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Spanish and Portuguese, Deparment of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Study Abroad

Integrative Experience

Our Integrative Experience is designed to give a longer-term opportunity for our students to explore the way in which their major relates to their broader experiences, both at the University and the Spanish or Portuguese-speaking worlds. All our primary majors must take Span 394PI (the preparation class) during their sophomore or junior year. In it they begin to consider their reasons to choose the major and their goals with it after graduation. In this first class students also seriously consider their options for study abroad, service-learning, and/or internships - the Integrative Experience's second component - with the guidance of visitors from the International Programs Office, the Office of Civic Engagement & Service Learning, and Career Services. Students in this class also explore the way in which to incorporate other University and extracurricular opportunities, beyond the specific major requirements, into their career and personal goals. Upon finishing their study-abroad, service-learning, and/or internship, students register for Span 494RI, where they get an opportunity to reflect upon these experiences and their relation to their broader University education in a group setting. Students also use the Integrative Experience blog to share their experiences with each other and with future generations of majors. We encourage you to explore the Integrative Experience Blog, which is organized by categories. As an example, you may begin by looking at students' reflections about their changing perception of the major and other milestones in their UMass education.