Alicante, Spain

Language In Context

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The 3,500-year-old port city of Alicante sits on Spain’s dazzling Mediterranean coast and invites beginning Spanish students to come advance their language skills and take courses across academic areas at CIEE Alicante and our partner school, Universidad de Alicante. Students begin with an intensive language course to help facilitate cultural immersion, and select from courses in business and economics, as well as humanities and social sciences, education, engineering, architecture, science, and law – all taught in English. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Explore provincial treasures

    like Algar Waterfalls, Canelobre Caves, Villena, and Guadalest Castle.

  • Travel to another amazing Spanish city

    such as Madrid, Valencia, or Granada.

  • Live in a university dorm

    with Spanish students or with a Spanish family at their Alicante home.

  • students at University of Alicante

  • days of sun per year

  • Cities reached from the Alicante International Airport


Location & Culture

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Home to 350,000 residents, the 3,500-year-old port city sits midway on Spain’s dazzling Mediterranean coast. From the emblematic medieval Castle of Santa Barbara high on Benacantil Mountain, to the lovely palm-lined marble tiled Explanda de España, Alicante is full of distinctive Spanish flavor, balanced with cosmopolitan flair and multicultural presence.

Like other regions in Spain and Europe, Alicante is bilingual. Castilian Spanish is the primary language of most residents, but be on the lookout to encounter the second language, Valenciano.

The Culture


  • Put your coursework in context with visits to museums, theaters, and cultural sites.
  • Explore beyond the city with one-day trips to provincial highlights like the Algar Waterfalls, Canelobre Caves, and Guadalest Castle, or to Valencian Autonomous Community.
  • Discover another beautiful Spanish city, such as Granada, Madrid or Valencia.
  • Take your pick of nonstop activities offered weekly by both CIEE and the University Language Center – hiking, sports, cinema, bowling, cooking, dance classes, escape rooms, and guided tours – boredom is not an option!


  • As students gain proficiency, they’re encouraged to reinforce their new skills by practicing in everyday situations.  
  • Opt to live with a host family to fast-track language acquisition.
  • Join a conversion exchange program at Universidad de Alicante, and practice with Spanish students.
  • Catch up on the latest Spanish pop music and colloquial sayings, and practice speaking in Spanish outside the classroom with Cultural Workshops and Language Café sessions.


Volunteer with children, seniors, or disabled students in Alicante or San Vicente. It is a great way to give back – and connect with locals.  

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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  • Housing

    HOMESTAYS: Live with a Spanish-speaking family (with or without another CIEE student) and immerse yourself in the local language and culture. As a visiting student, you will be treated like a member of the family. Stay in the downtown metro area – no more than a 25-30-minute commute from the UA campus. Expect to use public transportation two times per day.

    RESIDENCE HALLS: If you choose an off-campus residence hall at Universidad de Alicante in San Vicente, you’ll live among Spanish and other international students. Plan on walking to campus, and taking a 25-30-minute bus ride to get in and out of Alicante.

  • Meals

    HOMESTAYS: Three meals per day are provided by your host.


    RESIDENCE HALLS: Two meals per day are provided.

Alicante, Spain

Where You'll Study

  • A

    CIEE Alicante

    CIEE Alicante is next to the Faculty of Education on the northwest extension of the main campus of Universidad de Alicante in San Vicente.

  • B


    This modern campus hosts 35,000 students from all over the world, three miles from the city of Alicante.

  • C

    Getting Around

    Students use the tram or the public bus system to get from campus to downtown Alicante, about a 40-minute ride.

What People are Saying

  • Can't think of just one memorable experience. Having my host mom meet my family was a very memorable experience, and great opportunity for my two worlds to collide

    Lily, Pennsylvania State University, Spring 17
  • In every instance, the staff was there to support me or offer me advice or direction. They were incredible and helped make my experience as good as could be.

    Lauren, Pennsylvania State University, Spring 17

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

The Language in Context program is designed for students with little to no Spanish instruction who seek to dramatically increase their language skills while taking courses across academic areas from both CIEE Alicante and Universidad de Alicante. Courses are taught by faculty from the Universidad de Alicante and instructors that specialize in teaching Spanish as a second language. Students also have the opportunity to practice the local language with Spanish university buddies during “intercambios.”

Universidad de Alicante was founded in 1979 and offers more than fifty degrees. It is located just three miles north of the city in San Vincente and hosts more than 35,000 students. It offers a rich array of opportunities for students to get involved on campus.

CIEE Alicante is conveniently located on the campus of Universidad de Alicante.


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    Students take CIEE classes in Spanish with other CIEE students at CIEE. Students enroll in additional classes taught in English at CIEE, or Universidad de Alicante with Spanish students and other international students.


    Language classes are graded on quizzes, exams, homework assignments, and class participation. For content courses, grades are based on class participation, a midterm exam, research papers, oral presentations and a final exam. Some include fieldtrips with special assignments.


    Classes are held Monday through Friday. Attendance is mandatory. Teaching methods combine lecture and interactive styles. Spanish professors provide extensive bibliographies for students.





    No Spanish experience is required. No more than 2 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent).

Course Information

Program Credit
Total credit: 15-18 U.S. semester/22.5-27 quarter credits

Course Credit
CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours, unless otherwise noted
Universidad de Alicante courses: typically, 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits; 60 contact hours

Language of Instruction
Spanish and English

Students enroll in a minimum of five classes (15 credits) per semester as follows:

  • One mandatory intensive Spanish language course at CIEE
  • One mandatory Spanish grammar course at CIEE (SPAN 1001 ALIC: Spanish Grammar and Syntax or SPAN 2001 ALIC: Intermediate Spanish Grammar I)
  • Three elective courses chosen from CIEE courses and/or Universidad de Alicante courses taught in English

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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Host Institution Courses

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Language in Context (LIC) students may enroll in courses in English at the Universidad de Alicante (UA). Although UA official final exams take place in early January/June, LIC students’ final exams can generally be arranged for late December/May. However, CIEE can neither facilitate nor guarantee this for all University courses.

Students are advised that UA may cancel courses due to limited enrollment and that some other courses may overlap. For this reason, students should have at least two alternate courses approved. A complete list of courses will be available in the Online Course Registration Form in CIEE acceptance materials.

Students can look for specific courses in English at:  These courses will be in:

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Engineering & Architecture
  • Social Sciences &  Law
  • Health Sciences
  • Sciences

Business Courses at the Universidad de Alicante

The following courses, taught in English, are Business Management Program courses offered by the School of Economics at the Universidad de Alicante. The student population in these courses consists of Universidad de Alicante economics majors and international students. Approximately four courses are offered each semester. The Universidad de Alicante may change course offerings based on enrollment after students arrive. Students should have alternate courses approved in case of course cancellations. Final grades for the University of Alicante business courses taught in English are usually based on a final exam, final project, or final presentation only. Attendance is taken and students who do not attend at least 80% of the classes will not receive a passing grade.

Please check the Universidad de Alicante website at for more detailed information.

The Economy of the European Union: Characteristics, Economic Structure, and Institutions
This course aims to analyze the past, present, and future of European integration on the basis of historic and economic reasoning. This process and its effects are assessed, taking into account differences in European Member States economies, as well as considering the EU as a whole at the international level.

Entrepreneurial Initiative: Starting and Running a Business
In the first part of the course positive attitudes towards entrepreneurial initiative are developed. The students learn how to develop entrepreneurial ventures and how to transform an idea into a business. While thinking about running a new business, potential entrepreneurs are faced with many obstacles such as administrative requirements and the lack of finance or skilled labor. To seize new opportunities in the changing markets, businesses should be encouraged to innovate and exploit new ideas. In the second part of the course students learn and practice necessary skills and tools for running a firm. The main management processes (planning, organizing, and controlling) are developed, taking into account modern and classic problems like globalization, ethics, sustainability, change, stress, innovation, and technology.

Human Resources Management
The main objectives of this course are to keep in mind that every manager of a firm is a Human Resources Manager (HRM); to give a general guide about how to manage people; to argue how a HRM can be a strategic partner of any firm; to have a general overview about the knowledge, skills, and abilities that a HRM must have; and to describe the fundamental tools, methods, and techniques that are used in a Department of Human Resources.

International Marketing
On completion of this course the student should be able to demonstrate the skills needed for successful career in Marketing in an international context in terms of international theory. They will also acquire a global overview of International Marketing. This course will give students a fundamental understanding of the importance of an international market and its management implications for marketing strategies.
Students will learn the importance of cultural awareness in the international market and the relationship between local and global markets, as well as branding strategies in the international market and ways to penetrate international markets.


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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

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.


  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • Three-day orientation – an introduction to Spanish culture, your academic program, and the city, plus practical information about living in your host city
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
  • Excursions and/or Study Tours
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support

Our Staff

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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.