ISU in Spain- a Semester in Cáceres

Guadelupe Cathedral in Cáceres

Frequently Asked Questions

We’d be worried if you didn’t have questions! Check out what other students have asked to get a feel for the program. If you don’t see an answer for your own questions, hold on to them and ask at your pre-departure orienatations! Questions are organized by theme. Jump to what you need or scroll through them all!



What is the application deadline?

The application deadline is October 1st (for spring semester) and March 15th (for fall semester). If those dates fall on a non-working day, applications will be accepted the first working day after.

When will applications be accepted? When will I know if I have been accepted or no?

Since early application is strongly recommended for this program, many students submit applications early. The program director accepts students on a rolling basis. Generally, if your application is complete, the director will review your application a short time after you have submitted it, and notify you of your acceptance a few days later.

Where do I get an application and how do I fill it out?

Check out our “Apply Today!” page.

General Program Questions

The program dates are tentative. Will these change?

The program directors reserve the right to change the program dates and amenities at any time. Normally, the advertised program dates are correct. In unusual circumstances, however, the dates could be shifted a day or two in either direction. Before purchasing airfare, check with the directors to make sure the dates are accurate.

Will I live with a Spanish family? Can I choose my roommate? Where will we be housed?

Yes! You have the opportunity to live by yourself, or be housed with another ISU student in a home with a Spanish family. Homestays are excellent ways to understand Spain, Spanish culture, and improve your Spanish! Students are encouraged to choose their own roommate from among the students participating in the program. However, the housing preferences on each roommate’s housing forms must be the same. Students are generally housed in the center of Cáceres, and this might mean you will be within walking distance of the downtown area, the old quarter, etc. In most cases, students will need to take the bus to get to the university, but not for moving about the center of Cáceres.

What courses can I take? Will courses count at ISU?

Check out the “Coursework” section on the “About” page for a list of courses and transfer policy. All courses are for ISU students only and students are directly enrolled in courses for ISU credit.

Are there orientation sessions once I am accepted?

Yes! Once you are accepted you will be required to attend four total orientation sessions: three with the directors and one with the Study Abroad Center. Besides discussing administrative aspects of the program (course selections, family preferences, insurance, etc.), the Program Directors will also discuss health and safety, living with a family, traveling in Spain and the E.U., daily life in Spain, as well as many other aspects about leaving the U.S. and studying abroad. The dates for the orientation sessions will be listed on ISU Abroad.

How do I get there?

Students are encouraged to purchase their own airfare to Spain in conjunction with the program dates. The program does not organize airfare because many students decide to travel before or after the program, use frequent flyer miles, or simply find a better fare than the director can find.

Once I’ve arrived in Madrid, what do I do?

Students are given a detailed map and information on the Madrid meeting point. Also, many students will opt to go early and stay in Madrid or travel in Spain before the program begins. The Program Director from Cáceres will meet you at the designated meeting point on the day the program begins.


I see that the program fee is estimated. Will this change?

Normally, the estimated program fee is what the program will cost. However, with fluctuations in the Euro to dollar conversion, unexpected expenses or more (or fewer) students, the program fee can change. The Program Director will do everything they can to ensure that students are charged as little as possible.

What is included in the program fee and what do I have to pay out of pocket?

Check out the “Costs & Money” section on the “About” page for all sorts of details about the program fee and what it covers.

I have scholarships and/or financial aid. Does my scholarship apply? What about my financial aid?

In most cases all financial aid and scholarships will apply to this program. Please check with your scholarship administrator or talk with representatives in Financial Aid. Find more information and helpful links in the “Costs & Money” section on the “About” page.

When I use my ATM card in Spain, how do I know how much money is withdrawn from my account in the U.S.? What about the exchange rates?

Check the exchange rates before you go, and watch them every few days to take advantage of the best rates. A good site for this is www.xe.com. Also, get online banking so that you can consult the transactions in your account.

When I use my debit card in Spain, how do I know how much money is withdrawn from my account in the U.S.? What about the exchange rates?

Check the exchange rates before you go, and watch them every few days to take advantage of the best rates. A good site for this is www.xe.com. Also, get online banking so that you can consult the transactions in your account.


Should I bring my phone?

If you would like to use a cell phone while in Cáceres and you have an iPhone or a newer Samsung Galaxy, you can buy a SIM card from one of the phone companies there. )You can replace the SIM card already in your phone.) You’ll pay a monthly fee to have phone and internet access (usually between $15 and $20 a month). Most homes have wifi, so if you prefer not to get a SIM card, you can use your favorite group chat application (we recommend WhatsApp) to stay in touch with the group.

What academic items should I bring?

Make sure you have a dictionary app on your phone and some school supplies, too. Most things you’ll need can be purchased in Spain, though. Not worth the space in your bag!

What items should I not bring?

If you can get it in a drugstore or a general store (like Target or Walmart), chances are, you can find it in Spain. If you have specific allergy medicine, OTC medicine, or hair styling products that you feel you have to have, be sure to pack those.

What about keeping warm in the winter months?

Most homes are not kept as warm as homes in the U.S. during cold weather, so bring a winter coat, a fleece pull over, and sweatshirts. Maybe even long-sleeved shirts. Note that in Spain, it rains more than it snows during the winter. Consider this when choosing warm coats and boots. But, remember, it will be quite warm for at least part of the time.

What other clothes should I bring?

Bring slippers. Houses in Spain have tiled floors and your feet or socks can get dirty. (Plus your host parents will be concerned with you getting a cold if you don’t wear them.)

Always have the directors’ phone numbers and contact information. You might be surprised when you need to call one of them!

Bring comfortable walking shoes! No need to bring more than a few t-shirts or sweatshirts – they never wear them outside the house. The clothes in Spain are comparable to “big-city” style, and they do wear lots of color. By the way, nearly all clothes are air-dried so your clothing may be a bit stiff when you are ready to wear it.

Should I bring my laptop?

Yes, if you have a laptop and you think you will use it, bring it along. Your home will most likely have internet access.

Are there any food items I should bring along?

Not really, but there are some things you probably will not find in Spain such as Mexican-style salsa, salad dressings (they only use oil and vinegar), and peanut butter.


How can I get information about traveling in Spain or around Europe?

The Program Directors will talk about traveling during the orientation sessions. We will discuss great places to visit, inexpensive means to travel, and point out travel concerns. We will also talk about the required procedure for letting us know when you’re going on trips.

How much does the bus cost?

The price per trip is 1 euro; a “bono-bus normal” (10 trips) is 7 euros. The monthly pass “el bono-bus mensual” is 27 euros.


What’s the food like in Spain?

The food varies a great deal from city to city and from region to region! In most cases, the food is like it is in the U.S. However, they do eat a lot more seafood (of all types!) and cured meats such as jamón serrano (cured ham) or salchichón (sausage). In fact, they do eat a lot of pork. In Cáceres, they eat more meat than on the coasts, for example.

Is the milk in Spain like it is in the U.S.?

Yes and no. Milk in Spain is usually ultra-pasteurized. This means that it will last longer, but it also means that it is often sold warm and served cold. It also has a more pronounced pasteurized taste, but you will get used to it. Fresh milk (like in the U.S.) is available at most supermarkets, too.