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Studying Abroad – STU Law Students Share their Summer in Spain Program Experience

After a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Thomas University College of Law is pleased to have provided students with the exciting opportunity to study abroad during the summer 2022 semester. The Summer in Spain Program took place in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain, located in the foothills of the beautiful Guadarrama Mountains, about 45 minutes from Madrid. The program takes place a few yards from the 16th century site of the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that contains a museum and a remarkable Royal Library, which contains many important illuminated manuscripts and items collected from throughout Europe and elsewhere where the Spanish held influence. Read more about what students had to say about this exceptional experience.

Dominique Ritchie, 3L Student

For Dominique Ritchie, rising 3L student at St. Thomas University College of Law spending a semester in Spain was “the best opportunity to learn about the rich Spanish culture, enjoying an exquisite culinary experience, great weather, and stunning scenery. The opportunity to emerge into a vibrant community while learning about international law issues provides a strong foundation for any legal career. Spain lives up to its famed laid-back culture, and magnificent historical sites. While developing a deeper understanding of treaties and customs of International Law, having the chance to improve my Castellano Spanish, and take advantage of the midday siestas was a normal practice. As the second-largest country in the European Union, we visited Madrid, toured the unique El Escorial Monastery, and witnessed the King’s parade just minutes from our hotel. The enchanting day trip to Segovia, one of the highest cities in Spain was packed with visits to beautiful monuments, the King’s castle, and a Gothic cathedral.

Walking the rustic stone streets of the World Heritage City with spectacular exterior and outstanding views of the impressive Roman aqueducts that still remain in perfect shape today, was just exceptional. Residing in Spain for a month allows for easy weekend travel to neighboring European countries, an excursion worth exploring, as we did. Whether attending a Flamenco show or touring the Valley of the Fallen, Spain is full of majestic history and culture.

Learning about human trafficking law and policy from a world-renowned legal expert in the field, Professor Roza Pati, and her valuable teachings about the global challenges we face with our fellow nations have only enhanced my desire to make a global impact. The semester in Spain has truly enriched my law school experience and has allowed me to meet new friends, build relationships, and create lasting memories. I hope every St. Thomas law student takes the unique opportunity to reward themselves by also spending a summer semester in Spain.”

Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law Alfredo Garcia, Director of the program said: “The Summer-in-Spain program provides a rich and enduring cultural and educational experience for all students.” The faculty included Professor Alfredo Garcia, Former Dean Tamara Lawson, Professor Roza Pati, Professor Claire Wright, and Professor Mario Barnes.

Jeffrey Hayes, 2L Student

Student Jeffrey Hayes, a rising 2 L had this to say: “The St. Thomas College of Law’s Summer in Spain program provided a unique experience of educational and cultural enrichment. I had the opportunity to develop personal relationships with students and professors, while exploring the Spanish culture and the extraordinary heritage sights. I am thankful for the friendships I developed, and the career opportunities that flourished. My weekend trip to Germany, to the court chambers where the Nuremberg trials took place, empowered me to bring to life my class presentation in the course of Professor Garcia’s International Criminal Law. I truly believe that Summer in Spain is an experience that is second to none.”

Karla Garcia

Author Karla Garcia

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