Modern Languages student detained entering Spain for their Year Abroad


A third-year Modern Languages student was recently been detained at the Spanish border for three days following their attempt to seek entry to the country for their Year Abroad placement.

According to the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (MLAC) the student was “held in detention for three days, in very poor conditions, and was only repatriated with the assistance of the British Embassy and a local lawyer”.

As a result, the faculty has urged students to not seek entry to Spain until 30 March 2021, when restrictions imposed by the Spanish government are supposed to lift. Spain placed a travel ban on travellers from the UK on 22 December 2020, following the accelerated spreading of the British mutation of the Covid-19 virus.

Due to Brexit, students from the UK without EU citizenship also face the additional obstacle of requiring a visa for entry to the country for their respective work or study placements that form part of their Year Abroad.

In light of these circumstances, the Modern Languages School has reiterated that students need to ensure that they “have a legal reason to travel” and that their “entry to the country concerned for the purposes you intend is permitted by local regulations.”

Years abroad, which are mandatory for Modern Languages students, have been severely disrupted for many by the Covid-19 pandemic. A virtual replacement programme has been put in place by the faculty for students unable to reach their destinations.

Image: Laura Sabattini via Flickr

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