Open only to currently enrolled WMU students
The WMU program at the Universidad de Burgos offers
qualified students the opportunity to study Spanish
language and culture in university courses especially
designed for them. They may also select a class to
audit or take for credit from a variety of
Universidad de Burgos courses in the humanities and
All students will study intensive Spanish language courses during the first six weeks of the semester with an emphasis on written and oral communication as well as Spanish grammar and phonetics. In addition they will complete afternoon workshops during this period, with topics including Oral Expression, Spanish Theater, Music, Film, and Dance. During the second period, October - December, students will study Spanish culture, history and art forms with special attention given to the province of Burgos and the autonomous community of Castilla-León. Students are also strongly urged to increase their language and social skill by participating in one additional activity other than their regular classes. In the past, students have done this in a variety of ways such as enrolling in a regular university course either for credit or audit (see the Program Director for a catalog of offerings), doing volunteer work as an aid in local schools, joining a choir or an orchestra, or taking classes at an institute of dance. Business students may have the opportunity for an internship experience in Burgos. Interested students should consult with their Business advisor and the WMU Faculty Program Director.
Students will normally receive a total of 13 semester hours, seven for the intensive Spanish language segment and workshops (August -September) and six for the Spanish culture courses (October-December). They may receive an additional two to three semester hours if they choose to take the regular university course (see above) for credit rather than as an audit. There is a small fee for this additional course. Credits will be granted by WMU based on grade reports from the Universidad de Burgos. Prior to their study abroad, students will obtain approval from the appropriate department of courses to be taken in Burgos.
Students will be advised by the WMU faculty program director, who will be a member of the regular WMU Spanish faculty. The faculty director will offer the on-site orientation for WMU students during the days prior to classes at the Universidad de Burgos, assist students in the selection of courses, and remain in Burgos for consultation during the first week of classes in August. As foreign students at the Universidad de Burgos, WMU students will have the same privileges and responsibilities as the Spanish students. They will have access to university facilities and services, including those offered by the Oficina de Relaciones Internacionales, the principal office of assistance for foreign students. In addition to doing satisfactory academic work, WMU students are to comply with all rules and regulations of both WMU and the Universidad de Burgos. Any student who does not meet academic and behavioral standards may be dropped at any time.
Since all classes will be conducted in Spanish by instructors of the Universidad de Burgos, this program will be open only to students who meet the following requirements: (1) Sophomore standing by the beginning of study in Burgos; (2) Completion of at least the third-year level of college Spanish (WMU Spanish 3160 and 3170 or equivalent) with a minimum average grade of 3.0 (B) in Spanish classes; (3) At least one Spanish class completed at WMU; (4) WMU student, at least 18 years old, with good overall academic standing. Students accepted for this program are expected to speak only Spanish during their stay in Burgos, both in class and out. The application procedure includes recommendations from faculty and an interview in Spanish.
Burgos, capital of the province of the same name, is a medium-sized city located halfway between Madrid and the French border. The cradle of Castilla and the setting of many heroic events in the Middle Ages, the city and province of Burgos have countless national monuments--castles, monasteries, palaces, churches--that provide evidence of Burgoss glorious past. Two great Castillian heroes, Fernán González and El Cid, were both from Burgos. The area enjoys pleasant temperatures in the summer and fall months, much cooler than those of southern or central Spain. The Universidad de Burgos is a relatively new university, although it was previously an important "colegio universitario" affiliated with the Universidad de Valladolid. It currently has an enrollment of about 11,000 students. WMU students will attend classes on the main campus of this public institution which is located within walking distance of the city center and is well served by public transportation.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of the abundant historical and architectural treasures located in Burgos and the neighboring cities and provinces. Planned excursions for all students will include visits to the many monuments of Burgos, including the Gothic cathedral and churches of San Esteban and San Nicolás de Bari, the Monastery of Las Huelgas and the Cartuja de Miraflores. They will also travel to the archaeological site Atapuerca outside of Burgos, as well as to possible sites such as the historic city of Salamanca, the Prado Museum in Madrid and the Sculpture Museum in Valladolid. The Universidad de Burgos itself offers many cultural and social activities including theater, concerts and festivals.
Students will live with families in Burgos: private room, one American student per family. Homes and families are selected by the Oficina de Relaciones Internacionales. Housing includes three meals per day and laundry facilities. Every attempt will be made to place students with families who have a genuine interest in helping provide a pleasant atmosphere. Students need to be sensitive to cultural differences and the particular family situation. They need to comply with family rules and respect customs and norms. It is expected that a flexible and caring attitude on the part of all concerned will contribute to a comfortable, relaxed living environment.
Western Michigan University purchases basic medical insurance to cover this programs participants while they are abroad. Information regarding this coverage will be distributed to each student by the Study Abroad Office upon acceptance to the program. Students will receive health insurance information outlining the extent of coverage and the procedures to follow in case of accident or illness abroad. Additional health insurance coverage is not required for the program, but students may wish to purchase supplementary coverage. Questions concerning health insurance should be directed to the Study Abroad Office, (269) 387-5890.
The basic cost of the 2012 program will be approximately $7,350. Basic cost includes tuition, administrative fees, on-site orientation, room and board, insurance and class-related excursions. The basic cost includes transportation by bus from Barajas airport to Burgos upon arrival, but students are responsible for making their own arrangements for transportation from Burgos to Barajas for departure. The program cost does not include round trip transportation (estimated $3,805), books, or personal expenses (estimated as the same or less than in the U.S.).
Students are strongly encouraged to apply for the WMU President's Grant for Study Abroad. This award is given on the basis of demonstrated financial need and/or merit. For students accepted for the Burgos program, the application process for the President's Grant is quite simple. Application for this grant may be made at the time of application for the program and does not require additional faculty recommendations or essays. Applications are available on-line through the Study Abroad website. They must be submitted to Study Abroad, B-200 Ellsworth Hall (269) 387-5890.
In addition to the President's Grant, a variety of
other study abroad assistance is available through
the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education. Awards include the Minority
Scholarship for Study Abroad, as well as other
external grants. Information and applications are
available in the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education, B-200
Ellsworth Hall (269-387-5890). You can view more
information concerning these and all other study
abroad financial awards at their website: http://international.wmich.edu/content/category/7/22/399/.
Department awards are also available and include: Spanish Department Study Abroad Awards, the Ruth Y. Kirby Awards in Spanish, and the President's Award/Scholarships for Study Abroad. Business students should also consult with the Business College about any other possible awards. All students are urged to inform themselves of these opportunities at the earliest possible date in order to meet the application deadlines.
Students who already receive other financial aid (university, state, federal) probably will be able to use it for study in Burgos. They should direct questions about this matter to the Foreign Study Coordinator in the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education or the Student Financial Aid Office.
Since airfare to Europe is expensive, especially for long-term visits, the faculty director will work with the WMU travel agency to secure the best possible group rate. Since we must have at least ten students to qualify for a group rate, students are strongly urged to travel to Burgos with the group. For some, however, this may not be possible, and students may make their own travel arrangements both to and from Burgos. It is important, though, that students who travel independently to Burgos provide the faculty director with precise information about their plans and flight schedules. If we do not have enough students to qualify for a group rate, the round-trip airfare will probably be around $1,000. Students selected to participate in the Burgos program will be required to attend three orientation meetings during spring semester, and at those meetings more detailed travel information will be provided.
There are two application periods for the Burgos program - one during Fall Semester and another in early Spring Semester. Early application is encouraged and appreciated. Program application is made online through the Study Abroad Office webpage. The application process also requires offline submission to the Spanish Department of a short essay describing reasons for wanting to participate in the program and three recommendations submitted directly by faculty to the department. (Note: Blank faculty recommendation forms are available in 410 Sprau.)
Next application period deadline: October 19, 2012
Additional information regarding this and other WMU sponsored programs is available from:
Western Michigan University reserves the right to cancel or revise the program if necessary.