The University of Malaga has created an office to welcome foreign students, lecturers and researchers, in a scheme that aims to make their time in Malaga as pleasant and comfortable as possible. UMA has unified all its services in an office called 'Welcome to UMA', and it will provide help with issues such as finding accommodation and integrating into Malaga and Andalucía. Cooking and dance classes will be advertised, alongside trips around the province.
The rector of the university, José Ángel Narváez, and the vice-rector for Internationalisation, Susana Cabrera, have created this office, located next to the botanical gardens in the Teatinos campus. Narváez explained that the office is in response to the objectives set out by the government.
"We want foreigners at the university to feel at home. The office has a goal of reducing bureaucracy and to make the management of the faculty run more smoothly," he explains.
Although the office is unique, Cabrera explains that they have the support of all of the services offered by UMA, from scholarships to Spanish courses. She has also indicated that one of their objectives is to implement an agreement with the government to speed up the obtaining of visas. This is a big problem that people from outside the EU face.
This academic year there are 1,500 foreign students at the UMA, 1,111 of them in the Erasmus programme, and another 403 in other international exchanges. The University of Malaga has special agreements with students from South America, the United States, Canada and Asia.