Asturias

  • Overview
  • Courses
  • Teaching Staff
  • Internship placements
  • Research at IFE
  • Dates & Fees

Overview

Field Study and Internship in Gijón, on Spain's northern coast

The Asturias Field Study and Internship Program is a Spanish-language program centered on a full-time internship or research placement as the means for linguisic immersion, cross-cultural learning, a better understanding of a chosen subject, and personal growth.

IFE students in front of "Las Letronas", Port of Gijón

THE PROGRAM CONSISTS OF 4 MAIN ELEMENTS

Preparation

Students take part in a six-week integrated program of classes, site visits, discussion sessions, intercultural workshops, outings, and two excursions in northern Spain. Students gain confidence in spoken Spanish, and get to know Spanish society well through exploring its history, contemporary issues and culture. Students become very familiar with the city of Gijon and the region of Asturias.

Internship

Student-interns complete a twelve-week internship, four days per week, with a host organization whose mission coincides with their academic concentration and their objectives for the IFE program.

Research

During their internship students complete a research project focused on one aspect of their internship, guided by a research advisor. Most of the sources for this project are from the host organization and the internship itself.

Individual follow-up and support (probably the most important part)

Each student works closely with IFE staff before arrival to determine the best possible placement. Once on site, students are in close touch with IFE staff who make sure they are adequately prepared, coached and supported throughout the semester. Students are assigned an individual research advisor for their independent research project.

Courses

Courses taught as part of the IFE Program in Asturias are intended for non-specialists as they prepare for integration and participation in their internship regardless of their subject of concentration.

 

The academic rigor of the IFE program is unparalleled. IFE teaches you what makes Asturias special as a city and a cultural site. The academic experience extends beyond the classroom through excursions to cultural and historical sites. Learning about Asturias in class allows students to converse with native speakers in a meaningful way, instead of focusing on the awkwardness of being a student in a foreign place

Brandon. Hispanic Studies, Political Science

 

Discussion group: reading the local press / visit to an organic dairy farm

HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS OF MODERN SPAIN

Highlighting key moments and themes in Spanish history, this course provides non-specialists a grasp of the institutions and realities of contemporary Spain by demonstrating their historical origins. The course draws case studies from Asturian history and culture.

The format of instruction includes lecture-seminars, discussion groups, and guided site visits.

Site visits include Cangas de Onis, Covadonga, the Tito Bustillo Cave...

(Syllabus)

ASTURIAS AND THE DYNAMICS OF SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION

This course examines the seismic changes at work in Spanish society from the modern to the contemporary era. While adopting a primarily sociological approach, the course also analyzes dynamics of identity, memory, demographics and culture.

The format of instruction includes lecture-seminars, discussion groups, and guided site visits.

Site visits include The Museum of the Asturian Peoples, the Rastro flea and street market, the Mar de Niebla Social Action Foundation, the Niemeyer Cultural Center in Aviles...

(Syllabus)

 

THE ASTURIAS SEMINAR: SPANISH SOCIO-ECONOMICS IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD

 

The course provides an introduction to the dynamics of the Spanish economy and the web of entrepreneurial activity in Asturias. The socio-economic development of this region and the significant changes it has undergone is placed in its national, European and international contexts. Special attention is paid to the challenge of sustainability.
In addition to a formal analysis of local economic realities, the course includes personalized professional coaching for each student-intern as a member of a work team in their host organization.

(Syllabus)

 

Teaching Staff

Irene Díaz

Historian specialized in Oral History methodology. Since 2007 she collaborates with the Archive of Oral Sources for the Social History of Asturias (AFOHSA). Her lines of research, focused on the Franco period, have focused on the study of the labor movement as well as on political violence and memory processes.

Alejandro Prada 

Holding a doctorate in art and musicological history, combined with graduate work in history and socio-cultural analysis, Alejandro Prada Vázquez is a writer, journalist, and art historian. Alejandro is currently conducting research in art history while also writing columns for the Spanish version of Huffington Post, El Pais, and other publications. In 2016 he won the University of Oviedo Literary Prize, and his first novel, Venus, was published in 2017.

Rubén Vega

Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Oviedo, Ruben Vega’s doctoral thesis examined industrial crisis and social unrest in Gijón (1975-1995). Ruben Garcia's research focuses on the Franco years and the democratic transition, along with research on the not-for-profit milieu, the culture of work and workers’ movements, social movements and the process of de-industrialization. Ruben Garcia is the director of the Oral Archives for the Social History of Asturias.

Natalia Quintanal

Holding degrees in Labor Relations and Theory, Natalia Quintana is also a certified coach for executive and strategic roles, with twenty years experience consulting to businesses on human-resource management and talent development. Natalia’s clientele is a reflection of the Asturian economy: local metallurgy firms, multinationals in heavy industry, technology firms and startups.

Internship placements

The heart of an IFE semester is a mission-focused internship, in Spanish, with an organization, university or company located in the Asturias region, matching the student-intern's studies and goals.

Asturias students during their internships: Gijón Chamber of Commerce / Local bookstore / Biochemistry laboratory

The Region of Asturias and Gijon offer a complete range of placement possibilities. Gijon is a diverse city, where student-interns can get involved in politics, business, social affairs, cultural organizations, environmental action, European affairs, and other areas.

In the internationally recognized laboratories of the University of Oviedo, IFE's students become research interns in all science fields, as well as in the social sciences.

Asturias is a dynamic Spanish region whose economy features large companies as well as many startups and small firms. Cultural activity ranges from promotion of Asturian traditions to contemporary music and film festivals. Nature conservation, sustainability, and biodiversity are themes that mobilize many actors in the region.

Research at IFE

The internship experience was very related to medicine, my interest, and the connections I formed there led to a Fulbright research grant two years later at the same lab of my original internship. The experience I had with IFE was invaluable to my professional goals in the medical field.

Andrew. Biology, French

Research linked to a full-time internship is the core of the IFE semester. The research project takes the form of a guided independent study.

Oral defense of internship paper: Catherine, on the protection against inforced or involuntary disappereance in ASEAN

 

WHAT IS THE CONNECTION, CONCRETELY, BETWEEN RESEARCH AND INTERNSHIP?

A lengthy, engaged internship presents a unique opportunity for access to data, interviews, documents, and other key sources of information and insight that would otherwise go untapped.

Also, a student-intern who performs pertinent research while on the job becomes a more engaged and knowledgeable intern.

Internship opens up research access; research makes the internship experience more valuable.

Finally, some internship placements themselves are focused on research, whether in science labs, social science institutes, think tanks or policy centers.

 

HOW IS THE RESEARCH TOPIC CHOSEN?

Once student-interns are comfortable on the job, they consult with their internship mentor and their research advisor to develop a topic of value and interest to the student-intern and to the host organization.

 

WHO ARE THE IFE RESEARCH ADVISORS?

IFE pairs each student with a university teacher, researcher, or professional in the student’s field. Research advisors are trained by IFE in the nature and format of the project.

 

DO STUDENTS FIND IT DIFFICULT TO WRITE A LONG PAPER IN A SECOND LANGUAGE?

Students are in class and on the job for many weeks before they begin to draft their paper. During that time – in class at first and then on the job – they have carried out a number of written assigments in the host language. Advisors and IFE staff are available to help.

 

SUMMING UP

Combining guided field research with a lengthy internship experience enhances both.

Dates & Fees

DATES 

 

Asturias

FALL 2024: August 21 - December 20

SPRING 2025: January 20 - May 23

 

Paris – Strasbourg

FALL 2024: August 21 - December 20

SPRING 2025: January 16 - May 23

 

Application Deadlines

For fall semester programs: April 10th

For Spring semester programs: October 10th

PROGRAM COST

 

Tuition fee : 7950 €

(for all Field Study and Internship Programs - Asturias, Paris & Strasbourg)

This covers:

  • Full participation in all required program elements as well as in IFE-sponsored co-curricular events and activities.
  • Mandatory insurance
  • Housing service
  • Fee for a transfer transcript (if required by sending institution).

This does not cover:

  • Room and board
  • Airfare and visa fees
  • Medical insurance

Please note:

  • For many of IFE’s partner institutions, IFE bills program costs directly to the institution. Students at these institutions continue to pay home tuition.
  • For students paying IFE program costs directly, some need-based financial aid is available for those cases where there is a difference between the total cost of a semester at IFE (tuition, room and board) and the total cost of a semester on the home campus. Contact admissions@ife-edu.eu with qeustions. 

 

HOUSING COSTS

Asturias

  • Homestays with full meal plan: 3280 €

Paris

  • Student residences without meals (with kitchen access): 3400€
  • Student residences with partial meal plans (10-13 meals/month + breakfast): 3800 €
  • Female-only residences with partial meal plans (20 meals/month + breakfast): 4500 €
  • Female-only residences without meals (with kitchen access): 2200 € 
  • Homestays with some meals: approx. 5000 €

Strasbourg

  • Student residences without meals (with kitchen access): 2500 €
  • Homestays with some meals: 2500 € - 2900 €