Study abroad in the spring

Students may choose to study in Salamanca, Spain. ( Salamanca) [CC-BY-2.0])

Kaylee Johnston

Saddleback’s Liberal Arts Department offers two study abroad trips in the spring to Salamanca, Spain and Oxford, England.

Instructor Suki Fisher will be heading the Oxford trip for her fourth year, and instructor Carmenmara Hernandez-Bravo, having done study abroad trips to various places for 39 years, will be heading the Salamanca trip for her sixteenth year.

Each trip costs approximately $7,000, but is subject to change depending on number of students attending and personal requests. If unable to afford the trips, students are able to apply for financial aid, scholarships and student loans.

The trips, although highly academic, put a lot of focus on the culture and environment.

“I don’t want you writing in Spain, a little composition is fine, but I want you in the streets talking,” Hernandez-Bravo said. “I don’t want you in libraries, I don’t want you doing research in Spain. There I want you immersed in the language and the culture.”

Both trips require a certain amount of units to be taken throughout the duration of the program. Oxford requires 12 units, and a minimum of six must be taken while at Oxford.

Oxford courses, mainly located at St. Hilda’s College, include Introduction to Humanities, Shakespeare’s Tragedies and English History to 1688. The Saddleback courses are Principles of Composition I, which the student must be eligible for in order to attend, and Principles of Composition II. Introduction to the Novel is a full semester course that focuses on novels that take place in the cities the students are visiting.

“The thing that’s really cool is that you can look at parts of Christ Church College and you can see what inspired Lewis Carroll, and that, for me, is one of the things that I really love about doing the study abroad program,” Fisher said. “Not for Lewis Carroll in particular, but, in the terms of the literature that we’re studying, to see how the authors were influenced by their environments.”

Salamanca courses include Spanish-speaking courses, as well as historical civilization courses. Students attending this trip are required to take at least 14.25 units throughout the program while at Saddleback and Salamanca. During their time in Spain, the students are also given the opportunity to attend various cultural events, such as dances, cooking classes, Spanish cinema and wine-tasting.

During the trips, students have time to travel while on Spring Break and during field trips. The Salamanca trip includes field trips to Segovia and Avila. The Oxford trip includes field trips to London, Bath and Stonehenge, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle, as well as an optional trip to York.

“One of the tour guides, I liked his description of Bath. ‘Throw some dirt on the ground, put Keira Knightly in a dress, cue her to cry, and you got a scene,'” Fisher said.

Any extra traveling done during Spring Break or on weekends is not included in the cost for the program, however, much traveling is done with the program and may take place during class time as a learning resource.

All units taking during the trip are transferrable, and are offered through Saddleback, not through the universities you will be attending abroad.

For more information, contact professor Suki Fisher at, professor Carmenmara Hernandez-Bravo at or visit

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