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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Valencia, Spain
  • Program Terms: Fall Semester
  • Budget Sheets: Fall Semester
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
Valencia First Lead

UVA Valencia First offers first-year students and incoming transfer students a new program of international study through our oldest and largest study abroad program, UVA in Valencia (founded in 1983). This unique opportunity provides well-qualified and ambitious students a carefully crafted plan of first-year study and the transformative experience of living abroad.

Valencia is the third largest city in Spain, with a population of around 800,000. Located on the Mediterranean Coast and surrounded by immense beaches, it gracefully mixes old and new, with modern public services, business establishments and leisure attractions, set against a backdrop of historically important civic and religious buildings, monuments and museums. Valencia is well located with respect to other interesting cities in Spain as well as continental Europe. With its own airport, much of Europe is accessible.

Students selected for the program will immediately begin a process of global learning relevant to the academic path they ultimately follow. At the same time, they will make solid progress toward meeting their initial requirements for general education. Program participants will establish an academic foundation for subsequent semesters; they will get to know the faculty well and they will establish themselves as a valuable community of committed young global scholars.

UVA Valencia First is a strong sign of UVA's commitment to preparing students for global engagement in the 21st century.


Announcements IconAnnouncements

This program will not be offered for fall 2021.
Students MUST initiate the application as a Non-UVA applicant. This is because you will not actually matriculate and become a “UVA Student” until the fall  semester. Please review the Global First Application Tutorial for step-by-step instructions on how to apply.


Turia Fountain Mercado Central

Like all students who participate in the UVA in Valencia program, UVA Valencia First students will stay with a local family–vetted and approved by the Valencia staff. All homes are within easy reach of both the UVA in Valencia Center and the Universitat Politècnica de València.



Courses IconCourses

Incoming First Year students

Students will select one of two exciting new tracks not available through the UVA London or Shanghai programs (see below).

1. Pre-Health track
Students in the Pre-Health track complete key requirements for medical school and benefit from a full semester abroad. They take up to three first semester, Pre-Health classes, which are taught in English. Courses offered are:
BIOL 2100-Introduction to Biology with Lab: Cell Biology & Genetics
CHEM 1410-Introduction to College Chemistry with Lab
MATH 1210-A Survey of Calculus
These classes will be taken at the Universitat Politècnica de València. First year students will also enroll in a 4-credit engagement class (also in English), taught by the Faculty Program Director. The remaining classes will consist of at least one Spanish language course and depending on the Spanish level, a second Spanish class or one of the English taught classes.  Eligibility for this track requires Spanish language proficiency equivalent to at least that of a student who has completed SPAN 2010 (Intermediate Spanish). The following will place you in SPAN 2020-Advanced Intermediate Spanish and fulfill the language requirement for this track:
SAT II score of 600-640
IB High Level score of 5 or 6
UVA Spanish Placement Exam score of 410-535

2. Language and Culture Track
Students who place out of SPAN 2020 will have the opportunity to take upper-level Spanish classes. First year will also enroll in a 4-credit engagement class (in English) taught by the Faculty Program Director. One of the classes can be chosen from the English-taught pre-health track classes or PSYC 2600 Social Psychology, PLCP 3110-Politics of Western Europe or PLCP 3330-Politics of Latin America, which are offered in English. Eligibility for this track requires Spanish language proficiency equivalent to that of a student who has completed SPAN 2020 (Advanced Intermediate Spanish). The following will place you out of SPAN 2020 and fulfill the language requirement for this track:
SAT II score of 650 or higher
AP Spanish score of 4 or 5
UVA Spanish Placement Exam score of 536+


Incoming Transfer students 

Transfer students can select courses from any of the fall semester Language and Culture courses, Engineering courses, Business Spanish courses, or the Pre-Health courses listed above. While transfer students will not be enrolled in the First Year engagements course, Professor Braun will be their on-site academic advisor, and will meet with students regularly. 
See above for the language level required for each option.

Transfer students who are interested in pursuing a Spanish major and can complete up to half of the credits required for the major on the program, giving them plenty of room in their schedules to pursue a minor or a second major when they return to UVA.

Language Level 
To determine your UVA Spanish level based on your AP, SAT II, or IB High Level exam, please refer to the Spanish Placement chart found here. Heritage Spanish speakers who did not take one of these exams, or students who did not receive at least a 4 on the AP exam will have to take the Spanish placement exam.
To access the Spanish placement exam, click on the link below and follow the instructions. The exam should take about 20 minutes and will help us place you in the appropriate Spanish course for the semester. 
NOTE: On the exam form fields for UVA computing, UVA user ID, and UVA SIS ID, enter your email address. Be sure to print out or take a screen shot of your results.
 UVA Spanish Placement Exam

Service Learning Internships
Regardless of their track, all students in the UVA Valencia First program may participate in a Service Learning Internship (non-credit). Internships provide an additional point of entry into Spanish culture as well as a means for students to advance their learning and Spanish language proficiency.
Like all students who participate in the UVA in Valencia program, UVA Valencia First students will stay with a local family–vetted and approved by the Valencia staff. All homes are within easy reach of both the UVA in Valencia Center and the Universitat Politècnica de València.

Faculty Iconfaculty

Professor Herbert Braun |

Program Director, Professor Herbert Braun is a native speaker of Spanish, English and German. Born in Bogotá Colombia, he is also a citizen of the United States. Teaching at The University of Virginia since 1983, Mr. Braun is known by many of his undergraduate students by his nickname, Tico. An inaugural member of the College Fellows, he has been teaching Engagement courses in the New Curriculum since 2017. 


Accommodation and MealsAccommodation and Meals

UVA in Valencia premises are located in the University District of Valencia and offer spacious well-equipped classrooms, a computer room, and a lounge. The program has a full support staff.

Students are housed in homestays with full board, hosted by families with a long-standing relationship with the program. Students will be provided three meals a day and their laundry will be done once a week.

Cost and Financial Aid

The program cost and payment schedule are listed under the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page. Students with identifiable financial need are encouraged to apply for fellowships, scholarships, and financial aid.


Accessibility IconAccessibility

The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.


Passport IconPassport and Visa

All participants will need a valid passport in order to participate in the program. Students must ensure that their passport is valid at least six months past the program return date. All students will be sent information about visa and other entry requirements. International students should meet with their International Student Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process.


Health Info IconHealth and Safety Information

All students considering Education Abroad should consult the Students Abroad section of the U.S. Department of State’s web-based travel resources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health web resources to research health, safety, and security conditions; visa requirements; immunization requirements; and recommendations on staying healthy and safe in their target destination(s). Students should also carefully review the UVA Education Abroad Health & Safety Abroad web page. Parents and guardians are strongly advised to review all of these resources, as well. UVA students and visiting students enrolled in UVA Education Abroad programs are subject to the University of Virginia’s Policy on Student International Travel.

This program is currently not accepting applications.