Semester in Spain Consortium Program
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. Students will be taking courses with other Semester in Spain participants, but will have opportunities to interact with local and international students as well as volunteer at nearby schools to teach English (optional). The universities a part of this consortium are:
- UNC Charlotte
- North Carolina State University
- UNC Wilmington
- UNC Asheville
- East Carolina University
- Appalachian State University
Students who are not a part of one of the aforementioned universities may be able to participate in the program. Please contact the Office of Education Abroad to confirm.
Please see the "Fact Sheet" listed above in this program brochure for more information regarding the following eligibility requirements:
- Minimum UNC Charlotte GPA (cumulative) required at time of application
- Student level at time of study abroad program
In addition to meeting the aforementioned requirements, students are also required to:
- Have completed 4 college-level Spanish courses by the time of departure. For UNC Charlotte students, that is the following courses (or the equivalent): SPAN 1201, 1202, 2201 and 2202
- Be in good disciplinary standing at time of application and prior to departure
- Complete an Office of Education Abroad (OEA) application by the applicable deadline
- Non-UNC Charlotte students are required to receive approval from their home university study abroad office to participate in this program
Students who have concerns regarding their eligibility are encouraged to discuss these concerns with an Education Abroad Advisor to determine whether or not they would be considered for this program.
Faculty-Led Semester Programs
Students will participate in a faculty-led semester program with both UNC Charlotte and non-UNC Charlotte students. The program will be led by a faculty member who will co-teach courses abroad, facilitate activities while in the host country, and be a resource for the students in the event of an emergency. Excursion are built into the program to gives students the opportunity to supplement what they are learning in class with experiential learning.
As the program type indicates, a faculty member from one of the consortium universities will be leading the students throughout the duration of the program. The Faculty Director's role is to co-teach as well as to facilitate logistics of the program in conjunction with Universidad de Cantabria staff in regards to weekly events and program excursions. They 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.
Universidad de Cantabria
The University of Cantabria (UC) is one of the three universities that has been in the Top 10 list of the main Spanish rankings both in education as well as in research quality. It is a modern public institution whose main purpose is to contribute to social progress through a firm commitment to teaching and scientific excellence. The UC confers a wide range of official degrees within graduate, postgraduate and doctorate programs. Since its creation in 1972, it has provided university education for more than 40,000 students.
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.
As a faculty-led semester program, the Semester in Spain program offers a fixed list of courses each semester. This program offers 2 mandatory language courses and three elective courses taught in Spanish, allowing students to earn 12-15 credit hours.
Students are required to take both mandatory Spanish Grammar courses and can then choose 2-3 elective courses. The first month of the program, students will be enrolled in the first intensive Spanish Grammar course. After the first month, students will then take the second mandatory Spanish Grammar course as well as their elective courses. Courses will be taken Monday through Friday with the other North Carolina students in the program; the schedule will be determined by the Universidad de Cantabria on-site staff upon students' arrivals.
The Semester in Spain program is designed for students at the intermediate level or students who have just begun advanced level courses. This program is not intended for native speakers or high level speakers finishing a Spanish degree.
Please note that students are restricted to taking the following courses; this program does not offer courses in English. The course codes below are referring to UNC Charlotte equivalent courses; Non-UNC Charlotte students should work with their home university study abroad office and/or home academic department(s) to determine their home university equivalent credit:
Spanish Grammar Courses
Students will be required to take both of the following courses:
- Intensive Spanish Grammar I
- UNC Charlotte equivalency: SPAN 3201 or SPAN 4050
- Intensive Spanish Grammar II
- UNC Charlotte equivalency: SPAN 3202 or SPAN 4050
Refer to the course descriptions here: Intensive Spanish I and II - Semester in Spain
. UNC Charlotte students who have already taken SPAN 3201 will get credit for SPAN 4050. Students who have already taken SPAN 3202 will get credit for SPAN 4050. Students who elect to take the 4000-level courses will be required to complete extra assignments throughout the semester.
Students are required to take at least 2 out of the following 3 electives or all 3 in addition to the required Spanish grammar course explained above
- Introduction to Spanish Literature
- UNC Charlotte equivalency: SPAN 3208 or SPAN 3211
- 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. However, if UNC Charlotte students have already taken SPAN 3208, they can then elect to receive the SPAN 3211 credit
- History of Spain
- UNC Charlotte equivalency: SPAN 3050 or HIST 3001
- UNC Charlotte students who have already taken SPAN 3050 and who do not wish to obtain HIST 3001 credit can elect to receive SPAN 4050 credit, but will be required to complete additional assignments throughout the semester. The course description can be found here: History of Spain - Semester in Spain
- Spanish Art & Geography
- UNC Charlotte equivalency: SPAN 3209 or SPAN 4050
- UNC Charlotte students who have already taken SPAN 3209 will receive SPAN 4050 credit and will be required to complete additional assignments throughout the semester. The course description can be found here: Spanish Art & Geography - Semester in Spain
Complete Your Spanish Minor in One Semester!
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 already 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
This program is offered during the fall and spring semester. The official dates of the program will be communicated to students upon acceptance. The general time frame of this program is as follows:
- Fall: September to December
- Spring: January to April
Students will receive their course schedule, holidays and excursion dates at time of departure or on-site.
Personal Travel Abroad
In your free time you are welcome to travel. However, please do not arrange any personal travel until you have received your course schedule, holidays and excursion details, which will likely be communicated to you upon arrival in Santander. Please ensure you are not arranging travel during any mandatory program events.
If you choose to travel in your free time, it is extremely important that you notify your Faculty Director regarding the details of your travel for risk management purposes. Additionally, OEA asks students to please enter any personal travel into the "itinerary" section of their OEA application, which will ask for the dates and locations of the travel.
Students will have the option of taking the round trip 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.
Group Flight Information
- The flight itinerary will be uploaded to the students OEA application at time of acceptance
- The airline will be determined by the Travel Agent in attempt to find the most affordable and appropriate fare
- The group flight is a round trip ticket from Charlotte to Madrid and back to Charlotte. Students who choose to take the group flight cannot change the details (e.g. departure cities, arrival cities, etc.) and must participate in the group flight as is
- Upon arrival in Madrid, the Faculty Director will meet all students at the Madrid airport and arrange travel by bus to Santander (included in the cost of the program)
- Staff members from the Office of Education Abroad will meet the group at the Charlotte airport on the day of departure to assist with check-in procedures. More information about the meeting place and time will be communicated with students prior to departure. Students will not receive physical tickets; OEA staff members will check all students in electronically at the check-in desk.
Students Who Opt Out of the Group Flight
- Are responsible for purchasing and arranging their own flight. The cost of the group flight will be subtracted from the total program cost (i.e. students will not submit payment for the "Final Payment" material in their OEA application)
- When arranging travel, students are required to arrive in Santander the same day as the group. Students who do not arrive in Santander at the same time as the group will be responsible for arranging their own travel from Madrid to Santander
- The program ends with a multi-day excursion in Madrid. Those on the group flight will then depart from the Madrid airport according to the group flight itinerary. Those not on the group flight are required to participate in the Madrid excursion in full
Spanish Government Regulations
Beginning with the spring 2019 term, the Semester in Spain program will exceed 90 days in length. All U.S. citizens (U.S. passport holders) participating in the program will have to obtain a visa for the program. Holders of non-U.S. passports will need to check with the Spanish government as to whether or not they need a visa to enter Spain and, if one is needed, to determine which visa type is appropriate. Please see http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/WASHINGTON/en/InformacionParaExtranjeros/Pages/VisadosDeLargaDuracion.aspx
for more information on the visa and applying for it.
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 can arrive in the Schengen Visa Zone (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/travelers-with-special-considerations/schengen.html) no earlier than two weeks (fourteen calendar days) prior to the program start date or will violate Spanish visa regulations and will likely not be permitted to continue with the program. They could also be subject to fines or other legal actions per Spanish law.
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.
Each Semester in Spain student will be placed in a carefully selected homestay with a Spanish family located within easy access (either by foot or by city bus) to the Universidad, to downtown, and to the beaches. A housing assignment with a vetted and approved local family (i.e. homestay) is guaranteed for each Semester in Spain participant.
Staff members at the Universidad de Cantabria (UniCan) are responsible for arranging homestay placements (the Office of Education Abroad at UNC Charlotte does not arrange housing). There will be one Semester in Spain participant per homestay household. Students will complete a "homestay questionnaire" as a part of their OEA application, which will ask them to elaborate on any dietary restrictions, allergies, and to express what type of relationship they would like to have with their homestay family. Universidad de Cantabria staff will then place one student with one local family. Because this is an immersive Spanish language and culture program, this opportunity allows students to be immersed in both; they will improve their Spanish proficiency, experience life as a local, and form lasting relationships.
Although students completed a homestay questionnaire to better assist the UniCan staff during the placement process, there are no guarantees that students will be placed with a family that meets the exact specifications described in their questionnaire (unless it is a matter of health, diet or other legitimate matters). Students will not receive their homestay assignments (e.g. name of family contact, address, phone number) until 2 weeks prior to departure. Unfortunately OEA cannot control or expedite this process.
Housing Before & After Study Abroad
Students should consider their housing arrangements before and after they study abroad. For students who live on-campus at UNC Charlotte, they should apply for on-campus housing online as normal for the semester they return from studying abroad. For students who live in off-campus apartments, it's important to consider your lease terms and determine when a good time to go abroad may be. Once approved and place at a host university, students have access to a "Sublease Opportunities" google document, which is shared with students who have been approved to go abroad and who have already been abroad in order to connect students with opportunities to short-term housing.
Host families will provide 3 meals per day for their Semester in Spain student. Students are encouraged to list any dietary restrictions or allergies in their "homestay questionnaire," located in their OEA application.
All information listed above is subject to change.
Students participating in the Semester in Spain program will pay a program fee to the Office of Education Abroad at UNC Charlotte the includes the following ammenities:
- Tuition & fees abroad
- Housing (homestay)
- 3 meals/day
- Round trip group flight Charlotte-Madrid
- International health insurance
- Laundry services 1/week
Students should also consider the following expenses should they be applicable:
- Visa (if applicable)
- Personal expenses
- Personal travel
- Travel insurance
Fall 2019 Program Fee & Payment Schedule:
|Total Program Cost
Spring 2019 Program Fee & Payment Schedule:
|Total Program Cost
*Students are required to submit the application fee and reservation deposit according to the payment schedule outlined. These costs cannot be deferred; the remainder three program payments can, however, be deferred until the release of financial aid for students who are financial aid recipients.
Students who are financial aid recipients can utilize their funds towards their study abroad expenses. Students should expect to receive the same amount of financial aid they typically receive based off of their FAFSA. In some cases, depending on the cost of attendance abroad, the Office of Financial Aid may be able to expand the student's budget, allowing them to access additional aid in the form of loans. Financial aid will not be disbursed until the start of the semester
(according to UNC Charlotte's academic calendar) the student goes abroad. This means that students should be prepared to pay out-of-pocket for some expenses
(e.g. application fee and reservation deposit).
At time of disbursal (either August or January), financial aid will be disbursed to the student directly via direct deposit or refund check (it is recommended that students set up direct deposit for ease of receipt). It will then be the student's responsibility to submit payment to the Office of Education Abroad for the remaining program balance owed (funds are not automatically diverted). Students must take the equivalent amount of full-time credit at UNC Charlotte while abroad in order to receive their full financial aid award. Students who fail to remain the equivalent of full-time while abroad will be required to pay back the financial aid awarded for that semester.
Non-UNC Charlotte students
should refer to their home university financial aid office and/or study abroad office for any questions regarding the disbursal of aid. However, the same principles outlined above will apply to non-UNC Charlotte students as well; aid is disbursed to the student, and it is then the student's responsibility to submit payment to the Office of Education Abroad in full prior to departure.
Students are encouraged to apply for scholarships. Please see the "Notes" section located in the budget sheet above and our scholarship website
for more information if you are a UNC Charlotte student. Non-UNC Charlotte students should refer to their home university study abroad office for more information on scholarship resources.
All information listed above is subject to change.
The following information is required for UNC Charlotte students only:
- Refer to the Steps to Study Abroad
- Complete Study Abroad 101
- Meet with an Education Abroad Advisor: In order to receive access to the required OEA application, students are required to meet with an Advisor at least once. During the one-on-one advising appointment, the Advisor will give the student access to the OEA application if they are ready to apply. Please note that clicking the "Apply Now" button above will take students back to their "Advising Application," which is not an application to study abroad.
- Complete an OEA Application by the applicable deadline
- OEA will then evaluate the student's OEA application to determine whether or not they meet the requirements of the program. Note that some universities can be competitive and placement at the first choice university is never guaranteed; if approved, OEA will then place the student at either their first choice or second choice university.
- Once placed at the host university, students will then be notified via email of their approval and placement. Students will then need to complete a supplemental application required by the host university in order to be accepted into the program. While denial from the host university is very uncommon, the host university reserves the right to deny students' acceptance
OEA Application Components
- Personal statement in English
- Personal statement in Spanish
- UNC Charlotte (or home university) transcript
- 2 academic letters of recommendation
- 1 language evaluation from a Spanish faculty member
- Disciplinary record clearance
- $135 application fee and deposit
The components listed above are subject to change. More instructions on how to complete these requirements electronically can be found in the OEA application.
Non-UNC Charlotte Students
Non-UNC Charlotte students should communicate with their home university study abroad office to complete any required application in addition to completing the required OEA application. To get started with the OEA application, please receive the instructions from your home university study abroad office.
OEA Application Cycles & Deadlines
Please refer to the "Dates/Deadlines" section above this brochure to determine whether or not an application cycle is currently accepting applications. If a note appears that reads "This program is currently not accepting applications," this is because the deadline for the subsequent semester has already passed and students are not yet able to apply for future semesters. Students can gain access to the OEA application according to the following timeline (subject to change):
The OEA application deadlines are as follows:
- Fall/Academic Year: Applications open in mid-November
- Spring/Calendar Year: Applications open in mid-April
- Fall/Academic Year: March 1
- Spring/Calendar Year: October 1
In some cases, OEA may
be able to consider late applications. Please ensure you have completed the Study Abroad 101 requirement and then meet with an Education Abroad Advisor to determine whether or not you are able to apply late. Please keep in mind that, should late applications be considered, chances of placement decrease significantly after the deadlines outlined above have passed.
All information listed above is subject to change.
Host University/Country Resources
Although not required, the Office of Education Abroad highly recommends the purchase of travel insurance (also known as cancellation insurance) should personal or global circumstances prevent your participation in the program. You are encouraged to consider obtaining travel insurance and to keep in mind that many travel insurance policies must be purchased within twenty-one days of your initial deposit to apply to the program.
Passports & Immigration
All participants are individually responsible for ensuring that they have the appropriate documentation to obtain entry clearance to their host country. General information about passports
and immigration requirements
(including visas) is available on the OEA website. Please note that the Office of Education Abroad is legally unable to advise on visas policies and procedures. Additionally, as indicated, U.S. citizens are currently ineligible to apply for a visa and must enter Spain/Schengen territory and depart from Spain/Schengen territory according to the official start date and end date of the program.
Health & Safety
The safety of our students traveling abroad is of the utmost importance to the Office of Education Abroad and UNC Charlotte. Current events are monitored constantly and OEA is in direct contact with students and on-site constituencies in the event of an international emergency. The OEA will work with UNC Charlotte risk managers, on-site staff, the U.S. Department of State and our international insurance provider to determine the best course of action to keep students safe in the event of an emergency abroad.
All study abroad participants are enrolled in mandatory international health insurance which covers a range of medical issues, support services, and evacuation in case of emergency. We also advise that student’s take the responsibility to do their own research in preparation for international travel. We want students and their families to feel comfortable with travel plans prior to departure. Helpful resources include:
It is important to keep in mind that other cultures around the world may have different attitudes and laws regarding LGBTQ+ individuals. LGBTQ+ students interested or participating in this program should familiarize themselves with the attitudes of the destination country and may wish to explore the following resources:
Students with Disabilities
Many students with disabilities study abroad each year; however, it is important to keep in mind that other cultures may have different attitudes and varying accommodations and laws regarding disabilities. If you are a student who has a learning or physical disability and you are interested in studying abroad, please disclose any requested accommodations to OEA as soon as possible so that we can begin working with you and the UNC Charlotte Office of Disability Services to see if and how we are able to meet your needs.
To prepare for success, students are encouraged to begin researching the desired host country and consider how they will manage their disabilities abroad well in advance of selecting a program. There are many resources available to students with disabilities who are considering studying abroad.
If accommodation on a desired program is not possible or advisable, we will do our best to help you find an alternate program to ensure you are able to engage in a study abroad experience.
All information listed above is subject to change.
Office of Education Abroad
Office hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Study Abroad Peer Advisors
Each semester the Office of Education Abroad manages the Study Abroad Peer Advisor and OEA internship program, comprised of UNC Charlotte students who have studied abroad. Their role is to speak with students interested in going abroad and to share their experience. Check out our Interns & Peer Advisors
and email them with any questions you may have about their program or experience abroad!
2018-19 Faculty Director
Dr. Shelley Garrigan
Associate Professor of Spanish
North Carolina State University