GECD Expands IAP Programs in Madrid with Record Enrollment

Julie Maddox, Assistant Dean, Global Education

A record number of MIT students studied in Madrid, Spain, during IAP 2017, earning credit towards their degree program. Sixty-one students enrolled in one of three course options: Global Literature, taught by Margery Resnick; Spanish II, taught by Ana Yanez Rodriguez; and Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition, taught by Margarita Ribas Groeger. The three courses offered students a chance to earn MIT credit, while living overseas in a homestay and gaining firsthand knowledge of another culture.

Resnick spearheaded the initiative 10 years ago by developing Spanish II in Madrid as a way to help students accelerate their Spanish language skills. The course has been a popular program for students over IAP. Three years ago, Resnick created a second course based in English for students to study Global Literature. Students who are not necessarily studying Spanish but are interested in being abroad and learning about Spanish literature and culture now have a great opportunity to study in Madrid. A third course in Advanced Spanish was launched this year for students who wanted an opportunity to develop their language skills beyond Spanish IV more rapidly. The language courses allow students to intensify their language learning, which could lead to a successful MISTI internship, a semester study abroad program in Madrid, or other global opportunities where knowledge of Spanish is helpful.

Joseph Han, a senior who participated in the Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition course, shared his experience in a written reflection after IAP: “Personally, I developed more independence after being in a country by myself and without cellular data and easy access to Wi-Fi. This taught me to be very diligent in planning my routes and developing contingency plans before leaving my homestay. In addition, as I was able to communicate with the locals, I was able to have fun and engaging conversations with them to include conversations ranging from politics to traveling.”                                                                           

“Managing the IAP programs in Madrid has been a rewarding experience working at MIT, as I’ve helped facilitate a transformative, hands-on learning experience for our students,” says Sara Stratton, the newest member of the Global Education team, who significantly contributed to the success of these programs.