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.


If your program needs to hire a lecturer, critic, or staff assistant who are based in León, the following must be taken into account:

  • If the individual is a US citizen or permanent resident, s/he must be paid directly by UW Accounts Payable as an independent contractor. Contact the IPE Office for further details and forms.

  • If the individual is not a US citizen, the preferred payment method is through field advance. However, if the individual is a Spanish tax payer and can provide an acceptable invoice (with Spanish tax code), payment may also be made through the León Center and billed to the program.

    If payment is handled through the UWLC, a withholding tax of 20% calculated on the net amount must be paid on behalf of the individual to the Spanish government and charged to the program.


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.


In general, people planning to stay 90 days or less (during a 180 day period) in Spain do not need a visa. 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