Approx. Time Difference
Add 9 hours
- Pre-ILP + Fall
- Pre-ILP + Year
This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
“Granada is a beautiful city. It has the hustle and bustle of a big city but on a smaller scale and it definitely has exceptional nightlife. Starting a night out with Granada’s famous free tapas is a sure sign of a night to be spent laughing with new friends. The culture here is more than evident. The history represented by the majestic Alhambra palace and the small, winding streets of the Albaicín is obvious, and while losing yourself in these alleys you are bound to stumble upon a group of friendly Spaniards playing guitar, singing and perhaps even dancing flamenco.”
~ Allison Meins, UCSB
Click a heading below to see section content.
Study Centers Abroad
UC faculty and staff administer UCEAP programs in Spain. Every program in Spain has a corresponding UCEAP office that is staffed to assist program participants with academic, logistical, and personal concerns. The UC Faculty Director, who is responsible for all UCEAP Spain programs, will maintain an office at the Madrid Study Center.
University of Granada
Inmaculada Manrique, Sr. Coordinator
Centro Estudio de la Universidad de California
Colegio Mayor Isabel la Católica
Universidad de Granada
c/Réctor López Argueta, 8
18001 Granada, Spain
Phone: (+34) 958-20-38-94
UCEAP Spain Study Center Director
Prof. Stephen Small
Centro de Estudios de la Universidad de California
Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociología
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Despacho Nº 1601
28223 Madrid, Spain
Phone: (+34) 91-352-2402
The University of Granada
UGR Online Registration
You must complete an online admission form prior to departure. Refer to the Predeparture Checklist for details on how to complete the online registration.
UGR Program Description
The academic program at UGR consists of regular university courses in a wide variety of disciplines. With extremely rare exceptions, courses are offered in Spanish. Past UCEAP students at UGR have flourished in such disciplines as anthropology, art history, geography, history, political science, Arabic language, and Spanish-language literature. UGR also has very strong programs in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences and mathematics that are worth exploring by students who are majoring in the sciences.
The Granada Study Center offers optional Master Tutorials each semester to provide you with the listening and writing skills that are essential for success in UGR courses.
The Master Tutorials offered in 2013–14 are:
- Fall: Advanced Grammar and Composition, SPAN 123
- Spring: Advanced Instrumental Spanish, SPAN 116
Special tutorial sessions for courses with large enrollments of UCEAP students may also be arranged by the Study Center. With the approval of the Study Center Director, it is also possible for you to pursue programs of independent study under the supervision of a UGR professor.
All students are required to take a minimum of 18 UC quarter units (equivalent to 12 UC semester units) each term.
Contesting Grades at UGR
Within the first two weeks following the exams and after grades have been posted, professors at the University of Granada set aside a time to meet with students who wish to contest grades or discuss any concerns about course evaluations. The dates and times are announced during class or posted with the final grades. If you have questions about your grades for the term, take advantage of this period to confer with your professors. See the Study Center staff for more information if you have any questions about contesting grades during the two-week period following the end of the term.
Granada Fall Semester Students
You can take advantage of the same opportunities as those offered to year-long students; however, make sure not to register in year-long courses. Check with the Study Center staff if you have any questions.
Fall students are required to stay until the end of the program in February. This means you will miss winter quarter on your home UC campus. You may not request early exam dates; early departures from Spain are not allowed.
Be sure to speak with the Study Center staff early if you want to extend your stay through the end of the spring semester.
Volunteer Activities and Community Service
The UGR office, CICODE, coordinates and promotes volunteer activities for UGR students in which UC students may also participate. Positions in NGOs (ONGs in Spanish) and other entities specializing in international cooperation, immigration, disabilities, women’s issues, children at risk, health for the aged, and environmental protection, among others, are available.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Granada Fall Immersion
As with most rewarding experiences, extension to the year program in Granada requires an exceptional level of organization and maturity. You must be able to plan in advance and prepare for the extension while completing the fall semester in Granada.
If you think you might want to extend your studies to the year program at the University of Granada, you must complete the Departmental and College Preliminary Approval to Extend (DPA) form before departure for Spain and indicate that you want to extend. This form is available both online and at your Campus EAP Office.
Once in Spain, you must submit a completed Request for Final Approval to Extend (RFA) form to your Study Center Director before November 1. Once the RFA is approved by the Study Center Director, the Study Center will submit it to the UCEAP Systemwide Office for final review and approval.
If you fail to submit an approved DPA before departure, you may still have the option to extend to the year program in Granada. You will need to submit a Petition to Extend to your Study Center by November 1. Once approved, the Study Center Director will forward the petition to the UCEAP Systemwide Office and your campus for review and approval. This is a lengthy process that may take weeks to complete, and there is no guarantee you will meet the extension deadline. If you have any intention of extending, plan to submit an approved DPA before departure.
UCEAP must approve all extensions. Extensions are not guaranteed and requests are only considered when there is space in the program. The extension request must be supported by the Study Center Director, your UC campus department head, and your dean or provost.
Once your extension is approved, UCEAP will notify your UC campus registrar and Financial Aid Office. For information about the steps you need to take with regard to finances, see the Extension of Participation
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
If you are admitted for a full year program, you will be expected to complete the academic year in Spain. A request to shorten the stay will be treated as withdrawal from UCEAP with possible financial penalties.
Intolerance and Harassment
Improve Your Language Skills
Students with any doubts about their language abilities, especially aural comprehension and reading skills, should give serious consideration to participating in the pre-ILP in Cádiz.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
As is common in most of Europe, July and August are national vacation periods in Spain. By the time you get to Spain in August, most Spaniards are on vacation, many stores are closed, and services are curtailed, including public transportation.
In addition to the half-day orientation session, Study Center staff arrange various activities for your arrival and throughout your term. Among the events are:
- A tour of the Albayzin and Sacromonte
- Visits to the Alhambra, cathedral, and Alcaiceria market
Excursions during the orientation and ILP are included in your UCEAP fees and are meant to introduce you to the culture and historical sites of Granada. During orientation you will also meet your monitores, University of Granada students who will help you acclimate to Granada throughout the course of the ILP and also assist you in finding permanent housing.
Travel to Your Host Country
You are responsible for reserving and purchasing your tickets (even if you are on full financial aid). Your Financial Aid Office is not responsible for purchasing tickets. You are strongly urged to purchase a changeable airline ticket. Standby tickets are not appropriate for EAP.
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Plan to have access to at least $1,000 (in a combination of travelers checks and cash) for various initial expenses, including housing deposits and the first month’s lodging. Although ILP housing and meal costs are included in the UCEAP fees, bear in mind that you will begin looking for permanent year-long housing while the ILP is in progress. Many colegios mayores, boarding houses, and apartments in these cities require payment of up to two months’ rent in advance; you will need to have this money accessible when making housing arrangements.
Campus computer facilities are adequate, but are crowded during peak times. You can access the Internet through the University of Granada wireless connection in most of the facultades. The Granada Study Center will provide the login and password to use the service. To print their work, students frequently use printers at the facultades for €0,30–3,50 per page. Granada is full of Internet cafés and students can print their work there as well. Internet cafés usually operate during afternoons and evenings until 10 or 11 p.m. Internet cafés have various options and rates; past students recommend shopping around for the best deals. The Granada Study Center has only one computer available for students, and it does not have Internet access.
Granada: During the ILP, address mail to the Granada Study Center.
Centro Estudio de la Universidad de California
Colegio Mayor Isabel la Católica
Universidad de Granada c/Réctor López Argueta, 8
18001 Granada, Spain
Mail During the Year
Mail should be sent directly to your private housing after the ILP.
Pre-ILP and ILP Housing & Meals
Cádiz Pre-ILP Housing
All students who attend the pre-ILP in Cádiz will be placed in the campus residencia (university residence hall). Room and board for the Cádiz residencia is included in your UCEAP fees. The residencia is located directly on Cathedral Square in the historic old section of town. It is only a five-minute walk from Playa Victoria, a stretch of beautiful sandy beach several kilometers long, and a 10- to 15-minute walk to the university facultad where UCEAP classes are located. Photos, a map of the location, and information about the residencia are available online.
Pre-ILP housing is prearranged and is a program requirement. You may not arrange your own housing during the pre-ILP. Most students are housed in single rooms. Overnight guests are not permitted.
You cannot arrive early to the residencia. If you arrive in Cádiz before the official start date of the pre-ILP, you must arrange your own accommodations. You must move out of the residencia on the date indicated on the Cádiz program calendar.
Living standards in Europe are different from those in the U.S., and residencias tend to be smaller and older than U.S. dorm rooms. All rooms are fully furnished singles with private bathrooms. Rooms are cleaned twice a week. Bed linens are provided, but you must bring your own towels and toiletries. Coin-operated washers and dryers are available for use 24 hours a day.
Meals During the Cádiz Pre-ILP
Three meals a day are provided in the residencia cafeteria from Monday through Friday. On weekends, only breakfast is provided. You may find the diet in Cádiz heavy on fish and olive oil; however, the residencia cafeteria makes an effort to provide an assortment of vegetables and fruits at every meal.
During your program’s ILP in Granada your housing is prearranged in a local colegio mayor (roughly equivalent to a dormitory). Photos, maps, and information about the colegio are available on their websites, listed below:
The website may include online room reservation services; you do not need to use these as your room will be reserved for you by UCEAP.
ILP housing is prearranged and is a program requirement. Room and board for your ILP colegio mayor are included in your UCEAP fees. If you move out of your ILP housing early and into your own housing, you will not be issued a refund.
Most rooms at the Colegio Mayor Isabel la Católica are single rooms. Dorm rooms are reserved for UCEAP students only. Overnight guests are not permitted in the dorms or private homes (family or friends may not stay with you). Dependents and spouses may arrive at the end of the ILP. They cannot be accommodated in the ILP housing.
You may not arrive early to the colegio mayor. If you arrive early to your host city you must arrange your own accommodations. You must move out of the colegio mayor on the date indicated on your program calendar.
Living standards in Europe are different from those in the U.S. and rooms in a colegio mayor tend to be smaller and older than U.S. dorm rooms. All rooms are fully furnished. Rooms are cleaned twice a week. Rooms in the colegio mayor have their own showers and toilets.
Bed linens are provided, but you must bring your own towels and toiletries. Coin-operated washing machines are available for students staying in the residencias.
Meals During ILP
During the ILP, any meals provided at the colegio mayor are included in UCEAP fees. Three meals are provided Mondays through Fridays, but no meals are included on weekends. Breakfast, which is not considered a “meal” in Spain, usually consists of a roll or bread and coffee—many students find it an adjustment to attend morning classes without a more substantial start.
Housing after the ILP
You must find and arrange for your own housing for the year beyond the ILP. There are many types of housing options from which you can choose. Students usually rent an apartment, live in a private home, live in a boarding house (pensión or hostal), or live in a university residence hall or colegio mayor. The availability of each of these depends on the city in which you will be studying.
During orientation you will learn more about how to find housing for the remainder of your term. You can generally expect to look in newspapers, check fliers posted around campus, and talk to other students. Study Center staff will discuss housing options and provide assistance, such as guidelines for interpreting leases, pointing out better (and worse) areas of town, etc. However, finding and arranging housing is ultimately up to you. It can be stressful, although returning students generally describe it as a unique and ultimately positive experience that fully immersed them in the host city.
If you can’t find housing by the end of the ILP, you can temporarily live in a pensión or hostal while locating permanent housing (students also frequently stay in one or the other while traveling).
Housing costs vary according to what type you choose. For an estimate of room and board costs, look at the UCEAP Student Budget in the Participants section of the UCEAP website. Specific housing information at each UCEAP host university is provided in this chapter.
After the ILP you will pay rent directly to your landlord—not to UCEAP. You are personally responsible for all housing and meal costs following the ILP.
Types of Housing
Each apartment is unique and will vary in size, condition, and location. Keep in mind that living standards in Europe are different from those in the U.S. and apartments tend to be smaller and older.
Apartments are usually rented furnished (including some kitchenware). Prices vary greatly depending on the area. You will be required to pay a deposit and/ or first and last month’s rent in advance. Make sure to request a receipt stating the conditions for return of the deposit, or you will likely lose it. If you rent through an agency, be prepared to pay a non-refundable agency fee equivalent to one month’s rent.
Apartments are less restrictive than other living situations and offer more privacy. If you plan to bring a dependent or spouse with you, this may be a good housing option. However, many start-up issues must be attended to, and living independently or with other American roommates can impair integration into the Spanish community. It is important that you seek out Spanish roommates in order to achieve a truly educational and culturally rewarding (if initially more demanding) experience.
Colegios mayores (residence halls) generally are run by religious orders and are subsidized by the Spanish government. Rules and regulations, especially in women’s halls, have been strict in previous years, but certain rules are easing, and the curfew has been extended until 2 a.m. or, in some halls, lifted entirely. In Madrid, residence halls that are under the regulation of the Complutense University are not as strict. These residence halls are not run by religious orders and some are coed. However, it can be difficult to secure a room.
The halls provide numerous activities and the opportunity to live with Spaniards of similar ages and interests. They also provide an excellent opportunity to speak Spanish. They may, however, be expensive compared to private rentals. The social and residential atmosphere in the Colegio Mayor during the year, when Spanish students are also in residence, is somewhat different than a U.S. dormitory. A Colegio Mayor is more like an English college house; each has its own rules and traditions, and offers a variety of academic and social activities such as lectures, musical performances, sports clubs, etc. Residents are expected to take an active part in the Colegio life.
The primary purposes for being with a host family are to interact socially and culturally, to acquire knowledge about Spanish daily living, and to improve language proficiency in Spanish. It is expected that everyone, including other guests in the home, will speak Spanish at all times. If a host family requests that you speak in English, it may be beneficial to work out a reciprocal arrangement whereby you occasionally speak in English, while remaining committed to using their help to learn Spanish.
Living in a private home usually means sharing a room with another student (either Spanish or some other nationality) or possibly having a single room in the home of a Spanish couple or señora. Although you will be living in their home, the “family” may not treat you like a member of the household. This is a business relationship and is a common arrangement for Spanish university students or young professionals.
Homes and Rooms
Homes and rooms in Spain tend to be smaller than is typically the case in California. Storage space tends to be limited and amenities may be different from what you are accustomed to in the U.S. (for example, many rooms have no closets). You may encounter certain inconveniences: lack of central heating, air-conditioning, and laundry facilities; restrictions on the use of hot water and electricity; charges for the use of the telephone, etc.
If you are living in a family environment, adhere to the customs established in the house for all members of the household. Be considerate as to your arrival times at night and in the early morning hours. Be aware of noise level and avoid rowdy behavior when others might be sleeping. You will have to ask permission to bring any guests home. Overnight guests are usually not permitted. Remember that many Spaniards smoke, even in the house.
Although meals sometimes are offered with the cost of the room, consider arranging for the room only or partial meals, since you will be in school during the main meal.
Boarding house options include living in a residencia, pensión, or hostal.
A residencia usually provides room and board to about a dozen or more men or women. A residencia might be one or two floors of a particular building with a number of bedrooms, and a common eating and living area. The residencia is rarely coed. The person running the residencia typically prepares the food and sets residencia guidelines. The people living in the residencia tend to stay for extended periods of time, from a few months to a few years, and the boarders usually integrate with one another more than they would if in a pensión or hostal.
A pensión or hostal would be similar although typically smaller and perhaps without the dining and common living area. Both usually consist of individual rooms in a building. In some pensiones, you may stay indefinitely, but hostales usually require guests to move after a limited time period. Most pensiones will not reserve rooms ahead of time; if they do, they frequently require a large, often non-refundable deposit. In a hostal, students do not reserve rooms in advance, but space may be reserved on a day-to-day basis after checking in. A family often operates a pensión or hostal as its primary business. Pensiones and hostales offer service and convenience that are rated by officially regulated categories on a one- to five-star system. Hostales are not the same as hosteles (as in “youth hostel”).
Meals after the ILP
The cost and set-up will vary depending on where you decide to live. You are responsible for all meal costs. If you decide to live in an accommodation that includes the cost of meals, you must pay for the meals even if you miss them.
Some of the best and least expensive food is offered through a colegio mayor or residencia. You must purchase meal plans in advance for this service, but you do not need to be residents of these establishments to take part in their meal plans.
University restaurant cafeterias are designed specifically for students and the food is cheap, filling, and nutritious. Spanish students eat the basic fare of an appetizer, main dish, dessert, and a drink for approximately €5,50. Vegetarians may substitute the main dish with a salad, bread, or another vegetable. Sandwiches or baguettes are between €1,50 and €4, and other options include coffee with milk, €0,85; croissant, €1,50; Coca-Cola, €1,10; combined dish, €3,50.
You can arrange to receive meals at university-subsidized cafeterias, where the main meal costs less than in other cities. University restaurants are open from early October to mid-June and closed during all official holidays.
In areas of town near university campuses there are often shops and bars that serve cheap bocadillos, sometimes for as little as €2.
UCEAP staff in Granada will provide you with an orientation session dedicated to finding housing, including where and how to look for housing, safe and unsafe areas, and a list of apartments that had been rented by previous UCEAP participants. In addition, University of Granada student monitores will be available to help you negotiate rents and agree to rental terms.
Most students share apartments. Furnished apartments in Granada are common, although bed linens are not included. It is not difficult to find housing in Granada and year-long leases are typically not required. If you are not happy with your living situation, it is usually no problem to find another. Last year, rental costs ranged from approximately €250 to €300 per month for a room in a shared apartment, depending on location and amenities.
Remaining in the colegio mayor
used during the ILP is difficult because Spanish students reserve rooms several months before the academic year begins in September. A UC student interested in staying at a colegio mayor
would have to contact them directly by logging onto the University of Granada
website, then going to Servicios, then Residencias y Colegios Mayores.
During the ILP, the Study Center organizes a monitores program, in which Spanish university students help UCEAP students during their first weeks in getting to know the city, handling the practical details of living in Granada, finding lodging after the ILP, as well as visiting cultural and historic sites in and around Granada. Once the university semester begins, inexpensive excursions for students are offered through the university extension service, as are numerous cultural events. The university publishes a weekly paper listing cultural and extracurricular activities.
Granada is only 37 miles from the coast and 20 miles from the mountains, allowing for outdoor activities of various kinds throughout the year. Nearby are exceptional ski resorts and mountain hikes, and many students join hiking or ski clubs. The university’s Centro de Actividades Deportivas
offers a variety of activities including fitness classes, team sports, and inexpensive skiing trips to the nearby mountains. Students must purchase a membership card for an annual fee.
Granada is a university town and student life is vibrant. While there are many students from other parts of Europe and the U.S., the foreign student population is not overwhelming, as can be the case in other southern Spanish university cities.
Students with Disabilities
Talk to the Study Center coordinator for referals to local medical practitioners. There are many clinics you may visit for regular appointments in case you are ill. In case of an emergency, there are four hospitals available. There is no university health center.
Cádiz: There is no university health center, but students may visit a local clinic: Clinica La Salud, C/ Feduchy s/n.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
UCEAP Contingency Planning
Forest fires occur frequently in Spain during the summer months, especially in southern areas of the country.
The University of California, in accordance with applicable
Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.