Villanova/Cádiz Semester Program


For Cádiz semester program dates please contact the Office of Education Abroad:  

Students may leave the US for Cádiz a few days prior to the beginning of the semester to get acquainted with their host family and the City of Cádiz before the start of the semester.


The University of Cádiz, commonly referred to as UCA, is a public university founded in 1979.  Its origin, however, dates back to the 15thcentury, with the Colegio de Pilotos de los Mares de Levante y Poniente (Marine Science). Its Faculty of Medicine traces its founding to the Royal Naval College of Surgery in 1748, which was the first in Europe to combine medicine and surgery in a single school, and is the oldest Faculty of Medicine in Spain. At present, the University has 20,800 Spanish students, as well as many programs with universities from all around the world.  UCA  has been welcoming international students for almost 50 years, and Villanova University enjoys a close relationship with the University of Cádiz since 1989, when Villanova established a summer program, as well as other student and faculty exchanges, which successfully continues until the present day.

The Villanova Semester Program takes place at the main branch of UCA, located in the heart of the city of Cádiz, next to stylish shops, cafés, and beautiful plazas and gardens.

Cádiz, with a population of 160,000, is the oldest city in Europe, founded by the Phoenicians approximately 1,200 years before Christ. The city is surrounded by the sea on three sides and is accessible by land through “Puerta de Tierra,” a strip of land constructed in 1755.  Architecturally, Cádiz is a living relic of the 18th century with buildings, streets, and the New Cathedral reflecting the baroque and neoclassical styles of the 18th and 19th centuries. 

During the 16th century, the colonial sea trade made Cádiz one of the richest cities in Europe, and in the 18th century Cádiz became the primary port of trade with America, a period when Cádiz became known as the “enterprising city.” Today, Cádiz is a university city that attracts many international students. It is known for its charm, history, great seafood, relaxed atmosphere, warm climate, and friendly and welcoming hospitality.


Participating students should be able to demonstrate upon arrival at least an intermediate (1122) college-level Spanish proficiency for successful completion of the program.

The academic program is limited to 15 credits. Courses are 3 credits each and are grouped in the four main theme areas above. Regularly students may take five courses of the ones listed, but not more than two courses from one Section.

As noted above, other courses not listed may be added upon request on an as-needed basis.

On their first day of class, students will be provided with a detailed syllabus describing the course contents, required textbooks/readings, objectives, and assessment criteria, as well as a schedule of the daily and weekly activities.

Final Exam:
At the end of the program students will take a final examination. The percentage awarded is fully explained in the evaluation criteria detailed in the syllabus provided to the students on their first day of class.

Villanova students will receive transfer credits for those courses taken overseas (i.e., their VU GPA will not be affected by study abroad). They will obtain a letter grade from A to F from the instructors at the University of Cádiz; A, B, and C are considered satisfactory grades, while D and F are deemed unsatisfactory.  

Students with an advanced level of Spanish may choose from a variety of courses offered at the University of Cádiz:


Listed below are a group of popular courses taken by Villanova students in past semesters. All courses are taught in Spanish.

GROUP A.  Spanish as a Foreign Language  The courses aim at increasing language proficiency by developing all language skills (listening, reading, speaking, and writing).

SPA1131. Conversation and Composition (3 CREDITS, 45 hours). This course focuses on developing skills in Spanish through all types of oral and written compositions. Grammatical points will be emphasized to keep the grammar alive as students practice to use it.

SPA1132. Advanced Written and Conversational Spanish (3 CREDITS, 45 hours). The course focuses on developing communicative skills in Spanish through all types of oral, literary readings, and written productions, increasing the students’ vocabulary, syntax, and difficult grammatical structures.

SPA1138. Advanced Studies on Grammar I (3 CREDITS, 45 hours). An advanced Spanish course dealing with language nuances in oral and written language. 

SPA3412. Introduction to Spanish Linguistics II (3 CREDITS, 45 hours). This course introduces the core disciplines of linguistics, the scientific study of language: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Additional topics to be addressed include dialects, social aspects of language, and language change.

GROUP B. Spanish and Latin American LiteraturThese courses examine works of the most representative writers of Spain and Latin America. At the same time, these courses help students develop their communicative skills through reading and discussion over a range of the literary texts under analysis

SPA2020. Spanish Narrative from Cervantes to Muñoz Molina (3 CREDITS, 45 hours). The connecting thread from the hybrid discourse of Cervante’s Novelas ejemplares (Exemplary Novels) to the late 19th- century novel is essential in understanding the creation and development of the novel features in the Spanish language and in determining the complex relationship between story and fiction in novel writing.

SPA3046. The Latin American Avant-Garde Movement (3 CREDITS, 45 hours). The experimentation and departure from the canon that took place at the beginning of the last century gave rise to experimentation and continued until it reached its maturity in the eighties and nineties.

SPA3224.  Exile authors in Latin America and Russia.  A study of the literary movements that took place by Spanish exiles after the civil war of 1936.

SPA3412. Artistic movements related to historical events. Analysis of the different artistic movements from the past century as they relate to the history of the Country.

GROUP C. Sociology, Political Science and CommunicatioThese courses provide deep insight into contemporary cultural aspects of Spain, including its literature, art, history, geography, festivities, gastronomy, as well as current affairs, so as to help students shape their own opinion and take part in social and cultural debates.

PS Culture, Ideological Context and Democracy: from the Republican Regeneration to Political Transition (Spain, 1931-1975), (3 CREDITS, 45 hours). A good grasp of today’s Spain requires a good understanding of its political development throughout the 20th century. This course focuses on the understanding of today’s Spanish society organization based on the period from pre-war political and philosophical regeneration and its intermittent stability until the democracy transition period.

SOC4000 Tradition, Identity, and Interculturality in Today’s Spain (3 CREDITS, 45 hours). The course aims to reveal the key components underlying a culture, namely the Spanish culture which is built upon three different foundations: traditions and cultural conservatism, the quest for a unique identity but showing overlapping nationalities, and the renewed make-up of religions and customs reflected in today’s immigration.

COM3290 Representation, Image, and Communication: Today’s Spanish Society (3 CREDITS, 45 hours). Influenced by Romanticism, in the 20th century Spain became an iconographic repertoire which, through time, ended in the portrayal of the Spanishtipismo (portrayal of Spanish society’s customs). The main objective of the course is to provide students with the tools to critically identify the topics and realities of Contemporary Spanish and analyze to what extent today’s Spanish culture has its foundations in the memory of its own history, image, and representations created from the foreigners’ perspective.

COM3490 Cross Cultural Marketing and Communication in Europe (3 CREDITS, 45 hours). This course focusses on the analysis and observation of the birth, development, and consolidation of the disciplines of Marketing and Communication in the European socioeconomic environment. The course studies both disciplines within a capitalist society that promotes mass communication and the emergence of commercial and management ventures.

COM3390 Designing Tourism Campaign in Media and Film (3 CREDITS, 45 hours).  This course centers on the evolution and economic structures of tourism, as well as the functioning of the variables that articulate the business sector. It also shows how Spain and Andalusia extend through images and media beyond our territory. The overall objective of the course revolves around the different phases that define the birth, evolution, and consolidation of this process in order to reach the necessary skills to perform the contextual analyses necessary for the development of touristic plans.

GROUP D. Business Courses

LA 2993/BA 2002 Business Internship (3 CREDITS, 45 hours). Our Internship Program offers several exchanges in a typical Spanish atmosphere. This program is meant to help students improve their linguistic skills in a business environment. The most important enterprises at the Bay of Cádiz are involved in this project at present. These companies are distributed in different sectors such as the naval, aeronautic, and services sector.

Economics Of The Straight Of Gibraltar (3 CREDITS, 45 hours)

Global Business

Finance Course

GROUP E. History and Art 

These courses seek to provide students with an analytical and thoughtful view on the most important landmarks in contemporary history and other disciplines of Spain. They also seek to encourage and promote critical thinking over the aspects that shape Contemporary Spanish society.

HIS3950. Cádiz Constitution of 1812 (Constitución Gaditana) And Its Repercussion On The Constitutions Of The Americas(3 CREDITS, 45 hours). The new period after the French Revolution gave rise to the Constitution of 1812,  a Carta Magna that set the basic principles underlying modern democracy and served as a model for the organization of America’s states. The aim of the course is to analyze such a process from a historical, social, and political approach.

ART ARTAAHH 3009. History Of Spain Throughout Its Artistic Manifestations (3 CREDITS, 45 hours). The course focuses on the most significant landmarks in Spanish history and their related artistic manifestations.



Please discuss your study abroad plans with  Dr. Mikel Lorenzo-Arza, coordinator of the program and register for the semester program.  For the logistcs of your study abroad experience please visit the  Office of Education Abroad.


To apply for the program, follow this link. You can only apply online. 


The program lasts 14 weeks. The fall semester begins in early September and ends in December 2016. The semester lasts 16 weeks, it includes two vacation weeks that correspond to Carnival and Easter. Classes are offered four days a week (Monday through Thursday). Each course consists of 45 hours (42 hours of on-campus learning + 3 hours of guided autonomous learning). Students may leave for Cádiz a few days prior to the beginning of the semester to get acquainted with the family and the city.  


Each semester, students can take five courses, equivalent to 15 credits, a total of 3 credits per course for a total of 15 credits (5 courses), exactly the same way as they do at Villanova University.

Participating students should be able to demonstrate upon arrival at least an intermediate college-level Spanish proficiency for successful completion of the program. As in Villanova, each course consists of 45 hours (42 hours of on-campus learning + 3 hours of guided autonomous learning).




Students may request host family accommodations, full room and board, for the entire semester free of charge (with a Villanova scholarship) by the Office of Education Abroad.   Students staying in a dorm are responsible for covering their room and board.  Family stay is recommended for the following reasons:

Staying with a family enables students to achieve a high level of language and cultural immersion family life will provide opportunities to practice the Spanish language and promote familiarity with customs, values, food, habits, and culture of Spanish families.  Choosing this option will also save money.

DORM STAY: If a student prefers to be in a dorm, he or she can choose between full-board accommodation (breakfast, lunch, and dinner included) or half-board accommodation (breakfast included and lunch or dinner, at their choice).

The accommodation service and resident director will coordinate the pick-up at the train or bus station in Cádiz with their assigned family. On arrival, both parties (student and family) will sign the corresponding accommodations agreement.



This program offers several optional extracurricular excursions to various locations throughout Spain. Some of the trips are included in the cost; others have an additional cost.

Trip to Seville: 1-day field trip to Seville. Morning departure from Cádiz. Sightseeing tour of the most emblematic monuments and neighborhoods (barrios) of the capital city of Andalusia: the Jewish quarter of Barrio de Santa Cruz, the Cathedral, La Giralda, and the Alcázar.

Trip to Madrid: 1-weekend trip to Madrid. Departure on Friday morning and return to Cádiz on Sunday afternoon. This includes visits to the Prado and Reina Sofía Museums and a tour of the city’s most emblematic parks and neighborhoods (barrios and districts).

Trip to Granada: 1-weekend trip to Granada. Departure on Friday morning and return to Cádiz on Sunday afternoon. This includes visits to the Alhambra Palace, Nasrid Palaces, the Palace of Carlos V, Mirador de San Nicolás (San Nicolas Viewpoint), as well as walking tours of the city’s most popular sights and neighborhoods.

The on-site director of the semester program in Cádiz is Dr. María Jesús Ruiz Fernández, (Associate Professor at the University of Cádiz). She will serve as a local advisor to students and will be available to the students on a daily basis from the day of arrival.  You may contact her for information prior to leaving for Cádiz. Her email address is:




Studying abroad at the University of Cádiz, Spain is the best decision I ever made! I made friends, people I have continued and will continue to talk with, from all over the world (Europe, Russia, Asia, México, etc.). Cádiz happens to be a popular location for European students.  It is a beautiful historical city; it is near airports that can help you travel all over Europe. However, you feel you are getting a legitimate cultural immersion. Cádiz allowed me to learn so much about myself and what I am capable of.  I would recommend this trip to everyone and anyone who wants to learn Spanish, be immersed in its culture, and wants an amazing study abroad experience.”                                              

-Mallory Morgan (Cádiz, Spring 2013)

“We don’t hear about the things that make lasting impressions: the extra half an hour of sunlight in February that gets you through your night class and being able to watch that half an hour of sunlight get swallowed by the ocean; being surprised when you’re walking on the street in the middle of the afternoon and you don’t smell cigarette smoke; unconsciously adapting the siesta culture as a right, not a privilege. Small things, small details with life-altering impacts – these are the things for which a person simply cannot be prepared. They are the big-small things, if you will. The details listed are remnants of my own experience in Cádiz, and they therefore will change from person to person and experience to experience. However, I would like to share my top 2 big-small things that have affected my time and experience here thus far:

1.      Have you ever played fútbol on the beach overlooking the shores of Morocco? Well, now I can say I have. And let me tell you, I will never forget that.

2.      It is ok to be vulnerable, and personal, and to show weakness. There isn’t a need to put your mask on here (unless it’s Carnaval, in which case you should absolutely wear a mask). If you are having a bad day, talk about it. If you are overcome with joy, go sing about it in the plaza because the gaditanos seated at the café on the corner will sing right along with you! Get into a heated argument and yell in another person’s face, and then laugh about it over a cortado.  Above all, do not be afraid to get personal with people – people you’ve just met, people you don’t know at all, people who don’t speak your language. The bottom line is that we are all people, people who want to learn and experience and love. And that is something that you simply cannot prepare for – it is a gift in life that everyone deserves to know by experience.

-Ariel Braunstein (Cádiz, Spring 2014)

"Well now that the jet lag is mostly gone... These past four months have been such an amazing adventure. The sheer amount of places I was able to see and the things I could do made me feel blessed each and every day. I met friends from Britain, Austria, Mexico, France Germany and even Ole Miss lolz. A countless number of thanks goes out to my Nova group (known eternally as Los Gatos Salvajes), my friends who hosted me in numerous European locales, my host family in Cádiz, my teachers,  my brother for exploring the continent with me, my great aunt and uncle for allowing me to afford everything, and everyone else that made this semester so unbelievably special. Next stop, on to DC to do some SCIENCE.

-Benedict Hoffman (Cadiz, Spring 2015)

Cádiz Semester Program Brochure


Please download the Cádiz Semester Program Brochure below.


Looking for an experience that will impact your life and help you in your future career?

If so, then this is the right program for you!


For more information, please contact: Dr. Mikel Lorenzo-Arza