Dr. Robert E. Vann
(WMU Student Exchange Program in Lleida)
*THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN SUSPENDED.*
ALL WMU STUDENTS INTERESTED IN STUDYING AT UNIVERSITAT DE LLEIDA DURING OR AFTER FALL 2010
ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT THE WMU OFFICE OF STUDY ABROAD TO ARRANGE FOR DIRECT ENROLLMENT AT UDL.
INTERESTED STUDENTS MAY ALSO WISH TO CONTACT THE STUDY ABROAD ADVISORS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE HOME DEPARTMENTS. INTERESTED STUDENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF SPANISH MAY CONTACT DEPARTMENT OF SPANISH STUDY ABROAD ADVISORS HERE.
**NB: The information given below that describes the now suspended Student Exchange Program in Lleida has been left online as a resource for students who should like to pursue direct enrollment there. Please note that BEGINNING FALL 2010 THIS PROGRAM WILL NO LONGER BE AN ACTIVE STUDENT EXCHANGE.**
Western Michigan University
Student Exchange Program in Lleida, Spain
|ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION AND STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES|
|LLEIDA AND THE UNIVERSITAT DE LLEIDA|
The WMU student exchange program at the Universitat de Lleida (UdL), one of Europe’s oldest universities, offers qualified WMU students the opportunity to live and study in historic Lleida, a city founded in the 6th century BC that now numbers about 125,000 inhabitants. All courses taken at UdL transfer for credit at WMUand UdL tuition is waived for WMU students in the program, who as exchange students pay their tuition to WMU during their stay in Lleida. WMU student exchange at UdL is available during Fall and/or Spring semesters. UdL academic calendars are available here.
A wide selection of courses is available to WMU exchange students during their semester or semesters at UdL. WMU exchange students may choose to enroll in regular UdL courses (not specially designed for WMU or international students) in any subject that UdL offers. UdL courses may be taught in either Spanish or Catalan, the two official languages of Catalonia and the two most commonly spoken languages in Spain. UdL offers intensive language courses in Spanish and Catalan for its international students as well as an intensive course in Catalan and Spanish culture and civilization. The Spanish Department at UdL, with 4 professors of Spanish Linguistics and 8 professors of Spanish Literature, offers a full range of Spanish language and culture courses, Spanish linguistics courses, and Spanish literature courses. The following Spanish courses, as courses that UdL is currently required to offer every year, are pre-approved for qualified WMU exchange students to enroll in. Additional Spanish courses may be available as electives in any given UdL semester (download "programes d'assignatures" here). WMU exchange students must consult with the Program Director to determine the appropriateness for their level of study of the courses they wish to select.
* These courses have prerequisites at UdL.
In addition to the regular UdL courses, WMU exchange students can enroll in UdL “international student” courses specially designed for over 200 exchange students from around the world. Finally, WMU exchange students can take UdL “program” courses tailor made for WMU students interested in bilingual education and language planning in Catalonia. Language training and cultural enrichment on site are included in the academic program. The UdL International Relations Office organizes an elementary Catalan course during orientation one week before classes start at the beginning of the semester and the Spanish Department offers Spanish courses for foreigners as well. A small fee applies to these courses as UdL subsidizes only 2/3 of the cost of these classes. Finally, volunteer UdL students serve as linguistic mentors during orientation to help newcomers learn Catalan. These volunteers will also organize trips, cultural visits, and parties throughout the year for WMU exchange students.
Students will be advised by the WMU Faculty Program Director, who will be a member of the regular WMU Spanish faculty. The WMU Faculty Program Director for the academic year ending in Spring 2010 is Dr. Robert E. Vann. Given that this is an exchange program, however, the WMU Faculty Director will not accompany WMU students to Lleida nor be present on site in Lleida with WMU exchange students during their semester or semesters in Lleida.
WMU exchange students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to Lleida. Though students can arrange any flight itinerary, it is strongly recommended that WMU exchange students fly into either Barcelona or Madrid. WMU exchange students who fly into Barcelona can take a coach bus to Lleida directly from El Prat airport or a train from Sants Estació station. WMU exchange students who arrive into Madrid can take a high speed train to Lleida from the Atocha station. In any case, the ride is just a few short hours to Lleida once on the ground in Spain.
Once in Lleida, WMU exchange students should report directly to the UdL International Relations Office, which runs all the student mobility programs at the university. The UdL International Relations Office offers a number of services to international students upon their arrival. First and foremost, the UdL International Relations Office will help WMU exchange students find housing. Students can opt to rent a room in an apartment in Lleida or they can opt to stay in a university dormitory with private bath, kitchenette, AC, and internet access. The UdL International Relations Office also offers a “welcoming week” orientation for international students. This orientation starts one week before the beginning of each semester at UdL. WMU exchange students are strongly encouraged to attend this orientation and should plan their travel dates accordingly. Finally, the UdL International Relations Office will facilitate the paperwork for on-site registration for UdL courses. While the WMU Faculty Program Director may advise WMU exchange students regarding UdL course selections, WMU exchange students must register themselves in person.
As exchange students at the Universitat de Lleida, WMU students will have university privileges and responsibilities just like other UdL students. They will have access to university facilities and services including UdL Library Services, Computer Services, Sports Services, and Cultural Services. In addition to doing satisfactory academic work, WMU exchange students are expected to comply with all rules and regulations of both WMU and the Universitat de Lleida. WMU students who do not meet academic and behavioral standards may be dismissed from the exchange program at any time.
As this is a student exchange program between WMU and UdL, it is open to both undergraduate and graduate students at WMU. Given that Lleida is situated in one of Spain’s bilingual speech communities, application for this student exchange program will be restricted to advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Priority will be given to students with demonstrated knowledge of Spanish culture, Spanish history or Spanish linguistics. Ideal applicants for this student exchange program will likewise be mature, independent, responsible, and self-motivated.
Undergraduate students must be at least 18 years old at the time of application and must have junior standing by the beginning of the program in Lleida. Priority will be given to students who have completed either SPAN 3220 or SPAN 3240 and at least one additional 3000 level or higher SPAN class with a minimum average grade of 3.25 in all Spanish classes.
Graduate students must have graduate standing at WMU by the beginning of the program in Lleida. Priority will be given to students who have completed a course in Spanish culture, Spanish history, or Spanish linguistics during undergraduate or graduate education with a minimum average grade of 3.25 in all Spanish classes.
Students will be selected for the student exchange based on: (1) Strong overall academic record and Spanish language competence; (2) Demonstrated ability to do successful work in university courses given in Spanish; (3) Three faculty recommendations, two of which must be from WMU Spanish faculty members; (4) A written application and an interview in Spanish; (5) Evidence of maturity, independence, and self-motivation.
The city of Lleida, with 125,000 inhabitants, is the most important demographic, economic and cultural center in inland Catalonia. Catalonia, one of the 17 autonomous regions of Spain, is a modern and diverse region with a strong personality, characterized by its own rich history, culture, language, and traditions. Lleida, which may appear on some maps with the Spanish spelling Lérida, enjoys a privileged strategic situation within Catalonia, located in the center of a rich agricultural region on the banks of the river Segre and situated just 155 kilometers west of Barcelona, Catalonia’s capital. From Lleida it is only a two hour drive to the Pyrenees ski resorts and to France, an hour to the Mediterranean beaches, and 2 hours to Madrid by high-speed train. Lleida is a city with abundant character, an extensive trading tradition, and one of the highest incomes per capita in Spain. The city has a continental climate, with cold and dry winters and warm summers. Not unlike Kalamazoo, temperatures often range from below 32° F in winter to 90º F in summer.
The Universitat de Lleida is the second oldest Spanish university, and historically, the oldest in Catalonia and the whole Crown of Aragon. It was founded between 1297 and 1301. After flourishing for four centuries, UdL was closed down by royal decree in 1717 along with the rest of the universities and original political institutions of Catalonia following the War of the Spanish Succession. Reopened in 1991 after a few hundred year parenthesis, UdL has grown quickly in the last two decades. UdL is now a public institution with approximately 10,000 students and 750 professors. UdL is made up of seven faculties or schools (Faculty of Law and Economics, Higher Technical School of Agrarian Engineering (ETSEA), Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Higher Polytechnic School (EPS), Faculty of Medicine, University School of Nursing) and four affiliated centers: National Physical Education Institute of Catalonia (INEFC), University School of Industrial Relations, University School of Tourism “Terres de Lleida”, and the University School of Tourism in Manresa. The Universitat of Lleida has several campuses situated in different areas of the town. Each campus is meant to create a pleasant academic and social atmosphere, fostering study, research, and debate. Read more about Universitat de Lleida in Catalan, in Spanish, or in English.
The costs of this student exchange program are very comparable to the costs of a semester at WMU because students in fact pay WMU tuition during the program. For local expenses, the currency of Lleida is the Euro. Though subject to change, as of March 1, 2008, one Euro = approximately one and one half US Dollars.
WMU exchange students pay their own room and board expenses in Lleida where, just as in Kalamazoo, they may choose to stay in dorms or apartments. Dormitory expenses at the UdL are very reasonable and UdL dorms therefore fill quickly. A single room with no board costs approximately 360 Euro/month, which does not include water or electric bills. A single room with ½ board costs approximately 510 Euro/month, which includes water, breakfast, and lunch (M-F) but not electric bills. A double room with no board costs approximately 600 Euro/month, which does not include water or electric bills. A double room with ½ board costs approximately 950 Euro/month and includes water, breakfast and lunch (M-F) but not electric bills. Apartments average only 100-200 Euro per month for a room, 500-700 Euro per month for a whole apartment. More detailed information about housing expenses at UdL is available here.
Students must arrange for their health insurance during the program prior to leaving the US. Additionally, students must arrange their own travel documents and round trip transportation to Lleida, which varies but usually runs approximately $800-$1000. Essentially, the transportation expenses represent the main cost difference between spending a semester studying at WMU vs. at UdL.
Students who already receive financial aid (university, state, federal) will likely still be able to use it for study in Lleida. They should direct questions about this matter to the Foreign Study Coordinator in the Haenicke Institute for Global Education.
In addition, many scholarships and awards are available to WMU students interested in this student exchange program. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for awards and scholarships through the Department of Spanish, as well as a variety of study abroad grants and scholarships available through the Haenicke Institute for Global Education. Further information and applications are available in the Department of Spanish, 410 Sprau Tower (387-3023) and the Haenicke Institute for Global Education, B‑200 Ellsworth Hall (387-5890), respectively.
All students are urged to inform themselves of these opportunities at the earliest possible date in order to meet the application deadlines.
Western Michigan University purchases basic medical insurance to cover this program’s participants while they are abroad. Information regarding this coverage will be distributed to each student by the Study Abroad Office upon acceptance to the program. Students will receive health insurance information outlining the extent of coverage and the procedures to follow in case of accident or illness abroad. Additional health insurance coverage is not required for the program, but students may wish to purchase supplementary coverage. Questions concerning health insurance should be directed to the Study Abroad Office, (269) 387-5890. Further information from the Study Abroad Office regarding travel insurance is available here.
-- Jayme Roggenbuck, WMU's first undergraduate exchange student at UdL, 2/17/2008
"Pasan bien mis clases de filología. Llevo tres meses viviendo en Lérida ya y veo el fin de mi estancia aquí con un poco de tristeza. Lérida es un tesoro."
-- Tim Miley, WMU's first graduate exchange student at UdL, 4/11/08
Additional program information is available from:
Dr. Robert E. Vann, WMU Faculty Director
The Department of Spanish
420 Sprau Tower
Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education
Webs: Study Abroad, Student Exchange Program in Lleida
B-200 Ellsworth Hall
WMU reserves the right to cancel or revise this student exchange program as needed.
Department of Spanish
410 Sprau Tower
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5338
Phone: (269) 387-3042
Fax: (269) 387-3103
This page written and maintained by Dr. Robert E. Vann
Last revised November 3, 2013