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 2020

Program type

Group Study

Application information

Application status


Application deadline

Deadline to apply for Spring 2020 is February 10, 2020.

Limited seats available - apply now!

Eligibility requirements

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

Info sessions

October 30, 3:30 pm, CHD 420

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:


Program details

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

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

  1. Courses offered

    Students on this program are required to enroll in two courses.


    Students must choose one of:

    SPAN 301: Intermediate Spanish I (3 units)

    SPAN 499.15: Spanish for Business (3 units)


    And one of:

    ROST 499.01: Spanish Culture and Civilization (3 units)

    SPAN 599: Advanced Topics in Hispanic Studies: Identities in Hispanic Film (3 units)


  2. Prerequisites

    SPAN 301: SPAN 203 (antirequiste SPAN 205)

    SPAN 499.15: SPAN 303 and SPAN 323

    ROST 499.01: SPAN 303, or ITAL 303, or FREN 227 and/or consent of the Spanish Advisor

    SPAN 599: SPAN 405 and 9 units of SPAN 4xxx

  1. Pre-departure

    March, TBD, Calgary: Pre-departure Orientation

  2. In-field

    May 3, Calgary: Depart Calgary for Madrid

    May 4, Madrid: Arrive in Madrid & Alcalá

    May 5, Alcalá: Orientation at Host University, tour of Alcalá & Madrid

    May 6, Alcalá: Classes start at UAH

    May 7, Alcalá: Classes and Guided Visit to Cisneros Museum

    May 8, Alcalá: Guided Visit to Corral de comedias Theater, and Archeological Museum of Alcalá

    May 9-11, Alcalá: Study time

    May 12, Alcalá: Classes and guided Visit to Mahou Beer Factory

    May 13, Alcalá: Classes and guided Visit to Cervantes House

    May 14, Alcalá: Classes

    May 15, Alcalá: Day Trip to Toledo

    May 16-17, Alcalá: Study time

    May 18-19, Alcalá:  Classes

    May 20, Alcalá: Classes and guided Visit to Amazon Headquarters at the Henares Valley

    May 21, Alcalá: Classes and guided visit to El Prado museum

    May 22-24, TBD: Trip to Granada by high-speed train (AVE).

    May 25, Alcalá: Classes

    May 26, Alcalá: Classes and Guided visit to Reina Sofía museum

    May 27, Alcalá: Classes

    May 28, Alcalá: Last day of classes and wrap-up dinner

    May 29, Alcalá/Calgary: Depart from Madrid to Calgary or independent travel



  3. Post-field

    Post-travel 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 $8,474.

    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.


    2020/21 Tuition Fees:

    The following proposed rate increases are being shared in advance of their approval to help students plan their finances for the upcoming school year.

    The Government of Alberta recently lifted the tuition freeze that has been in place since 2014-15. As a result, tuition rates for Canadian (domestic) students will be permitted to increase by 7% annually in each the next three years . Tuition rates for international students will no longer be regulated. In response to this change, the University of Calgary’s Board of Governors will be reviewing proposals to increase tuition rates in January 2020. If approved, the following rate increases will apply for the 2020-21 academic year:

    • New domestic students: 7% increase to all tuition fees, except for undergraduate programs in engineering course-based graduate programs in engineering (MEng), public policy (MPP) and business administration (MBA) for which a 10% increase is being proposed.
    • New International students: 10% increase to tuition fees with the exception of course based graduate programs in engineering (MEng), public policy (MPP) and business administration (MBA) for which a 15% increase is being proposed.
    • Graduate thesis students: A new tuition structure that will even out program costs over the length of the program versus having higher costs in years one (Masters) or pre-candidacy (PhD)
    • All continuing students:  5% increase to tuition fees

    If approved, these rate increases will be in effect for the Spring 2020 term.

  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.

    New! 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! Deadline to apply is March 31st.  Any queries about these scholarships should be directed to Faculty of Arts Associate Dean Gavin Cameron: 

    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.

Participants on this program will have the opportunity to live with a Spanish family in Alcalá de Henares. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to practice their Spanish 24/7 and reduce the cost of living abroad. Students will be paired with one other UCalgary program participant at the home stay.

Included in the home stay are three meals a day and a weekly laundry service.



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 Study Abroad 101 for general information.

Watch Study Abroad 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.