Live and study in the Principality of Asturias located along the Iberian Peninsula’s Costa Verde. Experience this “natural paradise” in the mountains, rivers, lakes and beaches surrounding this lush green city. Explore the pedestrian streets and plazas near the historic Cathedral de San Salvador; explore the Calle Gascona and drink traditional sidra; visit the Pre-Romanesque monuments of nearby Mt. Naranco. Discover the city that has been described as: “a delicious, exotic, and beautiful city, as if it belonged to another world, something similar to a fairy tale.” With its cosmopolitan air and lively nightlife thriving alongside the traditions of the city’s Celtic roots, Oviedo is your doorway to Northern Spain past and present. Surrounded by stunning countryside, Oviedo’s monumental Old Quarter, its Gothic cathedral of San Salvador and 400-year old University are the perfect setting to experience Spanish language, society and culture.
GEO’s Center in Oviedo, Spain, is located across the street from the University of Oviedo campus in a lively commercial and residential neighborhood about 10 minutes walk from the Old Quarter/city center. Oviedo is a city of 225,000 and the capital of the Principality of Asturias, a region of Spain with distinct cultural and artistic history. Over 30% of the region is occupied by national parks and protected areas, including five UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. The history of Asturias began with Celtic roots, and when the Moors conquered much of Spain, this was the only part of the Iberian Peninsula that remained Christian. The Camino de Santiago runs through this area—the launch point for the “Reconquista” as the reconquering of modern Spain is known. Today the region is billed as a “natural paradise” and offers gastronomic and cultural traditions somewhat in contrast to traditional ideas of “Spain”. Oviedo, along with the nearby cities of Gijon and Aviles, are clean, compact, walkable and easily accessible by a range of public transportation. English-speaking tourists are rare in this part of Spain, making this a perfect place to study Spanish and make use of it in daily life.
Students usually live with experienced host families, and one student per family is the norm. All host families offer a private room for their students, as well as shared laundry facilities, meals and Wi-Fi. Accommodation through the residence halls at the University of Oviedo is also available in the summer. The residence halls feature single rooms with en-suite bathrooms, as well as a student cafeteria where meal plans can be purchased individually by students or arranged for groups. Faculty can be housed with a host family or in a local apartment on request.
- In Oviedo, the city’s Gothic Cathedral and its Holy Chamber; Oviedo Opera; Oviedo Festival of Lyric Theater; companies specializing in sustainable construction or urbanism; farms, markets and facilities focused on the “slow food” lifestyle movement and farm-to-table food production; various local festivals and events featuring Asturian culture, dance and music.
- One day-excursions: Aviles, Gijon, Shrine of Lady of Covadonga, pre-Romanesque monuments (distinguished as UNESCO World Heritage sites), Basilica of St. James in Santiago; Neanderthal caves and cave paintings, such as the Tito Bustillo caves and others (designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites); Roman ruins, including battle sites, roads, mines and a Roman villa of Veranes near Gijon.
- Weekend excursions are available to sites throughout Spain, including Madrid, Galicia, Sevilla, Malaga, Barcelona, Santander, Salamanca, and the Camino de Santiago.
- Learn more about GEO excursions in Oviedo.
Oviedo offers a wide variety of service-learning and volunteer opportunities from which to choose. Faculty on short-term programs can opt to have students visit several organizations to get an overview of the work they do and their processes. For long-term programs, a single service-learning placement for each student allows on-going, in-depth volunteer opportunities on a recurring basis over several weeks. Long-term placements are not available for programs less than a month in length. Opportunities are available in fields such as health, education, tourism, horse therapy, community services, development, and more.
- One classroom with capacity for 20 students
- Reference library with 500+ books for class topics and travel, as well as 200+ Spanish films
- Workspace for visiting faculty: Wi-fi, shared computers and printer/fax/copier/scanner
- Classroom equipment: white board, DVD player, projector with DVD and laptop connectors, and a portable CD/cassette player
- Student computer access: Two desktops. Wi-fi is available
- Close access to the University of Oviedo, which also offers classroom rental and facilities
Curriculum Vitae for all staff and faculty are available upon request.
Silvia Pérez Sevilla
Silvia is GEO’s Oviedo Center site director. Born and raised in Oviedo, Silvia also attended and graduated from the University of Oviedo with a degree in English Philology. She was an exchange student in the United Kingdom and has been working for GEO since 2006.
Raquel García Rodríguez
Raquel was born and raised in a village near Oviedo, located in a mining valley, Moreda. She attended and graduated from the University of Salamanca with a degree in Civil Engineering and has always loved and studied different languages. Raquel was an exchange student in Portugal and has been working at the GEO Center in Oviedo since early 2019.
GEO operates recurring programs in Oviedo throughout the year with courses in:
- Intensive or semi-intensive Spanish language at all levels
- Spanish for special topics, i.e. healthcare professions and business
- Spanish history, culture and society
- Spanish film and literature
Other options in the past have included:
- Ecotourism, parks and protected natural areas
- Botany, biology, and ecology
- Digital photography
- Environmental studies and sustainability
- Food studies (including nutrition and farm-to-table)
Customized courses can be developed on request.