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Guide international

for

students

Curso 2013–2014


Š 2113, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela Unidixital


Guide for International Students 2013–2014

University of Santiago de Compostela


Welcome to the University of Santiago de Compostela!...........7

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The Spanish University System............................................9

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The University of Santiago................................................13

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Admission .........................................................................15

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Exchange Programs..........................................................17

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Study Abroad Programs....................................................19

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Before you arrive...............................................................21

Types of universities and degrees....................................................9 Official Titles....................................................................................9 Credits............................................................................................11 Grading system .............................................................................11

The USC ........................................................................................13 International Office (Servicio de Relaciones Exteriores, S.R.E.) ..... 14 The University Information Office (Oficina de Informaci贸n Universitaria, O.I.U.).......................................................................14

Beginning of your Studies at USC.................................................15 Continuing your Studies at USC....................................................15 Exchange Programs.......................................................................16 Study Abroad ................................................................................16 Master............................................................................................16 Doctorate ......................................................................................16

European .......................................................................................17 Non-European ...............................................................................17

Application Procedure for Students on Exchange Programs ..21 Application Forms..........................................................................21 On-line Registration.......................................................................21 Documents that need to be uploaded .........................................22 Acceptance Letter .........................................................................22

Application Procedures for other Students .............................23 Student Visas.............................................................................23 Students from Countries within the European Union ...................23 Students from Countries outside the European Union.................23

Medical Insurance.....................................................................23 European Students .......................................................................23 Non-European Students ...............................................................24 Compulsory Insurance ..................................................................24

Accommodation.......................................................................25 Private Accommodation................................................................25 University Residence System.........................................................26 Home stay......................................................................................26

Spanish Courses .......................................................................26 Packing your Suitcase ..............................................................27 How to Get There ....................................................................27


After arriving.....................................................................29 Who to Contact upon Arrival: Contacts ..................................29 International Office .......................................................................29 University Information Office (Oficina de Información Universitaria – OIU)........................................................................30 Contact at the Faculties ................................................................31 Academic Management Unit (UXA)...............................................31 National Police and Banks ............................................................31 National Police:..............................................................................31

Registration Procedures at USC...............................................32 Registration at USC........................................................................32 Changes in the learning agreement and modifications to your registration.....................................................................................32 Online Registration .......................................................................32 Fees of Registration and Enrollment ............................................33 Documents and other procedures for exchange students ...........33

Course Development................................................................34 Semesters ......................................................................................34 Course calendar and registration..................................................34 Schedules and attendance.............................................................34 Testing............................................................................................34

Internet, Wi-Fi, and Computer Labs.........................................35

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Once courses have begun.................................................37 Spanish Courses........................................................................37 Galego (Galician).......................................................................38 Getting around USC.................................................................39 Culture and Sports....................................................................39 Cultural Activities...........................................................................39 Sports.............................................................................................39

Cost of living.............................................................................40 Work permit..............................................................................40 Social Networking.....................................................................41 Social Networking..........................................................................41 Leisure Options..............................................................................41

Horarios y hábitos de vida........................................................42 Travelling in Galicia...................................................................43 What to See ..................................................................................43 Travelling by Train..........................................................................43 Travelling by Bus............................................................................43 Travelling by boat..........................................................................43

Travelling in Spain.....................................................................44 International Student Card (ISIC)..............................................45 Important Phone numbers........................................................45

Index

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Hello! Welcome to the University of Santiago de Compostela! Santiago is the goal destination to be reached on the Way of St. James, or El Camino de Santiago. The importance of this city resides in its ability to receive and welcome foreigners. Things happen in the same way at the university, which since its foundation in 1495 has been an institution open to students and researchers from all parts of the world. Our faculty and staff want all who have chosen to attend our university from all parts of the globe to take advantage of and make the most of their stay here, on an academic and personal level. For those of you who still don’t know whether to come to Santiago, this booklet wants to encourage you to do so. This guide cannot answer all your questions, but it can give a response to many of them, at least the most important and frequent ones. It will not only be useful to prepare your trip, but also when you are already here. It sure is not the most exciting reading stuff for your bedside table, but we hope it will be useful. We feel confident that you will return to your home country recommending our university and all it has to offer. Best Regards, Victor Millet (Vice President for International Relations and Internationalization)

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The Spanish University System

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Types of universities and degrees In Spain, there are official or unofficial university degrees. The official programs pass a rigorous accreditation process, are subject to continuous quality control and the degree is valid throughout the European territory. The unofficial degrees are backed solely by the university and its value depends on its acceptance in the labour market.

Official Titles Titles are offered and structured in three levels: Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate. This diagram illustrates, graphically, the different levels.. 240 credits (4 years)

60 – 120 credits (1 – 2 years) Bachelor (under-graduate)

Job

Master graduate)

PhD thesis

PhD Programme 60 credits (1 year)

3 – 5 years

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The Spanish University System

a) Undergraduate or Bachelor The degree requires a completion of 240 credits spread over 4 academic years (including the final project). The Bachelor is structured as follows: · Basic training (minimum of 60 credits) · Compulsory · Electives · Work experience (maximum of 60 credits) · Final project (minimum of 6 credits and a maximum of 30) · Recognition of cultural activities (maximum of 6 credits) b) Graduate or Master The Master’s degree requires the completion of between 60 and 120 credits, spread out over one or two academic years. Students may be admitted to a master under specific criteria and merit assessment, which, if any, are specific to the chosen University Master Title. c) Doctorate or PhD Doctoral studies in Spain are intended for advanced training in research techniques. They are divided into two levels: one of academic study of at least 60 credits that can be part of (and mostly is) the master level, and another of research that culminates in the defense of a work of original research (the dissertation). Only very few PhD programs have their own courses; mostly they acknowledge a masters. The thesis should be completed after three years of full-time research, but can also be done by registering as part-time, in which case you would have five years to complete. In both cases you can apply for a one year extension.

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Credits The European Credit Transfer System, or ECTS, is a way of measuring the amount of work that a student completes in each academic subject. This is a system that is recognized by all universities that are part of the EHEA (European Higher Education Area). One credit is the equivalent of 25 hours workload. Of these 25 hours, 8 are usually spent in the classroom. The rest of the hours are spent preparing for class, completing assignments, and taking exams that pertain to the academic subject matter. The standard workload for one semester is 30 ECTS credits, and for one year 60 ECTS credits.

Grading system The end results of each of the course are graded on a numerical scale from 1–10, with a decimal point system as well. The number you receive corresponds to the grade you receive:

0 5,0 7,0 9,0

– – – –

4,9 6,9 8,9 10

Fail Fair Good Excellent

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The University of Santiago

An international education is one of the most effective tools a student can have when differentiating their curriculum and experiences from those of other students. The knowledge and understanding of another university outside of his or her own increases a student´s ability to integrate into a globalized labor market of today´s world. This contributes to the improvement of language, an enrichment of life on an academic and personal level, and an increase of maturity and autonomy of the individual student. Each year, the University of Santiago de Compostela receives around 1,500 international students just like you. The purpose of this guide is to facilitate your arrival to Santiago, along with helping you with the necessary preparations and organization you will need before joining our USC community. The USC has two main offices for foreign or “international” students: The International Office (its official name is Servicio de Relaciones Exteriores, SRE) and the other is the University Information Office (Oficina de Información Universitaria, OIU).

The USC The University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) is structured in a rectory (which governs the university), central services (the leading management) and the faculties; these are leaded by deans and they are structured in departments, where professors are grouped. These “departments” are each headed by a dean. There are some faculties that solely offer one bachelor´s degree, in others there’s more than one, and most of them offer various master´s degrees. Click here to see which degree is offered in each of the university´s departments. The USC consists of two campuses: the Santiago de Compostela campus and the Lugo campus, which is located only 90 kilometers northwest of Santiago. Both cities have been declared world cultural heritage by the UNESCO:

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The University of Santiago

Santiago for its old town and its cathedral, Lugo for its Roman wall. Clicking here will allow you to see the location of each campus. The Santiago campus is divided into different parts: the North Campus, Campus Life (formerly known as the South Campus) and the Historical Campus (located in the center of the city). The following link shows the proper locations of each campus. In regards to the Santiago campus, it does not take more than 10 or 15 minutes to reach one side of campus to the other. Here you can see a map of Santiago de Compostela. And here is a map of Lugo.

International Office (Servicio de Relaciones Exteriores, S.R.E.)1 The International Office (its official name is Foreign Relations Service), is equivalent to what many universities refer to as the “International Office”. The SRE is the body responsible for managing, promoting, and centrally coordinating mobility programs at the University of Santiago de Compostela. This office allows for students just like you to undergo their studies in Santiago, on an exchange basis or as regular students, and also to make trips abroad. If you choose to come to Santiago, you will have to pass through the SRE office for a variety of different reasons. Here you will find a team of experts that will inform and assist you, in any way possible, and to the best of their abilities. They will be able to assist you with almost any question you may have when you arrive in Santiago. This office has locations at both the Santiago and Lugo campuses, respectively. It is always better to come by for a personal visit, but they can also accommodate your problems by e-mail. You will find the complete contact details in chapter 13.

The University Information Office (Oficina de Información Universitaria, O.I.U.) The University Information Office is where to go for all types of information about the USC: what services are offered and how to find them, what can be studied and how, and what documentation is needed for this or that. The OIU collects information from the entire university and arranges and orders this information so it can be explained with clarity. This office has locations at both the Santiago and Lugo campuses as well. You can drop by personally, reach them via phone or by e-mail. You will find the complete contact details in chapter 13. If someone at the office cannot help you with your question or concern, they will assist you in finding more information, and therefore, an answer. 1 Attention: This service used to be called Oficina de Relaciones Exteriores. For this reason, and also because it is much easier to pronounce, many people still call it “la ORE”.

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3 Admission You can come to USC either to start your studies or to continue the ones you have already began at your home university in your country. You can also participate in an exchange program (for a semester or a year, without the right to a degree) or in a study abroad program, to study for a master’s or a doctorate.

Beginning of your Studies at USC To begin studies at USC, you have to have passed the entrance exams to the university in a European country or China (the only non-European country that Spain recognizes in terms of entrance exams). If this is not your case, you may take the exam in Spain. Find out here.

Continuing your Studies at USC If you want to continue the same studies you initiated in your country but to get a degree from the University of Santiago de Compostela, you will have to apply for recognition and submit this application to the proper faculty. You can only be admitted to USC if the university can recognize you have already completed 30 credits.

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Admission

Exchange Programs If you university has a bilateral Erasmus contract or other type of exchange you can come to USC in “exchange” for a semester or an academic year. To do this you have to be nominated by your home university and follow the procedures established for this purpose. Individual requests are not allowed.

Study Abroad If you are a non-European student you may study in a study abroad program, which is unrelated to exchange agreements. You must register on the Study Abroad Program and pay the required fees.

Master If you want to study to receive a master’s degree at USC you have to apply before April 15th of each year at Servicio de Xestión Académica (SXA). The Master’s Academic Committee will grant (or not grant) a pre-admission and then you will submit a relevant document to SXA. If you need a visa, the letter that you send will help you apply.

Doctorate If you enroll in a doctoral program, you have to contact the program coordinator and the International Doctoral School.

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Exchange Programs

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Many international students come to USC on exchange programs. There are different types.

European Erasmus. This program is over 25 years old and is one of the most popular options offered through the USC mobility program. An average of 400 students are sent and 600 are received at the USC each course. Under the Erasmus program studies can be done for a minimum of one semester and a maximum of one academic school year. Over 450 European universities are affiliated with USC and have has a signed Erasmus agreement (see the list of Erasmus Partners at USC International. One can only participate in the Erasmus mobility program once.

Non-European a) Latin America The University of Santiago – which has signed agreements with more than 70 universities in Latin America – receives more than 400 students from these universities each year, and sends more than 150 of its students to Latin America in return. This mobility program is constantly increasing with each academic year. The following link will help you find information concerning the agreements the USC has with Latin America. b) Agreements with Other Countries The USC has signed bilateral agreements to host international students from universities in Australia, the USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, China, Central Asian Republics, Gulf countries, etc. Information on agreements with these countries can be found here.

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Study Abroad Programs

If you are a student from outside the European Higher Education Area, you may access USC via a study abroad program, be it Patex (the standard study abroad programme) or the Focus-USC, a combined offer of long-term intensive Spanish courses and a semester or year at USC. These programs will be available soon.

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Before you arrive Application Procedure for Students on Exchange Programs Application Forms The home university must contact the SRE via mail: ore@usc.es/erasmus@usc. es (depending on the selected program) pertaining to the selected candidates who want to study at our university. It is not necessary to send documents via the postal service to the university. Sending the nomination through corporate mail would be enough. We will check to see that the nomination comes from one of our partner universities and will only need to know your personal details if you are a student candidate (full name, what you are studying, and e-mail address), along with what courses you would like to take at USC so that you can be placed in the proper school according to your academic profile.

On-line Registration Once accepted after the nomination of a faculty member, the SRE will register you into the system and will send you a welcome e-mail with a username and password so that you can access the web page. You then must following the instructions as direction on the web page itself.

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Before you arrive

Documents that need to be uploaded It is very important that you include all your personal data electronically and upload the following documents to the system (the system will provide you with the form): a) Full Transcript: This document must come from a reliable source and state with clarity all subjects you have previously studied in your original university and the grades you obtained (this will be emitted by your home university). b) Learning Agreement: This document is the basis of the academic recognition of studies and must be accompanied by the form mentioned above. The form that is provided will record the courses you want to take during your stay at USC and the equivalent materials of your original university so that they are validated and recognized by the end of your academic time during the exchange program. c) Up-to-Date Passport (this should be presented upon arriving at the SRE). d) Letter of Motivation (which you do yourself): is an open-ended document in which you express the motivation you have to study in the exchange program, explain why you have chosen our institution and what personal academic expectations you have during this academic exchange program.

Acceptance Letter Upon completing the documentation you will receive an e-mail indicating that you can print your acceptance letter. This is the document that accredits that you have a place in the exchange program; you must show this document upon arriving to the University of Santiago. You must also present the document to the embassy or consulate if you need to obtain a student visa. In some countries you will need to show the original acceptance letter, rather than the one you received via e-mail. In this case you must contact the SRE so that they can send you a letter via the postal service to your home or home university.

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Application Procedures for other Students As you have seen in chapter 3, there are many ways to come to study at USC. Therefore, if you are not on an exchange program or on any other program organized by your home university, you better can ask for the steps to do at the International Office: study.abroad@usc.es.

Student Visas Students from Countries within the European Union If you are a student from a country that is within the European Union you do not need to obtain a Student Visa.

Students from Countries outside the European Union If you are a non-European Union student who wants to spend a period of time studying at USC you will most likely need to apply for a student visa at the Embassy or Spanish Consulate in your home country. The USC cannot accept students who are not able to present a Student Visa to avoid issues by competent authorities. You can see the list of countries which require a Student Visa. Information over specific legal formalities can be found by visiting the web page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación), or on the web page of the Spanish Embassies or Consulates.

Medical Insurance Spain has excellent network coverage throughout its entirety. There is a public health system based on “health centers” that you may attend, as needed, and where doctors can also treat minor emergencies. The specialists and emergency services for more severe cases can be found at the hospitals. Santiago and Lugo both have several health centers located throughout the city along with their respective hospitals. In Santiago, the hospital, large and modern, is also the clinical center of the University. In addition to this, there is also a network of doctors and private clinics, which have the same health insurance as any nonpublic company. In this respect, Santiago and Luge are well-equipped, with clinics that perform all kinds of visits, analysis and operations.

European Students

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Before you arrive

If you are from a country in the European Economic Area (the European Union and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) you should consider the Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (TSE) or European Health Insurance Card. This will ensure that you can get the same benefits as any citizen in the national public health system. This system has primary care health centers that have general practitioners and nurses working for them. These health care centers also refer patients to medical specialists, which generally have an inquiry in public hospitals. The national health system (“Social Security”) considers foreign students as being “displaced”. Because of this, students studying in Santiago and Lugo are assigned a general practitioner for the academic year and are given a student health card. To get it, you must go to the health center with a personal identification document and your European health card and must state that you are displaced to Santiago or Lugo. In Santiago, those who study in the North Campus should go to the Vite or Fontiñas health centers. Those who study in the South Campus should go to the Concepción Arenal or Conxo health centers.

Non-European Students If you come from a country that is not part of the European Union, the embassy or consulate will require you to show proof that you have your own private health insurance that will cover you for the time period you will be in Spain. This insurance guarantees health care throughout the private network. You will have to present this, along with other documentation, upon arrival to the International Office (SRE) so that they can put include it in your file. After enrolling in UXA, they will give you your USC school insurance policy document that will provide you with your health coverage. If you should need medical attention, you should go to the Complejo Hospitalario Universitario (the University Hospital) and, before receiving medical attention, call 91 344 11 55 for the insurance company authorization. For more information, you can contact the insurer at: 981 553 614.

Compulsory Insurance All students enrolled at USC must pay a compulsory insurance, which is a medical insurance including accidents. Upon arriving at UXA you will receive the document with the full text explaining the insurance and its coverage. For more information please contact by e-mail or phone.

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Accommodation Both Santiago de Compostela and Lugo are small cities in which university life is very important. Both cities consequently have a great variety of both public and private student accommodation. Finding an accommodation that suites your necessities and possibilities is always quite a piece of work, but different to what occurs in other cities or countries, in Santiago and Lugo finding accommodation is not a real problem.

Private Accommodation The majority of students live in flats with other students, therefore there are ample options in terms of furnished living spaces within a certain price range, which, in general, is very affordable (between 150 and 250€ per person). Also, because you are an international student, these living accommodations are a great way to meet and relate with other students just like you. To find and research the best living option for you, the best thing for international students to do is consult USC’s digital newspaper. At this site, students can post whichever type of announcement they please, whether they are searching for or offering living accommodations. Online you can also find offers of apartments to be shared with other students. The site also offers a virtual community aimed at students, which includes housing search among its other services. For example: Idealista, Patatabrava or Erasmusu. Many students that rent apartments but have open rooms hang posters throughout the university’s buildings. If after this process you still have not found your chosen living accommodation, look for these posters, note down the student’s phone number and give them a call. I assure you that you will find a good living situation shortly after. The next question is the choice of your apartment which, among other things, depends on the environment of the part of the city in which you desire the living space to be located. Both Santiago de Compostela and Lugo are safe and relatively small cities, and because of this you will not have to travel long distances, regardless of where you live. Although this is true, what would be ideal is to live near the center of the city (such as Praza de Galicia or Praza Roxa in Santiago) to help you enjoy all the city has to offer. However, in Lugo, as time has passed, the Aceña de Olga zone is the closest to campus and is where many students live. This area has grown and been renovated a lot and is a great place to live despite being just outside the city itself.

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Before you arrive

University Residence System In terms of what kinds of accommodations the university has to offer, the USC has a residence system. There is a specific call for international students per semester, which is published in the month of April. The total number of places that are offered is 1000 and the price of one place of accommodations with a double room is 246â‚Ź per month. Note: Accommodation of international students will always be in shared single-sex rooms.

Home stay Some students would rather live in a traditional Spanish family. USC does not facilitate home stay. But at Cursos Internacionales (chapter 18) they might find a suitable family for you.

Spanish Courses We strongly recommend enrolling in an intensive Spanish course before the semester begins. If you already speak Spanish, it will help you to follow regular courses right from the beginning. If you don’t speak it fluently, it will contribute to start your linguistic immersion and to activate your communicative competences. In any case, bear in mind that a Spanish language course helps you to get integrated. You can find our Spanish courses offer in chapter 18.

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Packing your Suitcase Santiago de Compostela has a humid ocean climate. Its close proximity to the coast gives it mild winters (with temperatures between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius) and fairly warm summers (with temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius). Some nights may reach freezing temperatures in the winter (2 or 3 degrees below zero), but those days will bring the sun and the air usually gets warm again by mid-afternoon. Another thing to consider is that the rain is a sure thing all year round, although it does rain less in the summer. Seeing the center of Santiago with its streets and houses made of granite wet due to the rain is an especially beautiful scene. However, when the Atlantic’s climates take control, strong winds and rain result in a less pleasant scenery. Lugo has a more continental climate, with temperatures that are a little colder but also less full of rain in the winter. In Lugo it is normal for some snow to fall; in Santiago it is a rare occurrence. The snow, however, never stays more than a few days. You can see Santiago and Lugo’s respective climates.

How to Get There Santiago counts on an international airport (SCQ) with direct flights operating to a wide number of various cities. The airport is only a few kilometers from the city. Upon arriving at the airport, you can take a taxi to the center of the city that will take about 20 minutes and will cost about 20 € (flat rate). There is also a regular bus that makes the same trip for less money, although they do take longer to arrive to the center of the city. You can find the buses hours here. For international flights, it’s sometimes useful to check operations to Porto international airport Sa Carneiro (OPO) in Portugal. There’s a bus from Porto airport to Santiago. You can also arrive to Santiago by train from Madrid, A Coruña, and Vigo, or by bus.

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7 After arriving Who to Contact upon Arrival: Contacts International Office At the International Office, with the official name Servicio Relaciones Exteriores you will go through all the initial steps and receive all the necessary information as part of an orientation to the university. You should go to this office first upon arrival. It can be found here: International Office (Santiago de Compostela) ore@usc.es ; erasmus@usc.es Address: Casa Elisa y Jimena Fernández de La Vega Casas Reais nº 8 Santiago de Compostela International Office Staff: Head of the office: Enrique López Veloso enrique.lopez.veloso@usc.es Head of Exchange Department: Gloria Ventosa Fernández gloria.ventosa@ usc.es Erasmus: erasmus@usc.es Pablo Nieto Mallo, Lorena López, María García Rionegro Bilateral /Intercambio outside of Europe: ore@usc.es, Gloria Ventosa gloria.ventosa@usc.es, Alba Cachafeiro alba.cachafeiro@usc.es

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After arriving

Faculty Exhange Program: Isabel Barreiro mariaisabel.barreiro.vazquez@usc.es International Office (Lugo) Address: Edificio Biblioteca Intercentros s/n 27002 Lugo relext@usc.es (Bárbara Rovira, Anne Forryan, Marco Antonio Varela)

University Information Office (Oficina de Información Universitaria – OIU) In the University Information Office you can find information over all kinds of peculiarities regarding studies and/or services offered by the USC and how to access them. In the Santiago Campus it can be found here: Pabellón Estudiantil, 2º piso – Campus Vida 15782 Santiago de Compostela Phone: 881 81 20 00 e-mail: oiusec@usc.es In the Lugo Campus it can be found here: Edificio Biblioteca Intercentros 27002 Lugo Phone: 982 82 35 81 – 982 82 35 85 e-mail: oiulugo@usc.es

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Contact at the Faculties The International Office will provide you contact information for your professors within your faculty. Depending on the exchange program you are a part of, you will be able to conntact one or more of the following: a) Erasmus Coordinator: This is a professor who is in charge or receiving and answering questions based on your academic time at the university. This professor can answer questions about choosing your courses and elaboration or modifying your academic agreement. Upon arriving, you should visit this person, but you can also contact them once your nomination has been received from your home university, if you have any questions regarding your learning agreement. All contact information for these coordinators (phone number, e-mail) are in the Directory. You may also contact someone in the International Office if you wish. b) Bilateral Coordinator: This person has the same duties as the Erasmus coordinator, but has a focus on bilateral agreements. c) International Student advisor: the vice-dean of the Faculty who is in charge of receiving and advising international students. d) Senior Faculty manager: Every Faculty has a senior manager who is in charge of all legal and academic procedures.

Academic Management Unit (UXA) This is the place where you should go to process your registration and make any necessary changes. There are three centralized locations of this unit grouped based on academic qualifications belonging to the three campuses: “Campus Vida”, North Campus, and the Lugo Campus. See map.

National Police and Banks Leaving university related business aside, there are some other things to take care of, like getting a green card and setting up a bank account. To obtain a green card, you must go to the immigration section of the National Police with your passport and valid student visa.

National Police: - Santiago de Compostela: Avenida de Rodrigo de Padrón, 3. Phone: 981 551 100. - Lugo: Avenida Ramón Ferreiro, 14. Phone: 982 225 703. Obtaining a bank account is easy, fast, and completely free because the USC is associated with Banco Santander. You can set this up from the offices situated in the Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales (North Campus) and in the COIE (Campus Vida).

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After arriving

Registration Procedures at USC Registration at USC You must register in the subjects you have chosen or which are in your learning agreement. You’ll do this shortly after arriving, considering the enrollment calendar. For more information click on the following link. After showing up at the International Office and with the learning agreement finalized or other necessary documents, you must proceed to the Academic Management Unit (UXA) with all proper materials. There’s one UXA at each Campus. You will have to go to the one situated in the Campus in which you are going follow 50% or more of your subjects.

Changes in the learning agreement and modifications to your registration Each modification of your learning agreement will require a modification to your registration. You will repeat the same process every time a modification has to be made. These changes must be done to ensure you can take exams on time and have them be graded.

Online Registration The online registration that you put into the system after receiving the welcome e-mail does not mean that you have completed the registration process.

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Fees of Registration and Enrollment a) If you are an exchange program student, you do not pay registration for the amount of credits (tuition) but you must pay the compulsory insurance (15€), even if you have your own private insurance (see 8.3). b) If you are a regular student, without a tuitionfree exchange, a visitor of some sort or otherwise, and you come from somewhere in the EHEA, you will pay a publicly funded enrollment fee of about 800–1,000€ for a full Bachelor’s course (60 ECTS) and about 1,200– 1,800€ for a complete Master course. c) If you are a student from those described in the previous section, but from outside the EHEA, you cannot have a tuition grant and will have to pay a price of 4200€ per full Bachelor’s course grade and 6600€ for a full Masters course.

Documents and other procedures for exchange students a) Certificate of arrival. Arriving at SRE you will fill out this form (or bring one from your own university, if you already have one) stating that you have chosen to come to our university. We will then send your home university the form to establish the exact date of your arrival. b) Certificate of end of stay. This form is similar to the one above, but this one will serve as a record of your departure date so that your home university can record the end of the exchange. c) Extension of your stay. If your home university and the academic coordinators (of the two universities) allow it, and if your stay was intended to be for one semester, you may choose to stay for one full academic year. You will ask for permission filling in the extensionof-stay-form, which is to be signed and sealed by both parties. You should also contact the academic coordinator of your Faculty to add and modify the learning agreement and the registration.

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After arriving

Course Development Semesters The course is divided into two semesters. In some places you will still find the term “quarters”, but that is not the official name; so this is given as a note simply to eliminate any confusion. The first semester begins in early September and ends with Christmas. The first semester is followed by a examination period in January for each subject. The second semester begins in early February and ends in mid-May, followed by another examination period in June. If you do not pass a test on a specific subject (in January or June, that is, in the first or second semester), you can try again in July. Please note that although the structure of the academic year is done by semester, course planning is done by the academic year. This means that, except in the (rare) cases of courses that last two semesters, all courses are offered either in the first or in the second semester, not in both.

Course calendar and registration You will fin the official academic calendar for the 2012-2013 academic year on the enrollment calendar.

Schedules and attendance Class attendance is mandatory. The schedule of classes, internships, and teacher tutoring hours are on the website of each individual faculty. You should know that at USC the courses are divided into exposure part and practice part. For the exposure part, the groups are large (80 to100 students). The practices, in change, consist of groups smaller than 30, sometimes 20 students or sometimes 8 students (such as in medicine). This means that students enrolled in a particular subject can be grouped together in a single group for theoretical hours, but are divided into two, three, or four groups for practical hours. This is why the schedule of lectures and practices are shown separately. Make sure to take a look at it when making your course schedule. If you study in an area that only has a few students, such as e.g. philosophy, you will not have this problem.

Testing The testing period is indicated in the academic calendar noted above. You should check the exam schedule for each subject, as it is allowed for each faculty to set their own proper dates and times. If you fail or do not show up for any exam in January or May/June, you can redeem yourself with a second chance in July (see 14.1). If you fail again or do not show up, you will and be considered as “failed”.

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Internet, Wi-Fi, and Computer Labs When you enroll at USC you receive an e-mail account and will have access to the university computer network. However, you need to go to the computer lab so that your faculty can assign you as a registered user. This means you will be assigned an account from USC (xxx.xxx@rai.usc.es) and a password. With your passwords you can use more than 1,800 computers in over 90 different computer labs, and connect to the university’s wireless network as well from your own computer, cell phone, or tablet, as all parts of the campus are equipped with the USC Wi-Fi. Also, with this username you can access the Secretaría Virtual, your electronic administration area, through which you can perform various steps to register for classes, see your academic record, receive exam notes via SMS, post complaints, request certificates, and much more. The following link will refer you to the Secretaría Virtual. Professors are beginning to use virtual classrooms more and more by using the work platform Moodle. By entering your username and password you can access and download various materials and literature related to your subjects, as well as participate in discussion forums that may arise throughout the course classes.

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8

Once courses have begun Spanish Courses

To study at USC you should have a level of Spanish equivalent to B1 of the common European framework for language reference. Some degrees, especially the Bachelor in Spanish Language and Literature, require a higher lever, the B2. Some other degrees in the Humanities and Social Sciences (like Law or History) do not require a higher lever of Spanish, but it is recommendable. The USC has a Language Center (Centro de Lenguas Modernas, CLM) that offers Spanish courses for foreigners. They schedule intensive courses for exchange students before or at the beginning of each semester, and regular courses of 3 hours a week throughout the semester. You will find their course schedule here. If you are participating in a student exchange program, you may request your participation in an intensive Spanish course during your online registration process. This is done so that the CLM can have an idea of how many students they are expected to have. This does not mean you do not have to enroll in the Spanish level test in CLM itself to place you into an appropriate level. When you have finished the course and passed the exam, you can issue a certificate validating them as credits towards your home university studies. In addition, USC also has a school specializing in intensive Spanish programs for foreigners, called Cursos Internacionales (International Courses). CI is focused on intensive courses with a rich cultural program, courses on demand, courses with internship, courses on the Way of St. James. If you cannot find a program that suits your needs at CLM, or if you are looking for a different cours, look what CI can offer you or contact them by e-mail: linguas@usc.es. Both centers are accredited to conduct the examinations of the Cervantes Institute resulting in a Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE), which they organize in coordination three times per year. They also publish together a series of didactic materials.

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Once courses have begun

Galego (Galician) In Galicia, in addition to Spanish, the people speak Galego (Galician). Galego is an antique language derived from Latin that was spoken in the Spanish kingdoms until the 14th century. From old Galego came what we nowadays know as Portuguese, and both languages are still very similar. Galego, along with Spanish, are the official languages of Galicia and are used habitually at USC. Because of this, many documents and forms pertaining to the university are written in Galego. Everyone living in Galicia understands Galego, even if they are not from Galicia or have a distinct accent when they speak it. Galego is present today on the radio and on television. Because of this, if you speak Spanish, you will easily understand and learn Galician. Galego is used in about 20 percent of the courses at USC, but this figure varies greatly from one Faculty to another: in some places it is widely used, in others it is almost never used. Both teachers and students have the right to use any of the two languages, Spanish and Galician, both in class and on exams. You may find yourself with teachers who teach classes only in Galego, and their choice must be respected. You may also write papers or exams in either language and respond in class in either one also. The frequent and indistinct usage of two languages is called bilingualism. The fact that in Spain there are broad bilingual regions (Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia) is a unique cultural richness that is important to keep. Having a familiarity with Galego will help you in your travels to the neighboring country of Portugal. Both in Galicia and Northern Portugal, including the city of Porto, it is normal for Galicians to speak Galego and for Portuguese to speak Portuguese, and both can communicate this way without any problems. If one day you find yourself having business in or with Brazil, knowing Galego will also help you a lot.

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Getting around USC Santiago and Lugo are both small, university towns. All major parts of these cities, especially parts of the college campus, are easily accessible by foot or public transportation. In 15 or 20 minutes, maximum, you can reach almost any place you need to go on foot. Within the campus itself these distances are even smaller. For this reason, it is easy to get around Santiago and/or Lugo cycling, although some of the slopes may cause you to work up a slight sweat. The USC has a bicycle rental program that is available every year (although there are not enough bikes for everyone).

Culture and Sports Cultural Activities In a university city like Santiago de Compostela, there are always a lot of cultural activities to follow. But USC also has its own cultural programs. There’s a university choir, a dancing group, a music group, several theatre groups and many more. Find out here what USC can offer you in this sense. Don’t forget that USC is a university with a rich historical heritage, which you can visit. Its worthwhile; for students its free the first time and your next visits will cost you only 5 €. Gather some friends and visit it.

Sports The USC has a Sports Service that has a complete network of sports facilities with more or less modernized equipment, where you can practice (nearly) all kinds of sports. This service also organizes activities and sports leagues on both the Santiago and Lugo campuses.

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Once courses have begun

Cost of living Santiago de Compostela and Lugo are affordable student cities. With a budget of between 500 and 600€ per month you can live comfortably as a student. Both cities have a range of accommodations for all types of budgets (see chapter 9). The average price of a daily menu in a restaurant is about 10€. You can see dining hall prices here. Other prices that may interest you are as follows: one loaf of bread (1 €), a liter of milk is about 0.80 €, a dozen of eggs will cost you about 1€ (so does a bus ticket and a coffee in a bar). A kilo of potatoes will cost you about 0.70 €, and a kilo of pasta about 0.80 €. A beer in a bar goes for about 2 €, a movie ticket 6 €, a drink in a pub or nightclub 5 €, and a soda 0.60€.

Work permit European exchange students may have an employment contract during their stay in Spain. If you are a non-European student on a student visa, you can work part-time as long as the proceeds from this work are not the main resource for your support. You can see the rules of visas here.

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Social Networking Social Networking Among the community of international students at the University of Santiago de Compostela there are many organized and very active social networks that organize leisure activities, such as: Erasmus parties, international days, excursions, and much more endless social entertainment initiatives that will serve to help you integrate into the international university environment of the city and help you make the most of your exchange program and stay. a) International exchange student association of USC Erasmus Student Network (ESN). This is the biggest and most active international student association at USC. b) Sharing Galicia. This is a non-profit organization for students. They organize day trips by van, with a driver who will suggest a number of places for them to visit. In addition, participants, besides getting to know the landscape and other parts of Galicia, will be allowed to interact with each other to have at the end a touristic and social experience. Contact c) International Association Enxebre Compostela.

Leisure Options Santiago does not need to promote itself: all students who come to the city want to extend their stay. As an example, one may refer to Sharing Galicia’s recommendations on where to go for tapas, drinks, music, etc. A very useful website is the one of the Santiago Tourism Office, because it not only includes very elaborate cultural, touristic and gastronomic information, but it also has a very good cultural agenda with information on concerts, local theatres and cinemas.

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Once courses have begun

Lifestyle In Spain Central European Time is used, which is GMT +1. But in Spain in general, and particularly Santiago, which is far west from the Greenwich meridian, the sunrises and sets very late. Consequently, all activity is delayed. Most shops do not open until 10am, but they do not close until 21 or 22 hours. People here do not eat at noon. Most people do have lunch at 14 or even at 15 hours and it is rare that a restaurant will serve you dinner before 20 hours. Also, many people do not eat dinner until 21.30 or 22 hours. There are exceptions, however, and one of them is the government related buildings and banks. The administrative staff of the university begins their workday at 8 in the morning (although in some cases the customer service does not begin until 9am) and ends at 15 hours. After this time you will hardly find any office to be open. The customer service in the banks is also in the morning, usually 9–14 hours. Nightlife in Spain is also delayed. Young people do not usually go out for a drink or go to dance before 23 hours and often do not leave their places until after midnight. Because of this, especially on Thursdays or Fridays, it is not uncommon to return home until dawn.

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Travelling in Galicia What to See We recommend that you fully utilize your experience in Santiago de Compostela, but also get to know other Galician cities such as Ourense and Pontevedra, which both have untouched historical town with some elements in common with Santiago. You should not miss a visit to the picturesque medieval villages of Betanzos, Cambados, Muros, Ribadavia or Viveiro. These cities, among others, exemplify the Galician traditional architecture where it may seem as if time has stopped there. Do not forget to make a trip to A Coru単a, a beautiful and dynamic port city overlooking the Atlantic, which also has a rich historical and architectural heritage, and is also famous for its Tower of Hercules.

Travelling by Train Santiago is connected by the rail network that was recently modernized with high speed trains connecting it to the cities of A Coru単a and Ourense. This is the website of the RENFE (Spanish National Railways).

Travelling by Bus The Galician cost can be seen thoroughly by bus. This will help you get to know the peculiarity of its rivers and its hundreds of cozy beaches. This course must be made by bus, and you should refer to this website for more information on Santiago bus routes.

Travelling by boat An alternative way to travel in the Galician coast is cruising by boat. You should not miss a visit, by boat, to the Islas Cies and Ons, which are both members of the Atlantic Islands National Park.

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Once courses have begun

Travelling in Spain Santiago de Compostela is well connected with other cities of Galicia and Spain. It has an international airport from which you can enjoy major and lowcost airlines to help you travel around Europe. One of the reasons that the University of Santiago de Compostela is one of the favorite destinations for exchange and international students is because it is a student community and has a perfect base from which to travel around Europe. Most of our international students take advantage of their stay and use it to travel the rest of Europe. Thanks to the Schengen agreement, a student visa will allow you to travel around the European Union without problems. The United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein are members of the agreement, but that have special conditions. So, depending on your home country, you may still need to apply for a tourist.

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International Student Card (ISIC) This is the card that identifies you as a student anywhere in the world, and with which you can access more than 34,000 discounts. It is a document recognized by UNESCO and the European community, which since its beginning has been used by over 35 million students worldwide. The international student card offers discounts on airline tickets, trains and buses, museums, and more.

Important Phone numbers National telephone information................ 11888 International telephone information.......... 11886 Emergency..................................................... 112 Fire Department............................................. 080 Town police.................................................... 092 National police............................................... 091 Ambulances .................................................. 061

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Once courses have begun

Estudiantes Internacionales USC  

Guía de ayuda para los estudiantes internacionales de la Universidad de Santiago de Compostela

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