Creating a Study Abroad Program at the Center


The University of Washington León Center (UWLC) is administered by the College of Arts and Sciences. It is staffed year-round by an on-site Resident Director, and is supported on-campus in Seattle by a Director of Program Development.


The Director of Program Development on campus in Seattle can advise program faculty on matters of program length, activities, and student orientation. Program Directors should contact the Director of Program Development regarding program scheduling, including the availability of space at the Center. In conjunction with UWLC staff in Seattle, UWLC staff in León will assist with arranging student housing, excursions, and special permissions for program visits. Please see the Timeline for an outline of the planning process.


In coordination with UWLC staff in León, UWLC staff in Seattle can provide you with a tentative budget for your program in León. If you would like to put together your own budget for the program, this Budget Guidelines Sheet can be used to estimate the cost of your program. You may also want to download a Leon Center Budget Template and take a look at IPE's Budget Planning Instructions for additional information.


It is possible to arrange a 2-5 credit Spanish language and/or culture class as part of your program, to be given by local faculty at the University of Leon Language Center. Students can either be enrolled directly in an appropriate class at the University of Leon Language Center, or participate in a class open only to your students at the UW León Center (provided that at least 10 of your students are at the same level of Spanish). UWLC staff in Seattle will arrange for correct placement of your students, and will report the grades for the class to you at the end of your program, which should be included in your grade report.

PLEASE NOTE: If you would like to award SPAN credit for the Spanish class in León, you must contact the Chair of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Ana Gómez Bravo ( Due to Spanish & Portuguese Studies policy, programs originating in departments other than Spanish & Portuguese Studies may only award SPAN 199 and SPAN 299 credit, upon approval from the Chair.


Program Directors should plan to arrive at least 1 day before the program start date and stay a few days after the end date (to be present for student departures and tie up any loose ends).

Directors are expected to be available for their students in the case of weekend and evening emergencies. We strongly encourage Directors to plan any personal travel prior to or following the completion of the academic program in León. When it is necessary for program faculty to be absent, arrangments should be made with another experienced faculty member to assist with student emergencies.


Program Directors will stay in apartments in or near the city center, and housing will be arranged by the UWLC staff in León. If you have a special housing request, please let the UWLC staff in Seattle know as soon as possible so that we can try to arrange it.


There are two options for housing in León: homestays with local families, or placement in a university residence hall. UWLC staff in León will arrange the housing option you prefer for program participants.


Faculty planning to bring family to León are responsible for arranging for child care (if necessary). The León Center staff cannot find or guarantee the quality of any child care workers.


Due to the complexities of arranging excursions, the León Center staff needs excursion information as soon as possible- at least three to four months before the start of the program.

If changes to the dates, locations, and/or vehicle reservations for excursions are made after the start of the program, the prices originally quoted for the trip cannot be guaranteed. Changes in reservation dates for buses and hotels can often be costly and may prove impossible at certain times of the year.

If interested in arranging visits to sites requiring reservations or special permission in or outside of León, the Program Director should submit these requests to UWLC staff at least one to two months before the beginning of the program.


American citizens planning to stay 90 days or less (during a 180 day period) in Spain do not need a visa. Citizens of other countries may require a visa for entry into Spain. Please see visit the Spanish Consulate in San Francisco's webpage for up-to-date visa information and requirements.


Seattle:    Please schedule mandatory orientation sessions in Seattle prior to departure for León. These sessions greatly contribute to the success of study abroad programs and should include the specific issues that is covered on the pre-departure information page for students. As part of these sessions, Program Directors should impress upon their students that students' individual actions in León affect their entire group, and that students represent the University of Washington and the León Center itself.

León:    During the first day or two of the program, UWLC staff in León will conduct a student orientation session and distribute copies of the León Center Student Handbook. The orientation will cover UWLC rules and discuss various aspects of living and studying in León.


The UWLC office is not staffed to provide clerical support to professors. Staff cannot provide assistance with typing, photocopying, running errands, or assist with personal travel arrangements. The office computers and equipment may not be used by faculty or students.


We recommend that you bring a laptop to León. The Center does not have an on-site computer lab, however it is outfitted with high-speed wireless internet.


See also…

Using the Center for a Conference

Current Programs at the Center

Previous Programs at the Center