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Ripon College is partnering with Barcelona Study Abroad Experience (BSAE) to create a customized study abroad program for Ripon College students. Ripon College students have the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Barcelona through a faculty-led semester-long study abroad opportunity.

All participating students will take a course with the 2025 Ripon College faculty director as well as three elective courses at the School for International Studies (SIS), all while experiencing life in one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. One of the three elective courses can be an international academic internship. Each course carries four semester credits.

As an approved Ripon College off-campus study program, the course titles, credit value and grades appear on the Ripon College transcript with a notation “Barcelona Study Abroad Experience.” Grades are included in the Ripon College GPA calculations.

What is the benefit of studying abroad?

Students will move beyond tourist status and fully immerse themselves in the culture of Spain. Participants will live with Spanish host families, experience daily living in Europe, travel throughout the region, sample local cuisine and visit both famous hotspots and local favorites.

Dr. Julia Manor will direct the 2025 Ripon College Spain Program in Barcelona.

Dr. Julia Manor is delighted to be leading the second cohort of Ripon College’s Spain Program in 2025. Dr. Manor has co-led a short-term study abroad to Jamaica as a part of Ripon College’s In Focus May term. She has also spent time abroad both as a student in Italy and with her family on a sabbatical at the University of Lincoln in England. She is excited to introduce students to new cultural experiences in Barcelona!

Dr. Manor is a comparative psychologist and behavioral neuroscientist. She received her bachelor’s degree from Macalester College and her doctorate from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Manor researches emotional regulation and cognition in animals, particularly dogs. She teaches courses in Psychology relating to neuroscience and to animal cognition including: Brain Mind and Behavior, Drugs and Society, Inside the Animal Mind, and Sensation and Perception. In Spring 2025, she will be leading students in a course on Cross-cultural Human Animal Interactions in Barcelona, which will explore the different relationships that people have with animals both in the United States and all over the world.

Dr. Julia Manor, 2025 Spain Director


Program Details

Who will be the first Ripon College faculty to lead the Spain semester?
The Spain director will change every year. The 2025 director is Dr. Julia Manor Professor of Psychology, who will be teaching an Animal Behavior Studies course that will take full advantage of the resources in Barcelona and the Catalonia region.

Who is eligible for this program?
Any student with a sophomore, junior or senior standing is welcome to apply. A maximum of 22 students will be accepted.

Do you have to be able to speak Spanish?
There is not a Spanish language requirement. However, students without Spanish language knowledge are encouraged to take an entry-level language course during or prior to their trip. A language or culture course could be taken for academic credit through SIS as one of the three elective courses.

What academic experiences are included?
Academic highlights include a pre-departure orientation on campus; a three-day orientation in Barcelona; 4 course units of credit toward your Ripon College degree; and several course-related excursions outside of Barcelona, including trips to other parts of Spain as part of the Director’s Course.

Students will take one class with the Ripon College faculty director. Please note this study abroad experience can fulfill Catalyst 210; additional information will be provided to interested students. Students also will choose 3 elective courses taught at Barcelona School of International Studies (SIS); all classes include multiple field studies. Examples of potential courses offered include:

  • Start Ups and the Emerging Economy: Creating Your Own Business
  • Diversity in Hispanic Media and Pop Culture
  • Marine and Aquatic Ecosystems in the Mediterranean
  • Social Movements: Creating Social and Political Alternatives
  • Food and Culture in the Mediterranean
  • Sports and Society in Spain and Catalonia
  • Black Barcelona: The Experience of Race and Ethnicity in Spain
  • Gender and Identity in Modern Spain
  • Great 20th Century Artists: Picasso, Dali, Miro.

One of those elective courses may be an academic internship which includes coursework and 150+ hours of customized international experience.

In September 2024, students will be given access to course registration and can select their preferences for SIS electives from the list of classes being offered in spring 2025. Note the courses offered through SIS are open to other U.S. students studying abroad; courses with fewer than six students enrolled may not be offered.

Final grades will be sent directly to Ripon College’s registrar to be added to student transcripts. Grades normally are communicated around one month after the last day of classes.

How are credits applied to Ripon College requirements? How do students determine which equivalent Ripon College courses are covered?
Dr. Manor and your academic advisor will be involved in your spring course registration. This partnership will assure you are taking full advantage of unique courses offered in Barcelona and meeting graduation requirements for your majors and minors.

What cultural experiences are available?
All activities outlined in the itinerary are aimed at cultural awareness. Students also will receive BSAE’s Cultural Agendas highlighting local events and a “Bucket List with 100 Ways to Explore the City like a Local.”

Activities held in Barcelona throughout the semester included opportunities such as cooking classes, visits to museums, dance classes, guided tours and scavenger hunts. Day trips and weekend trips outside of Barcelona city center include transportation, guides and entrance fees, and could include the Dalí Museum, Tarragona, Girona, Cava Tours, Calçotadas, Valencia and Tarragona, and Basque Country.

An optional excursion (at added cost) to Morocco will be offered through a third-party partner organization.

Director's Course

This course explores the interconnection of humans and animals throughout our world. We will look at how we use animals for food, work, and our own amusement. Additionally, we will examine the interactions of humans and animals in natural environments (e.g., ecotourism) and in working environments (e.g., forensic science and animal assisted therapy). The course will take a psychological perspective on our bonds with animals and look at implications of humans on animal welfare (and vice versa) while examining the connections to other disciplines and across countries. We will examine these topics through an interdisciplinary and international lens while studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain.

  • To understand the different methods used to study human animal interactions
  • To be able to read, write, and speak effectively about topics in human animal interactions.
  • To be able to critically evaluate complex topics related to different types of human and animal relationships
  • To be able to compare and contrast human-animal interactions across the globe


When will the program be held?
The 16-week experience has an estimated arrival date of Thursday, January 7, 2025, with an estimated departure date of Saturday, April 25, 2025. No SIS classes will be held during Spanish Holy Week Friday, April 12, through Monday, April 21, 2025, which provides a “Spring Break” opportunity to independently explore Spain, travel throughout Europe or host visitors.

Where will students live?
All participants are placed with vetted local families, normally with a few students per household. This immerses students in the local language and culture while providing even more support for students (and their families) who may be nervous about being in a new country.

All bedding and towels are provided, and laundry is arranged with the host family. Daily breakfast and dinner is provided by the host families while a weekly stipend of 60€ will be provided for lunches, snacks and drinks outside of breakfast and dinner or when traveling independently.

What is the cost? Are scholarships available through Ripon College?
Students will pay their spring 2025 tuition, room and board as specified in their financial aid package directly to Ripon College; this means each participant pays the same tuition, room and board they would have paid if they were taking classes in Ripon, Wisconsin. Technically, students participating in the program are enrolled at Ripon College during the spring semester.

There is an additional $6,000 fee for the program which will cover all major expenses including airfare to and from Spain and sanctioned travel with the program including overnight stays. A $1000 deposit (applied to the $6000) is due September 2, 2024. .

If there is a financial hardship or financial barrier to participating in the program, please contact [email protected] to discuss scholarship opportunities.

There are also scholarship opportunities available through BSAE. Please see their website for additional information. Ripon College students are eligible for the following scholarships:

  • TODOS Justice, Community & Service Scholarship
  • TODOS Academic Study Need-Based Scholarship
  • TODOS Social Media Scholarship

Pell-eligible students are encouraged to apply for the early deadline Gilman Scholarship by March 7, 2024; this could award up to $5,000 for a semester study abroad program.

What is not included?
Personal items and expenses related to travel outside of the sanctioned program activities.

Additional Scholarship opportunities and resources PDF

Health and safety
Comprehensive overseas health insurance is provided through CISI (Cultural Insurance Services International). 24-hour on-site emergency phone service is provided by bilingual BSAE staff who will collaborate with an English-speaking hospital and mental health experts.

Students must be reachable in case of an emergency. If participants don’t have an international phone plan where they can be reached during their stay in Barcelona, BSAE will give advice and help them to purchase a Spanish SIM card or phone.

How do you arrange transportation to and from the airport?
Students will be flying together from Chicago O’Hare airport to El Prat airport in Barcelona, Spain; students are responsible for getting to and from O’Hare. Barcelona airport pickup and transportation to homestays are provided for students who arrive on the group flight; if arriving individually, students will need to find their own transportation to BSAE staff offices.

An airport drop-off stipend is provided for all Ripon College students. Each student is given an additional 20€ in their final stipend payment to be used to pay for their taxi to the airport (arranging shared taxis with their roommates). BSAE staff will not be at the airport for the departure day but are available by emergency phone should any support be needed.

How do you get around the city?
Students will receive an additional stipend in the first week of the program in order to purchase a metro pass for the duration of the program. This covers unlimited metro, bus and tram rides in zone 1. If a student loses his/her pass, it is up to the student to replace it at their own expense.

All day trips and overnight trips include private coach, bus or flights.

What courses are available for Spring 2025?

We are working with BSAE on the list of course offerings, which will be forthcoming.

For more information learn more from the student guide

I'm interested - What's next?

Students who are interested but don’t already have a passport should apply for a passport NOW. A valid passport must be obtained prior to September 15, 2024.New passports can take 10-12 weeks; applications for visas require a valid passport, so consult with your local passport issuing branch to determine if an expedited passport application is warranted. Current passport holders, please confirm that your expiration date extends through 2025.

The pre-departure meetings in September will inform students about the process of receiving a student visa in early October through the Chicago consultant.
You or your families can reach out to President Folse; she has personally led this semester-long Spain Program in partnership with BSAE in the past. Dr. Manor will have finalized details about her Human- Animal Interactions class later this spring.

We will work with interested students over the summer. There also will be an on-campus informational session in February and again in September after students have returned to campus. Students who need to adjust their fall schedule to accommodate a spring study abroad program can work with their academic advisor and with Dr. Manor.

If I know I want to be part of the Ripon College Spain Program, what can I do now?
Complete a Participation Request Form.

Join us for the upcoming Informational Session. Find the details here!