Spanish Visiting Student Program (SVSP)

A. Rationale
B. Eligibility
C. Program Structure
D. Course Selection and Transfer Credit
E. Credits Toward an Education Minor in Modern Languages (Spanish)
F. Grading
G. Application to the Department of Modern Languages
H. Enrolment and Fees
I. Financial Assistance
J. Step-by-Step Procedure


Study in a Spanish-speaking milieu is an excellent means of improving one's understanding of the Spanish language and Spanish and Latin American culture.


The program is designed primarily for students completing a minor in Spanish. Students are eligible to participate when they have second-year standing (a minimum of 30 credit hours) and when they have Spanish 2000 with a minimum C minus (C-).

Since participants in the SVSP must register at the University of Lethbridge, they maintain their official University of Lethbridge student status while studying at the host university. As Residence Requirements vary across Faculties, students are advised to consult the University of Lethbridge Calendar and/or an Academic Advisor for the Residence Requirements of their Faculty.

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Students will spend a full semester at a Spanish speaking university in Spain or Latin America (excluding Brazil). Participation in the SVSP is not permitted during summer semesters. The formal requirements of the Program are:

1. Participation: During the semester a maximum of 6 one-semester courses, to include:

a) SPAN 2250. This course involves regular correspondence in Spanish with the U. of L. Spanish Off-Campus Studies Coordinator. A minimum of six (6) 500-word letters describing the student's experience must be forwarded every other week at predetermined dates. Credit for this work is granted in recognition of the anticipated improvement in the student's command of the Spanish language, resulting from her/his participation in the SVSP.

b) five Spanish transfer courses in Spanish language, Peninsular or Latin American literature, culture and civilization or Spanish linguistics. Spanish transfer courses must be taught in Spanish and must be eligible for credit at the 2000, 3000 or 4000 level at the University of Lethbridge.

2. Options: In the above program of 5 Spanish transfer courses (C.1.b.), a maximum of two substitutions are allowed:

a) Students may substitute a one-semester non-Spanish transfer course for one of the Spanish transfer courses mentioned above. A non-Spanish transfer course is a course in another discipline (e.g., antropología, historia , etc.) in which Spanish is the language of instruction. Physical activities, other languages or courses taught in English are EXCLUDED.

b) Students may substitute a University of Lethbridge Independent Study in Spanish for one of the Spanish transfer courses mentioned above.

3. Minimum program requirements: In order to remain officially enrolled in the SVSP, students must complete at least three courses as follows:

a) Spanish 2250,

b) One Spanish transfer course,

c) One of the following: i) A second Spanish transfer course; ii) One non-Spanish transfer course; iii) One Independent Study in Spanish.

N.B. If a student does not complete the minimum program requirements, s/he will be considered to have dropped out of the SVSP. Only students fulfilling the minimum requirements of the SVSP will be eligible to receive credit for Spanish 2250.

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In selecting a university for the SVSP, prospective applicants should consult the promotional literature describing study opportunities in Spanish speaking regions - see brochures on display on Department bulletin boards and the online suggestions. The Spanish Off-Campus Studies Coordinator in the Department of Modern Languages can also provide advice on selecting a university.

Students must select their courses for the SVSP in consultation with the Spanish Off-Campus Studies Coordinator. While prepared to advise students on course selection and transfer credit, the Coordinator is not authorized to grant transfer credit for courses which students intend to take off campus. Upon completion of their courses at the host university, students will apply for transfer credit at the Admissions office at the University of Lethbridge as described in paragraph J.8 and 9. For non-Spanish transfer courses, students should consult an advisor in the appropriate Department at the University of Lethbridge for advice on transfer credit. In planning their off-campus courses, students should keep the following in mind:

  • In order to be eligible for transfer credit at the U. of L., Spanish transfer courses must be at or above the level of Spanish for which the students have obtained official credit in a given "stream"; the Department recognizes four main "streams": language, literature, culture and civilization and linguistics. For example, students who have successfully completed a 3000-level Spanish language course will not be allowed transfer credit for 2000-level Spanish language courses taken off campus. Students must have passed the courses taken off campus in order to receive transfer credit for them. Moreover, any courses which duplicate work for which the student has already obtained official credit will not be eligible for transfer credit. Finally, a student may obtain a maximum of FOUR TRANSFER CREDITS from participation in the SVSP, plus an additional credit for Spanish 2250.
  • Students may be required to take a language placement test by the host university. Students are strongly advised to enroll only in courses for which they are properly qualified, as indicated by the results of the placement test. Some students may thus find themselves having to take courses which are below the level of Spanish for which they have already obtained official credit. Such courses would not be eligible for transfer credit.
  • Participants in SVSP should be aware that they may take longer than expected to complete all of their program requirements at the University of Lethbridge. For example, if the courses from the host university transfer at the 2000-level rather than the 3000-level, the transfer courses may not satisfy students' university of Lethbridge degree requirements. Such students would have to take additional courses to meet their graduation requirements.

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  • Only Spanish transfer courses count toward the requirements for a Spanish Minor in Education.
  • Non-Spanish transfer courses count toward students' general degree requirements but not toward an Education Minor in Spanish.
  • 5-Year BA/BEd (Spanish Minor) Spanish 2250 is a recommended course in this program.


  • Mention will be made on participants' University of Lethbridge transcript that the semester was spent in the SVSP at a particular Latin American or Spanish institution. However, University policy does not permit titles of courses taken at the host university and grades awarded to appear on the University of Lethbridge transcript. Such information is recorded only on the transcript issued by the host institution. The transcript issued by the host university will be kept in each student's personal file.
  • Since students' grades from the host university are not recorded on the University of Lethbridge transcript and do not affect students' GPA at the University of Lethbridge, the CR/NC designation is not available for courses taken at the host university. Please note, however: For students seeking admission to the Faculty of Education, grades awarded by the host university will be taken into account. Students may not choose the CR/NC designation for the Independent Study course.
  • Spanish 2250 is designated Pass/Fail.
  • Upon returning to the University of Lethbridge, students will not be allowed to enroll for credit in SPA 2000 or in courses which duplicate those taken in the SVSP or which are at the 2000-level in streams in which students have successfully completed courses at the host university (for an explanation of the term "stream", see Section D.1).

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Interested students should apply in writing to the Spanish Off-Campus Studies Coordinator as early as possible during the university term preceding the semester of their intended participation in the SVSP. Application forms are available from the Spanish Off-Campus Studies Coordinator. Deadlines for application are as follows:

  • by OCTOBER 1, to participate in the SVSP during the Spring semester;
  • by MAY 1, to participate in the SVSP during the Fall semester.


Students must enroll and pay required fees BOTH at the University of Lethbridge and the host university:

  • at the University of Lethbridge payment must be made for Spanish 2250 and the optional Independent Study course;
  • students will pay fees to the host university for all transfer courses undertaken in the SVSP. Specific information on the host university's fees may be obtained from the appropriate university calendar in D-610.


Since students are registered at the University of Lethbridge, they may be eligible for the Alberta Government loans and for University of Lethbridge scholarships and bursaries, such as the Louis Sherman Turcotte Memorial Travel Scholarships. For further information, students should consult with an advisor at the Financial Aid and Student Awards office (SU-047).

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  • Students fill out the Spanish Visiting Student Program Application Form in consultation with the Spanish Off-Campus Studies Coordinator. Forms are available online or from the Coordinator. At this time, arrangements must also be made for the optional Independent Study.
  • Students have the SVSP application form signed by the Spanish Off-Campus Studies Coordinator, the Department Chair and the Assistant Dean (Curriculum and Advising, Faculty of Arts and Science).
  • Students register and pay tuition for Spanish 2250 and the optional Independent Study at the University of Lethbridge Registrar's Office.
  • Students forward all necessary documents to the host university, including a completed copy of the host institution's application form, supporting documentation and fees or deposits. Students should keep photocopies of all correspondence with the host university.
  • Students may apply for financial assistance to the agencies described in Section I.
  • As soon as students have been informed in writing of their acceptance by the host institution, they should arrange travel to the host institution.
  • Students in the SVSP who withdraw from one or more courses may apply to the appropriate Registrar's office to enquire whether any fee refund is owed to them.
  • Before returning to Lethbridge, students who are intending to apply for transfer credit or who are applying to the Faculty of Education will have a Report Form completed and signed by each of their instructors at the host institution. As official transcripts may take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the host institution, students will be required to present these Report Forms to the University of Lethbridge Admissions office and/or the office of Student Program Services in the Faculty of Education. Before leaving the host institution, students must also arrange to have an official transcript from the host institution forwarded to the University of Lethbridge Admissions office.
  • Immediately upon completion of the SVSP, students should apply to the University of Lethbridge Admissions office for transfer credit. Students must make available to Admissions all relevant documents pertaining to the courses taken off campus (e.g., course descriptions from the calendar, course outlines, class notes, texts, workbooks, class hand-outs, and, if available, tests, exams, graded assignments, etc.). Please check the information on the presentation of the transfer credit material. The SVSP Coordinator cannot guarantee that you will receive credits for the courses you take in the host university.

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