A view of Santander, Cantabira, Spain as the sunsets over the ocean

University of Cantabria Exchange Program

Launched during the 2007-2008 school year with eight Cornell engineering students studying at Cantabria, over 70 Cornell engineering students have since participated in this program. This program was originally designed for Civil and Environmental Engineering majors, and it is now open to all engineering majors.* Students may study at the University of Cantabria for one academic year or the spring semester. This exchange program requires some prior knowledge of Spanish and is overseen by Professor Todd Cowen.

Features of the Cantabria Exchange Program

Host Institution: University of Cantabria a comprehensive university located in Santander, the capital city of the province of Cantabria on the northern coast of Spain.

  • Admissions: Third year engineering students with a minimum 3.0 GPA, completion of Spanish 1230 or a minimum score of 56 on the Language Placement Spanish exam administered by the Department of Romance Studies.
  • Coursework and Schedule:
    • Fall Immersion: Students take one (or two) Spanish language immersion courses at Cantabria in August and September intended to bring them to a minimum equivalent of language proficiency of Spanish 2090.
    • Fall Semester: Students typically take four junior-level engineering core courses and one Spanish course equivalent to a 3000-level Spanish course.
    • Spring Semester: Students typically take four junior-level engineering core courses and one humanities course on Prehistoric European Art. Students who study abroad for the spring semester only have the option of immersive language study prior to the start of the term.
  • Optional Internship: Following spring semester finals, students may be placed with a Spanish engineering firm for an internship experience.
  • Language: Engineering and science courses are taught in English, and humanities courses are taught Spanish.  Students with sufficient language proficiency may take engineering and science courses from the general course catalog in Spanish.
  • Dates:
    • Fall Immersion: August through late September Fall Semester: Late September through Mid-February
    • Spring Semester: Mid-February through June
    • Optional Internship: June through August
  • Housing: 
    • During the immersion, host families house students.
    • During the academic year, students have the option to live off campus and rent an apartment in Santander or live in residence halls on campus.
      • The Office of International Relations at Cantabria can help make arrangements and roommate pairings.
  • Deadline:
    • Year-long study: February 1 is typically the deadline. Students who intend to study abroad for junior year can submit applications at the end of the fall semester of the sophomore year.
    • Spring semester study: the deadline is typically at the beginning of September of the junior year.
  • Cost:
    • Since this is an exchange program, students pay the customary tuition to Cornell University.
    • Students are responsible for their own living expenses including travel, visa, accommodation, meals, healthcare, books and supplies during the exchange period. 
      • These expenses are estimated to be comparable to those of staying at Cornell (depending on the exchange rate) plus travel costs, estimated to be approximately $2,500.
    • Standard financial aid packages apply and are adjusted to include the additional expenses related to studying abroad including travel.

Check the experience.cornell.edu/opportunities website for the most up to date deadline information.

* This program may fit some students’ curriculum plans better than others’ depending on a variety of factors including Advanced Placement credit, completed prerequisites, and major affiliation requirements. Speak with a professional advisor in Engineering Advising to see if this program matches your interests and needs.