We strongly encourage students to participate in an off-campus study program, if possible. For students who have completed Spanish 204, we suggest Carleton's new program in Perú. For students who have taken at least one course beyond the basic language requirement, we strongly recommend the Madrid Program.
Students considering a study-abroad program should consult with their faculty advisor and with the appropriate off-campus study advisor(s) to determine which programs best suit their goals. Programs vary widely both in structure and academic focus. Some programs include significant language instruction. Many programs offer students specially designed courses of their own, but some programs allow students to direct enroll in foreign universities. Many programs emphasize particular substantive themes, such as gender issues, development, social justice, or ecology, to name just a few. Some programs involve home-stays; others do not. Some provide opportunities for independent field research, while other programs emphasize regular coursework or seminars. To get the most out of your off-campus study, you need to select the program carefully.
“My term abroad in Madrid was by far my favorite trimester. The classes were fascinating; I ate incredibly well, and traveled within Spain almost every weekend. Although I learned much in the classroom, this term more than any other taught me how to live independently and appreciate the commonality of humanity regardless of cultural differences. Homework assignments included observing individuals in a plaza, riding a subway line to its terminus, establishing a rapport with a waiter, and intentionally getting lost. Another focus of the trip was shedding the characteristics that labeled us as tourists and becoming Madrileños. Traveling with a Carleton program I always had a security network and arrived with a group of friends. To help us assimilate and not isolate ourselves, the program also paid several Spanish youths to include us in their social lives” (Ethan Bernstein '11)
“I studied abroad in Madrid in the Fall of my sophomore year. I enjoyed the opportunity to travel to another country and experience a place that was completely foreign to me. The constant practice of speaking and listening to Spanish was extremely useful in my Spanish-learning process. I believe the usefulness of this program in the development of my Spanish is owed almost completely to the agreement we were required to sign at the beginning of the program to speak only in Spanish while we participated in the program.” (Kelsey Ihinger '10)
“Although it was not my most academically challenging trimester, it was one of much personal growth. Everyone on the program committed very seriously to the language pledge, I think partly because we were all part of the Carleton community. I recommend really pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Get to know Spanish people outside of the Carleton group, and really explore new parts of the city!” (Britta Anderson '09)
"I had an incredible experience in Madrid the fall of 2008. The opportunity to read modern Spanish novels and have a discussion with authors like José Ovejero and Miguel Mena was amazing. It was also interesting to see the different European perspectives during the US presidential elections. Most of the Spaniards I met while there were invested in the election discussions and felt it had a significant importance in their life. Overall the Carleton Madrid trip was an opportunity for me to travel to Europe and experience a completely different culture I had never seen before." (Alfredo Guzmán '09)