Frequently Asked Questions
AIRLINE: What is my flight itinerary? Can I make changes to my reservation? What are the luggage limitations?
Your flight itinerary is on your statement. You may change the date of your return flight only. For information on how to read your flight information, how to request changes to your reservation, and your luggage limitations, please go to our page http://www.foreignstudy.com/airline/default.html
ELECTRICITY: What is the electrical current?
220 volts (50 cycles) is commonly used in Spain and France. Round-prong plugs are used in all outlets. Standard American plugs will not fit into Spanish outlets. We recommend that you purchase outlets in Spain to make sure they work. Outlets are available at any "Corte Inglés."
EMERGENCIES: In an emergency, what are the procedures?
If you have an emergency while in Europe, contact your school representative. If he/she is not available or you are traveling on your own, ask the FRONT DESK at the hotel or dorm to contact the Forspro representative or call him/her at the cell phone number listed on our Final Instructions newsletter that comes out about 4 weeks before departure. The emergency services number (their 911) in any EU country is 112.
GUESTS: What are the rules for Visitors and Guests?
Due to security reasons, insurance requirements, and your safety and the safety of others around you, FORSPRO has the following policies regarding visitors and guests.
Non-participant family members (limited to parents / spouses / siblings/) may visit you for brief periods but will not be allowed to stay in Forspro arranged student housing. You are reminded that FORSPRO cannot provide any administrative support (transportation, housing, childcare, etc) or assume any responsibility for non-participant family members. Such accompanying non-participant family members are not part of the program and therefore cannot attend classes, field trips, or any other activities formally associated with the program. If such individuals become disruptive to the program, it may be grounds for your dismissal.
Other non-participant visitors and guests may visit you during your stay abroad but are not allowed to participate in any activity formally associated with the program. Under no circumstance is a non-participant allowed to take a non-family member (as described above) inside the sleeping quarters of the residence. Such visitors cannot stay in program arranged housing. Violators are subject to disciplinary action or dismissal.
If you intend to have a spouse visit you while you are in the program, contact Forspro prior to departure to make the arrangements. Your spouse must adhere to Forspro's rules and regulations. If your spouse is making his/her own arrangements, he/she is considered a non-participant family member.
HOUSING: Do you want to know about the places you are staying, where are they located, what amenities they offer, and how to get around? Visit our pages below.
INTERNATIONAL CALLS: What is the best way to call/contact home?
There are a number of options open to you for making international calls in Spain. Below are some of them. We do not endorse nor do we have experience with all the sources listed below. We are only providing information regarding ways in which to communicate with friends and family at home.
- By Telephone:
- Phone shop/Internet café.
- Buying a phone card
- Buying a phone in Spain.
- By Internet.
- The traditional email
- Voice conversations through Skype or Magic Jack.
Below are some useful sites:
- How much $ to take?
Amount of money to take for out-of-pocket expenses depends on each individual; however, an adequate amount is $200 to $225 per week. This amount, of course, does not take into account purchases and optional tours. As a rule of thumb, budget the same as you would while vacationing in the U.S. - however, it all depends on you.
- What is the best way to exchange money?
Spain is, as locals will quickly tell you, not as cheap as it once was. As in 12 other EU nations, the euro is Spain’s currency. The euro is divided into 100 cents. Coin denominations are one, two, five, 10, 20 and 50 cents, €1 and €2. The notes are €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500. The euro currently is approximately 1.38 (as of 3/05/14) dollars. This rate may vary from week to week.
The best way to get local currency (Euros) is to use a debit card, able to access the Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus or Maestro networks, in an ATM (Interac cannot be used). Usually, the bank rate will be given for exchange rather than the local tourist rate. Use an ATM machine in the bank and not one on the street because the ATM machine in the bank will not have been tampered with. Some ATM machines on the street may have been tampered with by delinquents to get one's ATM number and PIN number. Also using an ATM machine on the street can make one a target of robbers who will grab the cash when it comes out of the machine.
The ATM will give the option to charge your account in Euros or your home currency, it is advised to select Euros to obtain the most preferential rate. From the 27 EU countries, Spain has the highest total number of ATMs, so your money is nearly always accessible.Banks are open from 9:00 to 14:00 weekdays and from 9:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays. In order to change money at a bank you need your passport. If possible, we do not recommend that you exchange cash or traveler's check. Only bring suffcient cash/traveler's check in the event of an emergency where your cards are lost or stolen.
Finally, you must alert your bank (and credit card companies) that you are traveling abroad. When they notice what is deemed suspicious activity — transactions in international places — they sometimes freeze your money. That would quickly put a damper on your vacation.
PACKING: How to Pack?
You do not need to bring towels, sheets, or pillows. The dorm/hotel provides your bedding needs and towels. Follow the luggage limits of the airline and pack according to the limit of one suitcase and a carry-on. We offer the following packing suggestions:
- Coordinate your wardrobe around a single color.
- Safety begins when you pack. To avoid being a target, dress conservatively. A flashy wardrobe can mark you as a tourist.
- Pack comfortable shoes, casual clothing, a sweater, a wash-cloth, a swimsuit, and an alarm clock.
- Dress the same as you do at your home institution.
- Don't pack anything fragile or valuable - if you do not bring them, they cannot be lost or stolen.
- Pack in your carry-on toiletries and at least one change of clothing in the event your bag is delayed or lost.
- Carry with you to Spain copies of important documents such as your credit card and passport.
- Travel light.
For additional tips on how to pack your suitcase, below are links to sites with suggestions on how/what to pack.
PASSPORTS: What about Passport/Visa/Embassy?
No visa is required for U.S. passport holders for a stay of up to 3 months. For stays exceeding three months, please contact the Consulates of Spain and France nearest you. If you are not a U.S. Passport holder, contact the Consulates regarding visa requirements. The telephone numbers of some of the Consulates of Spain and France in the U.S. are as follows:
Chicago: (312) 782-4588
Los Angeles: (323) 938-0158
Miami: (305) 446-5511
New York: (212) 355-4080
Chicago: (312) 787-5359
Los Angeles: (310) 235-3200
Washington: (202) 944-6000
New York: (212) 606-3688
After 9/11, security procedures will not allow anyone to board a
flight to the U.S. without a valid passport. Therefore, in the unlikely
event your passport is lost or stolen prior to your return flight to
Spain (summer program group departures) and there is not sufficient time
to have another one issued, our procedure is as follows: Our
representative will stay for a maximum of 1 day after the last scheduled
group has departed to help you with your passport and your airline
ticket. You will probably incur substantial charges and will probably
have to purchase a one way ticket since your ticket would have expired.
We will try to help you with the airline to minimize your expenses. You
will be responsible for your personal expenses after the program ends.
If you are under 18, our representative will contact your
guardian/parents to let them know the status of your passport and
We also recommend that you visit the website of the The U.S. State Department at http://www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html. In addition to passport/visa information, is an incredibly valuable source of information for anyone who is planning to travel abroad.
All students enrolled in Forspro's study abroad programs should register at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ before departure with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate so consular officials can contact them in the event of an evacuation or other emergency.
PRESCRIPTIONS: What do I need for my prescription drugs?
If you have any special health problems, have your doctor prepare your medical history and take it with you to Spain. Carry prescription duplicates since brand names are different in Spain. Ask your doctor for the generic drug name of your prescription. Also, carry a prescription for your eyeglasses. No inoculations are required when entering or leaving Spain.
VEGETARIAN: I am a vegetarian. What should I expect ?
Over the years we've had many vegetarians participating in our program. Although the diet in Spain is based on meat and fish, we will make every effort to meet your needs. However, please note that you will be limited with the variety of foods available. Spain is not a vegetarian country. Vegetables and fruits are available; however, the variety is limited. Salad is commonly comprised of lettuce, onions, and tomatoes. Salad dressing is oil and vinegar.