A rural church amidst rolling hills in Spain

Spanish History on the Camino de Santiago: A Hiking Adventure

  1. Program Details

    Global Seminar May Session 2020: Take a journey through Spain’s history while hiking the famed Camino de Santiago.

    Location Roncesvalles—Santiago de Compostela, Spain
    Term May Session
    Housing Hostel, Hotel
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.5
    Student Type UofM Students, Non UofM Students
    Student Year Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
    Language No Language Prerequisite

    Spanish History on the Camino de Santiago: A Hiking Adventure

  2. About Spanish History on the Camino de Santiago: A Hiking Adventure

    Hike approximately 300 miles of the historic Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, which follows ancient Roman roads and the pilgrimage path of the Crusades. Beginning in the town of Roncesvalles on the border between France and Spain, walk through several of the unique regions (Basque, Navarre, Rioja, Castille, Galicia) that comprise northern Spain and gain an understanding of what makes this route uniquely Spanish and historically significant. 

    As you make your way across the Spanish countryside, you will discover and experience the many cultures (Germanic, Arab, Celtic) that have created modern-day Spain and influenced the Camino. The Camino passes through the cities of Pamplona, Burgos, and Leon, which are all rich with historic significance to Spanish and European history, and ends in the city of Santiago de Compostela. Drawing on literary, historical, and art historical references, you will learn about the more-than-1,000 year-old route as well as experience it firsthand by visiting cathedrals, museums, monasteries, and ruins along the way.

    Housing & Meals

    You will live in backpacker-style housing, such as hostels and hotels, with other program participants. A welcome meal, farewell meal, a couple other group meals, and daily breakfasts are included in the program fee. Take additional meals in the housing or at local eateries.


    Excursions will illuminate the program coursework. These excursions will take place along the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain and may include: a city tour of Pamplona, a visit to a monastery, bodega, and wine museum in Irache, a cave tour in Atapuerca, a city tour of Leon, and the Museum of the Camino. 


    All program participants will be taking 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 regarding your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.

    It might be possible to deviate your return flight. Inquire with your program contact if interested.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Develop independence by challenging yourself in a new environment
    • Function as an effective team member by utilizing your personal strengths in a group setting
    • Explore a specific topic through experiential and interdisciplinary approaches

    Faculty & Staff

    This Global Seminar will be led by Nanette Hanks, an Assistant Dean in the College of Liberal Arts. She has degrees in art history (with a focus on the Medieval period in Spain) and humanities from the University of Minnesota, has extensive international experience, and has led hiking groups as a trail guide on the Camino de Santiago for the past 15 years. 

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  3. Program Structure

    Program Type Instructor-Led
    Program Level 3000 level courses

    One 3-credit course

    Global Seminars are 3-week study abroad programs led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff that feature:

    • Intensive learning in a location that illuminates the topic
    • Small groups of 15–25 students
    • No prerequisites or language requirements
    • Included excursions and cultural activities
    • Instruction in English


    Hiking the Camino de Santiago is a unique and fulfilling journey. Through the daily hikes, visits to the cities along the trail and their cultural sites, readings, and discussions, you will learn about the history, architecture, art, and culture of the ancient Roman roads in Northern Spain.

    You will attend a pre-departure orientation and complete a pre-departure essay. 

    During the Global Seminar, complete readings and keep a daily journal to help you reflect on what it means to be a pilgrim on the Camino. Write a reflection essay as well as an oral presentation to the group on a specific topic related to the Camino de Santiago. At the final dinner, share with the group a creative expression, such as a poem, dance, or joke, that demonstrates your feelings about your experience.

    This will be a very physically demanding program. You will hike approximately 15 miles, or 5–6 hours, almost every day of the program, rain or shine. Well broken-in hiking shoes are highly recommended.

    Receive credit for: CLA 3501 

    Liberal Education Fulfillment: Global Perspectives

  4. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Term Program Dates Priority Application Deadline* Final Application Deadline
    May Session May 17 – Jun 7, 2020 February 1, 2020 March 1, 2020

    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 25 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.

    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.

    Term Abroad Date/Time Location
    May Session TBD TBD
  5. Priority Deadline

    If you apply by the priority deadline and confirm within the allotted time you will receive the published program fee. Applying after the priority deadline and/or not confirming within the allotted time means you may be subject to an airfare increase.

    Fees for Spanish History on the Camino de Santiago: A Hiking Adventure

    May 2020 Cost of Participation Forthcoming

    Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. The program fee generally includes tuition, group flight airfare, airport transfers, in-country program related transportation, housing, some meals, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, program administration, and international health insurance. Generally, the program fees range from $6,000–$6,500. You must also budget for passport and passport photos, some meals, textbooks, independent travel, 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.

    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.

    Cancellation Policy

    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.
  6. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term May Session 2020
    Program Name Global Seminar: Spanish History on the Camino de Santiago: A Hiking Adventure
    Track Name Global Seminar: Spanish History on the Camino de Santiago: A Hiking Adventure
    Country Spain


    University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee.

    Non-University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Once you submit your application, Learning Abroad Center staff will create a University of Minnesota student internet account for you. You will use this account to access the Education Abroad Application System, and other University of Minnesota services. You will be charged a $50 application fee for this program.

    Our staff will contact you within 2–3 business days with your internet account information, and additional application instructions.


    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.

    Next Steps

    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.
  7. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

    Amy Garwood-Diaz or call at 612.624.1537.