Universidad de Navarra

Navarra Summer Program!

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

The University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain is the perfect place to study Spanish in the summer. Located in Northern Spain, you can easily travel to Bilbao to see the Guggenheim, San Sebastian to spend the afternoon on the beach, or Hendaye and Biarritz to see the beaches of Southern France. There are castles, monasteries, and Roman ruins all within an hour of Pamplona. For a longer weekend trip you can easily take a bus or train to Barcelona to visit La Rambla, the Joan Miro Museum, and the works of Gaudí. Our Spanish language classes are in the central building on campus and there are students from France, Hong Kong, England, and Germany in the program.

The class is small compared to UW, only seven students in our Spanish class. The tennis courts on campus are fabulous as is the cafe. The casco viejo, or old part of Pamplona, has cobblestone streets lined by colorful buildings with balconies. In the main plaza, you can order a cafe con leche and croissant at the same restaurant Ernest Hemingway describes in his novel, The Sun Also Rises. Pamplona is known for its elaborate pinchos, Spanish appetizers. If you arrive in Pamplona in early July, you can experience San Fermines, the yearly celebration in Pamplona with a bull runs every morning, music in the plazas, bull fights in the afternoon, and fireworks at night.

Written by Zea Collentine, UW Foster School Student

Park Guell in Barcelona

Guggenheim in Bilbao

San Sebastian

Arriving in Pamplona

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

By: Nicholas Jaeger, Foster Undergraduate

Almost 23 hours after leaving SeaTac, I arrived in Pamplona, Spain. I wouldn’t say that I had a difficult time when I first got to Pamplona, but it was definitely a little challenging for me. It was recommended that I spend some time looking online for a place to live before leaving for Spain, but that I should wait until I get there to choose my place and roommates. I got to Pamplona about 5 days before the International Student Orientation, so I lived in a hostel for that time, which was a little expensive. By day 3, I was getting bored because I didn’t know anyone at the time, so I just walked the city each day and discovered new places. The first thing that I noticed in Pamplona was that people there really don’t speak any English. I had studied some Spanish, but it had been 2 years since I had any classes, so it was very hard for me to communicate at first.

After that first weekend it was time for orientation, which I really enjoyed. I had a chance to meet lots of people from all over the world. Also, on the second day of orientation, there was an organized trip to the northern beach city of San Sebastian. Looking back on all my travels in Spain, I think that San Sebastian was one of the nicest places I visited. Anyway, on this day trip I got to go in the ocean on a very hot day. There is also a large statue of Jesus overlooking the city, similar to the one in Rio de Janiero. You can hike up to the top of the hill that the statue is on, and this is something that I would definitely recommend doing. After returning from San Sebastian, I finally moved into my apartment, which was very nice because I was tired of living out of my suitcase in the hostel.

Anyway, the first week was somewhat of an adjustment period, but it wasn’t that bad. I had a great time meeting people and seeing new places. From that point on, studying abroad in Pamplona was the best time of my life. The Universidad de Navarra is a great school, although class scheduling is strange/difficult, and I really liked the city of Pamplona. In fact, I am very happy that the Foster exchange program takes place in a smaller city like Pamplona. It is not very touristy, so you are forced to use a lot more Spanish then you would in a bigger city like Barcelona or Madrid.

Pamplona – Settling In

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

By: Patrick Dion, Foster Undergraduate

Hi, my name is Patrick, and I’m a third year studying at the University of Navarra this fall. So far my experience has been great but getting settled in here Pamplona Spain wasn’t the easiest thing in the world. The most difficult thing I experience when getting here was actually registering and selecting classes. Before leaving I had looked at a course guide that listed all of the classes offered in English. When I got to Pamplona though, that list had changed. The school doesn’t really have an official schedule until two weeks after classes have started. It’s quite frustrating trying to nail down a class list when they are constantly changing times, rooms, and even course that are being offered. Many of the business classes they offer in English are the pre-requisite requirements at Foster so if you are planning on coming here look to see if you have space for electives if you are planning to study in English and have done lower level course work.  Once I had an actual schedule though the life has been great.

Pamplona is a much smaller city that Seattle which suits me well. I can walk outside at any time of the night without fear, and it’s small enough to walk everywhere. It really is true that the Spanish like the night life. Kids and senior citizens can be seen at 1am and “going out” for a night means you didn’t come home before 7 am. I’ve been on a few trips so far to Valencia, San Sebastian.  I also visited a little town called Andosilla where I watched them have their own “Running of the Bulls”, although with cows, since bulls are far more dangerous and harder to keep inside the fences. All were great and the bus rides to get there are very reasonable. Taking a bus really is the best way to travel though Spain if you don’t live in one of the larger cities. They are very cheap and easy to get tickets either in advance or just last minute.

Video: Another Tour of the University of Navarra 2011

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

By: Kelsey Ondrk, Foster Undergraduate

Kelsey takes you on a walk through the University of Navarra Campus.

Video: University of Navarra 2011

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

By Rachel Abbott, Foster Undergraduate


Join Rachel on this mini tour of the University of Navarra campus.

Traveling with Aladdin

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

By Kelsey Ondrak, UW Foster Undergraduate Business Student

So being in Spain for the past 4 months has been amazing, but I have to say that my favorite trip has been outside of Spain and Europe for that matter. I spent about 3 days in Fez, Morocco with a few people from Boston that are also studying abroad at University of Navarra and had the most amazing cultural experience of my life. We arrived in Fez by plane and seemed slightly confused because I expected this desert area with camels roaming in the background, but instead, I saw lush green fields and cars. The whole idea of going to Morocco was so exciting and yet, totally terrifying all at the same time. I knew that it was a totally different culture than that of Spain and I really didn’t know how to prepare. My time in Fez was short, but truly changed me as a person. I learned about the differences in culture between Europe, America, and Morocco. It was almost inspiring because it made me a more open person. Morocco is definitely somewhere I would travel to again because there is so much I don’t know about it. To anyone interested in going, I would say go when it is safe. That is definitely the only negative part. The world is full of unsafe places, it is just incredibly important to be smart about how a person acts while he or she is there. That is definitely something I have learned while in Europe from my own experiences and my friends’ experiences.

Until next time España

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

By Kelsey Ondrak, UW Foster Undergraduate Business Student

It is unbelievable to think that my five months in Spain are now over. I laughed, cried, and grew up a lot during those months, but the absolute best part of this experience is all the amazing people I have met. Each one is incredibly unique from the other, but for some reason we all end up bonding over the fact that we are miles away from home in a foreign country trying to survive and have a good time while we are doing it. No matter where my new friends have come from, we can all bond over our time spent in Pamplona. Whether we are buying crepes together or hanging out behind the bus station, we will always have those moments.

We all went through phases where we hated Spain and just wanted to get out, but in the end, living in Pamplona has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. If someone had asked me in March when BOTH of my computers broke and I hadn’t backed up my 20 page paper that was due at the end of the week how I was enjoying Spain, I probably would have started screaming about how I just wanted to go home. Looking back, I was a crazy person. Studying abroad, no matter where someone goes or with what program, is a key part of a person’s college education. At no other point in life will I have the opportunity to study in a foreign country for a semester and gain the same experience that I had here in Spain. I know that when I return when I am older, and I will, Pamplona will not be the same, but then again, I won’t either. Until next time España.

Fastest Month of My Life

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

The past month has flown by. In my last post, I said that I would tell you about Queensday in Amsterdam. Well here it is: Queensday was insane. Fourteen hours of sunshine, music, and millions of people dressed in orange. The streets were packed, the sidewalks were lined with food vendors, and families were on their doorsteps selling everything from old video games to jewelry. My friends and I found a spot in the middle main square (Museumplein) by the mainstage, soaking up the much-hyped environment that didn’t disappoint.

But life didn’t slow down from there. The next weekend I was in Munich, where I spent most of the time at their Spring Festival, a carnival located on the Oktoberfest grounds. I was also able to go to Dachau, the first German concentration camp. The day I got back from Germany, I went back to Amsterdam with a friend to do the typical tourist things—the Heineken Experience, Anne Frank House, and Rijksmuseum.

A week and a half after that, five friends and I headed to Italy, seeing Pisa, Florence, and Cinque Terre. The five days spent in Italy have been the highlight of my study abroad experience so far. Florence oozes with culture and seemingly every corner you turn is another beautiful church, monument, or museum. We were also treated to a beautiful firework show on the Arno River and an unforgettable sunset from Piazzala Michaelangelo, which is up on a hill across the river overlooking the city. Florence is an absolutely beautiful city and to be in Cinque Terre the next day was an unbelievable experience. We went on a picturesque (and somewhat dangerous!) seven-hour hike along the coast from the first village to the fifth, culminating in a quick dip in the Mediterranean Sea. The entire trip was almost too good to be true—everything from the views to the pizza, gelato, and panna cotta was heavenly.

That’s the beauty of studying abroad. In no other situation would I even imagine going to Italy for a long weekend. Nothing against Portland, but I probably wouldn’t even go there for a random weekend living in Seattle.

And now I have just completed my final lecture. The quarter has flown by and now I have two weeks to study for exams! …and go to Berlin and Prague.

Hola España!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Before leaving for Spain, I heard all about the ups and downs of studying abroad and how I might really not want to go. At the time I thought people were crazy! How could I not want to go to Spain for 6 months?! As I boarded my flight in Omaha, I really didn’t want to go. When I arrived in Barcelona, I was feeling better, but then it seemed as if everything was going wrong. Not exactly how I want to remember this experience. I was incredibly jetlagged staying in, what I later found out to be, the most dangerous part of Barcelona. I just wanted to go to Pamplona already and be settled into my apartment and cry.

For the record, I don’t speak any Spanish. I know people find that incredibly difficult to understand, but it is true. As my taxi driver from the train station to my apartment told me, I was better off using my knowledge of French than speaking English to people. Those were not the words that I needed to hear as I was already super freaked out! The one amazing thing about Foster’s programs is that I am meeting TONS of international students from all over the world. This is really an opportunity that not all exchange programs have and I count myself lucky to be able to be able to make all of these new international friends.

Pamplona is a small city in northern Spain, but anyone can get that from looking at a map. It has a gorgeous Old Town full of life and character that is very unique compared to the rest of the city. In the middle of town is the old citadel that they are renovating. Spaniards seem to think that renovating means building something new to look like the old and that bums me out because I feel like things lose a lot of character when they do that. During our Welcoming Week at the university (I totally recommend this to anyone who is studying in Pamplona in the future), we walked through the Old Town, saw the original walls of the city, and walked the San Fermines’ Running of the Bulls route. I wish I was staying until July to see the whole festival, but unfortunately the Spanish government is going to kick me out before when my visa expires!


Camino de Santiago

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

It’s Rachel again! Just a reminder, I’m the one studying in Pamplona, Spain at the University of Navarra. My time here is quickly coming to an end. I will be back in Seattle in less than one month! Sadly, I will miss the next trip with the Club de Montañas…thankfully the last trip will more than make up for it! Last weekend we hiked part of the Camino de Santiago along the Basque Coast. If you ignored the ridiculous amount of ETA tags along the trails, it was absolutely amazing. The weather was 20 degrees Celsius (I no longer speak Fahrenheit) and the sun was out. The bus left bright and early (as usual) and we started out trek around 9am. Other than the details of arrival and departure, I didn’t really pay attention to the e-mail explaining the trip. So it was a surprise when my phone company sent me a text saying “welcome to France…”. Evidently, we started just inside the French borders! The other important detail that I missed was that we were hiking 15 miles. Luckily I had on hiking gear; some of the other exchange students weren’t as lucky. They were in jeans, nice shirts and shoes that were NOT built for any type of strenuous activity. The views along the trails were gorgeous. We stopped in a small town for lunch before continuing to San Sebastian, where we ended. Before the bus headed back at around 6pm, we got to walk along the beach and soak our feet. Sadly it was still too cold to swim! It was an exhausting day but totally worth it. I’m going to miss San Sebastian so much!