SW 285/180: Contemporary Spain: Social Justice, Social Work and Gerontology Perspectives

Dates | Overview | FactsAcademic | Eligibility | Accommodations | Leaders | Cost | Apply

Program Dates

June 15–July 4, 2014

Program Overview

This course focuses on current social justice and human rights as well as social history and culture of Spain This educational/cultural experience will be centered on the city of Madrid as well as to a lesser extent, other nearby cities and sites such as Segovia, Toledo and San Lorenzo de Escorial. There will be lectures, visits with social workers, gerontologists and visits to social service agencies.

June 2014 SJSU CASA and School of Social Work program in Madrid, Spain:

  • Learn a global perspective of social work, social justice and human rights and gerontology.
  • Gain a better understanding of international human rights issues and challenges to social work practice, policy and gerontology in Spain.
  • Study how both Spain’s rich history and culture, as well as the recent social and economic history has informed the challenges of delivering social services, including the challenges of immigration, and cultural diversity.
  • Visit Spanish communities, cultural and political centers and meet with leading Spanish social workers, gerontologists and educators. Take tours to important historical, cultural and locations in greater Madrid region including nearby Toledo, San Lorenzo de Escorial and Segovia, designated by the United Nations one of the world's “heritage of humanity” cities.

Country Facts

Madrid’ has approximately 3.3 million people, and the population of the Madrid metropolitan area is around 6.5 million. As the capital city of Spain, seat of government, and residence of the Spanish king and royal family, Madrid is also the political, economic and cultural heart of Spain. It likewise is considered the major financial center of southern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula. Madrid also possesses many world class museums, art galleries as well an intense nightlife, and it has become the country’s capital city not only of politics and culture, but style, as it has a vibrant live music scene, scene, a hundreds of excellent restaurants and “poncho” and “tapas “bars . As the capital city and seat of government, it is also the center of the lively debates on the current and future social policies of the government. From the point of view of the social work and gerontology course Madrid is likewise home to two academic social work and gerontology faculties, the universities of Computense and Comillas as well as the important national professional social work training and policy institute, the colegio official de trabajadores sociales. The program will incorporate visits and lectures by Spanish social work educators, practitioners and gerontologists. Students in this program will be housed at the college mayor universitario Chaminade in Th city’s well-known university district. Chaminade offers full room and board, classrooms, recreational facilities, including a pool and has a long standing working relationship with the California State University system.

In addition to the rich resources provided in the city of Madrid, the program will also avail itself of other noteworthy nearby cities, including Segovia and Toledo. Segovia was designated by the United Nations one of the world's “heritage of humanity “cities provides its rich and diverse countryside, architecture, history and warm hospitality to the Spanish Program. The city boasts, among other impressive treasures, its awe-inspiring Roman aqueduct, the monumental Alcázar (castle/palace), and Spain's last Gothic Cathedral, which presides over the city's Plaza Mayor.

Campus Fact

Colegio Mayor Chaminade, Po de Juan XXIII, 9 28040 Madrid

Academic Program

This course is offered by the SJSU School of Social Work and all participants will take the following a three unit course: SW 285/180 is 3-credit hour social work course focusing on Spain’s current human rights climate and the challenges facing social work in the context of its recent history. It includes lectures, field trips, museum tours, guest lectures, documentary films, and excursions.*

The SW 285/180 course is intended for graduate or advanced undergraduate (3rd or 4th year) students in social work, gerontology, social sciences, global studies, health sciences , humanities as well as business .

Eligibility Requirements

  • Graduate or Upper Division Standing.
  • GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Age 21 or older strongly preferred.
  • The course is intended for self-motivated and independently oriented students who are mature and open minded in their outlook.

Accommodations, Safety, and Visas

Madrid is a large European city with excellent sanitation and public health services. Students will live in a large residential center, the colegio mayor Chaminade, which is where classes will be held as well. The colegio Chaminade provides room and board; each student will have an individual room. Safety and security are deemed quite adequate, but normal precautions for living in a large city will be stressed. There is no special US State Department warning is in effect for Spain.

The group will be covered by SJSU’s standard travel insurance

Program Leaders

Dr Mike Gorman is a tenured long-term member of the School of Social Work, an awardee of 3 Fulbright Fellowships and former director of the SJSU SSW program in Argentina. Professor Philip Rohrbough, a former SJSU Master of Social Science instructor and an expert in international education, will assist Dr Gorman.

E-mail: Mike.Gorman@sjsu.edu
Phone: (408) 924-5812
Office: WSQ 215 G

Estimated Costs

The program cost for the Summer 2014 Berlin FLP is $ 3935.

SJSU Special Session Tuition (3 units @ $250 each)


Program fees, lodging, meals, class materials and local tours approx.*


Estimated Total


(air fare  estimated  ~not included in total ) $1,425

**Please note that these estimated costs do not include personal expenses as this varies among different participants..


Application deadline is March 10, 2014. An Application Questionnaire is required in additional to the FLP Application for this program.

FLP Application Process and FLP Student Forms