Return to the search form Return to your search results

CIEE Alicante Language & Culture Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring


Alicante, Spain




3-4 semesters of college Spanish (or equivalent). A minimum grade point average of 2.75 is required.

Application Due:

3/1 for Fall and Academic Year
9/15 for Spring

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

Designed for students with at least 3 and not more than 4 semesters of Spanish (or equivalent), this semester or academic year program helps students make rapid progress in the language as they take area studies courses related to Europe and Spain. Housing in Spanish-speaking homes, as well as supplementary visits and excursions, help to promote program objectives of linguistic development and cultural immersion. This program is administered by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) on behalf of an academic consortium of which the University of Iowa is a member. UI participants on the program join a group of students from other U.S. colleges and universities.

Academic Program

The Language and Culture program is designed for students who have completed 3-4 semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent and have achieved a high intermediate or low advanced level of proficiency prior to participation. Students who successfully complete the program will have advanced approximately two semesters to a level equivalent to high intermediate or low advanced, depending on their level upon entry, their effort and attitude, and the complementary elective classes that they choose.

Established in 1985, the Language and Culture program gives students the ability to take electives in Spanish, which are carefully designed to progressively advance their ability to understand and communicate concepts and ideas related to university level academic work in areas such as Hispanic studies, art history, cinema, international management, and political science.

All students take an intensive Spanish language course during the first three weeks of the program, then continue the semester with two Spanish language courses and two area studies courses taught in Spanish.

UI students earn resident credit which may be applied toward the following General Education Areas: Foreign Language, Foreign Civilization & Culture, Humanities and Historical Perspectives. Credit earned on this program may satisfy requirements for the International Business Certificate; some courses may satisfy requirements for the Spanish major or minor.

Program Dates

This program's calendar follows the typical U.S. academic calendar closely (early September to mid-December and mid-January to late May).

For More Information

Please contact the Study Abroad office to make an appointment with Study Abroad Advisor Aubree Compton for detailed information about this program.

University of Alicante

The University of Alicante is one of Spain's newest universities, offering its 30,000 students the benefits of a modern campus complete with Mediterranean style buildings. Program participants have full access to its facilities and its artistic and cultural events, such as sports, film screenings and lecture series. Students are encouraged to participate in a conversational exchange with regularly-enrolled Spanish university students.


The city of Alicante, capital of the Costa Blanca, is situated on the Mediterranean Sea in the Southeastern corner of Spain. The city combines historic monuments such as the Moorish Castle of Santa Barbara, the 18th century Town Hall and the fortress of San Fernando, with the modernization which has occurred in the past 30 years. Alicante is a bustling community of nearly 300,000 inhabitants that hosts few foreigners outside of the tourist season in July and August; it thus provides an ideal setting for beginning language learners.

Living Arrangements

Students live in Spanish-speaking homes or off-campus university residences. For students in homestays, all meals are taken in the home. Homestays are the optimal housing arrangement because of their practicality and contribution to the program's objectives of language and cultural immersion. Only one program participant is housed in each home. All meals are also included in the residence hall housing option. The residence halls are in San Vicente, close to the University of Alicante, however, this means that students need to take public transportation to get to the downtown/beach areas of Alicante.

Local Transportation

Housing is located in the Alicante metropolitan area with access to public transportation. Students living in with homestays take public transportation to the University.


For students with 3 or 4 semesters of college Spanish (or equivalent). A minimum grade point average of 2.75 is required. Students must have a passport at the time of application. Students participate in the Language and Culture program for only one semester, but may continue their studies for a second semester in another program, such as CIEE's Liberal Arts Program in Alicante.

Application Deadline

The online application for the spring session of this program will be available from 8/1 to 9/20. Any supplemental materials are due to the study abroad office one week later.

The application deadline for fall and academic year programs is February 21st.

How to Apply

Before starting an application for this program, students should must meet with their study abroad advisor to discuss their program selection and receive information about supplemental materials that are required for an application. Appointments can be set up in person at 1111 UCC or over the phone at 319-335-0353.

After receiving permission from Aubree Compton to apply to this program, click here to apply.

Final admissions decisions are made by CIEE in Portland. Well-qualified candidates endorsed by Study Abroad are seldom rejected.


Please contact Advisor Aubree Compton for an up-to-date program fee. The program fee includes an optional on-site airport greet, tuition, housing and all meals in homestays or a monthly meal stipend in University residencias, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, travel insurance, and the UI administrative fee. The program fee does not include transportation to Spain, personal expenses, books and supplies, visa expenses, and local transportation.

Orientation Information

All participants attend a pre-departure orientation specific to the program as well as a general study abroad orientation. CIEE also conducts online orientations for their students.

Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at: