The Skidmore in Spain program begins with the pre-departure orientation held on the Skidmore College campus in Saratoga Springs, New York, during the semester prior to studying abroad. Our Director in Spain, Susan Sánchez Casal, Ph.D., visits the campus to meet with each student individually and also with the group as a whole.
Non-Skidmore students or Skidmore students that are not available to attend the in-person pre-departure orientation will be invited to an online, make-up orientation by program staff.
Once in Spain, students will continue with orientation. These first days will consist of ice-breaking/group activities and presentations/discussions about program guidelines, host families, security and intercultural adaptation. Following orientation in Spain, students will be picked up by their host families to settle in. Orientation activities will continue into the start of the semester
Excursions and cultural activities are an integral part of the Skidmore program. We plan guided trips of historic cities that are led by experts and serve to expose students to some of Spain's historic and artistic treasures found off the beaten tourist track.
In the past, we have visited the medieval Castilian towns of Pastrana and Sigüenza;
the Andalusian cities of Granada, Úbeda, and Baeza to study the remains from their
Arabic past; the wine country of La Rioja situated along the Route of Saint Jacques;
the Renaissance towns of Cáceres and Trujillo; the medieval city of Guadalupe; and
the Roman ruins in Mérida.
Because we strongly believe in the benefits of independent exploration, we encourage our students to take advantage of the many cultural opportunities available throughout Alcalá and Madrid. To this end, we subsidize a variety of extracurricular activities and cultural travel for our students. In addition, monthly attendance of plays, films, exhibits, concerts, and lectures supplement students' course work.
The Program provides a monthly list of cultural activities in Madrid that students are encouraged to attend with their Spanish friends or family and whose costs are fully reimbursed. These activities include visits to art exhibits, theater and dance productions, Spanish films, Spanish concerts, and lectures.
In addition, students are encouraged to pursue extracurricular activities of their choice. In the past, students have chosen to get a pool or gym memberships or take a local ceramics, guitar, cooking, or dance lessons.
In order to make these opportunities accessible to all students, we have a reimbursement program to offset the costs
- Up to 300€ reimbursement for extracurricular activities (gym membership, classes at private academies, glassblowing, dance & cooking classes, and so on)
- Up to 170€ reimbursement for travel within Spain
- Selective reimbursement for program approved cultural activities (plays, art exhibits, movies, museums, monuments)