SPRING, SUMMER & FALL 2021:
Please do not book any travel until we have advised you to do so. Once we have advised you to book your travel, we strongly recommend that you purchase a changeable ticket in the event conditions change.
Whether you’re still deciding on courses or you’re packing your bags, you can always contact our staff to help you along. Yes there is paperwork and yes there are decisions to make around course selection, housing preferences, dates, travel necessities, registration, budgeting and more. Our staff can walk you through it all.
Once you apply to Arcadia, our program managers are in regular contact with you about the status of your application and they send out extensive information that will prepare you to go abroad, including information on culture, politics, history and the local higher education system.
Once you arrive, our staff will meet you and introduce you t o your accommodation and your orientation program will begin – to help you settle in academically, practically, culturally and socially.
First! Home school arrangements
- Let your study abroad advisor know that you are taking part in an Arcadia University program.
- Cancel any housing or meal contracts for the time you’ll be away and make arrangements to reactivate them when you return.
- If registration for next year's courses on your home campus will take place while you are abroad, ensure that the appropriate arrangements are made with your registrar or study abroad advisor.
- Some students enrolled on semester programs decide when they are overseas to stay for the full year. This is possible. While home college approval for continued study can be obtained when you are abroad, it will be much easier to make the necessary arrangements and receive preliminary approval before you leave the U.S.
A study abroad experience is first and foremost an academic experience, which is why Arcadia the process of credit and grade conversion is critical. Understanding the overseas educational system and assigning the correct number of credits to a program is vital.
Arcadia provides information on credit transfer and conversion (i.e. how credits will appear on an Arcadia transcript) at the time you chooses courses. Converting credits into U.S. semester hours accurately is essential, both in ensuring that you continue to make progress towards your degree and to verify your academic load while abroad. The Arcadia University Undergraduate Academic Program Committee and Registrar work in conjunction with our overseas staff to review our conversions to make sure they accurately reflect a full-time load at the overseas institution where you are studying. We look carefully at the question of what constitutes a full academic load for a degree-seeking host country student and base our determination of equivalence on that. Arcadia University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Any grades that appear on an Arcadia transcript must meet Middle States' standards.
You will receive a letter grade on a scale from A to F for every course you take while enrolled on an Arcadia University program. Although policies at your individual home institution may differ, Arcadia does not permit any student to take courses on a credit/no credit basis. In order to determine grade equivalencies, we look at data about grade distribution in the host institution and at information about what constitutes a minimum passing grade at the host institution in addition to the host institution's suggested "translation" scales. Arcadia University is obligated to uphold the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools' standards. Therefore, we conduct our own independent evaluations in accordance with our responsibility. You will be provided with a table explaining how your grades will appear on an Arcadia University transcript when you go through the orientation process overseas.
At the conclusion of a program, we will send an official Arcadia University transcript to your home school and an unofficial copy to you. This transcript will list the course numbers and titles exactly as they appear on the original transcript from the university or program which you attended.
It’s important to think about all the expenses you are likely to incur while abroad so you and your family can plan ahead. Your program Fees section explains what your program fee does and does not cover, and will provide you with an overall estimate of expected expenses. For example, your airfare to your host country is not included in your program fee. It is important to note that the "Estimate of Additional Expenses" information is provided for planning purposes only, and may vary according to your own personal spending habits.
Items to consider
- Expect to spend extra on meals and basic expenses during your first couple of weeks in-country as you settle in.
- If you are living in self-catered accommodation you may have to budget for some household items such as pots, pans, silverware, sheets etc.
- The cost of meals, books, local transport and personal items will vary. Check out the FAQ section for tips on phones and vacation travel considerations.
- Count up your weeks of study and vacation, if any, under your program.
- Transportation - The Fundación will provide a transportation pass, valid for a month, for you. Monthly transportation passes are called abonos. The abono will allow you to use the public transportation system to get around the city.
- Make daily and weekly budgets and stick to them.
Sample Budget Worksheet
|Full program fee (including $500 deposit)
|Meals (#program weeks _ x $ _ per wk)
|Special Courses Fee
|Stafford Loan (deduct 5% for origination fees)
|Other financial aid
The Spanish currency is called the euro (€). You can check today's rate by using an exchange rate currency calculator. You'll be able to use euro coins anywhere within the 18 member nations of the Eurozone.
You will soon become an expert at international banking transactions...
Contact Your Bank
Before you leave the US contact your bank and/or credit card company to let them know that you will be studying abroad – where and for how long.
- If your bank is not aware that you will be using your card(s) overseas, they may cancel your card(s) due to suspicious activity outside your normal spending patterns.
- Also confirm with your bank that you will be able to use your card(s) overseas and what their fees are.
- Ask your bank for a list of overseas outlets where your card is accepted.
- It's a good idea to arrive with at least the equivalent of $200 in your wallet exchanged into local currency – you can do this at your local bank if you give them notice or at the airport for a hefty charge.
- Your American ATM card should work at most banks overseas including your arrival airport. Local banks, building societies or a Bureau de change will also exchange currency but note their operating hours - Banks open around 8:30 am and close at 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and are closed on Saturdays.
Cash Machines (ATMs)
If your ATM card is linked to the Plus or Cirrus systems, your card will work in thousands of cash machines throughout Spain. The advantage to using your American ATM card is that you will be assessed the wholesale exchange rate that applies to large foreign currency transactions. That said, have other sources of money in case your ATM card does not work.
You can use most credit cards in Europe but some places in Spain don’t accept them. They must be in your name, as it appears on your passport. Visa and MasterCard are more widely accepted than American Express but AmEx Offices can assist you with cashing US checks. Credit card cash advances are considered loans, so interest is charged from the day the advance is made. Before you depart, check with your card company for more information on what services you’ll have where, what fees are involved and what to do if you lose your card.
In an Emergency
When the program is in session, our Barcelona or Granada Centers can make emergency loans to students. Students must sign a promissory note and repay the loan as soon as they receive money from home. If you find yourself in dire financial straits while traveling, the State Department can help your family transfer money to you (provided you are a U.S. citizen).
Your Program Manager will alert you via email when it is time to book your flight. You are responsible for arranging and purchasing your own flight. To get yourself there on time, you’ll have many travel aspects to consider.
- Please be aware of any country-specific entry requirements as they relate to COVID-19, such as required testing or quarantine. The most up-to-date version of these evolving requirements can be found on Spain Travel Health.
- Purchase a ticket that is changeable or refundable. Check airline policies and choose an airline with precautionary measures you’re comfortable with. When selecting an airline and itinerary, prioritize safety over cost as much as possible.
- You should book your flight to arrive at Federico García Lorca Airport (GRX). To minimize entry complications, you should fly directly to Spain from your home country, landing in Madrid (MAD), Barcelona (BCN) (before having a connection to GRX. We strongly discourage any airport outside the European Union (especially the UK), as their travel regulations, restrictions on mobility, and entry requirements are different from the EU.
- If you have connections, having a layover in the United States would have less risk of complicated entry requirement issues than if you connect in a country other than the US or Spain.
- You will need a passport that is valid for the full length of your stay in Spain, plus three extra months after your program end date. Allow plenty of time to apply for your passport (processing can take as long as twelve weeks). You can see the current average passport processing times on travel.state.gov.
- In order to travel, you must complete the Health Control Form (HCF) and obtain a QR code to be presented once you land.
- Be sure to arrive on the scheduled arrival date. If you are unable to for any reason, please consult with your Program Manager.
- Unvaccinated students and all students living in apartments need to arrive on May 27th and quarantine for five days. A €90 housing charge will be added to your student account for these additional nights. On the 31st, you will take a rapid Covid-19 test and end your quarantine if the result is negative.
- Fully vaccinated students living in a homestay can arrive on May 30th and do not have to quarantine upon arrival. Please be in touch with your program manager if you plan to arrive on May 30th. If you wish to arrive on May 27th, you may, and a €90 housing charge will be applied to your account for the additional nights in Granada.
- Arcadia staff will arrange your transportation from the airport to your housing accommodation, and will meet you at your housing accommodation to help you check in.
- Once you arrive at your accommodation, you will be required to quarantine for five days in your room and take a rapid Covid-19 test. The only exception to this is for fully vaccinated students in a homestay - you do not have to quarantine for those first five days.
- Arcadia will send you an Arrival Guide via email with more arrival details approximately two weeks before departure.
- Complete the Online Flight Form once you have booked your flight. We can only arrange your airport transportation once this form is completed.
- Please note that you must attend all portions of your Arcadia orientation, including the virtual pre-departure session and any mandatory in-country orientation programming as listed on your Program Dates page.
- We strongly discourage students from arriving early, before your scheduled program start date, due to changing entry restrictions and quarantine requirements. If you plan to do so, please consult with your Program Manager. Students who arrive early assume all associated risks, and are responsible for arranging transportation and accommodation.
- Review our Program Expectations.
For summer 2021: In order to study in Spain under the current Covid-19-related entry policies, you will need to show a variety of documents.
- Passport (valid during the period of stay + 3 months)
- Return ticket (to your country of origin within the 90 days of stay)
- Letter of enrollment and medical insurance (Arcadia will provide this to you closer to departure)
- Health Documentation
In order to study in Spain for three months or longer, you are required to obtain a National Visa. We strongly encourage you to begin this process as early as possible, as it can take 8-10 weeks to complete. A full visa guide pack will be sent to you outlining exactly what you need to do. Please note, you are personally responsible for visiting the website of your local Spanish consulate to obtain the most up to date and authoritative application requirements.
Four Steps to obtaining your Temporary Long Stay Visa for Spain
- Obtain a valid passport - Please visit the U.S. State Department travel pages for the most up-to-date information regarding passport application and fees.
- Identify the Spanish Consulate Office that will deal with your visa - You will be submitting your visa application to a Spanish Consulate for processing. Please visit the Spanish Embassy for details. Most consulates require an appointment in person in order to apply for the student visa and we advise you to set this up as soon as possible. If you are in the New York City jurisdiction, speak with your Program Manager for specific instructions.
- Complete your visa application - Download and complete the Application for a National Visa.
- Collect your visa materials - You will receive in your Acceptance Packet from Arcadia essential documents for your visa application:
- Arcadia University Certification Letter — verifying your enrollment with Arcadia University of proof of financial means
- Health Insurance Letter — verifying your international health and accident coverage for the duration of your program, meeting all minimum coverage requirements
- Spanish Certification Letter — verifying your attendance at a Spanish institution
In addition, you will need to compile other information (note: each consulate office operates as an independent office and can require additional materials. We advise that you check your local consulate office’s website to confirm their requirements before applying for your visa.)
- Passport. Please be sure that it is signed and valid for a minimum of 6 months after your program return date.
- 4 Passport-sized Photos. These will be glued to your application.
- 2 Copies of the Completed National Visa Application.
- Spanish Certification Letter. Included in your acceptance mailing for Barcelona & Toledo.
- Arcadia University Certification Letter. Included in your visa pack.
- Arcadia University Acceptance Letter. Included in your visa pack.
- Health Insurance Letter. Included in your acceptance mailing.
- A Copy of your Flight Itinerary/Airline Tickets. Please be sure that this includes your specific arrival and departure details.
- Money Order Payment. Cost of a student visa may vary by Consulate, please check the individual websites. Payment must be in the form of a money order payable to the Consulate of Spain. Please be sure that your name appears on the money order.
- Proof of financial means, as defined by the specific Spanish consulate to which you are applying for your study visa.
- Receiving your Visa: Please follow the Consulate’s instructions on how to obtain your processed visa. Some Consulates require passports with processed visas to be collected in person, others may allow materials to be returned by mail. If you passport and processed visa can be return by mail please use a Pre-Paid US Postal Service Express Envelope, in order to track your passport and visa and ensure that you receive it in a timely manner.
- Some consulates may also require your academic transcript and additional identification.