University Exchange Programs in Spain
Posted by Sammie
Tagged: living, exchange programs in spanish universities, spanish exchange programs, exchange programs in spain, university exchange programs in spain, spain's university exchange courses, spain's exchange programs
Information about applying for exchange programs in Spanish universities, how to transfer credits, taking the selectividad exams and the best places to do an exchange program in Spain.
If you’re looking to shake things up or for a change of scenery from university life, there’s no better place to go than Spain. University exchange programs in Spain are becoming increasingly popular with a wide variety of both Spanish and private international schools from which to choose. There’s no better way to learn about another country, its customs and way of life, than by experiencing it firsthand. Spain is the third most visited country in the world thus providing for one of the most exceptional places to study and, of course, learn a bit of Español. For first time exchange students it can be difficult to pick a region for your exchange program in Spain.
Some of the top exchange locations to consider in Spain include:
- Madrid-the heart of Spain
- San Sebastian-towards the east at the edge of the Pyrenees
- Pamplona-towards the mountains
- Costa Brava and Barcelona-the more touristy sectors
- Valencia, Granada, Cordoba, Seville or Salamanca - the university town.
To be considered for application to a Spanish University, foreign students - like Spanish students - must take the ‘Selectividad’ exams. These exams are normally taken after high school by all Spanish students wanting to attend university. A good way to study for this test is to find a school that helps prepare international students. There are several universities, for example, Colegio Delibes in Salamanca, that offer specific courses for students to help them prep for the exams. Another good way to prepare is to contact the exchange university in Spain and ask them if they have any courses geared towards helping international students study for the exams. The Selectividad exams are held twice a year in June and in September.
Depending on the Spanish exchange program there are often mandatory core classes in Spanish universities that all students must take: Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, Foreign Language, Philosophy, and Physical Education. Additionally, students must choose one optional area from within four groups: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural and Health Sciences, or Technology. However which core classes and optional classes are taken ultimately depend on the program of choice and the degree of the exchange program.
Time To Apply!
Once it’s been decided to do an exchange program in Spain there are several things you can do to ensure a smooth and effective application process. There is often a lot of paper work associated with applying to an exchange program in Spain, so the sooner you get started the better.
Steps To Applying for an Exchange Program in Spain:
- Contact the school of choice in Spain and find out what is needed to apply to that particular school and to your specific program. Inquire about any required courses you might have to take beforehand and while you are there and make sure to take note of submission deadlines for particular documents as they vary depending on the university.
- The most important thing to ensure when doing an exchange program is that the credits you will be acquiring in Spain transfer over to your original school. Be sure to speak directly to the registrar at your home university and find out if they have any affiliations with particular Spanish universities. Many schools, especially the Spanish departments have existing relationships and exchange programs already set up with universities across Spain. This makes it incredibly easy for students’ credits to transfer from one university to the next, which is ultimately one of the most important things to consider. Some universities will transfer credits in the form of pass/fail and others take actual grade point averages into consideration. Find out how your credits will be transferred before embarking on the trip. (some students think they will be graded as a pass/fail when in fact actual marks are taken into account leaving many students who spend too much time tomando cervezas y tapas with a very low average when they get home).
- If your university of choice in Spain does not have an existing relationship with your home university there are a couple of options available in order to still be able to attend that particular school.
- Find a university in your country of residence that does have a relationship with the university you want to attend in Spain. Apply to that university and then apply through that school for the exchange. This is an incredible amount of work and most students don’t choose this option. This application method is only beneficial if students want to pay exchange fees as opposed to international fees. (Exchange fees are usually the same amount that would be paid to one’s own university. International fees are when a student doesn’t apply through their own school but applies independently).
- The second option is to apply as an international student to the university in Spain. This option might cost a little more and it is imperative that students make sure that before applying they speak with both the registrar and teachers at their home university to ensure that the classes and courses taken at the Spanish university will be accepted and counted towards their final degree.