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SPAIN - ISEP Universidad de Almeria

Universidad de Almería (UAL) is one of the youngest and most dynamic universities in Spain, offering more than 30 undergraduate degrees, 13 masters programs, and 37 doctoral degrees. It has modern facilities that allow students to enjoy the wide cultural and sports activities offered. UAL is renowned for its research in Agriculture, Agronomy and Business Studies, and receives more than 700 international students a year from around the world.

This program is best for a student that is independent.  A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus and comfortable with the local language to thrive in this location. Please be aware that there may not be the same access to internet or amenities to which you may be accustomed.  Student services and especially class registration may not be at all similar to what is done at the College and may be difficult for some students to adjust.  

Learn more about Universidad de Almería (UAL) here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  
  • Language Requirement: Classes in English: A minimum of 4 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent must be completed prior to the program (students should be at the intermediate/A2 level ). Students with only 4 semesters of Spanish may enroll in regular university courses taught in English, plus Spanish as a Second Language through the Centro de Lenguas. Students with only 4 semesters of Spanish may enroll in one or two regular university courses instructed in Spanish in addition to other coursework if their level of Spanish is sufficient to do so.
  • The student must submit ISEP language proficiency report in the application, even if native speaker.

Students applying to ISEP must apply for an Exchange option (in any country) as a first choice but may apply to a Direct option as a back-up. Direct options may have an additional cost (see a financial section for more information).


Located on the southeastern coast of Andalucía, Almería is a medium-sized city of about 200,000 inhabitants. The city lies at the foot of a mountain range and is overlooked by a Moorish fortress called the Alcazaba. Almería has a busy port, an old town, and a bustling boardwalk (paseo marítimo). The city is the capital of the Almería province, which has semi-arid desert climate and receives the most sunshine and least rainfall of all of Europe. The province has several beautiful beaches, natural parks, and interesting villages to visit.

To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the ISEP Country Handbook for Spain. 

The University of Almería is a public university that was established in 1993 and has about 14,000 students. The modern campus is located on the coast just six kilometers far from the city center.  The strongest departments are those related to agricultural studies, business, and law. 


As universities assign credits to classes differently, a full workload varies across institutions. Some Spanish universities use ECTS, whereas some have their own system. Normally, an explanation of the credit hours is provided on a transcript. To see a typical course load at a particular university, consult the institution’s IIS. An average of 15 to 25 hours per week is spent in class lectures. 

To Earn 4 Lake Forest credits, students must take 27 ECTS credits.

To Earn 3 Lake Forest credits, students must take 21 ECTS credits.

The number of credits listed here is estimated, and GEO will work with you, your advisor, and the registrar to ensure you are earning enough credits to keep you on track for graduation.


1. Click on: Course Links
2. Click on a degree related to your interest. This will bring you to a web page with all information related to that degree. 
3. Click on Plan de Estudios, which will bring you to another page, with information on courses offered in that degree. 
4. View information regarding courses under Asignaturas. To view courses offered by degree level click Asginaturas Ordenadaspor Curso. 
5. Click on a course you are interested in to obtain additional information. If a course description is available, it can be viewed under Guia Docente .


A growing number of classes are offered in English. Visit the International Relations Web page and to view the courses offered in English. Students may enroll in these classes but must still meet the minimum language requirements described below.

Language Courses: Intensive Spanish language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the Academic Year for Beginner and Intermediate levels for a small fee. University credit is awarded for 3 ECTS credits. 


As an ISEP participant, you will be able to take courses from different faculties and at different levels. However, to avoid scheduling issues, ISEP strongly recommends that you take courses in one carrera or degree if at all possible. Spanish students in the same year of the same degree will likely take the majority of their classes together, similar to a cohort, and their classes will normally be located close together. Typically, the layout of Spanish universities is decentralized and faculties can be located throughout the city. If you enroll in courses in different degrees or faculties, you may find that you have to cross town to go from one class to another.

For tips on finding courses in Spain see: Tips for Finding Courses in Spain

In most cases registration is done upon arrival in Spain. As an international student, you may be allowed to try out several courses from various faculties at the beginning of your exchange. Be sure to verify with your host coordinator the final deadline for registration. Follow registration instructions closely, to ensure that you complete all forms and meet all deadlines.

Course Load
Most Spanish students take 30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) per semester, which normally equates to five or six classes a semester. You will need to check with your home coordinator about the minimum number of credits you need to take while in Spain.

As a part of the new grado degrees, many courses have tutorials, lab sessions, or practicas as a part of the class. Class attendance is important, as materials covered in class make up a large portion of the exam. Attendance may be taken regularly, but if it is not, resist the urge to skip classes, exams will be difficult without regular class attendance.

Study Habits and Learning Styles
Your professors will expect you to take thorough notes on the lectures. In the Spanish university system, learning from lectures is emphasized over learning from a textbook. Note-taking and following lectures may be a big adjustment. You will find that after a few weeks it all becomes much easier. If necessary, you can ask to borrow notes from a classmate for some of the first lectures. Many Spanish students take great pride in their notes and often rewrite them to have them neatly organized.

Learning is done more independently than you might be accustomed. You are expected to do substantive reading and studying outside of class. Aside from the assigned reading and class work, the professor may also suggest a supplementary list of books pertaining to the course topic.

You should have access to computers at the university to complete your assignments. Commonly, each faculty or center has its own computer lab for student use. During busier times of the year, it is likely that you will need to reserve a computer ahead of time.

Interaction with Professors
Spanish professors often do not deal directly with students. If you have questions or problems, it is up to you to arrange a meeting with the professor either before or after class or by setting up an appointment. Office hours may also be available for consultation.

You may be assigned a professor or other staff member to serve as your Academic Tutor while in Spain. You should consult with this person with any questions regarding registration, courses etc. You may always contact your ISEP Coordinator if you are unsure who you should consult.

Exams and Grading System
Depending on the type of classes you take, you will generally have tests and papers with a final exam at the end of the course. Form and organization are important in presenting written work. Check with a Spanish student about correct form so that your assignments will be properly presented. Make sure that your grammar and sentence structure are correct; have a native speaker check it over if necessary.

Final exams are typically given at the end of the semester and will include materials covered in class throughout the semester. It is important to keep up with your coursework, as it’s difficult to “cram” a semester’s worth of studying into the period before the exam. The format for written and oral exams may vary from class to class.

It will be important for you to check with both your home and host ISEP coordinators to ensure that your grades will be recorded in Spain and the credit transferred to your home institution. Although your host coordinator in Spain will help you in this matter, it will be your responsibility to make sure your grades are recorded. Be forewarned that if you choose to depart the program early, it is your responsibility to make any special arrangements in writing with your professors.


Grades are given on a 10-point scale:
• 9 or 10 is considered excellent (sobresaliente) 
• 7 or 8 is good (notable) 
• 6 or 5 is average (aprobado), 
• below five is failing (suspenso). 

Matricula de Honor is the highest grade awarded in the Spanish system and is generally given to the student with the highest score in a class. Spanish professors are difficult graders, and rarely award grades of excellent; most students receive grades between six and eight.

Please review the ISEP country handbook for more information on the education system, grades, class hours, and classroom etiquette.

Student Life

The University of Almería offers lots of activities to students and for international students in particular. More info on these topics can be found by downloading the international student guide. Additional information for international students can be found here. A web page made by visiting students including info about cultural activities, language programs, personal interests, where to go, etc. can be found here.

The orientation program covers academic advising, housing, health and safety, emergencies and general information. A local tour will help students to get acquainted with our campus. The International Students Association (ASEA) organizes activities, parties, excursions, and trips throughout the academic year.

  Internship Opportunities
The Employment Service at the University provides many opportunities for international students to obtain internships at local companies. Contact the Employment Service upon arrival for more information.
Housing and Meals

Students will be housed in shared apartments. The University will make a reservation in the Almería Youth Residence (Albergue Juvenil) for the day of arrival. The university has a database of housing options and will aid students in the process of obtaining housing.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange program includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing and a stipend to cover the equivalent of 19/meals per week.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 programs:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost for Southern Hemisphere programs, as that starts a new academic year.


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College


ISEP Fee due on Stage 2 Application


ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance (estimated, $90/mo)

Note: Some countries require national insurance, which may be instead of, or in addition to, ISEP insurance. Check ISEP


Additional Meals


Estimated Airfare

*Students placed on ISEP Exchange may be eligible for up to $750 airfare award


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)


Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of March 2019. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by the student to the host program, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill from the College.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office