Prior to arriving in Spain

Before embarking on your time studying abroad, it's crucial that you do some serious homework beforeand. Look at the checklist below to make sure you're prepared - which will mean your stay in Spain will go even more smoothly!

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When deciding which program is the best option for you, don't forget to consider the following points:

•  Make sure your institution will give you credit.
Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your plans. If you decide to come to Spain with a program that is not from your institution, you may have to do some extra work to receive credit, but even if you receive credit, the classes may not count towards your major. Even so, if you receive credit, the classes may not count towards your major. Consider these issues before you leave!

• Find out if your program is a member of APUNE, in Spain. Being a member of APUNE guarantees that your credits will be recognized:

Member programs in alphabetical order

• Member programs by city in Spain

•  Financial aid. Find out what your institution offers when you study in another institution's program. Ask the International Studies Department for information about scholarships. Sometimes you can find scholarships specifically for students who will be studying in Spain. Start researching financial aid you might receive at least six months before you go.

After you have been accepted into a program, you should start planning your trip, it is important that you take into account the following recommendations:

•  Make sure your passport is valid. You must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after your arrival in Madrid. Don't forget that the process of obtaining or renewing a passport takes a few months. We have a page on visas and passports with more information.

•  Find out if you need a visa or not.
A foreigner who wants to study in Spain for more than three months needs to apply for a student visa. To obtain a visa, you must apply for it at the Spanish consulate designated for your state or jurisdiction. It is essential to obtain a visa before leaving the US. You cannot obtain a visa in Spain. You also cannot apply for a visa more than 90 days before your departure, nor less than 15 days before leaving. Remember that to obtain a visa, you need a valid passport. For more information, visit our passport and visa page.

Contact your program staff about special needs. You should inform your program staff about medical issues, mobility problems or learning problems, your program, especially if you will be living with a family. Do not expect that they will have resources in Spain nor that they will be prepared to accommodate your needs unless you inform the university in advance.

You should be willing to work with your program so they can find the best housing option for you.

Special diets or allergies. If you have allergies to any type of food or substance eaten, or follow special diets for religious, personal or medical reasons, your program should be informed about this. You should be clear about the things you can and cannot eat.

Health insurance. If you do not have your own health insurance, you could have serious problems in Spain. It is very important to ensure that you will have medical coverage in Spain and other countries you visit. You must have an insurance plan that has at least a $250 annual deduction for all covered expenses. This mandatory health insurance must also offer 80% coverage (after deduction) of at least $50,000, and a coverage period that spans from the beginning to the end of the program. Additionally, it must include medical evacuation and repatriation costs. Find out about how to use insurance abroad, and how to make a claim. Don't have health insurance? Your program is going to require you to get it. Remember that it is always better to have insurance and never use it than to not have it and need it.