Study Abroad

Study abroad is strongly encouraged. The department offers four programs that are matched directly with major and minor requirements:

  1. Summer study abroad program in Alcalá de Henares, Spain (30 minutes from Madrid). It runs every odd-numbered year.
  2. Summer Study Abroad Program in Santiago de Chile will be in place even-numbered years, starting in 2012.
  3. Summer study abroad program in Portoalegre, Brazil. It runs every year.
  4. Spring study abroad program in Havana, Cuba, which runs every year.

To learn more about the Alcalá de Henares program, write to us at alcala@pitt.edu. Information about the brand-new Chile program is available at chile@pitt.edu. To find out about the Portoalegre program, email brazilsa@pitt.edu. Contact the Study Abroad Office (stdyabrd@pitt.edu, 412-648-7419) to find out about the Cuba program, or about any other Pitt international program.

Study Abroad Guidelines

If you choose to study abroad in a program other than the ones sponsored by the department, then you should obtain prior departmental approval of those courses in order to have them count toward your Spanish major or minor. To do so, you should schedule a meeting with an undergraduate adviser -- and make sure to do this well in advance of your intended departure date.

Come to the meeting prepared. To determine whether a given course offered abroad counts, the adviser needs the following information:

  1. Course overview or syllabus
  2. Number of contact hours (a minimum of 45 hours is required)
  3. The fact that Spanish is the language of instruction

To document 1-3, please being materials from the foreign university (web printouts are acceptable).

4. The contract from the Study Abroad Office (SAO) which you are given after you have met with OSA staff.

Play it safe

Get approval for more courses than you actually expect to take; this way, you will save yourself some trouble in case some courses get cancelled once you are abroad.

To help you narrow down your choices, remember that in order for a course taken at a foreign university to be validated, it has to be taught in Spanish and to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • SPAN 0001, 0002, and 0015: 75 contact hours
  • SPAN 0003 and higher: 45 contact hours

Credits in residence at Pitt

Remember that Spanish majors are required to take a minimum of eighteen (18) credits of the thirty eight (38) required for the major in residence at the University of Pittsburgh. Spanish 0055, Spanish 1806, and one upper level elective must be included in these eighteen (18) credits. Minors must take a minimum of nine (9) credits in residence, and these must include one upper-level course. So, even if more courses are eventually approved in your study abroad contract, you will only be able to transfer as many credits toward the major or the minor as the in-residence rules allow.

Once you are abroad

Enjoy! And let a departmental adviser know if there is any change in your plans. More often than not, some of the courses you plan to take will be cancelled and replacements have to be identified. If this occurs, or if you decide to drop a pre-approved course and to add a replacement, in order to ensure that a new course will count, check the course with an adviser via e-mail. Keep a copy of all the correspondence.

How to register for Pitt classes while you are abroad

E-mail any of your advisers to discuss your enrollment plans, so that he/she can allow you to self-register on-line.

Upon your return

Please bring a copy of your foreign university transcript and give it to Lucy DiStazio, so that you can get credit for your work. Until the copy is in your file, the department will not be able to certify you for graduation. In addition, if you took courses other than those listed on your SAO contract and you discussed them with an adviser via e-mail, please bring copies of those e-mail exchanges. This will help the adviser prepare the crediting in an expedited manner.