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Direct Exchange Programs - University of Santiago de Compostela

Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (USC) was found in 1495 and it recently celebrated its 500th birthday. It is located in buildings throughout the impressive surroundings of the city of Santiago de Compostela. Its faculties are divided between the north, south and central campuses. It is one of the top academic institutions in Spain and is a major research institution. It is home to 35,000 students and hosts more than 1,500 international students each year. It has two campuses: the Santiago de Compostela campus and the Lugo campus, which is located 90 km (60 miles) northwest of Santiago. Both cities have been declared world cultural heritage site by UNESCO.


Spain is a diverse country located in Mediterranean Europe and is the second largest country in Western Europe (behind France). With great beaches, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities, Spain makes a great destination for any kind of trip. Spain has hundreds of interesting cities. Some of the major travel destinations include the capital Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Cordoba, Granada and Valencia. Some of the important historical sites include the Alhambra, Granada, the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, or the Roman Aqueduct of Segovia. There is everything from lush meadows, snowy mountains, huge marsh and salines, and some desert zones in east Andalusia. Spanish music is often considered abroad to be synonymous with flamenco, an Andalusian musical genre, which, contrary to popular belief, is not widespread outside that region. Alongside music, art is also very culturally influenced as well as the architecture, food, and literature.

Santiago de Compostela

The city of Santiago de Compostela lies in the northwest corner of Spain in the autonomous region of Galicia. It is well known as the destination of many religious pilgrims who follow the road to Santiago that ends at the impressive Obradoiro Square in front of the Cathedral, which boasts an impressive Baroque facade. The city itself is very much a university city, with nearly a fourth of its population of 150,000 made up of college students. The old city is an enchanting maze of narrow cobblestone streets. Santiago is also less than an hour from the Galician coast and beautiful port cities of La Coruña, Pontevedra and Vigo. The region of Galicia, with its rolling hills and fertile lands, is extremely green and enjoys a steady share of rain year-round.

Areas of Study (in Spanish)

Spanish language, literature, and culture taught by the Modern Languages Center especially for international students.

In Spanish: Anthropology, Art History, Business, Biology, Economics, Geography, History, International Relations, Natural Sciences, Philosophy,  Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.


  • Minimum overall GPA 2.75
  • A minimum 5 semesters of Spanish language study is required for this exchange program.


Estimated budget for one semester at University of Santiago de Compostela.


Fall semester 2013: September 6, 2013 to January 31, 2014

Spring semester 2014: January 28 to June 31, 2014

In university courses, final exams are scheduled after the term ends, and can run through early February and early July.  Students who intend to study in Spain for one semester should plan to apply for the spring semester. For more information, visit Academic Calendar.


Students enroll in regular university courses. Most classes are taught in Spanish. While some courses are taught in the regional language of Galician, exchange students can find a full load of courses taught in Spanish.

Full-time enrollment:

UMaine students must be registered for at least 24 ECTS credits each semester. Students are not encouraged to register for more than 30 ECTS credits each semester.

Transfer Credits:

2 ECTS credits = 1 UMaine credit

Language courses 15 contact hours = 1 UMaine credit

Language Courses and Levels:

A 1 and A 2= 100 level

B 1  = 200 level

B2 = 300 level

C 1 and C 2 = 400 level

Grading Scale:

Letter Grade Number Grade UMaine Grade
Sobrasaliente 9-10 A
Notable 7.0-8.9 B
Aprobado 5.0-6.9 C
Suspenso 0-4.9 F
No Assistencia   L
Assistencia   Audit


Student housing is scattered throughout the city of Santiago de Compostela in publicly and privately owned student residences.  The SUR (Servicio Universitario de Residencias) maintains a listing of available housing.  Meals may be taken at reduced rates at one of the student cafeterias throughout the city, eaten at local restaurants, or cooked for oneself.  Bus service throughout the city is excellent. The University has an active student life with regularly scheduled concerts, lectures, and movies; opportunities for involvement in sports; and a whole variety of student clubs and organizations. Accepted students may apply for housing in the residence halls. Other housing options are available.

Helpful Links

Student Voice

My study abroad experience was absolutely worthwhile. My command of the Spanish language is one hundred times better than before I left. I also met wonderful and interesting people from all over the world, and I wouldn’t trade that cultural exchange for anything. I lived in an on campus dorm first semester and then moved into an apartment for the second semester. I traveled all over while, both in Spain and out of Spain: Morocco, Belgium, London, Budapest, Valencia, Seville, The Canary Islands, Portugal, and others.  In addition to all of this, I just enjoyed participating in the local cultural events in Santiago.

I could practice the language with everyone I encountered, even with international students. Even though we were from all different countries and spoke all different languages, Spanish became our common language (even though most people did speak some English). I used Spanish every day in all of my interactions: with professors, with storekeepers, with bank tellers, with whomever. I only ever spoke in Spanish.

~Karin Baard, Spanish major


Last Modified On June 13, 2014

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Contact Information

International Programs
5727 Estabrooke Hall, Room 240
Orono, ME 04469-5727
Phone: (207) 581-3437 | Fax: (207) 581-2920E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System