Vassar-Wesleyan in Madrid is committed to providing its students with the opportunity to advance their education while benefiting from a cross-cultural immersion experience that improves their language skills in a Spanish university setting. The Consortium holds these to be the primary goals of a study abroad experience and an executive committee works to help ensure that current and future program participants achieve them. This committee includes members of the administration and faculty from the two sponsoring universities, and meets each year, usually in April, to review the program and to formulate the policies by which it is governed. In formulating these policies, the committee is guided by the Director's reports, by the observations of committee members who visit Madrid during the year, and by student evaluations.
An educational experience based on total immersion in a foreign environment is as exciting and rewarding as it is challenging. The challenges can be cheerfully met because students recognize that they are the stepping stones toward growth. On some occasions culture shock occurs in the early stages of the experience but it is easily overcome to the extent students gain a deeper understanding of the Spanish way of life. The role of the program staff and the objectives of this manual are to facilitate this understanding, and to help its students become resourceful and independent and thereby profit fully from their experience in Spain.