Pitt in Spain - July Session

The small, cobblestone streets of Alcala de Henares are only 30 minutes away from Madrid but will transport you back to a different time.  Pitt in Spain offers you the chance to live and study in this historic city while improving your Spanish skills.  The atmosphere of the small and manageable city combined with your Spanish host family will leave you feeling like a true Spaniard by the time your program is over.  
Courses are hosted at the Instituto Franklin de la Universidad de Alcala, one of the oldest universities in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can earn up to 6 credits toward a Spanish major, minor, European Studies Certificate or Mediterranean Studies Certificate.
The Virtual Pre-Departure Meeting for this program will be TBD. 

What You'll Accomplish: 

As an active and involved participant you will:

  • have real world application of the Spanish language at an intermediate and/or advanced level
  • understand the influence of language on culture and vice versa
  • interact with Spanairds safely at the local level by living the university dormitories and taking courses by local faculty from la Universidad de Alcala

Along with la Universidad de Alcala, the Old Town of Alcala de Henares is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its beautifully preserved buildings from the 15th to 18th century.  The town is also historically significant as the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes. Wander the streets of this beautiful town and you will experience Spain in an intimate and meaningful way.

Where You'll Live: 

You will be housed with in the university dormitories offering you the chance to not only learn about Spanish culture, but to immerse yourself in the language and improve your skills.The dorms are a five-minute walk from the university. The dormitories include three meals per day, 24/7 security, bedding, laundry facilities, and weekly cultural activities. Laundry services are available for an additional cost. The Instituto Franklin is responsible for all room and board accomodations.
Keep in mind that living in a different country can present challenges if you follow a special diet (vegetarian, vegan, Kosher, Halal, etc.). Please contact Gisselle before applying to the program if you'd like to discuss this more in depth.

What You'll Study: 

You will select one course from each time block to take while abroad. The selection of specific courses will be pending passing the language placement test administered at the Instituto Franklin at la Universidad de Alcala. Please list a main and alternate course from each section on your course approval sheet.


  • SPAN 0004: Español Avanzado (Advanced Spanish)
  • SPAN 1300: Fonetica y Español Oral (Phonetics and Oral Spanish)
  • SPAN 1603: España contemporanea por el cine (Contemporary Spain through Film/ Spain in Images)



  • SPAN 1321: Español de Negocios (Business Spanish)
  • SPAN 1250: Civilización y Cultura Española (Spanish Civiliazation and Culture)
  • SPAN 1601: Literatura Española Contemporanea (Contemporary Spanish Literature)
  • SPAN 0120: Tradiciones de España: Comunicación Oral (Traditions of Spain: Oral Communication)


Advanced Spanish (SPAN0004)

The course is aimed at students who wish to enhance their communication skills in Spanish. To achieve this goal, new grammatical structures will be introduced, and others that have already been acquired by the student will be strengthened. This course requires students to have passed level B (intermediate level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) in order for them to be able to learn about the contents explained in class with no difficulty. The contents of the course will include four skills: speaking, writing, listening and reading comprehension. Students will therefore acquire greater confidence and independence, enabling them to express themselves in Spanish fluently. Cultural and social aspects will also have great presence and they will be integrated into the communication process.

Fonética y Español Oral (SPAN1300)

The course is aimed at students who wish to have a comprehensive and thorough knowledge of Spanish phonetics, and improve their pronunciation. It is structured from a practical point of view, always focusing on practical exercises within a theoretical context. It is important for students to hear and contrast first, and modify and improve later, through a detailed study of phonemes, syllables, stress and a general knowledge of the Spanish phonetic alphabet. This study will delve into phonetic transcription with exercises and explanations to train them in order to achieve an effective use of the language.

Spain in Images: Spanish Culture through Cinema (SPAN1603)

Cinema is one of the most popular artistic representation due to its expressive power and narrative ability. Film productions allow us to gain knowledge of and come closer to the Spanish reality from two perspectives: as a historical document and as an aesthetic expression. In this course, students will learn about the Spanish by filming speech, taking as reference important directors and films in the history of Spanish cinema. Moreover, the course aims to make a journey through the history of Spain, from the Civil War until today, taking as reference film productions on this historical period. Spanish film productions are studied from a multidisciplinary perspective to analyze the most relevant historical periods of contemporary Spain. In addition to studying and undertaking critical analysis from different perspectives, students will have the opportunity to acquire the specialized language used in cinema and historiography, enabling them to improve their speaking and to be able to write down their ideas in Spanish, as well as appreciating cinema as a form of artistic and cultural expression that reflects the history of Spain.

Business Spanish (SPAN1321)

This course is aimed at students who are interested in improving their language skills in a business scenario. The course, its activities, assignments and assessments have a communicative approach, and real-life and business situations are proposed. It focuses mainly on the acquisition of company-specific terminology, oral expression and communication, written expression in letters, resumes and other specialized documents, without forgetting the essential elements involved for a correct cultural and linguistic expression.

Spanish Civilization and Culture (SPAN1250)

The course offers a historical and interdisciplinary overview of the most relevant characteristics and events of Spanish culture and civilization up to now. It is important to learn and understand the history and the past in order to fully understand Spanish history and society today. This course provides an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the social, political, artistic, religious, ethnographic, anthropological and economic perspectives that will help students understand in greater depth the reality and challenges of the country throughout the different historical periods.

Literatura Española Contemporanea (SPAN1601)

The aim of this course is to bring students closer to the life and work of our most influential authors of the 20th and 21st centuries. We will study the essential stylistic features of each author and we will situate them in a particular period or movement. The aim is to integrate different art forms into the most recent historical development, in order for students to identify them in the literary texts of each period.

Tradiciones de España: Comunicación Oral (SPAN0120)

This course aims to improve students’ oral and conversational skills. The course provides both linguistic and cultural knowledge. Units follow a linguistic progress for this which goes from the verb to be; ser / estar / haber; prepositions; reflexive verbs; direct and indirect pronouns; irregular verbs; past perfect / imperfect / indefinite; simple future; the conditional tense and the present subjunctive. These grammar points are studied in a context that is related to cultural aspects in Spain. Thus students will see topics such as; the parts of the house, giving directions, using public transportation, food, fashion, a doctor’s visit, cultural festivals: Fallas, bullfighting, Christmas and Easter, among others.

The Instituto Franklin has an experienced staff of professionals that will serve as your on-the-ground guides and resources! 

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Gisselle Arce

Oi pessoal! I am Gisselle Arce, a Program Manager at the Pitt Study Abroad Office. While in undergrad at Ramapo College of New Jersey, I studied abroad in Spain. Shortly after graduating, I worked in Chile as an Assistant English Teacher. I came back to the US for graduate school and returned to Spain once again for my graduate internship. When I am not at work, I enjoy cooking, kickboxing, and spending time with my dog. Feel free to set up an appointment with me via Pathways. 

Schedule an appointment

Schedule an appointment with me using Pathways!

  • Log in to Pathways or use the Navigate app.
  • Select Appointments > Schedule an Appointment
  • Select Pitt Global as the Care Unit.
  • Select Study Abroad Virtual Advising as the Location
  • Select Study Abroad Program Specific Questions as the service
  • Select my name and find a time that works for you!

Don't see a time that works for you? Just send me an email!

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $4,656 $4,856
Program Fee $43 $43
Study Abroad Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $4,999 $5,199

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airefare $1,200 - $1,500
Optional Day/Overnight Excursions Price Varies
Personal Expenses $1,500 - $2,000
Criminal Background Check **
(Not Applicable Summer 2021)

Total Estimated Program Cost

  In-State Out-of-State

Total Estimated Cost of Program
(Includes items billed by Pitt and additional expenses)

$4,999 $5,199

The amounts above are for the 2020-2021 academic year.



What's Included: 

As a part of your Pitt in Spain fee, the follow are included in the program:

  • Tuition for 6 credits
  • Housing in the university's dormitories
  • Three meals per day
  • Arrival and departure transportation
  • Travel health insurance

While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Study Abroad Administrative Fee
  • Airfare
  • Visa support if needed
  • Optional day and overnight excursions
  • Personal expenses

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

When You'll Go: 

July 1, 2021 - July 30, 2021

What Else You Need to Know: 

COVID- 19 Disclaimer
Due to COVID-19 rules and regulations set forth by the national, provincial and local Spanish governments we are able to run the program for in person instruction as of March 1, 2021. The situation on the ground is ever changing and we are bound by the laws put in place by the Spanish government. If for any reason the situation on the ground changes in the capacity to limit academic mobility we may not be able to run the mobility portion of this program. Please be aware that this is an ever changing situation and your program advisor will keep you notified of the situation on the ground. Likewise, in an effort to comply with social distancing the Instituto Franklin will be limiting the amount of students per classroom and thus reducing the amount of students who can be accepted for in person instruction. 
Lastly, in an effort to maintain a safe amount of students on the program during the pandemic we are advising that program acceptance into the program will be given to juniors and seniors. Freshman and sophmores can apply but there is a strong preference for upper classman as they have a limited amount of time to study abroad in the next year and may have missed out on opportunities the past two years. 

  • You must be enrolled in or have completed at least SPAN 0004 to participate in the program. 
  • You will take a language placement test upon your arrival. The results of the exam will determine if you are eligible to take the courses you have listed as your primary choice. 


  • If you are an international student or permanent resident please check if you will need a visa to enter Spain. If you do need a visa you must contact the Spanish consulate in NYC to apply for a tourist schegan visa. 
  • You must have a valid passport that is set to expire no later than January 31, 2022 to be able to participate in this program. If you must renew your passport/ apply for a passport your passport image must be submitted by the date of the application deadline.