OVERVIEW OF UWLC
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 the Director of Program Development/Administrator and the Executive Director. Students should direct program-related questions or concerns to the director of their program, who will consult with UWLC staff if necessary.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
You must have a valid passport to travel to Spain, and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the last day of the program.
You should consult the Spanish Consulate in San Francisco's webpage for up-to-date visa information and requirements. In general, if you are an American citizen AND:
- the program in which you are participating is less than 90 days (during a 180 day period), you do not need a visa to study in
- the program in which you are participating is longer than 90 days (during a 180 day period), you do need a student visa and should consult the Spanish Consulate in San Francisco's webpage for the application procedure.
**If you are not an American citizen, you should consult with the Consulate of your nationality and/or the Spanish Consulate in San Francisco to determine if a visa is required.**
CASH & FINANCES
The currency used in Spain is the Euro. The conversion rate between the Euro and the U.S. Dollar can change daily, so please consult an online currency converter, such as the
Oanda Currency Converter, for the current exchange rate.
The amount of spending money required in León will vary from person to person and program to program, depending on travel plans, eating preferences, and other personal expenses. Make sure to ask the director of your program how many meals per day (if any) are included in the program fee, how many meals you will have to pay for out-of-pocket, and if there are any additional expenses not covered by the program fee.
Euros for Arrival
It may be helpful to have some Euros for your arrival, although ATMs can be found in most major airports in Spain and should allow you to withdraw Euros from your American bank account.
Credit Cards/Bank Cards
Credit and bank cards are used widely throughout Spain and are a convenient way to obtain local currency when traveling abroad. Using your credit or bank card will save you the time of waiting in lines at the bank or at a casa de cambio (exchange office), and the exchange rate is usually better than in banks or exchange offices. They can also because be replaced relatively easily if lost or stolen, and are accepted in most shops and Spanish ATMs.
Be sure to inform your bank and/or credit card company that you will be using your card in Spain, and confirm with them the following before you leave: international cash advance charges, your PIN numbers, and from which account your money will be drawn.
Before you leave, make sure that you have finalized all financial aid paper work so that you do not run into financial difficulty once you are abroad. Bring with you the name and contact information of your Student Loan Officer, in case you need to contact him/her while in Spain.
Beginning January 1, 2011, all UW students participating in a departmental study abroad program are required to purchase the UW Study Abroad Insurance.
**Please be aware that if you receive medical attention while in Spain, you may be required to pay for the medical care upfront in cash and then send the receipt and claim form to the U.S. insurance
company for reimbursement.**
Medications and Prescriptions
If you regularly take a prescription medicine, bring enough medication (in the original, labeled bottle) to last for the duration of the program. In addition, you should bring a copy of the written prescription in case it needs to be filled while you are in Spain. Other prescription items, such as glasses and contact lenses, should be brought from home and you should plan to bring an extra pair.
DO NOT MAIL MEDICATIONS, VITAMINS, OR COSMETICS! Packages arriving in Spain that contain medications, vitamins, and cosmetics are stopped at customs and, unless accompanied by a Spanish prescription, medications may be confiscated.
WHAT TO PACK
Be conservative with luggage - bring only what you are able to carry by yourself. Your bags should be lockable and your purse and camera bag should have adjustable shoulder straps.
The weather in León is hot and dry in the summer, and cold in the winter (it is not unusual for it to snow during the winter months). Suggested clothing includes turtlenecks and sweaters (to layer), coat or jacket, lightweight raincoat and compact umbrella, walking shoes, sandals, one pair of dress shoes, pants and skirts, t-shirts, long shorts, bathing suit, bathrobe, and one formal outfit.
Funding for Study Abroad
Living in León