Passport to Spanish Culture in Alcalá de Henares, Spain

Experience the historical origins of Spanish culture

Immerse yourself in the culturally rich and enticing city of Alcalá de Henares, whose historical centre is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, where you can learn both inside and outside the classroom.

This four-week program allows you to study in the prestigious Universidad de Alcalá de Henares (UAH), one of the oldest and top ranking universities in Spain. Nestled in cultural yet modern town of Alcalá de Henares, which is a short trip from Madrid. In addition to your classes, various tours to some of Spain’s most inspiring attractions will fill your time abroad. The combination of language and culture course components creates a program that is open to a diverse set of academic backgrounds. Spain is developing as ‘a global intellectual hub’, and is a great fit for any university student looking to expand their cultural and academic horizons.

Key information


Spanish and English


Spring 2023

Program type

Group Study

Application information

Application status


Application deadline

Limited space still available! First come first considered for remaining spaces.

Eligibility requirements

This program is open to students from all majors. See the Eligibility section below for more details.

Info sessions

Zoom Session: September 6 at noon: See recording 

In person Session: October 3, 3PM, CHD 420

November 1, 4pm, CHD 428


Student Experience

Students in 2022

Amanda Wong

Have questions?

For program information, please contact Nicole Pucinelli at Dr. Elizabeth Montes Garcés is on leave until Nov 30 but can be reached after that at

For application and registration support, please contact the Group Study Team at

Other useful links:

Info Session

Recorded info session with Dr. Montes on Sept 6, 2022

Program details

Questions about these courses should be directed to the program instructor.

Please note: course descriptions are tentative and subject to change.

Students on this program must choose between the following course sets. Students must enroll in all 3 courses of their chosen set.

  1. Course Set 1

    SPAN 301: Intermediate Spanish I (3 units)
    Prerequisite: SPAN 203

    SPAN 323: Introduction to Textual Analysis (3 units)
    Prerequisite: SPAN 301
    Antirequisite: Any 400-level SPAN courses

    ROST 499.09: Iberian Cultures (Experiential Learning) (3 units)
    Prerequisite: Acceptance to the "Passport to Spanish Culture" Group Study Program

  2. Course Set 2

    ROST 499.09: Iberian Cultures (Experiential Learning) (3 units)
    Prerequisite: Acceptance to the "Passport to Spanish Culture" Group Study Program

    SPAN 499.15: Spanish for Business (3 units)
    Prerequisite: SPAN 303 plus 3 units of SPAN 300-level courses

    SPAN 575: Hispanic Comics (3 units)
    Prerequisite: 9 units of SPAN 400-level courses or department consent

  1. Pre-departure

    April, TBD, Calgary: Mandatory safety briefing and pre-departure orientation facilitated by Group Study Programs.

  2. In-field

    May 2, Calgary: Depart Calgary for Madrid

    May 3, Madrid: Arrival, travel to Alcalá

    May 4-5, Alcalá & Madrid: Guided tours of Alcalá  and Madrid, program activities in Madrid

    May 6-11, Alcalá: Program activities

    May 12-14, Granada: Overnight trip to Granada

    May 15-18, Alcalá: Program activities

    May 19, Toledo: Day trip to Toledo

    May 20-30, Alcalá: Program activities

    May 31, Madrid: Depart for Calgary or independent travel

    For a comprehensive program itinerary, please click here


  1. Costs

    The estimated cost of the Passport to Spanish Culture Group Study Program will include tuition, airfare, field trips, local transportation, accommodations and meals. The program cost is $10,691.

    For the full cost breakdown and payment deadlines, please see the program Student Cost Summary.

    Important information regarding deposit payments: Deposits are non-refundable. Deposits secure your space in the program and allows payment for logistical arrangements to be made in advance.

  2. Funding

    International Study Travel Grant: Students studying abroad may be eligible for the University of Calgary's International Study Travel Grant. For more information on eligibility, application details and deadlines please click here.

    Undergraduate students majoring or minoring in Spanish, or with a specific academic interest in Spain, may be eligible for the Julio Peris Scholarship - up to 2 awards of $1350 each! Deadline to apply is May 1st. Application instructions can be found here

    Faculty of Arts Group Study Program (GSP) Scholarships (for GSP participants) and Faculty of Arts Student Study Abroad Scholarships (for other international programs) - up to 10 awards of $1000 each! Application not currently open. Details to come. 

    Student loans: If you qualify for student loans, your program should qualify. We are able to provide you with a letter confirming your participation in the program for funding purposes. Please email to request a letter.

    Please note that eligibility for student loans is determined by your loans provider.

    Click here for more info on funding opportunities!

    NEW! Global Access Fund - up to 10 student per year and up to $5500 per person. This "funding first" model allows students to apply by October 28 and know their funding results before applying to a program. Economically disadvantaged students, first-in-family to attend university, Indigenous, LGBTQ2S+ students, students with disabilities and visible/racialized minority students are strongly encouraged to apply. 

This program is open to undergraduate students in good academic standing from all faculties.

  1. Statement of Purpose & Program Specific Questions

    Please tell us why you want to study abroad, why you have selected this particular program (academic reasons, personal interest, career prospects, etc.), how this program will meet your academic objectives and/or complement your degree, how you plan to finance your program and why you should be selected.

    The Statement of Purpose is submitted within your online application (max 500 words).

    This program also has several questions from the professor that will need to be filled out.

    Note: Because the online application will time out after one hour, we recommend that you compose your statement of purpose in advance in Word to check for spelling, grammar and word count, and then paste it into the online application. You may also want to copy the program specific questions as well to work on offline.

  2. Unofficial Transcript

    1. Download an unofficial transcript from your Student Centre. Click here for a step-by-step guide to access your unofficial transcript.
    2. Submit your transcript through your online application with your statement of purpose. 

Please ensure that you have read the Group Study Program General FAQs thoroughly before applying. 

This was a unique opportunity to hone my language skills by becoming more fluent and comfortable with my professors and host family.


International Business student

Getting started

Program-Specific Info Sessions

Info sessions are scheduled for every Group Study Program. Attending an info session is not required to apply, but strongly recommended as it will give you an opportunity to meet the instructor and learn more about the travel experience.

We also recommend watching Global Learning 101 for general information.

Watch Global Learning 101

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions about this program, you can meet with one of our Global Learning Advisors by emailing or booking an appointment through the link below.

1. Select "Advising"
2. Select “Study Abroad”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Select your program advisor to view available times.

Book an appointment

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how a Group Study Program might align with your degree.

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular global learning program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.