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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!
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.
Program video here!
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 creativeequipment, 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.
Associate Professor of Theatrical Design, Theatre, Speech, and Dance
John "Rio" Riofrio
Associate Professor, Hispanic Studies, Modern Languages and Literatures
Arrival date: May 29, 2021 (leave for Spain June 4, arrive in Spain June 5)
Departure date: June 23, 2021
Application ($75*): February 1
Deposit ($600): March 12
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.
2020 program fee: $4950
2021 program fee: TBD
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.
Camino Study-Abroad Scholarship fund: There are some need-based funds available for students studying abroad on this program. Students are asked to complete the Reves Summer Scholarship application (link above). Finalists will be sent a follow-up for a further essay response. It is the hope of the donors that participants of this transformative experience are students who embrace diversity and contribute to a climate of inclusiveness for all students at W&M.
Welcome and Farewell dinners
Breakfasts and meal stipends for all meals in Spain, some in Williamsburg
Ground transportation to/from Santiago airport
W&M credits taught by W&M faculty
Fulfills COLL 300
- Students must be an active W&M undergraduate student in good standing, not on academic or disciplinary probation during time abroad, and eligible to take classes at the W&M Williamsburg campus to study abroad.
- Students currently on-campus must successfully complete 1 credit spring course.
- For more information about eligibility, please visit our Policies that Affect You page.
Click to view the Santiago Handbook 2020.pdf
Click to view the Summer Abroad Handbook 2020.pdf