Offered Fall and Spring Semesters and designed for students at any level of Spanish proficiency, the Madrid Spanish and European Studies Program provides a semester of study and cultural immersion. Courses are offered at the Instituto Internacional en España and focus on Spanish and European art, cinema, culture, history, literature, and politics. Courses are taught in English and Spanish by Spanish and international faculty. All students have the unique opportunity to experience life in a Spanish homestay. No prior knowledge of Spanish is required.

Required Language Course

All students are required to enroll in one Spanish language course from the list below. Students who have already completed four semesters of Spanish, or the equivalent, are permitted to enroll in up to two 300-level language courses.*

  • CAS LS 111 First-Semester Spanish (4 credits)
    • For students who have never studied Spanish, or by placement test results. Introduction to grammatical structures. Emphasis on aural comprehension, speaking, and pronunciation. Introduction to Hispanic culture.
    • Garcia's Syllabus
    • Samudio's Syllabus
  • CAS LS 112 Second-Semester Spanish (4)
    • Prerequisite: one semester of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
    • Completes study of basic grammatical structures. Emphasis on speaking and aural comprehension with readings on contemporary Hispanic culture and writing assignments.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LS 211 Third-Semester Spanish (4)
    • Prerequisite: two semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
    • Completes study of grammatical structures of Spanish. Use of spoken language in conversation. Reading in Hispanic civilization and of contemporary short stories. Writing exercises involving more complex grammatical and syntactical patterns.
    • Campelo's Syllabus
    • Samudio's Syllabus
  • CAS LS 212 Fourth-Semester Spanish (4)
    • Prerequisite: three semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
    • Review of the structures of Spanish. Intensive practice of spoken language. More advanced readings from Hispanic culture with frequent compositions.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LS 303 Composition and Conversation in Spanish I* (4)
    • Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent 
    • Development of skills in spoken and written language. Grammar review, vocabulary building, regular compositions.
  • CAS LS 306 Translation* (4)
    • Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
    • Advanced study of the Spanish language through the translation of written texts. Analysis of the theory and practice of translation as a catalyst of cultural transfer. Taught in Spanish.
    • Syllabus
    • Calendar
  • CAS LS 307 Literature and the Arts* (4)
    • Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
    • Advanced study of the Spanish language through the analysis of literature in its relations to the arts: music, painting, dance, performance.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LS 308 Spanish Film and Media* (4)
    • Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
    • Advanced study of the Spanish language through the analysis of the film and media of the Spanish-speaking world: cinema, the internet, and social media.
  • CAS LS 310 Spanish for the Professions* (4)
    • Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
    • Advanced study of Spanish as used in the professions in the Spanish-speaking world. Analysis and discussion of intercultural professional communication, acquisition of specialized vocabulary.
    • Syllabus

*No more than two 300-level Spanish language courses (LS 306, LS 307, LS 308, LS 310, LS 311) may be taken for credit at Boston University. All students should confirm in advance with their academic advisors which courses may be taken for major, minor, and departmental requirements, and which courses may be taken for elective credit.

Electives Courses

Students select three courses from the electives offered in English or in Spanish, depending on their interest and proficiency level. Each course carries four credits. All students should confirm in advance with their academic advisors which courses may be taken for major, minor, and departmental requirements, and which courses may be taken for elective credit. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Elective course offerings vary and may not be offered every semester. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

  • CAS LS 241 Spanish Civilization (4 credits)
    • An introduction to Spanish civilization with special emphasis on history, art, and literature. The course begins in English and shifts gradually into Spanish as students’ fluency increases. Course content is enriched by visits to the Prado Museum, Segovia, Toledo, and other sites. Evaluation is based on three exams and/or papers. Taught at the Instituto.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS AH 364 Art and Architecture in Madrid: 1561–Today (4)
    • Survey of architecture, sculpture, and painting in Madrid, and how these fit in broader frame of European styles and historical context, 1561-present. Key theories in art history are introduced, giving students a broader perspective on critical approaches to art.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS AR 200 Heritage Matters: Introduction to Heritage Management (4)
    • fall only
    • Protection and management of archaeological heritage, including sites, artifacts, and monuments. Survey of heritage values and stakeholders. Issues covered include cultural policy and legislation, international efforts, indigenous perspectives, looting, repatriation, underwater heritage, and heritage at war.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS HI 256 History of Spain 711–1898 (4)
    • spring only
    • A survey of Spanish history from 711 to 1898, examining the political, social, economic, and cultural events that shaped Spain in its modern form. Places Spain in a European context. Includes field trips around Madrid.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS PO 245 Nationalism in Spain in a European Context (4)
    • Examines Spanish national identity alongside minority national identities within Spain such as the Basque and Catalonian peoples. Compares the case of Spain with other national minorities across Europe. Examines non-state nationalisms from historical and contemporary perspectives.
    • Syllabus
  • SHA HF 320 Food in Spain: Culinary History and Sociocultural Context (4)
    • Not offeredSpring 2016 or Fall 2017.
    • Overview of the historical, cultural, and sociological importance of food in Spain since the pre-agricultural era. Examines the relations between food and national and regional identity, social stratification, religion, economics, tourism, and public health. Includes guest lectures and visits to markets and wineries in and around Madrid.
    • Syllabus

Language and culture courses are offered at the 300-level. Literature courses are offered at the 400-level.

  • Anthropology of Spain (4 credits)
    • spring only
    • The objective of this course is to offer students an understanding of anthropology through the presentation of studies related to Spanish culture and society. Main topics (urban anthropology, familial anthropology, cultural diversity, and immigration) are studied from a social and cultural anthropological perspective with an emphasis on the cultural diversity that characterizes Spain in order to better understand its society today.
    • Syllabus
  • Contemporary Spain through Documentaries (4)
    • spring only
    • This course offers students the chance to learn key facts of the drastic social turns experienced in Spain during the last century, through the study of a series of carefully selected documentary productions. The course also offers an opportunity to better understand Spain’s history through the voices of its people, all imbued with the filmmaker’s personal view.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LS 449 Contemporary Spanish Novel: From “La Movida” to 15-M  (4)
    • An overview of contemporary Spanish novels from Franco's death (1975) to the “15 M” movement (2011). Analysis of phenomena that have transformed Spain socially and culturally over the last several decades.
    • Syllabus
  • Contemporary Spanish Politics (4)
    • Studies the political history of Spain in the last 80 years. Special attention is given to the eras of the Second Republic, Francoism, and the transition to democracy, all of which are fundamental to the understanding of contemporary Spain.
    • Syllabus
  • Critical Approaches to Contemporary Spanish Literature (4)
    • fall only
    • This course offers an introduction to literary texts and contemporary Spanish and Latin American cultural phenomena through analysis and critical essays. Different literary genres will be explored in order to develop strategies that promote a deeper level of reading and comprehension so that students become familiar with the basic concepts of critical reading.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS HI 255/LS 340 History of Spain: 711-1898 (4)
    • A survey of Spanish history from 711 to 1898, examining the political, social, economic, and cultural events that shaped Spain in its modern form. Aims to improve students’ understanding of Spain in a European context. Includes field trips around Madrid.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS AN 367 Migrations and Cultural Diversity (4)
    • Analysis of migratory flows and their implications for Spain and the European Union. Study of conceptual and theoretical frameworks through which to examine the diversity and complexity of migrations and their impact on Spanish society and culture.
    • Syllabus
  • Spanish Film (4)
    • This course offers students a formal, theoretical, and historical analysis of some of the most significant Spanish films from recent decades, highlighting the wide variety of genres and styles in Spanish cinematographic production. Special attention will be given to the most relevant directors in the selection of present-day Spanish film such as Pedro Almodóvar and Alejandro Amenábar. Films will be studied within their historical context, and include topics such as literature, politics, fine arts, symbolism, and mythology.
    • Syllabus
  • The Spaces of Art (4)
    • This course aims to give a general, chronological overview of the use of space in Spanish art and architecture including Baroque, Neoclassical, Romanticism, Cubism, and street art. Students will be introduced to great works through a consideration of the varied use of space, and they will acquire skills for analyzing and reflecting upon them. Students will have the opportunity to explore some of Madrid's most important museums such as the Prado and Reina Sofia, as well as other art and monuments. The course aims to enrich the students’ academic and social experience through an understanding of Spanish art and architecture.
    • Syllabus
  • Women in Spanish Society (4)
    • Aims to help students understand the role of women in Spanish society from the Middle Ages until the present. The course traces the historical, social, political, economic, religious, and psychological evolution of Spanish women, paying special attention to the conflicts they suffered and the accomplishments they achieved throughout the process.
    • Syllabus


The Global Learning Experience: An Online Course

Students in all Fall and Spring programs have the opportunity to enroll in The Global Learning Experience at no additional cost.

  • CAS IP101 The Global Learning Experience (1 credit)
    • All program participants have the opportunity to make the most of their semester abroad with The Global Learning Experience, a self-paced, Pass/Fail course with brief readings and experiential assignments that accompany them while living and studying in a country and culture different from their own. Students post their work, experiences and observations to an online platform to trace and articulate their achievements abroad from an academic, personal and professional standpoint. The course links students with the faculty instructors as well as peers studying on other BU Study Abroad programs around the world. Students earn one credit in addition to the total program credits mentioned below at no additional cost.
    • Syllabus

Local Homestay 

  • Individual bedrooms in local family home. Each room has a bed, a desk, and some storage space. Linens are provided and washed regularly. Kitchen access is not guaranteed. Students will have the ability to reheat food.
    • Board included: All meals (3 meals per day/ 7 days per week) will be provided by the host family. A packed lunch will be provided by the host family if the student is unable to commute home for lunch.
    • Host families provide laundry, internet.
    • Gyms at the university and in town, but may be expensive. Students can study at the Instituto or the Autónoma. Many students study at home, as university libraries have more restricted hours than in the US.
    • Fall Semester: early September to mid-December
    • Spring Semester: mid-January to mid-May
    • Fall Semester & Academic Year: March 15
    • Spring Semester: October 2