University of North Florida, Jacksonville
Summer Study Abroad
6 July - 27 July 2015
Traveller, there is no path,
The UNF Department of History and the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work offered two courses in Spain this summer: Medieval Pilgrimage and the Camino de Santiago and Modern Pilgrimage Field Research. These two courses were designed to provide transformational learning opportunities. During three weeks of travel across northern Spain, students were engaged with unfamiliar cultures and languages as we traveled through five culturally distinct regions of the country: Catalonia, the Basque Country, Castile, Aragon, and Galicia. Students also stayed for five days at the University of Burgos, where they had the opportunity to participate in Spanish university life and familiarize themselves with the pace and contours of one Spanish city. The final week of the trip involved real pilgrimage. Students walked 116 km to Santiago. During this portion of the journey, students interacted with pilgrims from across the globe as they confronted many of the same joys and hardships that faced medieval travelers. On the successful completion of the journey, students received the Compostela, an official document issued by the pilgrimage office in Santiago marking their accomplishment. Through participation in a centuries-old pilgrimage tradition that connects the ancient and modern worlds, students emerged with a more sophisticated understanding of both medieval and modern cultural landscapes. Finally, students demonstrated specific subject area knowledge by identifying and analyzing key developments related to the history of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages and connecting these to their own pilgrimage experiences.
Photo: Flickr, Puente la Reina, Camino de Santiago by aherrero.
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