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Country-specific Information: Spain and Uruguay

Spain (General)

Accommodation

  • If you’re studying, check out student halls with the RESA
  • If you’re looking to rent independently, check out Compartepiso.es and Easypiso.es
  • If you’re looking to share, check out SegundaMano and Craig’s List
  • Find out if you could benefit from a scholarship, grant or award from the Spanish university system
  • Another option is Idealista.com - the site lets you select many different preferences (town, price range, male/female flatmate), it has a constant stream of new properties, and it's easy to contact the owners via phone/email without having to pay or create a profile.

Financing

The following may be useful:

Socializing

This site has lots of useful information:

Telephone

Useful advice here:

University-Specific Information

(This should be read in conjunction with the more general information on Studying at university in Spain)

Spain

University of Alcalá

  • The webpage of the University of Alcalá is: www.uah.es. It is likely that you will get an email either directly from them or via us with details about matriculation, and that you will be invited to fill in an electronic form and return a printed version of it.
  • Alcalá is only a short distance from Madrid, by either train or bus. Full information on getting there is available in the Guide for Erasmus students you will receive from Alcalá.
  • Information on accommodation is available on the web, and will also be sent to you. Some previous students at Alcalá have thought that staying in a hall of residence was a good idea; others have thought the halls were too far away and cheaper accommodation could be found in town. You may like to arrive a few days earlier to explore the situation for yourself. Previous students have also recommended that you check Cambi-Hernares, a newspaper with local ads for flats.

University of Granada

  • The webpage of the Universidad de Granada is: www.ugr.es. It is likely that you will get an email either directly from them or via us with details about matriculation, and that you will be invited to fill in an electronic form and return a printed version of it.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  • The webpage of the University of Pompeu Fabra is: www.upf.edu, which contains full information about courses in Catalan, Spanish and English.
  • You can travel to Barcelona by plane from Scotland and England. There are frequent bus and train services from the Airport into the centre of town, Plaza de Catalunya.
  • The following advice on accommodation is based on the experience of previous students. Near the Plaza Catalunya, there are a number of pensiones where you can stay whilst you look for more permanent accommodation. The Generalitat (Catalan government) runs an accommodation service for young people. Their address is: Secretaría General de Joventut, Oficina del Programa Habitatge Jove, Calàbria 147, 08015 Barcelona. Tel.: (93) 4838392; you can also consult their webpage: www.habitatgejove.com. Past students have also recommended that you check the noticeboard at Facultad de Filología, Unversitat de Barcelona (not UPF, but the big city University), Plaza Universitat, Metro: Universitat, which is good for rooms in student flats. There is a hall of residence, but St Andrews students have tended not to stay there. Be careful not to part with any money in terms of commission or other shady deals before you are happy with the room or flat. A month’s deposit and a month’s rent in advance are standard.
  • As you will see Catalan is the local language. It is similar to Spanish and French, and you won’t find it difficult to follow it after a while. Your classes will generally be in Spanish, and every Catalan speaker also speaks Spanish. You will thus become familiar with one of the representative aspects of the rich variety of Spain’s culture.

University of Santiago de Compostela

  • The webpage of the University of Santiago is: www.usc.es. You can find courses in Spanish or other subjects by clicking on Facultades e Centros, then, under Facultade de Filoloxía, click Guia do Centro, then, Licenciatura en Filoloxía Hispánica (or Francesa, etc.). This will give you the list of subjects. The site also contains other information about the University, such as the dates of the academic year. You should have a look at it, in order to familiarise yourself with the university and the city of Santiago.
  • You can travel to Santiago by plane from London. You can also travel by train from Madrid (there is an overnight train, and a TALGO that travels during the day; also, a good bus service). Information on travel can be found on their webpage: follow “Internet” and then “Información para o visitante”. There are buses from the airport every hour or so, and taxis.
  • Information on accommodation will be sent to you by Santiago. Places in Halls of residence are few; some previous students at Santiago have accepted a place, but later relinquished it (on the grounds that the residence becomes lonely at weekends as most students go home). You may prefer to arrive with a few days to spare before the beginning of term and find a place at a pensión whilst you search for a place in a student flat. The University has a number of notice-boards with plenty of adverts for flats.
  • As you will see, Galician is the local language. Galician is similar to Spanish, and you won’t find it difficult to follow. Your classes will generally be in Spanish, and every Galician speaker also speaks Spanish. You will thus become familiar with one of the representative aspects of the rich variety of Spain’s culture.

University of Valladolid

  • The webpage of the University of Valladolid is: www.uva.es. You can find information about courses by searching under www.fyl.uva.es. It is likely that you will get an email either directly from them or via us with details about matriculation, and that you will be invited to fill in an electronic form and return a printed version of it.
  • Valladolid is two hours north of Madrid, so once you arrive at Barajas airport (Madrid), you can take a taxi to either the bus station or the railway station. You should be given information on getting there in the Guide for Erasmus students from Valladolid. There is a section on Information for Erasmus students, including a number of relevant forms (accommodation, pre-sessional course, etc.) under Relaciones Internacionales on the Valladolid webpage. Recently, Ryanair have started a direct flight Standsted-Valladolid, which you may like to check.
  • Information on accommodation will also be sent to you. Some previous students at Valladolid have thought that staying in a hall of residence was a good idea; others have thought that cheaper accommodation could be found in town. You may like to arrive a few days earlier to explore the situation for yourself. Valladolid also offers a good pre-sessional course, which you have to pay for, but it seems good value. Recommended.

Uruguay

University of Montevideo

Semester Dates, Pattern of Studies, Fees

Semester Dates

As Uruguay is in the southern hemisphere, their calendar runs from March to December, and so students from St Andrews start in the Uruguayan semester 2 and move on into the next year’s semester 1, as follows: Semester 2 [roughly corresponding to St Andrews Semester 1]: early August to late November for classes, with exams in December, up to about the 22th. Semester 1 [roughly corresponding to St Andrews Semester 2]: early March to early July, with exams in July. 

Please note that some courses do not require you to take exams, either because they are assessed through coursework, or because you can take parciales (course section tests) and if you pass these you are exempt from taking the exam. Please check with the tutor at the start of classes. Please also ensure that you tell your teachers that you are an exchange student from St Andrews and that the courses you take in Uruguay are an integral part of your degree.

You will be contacted by their International Office for a formal application and registration. Our Study Abroad Office and the Department’s Study Abroad coordinator will provide advice.

NB: You are advised to travel two or three weeks earlier than the start of the semester in order to settle in, and also to allow another couple of weeks for your return journey.

Pattern of Study

You will do the equivalent of the credit load of local students, which is in line with 60 St Andrews credits. If you are a Joint Honours student, you should divide your studies equally between your two subjects, although the range of courses will not be suitable for all Joint Honours degrees. You must check with your second School if they approve courses at UM. Otherwise, students can go only for one semester when they focus on Spanish, to then do their second subject in the other semester in St Andrews.

The marking scale in Uruguay is 0-12 and there is an approved conversion table that translates marks into the St Andrews scale. Further information on the process of mark conversion is available in the Year Abroad handbook.

NB: most courses require a minimum level of attendance (usually 75%). Do make sure you fulfil this requirement or your evaluation will suffer – potentially you could fail for this reason.

Spanish Courses

  • Spanish courses should be combined as follows: both modern and pre-modern literature or history or linguistics (though this last is generally found too daunting by our students unless they have already studied linguistics in St Andrews); both Spain and Spanish America.
  • We do not accept, for credit, Spanish Language courses designed for foreign students. You can study grammar or linguistics courses that are part of a normal degree for local students, in degrees such as Humanidades or Traducción
  • The level should ideally be equivalent to our Honours, i.e. years 3 and 4. Courses from the first and second year can also be taken if they are suitable - though you may find your classmates will be younger than you.

Your Other Subject Courses

Remember that these must be approved by the Study Abroad Coordinator in your other subject.

Certificate

You will need a Certificate saying that you are a bona fide student from St Andrewsthis will be provided either by Study Abroad or by the Department’s Year Abroad Coordinator. You should take your St Andrews matriculation card with you.

Fees

There are no fees to pay at the Universidad de Montevideo. You will however continue to pay your St Andrews fee as normal. Please contact Study Abroad at studyabroad@st-andrews.ac.uk if you have any questions about this.

Practical Advice: Travel, Accommodation, Health, Visas, etc.

Travelling to Montevideo

Several airlines travel to Uruguay though no direct flights are available from the UK. Routes are via Buenos Aires or San Paulo / Rio de Janeiro. British Airways flies to Buenos Aires, and Lufthansa goes via Frankfurt. Iberia flies directly Madrid-Montevideo; and Latam go London-Montevideo via Brazil. Whilst you may like to surf the Internet for offers, a reliable and respected specialist travel agent is Journey Latin America, www.journeylatinamerica.co.uk. Cheap tickets go quickly, so make sure you act on this with plenty of time. If you have arranged accommodation with a family (see below), they will usually pick you up from the airport, which is not far from the city. Otherwise you can take a taxi into town which would be the equivalent of about 30-50 US dollars; check with the driver about an approximate charge beforehand, though taxis in Uruguay are reliable and always have their meters on. Airport taxis are more expensive than regular Montevideo taxis (the airport is in the Departamento de Canelones, neighbour of Montevideo); if you want to save money you can ring a Montevideo radio taxi from the airport – but perhaps you can leave this for the second time you arrive! Uber is well-established too. You can change money at the airport although this is likely to be more expensive, so change enough to get you home and leave the rest for later. The driver may be able to accept dollars. There is also a tourist office at the airport that can advise on accommodation, etc. (although ideally you should of course have arranged this beforehand).

Whilst there are no ERAMUS grants for EU students, there may be some funding you can apply for at the university: please see our Finance and Scholarship webpages at https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/study-abroad/finance/

Accommodation

The Universidad de Montevideo will provide you with a list of landlords that offer accommodation to visiting students. You can also draw on the experience of St Andrews students who have been to Montevideo – your year abroad coordinator will give you’re their contact details. Some of them chose to stay with a host family, and they can put you in touch.

If you choose to rent on your own or with other students, you should arrive several days early and seek accommodation locally. This may not be as easy in Uruguay as it is in Spain as most students still live at home or (if from the interior of the country) with relatives in Montevideo. You can search the national papers for flats; El Gallito Luis, a supplement of the daily El País, is useful http://www.elpais.com.uy. If you go along this route, do make sure you are clear about what exactly is covered by the rent, as there are bound to be other expenses (gas, electricity, water, but also municipal taxes and, for most flats, “gastos comunes” to cover the employment of a portero and the lighting of communal areas). There are several cheap and clean hotels about (see below under Useful Links below) where you could stay when you arrive for a few days until you find something more permanent.

Vaccinations

Health and Safety is generally good in Uruguay, but check the Foreign Office webpage (www.fco.gov.uk) for recent advice. Access to medical help is very easy; you will need to pay for services but normal consultations and tests are not expensive. You will be covered by the University Insurance, and you will be given information about this at the preparatory meetings organised by our Study Abroad Office. If the UM asks you for your hospital of choice in case of emergencies, you could say it would be the Hospital Británico. You should also check the Foreign Office’s information concerning any other countries you may want to visit whilst you are in South America.

Visas

You don’t need a Visa to enter Uruguay if you have a European or American passport, and you will be allowed to stay for 90 days on arrival. After that, you can either leave the country and get a new stamp on your return for a new 90-day period, or you can go to Dirección de Migración in Ciudad Vieja and get an extension (costing currently about £22).

You should check with your own Consulate in the UK about visas for other nationalities.

British Consulate in Montevideo:

Calle Marco Bruto 1073

11300 Montevideo

PO Box 16024

(598) 2622 3630 or 2622 3650

http://ukinuruguay.fco.gov.uk/en

Uruguayan Consulate in London:

150 Brompton Road, 4th floor, Knightsbridge,SW3 1HX

Telephone (00 44)207 584 4200

email: urureinounido@mrree.gub.uy

http://uruguay.embassyhomepage.com

Useful internet links on Uruguay:

www.uruguaytotal.com

www.uruguay.com

A Couple of Video Clips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3649081qMCc&feature=related

(Informe Semanal, from RTE)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dadPWhEhVk

(“Ataque de pánico”, a short which won a number of prizes)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ykxpu5tUKs

(A tribute to Uruguay by the Latin American Forum of the USA)

A tourist guide to Uruguay: Uruguay (Bradt Travel Guide), by Tim Buford.

Reading and Watching on Uruguay:

The St Andrews University Library has a fine collection on Uruguay. You should have a look at some of it, so that you are better prepared for your visit. You may like to start with some of the following:

  • Gran enciclopedia del Uruguay, in 4 vols. with articles on all sorts of things (2000-2004)
  • Nahum, Benjamín, Breve historia ilustrada del Uruguay independiente (2005)
  • Caetano, Gerardo & José Rilla, Historia contemporánea del Uruguay: de la colonia al siglo XXI (2005)
  • San Román, Gustavo. Soy Celeste: Una investigación sobre la identidad de los uruguayos (2007)
  • Oddone, Gabriel, Uruguay en el mundo actual / Gabriel Oddone París. 2014.

 Some Uruguayan Films (all DVDs in the UL):

El viaje hacia el mar (2003). Directed by Guillermo Casanova

Whisky (2004). Dir. Juan Pablo Rebella & Pablo Stoll

El baño del Papa (2007). Dir. Enrique Fernández & César Charlone

Gigante (2007). Dir. Adrián Biniez

Mal día para pescar (2009). Dir. Alvaro Brechner

La casa muda (2010). Dir. Gustavo Hernández


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