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STUDY ABROAD IN CUENCA, SPAIN

 

 

DATES 14TH JUNE TO 26TH JULY 2014

CREDIT HOURS 9 CR. HRS. (THREE COURSES)

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

DR. ROBERTO ROBLES-VALENCIA

Email: robles@southalabama.edu

 

 

 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The University of South Alabama summer session in Cuenca will be held in collaboration with the Universidad de Castilla La Mancha. This program offers 9 semester credit hours (6 UCLM transfer credit and 3 USA credit hours). Students participating in this program will attend classes taught by UCLM and USA faculty on the UCLM campus in Cuenca, Spain. A placement test will be administered to all students upon arrival in Spain. Their performance on this exam will be used to determine their proficiency level and they will then be placed in corresponding UCLM classes.  In addition, students going on the trip will take LG 333, Spanish Conversation and Composition, with Dr. Robles-Valencia. All courses emphasize communication skills, oral proficiency, and cultural awareness.  Students will reside in dormitories on the UCLM campus but have the option of requesting to live with local families. Both options offer students ample opportunities to immerse themselves in Spanish language and culture and to become attuned to the subtle nuances of Spanish life. They will interact with locals on a daily basis and through several cultural activities, go on day trips through Cuenca, visit its many monuments and museums, and form friendships with Spanish students who will serve as language partners. Students can also participate in several outdoor sports like hiking.  In addition there will be many opportunities for free time exploration of Spain and Europe. Fast trains, buses and affordable airlines make travelling though Spain and Europe fun and easy.

 

PROGRAM LOCATION

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Cuenca is a scenic city with a population of 55, 000, located at about 170 kilometers from Madrid and 196 kms from Valencia. Situated in the basin formed by two rivers, the Jucar and Huecar, the word “Cuenca” literally means a basin. Since the houses are built along and on the slopes of mountains that lead into the river basin, they give the illusion of hanging from the mountains, hence the city’s fame for its “hanging houses.” Castilla la Mancha was the site where the adventures of don Quijote, Cervantes’ unforgettable character, were set, and Cuenca is surrounded by several spots that commemorate his journeys.  It was also one of the earliest cities to be reconquered from the Moors by Alfonso the VIII. It is the site of one of the oldest gothic cathedrals in the country. Cuenca thus combines breathtaking natural beauty with impressive historical monuments, besides also being the seat of one of the most important literary texts of the country, and, indeed, of the world.  In 1996 it was recognized as one of the world heritage sites by UNESCO. Besides it rich history, Cuenca today is an important center for the country’s abstract art scene and home to several art museums, leading among them being the Antonio Pérez foundation and the Spanish Museum of Abstract Art.

ACADEMIC PROGRAM

ESPACU, acronym for Español en Cuenca, the Spanish language for non-Hispanic speakers in Cuenca, is hosted directly by the Universidad de Castilla la Mancha, a public institution of higher learning. UCLM has over 30,000 students who study in its four campuses. Besides a campus in Cuenca, UCLM has campuses in Toledo, Albacete and Ciudad Real. The Cuenca campus hosts one of Spain’s most prestigious Fine Arts program. The campus also has one of the leading Social Work, Nursing as well as Teacher Training programs in the country.

ESPACU, the Spanish language program,  is fully integrated into the larger campus life. All students participating in the program are automatically registered as UCLM students and assigned a student card that  serves as a library card, enables them to use its wireless connections, avail of its state of art sports facilities, as well as take part in the many cultural activities that the university organizes.

ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must be 19 years of age or older by date of departure and have an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher. Students attending the program will have the opportunity to complete the language requirement during summer. the program is open to all levels of Spanish, including beginners.

HOUSING

The program offers two housing options: residence halls or homestays.

Both options include loding in a double occupancy room and three meals--breakfast, lunch and dinner--per day.

COST

The 6-week long program estimated cost $ 5600= for an undergraduate student. This fee INCLUDES Tuition and registration fees (6 UCLM credits, 3 USA credits and IS 391 registration fee), housing (double occupancy), three meals per day, 24/7 assistance, insurance and limited excursions.

The program fee DOES NOT INCLUDE airfare, personal expenses, optional excursions, some meals etc.

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

The program fee DOES NOT include group flight arrangements. However ESPACU will provide a free shuttle from and to Barajas Airport , Madrid on June 14th and July 26th respectively. To avail of this facility arrivals must take place on June 14 and departures should take place on July 26, 2014. This facility will only be available if at least 10 students arrive as a group. In order to take advantage of the airport pickup travel option you must provide USA OIE and UCLM with a copy of your flight itinerary. Early arrivals and late departures will require that you make your own travel arrangements to and from Cuenca-Madrid, as well as hotel arrangements at participant expense.

 

FINANCIAL AID

All Foreign languages majors receive a grant from the department which helps to partially cover their program fee expenses. The grant amount varies from year to year, depending on the number of studnets travelling abroad each year. In addition all USA students on financial aid or other scholarships should contact their USA financial aid advisors to discuss their financial aid eligibility and how any available aid may be applied towards participation in this program.

Arts and Sciences majors should also consider applying for the Caldwell Award, a merit-based competetive award meant to help deserving students participate in study abroad expenses. You can find information on Caldwell scholarship and other departmental and college-level scholarships here.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

An initial deposit of $300 is due by February, 3rd 2014.

First payment consisting of 50% of program fee is due by March 3rd 2014.

The final payment of all balances due must be submitted by April 4th 2014.

The completed application for the program must be submitted no later than April 4th 2014.

HEALTH INSURANCE

All students participating on USA study abroad programs are also covered by the USA 24/7 emergency assistance and security plan. Additionally, the program fee includes a comprehensive insurance which includes medical assistance and repatriation expenses without limits. The insurance is through Sanitas, one of Spain's leading insurance plans.

 

 

 

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