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CIEE Language and Culture in Alicante, Spain
Alicante, Spain
Program Terms: Fall,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: CIEE 
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2018 02/25/2018 03/15/2018 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Art History, Communication Studies, History, Spanish Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.75
Academic Level: Sophomore Language of Instruction: Spanish
Housing Options: Dorms, Host Family
Program Description:


Advance your Spanish language skills and immerse yourself in local culture in the beautiful Mediterranean coastal city of Alicante.

Through intensive language coursework and content courses in Spanish, a conversation exchange program, excursions, and homestays, studying abroad in Alicante offers you an academically challenging and truly immersive intercultural experience.

Study abroad in Spain and you will:

  • Take a variety of courses including women’s issues, art history, cinema, international relations, and literature
  • Become a member of a Spanish family or live in the dorms with Spanish or international students
  • Participate in day excursions and field trips related to academic coursework; visit museums, theaters, cultural sites, and other important Spanish cities
  • Attend cultural events and join the Club Cooltural
The CIEE Difference


In addition to language learning classes in grammar, comprehension and oral communication, CIEE gives you access to various electives – taught in Spanish – ranging in subject from Art, Cinema, and Theater to Media,  Gastronomy, History, Business and Literature. Study abroad students with higher levels of Spanish can also directly enroll in classes with their Spanish peers at Universidad de Alicante.


Weekend, overnight, and day trips to different Spanish cities, landmarks in the province of Alicante, and to the region of Valencia add a highly relevant cultural component to the academic curriculum. The program fee includes one weekend trip, one overnight trip, and two day trips. Previous weekend trips have included visits to Seville, Barcelona, Madrid, and Granada. There are also several local day trips in the Alicante Province or the Valencian Autonomous Community.


Take part in the conversation exchange program, Intercambios, with native Universidad de Alicante Spanish students. It gives you real-world opportunities to apply what you’ve learned in your language courses and helps you integrate into Spanish student life.


Total recommended credit for the semester is 15–16 semester/22.5–24 quarter hours.

Course contact hours are 45 hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours per course, unless otherwise indicated.

Program Requirements

Students take an intensive language course during their first few weeks on site. For the remainder of the study abroad program, students enroll in two Spanish language courses and two area studies courses in Spanish chosen from CIEE courses or Universidad de Alicante Culture Department Courses. A full course load is considered five courses.

Placement in the intensive course is based upon both a diagnostic language exam given upon arrival in Alicante. Results of the intensive language course determine the student’s language level for semester language classes. Orientation to cultural, social, and academic issues complements language study during the intensive session. Students can also take the CIEE Seminar on Living and Learning in addition to the requirements above.

About Alicante

With a population approaching 350,000, Alicante is a thriving Spanish city. Located on the Mediterranean coast, Alicante is an inviting place for students to begin their exploration of Spain or continue a previous journey. 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.

Where You’ll Study

The Universidad de Alicante is one of Spain’s newest universities and is located three miles outside the city of Alicante. Established to serve the higher education needs of the province of Alicante, the Universidad de Alicante offers its 35,000 students the benefits of a modern campus with an international atmosphere. The CIEE Study Center is located next to the Faculty of Education and one of the residence halls on the northwest extension of the main campus in San Vicente; this location provides students direct access to University facilities.

Housing & Meals

Housing and all meals are included in the study abroad program fee. CIEE students have two housing options: a Spanish homestay or an off-campus residence hall with other international and Spanish students.

Homestays—Students live in Spanish-speaking homes where all meals are provided. Each home accommodates one student. Homestays are the optimal housing arrangement because of their contribution to the program’s goals of language and cultural immersion. In the homestay, each student is considered a member of the family and has the same rights and responsibilities as other family members. Homestays are located throughout the Alicante downtown metropolitan area -anywhere within a maximum 30 minute commute to the study center via public transport-, with access to public transportation that students take to and from the University.Students should expect to use public transportation two to four times per day.

Residence Hall—Students seeking an independent environment should consider living in an off-campus residence hall with Spanish and other international students.

The off-campus residence halls are located near the Universidad de Alicante campus in San Vicente, approximately 40 minutes by bus from the downtown city center of Alicante. Study abroad students who live in the residence hall will be able to walk to campus, but should expect to use public transportation, such as buses and taxis, to get to and from the downtown area in Alicante. All meals are provided in the residence hall. The variety/selection of vegetarian food at La Villa is not great so we recommend that vegetarian students choose the homestay option.All rooms are single en-suite rooms with a telephone (incoming calls only), TV cable, Internet access, and air conditioning. Students share a kitchenette, a small fridge, and a microwave.

Academic Program

Established in 1985, the Language and Culture study abroad program gives students the opportunity 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 such areas as art history, cinema, and literature.

The program is designed for students who have completed three to four semesters of university-level language instruction in Spanish and have achieved a low-intermediate level of proficiency prior to participation. Students who successfully complete the program can advance 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 elective courses they choose.

Academic Culture

Students should expect to have classes Monday through Friday during the Intensive Cycle and Monday through Thursday during the regular semester. They can also expect daily homework assignments. Teaching methods combine lecture and interactive styles. Each professor distributes a detailed syllabus indicating what material is covered, when exams are held, and what is expected from each student. It is important to understand that the program takes place at a Spanish university with Spanish professors, and therefore students may notice differences in teaching styles.

Although extracurricular activities and personal travel contribute to the student’s overall European experience, attendance in class is mandatory and absences affect final grades. Early departure for or late return from vacations is not allowed. Any extended travel should take place prior to the start of the program, during the semester break, or upon completion of the study abroad program. Travel plans should not be made before receiving the academic calendar on site.

Universidad de Alicante courses are lecture-style. Teaching methods in the Spanish university system are different from those in the United States. Professors provide students with an extensive bibliography in the course syllabus, and it is expected that students make reference to these readings in their exams. It is the students’ responsibility to demonstrate that they can intelligently analyze and discuss themes mentioned in class lectures, in addition to citing secondary sources and outside readings recommended by the professor.

The fall study abroad program begins in late-August, while Universidad de Alicante classes beginning in early September. CIEE exams take place in late-December. The CIEE spring program begins in mid-January with final exams for CIEE courses and International Business Program courses given in mid-May. The official Universidad de Alicante spring semester begins in early February and runs through late May or early June.