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Guardamar, Spain
Berkeley Summer Abroad

Guardamar, Spain: Imagining and Re-Envisioning the Urban Setting - SUSPENDED

  • Summary


    Take your studies to the streets of Spain, where you’ll broaden your knowledge of urban architecture and explore the narratives on which cities are built.

    This program begins in Guardamar del Segura, a small resort town with a rich medieval heritage that is ripe with complexity and contradiction. You will examine architecture through the eyes of tourists, immigrants, and locals, documenting the city’s architectural identity in a course journal.

    In addition to Guardamar, you’ll visit other Spanish cities like Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, and Granada, researching the common architectural ground between them.

    This interactive program takes you off the beaten path to explore the intersection of history, culture, and the principles of design.

    It won't be like any school you are used to. You learn to live and study in a fluid environment where your exploration in the streets is as valuable as your lessons in the classroom.
    —Kenneth Hasegawa, Participant

    Get a sense of what studio life is like in Guardamar by checking out the following program sites:

    Dates: May 31 – August 1, 2020
    All dates are subject to change.

    Units: 6 units

    Language of Instruction: English

    ENV DES 121: Imagining and Re-Envisioning the Urban Setting


    • Students will live in a hostel and will share rooms with other program participants only.
    • Students will be provided with one full meal per day at the hostel. There are also kitchens on site.
    • Students will share rooms with other program participants. There are 2-5 students per room. Please note that at this residence, due to in-country policies, students will be paired with roommates based on the gender listed on their passports. If you have clarifying questions, please feel free to reach out to the program staff.


    • At least one year of college coursework completed by the start of the program
    • 2.0 GPA or higher

    This course is open to any CED or non-CED students. This course also fills CED College Requirements.

    College Requirements:

    This course will fulfill two "inside the college, outside the major" requirements for all upper-division students in any of the CED (College of Environmental Design) majors. Check with your CED adviser for more information.


    • Application opens February 3, 2020
    • Space is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
    • Deadline to apply is March 15, 2020

  • Courses

    During the program, you will take one course for a total of 6 Berkeley units.

    Course: Environmental Design 121
    Title: Imagining and Re-Envisioning the Urban Setting
    Instructor: Alejandro Salazar-Jasbon
    Units: 6 units
    Prerequisites: None

    This program is focused on research, documentation and the development of synthetic conclusions in the form of individual student papers, and journals (graphic and written). Further, we shall develop final group presentations – synthetic visions told through multiple narratives via the moving image, i.e., videos. All work shall be based on our various travels to significant destinations beginning in Madrid, the Valencian Community, and Andalucia.

    Our inspiration shall be drawn from our journeys, and as in the case of scriptwriters, our journals shall be the basis of our spatial narratives. Guided by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, we too shall develop personal visions of the places we have visited. In this manner, we shall also develop personal representational narratives of our project sites situated in the area of Guardamar de Segura, Spain.

    We shall endeavor to understand the city with different eyes: with those of tourists seeking “otherness;” the immigrant seeking a new familiar, the resident and villager whose genius loci is his cosmos. We shall document the narrative of different places, paying particular attention to the myths on which the cities are built, their formative political struggles, climate and eroding resources.

    The final deliverable for the course shall consist of one video/film representing the student’s site narrative(s) as well as his/her vision of a possible site intervention.

    You can fulfill the L&S International Studies breadth requirement by full participation in a Berkeley Summer Abroad program. All of the required courses must be completed with a C-/P or better.

  • Costs

    Tuition and Program Fee

    The fees to participate in this program are broken down into 1) tuition and 2) program fees, which are applied to your student billing account as follows:

    2020 Fees UC Students Visiting Students
    Tuition (6 units) $2,514 $3,300
    Program Fee $3,366 $3,366
    Total Cost $5,880 $6,666

    Fees are subject to change. All non-UC Berkeley students must pay an additional Document Management Fee of $60.

    Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses
    In addition to the fees outlined above, Berkeley Study Abroad has estimated costs for out-of-pocket expenses. These amounts are used to calculate financial aid packages for eligible students. Actual expenses will vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.


    2020 Estimated Expenses  Amount
    International Airfare and Transportation $1,300
    Additional Meals $1,401
    Books $218
    Personal Expenses (i.e. phone, passport, visas, etc.) $538
    Total Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses $3,457

    Financial Aid

    Financial aid is available for Berkeley students who are enrolled in at least six units during the summer. All other students should contact the financial aid office at their home institution for more information.

    Explanation of Fees

    Tuition is based on a per-unit cost:

    • The UC undergraduate student rate is $419 per unit
    • The visiting student rate for all non-UC participants is $550 per unit

    The program fee includes* the following items:

    • Student housing for the duration of the program: students will be housed in shared accommodations with other program participants
    • Meals during program excursions outside of Guardamar
    • On-site orientation activities, excursions, etc.
    • Travel insurance to cover accident/sickness medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, security extraction, and other travel assistance services
    • Other program-related costs including fees for group transportation, guest speakers, etc.
    • The $400 deposit. If accepted to the program, the $400 deposit is non-refundable and will be applied towards your program fee. If you are waitlisted or denied admission to the program, your deposit will be refunded. Please note that for continuing UC Berkeley students, the deposit will be charged to your CalCentral account at the time you apply. Financial aid eligible students can wait until their summer aid is disbursed to pay the deposit.

    *Please note that the list of items included in the program fee is not all-inclusive and is subject to change.

    The following items are excluded from the program fee:

    • International airfare
    • Personal expenses (souvenirs, routine medical expenses, toiletries, etc.)
    • Course materials (textbooks and readers)
    • Other travel expenses (passport, visa, etc.)
    • Additional meals
    • Commuting costs for daily travel to and from classes

  • Timeline


    Application opens February 3, 2020
    Application closes March 15, 2020
    Applicants notified of selection March 20, 2020
    Deadline to confirm participation or cancel for a refund of all program-related fees, minus $400 deposit April 3, 2020
    Attend pre-departure orientation* Late April-May
    Arrive in Spain May 31, 2020
    Last day of program August 1, 2020

    * These events take place on the Berkeley campus. If you are not on campus during this time, we will schedule a meeting via phone or Skype.

    † Students are expected to check into program housing in Madrid, Spain on May 31, 2020.  Students will be expected to check out of program housing in Guardamar on August 1, 2020. Students who arrive in-country early or depart after the last day may do so, but they are responsible for arranging their own accommodations outside of the program dates.

    ‡ All dates are subject to change.

  • Instructors

    Alejandro Salazar-Jasbon
    Program Director

    Alejandro Salazar-Jasbon holds a Master’s degree in both Architecture and Landscape Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked on various residential, commercial and institutional projects in New York City, California, North Carolina, Michigan, Florida, Spain and several other locations.

    Alejandro taught Architectural Design Studio 100A at the University of California, Berkeley during 2007 and 2008. In 2010, he founded and continues to lead the yearly Summer Architecture Studio in Spain. Previously he taught undergraduate design studios at the University of Pennsylvania and continues to regularly serve as a visiting juror at various universities; including Cornell, Columbia, Parsons, Pratt Institute, City Collage, CCA, University of South Florida, University of Virginia and the Unviersidad de Alicante in Spain.