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Program Description:
Santiago Collage

Program Information | Course Information | W&M Faculty | Dates | Deadlines | Program Fees | Eligibility | Handbooks

Santiago de Compostela’s Old Town, where students will be housed, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city's cathedral continues to serve as the crux for thousands of pilgrims every year, following the centuries old “Route of St. James” or Camino de Santiago, a medieval heritage route in Northern Spain that's been reclaimed by modern travelers. Located in the northwest region of Galicia, the oldest part of the town is home to the winding stone streets of the medieval age, while the newer part is composed of more modern architecture.

Things to Do and See:
Obviously a central part of experiencing Santiago de Compostela is the pilgrimage Camino to get there, but once you arrive, the small city has some amazing sites.The Cathedral is the focal point, where Saint James is said to be buried. You can also enjoy a walk through the luscious Alameda Park, or stop for food and drinks along the De Vinos wine trail. Don't forget to try their famous octopus dish!


Program Information:
Students will study and live on W&M's campus for the first week of the program,before they travel to begin the Camino.  After the first week, students will fly to Spain and begin the walk on the Camino for two weeks, continuing until returning to Santiago de Compostela, a distance of approximately 300 kilometers (or roughly 186 miles).  Students can expect to walk an average 15 miles a day across various terrains, including mountains. During the walking portion of the program, students will stay in various pilgrim hostels and hotels along the Camino. Upon completion of the 2 week walk, students will stay in Santiago de Compostela for 4 -5 days, living in a renovated pilgrim hostel, San Martín Pinario, specially outfitted for study groups. During the stay in Spain, breakfasts are included, along with a meal stipend to cover your other meals. Some meals during Williamsburg stay will not be covered. 

Course Information:
Students on the Santiago program earn 6 credits.

HISP 389: 
Hike and Seek:The Global Search for Happiness (3 credits) 
The study of happiness has gained attention in the last several years.  Several universities now have courses on happiness (Harvard and UC-Berkeley for example) and there is a field of psychology called Happiness Studies.  Both of these recent developments suggest, quite strongly, a growing preoccupation with Happiness.  Perhaps, one might wager to guess, this newfound preoccupation is the result of the also growing sense that happiness has become harder and harder to come by.  This course will take seriously the notion that Happiness can, and should be, an object of inquiry.  Furthermore, this course will focus on the rigorous examination of Happiness as a culturally constructed concept.  To that end students will study texts on Happiness from within our own U.S. culture while also studying texts from across the globe.  Furthermore, Hike and Seek will include an on-site research project that will ask students to explore how their home culture socially constructs Happiness and to put that into dialog with how other pilgrims on the Camino, and their cultures, understand happiness and fulfillment.  Most importantly our students will seek to understand not simply how we define Happiness but, more meaningfully, how we attain it.

Hike and Seek will combine a thirteen day hike on the Camino de Santiago bookended by a one-week classroom session and a final reflective assignment.  Week One of the course will focus on readings and discussions from a wide range of disciplines and their respective efforts to define Happiness.  The course will focus on both the content and methodologies of literary and cultural studies, social psychology and sociology in an effort to get to students to understand that happiness, as an emotion, is both socially constructed and deeply cultural.  Weeks two and three will be the hike itself.  We will cover approximately 200 miles in thirteen days.  The aim of the hike is twofold: 1) to challenge the students in ways that take them out of their physical comfort zone and 2) to give the students ample time to reflect on their personal, culturally specific definitions of Happiness while also engaging with pilgrims from all over the world who will have their own culturally rooted understanding of what constitutes joy and the search for joy.  The final project, will be a reflective essay that allows students the opportunity to reflect critically on the lessons learned in class and on the Camino regarding humanity’s search for Happiness.

THEA 460/COLL 200: Right Here, Right Now:  Site Specific Art (3 credits)
This course is divided into three parts.  The first section introduces students to a variety of art forms including graffiti, character sketches through monologue, collage and photography. Through a series of tutorials and small projects students will develop a working knowledge of each form of creative expression.  Through these projects, students will investigate the contemporary and ancient traditions of the Camino de Santiago.  The second section of the class takes place on the Camino itself.  Our group will spend two weeks walking the Camino Frances, visiting sites of social and religious significance and talking with Pilgrims from around the world. While walking, students will gather material/data/inspiration for a final project.  The third section is spent in reflection following the completion of our walk.  Students will synthesize their notes, data points, and research into a comprehensive global mapping project.”

There is a required 1-credit course to be taken in the Spring prior to departure, which you will be registered for following program acceptance. This course is designed specifically for students going on the summer program and is intended to enhance your cross-cultural understanding of Santiago de Compostela and to cover a variety of pre-departure information and safety issues (equipment, clothing, nutrition and hydration, first aid) for walking the pilgrimage trails. The scheduling of this course will be dependent on the class times possible for program participants.

Courses are taught by William & Mary faculty. Grades will appear on W&M transcript and will be included in GPA calculations.

W&M Faculty:
Matt Allar
Associate Professor of Theatrical Design, Theatre, Speech, and Dance

John "Rio" Riofrio
Associate Professor, Hispanic Studies, Modern Languages and Literatures

Arrival date:  May 23, 2020 (leave for Spain May 29, arrive in Spain May 30)
Departure date: June 17, 2020

Application ($75*): February 3
Deposit ($600):  March 6
Final payment:  April 1

*A $75 application fee applies to both programs, to be paid to the Bursar’s Office. Please note that the application and deposit fees are non-refundable.


Program Fees:
2020 program fee:  $4950
Students are responsible for airfare

To view the estimated costs for this program and important payment information, please visit here​

Reves Summer Scholarships are available for this program.

Program Features:
Welcome and Farewell dinners
Breakfasts and meal stipends for all meals in Spain, some in Williamsburg
Ground transportation to/from Santiago airport
CISI insurance
W&M credits taught by W&M faculty
Fulfills COLL 300
Reentry programming 

All W&M students in good academic standing.

Click to view the 2019 Summer Abroad Handbook.
Click to view the Santiago handbook for summer 201

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Approximate Decision Date (Subject To Change) Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 02/03/2020 02/21/2020 05/23/2020 06/17/2020
NOTE: Start dates refer to date of student's arrival to program, and end dates refer to date of student's departure from program.