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Program Locations


Academic Program

Language Prerequisites

Academic Year 2012-13 Academic Year 2013-14  

NOTE: Preference will be given to students with additional language study.

Native speakers are expected to demonstrate their level of language ability (writing, verbal, and reading) by providing results of a language placement test. Please contact the Stanford Language Center if you have questions about placement exams.

All students, including native speakers, are expected to demonstrate their level of language ability (writing, verbal and reading) by providing results of a recent language placement test or previous coursework. Please set up an appointment to speak with Pat de Castries at the Stanford Language Center.

All courses offered in Madrid are conducted in Spanish, with the exception of the courses taught by the faculty-in-residence, who may choose to teach in English or Spanish. In addition to content courses, students continue their language studies while participating in the program. All students are required to enroll in the one-unit course "Introduction to Spanish Culture" and to sign a Spanish Only language pledge.

Upon arrival in Madrid for the 2013-14 academic year, participants may be asked to take an additional diagnostic test. Students who have not completed the second-year language sequence via Stanford course work or placement test must enroll in either OSPMADRD 12M (Accelerated Second-Year Spanish I) or OSPMADRD 13M (Accelerated Second-Year Spanish II) while in Madrid for the 2013-14 academic year.  Course enrollment will be determined according to students' placement level or previous course work.  These courses are offered in Autumn, Winter and Spring.

Students who have completed the second-year language sequence via Stanford course work or placement test must normally enroll in either OSPMADRD 102M (Composition & Writing Workshop), or for those beyond 102M, in OSPMADRD 33 (Spanish Language Tutorial).  Placement is decided by the Stanford Language Center.  These courses are offered Autumn, Winter and Spring. The requirement for 102 to be a WIM course for Spanish majors has been removed, so OSPMADRD 102 can count for either the major or the minor.


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Directed Reading

Students studying in Madrid can arrange a directed reading guided by a mentor who is either a local Madrid faculty member, a scholar at a local university, or a Stanford faculty member.

Those interested in pursuing a directed reading with a local mentor should work closely their academic advisor on the home campus and the Madrid Program Director in developing a project. Students planning to work with a Stanford faculty member should work with this mentor as well as their academic advisor. A Directed Reading Proposal (downloadable form) must be submitted to the Overseas Studies office at least one month prior to the quarter of intended study. Directed Readings with local mentors are at the discretion of the Program Director. A directed reading may be taken only in addition to twelve units of regular coursework offered directly by the center.Top of page

Course Credit

The Madrid Program offers courses that provide credit toward Stanford graduation and most classes also count toward an undergraduate major. Students must enroll in a minimum of twelve units from the courses offered through the program (local university courses are not included). For a list of all classes and information on which ones earn departmental credit or fulfill General Education Requirements, students should consult the BOSP course database or Axess.Top of page

Cultural Events and Trips

The cultural events and trips offered by the Madrid program are carefully chosen to facilitate insertion into the Spanish culture and language. All students enroll in the 1-Credit Course “Introduction to Spanish Culture”. This course sets the tone for the program and helps synthesize in-class theory with real-world experiences. In addition to reading previously selected texts, students participate in two study trips and a variety of cultural events throughout the quarter.

In organizing the study trips, the program has decided to look at 6 main historical/territorial areas of Spain. Two of the six areas will be visited each quarter: Cantabria-León and Basque Country in autumn, Andalucía and Extremadura in winter, and Catalonia and Galicia in spring.

The program begins with a week-long orientation trip which not only provides an introduction to many important aspects of Spanish language, art and culture, but also allows for a relaxed, informal atmosphere in which students can discover how quickly cultural and linguistic skills improve in a non-English speaking environment.

The second study trip, a three-day visit to a second area of Spain, takes place during the second half of the quarter. While shorter than the orientation trip, the nature and purpose of this second trip is similar to the first. As students have gained both linguistic and cultural competency, this trip allows for a more in-depth study and comparison with previously visited areas.

Throughout the semester the program offers a range of cultural events, some formally planned well in advance and others small and impromptu- often selected to highlight local events, festivals, and fairs. In addition to two group dinners, the program also plans a group outing. This may be a flamenco show, a Zarzuela performance, a soccer match, or a play at a local theatre. The staff also carefully chooses local events and invites small groups to attend. These informal outings allow for more individualized attention and, due to the range of options, seek to respond to the varied interests of Stanford students. Additionally, many courses include local “field-trips” or, if appropriate, a longer trip outside of the city. In the past, course trips have included visits to local museums, literary tours of the city, theatre performances, and a weekend trip to walk a small section of the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James).

Given the brief time allotted for the program (ten weeks) the goal is to provide students with a broad and varied introduction to Spain, such that linguistic and cultural competency are improved and students are better equipped to continue further study on an independent basis. The Madrid staff encourages students to arrange their own excursions throughout Spain and underlines the value of focusing their travels during their time abroad.

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