U3A Fuengirola - Costa del Sol

An English-speaking group in Spain



The Costa del Sol is the stretch of Spanish coastline along the Mediterranean from Almeria to the Straight of Gibraltar. Many nationalities live here, either permanently or for shorter periods of the year. The majority of foreigners are English but there are also many Scandinavians, German, French and other nationalities, most of them fluent in English. The potential for a local U3A was realized by Carmella Dight and Avril Watson, two energetic ladies who were keen to do something constructive with their spare time.



In 1997 they founded the Asociacion U3A Costa del Sol in Marbella and 37 members signed up immediately. In January 1998 an off-shoot was started in Fuengirola, where 53 members joined. The two groups kept growing and when their combined membership reached a total of more than 400 members in 2003, steps were taken to separate the two U3As to facilitate the administration. The Marbella and Fuengirola U3As have been operating independently since October 2003.



In Fuengirola, we currently have 280 members, representing 27 different nationalities. Since there is a large transient population, with many members going back to their home countries during the hot summer months, our academic year runs from October-May. We offer some 30 courses, ranging from 2 weeks to 7 months, on topics such as Art, Music, Drama, Politics, History, Current Affairs, Philosophy, Mind/Body/Spirit, Languages, and Geology which also includes field trips.



We have been fortunate enough to be able to hold the majority of our courses and lectures at the Fuengirola premises of the Lux Mundi and the Ark Christian Fellowship organizations in exchange for a modest donation. An annual membership fee covers these and our other administrative costs, while the courses and the many other tasks necessary to run U3A are done by members on a volunteer basis.



In addition to the courses, we organize six monthly lectures during the year, given either by members or external speakers. These lectures, which are free for members, are also open to the general public for a small entrance fee. We also arrange 3-4 cultural trips within Spain, related to one or more of our courses. They are usually 1 or 2 day trips and a great opportunity to get to know fellow U3A members better and share interests and experiences.



Our Newsletter, issued 3 times a year, is another opportunity for members to share thoughts and experiences. For up-to-date information about us, see our web site: u3acostadelsol.org