Colby in Salamanca


Colby in Salamanca offers incoming first-year Colby students an in-depth, language-intensive experience of cross-cultural study in the heart of Spain. Through a structured, demanding program of classes and cultural interaction, Colby in Salamanca seeks to provide students with an understanding of the differences between the American and Spanish ways of life, and to enable students to better understand the complexities of Spanish culture. The program is open to students with various levels of Spanish, from two years in high school to advanced placement. Upper class Colby students are also part of the Salamanca group.


All Colby in Salamanca participants are registered at the Universidad de Salamanca, and have full use of the campus. They take Spanish language courses at Cursos Internacionales, a branch of the university that specializes in the teaching of Spanish to foreigners. Students are placed at levels (inicial, intermedio, avanzado, superior) corresponding to their abilities, determined by an initial placement exam. They attend classes on a daily basis along with students from other countries. The Global Entry Semester has a fixed curriculum that includes the following courses:

  • Spanish language (at the appropriate level for each student).
  • A choice of Spanish Art History, Spanish and Latin American Cinema, Spanish culture, or the Arab World in the Hispanic World.
  • Contemporary Spain Seminar (offered in English and Spanish). Satisfies Social Science requirement and International Diversity requirement.
  • Literature Readings in Spanish Seminar taught by the Resident Director. Satisfies the literature requirement.

Spanish faculty hired by Colby and the resident director teach these courses. The courses are conventionally graded and grades count towards students’ Colby grade point average. They satisfy five of Colby’s all-college requirements: Language (grade C or better at Intermediate level), Social Science, Literature, International Diversity and either the Arts or History requirement (according to choices). More detailed information is available from the Off-Campus Study Office.

Colby also runs junior-level programs in this location, and some of the juniors may be in your language courses. The first-year seminars in Salamanca will be for Colby first-year students only.


Excursions are an important part of the semester and enable students to see fascinating parts of Spain. Excursions for 2018 included:

  • Four days in the North of Spain (Cantabria and Basque Country)
  • Three days in Andalucía (Sevilla, Málaga, Granada, Córdoba)
  • Madrid
  • Hiking excursion to San Martin del Castanar / La Alberca
  • Strasbourg with Colby in Dijon group
  • Day trips to Segovia, Ávila, El Escorial.


The homestay, in which students are placed with selected families in and around Salamanca, is as important an aspect of the program as the academic courses. The homestay is more than a place to sleep and eat; it is here that students will develop their spoken Spanish and learn the most about Spain. It is a portal to Spanish civilization and culture. Students take their breakfasts, lunch and evening meals in their host families. Not all the host families are traditional. Some families have children and some do not. Some are traditional families and some are single women who want to share their apartments with a Colby student. Some families host several international students and some do not. Some families may invite their host students to family events or outings; others will not. The resident director will try to place each student with the family that best seems to fit his or her profile in the housing form included with the registration packet.


For the fall semester of 2019, the program will begin with arrival in Spain on August 28 (departure from Colby on August 27) and will end on December 13. There will be a mid-term break from October 30-November 3. There are also some weekends free for personal travel, but attendance at all classes and group activities is required. Parents who wish to visit their sons or daughters should not expect that students would be able to miss classes. More details on travel will be given students in the program handbook and on site by the resident director.


Animadores: Each year Colby arranges to have a number of Spanish college-age people, including university students, to work with the group. These animadores y animadoras have specific responsibilities toward the group during orientation and the first weeks of the program. Their role is to spend time showing students around Salamanca and organizing social events for the group. Some of them may also accompany the group to trips and excursions. They are expected to communicate in Spanish at every opportunity.


All students receive a “pasaporte cultural” that gives them special discounts at cultural activities, which include: concerts (classical, jazz, rock), operas, theater and cinema.


There are modern, clean gyms in the center of Salamanca that welcome Colby students each semester. Colby will reimburse half of the membership fee.


The fees for the Global Entry Semester are equivalent to the comprehensive fees for Colby College. In addition to tuition, the fee covers room and board in Salamanca (including breakfast, lunch, dinner and laundry), meals and activities during excursions, airfare from a point of departure chosen by Colby, and transfer to Salamanca. It does not include: books (except class books provided by Cursos Internacionales), meals during vacation periods, and personal travel.


Safety is of prime concern to Colby and its programs abroad. The resident director of the Salamanca program monitors the United States Embassy in Spain’s advice, and will modify the program when and if the Embassy believes there is any danger to US citizens. Salamanca is a relatively safe city, and students will be briefed upon arrival about ways they should stay safe in Salamanca and in Europe.

Salamanca has a public university hospital and a private hospital. Medical care in Salamanca is excellent. Students will be given specific information on health professionals when they arrive in Salamanca. Students are covered by the Cursos Internacionales/Colby in Salamanca health insurance policy. Students must pay for their medicines.


View a scanned copy of the 2018 student-produced Colby in Salamanca Student Guidebook which was sent to incoming GES students prior to departure in Fall 2018.


You will be introduced to LINK, a student group that will be in contact with you throughout the Global Entry Semester and during on-campus orientation  LINK leaders and members help GES students transition to life on-campus through extensive communication and various activities. This process begins as soon as you choose to enroll at Colby and continues through the spring of the following year. LINK students lived where you are about to live and studied in the same classrooms—they’ll be available to answer your questions before your departure, while you are abroad, and when you arrive in Maine. Please feel free to contact either of the students listed below or the Office of Off-Campus Study to discuss questions or concerns you may have.

Current Student LINK Leader Contacts (new LINK Leaders are chosen each Spring):

Sarah Bozuwa (Salamanca ’18) [email protected]
Justin Alvino (Salamanca ’17) [email protected]

Office of Off-Campus Study (OCS)
Eustis 103
4500 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, Maine 04901
[email protected]


Preparations For Your Semester Abroad

  • A Timeline for your Global Entry Semester Preparations (COMING SOON FOR Fall 2021)
  • Facebook groups for Fall 2021 (This is a closed group, open to GES students and their parents/guardians only)
    • GES Colby in Salamanca 2021  (COMING SOON)
  • Student Visa for Spain.  All GES students must have a passport valid for six months beyond your return from abroad (valid through the end of June, next year, 2022).  If you do not have a passport, or it is expiring before the end of June 2022, please apply or renew now.  A valid passport is necessary to apply for a student visa.  More information on applying for your student visa, along with forms and official letters from Colby will be mailed to you in early June.
  • Student and Parent Handbooks (mailed by early June)
    • Colby in Salamanca
      • Pre-Departure Handbook
      • Parent Handbook
  • Student Guidebook (the new/updated guidebook is mailed to students in July)
    • Colby in Salamanca Student Guidebook
  • Traveling to Salamanca:   Information on traveling to and visiting can be found in the student & parent handbooks.

Colby Information