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USAC Alicante Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Alicante, Spain




2.5 GPA and in good academic standing

Application Due:

9/24 for Spring and Winter, 2/28 for Fall/Academic Year, 3/4 for Summer

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

Academic Program

San Juan beach in Alicante

This program offers a high-quality educational experience in five diverse academic areas: Spanish language, Linguistics, European, Mediterranean, and Gender Studies. These programs are not exclusive of one another; students may chose courses from any area. All students are expected to take Spanish language coursework, although no prior language study is required to participate. A 3 sh internship may also be available. The program is administered by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), of which the University of Iowa is a member.

The list of current courses can be found here: USAC Course Offerings

University of Iowa resident credit is granted for this program.

Program Dates

Moorish neighborhood in Alicante

Students can study on this program for a semester, academic year, summer, or winter session. Two month-long sessions are offered each summer and students can attend one or both. One three-week course is offered during winter. Check the USAC webpage for exact program dates USAC Alicante Calendars.

Sessions run approximately:

Fall: Early September to mid-December

Spring: Mid-January to mid-May

Summer Session I: Late May to late June

Summer Session II: Early July to early August

Winter: late December to Mid-January

Cultural Activities and Excursions

Field Trips

Students are also encouraged to participate in the included program field studies listed below. Dates and exact locations are at the discretion of the Resident Director and they vary from session and session and semester to semester. Common destinations include the following: Altea, Fuentes de Algar, Bendiorm, Barcelona, Cabo San Antonio and Jávea, Granada, Guadalest, Calpe, Elche and Tabarca and Valencia.

More information about Field Trips can be found here: Madrid Field Studies

Field Studies

USAC encourages every student to participate in these optional tours/field studies; however, this segment of the program is optional for an additional fee. Students may choose to participate for pleasure as a tour or as a 1-credit field study course; the field study students is designed to enhance the experience. Participants will sign up for the tour or register for the field study on the Course and Tour Registration Form. Be sure to reserve a spot as they fill early; the deadline for fall semester is July 1 and for spring semester is November 1.

Madrid Tour and Field Study

The Madrid Tour/Field Study can be taken either semester as a tour for pleasure or as a 1-credit field study course. Students on the tour will stay at a centrally located hotel and spend four days discovering the artistic and historic charms of Madrid. There will be bus trips to the medieval city of Toledo, Valley of the Fallen, and the town of Segovia—famous for its Roman aqueduct and its castle—and visit many sites within the city of Madrid.

If registering for the 1-credit field study, participants will be expected to keep a journal and answer a series of questions about the sites visited. Upon arrival in Alicante, students will have follow-up meetings with a professor and take a final exam. The written work may be completed in Spanish or in English.

Morocco Field Study

The Morocco Tour/Field Study occurs during the last five days of Spring. Alicante, having been part of the Arabic expansion into Spain over the centuries, still reflects many aspects of this cultural influence in its architecture, food, and festivities. The north of Morocco was part of the Spanish Protectorate at one time. To fully understand this cultural link and their mutual influences, this exciting tour/field study will explore northern Morocco: crossing the Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa to visit the cities of Tétouan, Chefchaouen (Chaouen), and Tangier. A minimum enrollment of 20 students is required for the trip to take place.

Embedded, Credit-Bearing Internships

USAC internships are rich resources for academic and professional development particularly in a study abroad setting. USAC internships are considered courses and count as part of your credit load. They can be time-consuming, but are very worthwhile. Students are placed in a Spanish-speaking environment, with high exposure to culture and language, and must be able to communicate at an advanced language level. Interns earn credits but no financial compensation. The schedule and the number of work hours will be determined by the schedule of USAC courses. Internship opportunities fall into broad categories; USAC will attempt to place students in a field related to the student’s interest. Example placements include: hotels, tourist office, travel agencies, teaching at local schools, preschool, accountancy, libraries, marketing, museums, movie studios, NGOs, International development, assistance for physically and mentally disabled, tutoring for disadvantaged youth, gyms, or local businesses.

Eligibility—registration in Track IV, enrollment in the Alicante program, a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and junior standing at the time of the internship. USAC organizes the internships in close cooperation with the University of Alicante; the university charges 200 EUR for this service and for insurance. However, if the internship is related to teaching in a local school, this fee will not be charged

Teaching Assistant Program

USAC offers some tutoring opportunities for the students so they can not only earn a little money but get involved in the Spanish culture and get to know locals to practice the language and best experience the Spanish lifestyle. There are two types of tutoring jobs participants can sign up for:

-Private lessons with kids or adults. These lessons will mostly consist of speaking in English with children (2-9 years old) while playing with them; doing homework with kids (10-16); or just English conversation with adults.

Local schools. USAC has made an agreement with a network of private and public schools so that our students can work as conversation teachers or assistants to English teachers in elementary, middle or high schools.

As a teaching assistant participants will help the local teachers to solicit conversation and give presentations to the English classes on topics which the teacher will suggest, such as American holidays or school sports. As a conversation teacher, participants will prepare their own presentations on topics that they will find based on student interest. All the tutoring opportunities offered by USAC in Alicante are paid (payments will vary depending on the school, family, and schedules).

For More Information

Aubree Compton, Senior Advisor
The University of Iowa
Office for Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802

Phone: 319-335-0353


Situated on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, Spain is a strikingly beautiful and diverse country. The country has the second largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the largest number of World Heritage cities. Spain’s distinct regions means there is has something for everyone, from lush forests to towering mountains, stunning beaches to vibrant cities, Mediterranean islands and African enclaves. Widely known for excellent food and art, friendly locals, relaxed lifestyle, Flamenco culture, bullfights, fantastic beaches, and lots of sunshine, Spain has been one of the cultural centers of Europe for thousands of years and remains one of the most popular destinations in the world for study and travel.


The city of Alicante, capital of the Costa Blanca, is situated on the Mediterranean Sea in the Southeastern corner of Spain. With a population approaching 350,000, Alicante is a thriving Spanish city and an inviting place for students to begin their exploration of Spain. In recent times, Alicante has experienced a development boom and rapid population growth. Students will see modern architecture and Internet cafés alongside historic buildings, and shopping malls next to centuries-old open-air markets. Although fast becoming a cosmopolitan and multicultural city, Alicante retains a distinct Spanish flavor.


Like many other regions in Spain, Alicante is historically and culturally bilingual. Valenciano (similar to Catalan, is the second language of the Alicante province. However, Spanish (or castellano) is the primary language of most Alicante residence and one is unlikely to encounter Valenciano in everyday life. Approximately 10% of the city's population speaks both Spanish and Valenciano, the latter mostly at home. It has little presence at the Universidad de Alicante or in public settings. Note that all homestay families are Spanish speakers, as are CIEE staff and Universidad de Alicante faculty.

Universidad de 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.

Living Accommodations


Homestay placements are a great opportunity for students to immerse themselves into the daily life of a local family. Homestays include three meals per day and provide an unmatched opportunity to speak Spanish and learn Spanish customs. Participants do not need prior language experience in order to live in a Spanish homestay.


Students also have the option to live in shared apartments with other USAC students or local university students. Apartments are fully equipped except for sheets and towels, which students should bring with them or purchase upon arrival.

The city has an excellent system of public transportation and all housing is within commuting distance of classes. Inexpensive student dining halls on campus are available for lunch.

More information about housing can be found on USAC's webpage:Living Accommodations for Alicante.

Housing Fees

During the semester, students pay monthly rent and the housing fee is not included in the course fee. Students will need to have a plan and budget in place to withdraw the amount needed for rent monthly. For summer programs, apartment housing is included in the course fee- homestay has a surcharge.


This program is open to all UI students who are in both good academic and also disciplinary standing. Applicants must also meet the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Participants must remain in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university until departure. If the applicant is not in good standing at the end of the semester, student acceptance will be revoked and the student will be responsible for the associated withdrawal fees.

Program Cost Sheet

Alicante Marina

Fall 2017 Cost SheetPDF
Summer I 2017 Cost SheetPDF
Summer I & II 2017 Cost SheetPDF
Winter 2016-17 Cost SheetPDF

These documents outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill, as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. Please contact Aubree Compton with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Upfront, out of pocket expenses

Some costs are incurred prior to departure and will be due before financial aid/scholarships disperse. Here are the expected upfront costs for USAC:

  • USAC Application Fee $100
  • Iowa Application Fee $50
  • Spanish Visa (semester only) approximately $160
  • Refundable Housing Deposit $300
  • Airline Ticket $1,000-$1,400

Optional additional fees paid to USAC

These fees are all optional and not included in the course fee for the program. The cost should be paid directly to USAC through the Gateway account, failure to pay will result in USAC withholding transcripts.

  • Optional Tours
  • Course Fees

Financial Aid and Scholarships


Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.


Scholarship opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities, and Non-UI External Awards.


Federal Pell Grant recipients are eligible to apply for the Gilman Scholarship

Withdrawal Policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to the student's USAC Program Advisor and Aubree Compton at the University of Iowa. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which student withdrawal costs will be calculated. If for any reason the participant withdraws after the early admission period, after confirming, or before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what the student will be required to pay.

Program Deposit: The USAC application deposit is waived for UI students. If the participant withdraws from the program after the early application period closes, the University of Iowa will charge the student's U-Bill for these fees ($300 minimum).

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
After Application Administrative fee: $0
Course Fee: $300
After Cancellation Deposit Deadline (varies by program) Administrative fee: $400
Course fee: As determined by the program contract with USAC
After Program Start Date Administrative fee: 100%
Course fee: As determined by the program contract with USAC

Consult with Study Abroad Advisor Aubree Compton for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when withdrawing from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. The USAC policy regarding withdrawals and refunds can be found here: USAC Money Matters. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with the airline for further details.

How to Apply

Steps to Completing Student Application for Study Abroad Participation

• Before filling out any applications, please schedule an appointment to meet with Aubree Compton, Study Abroad Advisor for Alicante, Spain by calling 319-335-0353. The student's application WILL NOT be approved until this step has been completed.

• Fill out the USAC Online Application for Alicante. Be sure to submit a personal statement as part of your application or email it to

• Submit the $100 non-refundable application fee to USAC

• Do not submit a transcript, this will be done on the student's behalf

• Fill out the Iowa Online Application for Study Abroad, applicants will be charged a $50 non-refundable application fee.

• As part of the Iowa Online Application for Study Abroad applicants will need to upload a copy of their passport picture page and a list of courses to take while abroad.

NOTICE: For the Summer Term, this program has Summer I, Summer II, and Summer I & II options. In the UI online application under “Offering” applicants will be asked to choose between “Codes” A, B, or AB.

Code A=Summer I

Code B=Summer II

Code AB=Summer I & II

Please be careful to choose the correct session that corresponds to the preferred dates abroad. If assistance is needed, please consult Aubree Compton, Advisor.

Post Acceptance

Acceptance into the applicant's chosen study abroad program is made by USAC directly via an email to the applicant, which will refer to additional documents posted to a USAC Gateway account that will be created for the participant.


US passport holders should follow the batch process instructions provided by USAC (semester only), otherwise participants must apply for their student visa independently. The consulate for all UI students is the Chicago consulate (it's based the location of one's home university, not state of origin). Students applying for their visa independently should utilize this visa guide: Student Visa Instructions for Spain

Group Flight

Students may either book the group flight through USAC (see Gateway for more details) or can book a flight independently. Participants are responsible for being at the orientation site on time, as USAC fines individuals who are late.


In order to prepare for study abroad, all participants are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by USAC on-site.. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

All study abroad participants are required to complete the International Programs online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. All participants will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to the student once enrolled. Any question regarding this component can be directed to:

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by Aubree Compton and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Aubree will provide the date and time for this mandatory in-person session during the application process.

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