Gem Among Gems

Jacqueline Ryan

Photo by Jacqueline Ryan '18.

Study-abroad programming awarded Medal of Honor 

Look up Málaga, Spain, in a travel guide and you'll discover a gem of a city with pristine beaches, interesting architecture, centuries-old sites and a mile-long stretch of museums. It's also home to the Málaga Center, the seat of the Dickinson-in-Spain study-abroad program, and next month, that less-famous attraction will take center stage, as a prestigious Málaga institution awards a medal recognizing Dickinson's contributions to Spanish-U.S. cultural exchange.

The awarding institution is the Málaga Athenaeum, which has supported intellectual and artistic life in Málaga for the past 50 years and is housed in the former San Telmo School of Fine Arts, where Pablo Picasso’s father taught technical and decorative drawing. Last month, the Athenaeum named Dickinson the recipient of its 2017 Medal of Honor, recognizing the ways in which the college enhances the Spanish city's already rich cultural life through the Dickinson-in-Spain study-abroad program.

Established in 1985, the program is part of the college’s worldwide network of 15 Dickinson study-abroad programs and more than 20 partner programs. Students in Málaga live with local families and take classes at Dickinson’s Málaga Center. They may also get involved in the local community through internships and volunteering opportunities and take classes, in Spanish, at the University of Málaga. 

Dickinson was nominated for the medal by Fernando Arcas, a professor at the University of Málaga who has long collaborated with Málaga Center staff. The college and program will be honored during a May awards ceremony at the Sala María Cristina, a 15th-century architectural treasure in Málaga's historic downtown.

“This award is quite a distinction,” said Mark Aldrich, associate professor of Spanish and current director of the Málaga program, “and it’s a testament to the dedication and work done by so many to make our program in Málaga the success that it is.”

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Published April 14, 2017