Spain Program


The Spain Program is designed for those seeking to develop considerable fluency in Spanish while studying the historical and contemporary cultural diversity of Spain through a variety of disciplines such as history, art and literature.

Program Location

The program is based in Granada, capital of the province of Granada in the autonomous community of Andalucía in southern Spain. Granada lies at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the Mediterranean Tropical Coast is less than 50 miles away. The city's population is approximately 250,000. While Granada has been an urban center since about the 5th century BCE, much of its cultural and historical legacy derives from the Nazrid emirate during the 13th‐16th centuries, a community in which cultural diversity (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) thrived. In fact, Granada's name derives from a Jewish neighborhood (Garnata) in the urban nucleus prior to the arrival of Muslims in 711. The "jewel" of Muslim ownership of Granada is the palace of the Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Contemporary Granada is the epicenter of the emerging Andalusian Renaissance, once again celebrating its multicultural inheritance and continuing diverse demography, including viable populations Romani, North Africans and Latin Americans. Granada hosta the first Mosque built on Spanish soil since the Francisco Franco dictatorship (1939 - 1975); it is the home of the University of Granada, third largest Spanish university with approximately 80,000 students, and the first university in Spain to establish a Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. Granada is known for its tapas and a vibrant college-town atmosphere.

Program Leader

The program's faculty leader, Chris Swafford, is Professor of Spanish and Hispanic Studies at Earlham College. Her personal interests in this field are Peninsular languages, cultures and literatures. Chris has led seven previous semester programs and eleven May Terms to Spain. In addition to her position in Spanish and Hispanic Studies, Chris also teaches courses in Peace and Global Studies.

Modern Languages Center, University of Granada

Students will be enrolled in the University of Granada's Modern Languages Center, located in downtown Granada, in a neighborhood that was once the city's Jewish Quarter. Students will have acess to all University facilities, including libraries and sports venues.

Living Arrangements: Homestays

Students will live and take all meals with Spanish families in Granada throughout the program. Living with host families enhances the language acquisition process and reinforces the cultural immersion experience.

Program Excursions

The program begins in Madrid and students will explore the city and environs (for example, Toledo or Segovia) before traveling to Granada. In addition to exploring Granada, the program may also travel to cities or places such as Córdoba, Sevilla, Almeria and Morocco. Some excursions will be day trips and other excursions will require overnight stays.


Pre-Departure Orientation and Post-Return 

Students accepted to the program are required to participate in the Cross-Cultural Explorations I course (1 credit) prior to departure and Cross-Cultural Explorations II (1 credit) after returning from the program. Pre-departure preparation is designed to prepare the students for a cross-cultural experience and includes readings, lectures and discussions with faculty and former participants of the program. Students and parents/guardians will receive a handbook of important program information prior to commencement of the program. The on-site orientation will include intercultural training, safety/security and emergency procedures, orienteering and observations exercises. Following return to campus, students will participate in a 7-week course that will guide them in processing, analyzing and building upon their off-campus experience. Credit for Cross-Cultural Explorations I and II is dependent upon successful completion of the semester program.

Courses and Credits

All students will participate in an intensive language course in January. Students will then be evaluated and placed into appropriate courses for their level of proficiency in Spanish. All students will take an Andalusian Literature and Cultural Studies course with Chris, and all will participate in a Socratic "Tertulia Intercultural" (intercultural colloquium) that includes a required internship, field study or ethnographic project. Students will be able to choose courses that are offered through the Modern Languages Center. Students who demonstrate a superior language proficiency may be allowed to take one course directly from the University of Granada.  All students will receive AWPE credit for walking.  Students who enroll in an Art or Music course will fulfill the Earlham College A-HT General Education requirement.  Courses that may fulfill other General Education requirements must be petitioned prior to the program.

Sample of courses a student at an intermediate/advanced level of Spanish might take:


  • Intensive Spanish
  • Tertulia Intercultural

February - May:

  • Andalusian Literature and Cultural Studies
  • Spanish Grammar
  • Spanish Conversation and Composition
  • Geography of Spain
  • Traditional Song and Spanish Society:  Flamenco, Folklore and Sephardic Song
  • Tertulia Intercultural:  Internship/Field Study/Ethnography

Sample of courses a student at an advanced/superior level of Spanish might take:


  • Intensive Spanish
  • Tertulia Intercultural

February - May:

  • Spanish Grammar
  • Andalusian Literature and Cultural Studies
  • Islamic Culture in Spain
  • Ecology and Environment in Spainsociety and Politics in Modern Spain through the University of Granada
  • Tertulia Intercultural:  Internship/Field Study/Ethnography

Academic Programs



The program cost will be the equivalent of one semester of Earlham College tuition, fees, room and board. The program covers academic and educational costs, including field excursions and other group activities as well as room and board while on the academic portion of the program. A deposit of $350 is required after acceptance to the program, which is part of the total cost. Students on financial aid may apply their aid to one Earlham or Earlham-approved off-campus program during their college career.

Additional Costs

Each student should plan for additional money to cover round-trip airfare, passport and visa expenses, books, personal expenses, and costs for the independent travel period. A passport and visa is required for travel to Spain.


Students are responsible for arranging flights to and from Spain. Information on travel options will be available during orientation.


Undergraduate students of all academic backgrounds and majors in good standing with the college may apply. Students on academic or disciplinary probation are not eligible to apply or participate. Students must complete at least Spanish 202 prior to the program. Students are encouraged to take or audit Spanish 346: Spain Culture, offered during the fall semester. Majors from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Final selection of participants will be made by a student and faculty committee. 


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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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