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IAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for this program. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program.
Getting to Your Program
You are responsible for arranging round-trip transportation to the program site.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees. The iNext card for evacuation purposes is also included in CIEE fees.
Offered through CIEE, the Summer Language and Culture in Alcala program is an approved UW affiliate program. On this summer program you will take courses at the Instituto Benjamin Franklin, which offers academic programs in Hispanic Studies for U.S. students, and is where CIEE students take classes ranging in subjects such as business and history, to linguistics, literature, political science, and art history. You are required to take two courses per summer session.
You will be working closely with both IAP and CIEE on this program. You can access the program's Language & Culture page through the CIEE website to learn more about the academics, housing, excursions and activities, and location.
Alcala de Henares, named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998, is located 40 minutes northeast of Madrid. Known simply as Alcala, the city is the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote de la Mancha. It has a population of 300,000, including approximately 16,000 university students, and a growing number of immigrant groups from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.
The city center has maintained its medieval landscape with winding cobbled streets and many historic buildings. Alcala has a reputation as “the city of three cultures,” due to three distinct neighborhoods once part of its past: the Moorish quarter, the Jewish quarter, and the Christian quarter.
Alcala’s excellent transportation links with Madrid have led to it becoming a commuter town. The city’s extensive bus system runs to all major neighborhoods making this a well-connected place.
Getting to Your Program
You will make your own travel arrangements but are given guidelines for arrival date and times by CIEE.
SummerU.S. citizens studying in Spain for the summer session do not need a visa. U.S. citizens must have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program. If you are not a US citizen, contact your Study Abroad Advisor for guidance.
OrientationIAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
A mandatory orientation session, conducted upon arrival by CIEE, introduces you to the country, the culture, and the academic program, and provides practical information about living in Alcala. A language skills diagnostic examination is conducted to identify the linguistic level of all participants so that you are placed in appropriate courses.
HousingYou will live in a homestay and will be provided with three meals a day. Most homestays are located outside the historic city center so you will either walk or take a 15-minute bus ride to the Institute.
Excursions and Activities
Enjoy visits to museums, theaters, and fairs in Alcala, as well as excursions to nearby sites of historic interest such as Toledo, Cuenca, Valle de los Caidos, El Pardo, El Escorial, Avila, and Segovia. Longer trips (one per summer session) may include La Rioja, Extremadura, Asturias, and Castilla-Leon which are planned to supplement class work and to introduce you to the rich diversity of the geographical, linguistic, and cultural areas of Spain.
Other cultural activities designed to bring together American and Spanish university students are intercambios and student participation in clubs and activities sponsored by the Universidad de Alcala.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
A CIEE Resident Director and staff will be available for on-site support.
Returned Student Network
to contact a returned student.
Check out student profiles to learn more about their experience abroad.
Heather HalvorsenKatie Kuecker
"Alcala is a great place to study because you have a small town, and you meet lots of people who are willing to help you speak Spanish. You are also very close to Madrid where there is tons of stuff to do."
"My favorite thing about the program is that I can now consider myself fluent in Spanish. The atmosphere was absolutely perfect and I could not have chosen a better environment to learn this language."
Read about current & past students' adventures.
Katie - Summer 2013CIEE Alcala Blog
How to Apply
First complete the IAP Online Application. UW Affiliate programs may require you to apply directly to the affiliate either simultaneously during the IAP application process OR after you have received a preliminary admissions decision from IAP. After you have completed the IAP Online Application, the following forms will become available to you through the application portal. Be sure to read the instructions carefully for information on when to apply to the affiliate.
Summer Program Forms
CIEE Online Application
Unofficial Transcript (Student Record)
Unofficial Transcript - OPTIONAL - Additional File
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP will review your application and make a preliminary admissions decision. You will be notified of the admissions decision via email. The affiliate university or organization will make the final admissions decision.
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