Now… lets be honest… when we chose Salamanca, it ended up being a somewhat spur of the moment, random choice. Spain is a super popular study abroad choice, and so there are tons of different programs in cities all across the country. At first, we considered Madrid and Barcelona, but were a little hesitant due to the massive size and language issue (Barcelona). Eventually it came down to Salamanca and Valencia, and after a long phone conversation we decided on Salamanca. I was super excited about the college town feel (Tulsa is not what one would call a “college town”) and we both liked the late September start date which would allow some Europe travel time.
Amazingly (and luckily!), Salamanca seems like a super awesome place. Some basic facts about it (I’ve linked various pages if you want more information)…
- Salamanca is located about 2.5 hours west of Madrid, in Castile and León and has a population slightly below 200,000.
- Throughout the ages, Salamanca has been populated by Celtiberian tribes, the Romans, Visigoths (who brought Christianity to the city), Moors, and the Spanish.
- In 1218, King Alfonso IX founded what would become the University of Salamanca – the third oldest continuously operated university in Europe.
- In 2002, Salamanca was named the European Capital of the Culture.
- Today, the economy is dominated by tourism and the university, which has about 36,000 students.