The 2011 SU Summer Program in Spain will run for five weeks from late May 31 through July 4 and will be based in Málaga, Spain, a beach-lined city of 600,000 on the country's beautiful Costa del Sol. Students will live and take meals in selected Spanish homes, most of which are situated within a 5-minute walk of the Mediterranean. Classes, which will consist only of SU Program students, will be conducted by Universidad de Málaga faculty and Dr. Leticia Ortega of SU's Department of Teacher Education at the Universidad de Málaga's Cursos para Extranjeros center in El Palo, in suburban Málaga. Regular classes will meet each morning for a one-hour Spanish grammar review and composition class, followed by a short break and another one-hour class, the topic and instructor of which will change every several days (for example, six days on Spanish culture, eight days on Spanish art history, and five days on Spanish history). In addition to the regular morning classes, students will meet one or two afternoons a week (seven times during the five weeks) in small groups with a Spanish tutor, who will take the students on cultural immersion experiences in Málaga (visiting, for example, the central market, a bank, maybe even a bullfight). Students also meet with Dr. Ortega once a week for cross-cultural observations and discussion.
The Program will also feature two major excursions, the first of these being a one-day trip to Granada, and the second being a three-day trip to Córdoba and Sevilla. The Program's art history professor will come along on these trips and actually hold class in Granada's Alhambra and Generalife, Córdoba's Mezquita/Catedral, Sinagoga and Medina Azahara, and Sevilla's Catedral and Reales Alcázares, all of which the students will have seen in slide presentations in class in Málaga prior to seeing them come to life on the excursions.
Students will have ample free time to explore Málaga and its surroundings (the caves of Nerja, the beaches of Torremolinos and Marbella, the mountain town of Mijas, the old plaza de toros of Ronda, even the Rock of Gibraltar). Free time, the opportunity to get out and use one's Spanish everywhere from the post office to the local department store, is key in a program like this. One's surroundings are a constant classroom. In fact, everything one does during a program such as this, from watching T.V. with one's host family, to perusing a Spanish newspaper, to going to the beach, to taking in the little shops and cobblestone streets in the old center of Málaga, to listening to a concert in the palm tree-lined park by the sea, to experiencing Málaga's version of a shopping mall, even to going to the local McDonald's (because even things that may appear to be the same in Spain are different from what we are used to--thus, the cultural learning experience)--everything is part of the linguistic and cultural experience, and part, in fact, of an experience of a lifetime.