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Spain - Valladolid (Exchange)

University of Valladolid

University Overviewmap of spain

The University of Valladolid is historically one of the oldest universities in Spain, serving students for over 700 years.  Currently boasting a student population of over 26,000 across its regional campuses throughout Castilla y León, the Universtiy of Valladolid remains a model of excellence in teaching and research, as well as a leader in the promotion of the language, heritage and environment of the Region of Castilla y León!

Students may study in a wide range of fields, however fluency in reading, writing, and critical discourse in Spanish is assumed for all applicants.

City Overview

The city of Valladolid is an important one to Spain's history, once the old capital and seat of the monarchy.  Today, it is a safe, clean, comfortable environment to learn and practice some of the purest Spanish in Spain.  Located only a short hour from Madrid by train, Valladolid offers a more tranquil feel to the capital city while offering many of the same venues for culture, tourism, and nightlife.

Program Highlights

  • Courses available for most majors provided prerequisites are met.
  • All classes are taught in Spanish, so a high level of proficiency in Spanish is required (recommended through Spanish 302).
  • Mentor Program for New International Students
  • Language Partnerships can be arranged with the International Office

Academic Calendarpalace of Valladolid, Spain

Fall Semester Early September to Late January

Spring Semester:  Early February to Mid-June

Please see the 2018-20 Academic Calendar for specific dates

Academic Focus

  • Exchange students can enroll in any class, provided they meet the prerequisites.  Certain fields may be space-limited and unavailable for visiting students.   Please be aware that there are four campuses of the University of Valladolid, three of which are in other cities in Castilla y Leon.   
  • Teaching can be much more lecture-focused than the discussion-based American model.  Keeping open lines of communication between your professor, teaching assistant and yourself will greatly help you, especially if you are having second-language learning issues.  Taking Erasmus courses with other international students might be helpful.
  • Confidence in both oral and written communication in Spanish is essential. All final exams tend to be comprehensive and essay style.  Advanced non-native speakers are still very much encouraged to apply!  Spanish skills will definitely improve while abroad!
  • All work transfers back to San Marcos and can be used to fulfill all graduation requirements.  Please review the grading scale for Valladolid to ensure you understand Spain's academic culture and how grades transfer back to the American system.

Language of Instruction



  • Class Level:  Upper-division status (completion of 60 units)

  • GPA of 2.75 or above and good academic standing to departure

  • Two and a half years or more college level Spanish

  • Special Note to Business Majors:  In order to receive credit for upper-division courses abroad, you must have already completed your Pre-Core course work at CSUSM.


12-15 semester units/24-30 ECT units (European Credit Transfer system).  Typically this equates to 4-5 classes/semester.

The European Credit Transfer system is calculated in a 2:1 ratio.  For example, a 6 ECT unit class will count as 3 CSU semester units.


There are a variety of housing options available in Valladolid, from homestays with Spanish families to individual rooms in shared apartments.  When you start the online registration procedure, you will be asked which housing type you prefer or if you would rather find housing independently.  The choice is entirely yours, however, independent housing students should plan to arrive at least two weeks in advance of the semester to search for apartments.  My suggestion is to allow the International Office to assist.

The three housing options you will be asked to rank are:

  • Room & kitchen in shared flat with other students
  • Individual room in a university dormitory
  • Individual room in a family homestay

Prices are not currently listed, by a general estimate of the same area during the Language & Culture track places monthly rent between $600 (no meal plan, apartment) to as high as $1,168 (meal plan, apartment) See Accomodation Form for reference.

Estimated Expenses

  • Students pay their normal State University Fee to CSU San Marcos, currently $3,858/semester. No tuition or fees due at the University of Valladolid.
  • Apartments near campus:  $600-$1,168/month, depending on location and meal plan selected.  All rooms are individual.  Homestays will be $980/month inclusive of meals and laundry.  The University of Valladolid also hosts an off-campus housing list of rentals according to neighborhood and city for students seeking independent arrangements.
  • Health Insurance:  $265/semester
  • Cost of meals and personal expenses will vary depending upon housing selection, but students should budget $240-$480/month.
  • Spanish Student Visa:  $160
  • Sample 2020-21 Budget

Application Deadlines

For Fall Semester/Year Study*:  March 15

For Spring Semester Study:  October 1

*Please note:  Fall semester exams can go into February.  There is no guarantee students can move exams up to attend Spring term at CSUSM.  Plan accordingly. 

How to Apply

  1. Visit the University of Valladolid website to learn more about the university.  From there, consider reading the Foreign Students' Guide on the International Relations website to familiarize yourself with the university and the international student experience there.
  2. Consult with the CSU San Marcos Study Abroad Advisor in ELB 588 to determine if you are eligible for this program.
  3. Find your degree plan (grado) and the listing of courses available. 
    • Final course registration is done on-site during the orientation program up until the third week of the semester.
  4. Consult with a faculty advisor in your major/minor department to determine if Valladolid courses will count toward your major/minor. If so, complete a Study Abroad Credit Approval Form
    • Note:  for GE classes, simply list those on your credit approval form.  This form MUST be submitted to Global Education before departure if you intend to receive academic credit.  Keep in touch with your faculty advisor for any changes in schedule once abroad.
  5. Order an official transcript from CSUSM and any other college from which you have taken a semester or more in classes (even if you have already transferred credit to CSUSM).  Please pick your transcripts up in person and deliver them to ELB 588
    • Keep in mind that transcripts are now taking 7-14 business days to process.  Plan accordingly.
  6. Create a login on the Online Register for the University of Valladolid International Relations Office.  From there, you will complete an online application through the Intranet portal.  If given the opportunity, please print your application to submit to Global Education, along with your transcripts, two passport photos and any additional supporting documentation.
  7. Submit additional application details to Global Education:  CSUSM General Study Abroad Application
  8. Submit your flight details to Global Education:  Flight Information Form
  9. Attend the pre-departure orientation and consult with the Study Abroad Advisor as necessary regarding the Student Visa process after Valladolid acceptance.

Catch a glimpse of University of Valladolid

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