Walking to Santiago de Compostela

Winter 2018
Spring 2018
OlympiaStudy Abroad
Olympia +
study abroad option
Credits per quarter
Variable Credit Options Available

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Taught by

Rogol square
Spanish Language

El Camino, “The Way,” is a collection of traditional pilgrimage routes that end in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. A monk said, “The only thing all pilgrims have in common is an interior necessity— I must go, I don’t know why …” As we study paths to Santiago, you will learn from— not just about— the Camino. It may teach you why you had to go, about yourself, or how you want to live. This walk is a “focal activity” that makes demands and requires discipline, helps you sense relationships even when walking alone, reassures you about unknown capabilities, and, as one writer put it, gives you a “glimpse of life-giving possibilities.”

In winter, we will study, first, the political history and the art of walking, especially the connection between walking and writing. Then we will take up the historical, religious, political, and cultural background of the Camino and its place in contemporary Spain. Pilgrims’ accounts provide many takes on why people go to Santiago, what is required physically, mentally, and financially for walking routes that vary from 100 kilometers to more than 1,600 kilometers, what “pilgrimage” might mean in our time, and the kinds of meanings people make of their experiences after they return. Readings will range from the mystical realm to first aid for blisters, from spirit care to foot care, and everything in between. This portion of the program will involve lectures, guest presentations, seminars, and writing. And we will—all together, in small groups, and alone—take some walks. A substantial independent study project will give each student a personal entrée and continuing connection to “The Way.” Projects will be designed to continue during the students’ walks in the spring. Conversational Spanish, integrated within the program, will further students' preparations.

In spring, everyone will be prepared to get to their chosen starting points and begin their Caminos during the first week. Students will continue their independent studies along the way. We will meet together for three nights in the middle of the quarter and spend most of week seven or eight together in Santiago, where we will reflect thoughtfully, carefully, playfully, together on our walks. Then we will walk the Camino Finisterre , the old pagan route toward the setting sun, the Costa da Morte (the "Coast of Death"), and “the end of the world.” Some may decide that it is important to follow the route from Finisterre north to Muxía and back to Santiago.

For a comprehensive program description and supplementary material on the Camino, visit http://sites.evergreen.edu/camino2018 . Students applying for scholarship support for study abroad in the spring 2018 should start early.  For example, the deadline for the Gilman Scholarship is Oct 3, 2017 (fall quarter).  See http://www.evergreen.edu/studyabroad/scholarships for opportunities.

If you are a student with a disability and would like to request accommodations, please contact the faculty or the office of Access Services (Library Bldg. Rm. 2153, PH (360) 867.6348; TTY (360) 867.6834) prior to the start of the program.

Study abroad:

Students will spend 9–10 weeks in Spain during spring quarter. The trip will cost approximately $4,560, including airfare from Seattle to Santiago de Compostela ($1,500), lodging ($850), meals ($1,410), in-country transportation ($500), and related expenses ($300). Approximately $200 of this will be assessed for collective activities; students will be responsible for arranging the remainder. See http://sites.evergreen.edu/camino2018/logistics for suggestions on how to minimize costs. Students must deposit $200 by the fifth week of winter. For details on study abroad, visit http://www.evergreen.edu/studyabroad or contact Michael Clifthorne at clifthom@evergreen.edu .

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Students should self-select based on their intention and ability, including financial ability, to travel to Spain in spring quarter.

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia