning component of this course. Students will also volunteer at Pan y Peces (a local food bank) during the semester on February 8nd and March 8th (9:00-12:30) with other USAC Madrid students. To complete academic credits, students will meet once a week (26 total hours) in a classroom setting to participate in engaging cross-cultural communication activities, give presentations on research, debrief, and reflect on weekly service. Student will also be given class time to work on their midterm and final projects.

    This course will encourage students to meet locals, explore different parts of Madrid on their own, and analyze the intercultural dynamics they observe during their volunteer experience while improving their Spanish language skills and witnessing social justice in modern-day Spanish culture firsthand. Through pre-service lectures, cross-cultural communication exercises, weekly in-class reflections, presentations, visits to Madrid neighborhoods and museums as well as 42 volunteer hours in a soup kitchen and food bank, this course will:

    1. Encourage students’ immersion into the study abroad environment through experiences that will improve skills in Spanish language proficiency and cross-cultural interaction.

    2. Provide students with real world volunteer experience with local organizations and highlight the purpose of these organizations within the larger context of Spanish reality.

    3. Facilitate Spanish language learning by establishing social connections in their new communities while underscoring the importance of social justice and the diversity of Spanish culture.

    4. Enhance the students’ academic curriculum by integrating service activities that allow them to meet a real community need.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish

  • Fall
    Art 300-level 3 credits Taught in English Cancelled

    The aim of this course is to offer an introduction to the history of photography in Spain during the 19th and 20th centuries, which will be used to analyze the cultural background that defines Spanish society today. From the old monarchy of absolutist tradition to today’s democracy, photographers have captured in their negatives thousands of daily moments that help us to look again at history and understand the changes that define the Spanish culture. This course provides students with the opportunity to learn about the history and traditions of Spain through the lens of photography.

  • Fall
    Art 200-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish Cancelled

    This course covers topics in western art history from the time of the Ancient Greeks through the end of the Renaissance. Students will analyze major works including Greek art, Romanesque and Gothic art, and works from the Great Masters Generation between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

    The course features trips to the Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, the Archeological Museum, where students will observe and analyze works covered in course lectures.

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish

  • Fall
    Spanish World Languages and Literatures 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish Cancelled

    During this course, the masters of Spanish theatre in the 20th and 21st centuries will be studied, as well as their interrelationship with other European and American scenes and their history-in-progress characteristics. Since theatre is, among other aspects, a reflection of the circumstances in which one writes, the analysis of the pre- and post- Civil War theatre includes discussion of the most important events in the history of Spain during this century. Principal authors to be studied are Benavente, Garcia Lorca, Valle-Inclán, Buero Vallejo, and Mayorga.

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college-level Spanish

Quick Details

2022-23 App. Cycle

Summer sessions: Open
Fall/Yearlong: Open
Spring: Open

Eligibility

Preferred GPA: 2.5

Program Type

Specialty

Credits

US Credit

Program Capacity

65 students

Instruction

English | Spanish

Member

APUNE--Associación de Programas Universitarios Norteamericanos en España

Passport & Visa

Passport & Visa Information