About International Program in Toledo, Spain
Live and study in the walled city of Toledo, home for more than 2,000 years to a succession of Roman, Jewish, Visigoth, Moorish and Christian civilizations. Declared a World Heritage Site, Toledo is a living museum, a preserved part of Spanish history where people still live, work and play. A city of approximately 80,000, Toledo offers an environment where you can be immersed in Spanish culture through coursework, internships and daily life.
This program is offered in collaboration with the prestigious José Ortega-Marañón Foundation and the University of Minnesota. Based at the San Juan de la Penitencia residence, a converted 16th Century convent, the program offers modern learning facilities surrounded by spectacular views of the city, and easy access to the downtown area and public transit. In addition to the opportunity to improve Spanish language ability, the program offers a wide range of courses in the humanities, social sciences and arts. Located just an hour from Madrid, Toledo is an excellent base from which to explore Spain.
For help deciding between Spanish language options, consult the Spanish Language Programs Comparison Chart (PDF).
Housing & Meals
Choose to live either in San Juan de la Penitencia Residence or with a Spanish host family. Each housing option has its own benefits—your choice will depend on your personal preferences and priorities. Housing requests are honored on a first-come, first-served basis. Academic Year students may choose different housing options for each semester and will have the opportunity to change Spring Semester housing plans during Fall Semester in Toledo. Staff members have years of experience coordinating homestays and will be your most valuable resource for questions or problems regarding host families or the Residence.
Students who participate in the Academic Year, or May and Summer sessions are responsible for housing and meal costs between terms.
We encourage you to compare host family and residence housing options.
San Juan de la Penitencia Residence
Choose from single, double, and triple rooms with shared bathrooms. Residence occupants are almost entirely program participants. The residence includes dining, classroom, library, recreational, laundry facilities, and daily maid service. This option offers convenience and flexibility to come and go as you please. Because the Residencia is within walking distance to virtually everything Toledo has to offer, it is easy to get out into the community and meet Toledanos. Meals are included in the program fee and are taken at the residence.
For many students, living with a family is their best experience while in Spain. Many students make life-long ties to their families and, through them, can meet other Spaniards. If you choose a homestay, you will have a first-hand look at Spanish culture and society and will be immersed in the Spanish language. Typically, you and your family will live in an apartment, as single family houses are not as common in Europe as in the US. You will have your own room and private study space.
Many homestays are located outside of old Toledo, approximately seven kilometers from the program facilities. Toledo has a good bus system and homestays students are provided with a bus pass. Meals are included in the program fee and are taken with your host family. If you are unable to go home for lunch, you can sign up to eat with the other participants at the Residence.
Families are screened very carefully. Upon arrival students will stay in the Residence for approximately one week. During that time students will have the opportunity to meet with the housing placement coordinator to discuss the placement process and to meet the family. If frustrations or concerns arise, the homestay coordinator is there to help you and can even arrange a new family if necessary.
Four 1-day excursions (3 in summer) are included in the cost of the semester program to provide participants with cultural and historic perspectives of Spain. Visits are made to such sites as Madrid, Aranjuez, Cuenca, the grand El Escorial, Segovia, and the Route of Don Quixote. An optional extended excursion is usually available each semester for an additional fee.
For Spring semester 2015, there is also a new 4-day excursion to the Camino de Santiago. The world famous historic Camino de Santiago in northern Spain follows ancient Roman roads and the pilgrimage path of the Crusades. During this excursion, participants receive a two-day introduction to the Camino and then walk the Camino for two days alongside travelers from all over the world. Cost is included in the program fee. At the end of the four days, you can either return to Madrid, or extend your stay and continue hiking until the end of the Camino in Santiago de Compostela (at your own expense).
- Strengthen Spanish language skills
- Deepen crosscultural understanding though interaction with local community
- Gain Spanish and international perspectives on academic disciplines
- Increase independence and self-reliance by learning to navigate Spanish society
Faculty & Staff
Enjoy individual attention from native Spanish-speaking program faculty who are dedicated to their topics as well as to each participant. Classes are taught by faculty chosen from the staff of the Fundación Ortega-Marañón, the majority of whom hold degrees from renowned American or European universities and/or have experience teaching at such institutions. All faculty are specialists in their academic field and in the field of teaching foreign students.