SPAIN SPRING SEMESTER PROGRAM
Program Introduction: Oviedo, Spain
THE UNIVERSITY OF OVIEDO
Temple University’s spring semester program in Spain was developed in 2008 in response to the success of its existing summer session in Oviedo. Based at the University of Oviedo, the semester program is designed for students who are committed to furthering their Spanish language skills and understanding of Spanish culture.
The University of Oviedo dates back to its founding in 1575 with teaching activities commencing in 1608. Numerous outstanding figures of Spanish and European culture have been linked to the university, and today, the University of Oviedo is one of the top universities in Spain, with over 34,000 students enrolled in 35 departments, 12 faculties, three higher technical schools, 17 university schools, and various university institutes and centers. The university has five campuses throughout Oviedo, as well as campuses in the nearby cities of Gijón and Mieres.
Study abroad participants will be enrolled in the Cursos de Lengua y Cultura Españolas para Extranjeros program, which for more than 20 years has offered courses in Spanish language and culture to international students. An integral part of the university, the program offers a broad range of courses, conducted in Spanish, at the intermediate and advanced levels and is housed at La Casa de las Lenguas, a center dedicated to language learning, on the university’s EI Milán campus. The El Milán campus, home to the humanities at the university, is comprised of classrooms and administrative offices, as well as a library, video library and language laboratory.
About Asturias and Oviedo
The Principality of Asturias, one of the most culturally significant regions in Spain, boasts a population of over 1,100,000 and sits in the far northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula. Nestled between the Cantabrian Sea to the north, and the Cantabrian mountain chain to the south, Asturias is often called a “natural paradise,” with high mountains, inland sierras, valleys, meadows and woodlands, and a rugged coastal area with cliffs, beaches and river estuaries. The climate is basically an Atlantic one, with mild temperatures and abundant rainfall year round. The origins of Asturian culture go back to ancient times, with prehistoric cave paintings, Celtic settlements, and Romanesque and Gothic monuments.
Oviedo, the capital city of Asturias, is situated 21 miles from the coast, at the foot of the Naranco hills. The administrative, commercial and cultural center of the region, Oviedo’s active calendar includes concerts, operas, conferences and congresses. In addition, this lively and modern city, with a population of more than 220,000, also boasts an impressive old-town center, museums, libraries and significant historic sites. As there are relatively few English-speaking visitors, Oviedo provides an excellent environment for students to improve language skills. The Universidad de Oviedo, with its presence of 34,000 students and 1,600 faculty members, helps to define Oviedo as a university town, as it has been for over four centuries.
In addition to life in Oviedo, nearby coastal cities such as Gijón and Avilés provide students with further opportunities for exploration. Gijón is the largest city in Asturias, and with a marina, beaches and frequent cultural events and expositions, it is the main tourist destination of the region. Avilés is close to some of the most beautiful beaches in the region, and its medieval quarter has been named a site of historic artistic heritage.
Academic PrograM OVERVIEW
The Temple in Spain spring semester program is comprised of coursework in Spanish language, literature, translation, history, art and culture. Courses are taught by native Spanish-speaking professors of the University of Oviedo, and by Temple University faculty member Dr. Jaime Durán. All students enroll in a program track, depending on their Spanish language background, and take five courses within that track for a total of fifteen semester hours.
Temple students who successfully complete the Temple in Spain semester program automatically satisfy the International Studies requirement of the Core Curriculum or the World Society requirement of Gen Ed.
ACADEMIC AND CULTURAL ENRICHMENT
In addition to academic courses, the university’s Casa de las Lenguas offers cultural programming and organized leisure activities, providing students additional opportunities to acquire in-depth knowledge of various aspects of Spanish and Asturian culture. The programs and activities also serve to strengthen students’ Spanish language proficiency outside of a formal classroom setting. For one week during the program, students participate in a non-credit enrichment workshop which, in the past, has included themes such as dance, short story, photography, cartoons and cooking. La Casa de las Lenguas also hosts a film series and short story and photography competitions, and organizes visits to sites of interest studied in class. Programs which facilitate connections between international and Spanish students, including a language partner conversation exchange, are also coordinated by La Casa de las Lenguas.
Orientation Week in Madrid
A special feature of the program is the orientation week in Madrid. During the first six days, the program director conducts an orientation program, which includes exploration of Madrid and surrounding areas such as Toledo, Segovia and Avila, before traveling to Oviedo to begin classes.
Dr. Jaime Durán is a native of Oviedo and studied as an undergraduate at the University of Oviedo. He obtained his PhD in Spanish from Temple University, where he currently teaches. Dr. Durán developed Temple’s Spain summer program as well as the spring semester program. He has directed and taught in the summer program for ten years and the spring semester program for the past five.