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Semester in Spain 

Welcome, Bienvenidos to the Fall 2014 Semester in Spain Program.

The program offers a Colorado College winter start student two blocks of foreign language and two blocks of a “West in Time” course that fulfill the requirements toward graduation. The program is designed to provide winter starts with an international experience for one semester before they begin their on-campus academic journey.

In June, 2013 President Jill Tiefenthaler visited the Colorado College Spanish Summer Program in Salamanca, Spain, to celebrate its tenth anniversary. During her weeklong visit she became acquainted with Salamanca, fellow administrators from the Universidad de Salamanca, Colegio de España, Fundación Tormes, and the City of Salamanca. The support and enthusiasm of the participating Colorado College students, the chair of the Spanish/Portuguese department, and the variety of cultural activities prompted both President Tiefenthaler and me to begin the task of establishing a special semester program for winter starts in Salamanca, Spain. It is from that collaborative effort that I decided to accept the role as creator and director of Colorado College's new Fall Semester Program in Spain.

Professor Pamela Tala Ruiz (Post-Doctorate Fellow, Duke University); Carmen Mota (Universidad de Salamanca); President Jill Tiefenthaler; Professor Kathleen Bizzarro; Professor Clara Lomas (Chair of Spanish/Portuguese Department); Professor Salvatore Bizzarro.  June 2013 Patio de San Boal, Salamanca, Spain.

Salamanca has a long history of preparing students to endure, challenge, change, and influence the waves of complex problems and struggles confronting each new generation. The eight hundred years of teaching philosophy, languages, history, literature, sciences, and theology has given Salamanca a unique place in the modern world. Our students have always appreciated the summer program as a pivotal moment toward expanding their own international knowledge and experience.

It is our pleasure to provide students with this new semester program, one that will challenge them to speak Spanish, live with a host family, study with professors from the Universidad de Salamanca and Colorado College, and experience the Block Plan while living in Spain.


Kathleen Bizzarro
Adjunct Associate Professor
Director of Spanish in Spain 2004-2013

Course Offerings

Spanish 101

Taught by Universidad de Salamanca staff

Elementary Spanish is designed for students with less than two years of high school Spanish and focuses on providing students with the necessary skills to navigate through daily life in Spain. Intensive grammar will be taught and practiced with an emphasis on listening, speaking, reading, and writing exercises. 

Spanish 201

Taught by Universidad de Salamanca staff

Intermediate Spanish is designed for students with three or more years of Spanish. The course work includes an intensive review of Spanish grammar with an emphasis on both oral and written application of verb forms, vocabulary and syntax development as well as improved reading skills. The cultural classes include lectures and discussions on the history, geography, literature, films and current events of Spain.

West in Time Course 

RE200: The Virgin Mary and Western Culture
Taught by Professor Dan Shaw

This two block West in Time course explores two thousand years of Western cultural history (theology, sacred art, sacred music, personal piety, poetry and drama) as well as the evolution of class and gender struggles as witnessed through the lens of changing motifs in the veneration of the Virgin Mary. The course, set in Salamanca, will combine close reading, research and writing with guest speakers from Catholic Scholars and field trips to important centers of Marian devotion, such as Fatima, Guadalupe and Zaragoza. Students will learn to think critically about religious language, write with sophistication about field experiences as well as texts, and develop an appreciation of the sweep of western history as it transforms and is transformed by a powerful religious symbol.

The Location

The Universidad de Salamanca, established in 1254, along with Paris, Oxford, Bologna, influenced the town of Salamanca throughout the Middle Ages onto modern times. The relationship for centuries between a large, young student population and a small town has been as in the words of Cervantes “never easy”. However the municipal authorities in the late 19th century decided to accommodate the growing student population with increased lodgings, restaurants, cafés and services to meet the “constant” presence of the younger generation. To this day the cultural offerings of the city sustains the interest of the young and old alike. At night the Plaza Mayor, the downtown of Salamanca, is alive with music, outdoor theatre, street life and hidden cafes, bars, night art galleries and poetry readings. It is the historical “convivencia” or “living together” that makes Salamanca an exciting place to learn not only the Spanish language but also the culture of a vibrant, intellectual city.