THE SPAIN PROGRAM

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THE PROVINCE OF CASTILE AND LEON is not only the largest region of Spain, but the largest region in the European Union as well. The elevated plain is limited by the mountain ranges Sistema Iberico to the east, Cordillera Central to the south, Cordillera Cantabrica to the north and by Duero river towards Portugal. The province has been a center of Spanish medieval history, and the importance during that epoch is still evident in the many cathedrals, monasteries, castles and fortified towns, many of which are preserved in perfect state. Castilla y Leon also offers natural parks with woods of oaks and cork-oaks. The provincial cuisine is well known for lamb and vegetables. Folk art and popular celebrations show a rich and varied folklore, often of archaic roots and almost unknown to a wider public.


THE CITY OF LEON
was founded by the Romans in 68 AD, Leon lies on a fertile plain surrounded by woods, orchards and meadows, and has a population of over 120,000 inhabitants. Within the two cities it encapsulates, i.e. the old medieval part and the modern one that stretches alongside the river, there is an extraordinary historical and artistic heritage. The Roman and medieval walls in between help to highlight the beautiful contrast between the old quarter and the squares, known as the Plaza Mayor and the Plaza del Mercado, and the avenues, modern buildings, parks and gardens that lie to the west. The three most characteristic monuments that stand out for their great artistic value in Leon are the Cathedral, the Collegiate Church of San Isidoro and the Convent of San Marcos. According to the chronicles of pilgrims who were walking to Santiago de Compostela, Leon was a city that was 'full of all happiness' and, consequently, a place of growing trade. Leon marked the eighth stage on the journey on the Camino de Santiago.

IN THE LOCAL AREA
Although León is a town of 150,000 people, you will soon find yourself saying that "It's a pueblo." It has a small town feel, where everyone knows your name. Walking down the Calle Ancha, you will see glimpses of the past (León Gotico) in the old buildings and the walls left over from roman times, right alongside modern buildings. At night, it is imperative that you visit the Barrio Humedo, a mazelike labyrinth of streets filled with tapas bars where you can sample a bit of local flavor including tortilla espanola, jamon, croquetas, morcilla and other local specialties. Spain has a vibrant life, both during the day and at night. By day the towers of magnificent cathedrals and the peaks of the many mountains scrape the sky, and by night the downtowns of most towns fill with people ready for a night out. The atmosphere of the city is that of constant movement. Spanish culture is very social and the Spaniards will often decide to "tomar un café" with a friend they happen to meet while "dando paseos" through the city. Students will be completely immersed in Spanish language and culture while studying in León.

map of Spain

UNIVERSITY OF LEON , LEON , SPAIN
The University of Leon began as a Normal School for Teachers in 1843. The current campus of the University of Leon , a comprehensive university, was created in 1979 and is located in the north part of the city. Before that, the university occupied various buildings in the historic quarter where the university began as a Normal School for Teachers in 1843. On this new campus there are about 15,000 students who can choose among 35 different majors from veterinary medicine to economics, law, and education. The campus also has 3 cafeterias, a large library, veterinary clinic, and large sport complex, with 4 tennis courts, one soccer field, one track field, and one stadium, with basketball and volleyball courts inside.
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FACULTY OF EDUCATION
The Faculty of Education grants degrees in Speech and Language, Special Education, Physical Education, Early Childhood Education, Music Education, Spanish as a Second Language, and Primary Education, from bachelor’s degrees to doctorates. The program focuses on providing students with the processes of teaching-learning, attending to the prevention and treatment of children with learning difficulties, and academic and professional assessment. The Faculty of Education has established a number of exchanges with universities in other countries. U.S. students will live on-campus in university residence halls, and use local transportation to get to and from schools.

AT-RISK IN SPAIN
Of the 10 million Roma people living in Europe , approximately 700,000 reside in Spain . There has been a long history of persecution and marginalization of the Roma, even through the Franco regime, when Roma received no schooling at all. School exclusion and social exclusion were the norm. This did not change until the mid-1970s when part-time schooling was introduced in a number of schools. Since then, adaptation classrooms, bridging schools, special classrooms, remedial education, bi-lingual classrooms, and curricular diversification have taken place, with Roma now being integrated into regular classrooms. Current barriers that exist for providing full inclusion and acceptance of Roma children in schools include racism, xenophobia, and lack of understanding of Roma culture. The main features of Roma culture are: (1) traditions are transmitted orally, (2) all life revolves around the family, where one learns to be a Roma, (3) the education of a Roma child is practical, experiential, learning by doing, (4) Sentimental relationships are especially important, (5) Education is collective, i.e., everyone learns from the elders and they teach the younger ones, (6) important values include experience, initiative, solidarity, one’s word, respect for one’s elders, defense of the family (Etxaberria, 2002).

Another at-risk population that has increased 40% since 1999 is that of immigrant children from Arabic, Chinese, and Latin American countries. Spain is not well-equipped to handle this explosion in migration and therefore does not have sufficient teachers trained in Spanish as a second language to properly educate these children. There is also societal resistance to bi-lingual education and government resistance to fund such programs ( Santos , 1999).

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
This program provides students with several school practice opportunities: (1) work with children at-risk of failing academically, (2) work in academically advanced schools, (3) work in single-gender schools in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland, or (4) work in a mainstream classroom.

TIME FRAME
Block IV - Second half of fall semester (mid-October to end of semester) or second half of spring semester (mid-March to the end of the semester). 8 weeks total. Arrive back in the states in time for graduation or stay on in Europe and travel independently.  

ELIGIBILITY
Open to all Early Childhood, Elementary, Exceptional Child, Middle, and Secondary majors who are in good academic standing. Block IV applicants must have finished all of their professional coursework and blocks, including special blocks such as Early Childhood and Exceptional Child, as well as completion of all professional portfolio/TWS requirements at the end of Block III. Only students who have shown exemplary academic performance should apply for this challenging program. 

SE303 STUDY ABROAD SEMINAR
All students planning to participate in this student teaching opportunity must enroll in this 2-credit course the semester before their Block IV semester. This seminar provides students with information about their host culture and the educational system. This course must be successfully completed the semester prior to the Block IV semester.

SCHOOL PLACEMENTS AND SUPERVISION
Placements for this program are made individually. You will be placed in a primary or secondary school in and around Leon. Supervision of your student teaching is done by a University of Leon faculty member. As part of your professional experiences in Block IV, you will also have opportunities to visit other schools that may have unique and interesting programs, or are taught in other languages.

HOUSING AND TRANSPORT
You will live on-campus in the Residencia Emilio Hurtado, University of Leon, Leon, Spain where you will share a flat with two other students, either Spanish students or other international students. In the residence hall, you will have access to basic cooking facilities as well as all campus facilities, e.g., library, computer labs, and recreation facilities. You will either use public transportation or walk to your school.

COST

Airfare (round-trip) $800-1200

Room and Board (depending on exchange rate)

$1000-1600

Personal Expenses (based on previous students' experiences/exchange rates)

$1000-3000

ISEA Membership/Insurance: Health and Travel

$350

Passport Fee

$100

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
There are many ways to finance your trip abroad so that you do not have to pay any money out of your own pocket, provided that YOU begin at least six months before the start of your program. Please note that Southeast is NOT responsible for finding financial assistance for you.

q       SEMO scholarships and loans: Any SEMO scholarships or loans that you have that help pay for your education can be applied to this experience since it is a requirement for graduation and state certification. Also, there are several SEMO scholarships specifically designated for study abroad. See: http://www5.semo.edu/international/Wales/scholars.htm

You should also consider the numerous endowed scholarships also available to education majors. See:
http://www6.semo.edu/sfs/Scholarships/endowed/htm

q       National Scholarships: There are two national scholarships, IIE ($1000+) and Gilman ($2,400-5,000), which are available. IIE is merit-based, while Gilman is need-based. SEMO students have received both IIE and Gilman. See:  http://www5.semo.edu/international

q       State Scholarships: There are three state scholarships for education majors administered through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE): the Missouri Teacher Education Scholarship, the Missouri Minority Teaching Scholarship, and the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship. For more information about these scholarships go to: http://www.dese.state.mo.us/divteachqual/scholarships

q       Mini-grants: Your local service clubs (Rotary, Kiwanis, Jaycees, Zonta, etc.) are always willing to support educational endeavors such as this. By following instructions at: http://www5.semo.edu/international you can learn how to apply for these grants. Many students in the past have benefited from these grants, some having their entire program paid for, others receiving up to $1200.

q       Bank account: Open a savings account today and start putting away a few dollars every week. You’d be surprised how much you will have when you are ready to leave for your student teaching experience!

q       Graduation and birthday gifts: If you know that graduation and birthday gifts are coming your way, you might suggest that they be in the form of travel-related items such as luggage, travel gear, passport fees, or any other type of expense you might want to cover.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Dr. Jean Benton, Coordinator of International Student Teaching, College of Education
Southeast Missouri State University
Scully 240
Mailbox – Scully 245
(573) 651-2440
jbenton@semo.edu

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS
April 1 for the Spring program
October 1 for the Fall program
Send application to Dr. Jean Benton  


http://www.unileon.es/
http://www.unileon.es/estructura/ce/fce.htm