Studying abroad is an exciting, often life-changing experience filled with discovery and adventure. At Tufts-Skidmore Spain we give you all the tools and resources you need to succeed and get the most out of your time studying abroad. We offer individualized academic and cultural programming and cater to students from all majors. The program offers a weekly meal stipend, travel funds, and unlimited reimbursement for attendance at cultural events such as plays, concerts, movies, art exhibits and more. Our hands-on staff is ready to assist you to build exactly the kind of experience you’re looking for, and we’re here to offer support and guidance along the way. Below are some of the common questions that students who are thinking about an international exchange program have for us. If you don’t see your question below feel free to ask using the “Ask a Question” link below. We hope to hear from you!
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• SKIDMORE requires a 3.0 GPA, Declared Major, Good Academic and Social Standing, and completion of Spanish 206 or its equivalent. The program accepts students from all majors.*
• TUFTS requires a 3.0 GPA, Declared Major, Good Academic and Disciplinary Standing, and completion of Spanish 21 and 22, or the equivalent of six semesters of college-level Spanish. For students in the School of Engineering, a GPA of 3.2 at the time of application is required. The program accepts students from all majors.*
(*Simply meeting study abroad requirements does not guarantee admission to a program).
Yes! If you are studying at an institution other than Tufts or Skidmore, you may apply and be admitted to the program. If this is your case, please contact Susan Sánchez Casal directly (email@example.com), and she will put you in contact with the appropriate person at Tufts or Skidmore who will handle your application process.
- TUFTS: Feb. 1, for all study abroad for 2011-12 (fall/spring semester and full-year)
- SKIDMORE: Academic Year, Fall Semester: March 15; Spring Semester: October 15*
(* Early applications for the spring program are strongly encouraged).
- Yes, your financial aid will be used for study abroad fees. Please meet with a representative at Tufts or Skidmore’s financial aid office to discuss options for transferring financial aid packages to your term abroad. Skidmore students should contact OCSE Associate Director, Tina Breakell; Tufts students should contact Director, Tufts Programs Abroad, Dr. Sheila Bayne.
- Credit appears as direct Skidmore or Tufts credit. No credit transfer petition necessary. You will receive a letter grade for all courses taken in Spain, just as you do in normal circumstances.
- Yes, students may choose among fall or spring semester or the full-year, in both locations. We strongly recommend the full-year program for any student who can do it. The personal, linguistic, cultural and academic benefits are immensely greater during a full-year stay. As students have told us: "students who stay for the whole year are always happy they did, but students who come for only a semester are sometimes sorry that they didn't choose the full-year option.
- Yes, all students are placed with well-chosen Spanish families. Students fill-out an extensive housing questionnaire which is followed-up by an interview with the director during the semester prior to departure. The director places students based on student preferences and family-availability. If a student is not happy with his or her family placement, there is an option to change families after the first two-weeks.
- You must have a passport, valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program, before you can apply for a visa.
- Yes, you are required to obtain a visa prior to departure. Once you are admitted, your Study Abroad office will inform you and provide a packet of information detailing the visa process. Skidmore students will have their visas “batch processed” by OCSE. Tufts students are responsible for applying for their own visas. Please note: You must have a passport, valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program, before you can apply for a visa. Please contact Tina Breakell at Skidmore or Stephanie Simpson-White at Tufts for more information on the visa process and do this as soon as you are admitted to the program.
- The program offers a total of six courses.
- Contemporary Spanish Art History
- Film and Visual Culture in Spain
- Imagining the Americas
- Sketchbook: Walking in the Cityy
- Advanced Spanish Grammar and Conversation
Course co-sponsored by the University of Alcalá, offered to both Alcalá and Madrid students at the UAH:
- Theater Workshop: Movement for Actors
- Spanish university courses are mostly taught according to the European tradition: there is less daily work, except for reading, and most course evaluation will be based on a final exam and final paper or presentation. Average course size at the UAM or UAH is about 20-40 students. Program courses are more characteristic of U.S. university courses, but like Spanish university courses, they require more independent work on the part of students. Average course size: 15 students. IMPORTANT: the Spanish university system has undergone a great change in the last few years, and many courses are now taught in a more American style, with continuous evaluation, greater student participation, and so on.
Are the UAM (Madrid) and UAH (Alcalá) courses listed on the Skidmore and Tufts website and on this website always offered?
- The courses listed on the Tufts and Skidmore websites are the most accurate. The program staff will inform you if any of your desired courses is not being offered. Courses listed directly on the UAM and UAH websites should be checked-out with program staff before being selected.
Most students take:
1-2 University classes
1-2 Program classes
1 Extracurricular class (painting, dance, voice, yoga, ceramics, etc.)
A volunteer position for three hours a week
- Yes. Internships are available for full-year students during the second semester. Full-year Program students may choose among prominent NGOs, immigration associations, museums, international financial consulting firms, fashion institutes, web magazines, bilingual schools, women’s rights institutes, and so on.
- Volunteer opportunities are available to all students and include work as bilingual teaching assistants, soccer coach for children, cooking assistants, soup kitchen, anti-racism groups, women’s rights groups, and so on.
- Yes, the program sponsors 3 cultural excursions each semester. The excursions are fully paid for by the program and are optional. Excursions for 2010-11 are as follows:
- Segovia (Sept.)
- Andalucía (Oct.)
- Toledo (Nov.)
- Toledo (Jan.)
- Valencia (March)
- La Granja (May)
- Yes, wifi is available in all host-family homes and in the Madrid and Alcalá program centers.
- MONTHLY TRANSPORTATION PASS
-City trains, buses, subway
- MEAL ALLOWANCE
–77€ per week to cover one meal a day not eaten with host family
- EXTRACURRICULAR REIMBURSEMENT
–320€ per semester to cover gym fees, dance, music, ceramics, yoga, cooking classes, etc.
- TRAVEL MONEY
–200€ per semester to help with independent student travel in Spain
- CULTURAL ACTIVITIES REIMBURSEMENT
–Unlimited reimbursement for Spanish/Latin American movies, plays, art exhibits, concerts, and other cultural immersion activities
- Students receive a Tufts-Skidmore Visa debit card on the day of their arrival to Spain. Money is transferred to the card by the director for meal allowance, transportation pass and reimbursements. The card may be used for purchases in restaurants and stores and for withdrawing money at ATMs. Parents may not transfer money to their student's debit card, however.
You should try not to bring more than one large suitcase and one small suitcase. The small suitcase will be useful for taking trips. Bring comfortable clothing, and perhaps one nice outfit (men may want to bring a blazer). Bring comfortable shoes, clothes that you can layer, and a warm jacket or coat. The weather in Madrid/Alcalá is quite mild compared to the Northeast USA, but it can get quite chilly in the winter, and it even snows from time to time. Do not bring hairdryers or any other appliances because the watts are incompatible and it will ruin your applicance. There is no need to bring toiletries, as almost everything available in the states is also available here. Bring your laptop if you have one. It's a nice idea to bring photos of your family and your house and hometown to show your host family. It is also nice to bring them a token, a small gift, preferably something that represents your hometown or your family, etc. Make sure to bring your passport with you, a US based credit or debit card, and about $50 that you can exchange into euros in case your debit card doesn't work when you arrive. Bring the director's number with you, in case you need to call from the airport!
- Yes, it’s a great idea to bring your laptop if you have one.
- Yes, the program insists that you have a cell phone while on the program, for security purposes. Different cell phone company options will be explained to you during orientation. Most students buy a pre-paid cell phone for use during the program but you are free to bring your own cell phone if it can be used internationally.