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CIEE Alicante Language & Culture Summer Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:



Alicante, Spain




2.75 GPA, 4 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent), must have valid passport at time of application.

Application Due:


Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

Designed for students with varying levels of Spanish, this summer program in Alicante, Spain helps develop students’ Spanish language skills and increase participants’ knowledge of Spanish art, cinema, and culture. Housing in Spanish-speaking homes as well as supplementary visits and excursions, content courses in Spanish, and direct enrollment at the University of Alicante 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 summer program in Alicante provides an opportunity for short-term, intensive study of the Spanish language. The program is open to qualified undergraduates with an interest in Spanish language and contemporary Spain. Language classes are taught entirely in Spanish and are offered at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Students are given a placement exam in Alicante prior to the start of classes to determine appropriate placement for the language course. All students are required to take one Spanish language course and one content course for a total of 6 semester hours.

Spanish language courses focus on grammar, reading, composition, and conversation. The language classes are small, maximizing student-to-professor interaction with attention to individual issues in language acquisition and skills.

Content courses are taught in English and Spanish. In general, students who place into the beginning level of Spanish take their content course in Spanish or English. Those who have completed four or more semesters of Spanish usually place into advanced Spanish. Advanced students must take their content course in Spanish.

UI students earn resident credit which may be applied toward the following General Education Areas: Foreign Civilization & Culture, Foreign Language and Humanities. Credit earned on this program may satisfy requirements for the Spanish major or minor as well as other majors/minors.

Cultural Activities

Supplementing the academic program are field trips and excursions to points of interest in the province of Alicante, the Valencia region, and Spain. Field trips and visits highlight topics covered in class. Past excursions have included Granada, Valencia, and visits to local castles and monuments. The program typically includes one overnight trip in addition to several day trips and museum visit within and around Alicante.

Program Dates

This summer program takes place from mid June to late July.

For More Information

Please come to the Study Abroad Resource Room for a CIEE program catalog that contains much more detailed information than available on our webpage.


With a population rapidly approaching 350,000, Alicante is a thriving Spanish city. Located on the Mediterranean coast, Alicante provides a warm and inviting place to begin your exploration of Spain or to continue a previous journey you may have made. Alicante’s skyline is dominated by the brooding Moorish castle of Santa Barbara, an ever-present reminder of the city’s ancient roots. Below the castle hill are the narrow, winding streets of Barrio Santa Cruz, the “old town”. Along the harbor, a departure point for North Africa and Mallorca, runs the palm-fringed Esplanada de España. In recent years, Alicante has mirrored the growth of Spain, becoming a more cosmopolitan and multicultural city. Despite recent modernization and the rapid expansion of the tourist industry, Alicante retains a distinct Spanish flavor.

Living Arrangements

Students live either in Spanish-speaking homes or in off-campus residencias with other international and Spanish students. In the homestay option all meals will be provided. Homestays are the best 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. Students opting to live in the residence hall take all of their meals there as well.

Local Transportation

Housing is located in the Alicante metropolitan area with access to public transportation. All students take public transportation to the University. The residencia is near to the University of Alicante which is approximately 40 by bus minutes from downtown Alicante.


A 2.75 cumulative GPA is required. For CIEE content courses taught in Spanish, 4 semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent is required. Students must have a valid passport at the time of application.


This program fee includes an optional on-site airport greet, tuition, housing and meals, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, and the UI administrative fee.

The program fee does not include transportation, personal expenses, books and supplies and local transportation.

How to Apply

Applications are to be submitted to the UI Office for Study Abroad. Final admission decisions are made by CIEE in Portland. Well-qualified candidates endorsed by the Office for Study Abroad are seldom rejected. Application forms and further information are available from the Study Abroad, 1111 University Capitol Centre.

Click here to apply.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is February 28 for the summer program.

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.

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