Salamanca is considered one of the most spectacular Renaissance cities in Europe. It is located in central Spain, amidst a landscape strewn with battlefields and castles, in an area where the kingdoms of Castilla and Aragón first unified Spain. From these roots, “Castellano,” or “Spanish,” became dominant throughout Spain. Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor is said to be the most beautiful plaza in Spain. Throughout the centuries, the sandstone buildings have gained an exquisite golden glow that has given Salamanca the nickname “la Ciudad Dorada” – the Golden City. The breathtaking Catedral Vieja and Catedral Nueva rise above the city, overlooking the river Tormes and the Roman Bridge. The Casa de las Conchas is a stunning edifice of shells carved into golden sandstone. One experiences the history of this magical city when roaming the streets and walking through the archways of the old quarter. The university, the winding streets, the inviting architecture, and the warm people welcome newcomers to this enchanting city.
Students who study abroad during their gap year in Salamanca, Spain with API will take courses at the Universidad de Salamanca. Founded in 1218, the Universidad de Salamanca is the oldest university in Spain. Acknowledged by Pope Alexander IV to be one of the four great universities in the world, it stands in the company of the universities of Bologna, Oxford, and Paris. In 1492, Queen Isabel sought advice from Universidad de Salamanca leaders regarding the exploration venture of Christopher Columbus.
One enters the University through the Patio de las Escuelas. It features the faces of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel, and the walls are marked with the legacy of students, who, upon graduation, have written their initials in an ink of bull’s blood, olive oil, and herbs. Legend has it that there is a frog hidden in the sandstone carvings, and if one finds it, it brings good luck! Inside is the Escuelas Menores building, which houses the department for visiting students.
“The best part of studying abroad was the people I met. That is why this experience exceeded my expectations. I have made lifelong friendships. Also, our Resident Director did an awesome job and we all love her! All-in-all it was a great experience!"