Course Descriptions

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

Art, Dance and Film

Documentary Film Workshop: "A Student Self-portrait in Madrid". 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. (14 students max., offered in FALL.) Download syllabus

Introduction to Flamenco Dance.  Overview of flamenco dance as a performing art. Emphasis on sevillanas, tangos flamencos and alegrías. Special attention to body awareness, partner communication and movement efficiency. Performance presentation required at the end of the course. Click here to watch our shows. Prof. Laura Murcia. (14 students max., offered in FALL and SPRING.Download syllabus

When the Art Speaks: an Exploration of Modernity through Spanish Arts.  Study of modern Spanish painting from Goya to the present, with special attention to its traditions as manifested in the works of such twentieth-century masters as Miró, Juan Gris and Picasso. The course will include regular visits to the Prado Museum and close examination of its ample holdings in the works of these painters. Prof. Vanessa Jimeno. (14 students max., offered in SPRING.) Download syllabus

When the Arts Speaks: a Vision of Spain through Spanish Arts. 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. Vanessa Jimeno. (14 students max., offered in FALL.) Download syllabus

Field Internships

Spain Today: Social and Professional Learning.  Study of an active participation in Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) and other social institutions in order to comprehend how the Spanish people, and Spanish youth in particular, are responding to the needs of contemporary life. The course includes weekly hands-on involvement in Spanish life and customs outside the classroom (through a project chosen by the student from an extensive list of possibilities), regular class meetings, and guest lectures from experts in different fields. A project prospectus, ample field notes, and lengthy research paper are required. Prof. Sheila Klaiber. (14 students max., offered in FALL and SPRING.) Download syllabus

History and Social Sciences

Spanish Society and Economy in the EU.  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. (14 students max., offered in FALL.)Download syllabus

Culture shock: Spain's cultural diversity. 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. (14 students max., offered in FALL.)Download syllabus

Surprises and Conflicts: the Spanish Change (1950 - present). Study of contemporary social structures, including population shifts, political affiliation, education, generation conflict, marriage, sexual mores, family life, problems of sexual inequality, communication, moral codes and social deviance. Prof. Antonio Muñoz. (14 students max., offered in SPRING.) Download syllabus


Advanced Spanish Language in Context I: 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. (14 students max., offered in FALL and SPRING.)

Advanced Spanish Language in Context II.  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. (14 students max., offered in FALL and SPRING.)

Advanced Spanish Language in Context III.  Study of the syntactical properties of the Spanish language and comparative analysis of English and Spanish structures, with an emphasis on reading and writing. (14 students max., offered in FALL and SPRING.)


Cervantes - El Quijote. 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. (14 students max., offered in SPRING.)
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Gender and Identity in Female Contemporary Literature. 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. (14 students max., offered in FALL.)
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Subjectivity and Identity in Contemporary Spanish Poetry.  Study of the most characteristic, stylistic and thematic concerns of poetry of the 20th century. Prof. Marcos Roca. (14 students max., offered in SPRING.)
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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 Antonio de Nebrija. 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 Nebrija offer sports facilities, choir, 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 in one of the Spanish Universities by contacting Carlos Jurado, the Academic Coordinator, at cjurado@hamilton.edu 

Contact Information

Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain

Christian A. Johnson Hall
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4201 315-859-4222 aysjyf@hamilton.edu
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