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Semester in Spain Program

The North Carolina Consortium for Study Abroad, in cooperation with the Universidad de Cantabria (aka UniCan), offers a fall or spring semester abroad program in 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.

Program Dates for Fall 2015: September 4, 2015 (depart Charlotte) - December 2, 2015


Streets of SpainSantander is a particularly attractive location for study abroad. One of the country's most fashionable resorts in summer, it is a beautiful city of 200,000 people 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.

Click on the following links for more information on these culturally diverse cities located throughout Spain:

MadridBarcelona Seville


Students will depart from the United States in early September or early February and will be met in Madrid by the resident director, who will accompany them to Santander. The program will begin with a required, three-credit intensive language course. During the second phase of the program (early October to mid-December or early - March to 3rd week of May) students may enroll for either nine or twelve hours of credit.


Students can earn 12 - 15 UNC Charlotte credit hours on the Semester in Spain program. 2 Spanish Grammar courses are compulsory. One is the only course taught in the first month of the program and the other is taught in the second part of the program with the elective courses.

Additionally, students can choose from 3 electives to complement their Spanish language study. Course descriptions are listed below.

To see the Spanish Minor Checklist at UNC Charlotte click here.

Additional Semester Option

Fall participants have the option of staying for the spring semester! There are two options for staying in Santander and continuing your immersion into the Spanish language and Culture. Click here for more details on spending an extra semester in Spain.  If you wish to stay an extra semester in Spain, students must notify UNC Charlotte upon application to the Semester in Spain program.


Santander waterfront

A major part 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.  Students will visit various points of interest in the region as well as two (possibly three if economic conditions permit) weekend-long excursions.  These usually include a three-day tour to Madrid & Toledo and Salamanca.  We have also led trips to Santiago de Compostela, Granada and Barcelona (all excursions are subject to change based on program discretion and the current economic conditions).


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. Three daily meals and laundry service are included in the price of the program.

Conversations Partner Program


All program participants will have ample opportunities to meet with Spanish students throughout the course of the semester to converse and create friendships.  We strongly encourage our students to take full advantage of every language opportunity offered during their semester abroad.  This conversation partner program enables program participants to meet local students and learn more about the life of Spanish university students.   These activities are coordinated by a faculty member of the Department of Filology at the UniCan.

Admission Requirements

Paella made by the resident director-Fall 2011Students entering the program will be expected to have completed at least four semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent, and to be sophomores, juniors, or seniors with an overall Grade Point Average of 2.5 or better. Acceptance will be based upon overall academic performance, grades in Spanish language, academic references, a written statement and space availability.


The cost of the program includes the following:

  • Round Trip Air Fare from Charlotte, NC
  • Home Stay
  • Three Meals Daily at the Homestay
  • Laundry
  • International Health Insurance
  • Instructional Costs for 12 - 15 Hours of Credit
  • Excursions both in the Cantabria Region and Other Parts of Spain

The Fall 2015 program cost is $11,650. (Note: 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, you will be asked for a non-refundable confirmation deposit which is due May 1st for Fall semester participants or by November 1st for Spring semester participants.

Application Procedure

Fall Application Deadline: March 1
Spring Application Deadline: October 1 

Late applications will be considered. Please note that there is a $50 late application fee in addition to the standard program fees.

Steps to Receive an Application:
  • Students must first attend an information session
  • Students must meet with an OEA advisor for a one-on-one meeting to receive an application
  • Students will fill out an OEA application and submit by the deadlines outlined above 

*If you are a student at one of the following institutions please contact the Study Abroad Office on your campus:

Appalachian State University
East Carolina University
North Carolina State University
University of North Carolina at Asheville
University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Financial Aid

  • Yes! You can use State/Federal Financial Aid towards your education abroad expenses
  • Make an appointment with your financial aid advisor to ask any financial aid-related questions
  • See our Financial Aid page for more information


  • Students are welcome to apply for as many scholarships that they are eligible for
  • Please see our scholarship page for more information regarding scholarships.

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Contact Us

Office of Education Abroad

CHHS 256
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001

Fax: 704‑687‑1661