What is Experiential Learning?

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is an engaged learning process whereby students "learn by doing" and by reflecting on the experience. Experiential learning activities can include, but are not limited to, hands-on laboratory experiments, internships, practicums, field exercises, study abroad, undergraduate research and studio performances.


University Resources

The University of Iowa provides general information concerning research, internships, studying abroad and experiential learning. For more information about these learning opportunities, please visit the links below. 

Undergraduate Researchhttps://research.uiowa.edu/researchers/student-research/undergraduate-student-research
Internships: https://careers.uiowa.edu/internships/finding-your-internship 
Study Abroad: https://international.uiowa.edu/study-abroad 
Experiential Learning: https://careers.uiowa.edu/career-communities
Engaged Learning: https://engagement.uiowa.edu/students

Study Abroad

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese strongly encourages study abroad as a means of cultural and linguistic immersion and typically recommends the junior year. Please see the Office of Study Abroad for information about programs, scholarships, and health and safety abroad, and consult with the departmental study abroad advisor in order to plan coursework.  

The University of Iowa's Department of Spanish and Portuguese directly sponsors two summer faculty-led programs: 

The Iowa Regents Summer Program in Valladolid, Spain, which includes five weeks of classes and one week of travel. Students should have completed at least four semesters of college-level Spanish (the equivalent of the General Education sequence) to participate in this program and earn 7 credits in Spanish. Classes include grammar and conversation, culture and literature. Students live with host families.  

Cultures of Spain is a four-week UI resident-credit summer course held in Madrid that offers participants an overview of the cultural landscape of Spain through an interdisciplinary approach to its art, history, and daily life. The course consists mainly of field trips within Madrid and its neighboring regions and cities.  




International Internships in Spanish for Health Care


CIEE Buenos Aires Community Public Health Program

This eight-week program is for students studying Spanish and any aspect of healthcare. The first four weeks provide classroom-based theory and language instruction. The second four weeks are done in the field at one of three offsite placements where students complete a practicum. Students must have four semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent to participate. All students take the following courses: Advanced Spanish Conversation and Grammar, Pre-Professional Healthcare Issues, and Community Health Practicum.

SIT Argentina Public Health in Urban Environments
Fall, Spring

Students examine urban epidemiology and the challenges and inequities in public health policy in Buenos Aires during this program. Key topics of the program are the political process of defining a public health agenda, social determinants of health, and intercultural barriers to quality care. All coursework is conducted in Spanish, so students must have taken three semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent. Courses include Epidemiology and Social Determinants of Health; Health Systems, Policies, and Programs; Public Health Research Methods and Ethics; Spanish for the Health Sciences; and either an Internship or Independent Study Project (ISP).


IES Santiago Health Studies
Fall, Spring

This program is designed for students who are in health-related majors and are studying the Spanish language. Students take a health studies seminar and are required to complete 80 hours of an observationship in a clinical, hospital, or community setting. Courses include Health Studies Program Seminar; Spanish for Health Care Practitioners; Human Rights in Latin America; The Radical Tradition of Chile, Argentina, and Peru; and Social and Political Role of the Arts in Chile and Latin America.

Dominican Republic

CIEE Santiago Community Public Health

This intensive eight-week program includes six weeks of language and healthcare courses. Students participate in a semi-urban community service practicum in an underserved area in Santiago while classes are in session. During this time, students will learn about public health with a focus on the health/illness process and its relation to health management, policies, and coverage. The program includes a ten-day clinical field rotation and a five-day urban stay. Students must have four semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent to participate. All students take the following courses: Advanced Spanish Conversation and Grammar, Pre-Professional Healthcare Issues, and Community Health Practicum.

Costa Rica

USAC San Ramón
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer

This program focuses on life and health sciences and cultural studies. Students can study Spanish, biology, and health and complete an internship or conduct research. Courses are augmented with several field studies, tours, and field trips. USAC students take their classes at the Sede de Occidente, the oldest satellite campus of the University of Costa Rica. USAC students enjoy the same privileges as local students and are encouraged to join student clubs, organizations, and activities. Courses include Cell Biology (with a lab), Global Health, Independent Research, and Women’s Health: Global Health and Human Rights.