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San Sebastián Courses – 2025 Spring

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 a language track plus language and literature electives and/or courses in psychology, Spanish, Basque, and European area studies. 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 Studies

USAC offers intensive language courses grouped into tracks as well as elective language and literature courses. The track courses are taught sequentially (back to back) within one semester. Enrollment in the entire track is mandatory. If you have already taken the first course in the track, you do not have to take it again for credit, but you must audit it. Language course sections are kept to a maximum enrollment of 15 students each. All students will enroll in the courses listed for the appropriate language track plus elective language and literature courses and/or courses from Spanish, Basque, and European Area Studies for a total of 12-18 credits.

Track I: 14 credits

Prerequisite: None

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

Track II: 12 credits

Prerequisite: 2 semesters of college Spanish

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

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 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: three semesters of college-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
        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: five semesters of college-level Spanish, or equivalent

      • Fall
        Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish
        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, or equivalent

      • Fall
        Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish
        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, or equivalent

      Spanish Language and Literature Electives

      Fall Semester

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

        This course offers an introduction to the theory and practice of translation from Spanish into English and vice versa, through readings and different types of exercises on the translation of different text genres.

        Este curso ofrece una introducción a la teoría y práctica de la traducción del español al inglés y viceversa, a través de lecturas y diversos ejercicios sobre la traducción de diferentes géneros textuales.

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

      • Fall
        Spanish 300-level 1-3 credits Taught in Spanish
        Fall
        Spanish 300-level 2-3 credits Taught in Spanish
        Spring
        Spanish 300-level 1-3 credits Taught in Spanish
        Spring
        Spanish 300-level 2-3 credits Taught in Spanish

        This course is designed to improve the knowledge, listening, and expressive capabilities of language students. Students will not only learn necessary vocabulary to express themselves in daily situations, but they will also learn to navigate more complex situations through conversation and free discussion of contemporary topics, using visual material, listening comprehension exercises, articles, and other course materials. The objective of the course is to facilitate the acquisition of language necessary to express oneself in daily situations.

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

      • Fall
        Spanish World Languages and Literatures 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

        Estudio de la literatura española en su evolución a partir del análisis de movimientos literarios y de la comparación de los autores y obras más representativas de cada período desde el siglo XII hasta el siglo XVII.

        Prerequisite: five semesters of college-level Spanish; students who have completed second-year Spanish with strong grades may be considered with home university approval

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

        Este curso está dirigido a alumnos que tengan buen conocimiento de español. Se conjugarán las lecturas de las obras antes señaladas, con exposiciones teóricas y visionado de vídeos sobre las obras de referencia.

        Se incentivará la asistencia a obras de teatro en directo para luego comentar aspectos que no recoge el teatro leído.

        Se realizarán, tanto individualmente como en grupo, trabajos y exposiciones sobre los diferentes autores.

        Se verán partes de cada una de las obras en clase, comentando los aspectos estudiados. Se comparará los diferentes estilos utilizados por los autores.

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

      Spring Semester

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

        This course offers an introduction to the theory and practice of translation from Spanish into English and vice versa, through readings and different types of exercises on the translation of different text genres.

        Este curso ofrece una introducción a la teoría y práctica de la traducción del español al inglés y viceversa, a través de lecturas y diversos ejercicios sobre la traducción de diferentes géneros textuales.

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

      • Fall
        Spanish 300-level 1-3 credits Taught in Spanish
        Fall
        Spanish 300-level 2-3 credits Taught in Spanish
        Spring
        Spanish 300-level 1-3 credits Taught in Spanish
        Spring
        Spanish 300-level 2-3 credits Taught in Spanish

        This course is designed to improve the knowledge, listening, and expressive capabilities of language students. Students will not only learn necessary vocabulary to express themselves in daily situations, but they will also learn to navigate more complex situations through conversation and free discussion of contemporary topics, using visual material, listening comprehension exercises, articles, and other course materials. The objective of the course is to facilitate the acquisition of language necessary to express oneself in daily situations.

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

      • 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: five semesters of college-level Spanish; students who have completed second-year Spanish with strong grades may be considered with home university approval

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

        Este curso está dirigido a alumnos que tengan buen conocimiento de español. Se conjugarán las lecturas de las obras antes señaladas, con exposiciones teóricas y visionado de vídeos sobre las obras de referencia.

        Se incentivará la asistencia a obras de teatro en directo para luego comentar aspectos que no recoge el teatro leído.

        Se realizarán, tanto individualmente como en grupo, trabajos y exposiciones sobre los diferentes autores.

        Se verán partes de cada una de las obras en clase, comentando los aspectos estudiados. Se comparará los diferentes estilos utilizados por los autores.

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

      Psychology, Spanish, Basque, and European Area Studies

      The following courses are designed to familiarize you with the region and provide a multi-disciplinary approach to your studies. Many of these elective courses will be shared with local students attending the Universidad del País Vasco.

      Fall Semester

      • Fall
        Nutrition 200-level 1 credit Taught in English and Spanish
        Spring
        Nutrition 200-level 1 credit Taught in English and Spanish

        This course is designed to teach Basque and other popular regional recipes, as well as tips, serving ideas, and a bit of etiquette and customs. The lessons are arranged by meal, so that one can easily translate the lessons to real life cooking situations.

        In addition to learning how to make appealing appetizers and entrees, students take several classes in baking and pastries. They learn tricks and tips that can be used in daily life. Students will spend time chopping onions, peeling potatoes, cutting meat, kneading dough and beating eggs, all of it under the supervision of the cooks who can teach them the tricks of the trade and correct any mistakes.

        Generally, classes include one to two hours of explanations along with a practical hands-on component in the school (fully equipped and stocked kitchens where students cook).

        This course has a maximum capacity of 20 students.

        This course has an additional fee

      • Fall
        Dance 100-level 1 credit Taught in Spanish
        Spring
        Dance 100-level 1 credit Taught in Spanish

        This course will introduce students to traditional Basque folkdance. Music will be presented in a variety of ways from live performances, small drums, and recorded music. Students will become familiar with dance styles including Makil Txiki, Polka Pik, San Petit, Karrika Dantza, and Sorgin Dantza.

      • Fall
        Anthropology Basque 300-level 3 credits Taught in English and Basque
        Spring
        Anthropology Basque 300-level 3 credits Taught in English and Basque

        This course will touch on the history and evolution of one of the oldest languages in the world, the mythology and symbolism of the Basques, their traditions and culture.

        General notions of the language will be presented, explaining why this language is of such interest today to linguists and anthropologists.

        Basic conversational Basque skills will be studied and students will have the opportunity outside of class to interview and practice with local native speakers.

      • Fall
        Psychology 300-level 3 credits Taught in English

        This course will begin with an evolutionary approach to the understanding of cognitive psychology and later explore perceptual and attentional processes. It will focus on visual perception. Course topics will be addressed via three different converging approaches: psychophysical, physiological, and cognitive. Finally, four types of attention—vigilant, focused, divided, and executive—will be examined. This course is suitable for students of psychology, as well as those who are interested in course topics.

      • Fall
        Psychology 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

        Students will explore the concept of emotional intelligence, its definition, and its historical and empirical constitution. We will study the skills that form the emotional intelligence ability model and the relevance of this kind of intelligence to use emotional information for people´s daily lives and the development of groups. In addition, we will analyze the bases that sustain the growth of the field and the aspects that favor its suitable development through the different stages of life. Finally, the course includes cases and situations to analyze how emotional intelligence can promote a person´s adaptation to different circumstances and emotional experiences. Students will focus on practical orientations to improve emotional abilities, both in themselves and others.

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

        This field study course is designed to optimize the benefits of the Madrid tour by providing a solid historic and artistic base for studies of Spanish language and culture. The point of departure for the course will be the sites visited on the four-day tour of Madrid and surroundings. Requirements include pre-departure readings, a daily journal of the tour, completion of a comprehensive study guide and a final exam which will be given at the program site. The tour will be given in English. The written work may be done in English or Spanish and it must be handed in before the final exam.

        Co-requisite: enrollment in the optional Madrid Tour.

      • Fall
        Spanish 300-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

        Humankind has continuously tried to explain the world through notions such as God, the cosmos, and

        nature. Referencing classic myths and legends to interpret the world continues even today. This course

        examines how humankind has created varying systems of myths, legends, symbols, and allegories across

        cultures that help interpret the world. This course loosely follows the historical development of different

        myths, from ancient times to the present and examines specific topics such as witchcraft, mythical

        places and animals, etc. Special attention will be given to Greek mythology and to the myths and

        legends of the Basques.

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

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

        The course will focus on the basic concepts of intercultural communication and intercultural skills and attitudes as well as introduce the basic concepts of mindfulness, which will provide helpful stress-reducing techniques. Living abroad provides exceptional opportunities to learn how to communicate with people of different cultural backgrounds, and reflection on these experiences with the host culture will permit students to acquire a critical cultural awareness and an understanding of cross-cultural encounters. The course will examine these broad categories separately:

        1) Cross-Cultural Competence: Introduction to the theory of intercultural communication and a reflection of students’ experiences in the host culture. This section will help students to connect the academic topics with the specific experiences they have while living abroad.

        2) Mindfulness: Introduction to the theory and practice of mindfulness as a tool for deepening awareness of students’ feelings and reactions to their new surroundings, as well as coping with the stress that living in a foreign culture might provoke. Students will explore various aspects of mindfulness and keep a journal of their experiences.

      • Fall
        General Education Spanish 200-level 1 credit Taught in English
        Spring
        General Education Spanish 200-level 1 credit Taught in English

        In this course, we will present the students with the most important methods and approaches in the field of teaching of English as a second language. We will cover theoretical and practical aspects

        of the methods. As a complement to the theories behind different methods, our students will do practice teaching of English as a second language in the local schools.

        This course is mandatory for all students participating in TABC program.

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

        This course will develop student knowledge of significant geographic, historical, social, economic, and artistic events that have taken place in Spain, starting with the settlers of the Iberian Peninsula. Students will develop a solid theoretical and historical foundation to analyze events throughout Spain’s history effectively. Some topics include the Christian-Islamic cohabitation, the Renaissance, the Baroque, the Neoclassic period, and significant events from the nineteenth/twentieth centuries and the modern period.

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

      • Fall
        Recreation / Physical Education 100-level 1 credit Taught in English and Spanish
        Spring
        Recreation / Physical Education 100-level 1 credit Taught in English and Spanish

        This course will introduce students to the sport of surfing. Students will meet twice a week for three-hour sessions. No equipment required.

        This course has an additional fee

      • Fall
        Art 200-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

        This course studies the history of Western European Art from Prehistoric times to the Renaissance. The course has a general introduction and six main topics: Prehistoric Art, Egyptian and Western Asian Art, Classical, Roman Art, Gothic Art and arts evolution at the time of the Renaissance.

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

      Spring Semester

      • Fall
        Nutrition 200-level 1 credit Taught in English and Spanish
        Spring
        Nutrition 200-level 1 credit Taught in English and Spanish

        This course is designed to teach Basque and other popular regional recipes, as well as tips, serving ideas, and a bit of etiquette and customs. The lessons are arranged by meal, so that one can easily translate the lessons to real life cooking situations.

        In addition to learning how to make appealing appetizers and entrees, students take several classes in baking and pastries. They learn tricks and tips that can be used in daily life. Students will spend time chopping onions, peeling potatoes, cutting meat, kneading dough and beating eggs, all of it under the supervision of the cooks who can teach them the tricks of the trade and correct any mistakes.

        Generally, classes include one to two hours of explanations along with a practical hands-on component in the school (fully equipped and stocked kitchens where students cook).

        This course has a maximum capacity of 20 students.

        This course has an additional fee

      • Fall
        Dance 100-level 1 credit Taught in Spanish
        Spring
        Dance 100-level 1 credit Taught in Spanish

        This course will introduce students to traditional Basque folkdance. Music will be presented in a variety of ways from live performances, small drums, and recorded music. Students will become familiar with dance styles including Makil Txiki, Polka Pik, San Petit, Karrika Dantza, and Sorgin Dantza.

      • Fall
        Anthropology Basque 300-level 3 credits Taught in English and Basque
        Spring
        Anthropology Basque 300-level 3 credits Taught in English and Basque

        This course will touch on the history and evolution of one of the oldest languages in the world, the mythology and symbolism of the Basques, their traditions and culture.

        General notions of the language will be presented, explaining why this language is of such interest today to linguists and anthropologists.

        Basic conversational Basque skills will be studied and students will have the opportunity outside of class to interview and practice with local native speakers.

      • Spring
        Human Development and Family Studies Psychology 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

        The relevance of emotional and social processes in human development is a central focus in developmental psychology. Developmental psychology has examined which kind of affective, emotional and social processes play a prominent role in particular phases of development and how their relative impact changes over the life-span. Overall, the study of the developmental significance of particular affective, emotional and social processes has led to a more comprehensive understanding of human development.

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

        This field study course is designed to optimize the benefits of the Madrid tour by providing a solid historic and artistic base for studies of Spanish language and culture. The point of departure for the course will be the sites visited on the four-day tour of Madrid and surroundings. Requirements include pre-departure readings, a daily journal of the tour, completion of a comprehensive study guide and a final exam which will be given at the program site. The tour will be given in English. The written work may be done in English or Spanish and it must be handed in before the final exam.

        Co-requisite: enrollment in the optional Madrid Tour.

      • Spring
        Art Film Spanish 400-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

        This course provides a panoramic vision of Spanish cinema as an expression of the evolution of Spanish

        society. It begins with the cinema of the 1930s and touches on the cinema of the transition and the new

        democratic era as well as on the postmodern cinema and the new directors of the 90s and the efforts to

        internationalize Spanish cinema concluding with an examination of Spanish and Basque cinema of the

        twenty-first century.

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

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

        The course will focus on the basic concepts of intercultural communication and intercultural skills and attitudes as well as introduce the basic concepts of mindfulness, which will provide helpful stress-reducing techniques. Living abroad provides exceptional opportunities to learn how to communicate with people of different cultural backgrounds, and reflection on these experiences with the host culture will permit students to acquire a critical cultural awareness and an understanding of cross-cultural encounters. The course will examine these broad categories separately:

        1) Cross-Cultural Competence: Introduction to the theory of intercultural communication and a reflection of students’ experiences in the host culture. This section will help students to connect the academic topics with the specific experiences they have while living abroad.

        2) Mindfulness: Introduction to the theory and practice of mindfulness as a tool for deepening awareness of students’ feelings and reactions to their new surroundings, as well as coping with the stress that living in a foreign culture might provoke. Students will explore various aspects of mindfulness and keep a journal of their experiences.

      • Fall
        General Education Spanish 200-level 1 credit Taught in English
        Spring
        General Education Spanish 200-level 1 credit Taught in English

        In this course, we will present the students with the most important methods and approaches in the field of teaching of English as a second language. We will cover theoretical and practical aspects

        of the methods. As a complement to the theories behind different methods, our students will do practice teaching of English as a second language in the local schools.

        This course is mandatory for all students participating in TABC program.

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

        This course will develop student knowledge of significant geographic, historical, social, economic, and artistic events that have taken place in Spain, starting with the settlers of the Iberian Peninsula. Students will develop a solid theoretical and historical foundation to analyze events throughout Spain’s history effectively. Some topics include the Christian-Islamic cohabitation, the Renaissance, the Baroque, the Neoclassic period, and significant events from the nineteenth/twentieth centuries and the modern period.

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

      • Fall
        Recreation / Physical Education 100-level 1 credit Taught in English and Spanish
        Spring
        Recreation / Physical Education 100-level 1 credit Taught in English and Spanish

        This course will introduce students to the sport of surfing. Students will meet twice a week for three-hour sessions. No equipment required.

        This course has an additional fee

      • Spring
        Art 200-level 3 credits Taught in Spanish

        This course presents the study of Western European art from the seventeenth century (Baroque Art) until the last third of the twentieth century (Pop-Art). Students will explore European art in three parts: a) the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; b) The nineteenth century; and c) the twentieth century.

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

      • Spring
        Biology Psychology 300-level 3 credits Taught in English

        This course looks at human behavior from ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Students will explore how behavior can reflect an adaptive response to ecological and social drivers and some neuroendocrinological and genetic processes underpinning human behavior. The approach is comparative, putting the conduct of modern urban humans into context through analysis of behavior in both traditional human societies and non-human primates.

      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, are subject to meeting minimum enrollment requirements to run, and may not be available every semester. Refer to the course list above for current field study offerings.

      Host University Courses

      Attending a host university course is a great option for students looking to expand their academic experience abroad. By auditing a class at the Universidad del Pais Vasco (UPV), USAC students can experience firsthand the academic style of Spain, immerse themselves in the academic community of San Sebastián, and get to know local university students with similar academic interests. Most courses are taught in Spanish, but English-language offerings may be available.

      While it may be possible to earn academic credit for host university courses, UPV does not provide an official university transcript for courses completed by USAC students. Instead, they may provide a letter verifying participation in the course and the grade received. Be sure to work with your home university academic advisor to determine if host university courses will be accepted for credit. Please note that UPV typically follows a different academic calendar than USAC. This means that final exams are likely to take place after the USAC program has ended. It may be possible to arrange early exams, but USAC cannot guarantee this. Additionally, there may be supplementary fees associated with host university courses that are not covered by USAC program fees.