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  • Locations: Alcalá de Henares, Spain
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 10/01/2018
Rolling Admission 01/09/2019 04/26/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
College/School: College of Liberal Arts Department/School: Foreign Languages and Literatures
Program Type: Auburn University Faculty-Led Program AU Faculty Director(s): Timothy McCallister,
Majors: ALL MAJORS Student Level: JR-Junior, SO-Sophomore, SR-Senior
GPA: 2.25 (Undergraduates) Applicant Restrictions: AU & Non-AU students may apply
Language of Instruction: Spanish Course Prerequisite: Student must have completed FLSP 2020 or equivalent prior to the beginning of the program
Program Description:
Liberal Arts Semester Program in

Alcala de Henares, Spain


Auburn University offers an intensive academic program for undergraduate students in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. Students spend the entire semester in Spain, from January to April, only 20 miles from the great cosmopolitan capital, Madrid. This central location, along with a flexible class schedule, allows students to travel extensively through Spain and Europe. 

Alcalá de Henares is a warm and welcoming college town that has played a crucial role in the artistic, intellectual and political development of humanity. Buses and trains run every 10-15 minutes to Madrid, where students can take advantage of museums, concerts, parks, trendy shops, and lively restaurants. Alcalá boasts Roman and Moorish heritage. Queen Isabella met with Columbus in Alcalá prior to his departure for the Americas. The celebrated author Miguel de Cervantes was born in Alcalá, and each year the city hosts the ceremony to confer the Cervantes Prize for Literature. In addition to being a prime tourist destination, Alcalá is ideally situated for day trips to Segovia, Toledo, Avila, and further Spanish and European destinations.

The Spanish Studies Program at the Instituto Franklin offers a unique opportunity for students to improve their language skills in a distinctive and historical setting. The Instituto anchors its academic curriculum in the same philosophy shared by its parent institution the Universidad de Alcalá and is located in the exquisite setting of a fully renovated 17th-century convent. Dating back to 1630, the Colegio de Trinitarios is home to the Instituto, two libraries, a state-of-the-art computer lab, and six classrooms all equipped with the latest in educational technology. 


Auburn Abroad requirement of 2.25 AU institutional GPA, plus completion of FLSP 2020 or equivalent by the beginning of the program.


Spring 2019
  • 01 Aug 2018: Application opens
  • 01 Oct 2018: Application deadline
  • 09 Jan 2019: Program start date - students arrive in Spain
  • 26 April 2019: Program end date - students may depart Spain
Spring 2019 Payment and Withdrawal Dates:
  • 09 Nov 2018: First half of Program Fee due to Bursar
  • 16 Nov 2018: Withdrawal with $2,000 penalty
  • 30 Nov 2018: Withdrawal with 50% refund
  • 07 Dec 2018: Second half of Program Fee due to Bursar
  • 07 Dec 2018: No refund after this date


The academic program is designed to accommodate the needs, interests, and proficiency level of each individual learner. Students must enroll in a minimum of 12 semester credit hours and can take up to 15 hours for an additional fee payable to the Instituto Franklin.

A key component to the program is direct contact with the language and culture. Classes meet Monday through Thursday so as to allow ample time for travel and experiencing the local culture. Students are in class with peers from several American colleges and universities, thus assuring a parity of proficiency; nevertheless, instruction is entirely in the target language. Instruction and scheduling will be provided by the teaching staff of the University of Alcalá de Henares.


Students select from a variety of courses that allow for easy completion of an Auburn Spanish minor or for significant progress toward a major in Spanish, Spanish-International Trade, or International Business-Spanish. The courses in language proficiency include all levels of written and verbal communication, targeted to topics relevant to Spain, such as contemporary Spanish media and Spanish traditions. Upper-division courses in literature, film, art, and sports are likewise tailored to Spanish culture and often include visits to art museums and historical sites.
Students completing professional programs have a number of courses available in business and health sciences designed to foster linguistic and cultural fluency in their chosen profession. To enable students to study abroad without falling behind in non-Spanish degree programs, the Instituto Franklin also offers some courses in English such as business finance, international marketing, and intercultural communication.

For a list of courses offered at the Instituto Franklin along with their AU equivalents see Alcala Pre-Approved Courses List.pdf


The Instituto Franklin encourages students to learn by active involvement in the local community. Health science students—medicine, pharmacy, psychology—have the opportunity to intern in a field of their choice at a local hospital. Students interested in the hospitality industry are placed with Alcalá tourist agencies and set to work in their day-to-day operations. Nonprofits serving immigrants, children, at-risk mothers, and the poor give students a chance to serve the community, learn about the work of Spanish charities and public policy organizations, all while receiving academic credit. Additional placements in business, finance, and human resources can be made in consultation with the faculty director and the Instituto Franklin.
For a list of current community placements available, see Alcala Internships.pdf


Students will enjoy full-immersion home-stay with an approved host family. This enriching opportunity extends the learning experience and is often cited as the most rewarding part of the semester abroad. Students may choose to share a family with another student in the program or live alone with a family. Board includes three daily meals, a weekly laundry service as well as other privileges, rights, and responsibilities to be explained fully at orientation on-site. Each family is approved through the Franklin Institute at the University of Alcalá. The university takes great care in assuring student safety and comfort and will consider special needs or requests when pairing students with families. 


For approximate program costs, download a copy of the Alcala Budget 2019.pdf

All students on this program will be enrolled in the Auburn Abroad placeholder course (UNIV 4940) for the term and will be charged the Auburn Abroad Fee. The cost of the Auburn University International Insurance is included in the program charge. Students will not pay tuition to the host university.

What’s Included:

  • Course enrollment at the University of Alcala de Henares (four courses equivalent to 12 credits)  
  • Housing (homestay), meals, and laundry
  • Health insurance
  • Cultural activities

What’s NOT Included:

  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Visa and passport
  • Books and supplies

*NOTE: Auburn University reserves the right to modify the program cost and/or content as necessitated by changes in the economic situation.


Alcalá de Henares, Spain

Alcalá is a thriving Spanish city, whose historical center is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Located in the Autonomous Community of Madrid, just northeast of the city of Madrid, thirty minutes away by train, it has a population of around 200,000. The center of the city remains essentially medieval, with many winding cobbled streets, and many historic buildings, not the least of which is the famed Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, founded by Francisco de Cisneros some 500 years ago. The university's stone-walled buildings and courtyards offer students a truly inspirational setting in which to perfect their Spanish.

The city center surrounds Cervantes Square near to where they say Miguel de Cervantes lived. The downtown is traversed by a long pedestrian cobblestone main street, the Calle Mayor, which is lined on both sides with shops and sidewalk cafés. It is a must walk daily and keeps locals and students fit and happy. In the heart of downtown is an intimate theater-in-the-round that has been putting on plays for five centuries. Nearby are movie theaters which bring world cinema to the doorstep of alcalaínos. One of the most important streets in the city is Cardenal Cisneros connecting the Madrid Gate to the old city and the Cathedral with views of historic buildings along the way.

Finally, one cannot help but mention the stork nests sitting atop the church towers, populated by large white storks. When taken together with the traditional Spanish architecture of iron and brick, they give the city a charm that complements its prestige as a university center. For these reasons and its proximity to Madrid, Alcalá hosts a large population of international students who travel there for law, architecture, business and, in particular, Spanish language and literature programs.


Included in the course program fee are various cultural activities sponsored by the Franklin Institute. Field trips will be required for certain classes, although all students are welcome to participate in each excursion, even those which are not course requirements.

Each semester the excursions vary, however Auburn students have taken field trips to places such as the breathtaking “hanging houses” of Cuenca, the 16th century palace and monastery El Escorial, the home of Picasso’s Guernica at the Reina Sofia Museum of Modern Art, and other cultural sites.

To compliment these shorter trips with the Institute, students are given the opportunity to travel on their own. Students will find they have plenty of time to explore other sites around Spain and Europe. Although these self-guided trips will not be covered by the program fee, students will receive an introduction to various systems of transportation within Spain at the program orientation in order to make travelling that much easier. They will also have contacts abroad with the Auburn program director and at the University of Alcalá in case of emergency.


If you do not have a PASSPORT: Please check for the nearest local passport office and forms. Application for a United States passport should be made at least 120 days in advance of your departure date. Auburn Abroad recommends that you apply for a passport as soon as you know you are participating in the program. If you already have a passport: Please check the expiration date. Passports should be valid for at least 6 months following your scheduled time abroad.


  • A Student Visa will be required for this program. Students that will participate in this program during spring semester will receive instructions from Auburn Abroad Staff regarding application process and forms for a Spanish Visa.


Contact the Faculty Director listed at the top of the page with any program specific questions.

This program is currently not accepting applications.