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Semester in Salamanca, Spain

Semester in Salamanca, Spain
Earn upper-level Spanish language and elective credits in historic Salamanca.
Salamanca, Spain
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
Political Science
International Business
Global & International Studies
Communication Studies
Program Type: 
Semester or Academic Year
Fulfills KU Core 4.2
  • Designed for Spanish majors and minors to complete several upper-level Spanish language courses in one semester
  • Spend the spring semester in Salamanca, Spain
  • Live with a host family to improve conversation and language skills
  • Open to students who have completed SPAN 324 and SPAN 328
  • Dr. Robert A. Granberg Memorial Scholarship available. See Further Reading below for more information
Program Summary: 

The Salamanca program is designed for Spanish majors and minors seeking a spring semester study abroad program in Spain. The program is especially attractive to students entering the major or minor because it’s the only program where students can earn SPAN 340 abroad. In order to allow maximum flexibility for students of various majors while providing opportunities for students to reach their language learning goals, the program consists of foundation courses plus electives. In addition to academics, the program also has several excursions included so students can better understand Spanish history and culture. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Study Abroad & Global Engagement have created this program especially for KU students by partnering with IES Abroad, a study abroad program provider who has offered programs in Salamanca for more than 25 years.  




Located in northwestern Spain, Salamanca’s history dates back to medieval times and is closely tied to the University. UNESCO declared the city center a World Heritage Site and Salamanca was a European Capital of Culture in 2002. Salmantinos proudly declare the Plaza Mayor one of the most beautiful in Spain and other architectural marvels such as the Catedral Vieja (built in the 12th century) and the Catedral Nueva (built in the 16th century) can be seen. Train and bus connect Salamanca to major urban centers in Spain, Portugal, and the rest of Europe. This vibrant university city has many restaurants, museums, and cultural sites of interest.

Universidad de Salamanca

The Universidad de Salamanca (USAL), founded in 1218, is considered one of the oldest Spanish universities. USAL has approximately 30,000 students and because it is one of the top-ranked universities in Spain, it attracts students from all over Spain, Europe, and the rest of the world. Students can take courses in anthropology, art, biology, business, chemistry, economics, education, history, law, linguistics, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology. There is a two course minimum at USAL.

Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca

The Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (UPSA) is a private university with around 4,000 students located just a few minutes from the center of Salamanca. Students can take classes in journalism, psychology, education, humanities, and theology. 

IES Abroad Center

The IES Abroad Center is in the heart of the city and has a library, computers for students to share, wireless internet, and a writing center. Additionally, local Spanish students volunteer as orientation leaders and mentors and help students become familiar with Salamanca by explaining the university systems and enrollment processes to those students who enroll in USAL or UPSA courses and organizing activities such as dinners, bicycle tours, movie nights, etc.

Academic Information: 

The Salamanca program is a 12-credit program. Students who wish to take additional credits will be charged the corresponding tuition. All students will work closely with the IES Abroad Center staff to enroll in classes and will take a language placement test.

All students will take the two foundation courses at the IES Abroad Center:

  • Grammar course-SPAN 424 (3 credits) + SPAN 370 (1 credit) or SPAN 520 (3 credits) + SPAN 474 (1 credit)
  • Conversation course-SPAN 428 or SPAN 470 (2 credits)

Additionally, students will be in one of two tracks and take two additional courses. 

Advanced Track

Pre-requisite: SPAN 324/328

  • SPAN 340: Textual Analysis and Critical Reading at the IES Abroad Center with KU students as classmates (3 credits).
  • One elective course at either the IES Abroad Center or UPSA (3 credits).

Superior Track

Pre-requisite: SPAN 340

  • Two elective courses (6 credits).
  • Possible course enrollments include two courses at USAL, two courses at UPSA, two courses at the IES Abroad Center, or one course at UPSA and one course at the IES Abroad Center.

Elective courses are offered at three institutions: 

  • IES Abroad Center- Courses are taught by IES Abroad faculty and classmates are students from other U.S. institutions. 
  • Universidad de Salamanca (USAL)- Courses are taught by university faculty and classmates are Spaniards and international students. There is a minimum enrollment of two courses at USAL. 
  • Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (UPSA)- Courses are taught by university faculty and classmates are Spaniards and international students. 

Students are encouraged to use the following resources to research available courses on the Salamanca program and to determine if these courses will meet their academic requirements at KU.

IES Abroad Center courses

Please see below for the tentative IES Abroad course list and the approved equivalents from the KU Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Click on the course title to access the syllabus. Students are free to get any course approved in a different manner if they so choose. Please note that this list is subject to change. 

IES Abroad course KU course equivalent
Spanish Film Noir & Social Reality SPAN 441
Contemporary Spanish and Latin American Women Writers SPAN 440
Photographing Art & Monuments: Salamanca and the Golden Stone SPAN 470
The Franco Regime & the Transition to Democracy SPAN 453
Comparative Religion: Tracing the Path of the Spanish Soul SPAN 494
Love, Sex, and Death in the Spanish Golden Age: 16th & 17th Century Drama and Poetry SPAN 451

Additionally, the IES Abroad Center offers a psychology course called "Psychology, Health, and Wellbeing: Beyond just treating mental disorders" that could be assigned an equivalent through the Department of Psychology. 

USAL and UPSA Academic Information

If you will be taking courses at USAL or UPSA, you can begin exploring course options at the two universities. The Plan de Estudios is a list of courses that students in each grado (major) take each year. This is a good starting point to find classes and some syllabi. Please be aware that course options in other departments or grados could exist.

Before starting your search, read a letter from the IES Abroad Center Director for more detailed information about the schools’ websites and searching for courses. 

USAL (2 course minimum)

To access syllabi, once on the website, you have to click on Guía Académica and then choose a year under Asignaturas

KU Major or Minor USAL Grado
Biology Grado en Biología
Business  Grado en Administración y Dirección de Empresas
  Grado en Economía
  Grado en Gestión de Pequeñas y Medianas Empresas
Communication Studies Grado en Comunicación Audiovisual
English Grado en Estudios Ingleses
French Grado en Estudios Franceses
Global and International Studies Grado en Ciencia Política y Administración Pública
Pre-Medicine Grado en Enfermería
  Grado en Medicina
Pre-Physical & Occupational Therapy Grado en Fisioterapia
  Grado en Terapia Ocupacional
Psychology Grado en Psicología
Sociology Grado en Sociología
Spanish Grado en Filología Clásica
  Grado en Filología Hispánica
  Grado en Lenguas, Literatura y Culturas Románicas
  Syllabi from the Facultad Filología


To access the syllabi, click the course title. 

KU Major or Minor UPSA Grado
Business Grado en Marketing y Comunicación
Communication Studies Grado en Comunicación Audiovisual
  Grado en Marketing y Comunicación
Journalism Grado en Periodismo
  Grado en Publicidad y Relaciones Públicas
Pre-Medicine Grado en Enfermería
Pre-Sports Science Grado en Ciencias de la Actividad Física y del Deporte
Psychology Grado en Psicología
Speech-Language-Hearing Grado en Logopedía

KU Course Equivalency Database

This is a list of: 

  • Courses that are currently pre-approved for KU credit (approved equivalency)
  • Courses that students have had approved for KU credit in the past (possible equivalency)

You can find approved and possible course equivalents for IES Abroad Center, USAL, and UPSA courses in the KU course equivalency database. 

Credit Approval Process: This is the procedure for obtaining KU course equivalency approval for courses you plan to take abroad. 

All courses taken and grades earned while abroad must be posted as KU equivalents on a student's KU transcript and grades will figure into a student's KU GPA. The relavant KU academic department will make the final decision regarding posting of credit and their application toward graduation. 


IES Abroad will place students in homestays with local families in order to further language skills and learn more about Spanish culture. Homestays are located throughout Salamanca and within a short commute or walking distance from the city center. Three meals daily and internet are included. One or two students will be placed in each homestay.

Please note that housing is not provided during the week of Spring Break, although students may leave their items at their host family’s home during that week.


Life Abroad: 

Upon arrival, IES Abroad staff will lead an orientation that will include comprehensive information about health and safety, culture, and living in Salamanca. During the semester, students can participate in other activities such as theater performances, athletic events, concerts, cooking classes, film screenings, and language exchange events. Additionally, IES Abroad staff can facilitate volunteer placements for interested students. In the past, students have volunteered at local social service agencies.

The program also includes day excursions to cities such as Zamora and Segovia and a weekend excursion to Portugal, with stops in Lisbon and Coimbra. For an additional fee, students can sign up for a weekend excursion to the Sanabria Lake Nature Reserve. 


Open to students who have completed SPAN 324 and SPAN 328 and have a minimum 2.75 GPA.

All students must obtain a student visa prior to departure. Student passports must be valid for six months after the program end date. Order or renew passports now because they take a minimum of six weeks to process and the student visa takes an additional four to six weeks. Contact the Program Coordinator for more information. 

Further Reading: 

Get to know Salamanca’s plazas, churches, university, night life, restaurants, and much more in the Salamanca-Ciudad del Español video.

Also, read blogs and watch a video from students participating in IES Abroad's Salamanca programs. Please note that these students are participating in the regular IES Abroad Salamanca program, not the KU customized program, so their programs are slightly different. Listen to a radio show that students on the Spring 2017 program recorded.  

Follow the IES Abroad Salamanca Center's Instagram at iesabroadsalamanca

Passport and student visa information
All students must obtain a student visa in order to study in Spain. Students who do not have a passport should apply for one immediately. KU International Affairs offers passport services.

Students with passports should verify that the passport is valid for six months after the program is over. If it does not meet this requirement, it must be renewed prior to applying for a visa. It takes at least six weeks for the passport to be processed.

It is recommended to have the passport by September so that IES Abroad can submit the visa application, including the passport, to the appropriate Consulate General of Spain for you in late September or early October. Students who do not meet IES Abroad's deadline will be responsible for traveling to appropriate consulate to submit their application. Please see the required reading "Salamanca visa and date information" in the application or contact the Program Coordinator for more information.

Program date information-Spring 2020

Start Date

The program start date is 1/16/20. In order to arrive in Spain on the start date, students must depart the U.S. on 1/15/20. 

End Date

The end date will depend on each individual student's enrollment and final exams schedule.

Students who only take IES Abroad courses: 5/1/20.

Students who take courses at USAL or UPSA: 5/20/20. Students will take final exams between 5/1 and 5/19 and will depart their housing the day after their last final exam. Depending on each student's exam schedule, they may be done with exams before 5/19. The final exam schedule will be available after enrollment in Salamanca. For these reasons, it is recommended that students purchase airline tickets with open-ended or flexible return date policies.  

Dr. Robert A. Granberg Memorial Scholarship
Fund created by the Granberg family.  Dr. Granberg taught at the University of Kansas for many years in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Awards range from $500 - $1,000 for students pursuing academic programs in Spain with preference given to students in Linguistics or Spanish and Portuguese.  Apply online through the Study Abroad & Global Engagement Merit and Financial Need General Scholarship application to be considered for this scholarship.


Fall 2020 & Academic Year 2020-2021 programs now accepting applications !

Study Abroad Information & Advising
Our office is still available to help you with your study abroad questions.  Click here to set up an E-advising appointment with our team.

Study Abroad Financial E-Advising
Personalized advising through phone appts, Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM, call 785-864-3742 or email nicholas.f.kellerman@ku.edu

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9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
18th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
28.1% of KU undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation.
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
The Office of Study Abroad and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
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