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Featured Travel-Integrated Course: Spain

By Erica Levi Zelinger, Communication Specialist, Pennoni Honors College

Shortly after a group of 11 Drexel students on a travel-integrated course from the Pennoni Honors College left their hotel in Madrid for a stroll around El Retiro, the city’s most popular park, the group immediately walked into a protest dubbed the “22M Dignity Marches.”

Tens of thousands came to the capital city of Spain to support more than 160 causes, including employment, housing, health, education, and an end to poverty.

Perhaps somewhat overwhelming to other tourists, the march was a great initiation to “Global Cities: Spain,” the travel-integrated component of Dr. Daniel Dougherty’s Honors Colloquium March 22-29.

“The purpose of the TIC was to experience themes related to global cities, including the economy, urban planning, local vs. global control, role of government, and infrastructure,” said Dougherty, Director of the Honors Program, who took the group to both Madrid and Barcelona.

Students learned first-hand through two of the top-ranked global cities and two of Europe’s most significant urban centers.

“I was intrigued to take this class because I am interested in learning about the global economy and the differences between society in the United States versus developing and already developed countries around the world,” said Andrew Larkins, a junior music industry major.

Drexel and Honors alumnus Robert Bahar, an electrical engineering major who became an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker, met with the students to discuss his latest documentary about thousands of children stolen during and after Franco’s brutal dictatorship in Spain.

Other highlights for Larkin include a visit to La Tabacalera, an abandoned tobacco factory that now functions as a social center for theater, dance, art and workshops; Park Güell in Barcelona; the train ride from Madrid to Barcelona, with beautiful landscapes, the hills of Madrid and the Mediterranean; and, “though this might sound ridiculous,” Larkins says, “there was jamón or ham everywhere and it was amazing.”