URV is a comprehensive, research-oriented university committed to the region and to global citizenship. It is located in the largest petrochemical complex in Southern Europe and is very well connected by sea, high-speed trains and roads.
URV leads the Campus of International Excellence of Southern Catalonia and is ranked 3rd in teaching quality, 5th in research quality and 6th in research productivity in Spain.
Students going to Spain must be independent, self-reliant, and able to handle ambiguity, as acclimating to the Spanish university system is challenging. A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus and comfortable with the local language to thrive in this location. 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.
Experiences of Former Students
WHAT PAST STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY
To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:
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).
URV has several campuses in the region of Tarragona, the city of eternal spring. Tarragona is a UNESCO world heritage site, and a short car or train ride from Barcelona. The region boasts a high quality of life, with a mild Mediterranean climate, clear seas, sandy beaches, mountains and beautiful scenery. ISEP students are welcome at all URV campuses.
To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the ISEP Country Handbook for Spain.
Universitat Rovira, I Virgili (URV) is a comprehensive university devoted to teaching and research in many academic fields, including those that drive the region´s economic engines: Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Enology (Wine Science), Archaeology, Nutrition, Biotechnology, and Tourism. Small class sizes and proximity to faculty and staff are excellent features of URV.
URV is very strong in the fields of Languages, Engineering, Nursing, Chemistry, Business, and Biosciences.
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.
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.
Faculty of Education Sciences and Psychology: Early Childhood Education, Primary Education, Social Education, Psychology, and Pedagogy.
COURSES TAUGHT IN ENGLISH
URV offers a number of classes in English. After finding a degree you are interested in (see list above in the Courses section), follow these steps to find those taught in English:
The number of courses offered in English at the undergraduate level will vary by degree, but generally, students can look for courses in English in Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Education, Engineering, English, Finance, Geography, International Business, Linguistics, Marketing, and Tourism.
HINTS FOR RESEARCHING COURSES
To view the courses available to international students click here. These are the only courses that ISEP students may enroll in. Courses listed in Spanish are taught in Spanish.
Language Courses: Semi-Intensive Spanish language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year and/or semester for an additional fee for all levels.
Semi-Intensive Catalan courses are offered in addition to regular classes for free. Through the URV Language Center students may participate in the Language Volunteers program which promotes the use of the Catalan language. Non-Catalan speaking students are able to participate in activities designed to introduce them to the Catalan culture.
Study Habits and Learning Styles
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
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
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.
Academic Environment and Teaching Style
Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm. Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.
All courses/modules may have prerequisites. Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it. Be aware of these limitations.
Please review the ISEP country handbook for more information on the education system, grades, class hours, and classroom etiquette.
The International Center (I-Center) organizes orientation and provides a useful Welcome Pack that includes information about enrollment, online platforms, libraries, the campus and student activities. Each semester the I-Center offers a city free tour to incoming students.
Upon acceptance, students will receive a URV email account which will allow them to access additional information related to their exchange, including information on visas and academic advisors.
International students have access to all activities that URV offers. Student life doesn’t consist of only books, classes, and study, and at URV you will find much fun and enriching activities to enjoy your free time. At the same time, you will discover new hobbies and make friends! Available activities include: Cinema group (organizes films, seminars, and talks), Theatre Group, Art Group, Debate Club, University Choir, XVI-XXI Orchestra, and the Trekking Club (hiking, etc.)
Students can volunteer through the URV volunteer office which works in the community with campus organizations.
|Housing and Meals|
During the first month, students are housed in double rooms in the university residence hall. Single rooms are available for an additional fee but are not included in regular ISEP benefits. Students can eat breakfast and dinner at the residence dining hall and will receive meal tickets to eat lunch at URV’s campus cafeteria Monday through Friday.
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:
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.
For Questions About the Initial Application Process:
Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office