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Madrid Study Group

Universidad San Pablo CEU
Director Fall 2015: Professor Frederick Luciani, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures


The Madrid Study Group
offers qualified Colgate students the opportunity to live and study for one semester in a dynamic and culturally rich European capital. The group is intended for students in their junior year who already have significant ability with the Spanish language, and who seek to perfect their Spanish language skills, acquire a deeper knowledge of Spanish life and culture, and undertake a diverse and challenging academic experience on the premises of a private university in Madrid.

At the same time, the group is organized to recognize the unique needs of U.S. students studying abroad. It includes a two-week introductory session in Santiago de Compostela in the northwestern region of Galicia, followed by a 13-week semester at the Universidad San Pablo CEU in Madrid. The curriculum balances courses designed especially for the Group with a broad array of courses drawn from the regular offerings of the Universidad San Pablo CEU.

Through academic experiences connected with the cultural resources of Madrid, participants will become acquainted with the richness of Spanish painting and the performing arts, and through the experience of living with Spanish families and sharing classes with Spanish students, participants will engage with Spanish culture in the more everyday sense. Excursions will be designed to give participants a good sense of the geographic and cultural diversity of Spain, its complex history, and its major artistic monuments.

Students participating on this study group will be eligible to satisfy the Core Global Engagements requirement.


Students must register for four courses, and are eligible to receive a maximum of four Colgate credits including two credits for a Spanish minor. The course offerings are as follows:

The Program Seminar: Spanish 400
This course, required of all participants, includes two segments: 1) the introductory two-week session in Santiago de Compostela, designed to prepare students for the semester in Madrid, and 2) “Madrid and the Arts,” offered in Madrid. In the Madrid segment, participants will attend weekly lectures on Spanish art, film, and theater complemented by visits to museums, cinemas and theaters. This course counts toward a Spanish major or minor.

The Director's Seminar: Spanish 480
“The Literary Journey: Spain and the Americas.” This seminar examines the theme of the journey in letters, short stories, poetry, novels, essays and travelogues by Spanish and North and South American writers from the 19th to the 21st centuries. An aim of this course is for the students to reflect upon their own experiences as travelers abroad. To that end, in addition to their readings and analytical writings, all students will do creative writing based upon their experiences during the semester. As a final group project, the class will produce an anthology of their original writings. This seminar counts toward a Spanish major or minor.

Perfecting Language: Spanish 380
This course will provide students with a comprehensive review of the finer points of the Spanish language, with an emphasis on fostering near-native pronunciation, correctness of grammar in speech and writing, and the idiomatic use of the language in a variety of contexts. Placement in this course is determined by the Director in consultation with the Santiago de Compostela faculty following the two-week introductory session there.

Participants, with guidance from the director, will choose one or two electives from the regular Universidad San Pablo CEU course offerings in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Students may petition departments at Colgate to have these electives count for a major or minor.

The group will include a one-day excursion during the Santiago de Compostela session to one of the major natural or archaeological sites in Galicia, There will be two weekend excursions during the semester, linked to academic components of the group. Possible destinations include Barcelona, with visits to the Picasso and other museums and sites related to modern art, and to Granada in Andalucia, with a focus on its cathedral and its famed Alhambra.

Living Arrangements

During the two-week Santiago de Compostela session, participants will live in a dormitory of the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. In Madrid, students will live with families, who will provide most meals. No more than one Colgate student will be housed with any given family. All housing arrangements will be made by the director after consultation with accepted students on living preferences. Any exceptions to these rules can be made only by the director.

Tentative Calendar

August 16: Depart New York City for Santiago;
August 17 - 29: Two-week introductory session in Santiago.
August 31 - September 5: Orientation week in Madrid;
September 7 - December 4: Classes held in Madrid.
December 7 - 11: Final exams;
December 13: Return flight to New York


Prerequisite courses for participation in the group are at least one 350-level Spanish class and Spanish 361. The Spanish faculty will choose students for participation based on their ability in Spanish, their academic record at Colgate, their interest in the Group and commitment to its goals, and their disciplinary record. Preference will be given to Spanish majors and minors, and those majoring in Latin American Studies, but all qualified and interested students are strongly encouraged to apply.


For details of student expenses on this study group, please see Student Cost Estimate Sheets.

Calendar and Deadlines

The deadline for applications to the Fall 2015 Madrid Study Group is Friday, November 7, 2014. Applications are on the Colgate University Off-Campus Study/International Programs website and are submitted online. Student notification of selection will take place late December 2014.

Passports and Visas

You must confirm that your passport is valid through June 2016. With participation on this study group comes the responsibility of understanding and complying with the Spanish government’s visa requirements. If you will not be traveling on a U.S. passport it is imperative that you contact an adviser in Off-Campus Study/International Programs, 101 Lathrop, and International Student Services, 103C Lathrop, to learn as much as you can about the visa requirements. For all students there are significant requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.

Program Dates

Madrid Study Group program tentative dates: Aug. 16 - Dec. 13, 2015

Informational Sessions

Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 4 pm in 205 Lawrence Hall

More Information

For more information contact Prof. Fred Luciani in 207 Lawrence Hall 315-228-7293 or

Helpful Links

Sponsoring Department

Romance Languages Department

General Information

 All about Spain

Course-related Materials