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Trips with SLU-Madrid

Saint Louis University — Madrid offers students many opportunities to explore Spain and the rest of Europe during their studies.

All the trips listed on the web for the current or future semesters are subject to change or cancellation. All trip fees must be paid in the SLU-Madrid Finance Office, on the ground floor of Padre Arrupe Hall.

Read SLU-Madrid's Trip Policies and Guidelines

Fall 2023

Monasterio de Piedra
  • Date: Thursday, Aug. 31
  • Optional trip
  • Price: 50 euros
  • Departure from Padre Rubio Hall front steps at 8:30 a.m.

The Monasterio de Piedra was founded in 1194 when Alonso II granted an Arab castle to the monks of Poblet to build a monastery in the hopes of consolidating Christianity in the area. Legend says that this monastery is where the first chocolate candy was made. The natural park of Monasterio de Piedra offers an unbelievable experience, with a two-and-a-half hour walk through a lush parkland with waterfalls and grottos hidden in one of the driest areas of the region of Aragón. 

Monasterio de Piedra. An interior shot displays grey brick archways and windows with light coming through.
Grefa and Parks
  • Date: Friday, Sept. 15
  • Faculty leader: Iván Sánchez, Ph.D.
  • Course: BIOL 1340 The Diversity of Life 
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: 43 euros

Students will visit Grefa, which is a wildlife recovery center and hospital where they can learn about different species of animals. They can review case studies to better understand human behavior and the connections between human behavior and current species extinction crises and formulate potential solutions to counteract or reduce threats to biodiversity. Students will also be visiting: Majadahonda, Alpedrete, Cotos, Peñalara and the Santillana Reservoir. They will analyze the best methods in species conservation including gathering information; monitoring and assessing viability; and applying fieldwork techniques to establish new populations. They will distinguish the main types of ecosystems; study the distribution and characteristics of ecosystems in latitude and longitude; and evaluate their ecological importance. They will discover the best practices to avoid degradation of the main biomes.

Two students kneel on the ground while a third stands and records information in a notebook.
Segovia
  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 23
  • Optional trip
  • Price: 50 euros
  • Departure from Padre Rubio Hall's front steps at 9 a.m.

Segovia is one of the must-do day trips while in Madrid. Join us in visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for the Roman aqueduct that stands in the center of the old quarter. In addition, you will see numerous Romanesque churches and the cathedral and fortress (castle). 

A Roman aqueduct with arches made of granite brick stretches itself next to a town.
Reina Sofía Museum
  • Date: Monday, Sept. 25
  • Faculty leader: Simona Rentea, Ph.D.
  • Course: POLS 2691 The Theory and Practice of Human Rights
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: Free

This visit takes students into an exploration of the artistic, cultural and political atmosphere surrounding the adoption of the UN Charter (1945) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). We particularly explore elements of the Museum's Permanent Collections that focus on representations of fascism, the trauma of the Holocaust, the camps and refugees, both following the Spanish Civil War and World War II. The conversation centers around representations of the 'new figure of man' (the bare life of the camp inhabitant, refugee, or stateless person) and the biopolitical logics of power (the systematic violence and extermination perpetrated against segments of the population) activated during the war as the basis on which the post-1945 order grounds its moral foundation of a 'never again' logic of 'equality of rights' and 'the dignity and worth of the human person'.

Exterior image of the Reina Sofia Museum
National Archaeological Museum 
  • Dates: Thursday, Sept. 28 and Friday, Sept. 29
  • Faculty leader: Anne Dewey, Ph.D.
  • Course: CORE 1000 Gender and National Identity through Women's Stories 
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: Free

This visit allows students to see how a national museum represents women in its collection, as part of the nation's and Europe's national heritage. During this visit, students will particularly focus on Protohistory and Greece.

Image of the. National Archaeological Museum, with marble statues and busts in a hall bordered by arch ways.
Ruidera Lagoons Natural Park and Tablas de Daimiel
  • Date: Friday, Sept. 29
  • Faculty leader: Mónica Pérez Bedmar, M.Sc.
  • Course: EAS 1310 Water Our Precious Resource
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: 50 euros

Students will understand how aquatic habitats function. They review the process of how aquatic habitats form. They learn about water use in agriculture activities. They experience and learn about the mismanagement of water resources.

A wooden footbridge stretches across a lagoon.
Stratford-upon- Avon
  • Date: Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30
  • Faculty leader: Timothy Ryan Day, Ph.D.
  • Course: ENGL 3470 Introduction to Shakespeare 
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: 95 euros

ENGL 3470 Introduction to Shakespeare includes a mandatory trip to the town of Shakespeare's birth and death, Stratford-upon-Avon. During the two-day trip, students will see a production of the Royal Shakespeare Theater, visit Shakespeare's birthplace, and tour other important historical sites such as the church where he was buried and the cottage where his wife Anne Hathaway spent her childhood. It's a unique opportunity to see the sites that inspired some of the English language's most important poetry and theater.

Exterior of a large brick building next to an elaborate garden
Loyola Retreat
  • Date: Friday-Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1
  • Optional trip
  • Price: 200 euros
  • Departure from Padre Rubio Hall at 8 a.m.

Open to all students of all faiths. Travel to the Basque countryside of northern Spain and visit the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. This is an opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Spiritual Exercises in the place where St. Ignatius was born and lived his life. 

Exterior of the Sanctuary of Loyola, a Baroque style building with a en elaborate dome in the middle.
Basque Country
  • Dates: Friday-Sunday, Oct. 6-8
  • Faculty: Iván Sánchez, Ph.D.
  • Course: EAS 1080 Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: 400 euros

On this trip, students will travel throughout the Basque Country where they will evaluate the environmental and landscape impact of different human actions. This will include scientific vegetation sampling, learning how to reduce threats to biodiversity and the natural processes, discovering agroforestry systems in different environments, conducting bird censuses and scientific ringing, and assessing sustainability, conservation processes, and ecological underlying mechanisms in marine reserves. Price includes transportation, lodging, excursions (as programmed in the final itinerary) and breakfast.

A landscape of stone cliffs, topped by grass, ending at a rocky coastline next to the ocean.
Murcia and Alicante
  • Dates: Friday-Sunday, Oct. 20-22; Friday-Sunday, Oct. 27-29        
  • Faculty: Mónica Pérez-Bedmar 
  • Course: EAS 1450 Introduction to Oceanography
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: 365 euros

The field trip will take students to Cabo de Palos, in the region of Murcia on Spain's southeastern coast. As one of the most ecologically diverse areas of the Mediterranean Sea, it proves an ideal site to study the main environmental issues the region is facing. The field trip includes visits to nearby oceanographic institutes, a desalination site, natural reserves and natural parks. The excursion includes a dive at one of the most important Mediterranean reserves, Islas Hormigas, off the coast of Murcia, which provides the opportunity — weather permitting — to snorkel in its crystal blue waters and identify the different organisms studied in the course. The trip also includes kayaking along the most developed Mediterranean coastlines to identify coastal issues and successful restoration projects. Price includes transportation, lodging, excursions (as programmed in the final itinerary) and breakfast. 

Alicante. A white lighthouse rises above the shorelie, set against the sea and a blue sky.
Matadero Madrid (I)
  • Date: Tuesday, Oct. 10
  • Faculty leader: Rosana Vivar Navas, Ph.D.
  • Course: CMM 2849 Analysis of Popular Culture
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: Free

This guided visit to the premises of Matadero Madrid is framed within the course section on the emergence of the creative economies in Europe. Matadero Madrid is a paradigm of the so-called 'Bilbao Effect': the repurposing of large industrial infrastructures into cultural spaces that set the economic development in the area in motion. The visit will set the foundations for a guest talk that will happen the following week: a worker from Matadero will visit the class to discuss with students the practical aspects of creative labor, and what it is like to work in the creative industries.

Exterior image of Matadero Madrid, a facade with neo-Mujadar features, such as brick and tile.ith
Counseling Center Retreat. Looking Inward: A Day for Self-Reflection and Mental Health
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 7
  • Optional trip
  • Price: 45 euros (everything is included: food, transportation and the venue).
  • Departure time and location: 8 a.m. at Padre Rubio Hall.
  • Arrival back to campus: 7 p.m.

Travel to the Sierra de Guadarrama for a daylong retreat full of exercises and other activities, such as yoga and meditation, planned to help students look inward. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on their purpose, their values, and what it is that moves them as people. This retreat is planned to tend to the body, mind and soul. 

If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, please contact Carla Aparicio Gallardo at carla.apariciogallardo@slu.edu.

Sierra de Guadarrama
Salamanca
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 21
  • Optional trip
  • Price: 50 euros
  • Departure from Padre Rubio Hall's front steps at 8:30 a.m.

Salamanca has been declared a "City of Mankind’s Heritage" by UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is best known for its university, which was founded in the beginning of the 13th century. Don't leave Spain without visiting one of the most breathtaking Renaissance cities in Europe and exploring its Romanesque and Baroque architecture. 

Exterior shot of the buildings of Salamanca, from the Renaissance era with arches and spires.
Fernán Gómez Villa Cultural Center
  • Date: Thursday, Nov. 2
  • Faculty leader: Javier Sauras, M.A.
  • Course: CMM 2550 Photojournalism
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: Free 

Students will be visiting the Amazonia exhibition which features the work of Sebastiao Salgado at the Fernán Gómez Villa Cultural Center. 

Fernán Gómez Villa Cultural Center
National Museum of Anthropology

The National Museum of Anthropology offers comprehensive information on the peoples of the world. It identifies what they have in common and what sets them apart. It is a compendium of the world’s cultural diversity. The students will learn anthropology through the collection of examples of "material culture" that represent the most important topics studied in the discipline, like religion, gender roles or rites of passage.

Exterior image of the museum entrance, in a neo-classical style with steps leading up to corinthian columns and banners hanging from the front.
Telefónica Foundation Museum
  • Date: Friday, Nov. 3
  • Faculty leader: Rosana Vivar Navas, Ph.D.
  • Course: CMM 2400 Media and Society
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: Free

Students will be visiting the Telefónica Foundation Museum to see Fake News: Fábrica de Mentiras. The visit to the exhibition culminates a series of class sessions dedicated to media literacy and combating disinformation. Students will learn about identifying biases in messages produced by major media outlets and other forms of mass communication, reflect on their media usage, develop strategies to control media consumption, and also apply strategies for media literacy.

Exterior image of the front of the museum, looking straight up the facade toward the sky.
Puertollano
  • Dates: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 3-4
  • Faculty leader: Hamish Binns, M.A.
  • Course: Core Reflection in Action Requirement
  • Optional trip
  • Price: 100 euros

In this overnight trip, students will work with children who are at risk of social exclusion in Puertollano. The price of the trip includes all meals, accommodations, transport and activity materials. To sign up for the trip, please email Hamish Binns directly at hamish.binns@slu.edu.

Puertollano Field trip
European Space Agency and European Space Astronomy Center (ESAC)
  • Date: Tuesday, Nov. 7
  • Faculty leader: Guillermo M. Muñoz Caro, Ph.D.
  • Course: PHYS 1130 M01 Introduction to Astronomy
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: 44 euros
  • Departure from front steps at Padre Rubio Hall

Students will take a guided visit to a large European institution devoted to astronomy and space science. The students will experience an environment where professional astronomers, engineers and other staff are active and learn about their work.

Aerial shot of a complex of multiple office buildings and a large parking lot.
Cuelgamuros Valley
  • Dates: Tuesday, Nov. 14 (HIST 3330) and Wednesday, Nov. 15 (POLS 3567)
  • Faculty leader: Chris Ealham, Ph.D.
  • Courses: HIST 3330 Modern History of Spain, POLS 3567 Political Development in Contemporary Spain
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: 24 euros (HIST 3330) and 25 euros (POLS 3567)

On this trip, students will reflect on the significance of this monument and its impact on the political and social worldview. They will explore its symbolic significance, as well as the contemporary debates relating to its past, present, and future.

Exterior shot of the monument, steps leading up to a curved structure with arches. A group of students stand in front.
National Archaeological Museum
  • Date: Thursday, Nov. 23
  • Faculty leader: Belén Molinuevo Puras, Ph.D.
  • Courses: ANTH 1210 Humans Past, Present, and Future: Introduction to Anthropology
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: Free

With this visit, students are able to get hands-on experience and see as the museum states "an accurate, attractive, interesting and critical interpretation of the objects that belonged to the different cultures which populated the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean region, ranging from Antiquity to more recent periods, in the firm belief that a knowledge of this history can shed light on society as we know it today."

National Archaeological Museum
Canal Foundation
  • Date: Thursday, Nov. 23
  • Faculty leader: Laura Tedesco, Ph.D.
  • Course: PHIL 1600/2620 Global Politics
  • Mandatory trip

Students will be viewing the exhibition "The Berlin Wall: A World Divided" in the Canal Foundation Sala Castellana 214.

Exterior image of the Canal Foundation building.
Matadero Madrid (II)
  • Date: Tuesday, Nov. 28
  • Faculty leader: Carlos Segovia, Ph.D.
  • Course: PHIL 1700 The Examined Life: Ultimate Questions
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: Free

Students will be viewing the exhibition "The Periphery of the Night" which brings together twelve video installations by Thai artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul that explore the relationship between past and present, night and day, dream and wakefulness, the visible and the invisible, and life and death.

Exterior image of Matadero Madrid, a facade with neo-Mujadar features, such as brick and tile.
Reina Sofia Museum II
  • Dates: Thursday, Nov. 30; Friday, Dec. 1
  • Faculty leader: Anne Dewey, Ph.D.
  • Course: CORE 1000 Gender and National Identity through Women's Stories
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: Free

Students will visit the Reina Sofía Museum to study the representation of women in war in Picasso's Guernica and other material at the museum that is related to the Spanish Civil War.

Exterior image of the Reina Sofia Museum

Spring 2024

Toledo
  • Date: Saturday, Jan. 13
  • Optional trip
  • Price: 50 euros
  • Departure from Padre Rubio Hall's front steps at 9 a.m.

Toledo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located just outside of Madrid. It is known as the "city of the three cultures" because Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together in this city for centuries. Behind its walls, Toledo preserves an artistic and cultural legacy in the form of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues. 

Toledo
Salamanca
  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 14
  • Optional trip
  • Price: 50 euros
  • Departure from Padre Rubio Hall front steps at 8:30 a.m.

Salamanca has been declared a "City of Mankind's Heritage" by UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is best known for its university, which was founded in the beginning of the 13th century. Don't leave Spain without visiting one of the most breathtaking Renaissance cities in Europe and exploring its Romanesque and Baroque architecture. 

Exterior shot of Renaissance-era stone buildings with elaborate gothic facades.
Segovia
  • Date: Saturday, Jan. 20
  • Optional trip
  • Price: 50 euros
  • Departure from Padre Rubio Hall front steps at 9 a.m.

Segovia is one of the must-do day trips while in Madrid. Join us in visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for the Roman aqueduct that stands in the center of the old quarter. In addition, you will see numerous Romanesque churches and the cathedral and fortress (castle). 

A Roman aqueduct with arches made of granite brick stretches itself next to a town.
Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso
  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 21
  • Optional trip
  • Price: 50 euros
  • Departure from Padre Rubio Hall's front steps at 9 a.m.

The Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso was Philip V's favorite palace and also his summer residence. Get lost in the immaculate French-style gardens and learn about the hydraulic system that is still in use today, wander through the Marble Room, and explore more on your own in the surrounding town.

An elaborate garden featuring a symmetrical landscape.
Collado Mediano
  • Date: Friday, Jan. 26
  • Faculty leader: Iván Sánchez, Ph.D.
  • Course: EAS 3100 Environmental Issues
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: Students are responsible for the price of the train ticket which can be purchased at the train station.

In this trip, students will travel to Collado Mediano on their own and will meet with the professor to evaluate the wildfire consequences and the restoration processes comparing forestry and ecological restoration. They will analyze the ecological processes in the area such as erosion, water supply, animal migrations, farming, and others. They will understand the environmental history of the place and how to apply that history to the current situation.

Collado Mediano hills
Valencia
  • Date: Friday, Feb. 2
  • Faculty leader: Bethlem Boronat, Ph.D.
  • Course: MGT 3201 Social Entrepreneurship
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: Students are responsible for the price of the train ticket which can be purchased prior to the trip.

In this trip, students will visit the headquarters of Timpers, a social enterprise, that designs and produces "touch" sneakers mainly employing individuals who are blind or have various disabilities. The visit includes a talk, the opportunity to meet and share experiences with the employees, understanding the design and manufacturing process, and learning about the various social milestones that they have achieved over the years.

Timpers shoes company
Loyola Retreat
  • Dates: Friday-Sunday, Feb. 9-11
  • Optional trip
  • Price: 200 euros
  • Departure from Padre Rubio Hall at 8 a.m.

Open to all students of all faiths. Travel to the Basque countryside of northern Spain and visit the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. This is an opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Spiritual Exercises in the place where St. Ignatius was born and lived his life. 

Exterior of the Sanctuary of Loyola, a Baroque style building with a en elaborate dome in the middle.
Ruidera Lagoons Natural Park and Tablas de Daimiel
  • Date: Friday, March 15
  • Faculty leader: Mónica Pérez Bedmar, M.Sc.
  • Course: EAS 1310 Water Our Precious Resource
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: 55 euros

Students will understand how aquatic habitats function. They review the process of how aquatic habitats form. They learn about water use in agriculture activities. They experience and learn about the mismanagement of water resources.

A wooden footbridge stretches across a lagoon.
Geological Rocks Trip
  • Date: Tuesday, March 19
  • Faculty leader: Javier Sánchez España, Ph.D.
  • Course: EAS 1430 Introduction to the Solid Earth
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: 35 euros

Students will go on a well-designed geologic route through the north of Madrid to see some of the most emblematic and relevant "geosites" in the area. The trip will consist of several stops in which the students will see and study in situ different types of rocks (sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic) with very distinct ages (from very young, unconsolidated sediments from the Miocene to very ancient metamorphic rocks from the Ordovicean), aspect, mineralogy and composition.

The trip has a strong lithological focus where students will see concepts of sedimentology, metamorphism, and igneous activity which are being studied in the course. In addition, the trip will also include places which are ideal to revise concepts of structural geology and crustal deformation as well as geomorphology and landscape evolution. The students can take the opportunity to enjoy and admire some spectacular views of Sierra de Guadarrama, Sierra de Ayllón, and traditional quarry villages like El Berrueco.

A group of students stands on a grassy field next to a river with rocky cliffs behind them.
Cuelgamuros Valley
  • Dates: Tuesday, April 2 (POLS 3567) and Thursday, April 4 (HIST 3340)
  • Faculty leader: Chris Ealham, Ph.D.
  • Course: POLS 3567 Political Development in Contemporary Spain, HIST 3340 Spanish Civil War
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: 28 euros (HIST 3340) and 27 euros (POLS 3567)

On this trip, students will reflect on the significance of this monument and its impact on the political and social worldview. They will explore its symbolic significance, as well as the contemporary debates relating to its past, present, and future.

Exterior shot of the monument, steps leading up to a curved structure with arches. A group of students stand in front.
Madrid Zoo
  • Date: Wednesday, April 10
  • Faculty: Silvia Medina, Ph.D.
  • Course: BIOL 1265 Principles of Biology
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: TBA

While visiting the Madrid Zoo, students will utilize the zoo's resources to illustrate different concepts, such as biodiversity, adaptation (a structure, physiology, or behavior that enhances survival and reproduction in a certain environment), species interactions, natural selection or conservation biology (a subdiscipline of biology that aims to preserve species, communities, and ecosystems). The zoo visit is an opportunity to observe adaptations in animal species that are advantageous in certain environments and also observe animal behaviors, some of them altered because of captivity life. We will learn also about the species conservation programs that zoos implement. Students will also learn about the animals, their native lands and their conservation status.

Students and professor stand in front of a rocky animal habitat with bears in the backround.l
Puertollano
  • Dates: Friday-Saturday, Apr. 12-13
  • Faculty leader: Hamish Binns, M.A.
  • Course: Core Reflection in Action Requirement
  • Optional trip
  • Price: 100 euros

In this overnight trip, students will work with children who are at risk of social exclusion in Puertollano. The price of the trip includes all meals, accommodations, transport and activity materials. To sign up for the trip, please email Hamish Binns directly at hamish.binns@slu.edu.

Students with professor in a field trip to Puertollano
Murcia and Alicante
  • Date: Friday-Sunday, Apr. 19-21; Friday-Sunday, Apr. 26-28           
  • Faculty: Mónica Pérez-Bedmar
  • Course: EAS 1450 Introduction to Oceanography
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: 395 euros

The field trip will take students to Cabo de Palos, in the region of Murcia on Spain's southeastern coast. As one of the most ecologically diverse areas of the Mediterranean Sea, it proves an ideal site to study the main environmental issues the region is facing. The field trip includes visits to nearby oceanographic institutes, a desalination site, natural reserves and natural parks. The excursion includes a dive at one of the most important Mediterranean reserves, Islas Hormigas, off the coast of Murcia, which provides the opportunity — weather permitting — to snorkel in its crystal blue waters and identify the different organisms studied in the course. The trip also includes kayaking along the most developed Mediterranean coastlines to identify coastal issues and successful restoration projects. Price includes transportation, lodging, excursions (as programmed in the final itinerary) and breakfast. 

Aerial shot of the Cabo de Palos lighthouse, a neoclassical tower sitting on a two-story building at the base made of light stone. The lighthouse sits next to the sea
Royal Botanical Garden
  • Date: TBA
  • Faculty: Silvia Medina, Ph.D.
  • Course: BIOL 1265 Principles of Biology
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: TBA

At the Royal Botanical Garden, we will focus on observation, a critical component of the scientific process. We will learn about climate and adaptation. During this visit, students will look at types of climates and adaptations that have caused plants to evolve in response to their environments. Students will examine and learn about plant diversity around the world, identify plant taxa and their characteristics, as well as learn about the research being conducted onsite. 

Students and professor stand on a walkway surrounded by lush plants.

Summer 2024

Murcia and Alicante
  • Dates: TBA
  • Faculty: Mónica Pérez-Bedmar
  • Course: EAS 1450 Introduction to Oceanography
  • Mandatory trip
  • Price: TBA

The field trip will take students to Cabo de Palos, in the region of Murcia on Spain's southeastern coast. As one of the most ecologically diverse areas of the Mediterranean Sea, it proves an ideal site to study the main environmental issues the region is facing. The field trip includes visits to nearby oceanographic institutes, a desalination site, natural reserves and natural parks. The excursion includes a dive at one of the most important Mediterranean reserves, Islas Hormigas, off the coast of Murcia, which provides the opportunity — weather permitting — to snorkel in its crystal blue waters and identify the different organisms studied in the course. The trip also includes kayaking along the most developed Mediterranean coastlines to identify coastal issues and successful restoration projects. The price includes transportation, lodging, excursions (as programmed in the final itinerary) and breakfast. 

Rocky cliffs next to the ocean, with a modern building at the top.