New Summer Study Abroad Program to Cadiz, Spain

Submitted by Casey Colvin on
Campo Sur, Cadiz, Spain

We are very excited to confirm the new Summer Cadiz program, which began as a novel idea in Spanish and Portuguese studies but quickly grew to be warmly received by a range of students and faculty from different departments across campus.  By re-envisioning the traditional NW Cadiz experience, this new program offers first year language students and non-Spanish majors the opportunity to live and study in Cadiz for the full summer quarter. 

As an exciting introduction to Spain and the “Gaditano” lifestyle, the program emphasizes authentic cultural immersion, diverse learning experiences, and intercultural relationships.  Remaining loyal to community outreach, volunteer projects planned so far include beach clean-up and teaching English, although other activities are still being developed.  An array of interesting cultural activities has been organized to expose students to the peculiarities of the local culture.  Some of these events include a chance to experience the popular festivities of “Los Juanillos”, the burning of paper mâché figures that symbolizes the onset of summer and the opportunity to see local fisherman pay homage to the patron saint of the sea during the “Festival de la Virgin de la Carmen”.  Similarly, students will travel to emblematic cities like Bolonia located on the coast of Tenerife which is home to the Baelo Claudio ruins; considered to be the most complete Roman Ruins town uncovered in Spain and a visit to the Mezquita of Cordoba, the world’s third largest mosque, which is ironically no longer a mosque at all, but rather a catholic cathedral.  Students are also encouraged to organize their own travel to other interesting destinations in Andalucía and Europe.  For example, Sevilla, the fourth biggest city in Spain, is just an hour and a half away while major European cities are easily accessible from the Jerez or Seville airports.

As an additional bonus, unlike Seattle, which just set a record for thirty days of straight rain, Cadiz will provide constant sunshine necessary for the soul and perfect for students to explore the local beaches and participate in recreational activities like surfing, dancing, and outdoor sports.

Moreover, this new program is uniquely structured so that students will not only have the support of a local resident director, Rita Serghini, who has extensive knowledge in study abroad and the local culture, but also the comfort and experience of a UW faculty member. This year we are lucky enough to have Elizabeth Hochberg, a lecturer in the Spanish and Portuguese department, to lead this program alongside Rita.  Importantly, students will not only enroll in language classes, but will expand their global perspectives by participating in a course on intercultural communication, thus returning home with worldly experience and tangible intercultural skills.

It is without a doubt an exciting time for the Summer Cadiz program and we are looking forward to creating an amazing learning experience!

By Rita Serghini