Summer Study in Spain: “Spain Today: Madrid, Pamplona, Barcelona” with K-State Faculty and Students

2020-2021 – CANCELLED: We are hopeful for 2022…


If you are interested in participating in “Spain Today: Madrid-Pamplona” this summer — tentatively, May 29 – June 29, 2022 — contact Dr. Bender (rmbender). In the meantime, you can check out 2019’s successful program on social media (#KSUSummerSpain2019) and follow #KStateSpanish on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, so you never miss an update! You can read about Emory’s experience in 2019 and view her 1-second-everyday video diary here: Emory Mathes’s Summer in Spain… in 60 seconds!

The 2022 program will be modified to minimize potential disruptions to group travel — K-State students will spend the first 2-3 days together in Madrid, then the entirety of the program in Pamplona with local excursions to San Sebastian, San Juan Gaztelugatxe, Bilbao, Olite, Logroño, Burgos, and Valle de Baztán. Students will depart from Pamplona on June 29 to their preferred airport (either MAD or BCN) or other destination city.


(TYPICAL ITINERARY, planned annually for 2023 and beyond)

Dr. Bender‘s faculty-led study abroad program in Spain, “Spain Today: Madrid-Pamplona-Barcelona”, allows students to spend nearly 5 weeks in Spain earning 6 total Spanish credits at the 500-level and above: 3 for Span 569, and 3 for either a 500- or 700-level elective. All courses count towards the Spanish major or minor. The prerequisite is Spanish 550 by the Spring semester prior to departure (or permission from Dr. Bender). Space is limited, and preference will be given to Spanish majors and juniors or seniors. This annual May-June program provides an opportunity for double-majors and dual-degree students to study abroad and complete their degrees on time; it can also help minors convert to a Spanish major, without extending their time to graduation. The 700-level course contains a unique “field”-research experience abroad and frees up busy senior year schedules — read about the research projects completed by Spanish majors enrolled in Spanish 772 during the 2019 program here, or view one student’s video diary project here.

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The application deadline is typically February 15. Below are details regarding the itinerary and classes. For more information, contact Dr. Bender (rmbender) to set up a Zoom or office meeting.  Make sure to follow @KStateSpanish on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for events and updates. You can also get a day-by-day re-cap of the 2019 program on both Instagram (and Twitter) by searching #KSUSummerSpain2019.

TYPICAL ITINERARY, from 2019 and for 2022 and beyond: Spain Today: Madrid-Pamplona-Barcelona

Students will depart the US on [date] and arrive in Madrid on [date-following day]The group will spend this first week in Madrid, with a day-trip to the historic city of Segovia with its famous Alcázar and Roman Aqueduct. The time in Madrid will include visits to the Palacio Nacional, El Parque de Buen Retiro, The Prado and Reina Sofia Museums, and el casco antiguo. As part of students’ Span 565 of 772 coursework, there will be a free day in which students plan their own cultural excursion (to be approved by Dr. Bender), such as a trip to Toledo or El Escorial.

APPLY here

K-State Spanish students at Madrid’s central Retiro Park during the 2019 program, #KSUSummerSpain2019

Early Saturday morning, [date], the group will depart for Pamplona, where the program will be based for three weeks. In Pamplona, students will meet their host families and get comfortable in their new summer homes. Sunday will allow time to become familiar with Pamplona and the Universidad de Navarra, where students will take their classes (one with the University; one with Dr. Bender). Pamplona is a small city of about 200,000 people, most famous for the annual Fiestas de San Fermin, or the Running of the Bulls, held every July. It is located in Navarra, in northern Spain, inland from the coast and surrounded by mountains, giving it a moderate climate with cooler, comfortable summers.

La plaza del Castillo, Pamplona / Pamplona’s main, central plaza

At the Universidad de Navarra, students will attend an advanced Spanish Conversation & Culture class every day from about 9:00am -1:00pm, with a few coffee and library breaks. At 1:30 they will eat lunch in the University cafeteria before going back to their host families in the afternoon between 2-5pm, or to an afternoon excursion within Pamplona or the surrounding area. Afternoon activities vary, but include meetings for the K-State course with Dr. Bender (Span 565 or 772), walking tours of Pamplona, a visit to the Pamplona Cathedral, a Kayaking trip, and of course… weekly Juevintxo. There is also an afternoon excursion to nearby Olite, where the impressive Royal Palace dates to the 13th-century. Weekend trips include the Basque Country (Pais Vasco) – to the city of Bilbao, with its famed Guggeneheim Museum, and to the picturesque, seaside resort town of San Sebastián (Donostia).

APPLY here

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After three weeks in Pamplona, the group will depart by train to Barcelona for a final 4 days in this modern Mediterranean city. Group activities will include a visit to Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and the Santa María del Mar Cathedral. Like in Madrid, there is a “free” day during which students will plan their own cultural excursion as part of Span 565 or 772 requirements – perhaps a trip to Girona (another #GOT film location), Montserrat Monastery, the Dali Museum in Figueres, or the Costa Brava. There will also be time to relax and enjoy a day strolling the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas, or simply lying on the beach to celebrate the end of a successful study trip. The program will end, and students will depart Barcelona on Thursday [departure date].

View of Barcelona from the National Catalan Art Museum, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

APPLY here


Universidad de Navarra: Students will take an online placement test prior to departure to determine the level of their Spanish Culture & Conversation course at the Universidad de Navarra. They will enroll with a mix of their K-State peers, students from other US universities, and international students from throughout Europe and Asia. Upon successful completion of the course, students will earn 3 transfer credits (Spanish 569).

K-State Spanish students at the Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, during the faculty-led Spain Today program in 2019 – #KSUSummerSpain2019

Before departure, students enroll via KSIS in either Spanish 565 or 772 with Dr. Bender. Below are the descriptions of these courses. There are THREE meetings prior to departure, always on Sunday (5:00-7:30pm) and including a group cena (meal): one in March, one in April, and one in May (dates TBA), in Eisenhower Hall 212.

Spanish 565 Spanish Culture & Civilization: (Preq. Span 550) This course develops critical understanding of the historical, political, social and cultural forces that have shaped the Spanish nation. It will offer a panoramic view of Spanish civilization, with emphasis on geography, history, art, and the contemporary reality of the country. During the course, which includes a 4.5 week Study Tour of Spain, we will discuss, observe, and analyze evidence of the historical and cultural evolution of Spain’s central and northern regions in small towns, urban centers, museums, and at architectural and historical landmarks.

Spanish 772 Spain Today: (Preq. at least TWO Span 500-level courses) This course develops critical understanding of the historical, political, social and cultural forces that have shaped the Spanish nation (including the Spanish Civil War), and their role in contributing to contemporary Spanish society and culture. During the course, which includes a 4.5-week Study Tour in Spain, students will familiarize themselves with the main characteristics of contemporary Spanish culture, society, education, and family life, through active reflection on the geography, history, art, and contemporary realities they observe. Research projects will center on an aspect of “Spain Today” and will include academic articles and books, as well as critical observations of history, culture, and contemporary life collected while in small towns, urban centers, museums, and/or historical landmarks in Spain. See general projects and research from the 2019 group (Spanish Majors and Minors Present Research from the Summer in Spain Program) and read about Emory’s video diary ethnography project for 772 (Emory Mathes’s Summer in Spain… in 60 seconds!

APPLY here!

K-State Spanish students exploring Madrid’s Gran Via during the 2019 Spain Today program – #KSUSummerSpain2019


Students arrange their own travel, allowing flexibility in their preferred departure (US) airport and the option to stay in Spain or explore Europe independently when the program ends. However, all participants must plan to arrive in Madrid by [date], no later than 12:00pm. Dr. Bender is happy to help answer travel questions or offer advice. The (estimated) cost of travel IS INCLUDED as a $1600 out-of-pocket expense in the estimated program budget from Education Abroad.

If you are interested in participating in “Spain Today: Madrid-Pamplona-Barcelona”, contact Dr. Bender (rmbender). Make sure to check out 2019’s program on social media (#KSUSummerSpain2019) and follow @KStateSpanish on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, so you never miss an update! Read about Emory’s 2019 experience and view her 1-second-everyday video diary here: Emory Mathes’s Summer in Spain… in 60 seconds!


Check out other fantastic experiences our K-State Spanish majors and minors have had in Spain for an entire semester… and in South America for several weeks in the summer.

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