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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
  • Designed for Spanish majors and minors to receive upper-level Spanish language courses
  • Spend the spring semester in Salamanca
  • 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 University of Kansas program in Salamanca 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 KU Department of Spanish and Portuguese and KU Office of Study Abroad 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. 

Academic Information: 

Students will earn 12 credits and are divided into two tracks, depending on previous coursework. 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 or SPAN 520 (3 credits) + SPAN 370 (1 credit)
  • Conversation course-SPAN 428 or SPAN 474 (2 credits)


Pre-requisite: SPAN 324/328

Students will enroll in SPAN 340: Textual Analysis and Critical Reading (3 credits) and one elective course at either the IES Abroad Center or UPSA (3 credits).


Pre-requisite: SPAN 340

Students will enroll in 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.

Courses at the IES Abroad Center are taught by IES Abroad faculty and classmates are students from the U.S. Courses at USAL and UPSA are taught by university faculty and classmates are Spaniards and international students.

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, organize activities such as dinners, bicycle tours, and movie nights, and help those students who enroll at USAL or UPSA learn about the university system and the enrollment process.

Tentative course list for IES Abroad courses

Please note that this list is subject to change. 

IES Abroad Course Title KU Department(s)*
Spanish Film Noir & Social Reality Film & Media Studies
The Franco Regime & the Transition to Democracy History or Political Science
Love, Sex, and Death in the Spanish Golden Age: 16th & 17th Century Drama and Poetry Spanish & Portuguese
Photographing Art & Monuments: Salamanca and the Golden Stone Design
Psychology, Health, & Wellbeing: Beyond just Treating Mental Disorders Psychology
Comparative Religion: Tracing the Path of the Spanish Soul Religious Studies

*The “KU Department(s)” column is intended to give students an idea of the focus of the course; however, if you would like to try to get the course approved as a different discipline, use the KU faculty and departmental advisor list to find the correct person from the department to approve it.  

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 majoring in that grado 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

View the Salamanca course equivalency log to see courses that students have taken in the past and how they've transferred back to KU.



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: 

IES Abroad staff will lead an orientation that will include comprehensive information about health and safety, culture, and living in Salamanca. Other activites in Salamanca over the course of the semester include a walking tour, theater performances, athletic events, concerts, cooking classes, and film screenings. Students can also participate in language exchange events and the IES Abroad Center 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.  

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. The KU Office of International Programs 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 late September so that IES Abroad can submit the visa application, including the passport, to the appropriate Consulate General of Spain for you in 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 2019

Start Date

The program start date is 01/17/19. In order to arrive in Spain on the start date, students must depart the U.S. on 01/16/19. 

End Date

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

Students who only take IES Abroad courses: 05/07/19.

Students who take courses at USAL or UPSA: The tentative end date is 05/15/19. Students will have exams between 05/07 and 05/14 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 05/15. The final exam schedule will be available after enrollment. 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 OSA Merit and Financial Need General Scholarship application to be considered for this scholarship.


Study Abroad Information Center
To learn more about your study abroad options, we encourage you to visit the Study Abroad Info Center (105 Lippincott Hall). The Study Abroad Info Center offers walk-in advising for current and prospective students. Drop by to learn more about program options, make an appointment with a study abroad program coordinator, get information on scholarships and financial aid, and talk to returned study abroad students. We also encourage you to explore the resources available on our website to learn more about the application process, KU Core Approved programs, and the cost of study abroad. 

Study Abroad Information Center
Lippincott Hall, Room 105
1410 Jayhawk Boulevard
Hours: Monday - Friday. 9AM - 5 PM
Contact: studyabroad@ku.edu

Study Abroad Financial Advising
The Office of Study Abroad has weekly 'You Can Afford to Study Abroad' Financial Aid and Scholarship Info Sessions/Open Meetings on Wednesday afternoons at 4:00 pm and Thursday afternoons at 2:00 pm in the Info Center (105 Lippincott Hall). The financial aid officer will be happy to take any questions and can offer individual advising at the end of sessions for specific concerns. For those that cannot attend the weekly Info Sessions due to scheduling conflicts, we also offer appointments for financial planning as well as financial aid and scholarship advising for students. Please visit 108 Lippincott Hall or call 785-864-3742 to set up an appointment.


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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
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times