Eat, Write, Learn: Creative Writing in Spain
Students will explore tangled streets, shops, cathedrals, fortresses, synagogues and museums, taking notes for poems, stories, and essays as they go.
Students will explore the tangled streets, shops, cathedrals, fortresses, synagogues and museums of Toledo, a Medieval walled city, taking notes from poems, stories, and essays as they go. Toledo is a beautifully preserved city on a hill and has been declared, in its entirety, a national monument. The former imperial capital of Spain, Toledo has been, for centuries, a historic, scholarly and artistic center. During the Roman Empire, Toledo was long famed for its religious tolerance, with Christian, Jewish, and Muslim populations coexisting within its walls. Students will now get to benefit from that tolerance by exploring the cultural and religious history of the city.
Why do we travel and what do we gain from visiting cultures and environments that may be unfamiliar? Writing and revising will be emphasized as creative ways of reflecting on the phenomenon of departure and return.
Housing & Meals
You will live in shared rooms with fellow program participants. A welcome and farewell meal, breakfasts, and some additional meals are included in the program fee. We will take additional meals in the housing or at local restaurants and eateries.
You will spend a week in Toledo, excursions may include:
- Prado Museum
- Reina Sofia Museum
- Local cathedrals, mosques and other historical religious sites
- Roman ruins
- Museum of Santa Cruz
All program participants will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.
- Socialize as global professionals who understand that human interaction and culture are relevant to achieving professional goals
- Discover and connect with the University of Minnesota campus and community
- Think critically, analyze topics, and appreciate diverse perspectives through pre-departure coursework, studying abroad, and guided reflection
- Function as an effective team member by utilizing personal strengths in a group setting
- Develop an understanding of the importance of future international and intercultural learning
Faculty & Staff
This program is taught by Julie Schumacher, Creative Writing Professor in the English and Creative Writing Departments. Julie is an award winning author and has previously taught a Global Seminar to Spain on creative writing.
One 3-credit course
This is an on-campus class during the spring semester. On-campus Spring Semester 2022 course meets: Tuesday and Thursdays from 1:00–2:15 p.m. on East Bank. Abroad term: Spring Break 2022
Coursework will include reading and discussions of a wide variety of literature. Assignments will consist of presentations as well as a variety of writing experiments and assignments: the daily post-card, the food review, the creative travel guide, the work of ekphrasis, the annotated map, the daily journal, etc.; culminating in a final reflective travel essay. Assessment will be focused on written form in order to fulfill the writing intensive requirement. Students will benefit from workshops with their peers and individual conferences with the instructor.
Receive credit for: ENGW 1911W
Liberal Education Fulfillments: Writing Intensive, Global Perspectives - pending approval
Approved for lower division (1xxx-level) elective for the English B.A. and introductory course for the Creative Writing Minor
Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
|Term||Program Dates||Application Deadline|
|Spring Break 2022||March 4 - March 13, 2022||December 1, 2021|
Important Note: This program departs for Spain on Friday, March 4. If you have any class on that date, you may need to miss them in order to travel.
Program dates are subject to change.
If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.
Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 20 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.
On Campus Dates
Tuesday and Thursdays, 1:00–2:15 p.m. on East Bank
Orientation Dates & Locations
Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.
See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.
|Spring Break 2022||TBD||TBD|
Spring Break 2022 Cost of Participation forthcoming
The program fee includes airfare, housing, program administration, welcome and farewell meals, some additional meals, international health insurance, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, airport transfers, and in-country transportation for all course related activities. Typically, program fees range between $4,000–$4,700. Students must also budget for passport and passport photos, a few meals, spending money, and miscellaneous living expenses.
If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.
If you are registered for less than 13-credits, or if you are a non-UofM student, you will be charged tuition for this course in addition to the program fee. Notify the Learning Abroad Center if this applies to you.
Billing & Payments
Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.
Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.
Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
Be aware: Learning Abroad Center programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.
You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.
After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:
- Application Essay
Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.
After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.
Register for On-Campus Course
Your participation on this program is secured by applying and confirming through the Learning Abroad Center application process.
You will also need to register for the on-campus course EngW 1911W.
Note: Registering for the course, but not confirming through the Learning Abroad Center, will not hold your spot in the program.
For further information or questions about this program, send an email to