Spain: From Empire to the Age of Globalization (Summer 2024)

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June 18 – July 15, 2024. This month-long program will allow students to examine in-depth the Spanish empire’s role in the evolution of globalization as we know it, and explore how 16th-century developments relate to and inform 21st-century global issues. Our journey begins in Madrid, where we will visit historic landmarks like the Palacio Real and the Cathedral of Almudena, which reflect Spanish imperial wealth and power, as well as the close relationship between the state and the Catholic Church. We will dig deeper into Spain’s past with a side-trip to Toledo, the country’s original capital, where Emperor Charles V welcomed Hernan Cortes after his conquest of the Aztecs. While in Madrid, a center of global culture for centuries, students will also have the opportunity to view works of the great masters at the Prado, Reina Sofia, or Thyssen-Bornemisza Museums. From Madrid, we will shift to Granada, the last Islamic capital in Spain, tour the spectacular Alhambra palace, and consider the complex cultural and political relationship between Spanish Jews, Christians, and Muslims, then and now. After Granada, we move to Seville, the administrative and economic headquarters for Spain’s overseas colonial efforts, where participants will view the architectural and artistic products of the wealth that came from the New World, as well as visit the great storehouse of Spanish history, the General Archive of the Indies.

For the second half of the program, our group will join Spanish students at Cantabria University in Santander for a Global Studies course led by Cantabria University and UNC Charlotte faculty. Daily class sessions will focus on key aspects of modern globalization and give UNC Charlotte and Cantabria students the opportunity to share their perspectives and learn from each other, while evening discussions will connect the day’s topic to its historic context. Outside of the classroom, students will also have ample time to explore the environs of Santander, enjoy the local beaches, and sample the area’s rich Basque culture.

UNC Charlotte will coordinate with CIEE and the University of Cantabria to organize certain arrangements of this program.

The application deadline is February 1, 2024.

WE STRONGLY ADVISE ALL STUDENTS who are U.S.. citizens and are considering a Study Abroad in Spring or Summer ’24:

IF YOU DON’T HAVE A PASSPORT, APPLY ASAP. There are delays of up to 4-6 months.

Additional Information and Application

Special Considerations

The safety of our students and faculty is of the upmost importance to the Office of Education Abroad, and we regularly review the Department of State website information and resources when developing programs in compliance with our Travel Policy to Restricted Areas. The U.S. Department of State uses a Travel Advisory system when evaluating the safety of travel to particular destinations around the world. We encourage each individual student to do their own research into the risks of travel to certain areas of the world and to familiarize themselves with any potential risks of travel to their chosen destination. For more information on what these advisories mean for travel, please visit Please also consult the Safety Abroad information on our website for more details.