International Engineering Program

Preparing for Your Year Abroad: Spanish IEP

Preparing for the year abroad in a stress-free way takes months of planning before you depart. The preparation process includes individual and group meetings and orientations to discuss a range of topics such as the application process, academics, internships, accommodation, course selection, registration with the university, culture and cultural differences, visa advising and health, safety and security abroad to offer the maximum support to our students. We will also connect you to 5th year students who just returned from their year abroad, to exchange students from our partner universities whenever possible and to other helpful resources.

Follow the timeline below and also check out the Spanish IEP Study Abroad Student Guide, created by Spanish IEP Student Ambassadors, to help prepare you for the year abroad.

SIEP Student Guide

Spanish IEP Abroad Timeline

October – December

    1. First informational session: TBA
    2. Budget: View Program Budget Sheets in URI Abroad for estimated program expenses.
    3. Letter of Interest: Research SIEP Partner Universities and submit a letter of interest to Adriana Morales Wright at Deadline: November 1st. In your letter, be sure to include the following:
      • Your motivation for why you would like to go to that university and how you plan to take advantage of the learning opportunities provided on their campus.
      • A list of the courses that you would like to take while studying there. These should be courses that fit well in your curriculum so that you will be able to earn as many mandatory course credits abroad as possible. The creation of this list requires meeting with your Engineering and Spanish Advisors.

      In Spain:

    4. Passport application or renewal: If you have a passport, make sure it will be valid 6 months past the date of your anticipated return. If you do not have a passport, or if you need to renew your passport, go to your nearest Post Office (which for URI is in Wakefield); you MUST schedule an appointment.
    5. Obtaining a Visa: While URI offers students guidance on how to apply for a visa, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to apply for and obtain the appropriate visa needed to support their studies. US citizens who are studying in Spain need to apply for a long-term student visa before entering the country. For these visas, you will need to present quite a few supporting documents, some of which require time and/or travel to obtain. You will find out about all the information and documents needed in one of the preparation meetings. View the consulate websites for additional information about obtaining a Spanish visa. You are eligible to apply for a visa as soon as you receive your acceptance letter from the Spanish university, and a letter from URI addressed to the Spanish consulate. Important: Non-US citizens need to check whether they are on the list of countries whose citizens need to apply for a visa on the Spanish Consular websites. Please make an appointment with Jamie Loredo, Education Abroad Advisor,, if you need any additional guidance on obtaining a visa.
    6. Financial Aid: If you have questions about financial aid during the year abroad, you should contact a financial advisor in Green Hall.
    7. Meet with your advisors to discuss your academic plan for your fifth year: Make sure to work on a graduation worksheet with your advisors, so that you know which classes you have to take for graduation. Since you will have to register for Fall courses from abroad, let us know if there is a conflict between a Spanish course and courses required for engineering in your 5th year. Review your IEP program curriculum sheet. Any student who has not or cannot take SPA 321: Spanish for Business and Technology must meet with Spanish IEP Director. Spanish 321 is a prerequisite to the internship course and must be completed before you go abroad.
    8. Scholarships: Start working on scholarship applications. In particular, start working on scholarship applications for scholarship opportunities with December or January deadlines, such as the Beatrice Demers Scholarship, and the Gilman scholarship. For additional grants and deadlines, check out IEP Scholarship & Fellowships. Note: The URI scholarship portal opens in April and the deadline for URI scholarships is in June.


    1. URI Office of International Education – Attend an optional General Information session Session on how to apply to study abroad in the URI Abroad Application System: TBA 

      • All students who plan to study abroad are required to obtain permission from URI and therefore must complete the URI Abroad Application. In general, IEP students should apply using the Fall Semester application for their program – not the Academic Year.
    2. Contact Jamie Loredo, Education Abroad Advisor, if you have any questions about the URI Abroad Application or about the study abroad process.
    3. General IEP Cultural Preparation Meeting: TBA

  • February

    1. URI Office of International Education – Step 1: Complete Phase 1: Pre-Decision of your URI Application for IEP Study Abroad. Deadline: March 1st
    2. Spanish IEP Preparation Meeting: TBA

  • March

      1. Spanish IEP Cultural Preparation Meeting: TBA
      2. URI Office of International Education – Step 2: Complete Phase 2: Post-Decision of your URI Application for IEP Study Abroad. This includes your Pre-Approval Form. Deadline: May 1st
      3. Internship Documents and Placement: Start working on your application documents for your internship abroad in English. This includes a resume, a generic cover letter, a list of references, any reference letters you have, a detailed course list with description of all courses taken so far in Engineering and your own mission statement as a Global Engineer with goals and interests for your year abroad. You will create the Spanish version of these documents in the coming Spring semester. With Prof. Morales Wright’s help, you will gain access to our internship portal where you can learn more about the different Spanish companies that have internships and view projects from past Spanish IEP program participants to help you determine the company you would like to intern for.
      4. Prior Approval Forms: Make an advising appointment with Adriana Morales Wright to discuss course equivalencies between URI and your chosen university of study. Complete the Prior Approval Form 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 Prof. Wright by March 15th. Prof. Wright can help you get your language courses approved, but please note that for all other courses from departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, the chair of that related department and/or the Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences will need to sign, and that for engineering courses, your engineering advisor and the Associate Dean of the College of Engineering will need to sign. Remember to add in a couple (2-3) more classes than desired, in case of class unavailability or changes while taking courses in Spain. SStudents will then need to upload the finalized Prior Approval Form to URI Abroad in the post-decision phase of URI Abroad application. 
        • Note: You should also include one (or multiple courses) that can count for SPA 412 credit (a SIEP graduation requirement). Spanish 412 can be fulfilled with one of your engineering courses that you will take abroad. Make sure to have the engineering course listed twice (once as EGR and once with SPA 412 as the URI equivalent) so that you can later choose which you count it as. 
      5. Partner University Application: Depending upon which university you applied to, you will either complete your partner university online or complete a Learning Agreement and send all other required documents to Adriana Morales Wright by March 15 in order to register with the partner university.
      6. Optional Intensive Summer Language Program: Consider enrolling in an intensive Summer Spanish language program. Consult Prof. Morales Wright for more information. If you enroll in a Summer Program that is NOT a part of the IEP program, you must meet with OIE Education Abroad Advisor, Jamie Loredo, to discuss the transfer of credits and to register the program through URI Abroad as a non-affiliated summer program. You must also complete the Intensive Spanish Language and Culture Program Application by March 15.


      1. URI Office of International Education – Pre-Departure Meeting: TBA
      2. Health Insurance: In addition to URI Health Insurance or other private insurance, all URI Students are covered by CISI Insurance. Students confirmed to study abroad will automatically be registered and emailed proof of insurance, which they will need to obtain a visa.
      3. Visa Appointment: Complete your visa application and prepare your documents/schedule your visa appointment. If you participate in an immersion program in Spain, this can be done as early as the beginning of May, if not you have all May and even June to apply.
      4. Internship Documents and Placement: Create Spanish version of the following documents: Resume, cover letter, mission statement and updated references courses, and reference letters from professors or supervisors from previous employment or internships and submit to Adriana Morales Wright by April 15.
      5. IDI Meeting/Testing: In this meeting, students will learn about the Intercultural Development Inventory, followed by a mandatory IDI testing session.

    1. May – June

      1. URI Office of International Education – Step 2: Complete Phase 2: Post-Decision of your URI Application for IEP Study Abroad. This includes your Pre-Approval Form. Deadline: May 1st
      2. Pre-departure Meeting: TBA. This meeting will serve as a final overview of the plans for the year abroad.
      3. Visa appointment: Please note that your appointment must be within 3 months of your departure day.
      4. Travel arrangements: Students are responsible for their own travel. Many students like to make arrangements together so that you travel with some URI friends, so play early. Make sure you contact the university to ask when the best time is to arrive. Usually courses in Spain for international students begin toward mid to late September. However, some classes, especially engineering, do not begin until late September to mid October.

    2. While in Spain

      June – September

      1. Coursework: Begin your language immersion program (if applicable).
      2. Semester Programs Begin: September/October (Spain).
      3. Scholarship Aid/Financial Aid: Applies as usual
      4. Residency: Establish your residency and obtain a Número de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE) – your foreigner I.D. within your first 90 days in Spain. Refer to the information provided to you in the Pre-departure orientation and on the On-Site Timeline.

    3. September – January

      1. Prepare for internship:
        • Location/assignment to be worked out with Adriana Morales Wright.
        • Working papers required – International University Offices at the universities will help you.
        • Fill out the Required IEP Internship Application in URI Abroad by the Spring Course Registration Deadline (Jamie Loredo from OIE will email this to you). You MUST fill this out so that OIE can enroll you in the 12 credits you need to maintain your student status.
      2. Getting Courses Transferred and Intent to Graduate (if applicable):
        • Upon completion of the exchange program, you will need to have your program’s institution send an official transcript to OIE so that your transfer credit can be evaluated. Please refer to OIE’s Transfer Credit policy for more information.
        • If you will be graduating, you will need to fill out the appropriate Intent to Graduate Form at least a semester before you graduate.
        • Read additional in-depth instructions regarding the Intent to Graduate process for the College of Engineering.
      3. Housing: Start looking for housing in the city where you will do your internship. Use online platforms to search for housing or try using the Facebook pages of your target city (Groups with names like “Arriendo departamentos/habitaciones en… or “Pisos/habitaciones de alquiler en…” or other platforms to find housing. You can find some information about housing in Spain here and here.
      4. Take exams and get ready to begin your internship: Time frame for exams will vary depending on university/country, ex. differing dates between December-February for our university partners in Spain. Internship may begin in January, depending on region.
      5. Winter Break: December – January (dates vary depending on university/country). You can use some of this time for housing interviews or researching your internship company/location!
      6. Paid Positions/Benefits (if applicable): If you work at a company, you will need to have your NIE AND a social security number. Apply for a social security number at the nearest social security office of your new address and make sure to give your number to your employer.

      February – August

      1. Take exams (if not already completed).
      2. Begin internship: February, depending on region. Depending on start date/region, internships run until July/August.
      3. Courses: Work on online Spring Semester course work.
      4. Advising: Check-in with your advisor and get your advising hold and any other hold lifted so that you can register for Fall semester courses.
      5. Register for Fall Semester courses.