León, Spain: Sounds of Social Justice

Honors, GWSS, and Social Work in León, Spain: Sounds of Social Justice

León, Spain: Sounds of Social Justice


Locations: León, Spain

Sponsoring Units: Honors Program (GWSS, Social Work)

Dates: Early Fall Start: August 20 – September 11, 2022 (Note: credits apply to autumn quarter).


Course Credits Credit Type
Honors 384 5 Interdisciplinary, VLPA / I&S, “W”, “DIV”
*Credits available for School of Social Work students are: Soc Wf 497 (undergrad) and Soc W 597 (graduates, 3 credits)


Information Sessions

  • TBD


About the Program

About the Program, Sounds of Social Change

This program will explore histories of resistance and resilience as well as contemporary social justice movements in Spain and the Spanish language diaspora through the lens of music.

Via theoretical frameworks drawing on decolonization, trauma informed theory, transnational feminism and neoliberalism/ globalization, this program will explore gender and race in musical traditions, genres, and scenes related to some or all of the following: 

  • the migration of musical traditions between Latin America, the US and Spain
  • Flamenco and Gitano/Roma traditions and communities 
  • local Spanish examples of contemporary social justice movements such as the anti-austerity movement and its evolution into mainstream politics and feminist movements via contemporary musical movements among Spanish 
  • deeper histories of the 1491 expulsion of Muslims and Jews from Spain 

The program is based in León, Spain, which is located in northwest Spain and has a population of 128,000. Set on the famed Camino de Santiago, a spiritual pilgrimage route hiked by thousands from all over the world each year, León has sat at the crossroads of history for 2000 years. UW Center, León sits in a 15th century tower of El Palacio de Conde Luna within El Gotico, the spectacular Medieval core of the city. Totally walkable, León has a friendly vibe and is filled with cafes, bars and restaurants. Students will live with host families. 

During our time in León, students will meet with UW León Center’s well established network of community partners, which includes local political leaders and organizations that address social justice issues such as migrant resettlement, gentrification and eviction, domestic violence and others.  Musicians, scholars and scene makers will provide a personal connection to histories and contemporary scenes. 

There will be a variety of field trips around the region to historical and cultural sites, including Bilbao, which is home to a contemporary feminist hip hop scene and a large Ecuadorian immigrant community. Other excursions include the culminating site of pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, Santiago de Campostela and a visit to the city of Astorga. 

The city is well served by bus, air, rail and public transport and has direct routes to nearby beach towns as well as Madrid and Bilbao for folks who want to travel in the region on weekends. 

Assignments for this seminar course will feature collaborative projects, independent scholarly writing, photo voice assignments, sound studies.


For more information about UW’s Leon Center, visit: https://depts.washington.edu/leonctr/


Students will be housed with local host families in the city of León.


Program Credit / Course Description

Honors 384, Interdisciplinary, VLPA & I&S, “W”, “DIV”

5 credits, 3 weeks in Spain

There will be 6 hours of preparatory classes in Seattle before departure.

No language requirement.

Program Leadership

Program Leadership

Michelle and Carrie have worked together over a decade on projects that explore how communities are built and scenes are made through community music with the Womxn Who Rock: Making Scenes, Building Communities Collective and the Seattle Fandango Project.  

Carrie Lanza is an assistant teaching professor at the School of Social Work since 2019 and has taught for the School part time for 10 years prior to her current appointment. Carrie also taught at UW Bothell for 8 years in both the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and the School of Nursing and Health Studies. Her research explores the intersection of social work and social welfare policy with various forms of art, design and music and dance. This will be Carrie’s second study abroad program at the UW Léon Center.

Michelle Habell-Pallan is a full professor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies with adjunct appointments in the School of Music and the School of Communications. Her scholarship has centered Chicana and Latina cultural production with an emphasis on music for the past several decades. She is a principal investigator of the Womxn Who Rock: Making Scenes, Building Communities project. Together and in community with the Womxn Who Rock collective, Michelle and Carrie have co-produced events centering music, dance and social justice through a feminist lens since 2010. Michelle has run several summer study abroad programs with Professor Jaime Cardenas (Seattle Central College) in Ecuador in 2018 and 2019.

Program Expenses

Program Expenses

The costs listed includes tuition via concurrent enrollment fee, three meals per day, and all housing and excursions.

Students are responsible for airfare, study abroad fee, and insurance.

Program fee: $3,800

UW concurrent enrollment fee: $470

Average Airplane Ticket: $1,200-1,600

Payment Schedule:

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
Non-Refundable UW Study Abroad Fee $470 TBD
Program Fee Balance $3,800 TBD

Making the program affordable

The Honors Program is passionate about study abroad and the incredible impact it can have on a student’s life. Don’t assume you can’t afford to study outside of the U.S. Here are resources to help you get started on your global adventures!

Honors Program Scholarships

The Honors Program offers a number of scholarships for current Honors Program students. These scholarship funds may be used for UW approved study abroad programs or exchanges. Students may apply beginning in late January (deadline is March 30).

Study Abroad Scholarships at UW

Every student who applies and is accepted to a study abroad program is considered for a scholarship. Scholarship awards are dependent on need and students may be awarded up to $4,000. Visit the study abroad office in 459 Schmitz Hall to learn more or click here. Students may also email goglobal@uw.edu for an advising appointment.

There are several outside resources for study abroad scholarships. Visit the UW’s Study Abroad Scholarship page for more information on scholarship support as well as information about GET funds and how you may apply the GET to your study abroad costs.

Using Financial Aid for Study Abroad

You may find more information about using your existing financial aid for study abroad on the Study Abroad Office’s Financial Aid webpage. In general, all financial aid awarded may be used to support study abroad. Exceptions to this include tuition waivers, work-study awards, or scholarships that are specific about using the award for tuition (although there may be flexibility with some scholarships, please check with the financial aid office). Tuition waivers and work-study are never allowed for study abroad.

Revision of Need

You may also turn in a “Revision of Need” form with the Financial Aid Office if you have a FAFSA on file. Once you are accepted to a study abroad program, visit the Study Abroad Office to obtain a budget for your study abroad program then complete the Revision Request and t


urn in both the budget and the revision request to the Office of Student Financial Aid in Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Financial Aid Study Abroad Funding Website for more information about applying for Summer quarter financial aid and for information about Exploration Seminar financial aid timeline (different than A or B term financial aid disbursement timeline).

Application Process


Application Process

Honors Program students and students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. The program is open to all undergraduate students at the UW Seattle campus as well as Bothell and Tacoma campuses. This program will demand a rigorous, respectful and enthusiastic engagement with both the theoretical frameworks listed above as well as complex histories and contemporary social justice movements and musical scenes.

Students will receive Honors core credit, VLPA, as well as “W” and DIV credit.


Deadline: March 1, 2022