Pilgrimage to Santiago

Program Overview

The Pilgrimage to Santiago is a four-week course in Spain. The French way of St. James is a museum of over 800k, where over a thousand years, pilgrims have hiked to what is thought the remains of St. James (one of the sons of Zebedee) in Santiago de Compostela. Santiago is credited with bringing the Gospel to Spain and the course will be a combination of the history of Spain, the history of the Camino de Santiago, art history, and travel as a Spiritual transformation. Students will walk the last 120k in the northern part of Spain over 10 days and will ultimately reach their destination in Santiago de Compostela where they will receive their "pilgrim" certificate.

  • Sponsoring Department: Modern and Classical Languages
  • Program Leader(s): Professor Sharenda Barlar 
  • Term: Summer 2023
  • Anticipated Program Dates: May 30- June 28
  • Application Deadline: January 3, 2023
  • Estimated Cost: $4,000-$4,500 (airfare not included)
  • Prerequisites:  Students who have completed SPAN 201: Intermediate Spanish are welcome to apply; students must complete the 2-hour linear quad course (SPAN 352: El Camino de Santiago) in spring 2023 taught by Professor Barlar as well as field activities in preparation for the hiking they will do in Spain.
  • Eligibility: Open to Wheaton students; students need not be Spanish majors/minors but they receive Spanish credit for the course. In addition to those studying Spanish, the program would also be well-suited for students in International Relations, Theology, Anthropology, Psychology, Biology/Environmental Science, and/or Art History. 
  • Highlights: Learn about the historical and contemporary realities on the Camino including the history, art, architecture, psychology of the pilgrim, tourism, technology, and engage in spiritual reflection and community as you walk with other pilgrims.   

Program offering is subject to internal approval, minimum enrollment, and ongoing evaluation of local conditions, including enhanced health and safety reviews.

Course Offerings

All students earn a total of 6 credit hours by taking the required spring and summer courses; the courses offered meet requirements for the Spanish major and minor. 

Required linear quad Spring Semester Course:

  • SPAN 352: History of the Camino (2 hours)
    Prerequisite: SPAN 201
    This seminar will combine the history of Spain, the history of the Camino de Santiago, art history, architectural history, theology, and literature with the practice of travel for transformation. This is a linear quad course that will meet once a week and will include presentations, historical readings, and special talks to prepare students for the three week Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.  Students are not required to walk the Camino to participate in this course but are encouraged to do so. All students will participate in weekend hikes and perform personal journal reflections as they begin their personal pilgrimage.

Required Summer Course:

  • SPAN 489: Summer Pilgrimage to Santiago (4 hours)
    Instructor: Professor Sharenda Barlar, Senior Lecturer of Spanish
    This course will examine prior and during the pilgrimage the seminal importance of the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela and the relevance of this 1000‐year‐old tradition to Spain’s and Europe’s self‐definition. From its first years, the Road to Santiago has proven to be a framework for mythological legends and a focus of Spain’s historiography. Along with literary works, we will examine historical texts, art, and architecture.  The class will focus on the importance of the medieval and contemporary Road to Santiago within the broader context of pilgrimage in all its glorious variety. This course will also acquaint you with various aspects of Spanish life, culture and history, and help you develop the tools of observation that will enhance your understanding and appreciation of the culture.

Program Fees

The estimated program fee includes 4 credit hours of tuition (required summer course only), group land transport in Spain, lodging, meals during the first week of travel, and light breakfast and dinner while walking the Camino. 

Estimated Additional Expenses: Students will be responsible for the cost of international airfare, lunches/snacks while walking the Camino, and any personal expenses and souvenirs. We recommend that students budget approximately $450.00 - $650.00 for meals and personal expenses/souvenirs. In addition, students will need to purchase all required gear for hiking the Camino (estimated minimum expense of $500.00.) 

International airfare $1,000.00
Lunches on the Camino, personal expenses $450.00
Hiking gear $500.00

Learn More

If you have questions or would like to know more about the program, please contact Professor Sharenda Barlar for further information.

How to Apply

To apply, visit GoGlobal, Wheaton College's registration system for off-campus study and international travel, research, and internships.