The University of Santander is a non-profit private university founded in 1982. It is organized according to its own statutes and has the approval of the Ministry of Education via Resolution No. 6216 of December 22, 2005. Within this 35 years of existence The University of Santander has trained skilled professionals in different branches of knowledge; has expanded to four cities Bogotá, Cucuta, Valledupar and Bucaramanga, becoming the leading university of eastern Colombia, which has characterized it as a center for professional studies deeply attuned to the region and willing to contribute to the social, political, economic and environmental development of the country.
The Spanish as a foreign language course for non-Spanish speakers at University of Santander offers a strong academic structure along with personalized service and assistance. The program fulfills the expectations and needs of those international students or visitors who look for the improvement of their language skills in Spanish.
To offer a Spanish as a foreign language course for non-Spanish speakers though which they can significantly improve their communicative skills in Spanish as a foreign language, all with the use of high quality materials, contents and cultural experiences.
The program comprises 8 levels (60 hours each), which give a total of 480 hours of study, this is divided into 2 training stages: Elementary and Intermediate:
Hours x level
Total training hours
1 to 4
5 to 8
At the end of the whole program the students will have reached a CEFR B1 level.
Developed skills and exit level
The Spanish as a foreign language program follows a blended methodology that combines face-to-face classes along with student autonomous work on the learning platform. In this way, we set up classes in Spanish which follow the communicative approach principles to develop productive-receptive skills and vocabulary-grammar sub-skills complemented with academic environment spaces for learning the target language along with socio-cultural activities to allow students interaction in real situations and contexts. Also, this prompts knowledge construction of the region, its culture and also of Spanish speaking countries.
The aim is to develop each participant’s communicative skill, in other words, to get them use the target language and to produce spontaneously according to the contexts they are in the target language; also to create spaces for practice so students are able to progressively elaborate their speech and ideas in Spanish, a process that in the beginning tolerates mistakes but with the student’s advance these tolerated mistakes are surpassed due to the continuous practice which also consolidates basic communication in daily contexts.
The following activities are proposed to complement the students training in the program, the aim is to foster students practice of target language by giving them spaces where they can interact with native speakers and by developing intercultural skills when they have the opportunity to know about local customs, life styles, traditions, geography and other cultural aspects of Bucaramanga and Colombia:
Students participate in different guided tours locally:
Students participate in different activities out of the classroom:
If students who take the course at University of Santander have stay in the country 90 days or longer, they have to apply for a TP3 Student Visa (apart from the tourist one if it applies), this can be done at Colombian embassies or consulates and in Colombia in the Office of Visas and Immigration Coordination located in Bogota.
Temporary Visitor Viva:
If students who take the course at University of Santander have to stay less than 90 days and do not have to apply for a tourist visa to enter Colombia, they must apply for the Temporary Visitor Visa (PIP2); this can be done when entering Colombian immigration and show them the corresponding documents provided by the University when they enroll.
Bucaramanga is the capital city of the department of Santander, Colombia, it is about 394 km away from the capital of the country and is at 959 m above the sea level. Bucaramanga has the fifth largest economy by GDP in Colombia, has the lowest unemployment rate and has the ninth largest population in the country, with 521,857 people. Bucaramanga has over 160 parks scattered throughout the city and has been given the nickname "La Ciudad de Los Parques" ("The City of Parks") and "La Ciudad Bonita de Colombia" ("Colombia's Beautiful City"). In 2014 the World Bank declared this city as one of the most prosperous cities around the world (the only one in Latin America under this appointment).
El Santísimo Eco-park: This park, located on a hill, is surrounded by nature and its architecture merges with the natural environment. The main attraction is “El Santísimo”, a huge sculpture that is 37mts high. It is placed over a water fountain and behind the sculpture there is a three-part structure that has two panoramic elevators and one stair, both lead to the main view point of the hill from which you can have the best view of the four towns that conform the metropolitan area (Girón, Piedecuesta, Floridablanca and Bucaramanga).
Eco-park La Flora: This park is a vital space for Bucaramanga, it’s an urban reservoir of 10.5 hectares that has a unique ecosystem for the sports lovers, hitchhikers and the people who generally enjoy the nature and healthy spaces.
Eloy Valenzuela Botanical Garden: This botanical garden was founded in 1982, since then its mission has been the generation of awareness about natural diversity in the region in order to foster sustainable usage and preservation of natural resources. In this way, people are lead to natural ethics, which help population in the region to progress harmonically with the surrounding nature.
Bucaramanga Modern Art Museum: It is a republican style construction built in 1940. It has three main rooms, one of them for contemporary art sculptures. The museum specializes in itinerant exhibits especially of local artists; these exhibits are renewed every two months.
Chicamocha National Park: “Pride of Santander People”, this park has a strategic location in the middle of the majestic “Chicamocha” canyon. This park offers a tour through local culture, traditions and history so tourists can have the chance to get to know the things that most represent the traits of Santander. It has a cable car to have a perfect view of the canyon.
Water Park: In 2001 the local authorities decided to build a modern and wide place for the city of Bucaramanga aqueduct enterprise, for doing so they built a park with merges with the aqueduct premises which offers to the city locals and visitors a great place to relax, have fun and enjoy.