Home Spain Summer Study Abroad: Social Justice & Migration in Madrid

Summer Study Abroad: Social Justice & Migration in Madrid

by AIFS Study Abroad
"Refugees Welcome" sign on building in Madrid, Spain

Do you have a passion for social justice and want to make a meaningful impact during your study abroad journey? Study and volunteer abroad this summer in Madrid, Spain’s vibrant capital city! With our new Forced Migration: Refuge, Protection & Integration Program, you can spend 3 weeks learning about the the situation of migration in the world while gaining field experience volunteering in a refugee or asylum seeker center.  

Forced Migration: Refuge, Protection & Integration Program 

Earn up to 3 semester credits this summer through the Forced Migration Program in Madrid. Credit is awarded by Fairfield University. Students in this program take the course Migration Studies: Intervention for Integration and Volunteering. Divided into 25 academic hours and 20 hours volunteering in a refugee shelter, this study abroad course aims to promote civic reflection and train people with a commitment to social justice. The course is taught in English, with no previous Spanish language study required. 

Students in this program will spend the first two weeks focused on the academic portion of the course. The course explores international migration and its causes, as well as the demand for international protection and interventions. Students will analyze the causes for a person to request international protection, distinguish between smuggling and human trafficking and identify the particular vulnerabilities and unique circumstances of people seeking refuge.  

Volunteering in Madrid

After two weeks of classroom learning, students spend their third week abroad volunteering at a local ACCEM center. Created in 1990, ACCEM is a non-profit, non-partisan and non-denominational organization that works to improve the living conditions of people in vulnerable situations. While completing 20 volunteer hours, students will see the day to day reality of refugees or asylum seekers. Over 5 days, students will participate in workshops and activities organized by the ACCEM staff and assist in the daily work of the shelter. 

What’s it like studying abroad in Madrid? 

“Barbara our coordinator in Madrid was a gem! She worked very hard to make me feel at home and help me with any issues that may arise. The excisions were so well organized and fun and all I dream of now is going back to Madrid…thank you AIFS!!” – Camille E., AIFS in Madrid, Spain alum. 

“Dear Madrid, Thank you for embracing me wholeheartedly. Thank you for allowing me to grow as a woman and as a human. Thank for showing me that a first gen Brown girl can do it all. Thank you showing me the beauty of different cultures. And thank you for showing me the strengths and weaknesses that come with having to be alone. I don’t think there is words deep enough to explain the impact you made on me. To all the amazing people who I shared this experience with, I wish all the best wherever life takes you. You all made my experience so much better and I’m so glad I met each and every one of you. Till next time my beautiful Madrid.” – Brianna P., AIFS in Madrid, Spain alum. 

Are you interested in focusing your studies on social justice, human rights and global issues like migration?

How to study social justice and migration in Madrid
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