Learn and make a difference in Spain and Morocco.

The Segovia program is a great program for people interested in sustainable tourism, art, architecture, or Spanish language and culture. It is also rich with North African culture, art and architecture and a perfect location to study Arabic language and culture and explore Moorish history. In Segovia, participants live amidst a 2000 year-old Roman aqueduct, a castle, a 14th-century cathedral and more in this walkable, friendly Spanish city. Segovia is manageable in size, but also only thirty minutes from the metropolis of Madrid by high-speed rail. From Segovia, you can reach most regions of Spain within a few hours.

The city of Segovia and its Aqueduct are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Within the environment of the old city, there are buildings that commemorate the cultures of Segovia, including Sefardic Jews, Moors, Catholics, and Romans. Like anywhere, there is also unmet need within the community, and students perform volunteer service by teaching English to underserved children, helping unemployed people learn marketable skills, rescuing animals, assisting in an international studies office, or helping recent North African immigrants acclimate to life in Spain. Gaining valuable, international work experience by helping others and greatly improving one’s Spanish proficiency are some of the many rewards.


You will live in a homestay with a local host family. Some host families are located within the historic walled city and some a short distance outside. All are within walking distance and/or a short bus ride to the campus. The homestay is an integral part of both the program, giving you the opportunity to make lifelong friends, reinforce the language skills acquired during daily lessons, and experience modern Spanish culture from "the inside." Host families are carefully selected, experienced with hosting students, and view the experience as a form of cultural exchange. Full room and board is included; all meals, 7 days per week. Wi-fi is available in MOST houses and readily available at Lope de Vega and the Universidad de Valladolid, which has a branch campus in Segovia; as well as in local libraries and cafes. Most students bring their own laptop.

Program Director: Ms. Maria del Mar Tejedor Plomo


The program welcomes students of any nation who have a high school diploma or equivalent credential. TOEFL equivalent 550. Dancer


The Segovia program is based at the Lope de Vega Institute, and courses are taught by their faculty, who have developed an innovative approach to teaching language and culture. You will engage in Spanish language studies (beginner, intermediate and advanced levels offered) and take the service-learning course, Institutions in Society. Students earn 6 semester credits taking one Spanish Language and Culture course and the Institutions in Society, the service-learning course. Courses are taught in Spanish with some English for the Institutions Course. A transcript is issued by Lope de Vega Institute upon successful completion of the program and the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York. Unless otherwise noted, courses are at the 300 level, except for any foreign language course that will vary.

Course offerings

Spanish Language - Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced

Students take a placement exam upon arrival and are placed at their appropriate language level.  Students participate in class daily and in activities designed to develop all linguistic abilities. A wide variety of teaching methods are used, and both grammar and conversation are emphasized.

Intermediate level courses are designed to consolidate the student’s prior knowledge of the Spanish language acquired in their homeland and to gain confidence, not only in understanding the language, but also in using the target language properly. Moreover, students will not only have access to the language in a real context, but they will also obtain cultural knowledge (traditions and socializing), which will help them understand the Spanish-speaking world. The interaction between the students and teacher will be ongoing in class.

In all levels, maximum attention is given to combining linguistic and cultural elements, taking into account the reality of life in Spain that students are dealing with outside the classroom. Therefore, in class, students study not only grammar, but also those aspects of communication that help to make theirs a genuine experience of life in Spain.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Institutions in Spanish Society  (Required Service-Learning Seminar)

This is a required course, team-taught between U.S. (online) and Spanish faculty (onsite). This course explores the theories and practical realities of intercultural service-learning in a Spanish context. This course complements community service placements and helps students reflect on their international experience and to build intercultural competence. Topics are examined through the prism of hands-on community service at Spanish NGOs and other non-profits and include:  intercultural communication, the mechanics of Spanish non-profits/NGOs, citizenship in Spain, civic engagement in a European context, the dynamics of power and privilege in a variety of contexts, and how to serve responsibly and function competently in an intercultural situation.

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3 College Participants


Service-learning in Spain provides the student the opportunity to experience social service in a country whose complicated political, economic, and social realities rarely permit the foreigner access to the general society. You will serve 10-20 hours per week in an established community development agency, NGO, or non-profit.

Service-Learning opportunities may include:

  • teaching English to children in schools and day care centers
  • assisting people who are unemployed to learn new, marketable skills
  • helping to integrate immigrant populations
  • helping to teach English to North African immigrants
  • working with animals at the Spanish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • assisting in launching international education initiatives
  • working with young orphans
  • working with the elderly
  • working with people with medical impairments such as Parkinson's Disease, etc.
  • helping with international development aid projects

Some of the agencies students serve include:

  • La asociación del Cáncer de España (cancer society)
  • La asociación de los Padres de la Cruz Blanca (disabled people)
  • La asociación del Parkinson (Parkinson's Disease)
  • AIDA (Ayuda Intercambio Desarrollo)--(International Development Organization)
  • Cruz Roja (Red Cross)
  • Association of Moroccans
  • La asociación Anemia de Franconi
  • Escuela Logos (nursery school and an English school for children and adults)
  • La Asociacíón Protectora de Animales de Segovia (Animal Aid Society of Segovia)
  • Caminantes (adoption agency)
  • Caritas (Immigrants and poor)
  • Alfa & Beta (academy for children and adolescents)
  • Asociación Ministerio Evangelico en Prisiones (MEP)--(incarcerated people)
  • Asociación para la Lucha Contra las Enfermedades del Rinon (ALCER)
  • Asociación San Francisco de Asis
  • Fundacion Secretariado Gitano (social/educational assistance for Gypsy clans)
  • Hermanitos de los Pobres (assisted living home for elderly)
  • Hermanos Franciscanos de la Cruz Blanca (home for developmentally delayed people of all ages)
  • UNICEF Delegacion Provincal de Segovia (international development aid for children)

Things to do

Daytime/overnight guided academic excursions, accompanied by the Lope de Vega Institute staff, occur throughout the semester and are included in the program fee. The excursions are planned to augment the academic coursework and to give students a richer understanding of Segovia, Spain, its people, language, culture and environment.

Examples of excursions may include:

  • Segovia city tour
  • Cultural trip to Madrid (Prado and Reina Sofía museums)
  • Route of the castles, La Ganja and the Mountains
  • Authentic Spanish cooking class

Students in Segovia may also work with program staff to arrange for independent travel to other regions of Spain.

As with all travel, weather and other travel hindrances can affect the exact destinations of excursions. In such cases, program staff make every effort to find suitable replacement itineraries. College Participants