UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD-Winter: Spain: Cultures of the Contact Zone - Seville, Sepharad, Al-Andalus, and the Atlantic World (SPAN/HONR)

Cadiz, Spain
Cordoba, Spain
Granada, Spain
Seville, Spain
Terms offered: 
Program Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
Graduate Students Eligible to Apply: 
EA Advisor: 
Maria Barra
Language of Instruction: 

Spain 2018

Drawing from the cultural mosaic of the city of Seville and its surrounding region, you will explore the Mediterranean and Transatlantic contexts that have influenced and shaped Spain's history, identity, cultural and artistic expressions. You will learn and visit what was known as Sepharad and Al-Andalus – the first the Jewish, and the second the Arabic name for the Iberian Peninsula from the 700’s to 1492. Today, this area is called Andalucía and it is 1 of 17 autonomous communities in Spain. During the program, you will be based in Sevilla, the capital city of Andalucía, and travel to surrounding cities including Córdoba, Granada and Cadiz.

What To Expect? Besides an amazing experience abroad, during this course you will study about the so-called convivencia period, when Jews, Muslims, and Christians co-existed in Medieval Spain, thus you will learn to understand the repercussions of this legacy. You will also examine the flourishing of the Spanish empire, its expansion towards the Atlantic Islands and the New World, and how this process changed the Old World forever. Class lectures will include: discussions on each unit (Sepharad, Al-Andalus and the Atlantic World), site visits and assigned readings. You will be graded on your level of participation, reaction essays, and a final paper on a topic of your choosing.. Sample papers will be available on the course site on Canvas.

Keep In Mind: The program is designed to allow you to interact with the local culture and living history of the convivencia. There will also be numerous site visits and one overnight excursion. For those seeking to fulfill their Honors or Spanish major/minor (3) credit please contact the Program Director to learn about the academic requirements set by SPAP and the Honors College. 

You must be in good academic and judicial standing and you must not have any registration blocks to participate in this program. The minimum GPA for this program is listed above.

There is no Spanish language pre-requisite (this course is taught in English) but a basic level of Spanish is recommended. 

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the eligibility requirements, reach out to the program director (listed in the Contacts tab) to discuss your interest in the program.

After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in one of the following three (3) credit UMD courses:

  • SPAN225: Cultures of the Contact Zones - Seville, Sepharad, Al-Andalus and the Atlantic World
  • HONR248E: Honors Seminar: Cultures of the Contact Zones - Seville, Sepharad, Al-Andalus and the Atlantic World
  • SPAN399C: Spanish Culture in the Convivencia Period: Seville, Sepharad, Al-Andalus, and the Atlantic World (only open to Spanish majors and minors)
  • SPAN699E: Independent Study in Spanish: Research in Spain (only open to advanced graduate students for research at the Archivo de Indias in Seville)

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit.

This program is approved for the Humanities Gen Ed credit.

You will stay with local Spanish families and in hotels.

Costs are current for winter 2020. 

Application Fee $50
Billable Costs
Billable costs are charged to your student account. They are due based on the Office of Student Financial Services and Cashiering payment schedule. Be sure to check your statements when they are available.
Education Abroad Fee $500
This fee is charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted" to "Committed." This fee includes Education Abroad services including registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance $45
Tuition $2,530
This fee is charged to your UMD account upon course registration. This fee includes: Tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
Housing Fee $1,100
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
Out-of-pocket Costs
Meals (estimate) $250
Visa $10
Passport $145
Roundtrip Airfare (estimate) $1,500
Course Materials $40
Optional Activities/incidental expenses $250
Optional trip cancelation/interruption Insurance (estimate) $180

NOTE: If you are a non-UMD graduate student, you will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD graduate school to participate in this program.

Please refer to the following resources for more information on funding study abroad

PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancellation due to low enrollment.

Ginette Alomar Eldredge, PhD, is the Program Director and will accompany students to Spain. Ginette focuses in Spanish Medieval Literature, specifically the representation of the female subject during this period. On May 2017 she earned the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also holds a Master’s in Spanish Studies from the University of Puerto Rico. In 2002, she relocated to the United States where she has taught Spanish at all levels. She has published articles in her areas of interest: literature and art history. 

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact the Program Director. For general questions or assistance with applying, contact EA Short-term Programs.

As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  • Intensive and hands on study of Spanish history and culture
  • Travel across Andalucia to monuments and cities such as Italica, La Mezquita and Medinat Al-Zahra in Córdoba and La Alhambra in Granada, among other site visits around Seville.
  • There will be numerous site visits and students should be prepared for moderate to long periods of walking.
Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Winterterm 2020 10/13/2019 10/11/2019 01/01/2020 01/20/2020