Students granted visas despite obstacles

The International Education and Exchange Program nearly had to cancel its spring semester in Spain when students were unable to make the necessary appointments to obtain travel visas.

Due to a large number of students across the United States looking to study in Spain this spring, there was not enough time for each student to make an appointment and present the necessary documents. Accommodations have since been made by the mayor of Coral Gables and the Spanish consul that will allow students to receive the visas in time for their departure.

“Because the University of Miami and the city of Coral Gables have a strong relationship, we are very thankful to the mayor for his intervention, his support and his facilitation of the process,” Glenda Hayley, IEEP director, said. “It was through his office and through him that we were able to have this conference call with the consul general himself.”

Kefryn Block, IEEP coordinator, will present all documents to the Spanish consulate on Nov. 30, acting as a legal representative on behalf of the students participating in the program. Notarized authorization forms will be presented, along with each student’s letter of acceptance from the Spanish university and other documents required by the consulate.

“The consul general was very accommodating to our needs and responded to us immediately. He told us he was going to do his utmost to help us, and he did,” Block said.

The Spanish exchange program is a foreign language program that allows students to enroll in one of three Spanish universities: the Universidad de Alicante, Universidad de Granada or the Universidad Antonio de Nebrija in Madrid.

The 10 students participating in the spring semester exchange will take courses to fulfill requirements for their major and will choose curriculum based on the credits they need once they return. Transcripts will be issued from the foreign university and most credits will apply toward graduation requirements.

Students study abroad under the auspices of an exchange agreement with universities overseas, which allows them to pay tuition to their home institution for the semester abroad and waives tuition at the foreign university.

“It is a very popular exchange for students going to Spain as well as coming from Spain,” Hayley said.

UM students studying in Spain for the spring semester will depart in late January. The semester begins in mid-February and runs through late June.

For more information on exchange programs, contact the IEEP office at 305-284-3434 or visit

Megan Ondrizek can be contacted at