Olesay | Business and Cultural Dynamics in Spain (University of Washington)
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The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Founded in 1995, its Spanish and Portuguese Studies Department had been adapting itself to a growing demand over the decade. In November 2005, the Instituto Cervantes and the University of Washington signed an agreement establishing an Aula Cervantes in SPS. The Instituto Cervantes, a cultural organization sponsored by the Spanish government, is devoted to the 19 teaching centers and the diffusion of the Spanish language and the culture of Spain and Latin America throughout the world. The UW center, opened in 2006, was the fourth in the United States (following New York, Chicago and Albuquerque) and the first on the west coast.

The UW recognizes that language cannot be separated from the historical specificity of culture. For this reason it is committed to fostering language learning in cultural context. Indeed, UW Study Abroad provides hundreds of study abroad and internship programs to UW students, not only geared toward language studies. As part of them, Exploration Seminars are short-term study abroad programs (3-4 weeks) led by UW faculty that take place during the gap period between the end of the UW summer quarter and beginning of autumn quarter. Exploration Seminars focus on specific themes pertinent to the program location. Most Exploration Seminars do not require foreign language background. Students earn five credits for the seminar.




Tailor-made for the University of Washington, we created Business and Cultural Dynamics in Spain, a 14-day intensive program taking place in Early Fall 2017 in the city of Madrid.

This program is designed as a perfect combination of business-oriented courses and activities. It seeks to bring the excitement and relevance of international experiences by combining curriculum, work, and cultural activities.

The Exploration Seminar in Madrid meets the needs of those students wanting a significant and meaningful business-related program in Spain while improving the Spanish language. It is geared towards students who have diverse backgrounds: International Business Majors with Spanish Minors, Spanish Majors or other Interdisciplinary majors with previous knowledge of Spanish. The 2-week study abroad program also includes business-related and cultural visits as well as one seminar in the afternoons. With this program we are helping students acquire the much-needed intercultural business knowledge in a global world.

The development of this seminar is consistent with the role and scope of the UW and their strategic areas as it seeks to build a solid international program combining innovation, language and business.




The Exploration Seminar course will meet for two weeks so students can learn about the history, economics, social and cultural norms as well how business is conducted in Spain. We will also learn about the Spanish economic collapse and the steps the country is taking to remedy the situation.

The course take place at Impact Hub, a space of innovation located in the heart of the Barrio de las Letras in Madrid, just steps away from Atocha’s station and Caixa Forum. It is a huge building with more than 1700 m2 divided in two floors. Start-ups like Idealista or Blablacar were born here. This innovative space has become a fundamental part of the social innovation ecosystem in Spain






With a population of more than 6 million people and an average per-capita income of more than €33,000, Madrid is the third-ranking European region in terms of purchasing power. The region has the highest number of businesses in Spain (more than 500,000 companies in operation). One out of every five businesses created in Spain is based in the city of Madrid. Of the top 2000 Spanish businesses, 72% are based in Madrid and around 4% of the Latin American GDP corresponds to Madrid companies.

The region’s higher education training network comprises 16 universities (7 public and 9 private), which supply businesses with around 40,000 graduates a year. Madrid has the highest number of students in Spain and one of the highest in Europe.

Madrid is the city in which some of the most prestigious business schools in the world, such as Instituto de Empresa, ESADE, IESE, EOI, CEF, ESIC and IEB, offer their training courses.

Madrid leads the field of scientific research and technological innovation in Spain and it is the third-ranking region of Europe as far as the number of workers in the hi-tech sector is concerned (Eurostat, 2006). It is also the Spanish region that invests most in R and D (29% of the total).

The region’s 16 universities work in close collaboration with the world of business and scientific research. The region also has an excellent network of science and technology parks, called the Madrid Network (www.madridnetwork.org), comprising 11 sectorial clusters and 6 technology parks, together with a network of research institutes (www.imdea.org) that currently has eight members.

Madrid is one of the world’s preferred locations for foreign investment due to its position as a leading global financial and international business center, opportunities for professional development as well as its unique quality of life.

There are more than 4,000 foreign companies located in Madrid region, 40% total approx.

This privileged situation serves us to explore the main economy sectors in Spain and the Spanish cutting-edge sectors and fields of innovation .




1) Tourism:

Last year Spain was second only to the US in revenue from international tourism. With 65 million tourists per year, the growth was up 31% from 2009. Discover what Spain offers. It’s not all about the sunshine.

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2) Sports

Visit to Global Sports Innovation Center, the innovation center from Microsoft, a worldwide leader for the sports industry, from start-ups to enterprise organizations.

Visit to the Bernabeu and to know about Real Madrid Foundation activity

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http://www.sport-gsic.com/ http://www.realmadrid.com/en/about-real-madrid/foundation

3) Technology

Spain and its companies today occupy a privileged position in the application of new Information and Communication Technologies (Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación, TIC), holding 5th place in Europe for volume of business. It has first-class infrastructure, research centres and leading companies for the implementation of TIC tools in sectors as diverse as environmental, health, naval, space and automotive technology. Technology companies benefit from Spain’s dense network of science and technology parks and institutions of higher education, as well as from government support.

Today Spain holds a leading position in the development of Technologies of Information and Communication (Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación, TIC) within the European Union (EU).

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4) Financial sector

Spain boasts two of the world’s chief banking entities, Santander and BBVA, which constitute the best possible introduction to the financial sector.

Santander has been chosen Best Bank in the World three times, in addition to naming it the Best Bank in its five principal markets: Argentina, Mexico, UK, Poland and Portugal.

The Spanish financial sector is also a go-to for the technological development of secure e-payment systems that can be used in e-commerce via credit cards.

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