Food and Culture in the Hispanic World

For students at any Spanish level interested in food culture
Next Offered
Summer 2017
Application Deadline

Program Description


The program focuses on food and culture in the Hispanic world. Students will take courses on Hispanic food and culture taught by UW professor Ana M. Gómez-Bravo (Spanish and Portuguese Studies). Additional courses will be taught by UW Spanish faculty and by on-site faculty from the Centro de Idiomas in San Sebastián. The program is ideally located in what is considered one of the most prominent Spanish regions regarding food and culture. In addition, it is conveniently located within easy access of other important areas of interest to the program such as Catalonia, Madrid and the Rioja growing region. Learning about food and culture on-site is ideal since it allows for immediate access to locations, sources and persons that are important but out of reach when outside of the country. The program includes a trip to Barcelona that will focus on the food and culture of the region, a trip to Bilbao, as well as several day trips to neighborhoods within San Sebastián, and small towns in the area that have an active food culture. Students will stay at a local student residence. Basque people have a strong reputation of warm hospitality.


July 20 - August 19, 2017


Hispanic Food and Culture: SPAN 294/299/393/462/493/* JSIS C 489 / NUTR 490 / GEOG 295 (5 credits)

The course will explore Hispanic food in a cultural context. We will study Hispanic cuisine through the centuries, focusing on topics including food and sociability, modes and techniques of food preparation and consumption, urban and rural traditions, and artifacts. The study of ingredients will look at biological and cultural exchanges among Spain, the New World, the Middle East and Asia. The course will explore urban and rural markets, foodways and spaces and will include many hands-on activities as well as visits to local markets and other food sites.

Learning Goals: 

  • Identify the major diet components in the different areas of the Hispanic World.
  • Recognize main food ingredients and their cultural significance.
  • Describe the major cultural trends and historical developments associated with food production and intake.
  • Distinguish food production and cooking methods associated with the Hispanic World.
  • Identify a variety of objects such as cooking and serving utensils associated with food and how they are used.
  • Recognize and use Spanish vocabulary associated with food.

Contemporary Spanish Culture: SPAN 294/299/393/462/493* (5 credits)

The course is designed to provide a thorough overview of Spanish culture through literature, film, music and politics. The course will study the different cultures and national identities within Spain and their impact on artistic fields such as literature, films and music.

Learning Goals: 

  • Examine cultural behavior, specifically in literature and film and music
  • Describe the major cultural movements and political developments in Spain
  • Think critically and reflect on literature, film, history, and current political trends
  • Enrich their exploration of the Hispanic World through an engagement with Spanish culture
  • Recognize the different cultural identities within Spain

Food in Popular and Visual Cultures: SPAN 294/299/393/462/493* (5 credits)

The course provides an in-depth introduction to food and identity in Hispanic cinema and literature.

Learning Goals: 

Students will learn about the role food plays in the constitution of Hispanic individual and national identities through visual and textual culture.

Credit Information:  *200, 300 and 400-level credit will be determined during application process.  All applicants are required to discuss their level with the Spanish and Portuguese adviser,  Students will receive either 200, 300, or 400-level credit for all three classes, based on their preparation prior to departure.  

No prerequisites are needed for clases taught in English, i.e. SPAN 294, JSIS C 489, NUTR 490, or GEOG 295 credit. SPAN 201 is the prerequisite for SPAN 299.  SPAN 301 (or 314) is the prerequisite for SPAN 393, and the classes may be used to fulfill three of the four required electives for the SPAN minor. SPAN 303 (or 316) and SPAN 322 are prerequisites for 400-level SPAN credit, and may be used to fulfill three of the five 400-level courses required for the Spanish major.  All prerequisites must be completed prior to the start of the San Sebastián program.

Total Credits:  15

Prerequisites:  None.

Excursions & Other Activities

Several excursions to points of interest in the region are included in the program fee. 

Housing Information

The students’ primary housing will be at Olarain dorm. Students in the program have been lodged in this dorm for the past two years.

Program Directors & Staff

Ana M. Gomez-Bravo, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Program Director (

Ana M. Gómez-Bravo is a  Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Washington.  She is currently working on a book-length project on the relation between food and ethnic identity. She has been teaching courses on food and culture and leading study abroad programs for the last five years.

Erin McCoy, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Program Co-Director

Erin McCoy, University of Washington Graduate Student (

Erin McCoy teaches Spanish and writing as well as courses on food and culture in film and literature.

Eligibility & Application

Information Sessions


Eligibility Requirements

No physical requirements.  No language requirements.  The program will appeal to anyone with an interest in food, international studies and a cross-disciplinary perspective of cultural issues, particularly as they relate to the Hispanic World and with a focus on food. The ideal student would look forward to an international hands-on experience and would be ready for discovery and rethinking culture.

Application Process

Priority will be given to applications received by the application deadline of February 15th, 2017. Applications received after the deadline may be considered on a space available basis.

To apply to the program, please visit UW Study Abroad Office webpage for the program and click on the Apply Now button.

The application includes a Personal Statement, three short answer questions, two recommendations from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the on-line application process students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. You can do so by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.


Participants must provide proof of health/accident insurance coverage. Please refer to the UW Study Abroad Office Health Insurance webpage for information regarding health insurance while studying abroad.


To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at

Financial & Enrollment Information

Program Fees

Estimated Program Fee of $4,900, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money (food is included in program fee).

*The average cost for round-trip airfare is $1,600-$2,000, depending on when and where you buy your ticket.

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type

Payment Amount

Payment Due Date

Non-Refundable UW Study Abroad Fee


August 4, 2017

Program Fee Balance


August 4, 2017




Scholarships & Financial Aid

Undergraduates who intend to study abroad are encouraged to apply for the Fritz Undergraduate Scholarship for Study Abroad and the Global Opportunities Scholarship for Study Abroad.

Students seeking further information on financial aid and scholarships for foreign study should visit the UW Study Abroad Financial Aid webpage, or request the Financial Aid outline from the UW Study Abroad Office. In addition, students may reference the UW Scholarship Office website for more information on general and foreign study scholarships. Students will maintain their eligibility to receive most forms of UW student financial aid while participating in this program, provided that they concurrently enroll.

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Summer Application for Financial Aid
  3. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Refund Schedule and Withdrawal

$350 of the total program fee and the $350 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted,even if you withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the Program Director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of the Study Abroad website for more information.

Contact Information

Questions about the program can be answered by:

Ana Gómez-Bravo
Padelford Hall, C-212
Program Status