Intensive Language and Culture Course

The JHU Program semester starts with a two-week intensive language and culture course before arriving in Madrid. The aim of this program is to provide the student with academically significant experiences. After completion of the course, students will be more prepared to take classes in a different academic environment, with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Spanish language, culture, and traditions. At the same time, students attend orientation sessions about security and safety abroad, life in Spain, academics, etc.


The program takes place in Salamanca in the fall, and Cuenca in the spring, historical cities where students are exposed to local varieties of the Spanish language and culture. Students take language courses (grammar, and conversation and composition classes) in the morning; in the afternoon a variety of cultural activities have been designed in collaboration with Spanish universities, local institutions, and artists to facilitate the students’ immersion into the Spanish culture and language.

This intensive course is a fundamental component of the Reflections on Contemporary Spain (HA.215.334) class.

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HA.215.334 Reflections on Contemporary Spain

The Reflections on Contemporary Spain course combines the information learned during program field trips, cultural activities, mandatory reading, student´s personal experiences and own reflections on the history and traditions of Spain in relation to the contemporary culture and society. The student’s thoughts and experiences are articulated in a journal that is submitted during the semester in three different entries.


The final grade of this course is based on:

  • 80% Journal entries.
  • 10% Final grade in the language course in Salamanca/ Cuenca.
  • 10% Student´s attendance and participation in program activities.


Some field trips include day trips to Toledo, El Escorial and Segovia and a weekend in Granada and Córdoba. For cultural activities the JHU Madrid organizes walking tours of old Madrid, cooking, and ceramic classes, among many other…


The grade for this course will factor into the Hopkins GPA and appear on the JHU transcript. This course qualifies for intensive writing credit at Hopkins Homewood.


Check the syllabus here.