Institute for Field Education

Program Overview

The Asturias Field Study and Internship Program is centered on but not limited to a full-time internship or research placement as the means for language immersion, cross-cultural learning, and a comparative study of a student’s own field. These goals are reached though a multi-faceted 17-week academic semester:
• Six-week preparatory period (curriculum includes orientation, coursework, site visits and two study tours of sites in northern Spain);
• Twelve-week internship and research period (full-time internship or research placement, weekly seminar, guided research project)
For whom
Students from any field of study, seeking the opportunity to pursue academic and career interests through an experiential education program, combining immersion in their field with academic rigor. Students enrolling in the Asturias Field Study and Internship program are motivated to perfect their Spanish, acquire cross-cultural knowledge and skills, and gain sensitivity to contemporary Spain and Europe via participation in life in Gijón/Oviedo.

Key ingredients of the Asturias Field Study and Internship semester
1. Language immersion. All courses, IFE activities, housing situations and internships are conducted exclusively in Spanish, and students are required to speak Spanish at all times.
2. Extensive classroom preparation prior to field experience. Covering the first six weeks of the semester, the preparatory period includes orientation, courses of instruction (see below), inter-cultural workshops, and two short study tours of northern Spain.
3. A period of full-time internship of nearly three months (eleven weeks).
4. Individualized placement process. Beginning with an exchange between IFE and each student based on information provided during the application process. Placements match each student’s field of study, desires, academic and career goals, previous experience, and other individual factors.
5. The Asturias Globalization Seminar. During the internship students return to the IFE Center for a course on contemporary Asturias in the European and international context.
6. Independent Field Research Paper.The focal point–and culmination–of the field experience is a lengthy, independent field study paper written on a topic arising from the student- intern’s work during the internship.
7. Support and follow-up. Student progress and experience are monitored step-by-step throughout the IFE semester by a series of formal and informal means. Weekly meetings, on-site evaluation of the internship midway through, advising sessions, intercultural workshops, the ongoing seminar, oral presentation of research in-progress, and regular informal contact.
NB: This program model is based on IFE’s experience developing and running similar programs in Francophone Europe.
Contact with host society
Student immersion is assured through the sum of program elements all of which are entirely in Spanish, including instruction by qualified local experts, site visits of social and civic importance, regional excursions, participation in host family life, a full-time, 11-week mission-driven internship, and extracurricular opportunities for engaging in the local community through culture, sports, social affairs, etc.

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