Alcala de Henares, Spain

Summer Language + Culture

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Information for term Summer Language + Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

April 1, 2021

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Jun 3 – 28, 2021 (4 weeks)*
  • Credit: 6 semester hours / 9 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

April 1, 2021

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Jul 1 – 30, 2021 (4 weeks)*
  • Credit: 6 semester hours / 9 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

April 1, 2021

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Jun 3 – Jul 30, 2021 (8 weeks)*
  • Credit: 6 semester hours / 9 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Bring your advanced Spanish language skills to the small city of Alcalá, located in the heart of Spain. From 16th century buildings that house Universidad de Alcalá, to the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes who penned Don Quixote, Alcalá oozes with history and culture - making it a wonderful place to advance your academics. Take courses in Spanish, across a range of academic areas, at our partner school, Universidad de Alcalá. Small class-sizes combined with co-curricular activities and a local homestay will advance your Spanish skills and give you in-depth insight into the region’s history and culture.

Unique Experiences

  • Explore historical treasures

    in nearby Cuenca, Segovia, and Toledo

  • Stay with a Spanish family

    at their Alcalá home – and soak up the language as you live like a local.

  • Take an overnight trip to Asturias-Cantabria

    or Valencia to get a sense of Spain’s fabulous geographical and cultural diversity.

  • white storks return to nest annually on the city’s rooftops

  • date Universidad de Alcalá was founded

  • miles from Madrid


Location & Culture

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Like the city’s famous white storks, you’ll be tempted to return every year. The University’s two campuses influence much of the city and draws many international students to its centuries-old buildings. Medieval at its core, the well-preserved city center includes Moorish, Jewish, and Christian quarters, and is dotted with historical significance. Small wonder the city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rail and bus lines give easy access to other regions, and of course, nearby Madrid.

The Culture


  • Put your coursework in context with visits to museums and cultural sites.
  • Explore beyond the city with one-day trips to provincial highlights.
  • Discover the diversity of Spanish cities, with overnight visits to Cuenca or Valencia.


  • By agreeing to speak Spanish at all times, your language proficiency will progress rapidly.
  • Meals with your homestay are an ideal time to practice new vocabulary.
  • With all classes in Spanish, you’ll benefit from full immersion, every day.

Daily Life

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    • Homestay: Hosts range from families to individuals, and they may welcome one or two CIEE students.  Homestay families are nearby the Instituto Benjamin Franklin at Universidad de Alcalá, where CIEE students take classes.
    • Student Residence: There is one privately-operated student residence in Alcalá with limited space during the summer. The residence consists of double rooms with a shared bathroom. Coin laundry service is available. Students are placed with another CIEE student. The residence includes a study lounge, small gym, and a student cafeteria. Internet is provided.

    Housing decisions are at the sole discretion of CIEE. If we can’t accommodate your first housing choice, we’ll let you know before you arrive.


    Three meals are provided at your homestay and at the student residence cafeteria.


    Getting Around - Students under 23 years old receive a Madrid Youth Transport Card, which allows unlimited use of the Alcalá public bus system and the local train to Madrid, which is about a 35-minute ride.

Alcala de Henares, Spain

Where You'll Study

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    The Institute’s home is a renovated 17th century convent that’s both modern and beautiful.

What People are Saying

  • I was very fortunate to be paired up with a wonderful host family. I'm so grateful for all their generosity and patience with me during this experience.

    Caeli, Indiana University, Summer 16


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Students take two courses across a range of academic areas, including art, film, gastronomy, government, history, literature, Spanish for healthcare professionals, translations, and more. Courses are taught in Spanish by faculty from the Universidad de Alcalá and other teaching professionals. In-class work is augmented with co-curricular visits to the city’s rich variety of cultural institutions and organizations relevant to the course offering.

Before the start of the program, students must complete four semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent) and have a 3.0 GPA in the most recently completed Spanish class.

Universidad de Alcalá is one of the longest standing European universities, dating back to 1293. Several of its buildings have been declared part of a UNESCO World Heritage site after the university was re-founded in 1977. Courses are held at Instituto Benjamin Franklin (Instituto), a renovated 16th century convent that’s both modern and beautiful.



Language Prerequisites

  • 4 semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
  • 3.0 GPA in most recently completed Spanish class

Program Requirements

All students must enroll in 2 courses at the Universidad de Alcalá Instituto Benjamin Franklin per session.

Program Credit

Total credit: 6 U.S. semester/9 quarter credits per session

Course Credit

Universidad de Alcalá Instituto Benjamin Franklin courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours

Academic Culture

Classes are held Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, students participate in class activities, excursions, and field trips to supplement what they learn in class. Attendance is required.

Class Format

Small classes of five to 25 students from U.S. colleges and universities allow for personal attention and interaction.


Students are graded based on results of quizzes, exams, oral presentations, homework assignments, and class participation, much like in the U.S.

Language of Instruction



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Course Information

CIEE students may only enroll in courses taught in Spanish.

Host Institution Courses

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Instituto Benjamin Franklin at the Universidad de Alcalá

Not all courses listed are offered every session, and some courses have prerequisites and/or conflicting schedules. A final list of Instituto courses is available a few months prior to the start of the program. Students should refer to the course registration form in their acceptance materials for a final list of courses. For more information, visit the Universidad de Alcalá Study Abroad Program website.

  • Advanced Spanish
  • Business Spanish
  • Cervantes: The Adventures of Don Quixote
  • Composition and Conversation: Spain through the Media
  • Contemporary Spain through Films
  • Contemporary Spanish Literature
  • History of Spanish Painting: The Great Painters
  • Introduction to Latin American Literature
  • Introduction to Literary Analysis
  • Masterpieces of the Spanish Literature through Film
  • Phonetics and Oral Spanish
  • Spain and its Gastronomy
  • Spanish Art: Theory and Practice
  • Spanish Culture and Civilization
  • Traditions in Spain: Oral Communication
  • Translation and Interpretation in a Bilingual Context
  • Understanding Europe: Present and Future of the EU

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Summer Session II 2020 4 weeks Deadline Passed Jul 1, 2020* Jul 30, 2020*
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $2,613 **

Housing = $1,070 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $4,150

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $760

International Airfare = $1,300

Local Transportation = $125

Books & Supplies = $100

Personal expenses = $700

Total Estimated Costs = $2,985

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

See Scholarships

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required by their US home institution to study abroad via CIEE's School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** includes all meals

Round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

Summer Session I 2021 4 weeks Apr 1, 2021 Jun 3, 2021* Jun 28, 2021*
Summer Session I and II 2021 8 weeks Apr 1, 2021 Jun 3, 2021* Jul 30, 2021*
Summer Session II 2021 4 weeks Apr 1, 2021 Jul 1, 2021* Jul 30, 2021*

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500.

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What's Included

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What's Included

Pre-departure Advising
Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city
On-site Staff
Full-time program leadership and support in your city
Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
Excursions and/or Study Tours
Travel Protection
CIEE iNext and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support

Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
  • 1

    You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! 

    Apply Now
  • 2

    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 

  • 3

    Contact Us

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.