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C21: León, Spain Freshman Summer 2015

For more information:

Location: León, Spain
Department: Center for 21st Century Liberal Learning, College of Arts & Sciences
Program Dates: July 23 – August 14, 2015
Program Fee: $3,800 New price $2,800 (includes $300 Study Abroad admin fee). Price reduction thanks to the generous contribution of the College of Arts & Sciences. 
Credits: 6
Program Director: Kevin Mihata, Associate Dean, Educational Programs (C21, College of Arts & Sciences)
Deadline Extended: June 5, 2015

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis now that the initial priority deadline of May 1st has passed. Given our time constraints, you are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Spanish language is not required. There are no prerequisites for the program, however all applicants must be 18 years of age by 7/23/15.

Contact:, 206-543-3089

Program Description

This intensive study abroad will mark the beginning of a full year of work for the C21 Fellows. We will spend most of this three-week program at the College of Arts and Sciences’ León Center in the historic center of León, Spain, before ending with four days in Madrid.

Students will be exploring León and surrounding areas, with facilitation by faculty, experienced UW staff, and academic advisors. Robert Stacey, Dean of the College and Professor of History, and Robin Stacey, Professor of History, will lead our intellectual journey into Medieval Spain while we explore historic sites and art of the region. Professor of Drama Andrew Tsao will lead us into the world of narrative, using classical literature as a lens to discover our own "hero's journey" in the context of our transition into college and the world. Throughout the program, we will focus on student-led projects that will emerge out of a process of inquiry.

We will focus on two central goals in León:

First, students will have an immersive orientation to what it means to be a 21st century university student – someone deeply involved in intellectual engagement while continuously seeking connection to the local and global world outside the university. Students will begin to understand how the complex modern research university works, so they can find the right home for their academic interests, and make the most of the many opportunities UW has to offer.

Second, students will begin developing skills at the heart of an arts and sciences education--the same skills we know are central to the newly emerging careers and fields our graduates will lead and discover. These include: collaborating for creative problem-solving, drawing connections across disciplines and topics; embracing intellectual risk, learning from failure; defining problems, imagining solutions, and building and leading communities to implement those solutions. Last but not least, students will begin articulating a coherent story of their learning that will develop and change through the next 4 years.

We will practice these skills continuously in a series of applied problem-solving projects that take students in small groups out into León to explore a range of content, from history to food to culture to science to religion to politics. We will also take several day trips as a group out of the city. But the goal is not to learn about those topics for their own sake. Instead, we are using the diverse content of León and Spain to find broader, more universal themes that span and tie the particulars together. The Cathedral tells us something about León; but what does it tell us about history or religion or art or place more generally? What can the rhythm of daily life in Spain tell us about our own priorities of work, of family, of culture?

Our goal is not to answer all of these questions, but to emphasize the intellectual work of connection, because this is the central intellectual skill of a student’s academic career and beyond. No one can learn this in three weeks or three months. But we want students to see what that work looks like, to begin to try it out for themselves, and to begin to see their future selves in that work.

Program Timeline

July 10 & July 22: León orientation on UW campus. Students must attend one of these two sessions. These are both scheduled for the day after regularly scheduled general Advising and Orientation (A&0) sessions on July 8-9 and July 20-21, so that if you so choose you can stay on campus an extra day to do the C21 orientation.

July 23: C21 staff depart Seattle for Madrid

July 24: Staff and students arrive in Madrid and depart by bus to León

July 24-Aug 10: C21 Program in León

Aug 10-14: C21 Program in Madrid

Aug 14-19: Independent post-trip reflection work

Site Information

The program is primarily situated in León, Spain, a small city (population less than 140,000) in northwestern Spain. Summer temperatures can reach the 90s, however humidity is relatively low. Due to the physically demanding nature of this program (with a great deal of walking and climbing), participants will need to take responsibility for managing their physical wellness by staying hydrated and avoiding excessive exertion during the hottest parts of the day. The program will culminate in Madrid, a vibrant and fast-paced cosmopolitan city of 3.3 million.

Room & Board

Students will be housed in same-sex, shared rooms in university residential halls (doubles and singles). Bed linens and towels are included.

Dining services are on site with full-board provided as part of the program costs. Students must have a high tolerance for cultural and culinary differences (some dietary preferences can be accommodated.)


Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements/Physical Components

Participating students must:

  1. Be a UW freshman who has been accepted to the University and will start in Autumn 2015
  2. Be 18 years old by July 23, 2015
  3. Participate in the summer intensive, July 23-August 14 in León, Spain
  4. Attend one of two mandatory C21 orientation sessions on July 10 or July 22 on the UW campus
  5. Have a valid passport expiring no later than Feb of 2016
  6. Be able to obtain a passport (and visa if necessary) for travel to international destinations.

Spanish language competency is not required. Students must have an ability to be outdoors and physically active for long periods in very warm conditions.




ARTSCI 121: The course is an immersive introduction to the creative, collaborative, and problem solving skills within the arts and sciences. It will cover the value and relevance of such skills to careers and life after graduation.

Program Faculty and Staff

More information available at our Faculty and Staff page.

Program Expenses

Estimated total Program Cost: $3,800 (6 academic credits, room and board, field trips, León Center fees, etc.) See C21 Fellows Program Costs.

This includes all program costs, including room, board, in-country travel, and admission to sites and museums that we will visit as a group.

Other costs include airfare, UW Study Abroad Insurance ($2/day), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

1,600 – 1,800* roundtrip (Seattle -> Madrid)

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket.

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
Non-Refundable UW Study Abroad Fee $300 August 7, 2015
Program Fee Balance $2,500 August 7, 2015

Arrival and Flight information

Students should arrive at Barajas airport on or by the afternoon of July 24. C21 staff will arrange bus transportation to León for students who arrive in Madrid by 3:00pm Madrid time. Students should notify the C21 staff of their itineraries two weeks prior to departure.

If you don't have a preferred carrier, agent or online reservation method, you may want to consider booking through the Student Travel Assistance (STA) office, which allows you to secure a your airfare with an initial deposit and payment of remainder closer to departure time. Travel agent: Marcie Ohlinger <

If would like to fly out with C21 staff from Seattle, please contact for flight information. Note that staff will be on separate return flights leaving at different times.


Partial and full scholarships available for students eligible for federal financial aid. The amount of the scholarship award will be determined by the Office of Financial Aid. Students who have been granted a full or partial scholarship to the program will be notified via email about travel arrangements and/or scholarship award disbursement timelines. All applications received after the initial priority deadline of May 1st will be considered for scholarship if remaining funds are available.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at Disability Resources for Students.


$350 of the total program fee and the $300 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing from the program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Sign and submit a “Study Abroad Withdrawal Request” to UW Study Abroad available to me through this link:
  2. Submit notice of decision to withdraw in writing to