Students are required to sign up for four courses during the fall and spring terms.

Art, Dance and Film

Contemporary Art: Tradition and Avant-garde. (Offered in SPRING) In this course, students will explore some of the most outstanding artistic movements of the 20th Century, while highlighting Spanish art and its contribution to the rest of Europe. The class will highlight the evolution that took place in the past century in order to examine, and fully comprehend, the current artistic and cultural manifestation of today. Students will be introduced to the art's historical and cultural significance by visiting the museums El Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia, providing unique first-hand knowledge and experience. Profª. Ruth Gallego. (10 students max.) Download syllabus

Documentary Film Workshop: “A Student Self-portrait in Madrid”. (Offered in FALL) This workshop allows students to discover and explore creative documentary filmmaking through two parallel and complementary lenses. First, via a theoretical approach to documentary filmmaking focusing specifically on Spanish production; second, by creating a documentary project. Students will use documentary filmmaking as a form of personal expression in order to articulate through this medium their expectations, perspectives, and experiences when immersed in a different culture and society. Each student will direct their own documentary self-portrait, which will give voice and make visible their reality and life experiences in Madrid. Prof. Jean Castejón. (12 students max.) Download syllabus

Introduction to Flamenco Dance.  (Offered in FALL and SPRING). Overview of flamenco dance as a performing art. Emphasis on sevi llanas, tangos flamencos and alegrías. Special attention to body awareness, partner communication and movement efficiency. Performance presentation required at the end of the course. Prof. Laura Murcia. (12 students max.) Download syllabus

When the Art Speaks: an Exploration of Modernity through Spanish Arts. (Offered in FALL and SPRING) The main goal of this course is to learn about Spain’s history, culture and society through the Spanish arts. In addition to its technical characteristics, art is a great source of information, a reflection of peoples’ likes, a communicator of ideas and customs of a given period of time. Classes will be held both in the classroom –with visual materials and practical exercises– and in some of Madrid’s most important museums and art galleries. During these visits, students will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom. Prof. Sergio Antoranz. (12 students max.) Download syllabus

Field Internships

Understanding the Madrid Experience - The Internship and its Context.  (Offered in FALL and SPRING) On this course, students can explore career interests while strengthening their language skills and cultural competence. This is an opportunity to assess the professional, academic, and personal learning acquired during a work placement in Madrid in a scholarly and practical way. There are a wide range of possibilities for various types of internships. Although a placement within a specific field cannot be guaranteed, we will do our best to place every student in their area of interest. This is an experiential learning course, where the student will be fully immersed in a given workplace and will receive a research-based understanding of broader social, economic and political trends in Madrid in the field and in the classroom. The course also has a reflective component that will be presented at the end of the semester based on how associated skills evolve as the program proceeds.  Please, note that all internships require students to work 16 hours a week with an employer, and that students must inform HCAYS at the time of enrollment as internships are secured several months before arrival. Internships are organized with HiF’s partner EUSA, a not-for-profit educational organization. 

History and Social Sciences

Culture shock: Spain’s cultural diversity. (Offered in FALL) Introduction to the nature and methods of cultural anthropology and study of aspects of Spanish life from an anthropological perspective: ethnic groups, family relationships, “fiestas,” religion, values and beliefs, giving special emphasis to the matter of gender. Students will learn to observe, define and interpret the anthropological differences of a foreign culture and thus better understand the “culture shock” that results from contact with Spanish life. Prof. Aída Bueno. (12 students max.)

Actors, Agendas and Interests of Contemporary International Relations. (Offered in SPRING) This is an introductory course on the theory and practice of world politics. In it students will examine the historical processes by which contemporary international society has been developing and transforming, as well as the theoretical framework of the field. It will emphasize the changing structures of international societies. Some of the themes the class will explore are diplomacy and conflict, development and underdevelopment,  dictatorships vs democracy, the concept of globalization, human rights, migration, feminism and environmental studies. Prof. Diego Crescentino (12 students max.) Download syllabus

The Spanish Political System: from Transición to Coalition . (Offered in FALL) This course investigates key topics of the Spanish political system, beginning with the transition to democracy (1975-1981), through the presidencies of González (1982-1996), Aznar (1996-2004) and Zapatero (2004-2011). Then, we will turn to changes provoked by the 2008 economic crisis, the 15M movement, the Catalan pro-independence movement, the creation of Podemos, and the first left-wing coalition government since the Civil War. Prof. Pablo Iglesias. (12 students max.) Download syllabus

Spanish Society and Economy in the EU. (Offered in SPRING) Study of the main changes in the Spanish Society and Economy in the last decades with special emphasis on questions related to EU origins, the Euro vs. the US dollar as an international currency, pros and cons of the European social model, the situation of women in Spain and the consequences of immigration in Spain. All these topics will help students to understand the daily realities they will face during their stay in Madrid. Prof. Ainhoa Marín. (12 students max., prerequisite ECON 101) Download syllabus


Advanced Spanish Language in Context I: (Offered in FALL and SPRING) Review and refinement of grammatical structure, practical vocabulary and syntax. Regular written compositions will be required. Special emphasis will be placed on the development of conversational skills. (12 students max.)

Advanced Spanish Language in Context II. (Offered in FALL and SPRING) Study and analysis of the structure of the Spanish language in both written (formal) and oral (colloquial) contexts, in order that the students acquire maximum competence in the recognition and use of the subtleties of the language. (12 students max.)

Advanced Spanish Language in Context III.  (Offered in FALL and SPRING) Study of the syntactical properties of the Spanish language and comparative analysis of English and Spanish structures, with an emphasis on reading and writing. (12 students max.)


Cervantes - El Quijote. (Offered in SPRING) Study of Cervantes’ masterpiece, with emphasis on its unique contribution to the birth of the modern novel and its reflection of Golden Age Spain. Prof. Francisco Layna Ranz. (12 students max.)
Download syllabus

Gender and Identity in Women’s Contemporary Literature. (Offered in FALL) Close analysis of representative examples of narrative, essay, poetry and theater of contemporary Spanish women writers. The works will be studied in the context of current feminist, hermeneutic and psychocritical theories. The course will include writings by Ana Maria Matute, Josefina Aldecoa, Carmen Martin Gaite, Gloria Fuertes, Esther Tusquets, Marina Mayoral, Mercedes Abad, Rosa Montero, Cristina Fernandez Cubas, Paloma Pedrero and Elena Santiago. Prof. Marcos Roca. (12 students max.)
Download syllabus

Subjectivity and Identity in Contemporary Spanish Poetry. (Offered in SPRING) Study of the most characteristic, stylistic and thematic concerns of poetry of the 20th century. Prof. Marcos Roca. (12 students max.)
Download syllabus

Courses at a Spanish university

Studying at a local Spanish university is a fundamental part of the cultural and academic experience for HCAYS students in Madrid. In addition to courses offered at the HCAYS Center, students can enroll in one course at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) or at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). Both universities offer courses taught in Spanish, including anthropology, economics, international relations, law, literature, political sciences, sociology and history. We help students navigate through the process of finding the course that best fits their needs and curriculum requirements. Additionally, UAM and UCM offer sports facilities, choirs, bookstores, cafeterias and other extra-curricular activities, allowing students to be fully immersed in the Spanish language and culture. Please let us know if you are interested in taking a course at one of the Spanish Universities by contacting Carlos Jurado, the Academic Coordinator, at cjurado@hamilton.edu 


Contact Name

Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain

The $400 million campaign to provide students with a life-altering education.

Learn More About the Campaign

Site Search