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Learn to dream in Spanish while exploring the Spanish-speaking community in the Bay Area.

Spanish Immersion

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APPLY for Second-Round--Review is Rolling


In this course, students advance their Spanish language proficiency as they deepen their critical consciousness of the social, cultural, and historic forces rooted in Indigenous and Latinx California. As we travel to three California Missions and the San Francisco Mission District, we’ll explore original and secondary texts that take us back in time to tribes before the Missions, to the devastation of the Mission system and Indigenous resistance to it, and to Latinx communities today. Students will engage deeply with community members and leaders, as well as each other!


SoCo immersion classes seek to integrate speaking Spanish into your everyday lives. You room with a classmate and speak Spanish together. The class will eat lunch and other meals together and explore the bay area, all in Spanish. As one student told us "I found myself dreaming in Spanish by the end."


First year of college Spanish (i.e., will complete SPANLANG 2A or SPANLANG 3 by end of the year) or the equivalent (for instance, test scores that would fulfill the language requirement would be considered equivalent).

Meet the Instructor(s)

Lisa Surwillo

Associate Professor of Spanish in the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, Faculty Director of Introductory Seminars (VPUE), W. Warren Shelden University Fellow in Undergraduate Education

Lisa Surwillo is Associate Professor of Spanish in the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages and the Faculty Director of IntroSems and Sophomore College. I am delighted to have the opportunity to teach in this wonderful program! I regularly teach Capitals and a range of undergraduate and graduate courses on Modern Spain. My research on nineteenth-century Cuba and Spain includes studies of novels and plays about the transatlantic trafficking of enslaved people and analysis of legal documents and first-person documents by enslaved women.

Alice Miano

Coordinator, Spanish Language Program

Dr. Alice "Ali" Miano teaches Spanish at all levels from an antiracist, social justice perspective. She also incorporates and studies the effects of community-engaged language learning, both in her classes and in the Spanish-speaking communities in which she and her students interact. Her current work examines the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as an analytical tool for students of Spanish who wish to gain deeper understandings of how race and language interact in society. This work has found that CRT vitally engages students in the language classroom and likewise helps advance students' communicative proficiency.