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World Literature and Interfaith Culture Program

For more information, contact Professor Gema Ortega

STA 260: The al-Andalus in World Literature: Interfaith Dialogue and the ‘People of the Book’ is an interfaith study abroad course that looks to the al-Andalus, an interfaith community of the past, to better understand intercultural and interfaith relationships in the present. It grants four (4) hours of credit, which count as electives towards honors, area requirement (LT), world literature for education majors, interfaith minor, and as a Spanish elective.

  • Meetings Spring Semester: Four (4) three-hour meetings during the Spring semester.
  • Traveling to Andalucía: Three weeks in Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain, learning Spanish and Arabic language and culture (different levels are accommodated), as we (re)visit the places of the historical al-Andalus.
  • Other sites: In addition to the many sites in and around Córdoba, we will travel to other sites in historic al-Andalus: Seville, Granada, Toledo in Spain, and Tetouan in Morocco.
Academic Program

In this class, students will learn about the culture of the al-Andalus and its interfaith history and legacy in world literature. Prior to our trip to Andalucía, students will attend four 3-hour sessions discussing readings on:

  1. History of the al-Andalus
  2. Convivencia (coexistence) of Jewish, Muslim, and Christians in al-Andalus
  3. Scientists, literary figures, and philosophers of the Andalus.
  4. The fall of the al-Andalus and its legacy in world literature

In Córdoba, the former capital of the al-Andalus, students will take Spanish and Arabic classes at the University of Córdoba. Afternoons and evenings will be devoted to visiting with local scholars and emblematic sites of the culture of Andalucía. Trips to the cities of Granada, Sevilla, Toledo and Tetouan in Morocco are included in this three-week cultural program.

  • When this program is offered again, individuals will need to complete an online application form
  • All applicants must attend at least one information session
  • Two faculty/staff recommendations are required for student applicants
  • After acceptance, a $500 deposit and a Travel Medical Form signed by a licensed practitioner will be due by the advertised deposit deadline
Cost and Financial Aid
Estimated Costs

Program Fee in 2019: $4250*


  • Housing
  • All excursions and land travel
  • Meals
  • Round trip airfare from Chicago
  • Language/culture classes at UCO
  • 4 credits

*Subject to change based on exchange rate fluctuations, Non-DU participants must also pay a $150 Non-DU fee. After deposit, Non-DU participants must also pay a $1000 installment at the time of registration, and full payment of the program fees must be received 3 weeks before departure.

The price does not include personal expenses. Suggested spending money: $200–$300

Financial, Scholarships, and and Loans
  • Existing financial aid applies to study abroad programs. Consult with financial aid regarding your aid and loan eligibility for this short term program.
  • All students should apply to Dominican University's Excellence in Experiential Learning Awards (ExcEL) to earn up to $2000 off the cost of the program
Requirements and Eligibility
  • Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, qualified adults from the community
  • Open to non-DU applicants
  • A minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.5
  • A mandatory orientation, 4 pre-travel sessions, and a mandatory pre-departure meeting on campus
  • No prior study of Spanish or Arabic is required.
Excursions, Housing and Transportation

Students are housed with families in Córdoba. The families are pre-selected based on a survey of students’ needs and preferences. All students will be housed within a 1.5 miles radius of UCO and directors’ housing. All excursions to nearby cities will be by bus and by ferry to and from Gibraltar and Ceuta in Northern Morocco.

University of Córdoba scholars and professional guides, in conjunction with the two co-directors, will explain, in English and Spanish or Arabic, the historical significance of the following sites:

  • Day-trip to Sevilla: Alcazar, Giralda Tower, Cathedral, Plaza de España, Burial site of Christopher Columbus
  • Day-trip to Granada: Alhambra, Albayzin Quarters, Puerta de Elvira, Cathedral, Burial site of the Catholic Kings
  • Day-trip to Toledo: Alcazar, Cathedral, Jewish Quarter, Synagogue, Mosque
  • Weekend in Tétouan, Morocco: The Old City, Medina of Tétouan

Learn more about Study Abroad