Written by Evan Daus, Foster School undergraduate student, studying at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.
This past semester, I attended the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. At UNAV, I studied in their Economics and Business department.
I loved my experience at UNAV, but there were some differences that I found very strange in the way that UNAV operated relative to UW.
The University of Navarra is a catholic school, and the presence of the church is plain to see. Nuns and priests are common on campus and have significant influence in the administration of the university. In the front of every classroom, there is a crucifix hanging on the wall, and religious art is frequently on display in the libraries of the university. The strict catholic nature of the university was most prevalent among students who lived on campus; the nuns and priests are in charge of the on-campus living and strictly enforce a curfew at 10 pm. Students in these residence halls are required to have a signed note from their parents if the wish to spend a night outside of the dorms.
The dress code at the University of Navarra was very surprising as well. Athletic gear was strictly forbidden inside any school building, excluding the gym. This rule was enforced and students wearing any type of shorts, tank tops, or similar attire were forced to leave.
Another notable difference was the emphasis that the University of Navarra puts of recreational sports and activities. At the University of Navarra, sports are extremely popular and virtually all of the students practice one or more sports. The nice weather during my semester also contributed to the frequency at which we practiced soccer, tennis and other sports.
My study abroad experience opened my eyes to a different campus lifestyle. I cannot say with certainty which style I prefer, but each has some aspects which I love.