Locations - Study Abroad

Málaga, Spain

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Historically, Spain has been known as a Catholic nation. However, after three decades of postmodernism and post-Christian influence, Spain is now seeing the emergence of its first generation with absolutely no connection to the church, and no understanding of Christianity.

Less than .05% of the country is Evangelical-Protestant. Most Spaniards see Christianity as oppressive and violent. Their skepticism toward and rejection of Christianity is understandable considering they suffered under four decades of Fascist dictatorship that co-opted religion to control and manipulate. In reality the vast majority of Spaniards have never seen Christianity for what it really is…a relationship with Christ that changes lives and leads to love, justice, and peace.

With a population of 40 million people, Spain is one of the largest nations in Europe. It is a key cultural and linguistic access point to the rest of the Spanish speaking world, making it strategically important to fulfilling the Great Commission.

Currently, Spain is facing a crushing financial crisis and the breakdown of the traditional family structure. As students begin searching for answers, there is a growing openness to the gospel and a growing movement of passionate Christ-followers who want to incarnate the love of Christ and share the gospel with Spanish youth. There are three public high schools in Málaga that have opened their doors to SHINE Spain (the High School ministry of Cru in Spain) to provide assistance and English tutoring. Moreover, students are responding to the gospel, and several are taking leadership to reach their classmates.

There are amazing opportunities in Málaga to serve and reach Spanish high school students and help grow a flourishing national ministry. Perhaps God is calling you to invest in the lives of Spanish youth and begin to write a new chapter in the spiritual legacy of Spain as you study in Málaga.


Where can I study?

You will be studying at the University of Málaga. It has a number of quality study abroad programs associated with the university. It’s a great place to study in Spain!

What types of classes can I take?

Possible courses are Hispanic Studies, Business, and Spanish language (including a Spanish intensive option). Check with your study abroad office for a complete list.

When can I go?

We will be sending our first group of students for the spring semester of 2016. The dates depend on which University of Málaga study abroad program you choose.

What kind of ministry will I be doing?

You will be working with a local Spanish team of Cru staff members and key student volunteers to help grow and expand the ministry of SHINE Spain in the high schools of Málaga. Spain has a very low level of English proficiency, one of the worst in Europe. Because of a concerted effort to increase proficiencey, you will have opportunities to serve students through helping with their English speaking ability. There will also be opportunities to be involved in weekly and monthly SHINE activities, hanging out, and building relationships with Spanish youth. Additionally, you will receive ministry training and personal development. Expect about 12-15 hours/week of involvement worked around your class work.

Where will we live?

Again, it depends on your which study abroad provider you choose. Some have on-campus housing available and others have apartments or homestay options.

Will there be a language barrier?

No. Although Spanish speaking ability is very helpful, your personal ministry will be based on helping high school students practice their English.

How much will this cost?

The program cost varies according to the study abroad provider and program you choose. There are a number of good study abroad providers with programs at the University of Malaga. We have a great working relationship with International Studies Abroad (ISA) there and suggest you check out their Málaga page for a good place to start. After a little research, visit your university’s study abroad office to discuss the program that’s right for you.

When is the application deadline?

  • For fall semesters, please apply here by August 1st.
  • For spring semesters, please apply here by December 1st.
  • For summer terms, please apply here by May 1st.
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