Sewanee Summer in Spain
Roncesvalles • Estella • Burgos • León • Santiago de Compostela

‌Sewanee Summer in Spain is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Medieval Spain and the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Classes meet in Sewanee, in Madrid, and on the pilgrimage road in northern Spain.

Sewanee Summer in Spain is in many ways the quintessential Sewanee experience. Foremost, it’s about Sewanee professors sharing with students what they know best and love most. It’s also about challenging work and intensive study. Finally, it’s about personal transformation through intellectual and physical challenge, through the creation of a small community, and through learning to see our own community in the context of much larger and more important traditions.

‌Sewanee Summer in Spain is an intensive study of the medieval art and literature associated with the thousand-year-old pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James in western Spain. We dedicate an initial 10 days in Sewanee to exploring the literature of the Camino de Santiago; two weeks in Madrid living with Spanish families and studying art history at Spain’s premier Universidad Complutense, in the world-class museums of the Spanish capital, and on excursions to medieval towns, monasteries, and castles; and three weeks of hiking the medieval Camino de Santiago across northern Spain from the Pyrenees in the east to Santiago de Compostela, near the Atlantic coast.

Prerequisite:  SPAN 203

Payment Schedule
With application, $500 deposit check, made payable to the University of the South (refundable in case of non-acceptance)
Balance: $8,000 billed to student account upon acceptance
$8,500 total cost for program excluding airfare

Program participants enjoy:
  • Close contact and relationships between professors and students. Individual and group tutoring.
  • Contact with a rich spectrum of Spanish life and society: rural, small town, urban.
  • A variety of activities: traditional academic courses; family stay; hiking; travel; bullfights; museums; cuisine; art; music.
  • Intensive study of Medieval Spain: the Road to Santiago; art history; religion; literature; music; geography; international relations; multiculturalism.
  • Language study.


  • Antonio E. Momplet, Ph.D., Complutense University of Madrid; Professor of Medieval Art, Complutense University of Madrid; Visiting Professor of Fine Arts, The University of the South.
  • Stephen B. Raulston, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley; Professor of Spanish, The University of the South.
  • Laura Fernández, Ph.D., Complutense University of Madrid; Professor of Medieval Art, Complutense University of Madrid.
  • Francisco J. Moreno, Ph.D., Complutense University of Madrid; Professor of Medieval Art, Complutense University of Madrid.

Program offers credit for two full courses:

  • Spanish 322. Introduction to Medieval Spain and the Road to Santiago: An introduction to the history, literature, and culture of medieval Spain. Selected texts covering the Spanish medieval canon, monastic culture, and the complex relationships among Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Emphasis on the phenomenon of the pilgrimage road that crosses northern Spain.
  • Fine Arts 495. Spanish Art, Western Art, and the Road to Santiago: A multidisciplinary approach to Western, particularly Spanish, Art in connection with the development of the pilgrimage road to Santiago. Focusing primarily on early Christian and medieval art, we also discuss the persistence of and reaction to medieval ideas in the art of Modern Era.
  • Physical Education 214. Pilgrimage to Santiago

The program itself was born of international friendship and shared scholarly passion, and was conceived, appropriately, on a road trip. On a journey from Sewanee to California, Sewanee Professor Thomas Spaccarelli, Antonio Momplet of the Universidad Complutense (a frequent visiting professor at Sewanee), and Momplet’s wife Rocío spent the days talking about a way to share their combined expertise and scholarly pleasure with Sewanee students. The result is this twenty-year-old program which has introduced hundreds of Sewanee students to the cultural heritage, the topography, and the gastronomy of Spain. Former pilgrims tell us, repeatedly, that this is the highlight of their Sewanee experience.

Since decades before the now-fashionable ideas of field-based and place-based courses and experiential learning, Sewanee Summer in Spain has led selected Sewanee students to experience what they study, to know first-hand the rigors and pleasures of pilgrimage, and to explore the connection between place, literature, art, and politics. We invite you to walk with us.

The scheduled trips of this program are subject to change according to the political situation of the moment. We take the security of our students very seriously.