The North Carolina Consortium for Study Abroad, in cooperation with the Universidad de Cantabria, offers a fall or spring semester abroad program in Santander, Spain. On this program, which began in 1985, undergraduates from six North Carolina campuses, as well as qualified students from other institutions, have the opportunity to spend a semester in the coastal city of Santander, taking classes from Spanish professors in Spanish geography, literature, art, history and language.
One of the country's most fashionable resorts in summer, Santander is a beautiful city set on a sparkling bay on Spain's northern coast, approximately 300 miles from Madrid and 150 miles from the French border. A one-day ferry links the city to England. Santander is also within easy reach of some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in Spain, as well as the caves of Altamira, which have been called the "Sistine Chapel of Prehistoric Art," and the picturesque village, now a national monument, of Santillana del Mar. Though the coastal climate is moderate even in winter, skiing is available as early as December at an inland ski resort 45 miles from Santander. Sunbathing and surfing on the magnificent beaches are possible as late as mid-October. The city is an important cultural and intellectual center, being the site of two universities: Universidad de Cantabria and Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo.
"The hardest challenge I faced was actually leaving. This was the most life changing experience of my life and it was heart breaking to see it end" - Madeline Safrit, Spring 2015
The great part about this program is that a faculty member from one of the participating North Carolina universities in the consortium will accompany the students throughout the duration of the program. The Faculty Director's role is to co-teach as well as to facilitate all logistics of the program in regards to weekly events and program excursions. This professor will be the main point of contact on-site in the event that students have concerns, need to be escorted to the doctor or hospital, or find themselves in an emergency.
Students must have completed at least 4 college-level Spanish courses prior to the start of the program or the equivalent prior to the start of the program. The minimum cumulative GPA requirement is a 2.5. Students are required to be in good academic and disciplinary standing upon applying and prior to the start of the program.
UNC Charlotte students:
You must successfully complete SPAN 1201, SPAN 1202, SPAN 2201 and SPAN 2202 (or the equivalent)
with a C or better in each course prior to the start of the program to qualify.
Non-UNC Charlotte students:
All non-UNC Charlotte students are required to work with and be approved by their home university study abroad office. Please connect with your home university study abroad office to determine if they have any additional eligibility and/or application requirements as well as to determine the equivalent course prerequisites.
Application requirements include (subject to change):
• Personal statement in English
• Personal statement in Spanish
• Official home university transcript
• 2 academic letters of recommendation
• 1 language evaluation
• Disciplinary record clearance
• $135 application fee and deposit
UNC Charlotte students:
Please refer to the application process website
to determine the steps to gain access to an application
Non-UNC Charlotte students:
Please click the "apply now" button at the top of this brochure and create a non-UNC Charlotte study abroad account. Then contact OEA at firstname.lastname@example.org to request access to the Semester in Spain application
Find Out More!
Check out the blog
of one of our UNC Charlotte Semester in Spain alumni, Emma Frantz, who documented her time in Spain. You'll also want to watch this Semester in Spain video
or view pictures
from the UNC Charlotte site visit!
Students can earn 12 - 15 credit hours on the Semester in Spain program. Students will take the mandatory Intensive Spanish Grammar course the first month of the program. After the first month, students will then take their elective courses and the additional grammar course concurrently until the end of the program. Students are required to take the mandatory Spanish grammar course and at least 2 or 3 electives. The courses below are the only courses offered with this program. This program is an Intensive Spanish language and culture program and is designed to fit the Spanish minor and major curriculum.
For this reason, students are not able to take courses in English or any other courses other than those listed below.
"The professors I had at the Universidad de Cantabria were the best professors I've ever had in any class" - Christopher Estrada, Spring 2015
List of Available Courses
The following list of courses are in terms of UNC Charlotte credit. If you are a non-UNC Charlotte student, please communicate with your home university study abroad office to determine the equivalent credit at your home institution.
Required Spanish Grammar Course
This course, which counts as 2 UNC Charlotte courses, is designed to be the equivalent of SPAN 3201
and SPAN 3202
as described in the UNC Charlotte Catalogue.
Together they provide a complete review of Spanish grammar as well as oral and written practice. If students have already taken SPAN 3201 and/or SPAN 3202, they can do additional work during the semester and have the courses count as SPAN 4050, which is an elective Spanish course. Intensive Spanish I and II - Semester in Spain
Students are required to take at least 2 electives in addition to the required Spanish grammar course explained above. Students can either choose to take 2 or all 3 electives.
Introduction to Spanish Literature:
This course provides an overview of Spanish literature. Through a representative sampling of novels, poems, essays, and plays, students are introduced to the principal literary movements from medieval to the present day. The course receives credit for SPAN 3208 or SPAN 3211 at UNC Charlotte. UNC Charlotte students should choose SPAN 3208 credit if they have not taken 3208 since it is required for the UNC Charlotte Spanish major and minor. The course description can be found in the UNC Charlotte Catalog
. The course description can be found here: Introduction to Spanish Literature - Semester in Spain
History of Spain:
This course will provide students with a comprehensive view of the main historical forces that have shaped Spain from prehistoric times to the present day. The course receives credit for SPAN 3050 or HIST 3001 at UNC Charlotte. Students can alternatively receive SPAN 4050 credit for this course in place of 3000 level credit. The course description can be found here: History of Spain - Semester in Spain
Spanish Art & Geography:
These courses are designed to be the equivalent of SPAN 3209 OR
SPAN 4050 as described in the UNC Charlotte Catalog
. The description below has been provided by the Universidad de Cantabria. The course description can be found here: Spanish Art & Geography - Semester in Spain
Complete your Spanish Minor in One Semester in Spain!
This program is designed to fit the Spanish minor and major curriculum at UNC Charlotte and the participating consortium North Carolina universities. As you can see from the descriptions above, depending on each individual students and how many Spanish courses they have alraedy taken, they can then choose the type of credit they will receive per course as explained above. The Office of Education Abroad cannot advise students on which courses to take with this program. All students should communicate with their Academic Advisors within the corresponding Spanish Department to evaluate what courses they have already taken in order to determine what courses and corresponding credit they should sign up for as outlined above. Upon acceptance, students will have access to a "Course Selection Form" where they will indicate which electives they will take abroad and which corresponding course credit they want to receive. UNC Charlotte students can also refer to the Spanish Major and Minor planning sheets
The Semester in Spain program is only offered during the fall or spring semester.
September to December
January to April
An integral aspect of the Semester in Spain program is the travel beyond Santander made available to students. Various excursions are carefully designed to complement the academic program. The Faculty Director will design these excursions each semester. Students will visit various points of interest in the region as well as two to three weekend-long excursions. These usually include a three-day tour to Madrid, Toledo and Salamanca. In the past, trips have also been taken to Santiago de Compostela, Granada and Barcelona. These excursions are mandatory and are subject to change based on program discretion and the current economic conditions.
Why a homestay?
- Drastically improve your Spanish skills
- Receive inside advice from locals
- Home-cooked meals
- You'll build great relationships
- Learn more about the Spanish culture
Participants will be housed in carefully-selected homestays located within easy access (either by foot or by city bus) to the Universidad, to downtown, and to the beaches. One student will be assigned to one Spanish family where they will have the opportunity to live along side of and learn from Spanish locals. This aspect of the program is what makes Semester in Spain such a special experience. By living in a homestay, students will not only be able to learn more about the Spanish culture, but will also drastically improve their Spanish language skills.
The cost of the program is paid to the Office of Education Abroad at UNC Charlotte and includes the following:
- Roundtrip airfaire from Charlotte, NC to Madrid, Spain
- 3 meals a day*
- Laundry expenses
- International health insurance
*All meals may not be included during excursion days
Fall 2017 program cost: $11,850
Payment Schedule for Fall 2017 Participants:
|Friday, April 21, 2017
|Friday, May 26, 2017
|Friday, June 23, 2017
|Friday, July 29, 2017
$135 is submitted with the application, which is due by October 1 and is a part of the overall program fee.
*This reservation deposit must be submitted by the deadline outlined above, out-of-pocket, regardless of if the student is a financial aid or scholarship recipient
**If the student is a financial recipient, the first, second and final payment can be deferred until the aid is disbursed to the student directly. The student will then be responsible for paying the full remaining balance by the last deadline outlined in the payment schedule above
All rates are based on tariffs, costs, and exchange rates in effect at publication and are subject to change based on these factors. Upon acceptance into the program students are responsible for submitting a non-refundable confirmation deposit, which is due May 1st for fall semester participants or by November 1st for spring semester participants.
Students will have the option of taking the roundtrip group flight from Charlotte to Madrid to Charlotte. The cost of this group flight is included in the total cost of the program. Students who wish to arrange their own travel will have the cost of the group flight removed from the total cost of the program and will be responsible for booking their own flight.
Spanish Government Entry & Exit Regulations
The Semester in Spain program is 90 days in length. The last day of the program ends on the 90th day. Students participating in the group flight will fly out of Madrid on the 90th day of the program back to the U.S. Students who are participating in the group flight do not need a visa. U.S. citizens are legally able to stay in Spain or the Schengen Territory
for a maximum of 90 days.
Students are able to opt out of the group flight and make their own flight arrangements. However, if a student opts out of the group flight, they are required to arrive in Santander the same day as the group. They are also required to leave from Madrid on the last day of the program with the group. Students who arrange their own flight cannot arrive in
Spain or the Schengen Territory early to travel. Additionally, they cannot remain in
Spain or the Schengen Territory after the 90th day of the program. The Schengen Territory
includes countries such as Italy, France, Germany and many more. Students who remain in Spain or in the Schengen territory for more than the 90 day maximum limit would be violating their visitor status and could be subject to fines or other legal actions according to the Spanish or country government. Unfortunately, students are not able to apply for a Spanish or Schengen visa with the Semester in Spain program
UNC Charlotte Peer Advisors
Interested in speaking with a student who participated in the Semester in Spain program or a UNC Charlotte study abroad alumni? Contact a Peer Advisor
The Semester in Spain program is considered a semester-long faculty-led program. A Spanish professor from one of the participating North Carolina universities will be abroad with the students each year as a lecturer, point of contact, and the lead on all excursions.
Faculty Director for the Spring 2017 semester:
Department of World Languages & Cultures
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Faculty Director for the Fall 2017 & Spring 2018 Semester:
Dr. Michael Doyle
Professor of Spanish, Translation Studies, and Business Spanish
Department of Languages and Culture Studies
Office of Education Abroad
College of Health & Human Services (CHHS) 256
(704) 687-7747 | fax (704) 687-1661
Non-UNC Charlotte Students
If you are not a UNC Charlotte student, please contact your home study abroad office for more information on how to apply. All students will be required to complete an application to UNC Charlotte for formal acceptance into the program, but may additionally need to apply to their home university study abroad office in order to receive approval for study abroad.