- Location and Housing
- Pricing and Dates
- Program Staff
- Application Instructions
- Additional Information
The University of Cantabria is a young and dynamic public university founded in 1972. Founded with its main purpose of contributing to social progress via its commitment to teaching and scientific excellence, Cantabria is one of the first nine Spanish Universities that have been awarded the “International Excellence Campus” by the Ministry of Education. Cantabria has worked to become an internationally recognized university by expanding its international student population and strengthening its international community. Set in the beautiful capital of Cantabria, Santander the campus is nestled between classical architecture, wide green spaces fit for sport, and located near what’s been called one of the world’s most beautiful bays, Cantabria is a prime location for students seeking an academically rigorous education paired with a fun and thriving coastal environment. This program is university-wide, meaning any undergraduate Pitt student regardless of major may participate.
As an active and engaged participant on this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:
- the ability to succeed independently in a foreign education environment.
- non-US based perspectives on your field of study and/or future career path.
- a global network of peer in similar fields of study and connections with faculty in Spain.
The city of Santander is located in the region of Cantabria, which lies on the norther coast of Spain between Asturias and the Basque Country. The coastal landscape of beaches, bays, and cliffs blend together with valleys and highland areas. Santander is a coastal city that grew in the 19th century thanks to flourishing commercial activity and also thanks to tourist activity promoted by the Spanish Royal Family. It currently offers a friendly atmosphere within an outstanding natural setting with large beaches and attractive promenades.
Cantabria offers options for university-affiliated housing or private accommodations. Although Pitt students are not guaranteed spots within university-affiliated housing, Cantabria will provide instructions on when and how to apply for housing. See Cantabria’s general housing website.
At UC, courses are taught in Spanish and in English, which a majority in Spanish. For specific courses taught in English, see UC's site.
Credits taken at UC are evaluated on an ECTS scale and will transfer to Pitt according to a 2:1 ratio. For example, 10 ECTS credits will transfer as 5 Pitt credits. All credits taken at UC require approval by both your academic advisor(s) and study abroad program manager. Additionally, for the purpose of full-time status here at Pitt, students should be prepared to take what is equivalent to at least 12 Pitt credit hours.
Courses taken at UC will be treated as transfer credits and will be marked as pass/fail (S/NC) on a Pitt student's transcript. In other words, transfer credits will not affect your Pitt GPA. Actual grades earned will appear on the transcript from the exchange university.
As a part of the cultural experience, UC offers Spanish Language Courses specifically designed for visiting students. These may be considered for credit or not for credit. Verify with the study abroad program manager regarding their transferability.
Unlike Pitt, UC’s grading scale assigns numerical values between 0 – 10, with 10 representing the highest grade achievable. For more information about the grading scale at UC, see their explanation. For Pitt transfer credit, in order to earn a grade of “S,” (satisfactory) at Pitt, you must make an equivalent to a grade of “C” or higher. An equivalent to a “C-” or lower will result in a grade of “NC” (no credit) at Pitt. Pitt students may utilize the following online resource to understand the grading scale within this host country.
UC will provide hardcopy (or electronic transcripts) to the University of Pittsburgh’s Study Abroad Office. Make sure to follow their instructions on how to ensure that an official copy of the grades is received. Hardcopies should be sent the following address: 3959 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA. Electronic copies should be sent to the designated exchange program manager under “SAO Staff.”
Exchange university transcripts typically do not arrive from the exchange university until 3 to 4 months after the end of exchange period. Therefore, Pitt students should be mindful of how this may affect their ability to graduate, especially when exchanging during one's senior year. Another consideration is how this may affect your financial aid package, as the S/NC grades are not posted until transcripts are received.
The national grading scale goes from 0 to 10. All subjects passed must be given a numerical grade to a decimal point, from 5.0 to 10 according to the following scale:
A - Sobresaliente: from 9.0 to 10
B - Notable: from 7.0 to 8.9
C - Aprobado from 5.0 to 6.9
D - Suspenso: from 0 to 4.9
Items Billed by Pitt
|Study Abroad Fee||$400||$400|
|Total Billed by Pitt*||$10,259||$17,273|
Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs
|Travel Expenses: Airfare, Passport, Visa, Resident Permit||$2,000|
|Room & Board||$4,240|
Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates. However, you may need to purchase additional insurance if the exchange university you will attend requires purchase of a specific health insurance coverage per their regulations. It is your responsibility to ensure you know the cost of that insurance prior to committing to the program.
Pitt students enroll at Cantabria for either a full semester (fall or spring) or a full academic year (two full semesters). Cantabria's academic calendars may differ from Pitt's normal fall (August through December) and spring (January through April) semesters, so Pitt students should check the academic calendar at the exchange university. Like Pitt, Cantabria’s academic calendar follows a Fall-Spring progression, meaning Fall is the first semester followed by the Spring semester as the second. Because Cantabria’s academic calendar varies significantly from Pitt’s, exchanging for only the fall semester is not possible. However, if a single semester at Cantabria is desired, then the Spring (or second) semester is the only option. The dates listed above are estimated and therefore subject to change according to the host university’s schedule.
Hailing from the great state of Texas, I am the exchange program manager at the Study Abroad Office at Pitt. I am so excited to be a part of your exchange experience, be it here at Pitt or over at another institution overseas. I studied abroad in Tuscany, Italy, while I was in school and absolutely loved all the experiences that came with exploring fresh pasta, Renaissance art and new experiences. I certainly hope that you will love your exchange experience just as much wherever you choose. Outside of the office, I am all about cities, food, art history and tea. Good eating and traveling! Let me know if you should have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or at +1 412-383-7165.
Pitt sends a limited number of students per semester to Cantabria. In addition to applying to the Pitt Study Abroad application above, be sure to review Cantabria's website regarding their application requirements for incoming exchange students. A formal nomination from Pitt Study Abroad is required for Pitt students to be recognized as an exchange student at Cantabria. Therefore, Pitt students must complete all necessary Pitt Study Abroad steps in addition to Cantabria's requirements. In other words, acceptance by Pitt Study Abroad does not guarantee acceptance by the exchange university.
The exchange university may require the following to be submitted through an online application. Requirements may include but are not limited to the following:
- Application Form
- Copy of Valid Passport
- Official Pitt Transcript
- Official Pitt Verification of Enrollment
- Statement of Intent or Purpose
- Resume or CV
- Official Language Evaluation
- Up to 2 instructor letters of recommendations
- Up to 2 passport photos
Language Requirements: In order to take courses in Spanish at Cantabria, Pitt students are advised to submit evidence of B1 level Spanish proficiency. Please check with Cantabria regarding these requirements.
Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates.
In order to study as a student in specific countries, a visa is required. A visa is formal endorsement by the host country to grant permission for an individual to enter, live or stay in that country for a specific purpose and period. In addition to a visa, some host countries may require a residency permit upon arrival.
For those without EU/EEA nationalities, students must obtain a student visa or permit to study in Spain. For an overview regarding the visa or permit process, please review Cantabria's website. Also, check the Spanish Embassy or consulate closest to you for additional information. Cantabria will provide general direction after formal admission on for how to apply for either the visa and/or residency permit. Pitt students should also research the visa and/or permit process through the specified country consulate website. In general visa and/or permit application requirements include but are not limited to the following requirements:
- Visa application
- Valid Passport
- Verification of acceptance from sponsoring university (exchange university)
- Financial Documents, such as bank statements, tax documents or pay statements.
- Passport photos
- Application fee
- Medical/physical examination (likely to require a doctor's appointment so plan accordingly)