IEP students completing the overseas component of their degree program will work closely with the appropriate IEP Director in order to obtain admission as an exchange student at a partner institution, secure an internship placement, and otherwise prepare for their time abroad. In addition to the documentation and processes required of IEP, there are materials that all URI students must also complete and submit to the URI Office of International Education (OIE).
For information on OIE paperwork, processes and deadlines, visit and review the following webpage: www.uri.edu/international/iep. Please be advised that the website also provides dates and times for information sessions the OIE will be hosting for those with questions related to the paperwork that must be submitted.
See also http://security.uri.edu/travel/ for important safety and security information for travelers.
Most students leave for the year abroad in August and return a full twelve months later. Students studying at the Tec de Monterrey in Mexico or at TECNUN in Spain must leave this early in order to arrive in time for classes to begin. Students studying at the Universities of Cantabria or Zaragoza begin their normal semester later on, but usually go over earlier in order to take intensive Spanish language and culture courses before the semester begins.
Preparing for the year abroad in a stress-free way takes approximately nine-months of planning, starting the December before you leave. Follow the timeline below and also check out the Spanish IEP Study Abroad Survival Guide, created by SIEP Student Ambassadors to help prepare you for the year abroad.
- Spanish 321. If you have not yet taken Spanish 321, make certain that you are registered to take it during the Spring semester.
- Passport application or renewal. If you do not yet have a valid passport, you need to apply for one (travel.state.gov). If you already have a passport, your passport MUST be valid an additional six months after your planned RETURN date to the U.S. For example, if you are abroad until August, your passport should be valid until February of the following year.
- Research SIEP Partner Universities. Research all four of our partner universities (explore their websites and curricular offerings, talk with students who have been abroad and with students from those universities who have been to URI) and decide which university is your top choice and why.
– EINA de la Universidad de Zaragoza (Zaragoza, Spain): http://eina.unizar.es; www.unizar.es
– Tec de Monterrey (various campuses, Mexico): www.itesm.edu
– TECNUN (San Sebastian, Spain): www.tecnun.es
– Universidad de Cantabria (Santander, Spain): www.unican.es
– Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso (Valparaiso, Chile): www.ucv.cl
Complete and submit via e-mail to Spanish IEP Director Silke Scholz, by December 15th:
a) your motivation letter (a letter in Spanish indicating why you would like to go to that university and how you plan to take advantage of the learning opportunities provided on their campus), and
b) a list of the courses that you would like to take while studying there (this is just the list of courses that you would like to take, at this point you do not need to seek any formal advice or official approvals for them). Please note that you must include at least one engineering or advanced math course in order to obtain credit for Spanish 412, a requirement for your B.A. in Spanish.
- Demers and other Scholarships. Complete your application for the Demers Scholarship before leaving for the winter break. Verify the eligibility requirements for other Scholarships such as the Gilman Scholarship and the Boren Scholarship.
- Office of International Education Step 1. By December 31st, complete the General Information Session available here.
- Financial Aid Questions. If you have questions about financial aid during the year abroad, you should contact or make an appointment to see Victor Gaspar in the Office of Enrollment Services: email@example.com.
- URI application to study abroad due to Office of International Education-February 15. By February 15, complete your URI application for IEP study abroad and submit it to the Office of International Education. You may contact Tom Hospod from OIE for questions on the application.
- Planning Ahead for Your Visa Application (Spain only). If you plan to study and/or intern in Spain, as part of your visa application, you will need to present quite a few supporting documents, some of which require time and/or travel to obtain. You should take advantage of the fact that you will be at home and have some free time during the winter break to obtain (or at least to begin to obtain) the following:
a) Certificate of Absence of Police Records with the Hague Apostille
The certificate should be available through your state’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and the Hague Apostille should be available from your Secretary of State (see your Secretary of State’s website for specific instructions about when and how to obtain the Apostille). You will need to present one certificate for each of the states or cities where you have resided over the past five years. If you are an out-of-state student, you will have to obtain one for Rhode Island and one for your home state. For the Rhode Island Bureau of Criminal Identification, click here. Once you have gathered all the required documents you may present them in person at:
150 South Main Street
For information on obtaining the Hague Apostille from the Rhode Island Secretary of State, click here and for information of the State of Rhode Island here . Once you have gathered the required documents you may present them in person at:
Secretary of State (Hague Apostille)
148 West River Street
You must do this upon receipt of the Background Check because it can take over six weeks for the State Department to process your request and return the documents to you. You may request the BCI to be issued in Spanish to avoid having to pay for a certified tranlation.
b) Proof of sufficient funds for subsistence
You will need to demonstrate that you have at least 1000 USD per month of your planned stay in order to support yourself. One of the following will suffice:
- Proof of scholarship or aid in the amount of at least 1000 USD per month for room, board and personal expenses during your stay.
- A notarized letter from your parent(s) or guardian(s) assuming full financial responsibility for your room, board and personal expenses in the amount of at least 1000 USD per month of your stay. The recommended text for such a letter is “Certifico por la presente que yo (el padre, la madre, otro, etc.) de (tu nombre) cubriré su estancia en España con 1000 dólares mensuales y que soy responsable de los gastos que ocasione cualquier emergencia.”
- Proof of personal savings account balance with at least 1000 USD per month of your stay.
c) Proof of medical insurance
Proof of international health insurance coverage for the duration of your stay in the amount of the equivalent of at least 30,000€ and which includes repatriation coverage.
Health Insurance. Discuss health insurance coverage with Tom Hospod and submit proof of insurance. All IEP students will need to obtain medical evacuation and repatriation insurance coverage through HTH Worldwide Insurance Services at the information below.
Proof of enrollment in a Travel Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Plan: The University of Rhode Island requires that Education Abroad participants obtain medical evacuation and repatriation insurance for the duration of the overseas program. You will be expected to enroll in the URI authorized Travel Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Plan if your program provider does not provide travel medical evacuation and repatriation coverage that complies with the URI Office of Risk Management’s regulations. Participants uncertain if their program provider automatically enrolls them in a plan should consult their URI Education Abroad Advisor.
Learn more about the HTH Worldwide Insurance Services coverage, estimated costs, and find a link to the self-enrollment portal via the URI Office of Risk Managment’s International Travel Insurance page. For information on the University’s Health Insurance and insurance requirements please contact Health Services at: 401-874-4756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
d) Proof of immigration status (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
If you have a green card, you need to contact the Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security in order to verify whether or not you will need to apply for a re-entry permit (due to the length of your stay abroad).
For full details on the visa application process for Spain, see the information below (under “May” or go to the Spanish Consulate’s website and go to the “Visado de Estudios” section for a full description of the requirements.
- Certificate of Absence of Police Records and Timing Your Visa Appointment (Spain only). Once you obtain your Background Check you need to plan for your visa appointment so that it will take place before your background check expires. It must be within three months after the issue date and but not more than four months before your departure date. (for the Boston Consulate, other Consulates may have different requirements). All URI students may apply for the visa in Boston, regardless of the state where your permanent residence is located. Once you obtain the Background Check, it is urgent that you send it immediately to be certified by the Office of Authentications of the United States Department of State because it can take over six weeks for them to process your request and return the documents to you (even if you use express mail). In order to request an appointment at the Spanish Consulate in Boston, you must use their online appointment system. If you have trouble with this link, click here to go to the main website. The link to the online scheduling system is centered at the top of the page.
- Prior Approval Forms. Complete Prior Approval Forms for all of the courses you would like to take while abroad and submit electronic copies via e-mail of the complete forms with all appropriate signatures to Spanish IEP Director Silke Scholz by March 31st. Make one photocopy for your own records. You must submit the final original copy with all appropriate signatures to Donna Figueroa in the Study Abroad Office along with your Off-Campus Study Fee by May 1st. Please note that you should complete one form with all courses from departments in the College of Arts and Sciences (and that Dr. Echevarría y Assistant Dean Smith will need to sign) and another form with courses from the College of Engineering (that your engineering advisor and Associate Dean Veyera will need to sign). You should also be sure to include “IEP Internship” as one of the courses on your Arts and Sciences form; this comes back as six credits of SPA 316-317. All SIEP students must take at least one engineering or math course in order to obtain credit for Spanish 412 (a requirement for graduation). For information about the Off-Campus Study Fee click here.
- Partner University Application. Complete your partner university application and submit it to Spanish IEP Director Silke Scholz by March 31st:
– EINA de la Universidad de Zaragoza (Zaragoza, Spain): General information (please note that you are “Exchange” students, not “Erasmus” students), Zaragoza online application, learning agreement and instructions (please note that the “credential” of your command of Spanish is a document that you must obtain from Spanish IEP Director Silke Scholz).
– Tec de Monterrey (various campuses, Mexico): To be determined.
– TECNUN (San Sebastian, Spain): General information, Online application and instructions
– Universidad de Cantabria (Santander, Spain): Online application, learning agreement, and instructions
– Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso. General information and Application: To be determined.
- Intensive Spanish Language and Culture Program Application. If you plan to arrive early to complete intensive Spanish language and culture classes, complete the application process by March 31st.
- Medical certificate (Spain only). If you are going to Spain, as part of your visa application you will need a letter on your physician’s official letterhead certifying s/he has examined you and that you are mentally and physically capable of traveling and studying abroad, that you do not have any contagious or mental illnesses and that you are not a drug addict. The letter must be issued at most three months prior to your visa appointment; if your letter is over three months old, it will not be considered valid.
- Office of International Education Step 3. If you have not already done so, you must submit the final original copies of your Prior Approval Forms (that you completed in March) with all appropriate signatures to Donna Figueroa in the Study Abroad Office along with your Off-Campus Study Fee by May 1st.
- SIEP Internship Application. Complete your internship application (CV in Spanish, cover letter in Spanish, official transcript, and letter of recommendation from an engineering professor addressing your preparedness for a professional engineering internship abroad) and submit to Spanish IEP Director Silke Scholz, by May 15th. In addition to two (2) hard copies, you must submit electronic copies via e-mail of both your CV and cover letter by May 15th as well. If your recommender prefers, it is also fine for that person to submit the recommendation directly to Silke Scholz via e-mail.
- Visa Application Appointment. If you have not already done so, contact the Mexican or Spanish Consulate to request your visa application interview date by May 15th. In order to request an appointment for the Spanish Consulate in Boston (all URI students may apply for the visa in Boston, regardless of the state where your permanent residence is located), you must use their online appointment system. If you have trouble with this link, go to the main website. The link to the online scheduling system is centered at the top of the page.
- Housing. Explore housing options and secure your housing arrangements by May 31st. Before deciding which housing option is best for you, you should speak with SIEP students who have studied at the university where you will be going and to exchange students from that university.
– EINA de la Universidad de Zaragoza (Zaragoza, Spain): General information and housing reservation forms; Family stays lasting for the entire semester are usually available to students who participate in the University of Zaragoza intensive Spanish language and culture program in September: “Curso especial de septiembre.”
– Tec de Monterrey: To be determined
– TECNUN (San Sebastian, Spain): For assistance, contact Eire Iradi at email@example.com.
– Universidad de Cantabria (Santander, Spain): General information; Housing reservation form
– Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso. General information and Application: To be determined.
- Travel arrangements. Make travel arrangements by May 31st.
- Visa application
You must go in person to the Consulate in Boston to fill out your application and submit it. Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 to 12:30.
Checklist of items to bring with you:
_____ Valid passport
_____ Photocopy of the page of your passport with your personal data, picture and signature
_____ Original letter of acceptance from the Tec de Monterrey. The letter should be recent and state the semester or academic year of study and the name of the program that you are going to enroll in. Important Notice: in the majority of cases the school you are to enroll in should process the student visa directly at the closest National Immigration Institute.
_____ A bank statement from the last 3 months and/or letters of scholarship award or letter of financial support from parents or guardian (living expenses and tuition)
_____ Two (2) color passport sized pictures (no computer print outs)
Please note that you will have to leave your passport at the Consulate and then return the next business day between the hours of 4:00 and 5:00 pm to pick up your visa. For full details, see the Mexican Consulate website. For questions, call the Consulate or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complete application forms and gather any supporting documentation that you have yet to obtain and make three (3) copies of your complete application (you will need to submit the originals and one (1) photocopy to the Consulate, you will need to submit one (1) copy to the Spanish police or Oficina de Extranjeros upon your arrival, and you should keep one (1) for your own records). Please note that you will have to surrender your passport at your appointment in order for the Spanish government to process your visa and it can take well over a month (and close to two months) for them to return your passport to you.
Full Spanish visa application checklist:
_____ Solicitud de visado (“Formulario 1” on the Consulate’s website)
_____ Solicitud complementaria / Hoja adicional (“Forumulario 2” on the Consulate’s website)
_____ Additional ID (Driver’s license, Student ID)
_____ 2 passport-size photos, with white background
_____ Acceptance letter from Spanish partner university (from Dr. Echevarría)
_____ Letter from Spanish IEP Director Silke Scholz indicating that you will have a SIEP internship in the spring
_____ Proof of health insurance
_____ Proof of sufficient funds for subsistence
_____ Visa fee is $190 for US citizens $79 for other nationalities, paid by money order payable to “Consulado de España”. Fees are not refundable. Citizens of Canada need to email the Consulate to inquire on visa fees (email@example.com). Note that fees change often, please go to the Consulate’s website for updated information.
_____ If you are not a US citizen, proof of immigration status
_____ BCI Criminal Background Check with the Hague Apostille
_____ Medical certificate (letter on your physician’s official letterhead certifying s/he has examined you and that you are mentally and physically capable of traveling and studying abroad and that you do not have any contagious or mental illnesses and that you are not a drug addict)
_____ Three extra copies of all of the above (one for the Consulate, one for you to submit to the Spanish police or to the Oficina de Extranjeros upon your arrival to Spain, and one for yourself).