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 2021

Program type

Group Study

Application information

Application status


Application deadline


Eligibility requirements

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

Info sessions

Session #1: September 18 at 12 PM on Zoom:

Session #2: October 29 at 4 PM on Zoom:

Student experience


Photo credits: Masaya Okushima

Have questions?

For program information, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Montes Garcés at

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

Other useful links:


Info Session

If you missed the information session on September 18th, check out the recording! 

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 and Composition (3 units)
    Prerequisite: SPAN 301
    Antirequisite: Any 400-level SPAN courses

    SPAN 409: Topics in Experiential Learning, topic 01 Spanish Culture (3 units)
    Prerequisite: Acceptance to the "Passport to Spanish Culture" Group Study Program

  2. Course Set 2

    SPAN 409: Topics in Experiential Learning, topic 01 Spanish Culture (3 units)
    Prerequisite: Acceptance to the "Passport to Spanish Culture" Group Study Program

    SPAN 499.17: Spanish for Business (3 units)
    Prerequisite: SPAN 303 plus 3 units of SPAN 300-level courses

    SPAN 532: Topics in Spanish Film, topic 02 Contemporary Spain through Film (3 units)
    Prerequisite: SPAN 405 plus 9 units of SPAN 400-level courses
    Antirequisite: SPAN 573

  1. Pre-departure

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

  2. In-field

    May 3, Calgary: Depart Calgary for Madrid

    May 4, Madrid: Arrival, travel to Alcalá

    May 5-6, Alcalá: Program activities

    May 7, Madrid: Guided tour of Madrid

    May 8-13, Alcalá: Program activities

    May 14-16, Granada: Overnight trip to Granada

    May 17-20, Alcalá: Program activities

    May 21, Toledo: Day trip to Toledo

    May 22-28, Alcalá: Program activities

    May 29, Madrid: Depart for Calgary or independent travel

    For a comprehensive program itinerary, please click here


  3. Post-field

    Assignment due dates to be determined.

  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 $10055.

    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!

Ultimately, students will stay at safe, clean, and student appropriate accommodations. 

Currently, the plan is for students to stay in the Lope de Vega Residence Hall.

More details will come closer to the date of departure. For more information about the residence feel free to check out the following resources: 

Student testimonial video

Website with interactive gallery

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

Applications will be considered after your application, unofficial transcript, and supplementary questionnaire have been received by Study Abroad.

  1. Statement of Purpose

    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).

    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.

  2. Unofficial Transcript

    Download an unofficial transcript from your Student Centre and submit it by email to

    Click here for a step-by-step guide to access your unofficial transcript.

  3. Program-specific questionnaire/application form

    Click here to download the supplementary questionnaire for this program. 

    Submit your completed form to

    After your complete application has been received and reviewed by the instructors, you will be contacted by Dr. Elizabeth Montes Garcés to schedule an interview. Please watch your UCalgary email account and expect to be contacted within several business days of submitting all your documents to the Group Study Team.

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


Program-Specific FAQs

Q: How will I be paired with my host family?

A: This program will work with you to find a family that is a good fit. Before being paired with a host family, you will need to fill in the form provided here which will be sent to Universidad de Alcalá for your housing arrangements.

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.

Please scroll up to the top of this page to view the info sessions for this program.

We also recommend watching Global Learning 101 for general information.

Watch Global Learning 101

Study Abroad Advising

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

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Select #2, "Study Abroad Advising", 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 study abroad 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 Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.