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  • Locations: Seville, Spain
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • **
Fact Sheet:
Class Standing: 1-Freshman, 2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior, 6-Non-Degree Seeking Language of Instruction: English
Minimum GPA: 2.00 Field of Study: Arabic Language & Literature, History, International Security and Conflict Resolution, Islamic and Arabic Studies
Housing Options: Homestay Program Type: Faculty-Led Program
Program Description:
Journey to Medieval Spain Through Culture and History

Summer 2018
Course Dates: May 26 - June 17, 2018
Dates Abroad: May 26 - June 17, 2018
Price: $3,457

**For upcoming information sessions click here**


Explore the origin of Islam as a religion and a civilization that historically produced universal empires embracing the whole of the Muslim world from the seventh to fourteenth centuries.

The history of Spain dramatically changed when the last surviving teenage Umayyad prince fled the onslaught of the Abbasid Dynasty (the new Islamic Dynasty which replaced the old one, the Umayyads), from Damascus, Syria, and took refuge in Spain (Andalucía) in 751 C.E.  By taking advantage of the fractured political system of Spain, the Umayyad prince, Abd al-Rahman and his successors created a unique empire and society in which the Muslims, Christians, and Jews intermingled and lived in a harmonious society that provided access to higher education and advances in governmental positions.  The dynasty lasted until 1031 C.E. 

With its capital in Cordoba, also known as the Ornament of the World, along with economic prosperity, an age of tolerance and the creation of a harmonious civilization in Islamic Spain began to crystallize.  Upon the opening of Cordoba University in the 10th century, many scientists, philosophers, physicians, astronomers, musicians, and other intellectuals were attracted to the capital city.  Although the Umayyad Dynasty of Andalucía disintegrated in 1031 C.E., independent Muslim principalities continued until 1492, with the last stronghold being in Granada.
While today, there has been no Islamic political influence in Andalucía since 15th century, the cultural impact can be seen through its language (there are over 2000 Arabic words in the Spanish language,) architecture, music, dance, and food.


This course will deal with the history of Islamic civilization in the imperial ages with focus on Islamic Spain from 711-1492.  It will also provide a general development outline of Islamic civilization from the advent of the Prophet Muhammad to the political and economic advances of the Muslims during the period between 600-1500 C.E.  The Islamic empires once expanded form Western Arabia to the present map of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as parts of Asia, and Tropical Africa and Southern and Eastern Europe.  Their diverse population shared a common acceptance of faith and the Islamic law.
Among the topics to be discussed will be:  (1) Prophet Muhammad and his mission, (2) the origins of the Islamic States, (3) the Intellectual Flowering Age of Islam, (4) the formation of the Umayyad Dynasty of Spain.

This course is an upper division GE (general education) course intended for history majors, Arabic Islamic study students, and ISCOR (International Security and Conflict Resolution) program participants.

All participants are required register in ONE of the following SDSU courses, offered through the College of Extended Studies (CES):
  • HIST 473: Middle East: Islam to 1500 with focus on Islamic Spain (3 units) [fulfills upper division GE Explorations area C Humanities requirement; cultural diversity course]
  • GEN S 450: Study Abroad in Seville (3 units)
  • HIST 499: Special Study (3 units)

Participants will be housed with families in Sevilla (shared rooms), including three meals per day, and laundry service once per week.

  • Welcome dinner
  • Guided walking tour of Barrio Santa Cruz (Historical Jewish Quarter)
  • Guided tour of Plaza de España
  • Day trip to Cordoba
  • Overnight trip to Granada
  • Guided tour of the Catedral and Alcazar
  • Ceramics and tile workshop
  • Farewell dinner

Farid_MahdaviFarid Mahdavi, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2000) teaches Islamic History, Middle Eastern History, and World History.  His research interests lie in both World History and Modern Middle Eastern History.  His book World History; the Human Experience to 1500 was published in 2012.  His current book project, “Historical Formation of Shi’ism; a Conceptual Analysis of Ali Shari‘ati’s Thoughts and Views on True Islam.”  It deals with the rise of 1970s Iranian intellectual, Ali Shari’ati, and how he perceived true Islam as a progressive alternative to the leading Western ideologies of the time.  His other publications include, "Revolution--Iran."  Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History, Vol. 4., Book Review, Jonathan Bloom, “Paper Before Print:  The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World.”  Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 2002.

Payment Schedule:
 $612      Deposit due to Extended Studies with application 
 $1,750   Second program payment due to WorldStrides ISA by April 25, 2018
 $1,095   Tuition due with course registration between  April 15-25,2018
 $3,457   Total Program Fee
Included in Program Fee:
  • Housing
  • Tuition
  • Activities as listed above
  • Group airport pickup and dropoff
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner at homestays
  • Metro pass with 45 rides
  • Medical and repatriation insurance
Not Included in Program Fee:
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Personal expenses
Refund Policy:
Program Costs Refund:
  • The application deposit is non-refundable for withdrawals after March 15, 2018*
  • For the second payment, for withdrawals after March 15, 2018 but before April 25, 2018, there is a 50% cancellation fee
  • For withdrawals on or after April 25, 2018, no refunds will be issued 
Course Tuition Refund: 
Refunds for course tuition follow the College of Extended Studies (CES) standard refund policy

* Withdrawals are effective on the date that the CES Faculty-Led Program staff receives written notification from you, the student. Email notification is acceptable.

Funding & Scholarship Information:
Visit the CES Study Abroad website for more information about financial aid, scholarships, military and veterans benefits, and other funding sources. 

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • Open to SDSU students, students at other colleges and universities and the general public
  • SDSU students cannot be on academic probation (less than 2.0 GPA) or disciplinary probation (expulsion, judicial, or suspension) at the time of application and/or at the time of course registration. The standard CES refund policy for study abroad applies if you are found to be on probation after applying to the program.
  • Minimum age to participate is 18
  • After applying and being accepted into the program, all participants must complete BOTH a mandatory pre-departure orientation sponsored by the College of Extended Studies (CES) as well as a program-specific orientation(s) with their faculty leader(s) prior to departure. Details about both will be sent after acceptance into the program.


The application for summer 2019 is not yet available.  If you would like to receive updates, please add your name to the inquiry list above.
  • Click HERE for a list of Frequently Asked Questions about College of Extended Studies (CES) study abroad programs.
  • If you would like more information about the application and registration process or have general questions, please contact Amanda Chamberlain, Study Abroad Advisor, in the College of Extended Studies, Faculty-Led Study Abroad office:,  (619) 594-0540.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.