Cross-Border Interviewing and Story Development in Spain

Language Requirement: None
Academic Standing by Program Start: Sophomore or Above
Location: Europe, Spain
GPA: 2.5
Program Overview

This program is not offered in 2023.

Come to Spain and develop your reporting and story-telling skills in a newsroom environment! On this program, you will professionalize your journalistic skills in interviewing and news reporting, from the art of posing questions to the critical task of listening actively and creatively to answers. Faculty leader Peter Laufer is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster who will teach two courses on the program with a focus on interviewing and developing stories across cultural differences and linguistic barriers.

Finding the news that exists – breaking and hidden – in the places, people and events that surround us mandates that we engage – no matter our personal backgrounds – multiple voices, diverse points of view and a wide variety of cultural experiences.” – Professor Laufer

As a final project on the program, you will develop and report on a feature story in a newsroom. Your feature story will be reviewed and edited as part of the class, with the goal of publication.

By the end of the term, you should be able to:

  • identify high-value interviewees
  • defy gatekeepers to arrange interviews
  • successfully interrogate interviewees (even those recalcitrant or media-trained)
  • take accurate notes with or without recording devices
  • integrate interviews into narrative prose
  • defend your work to critiques from unhappy interviewees

Insights from program alumni:

Click here to check out what past students on the program had to say about their unique jounalistic opportunities in Spain. Click here to hear from Faculty Leader Peter Laufer.

The program is based in Oviedo, Spain. Students on the program will travel as a group to Segovia, Spain and use the city as a comparative study to Oviedo in the context of the two program courses. If you wish to also study Spanish, you may enroll for the second summer session of Spanish Language in Oviedo and extend your stay in Spain for four extra weeks.

Oviedo is just 23 miles from Spain’s northern “green coast” and is an important stopover point on the Camino de Santiago. The city has an urban design which promotes equity and inclusion in historic sites, public squares, car-free livable streets and a culture public gathering places, sidewalk cafes, markets and bars. The hospitality and warmth of the Asturian people coupled with the absence of mass tourism makes Oviedo a perfect setting for this program. Program activities will included visits in and around Oviedo and an excursion to Segovia, Spain.

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Priority Deadline Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date
Academic Details

Two courses, for a total of eight quarter credits, will be taught in English by Professor Peter Laufer from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Each course is specially designed to take advantage of the rich opportunities that Spain offers as a classroom.

You will learn practical career skills related to interviewing, such as interviewing ethics, filtering questions, source vetting, unannounced interviewing, the power of silence as an interview tactic, interview preparation, and when it is permissible to change the wording of a direct quote.

One of the key elements of these courses is learning to transcend language barriers. To that end, you will receive specific training in interview techniques that do not require a common language between interviewee and interviewer.

Course descriptions and syllabi can be found under “Courses and Credits” on this webpage.

Course Equivalencies

UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Application process

This program has a rolling admission application process: GEO staff (and the program faculty leader, if applicable) will complete a review of the application materials of complete applications in the order that they are submitted (“first come, first serve”). Decisions about acceptance will be made shortly after you submit a complete application. There are some programs that fill fast, some even before the deadline. Students are encouraged to complete applications and commit to programs early.

Acceptance is based on a holistic review of your application.  This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and the short statement. Some programs require a letter of recommendation from a faculty that is not the program's faculty leader. If a letter of recommendation is required, you will find more information in your GEO application portal.

Faculty and Staff

Peter Laufer is an award-winning author, broadcaster, documentarian and journalist. He has studied and taught throughout the world—Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. He sent home reports on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the wars in Central America for NBC Radio, reported for CBS Radio as the Berlin Wall fell, and chased butterflies in Nicaragua for his book The Dangerous World of Butterflies. An accomplished author of over a dozen well-reviewed books, Laufer writes on borders, migration and identity along with animal rights. He also reported, wrote and produced several documentaries while an NBC News correspondent, ranging in topics from the crises facing Vietnam War veterans to illiteracy and hunger in America, and a study of Americans incarcerated overseas, for which he won the George Polk Award.

Housing Description

Student apartments (single room with breakfast)
Students will be housed in single rooms in a student apartment complex near the Campus de los Catalanes very close to the University’s sports facilities and in the vicinity of Oviedo’s largest public park. Accommodations include breakfast at the Residence Cafeteria.
Students should budget an estimated $450 for additional meals for the duration of the program.
Amenities include a private bathroom in each room, a communal study lounge, linens provided, on-site laundry facilities, and weekly room cleaning by residence staff.

Travel Advisories

GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel. All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.

To learn more about COVID regulations while studying abroad, visit our FAQ page.