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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Spain: Alicante

Semester: Fall, Spring, or Full Year
Offered: Annually
Estimated Dates: Fall: late August to late December, Spring: early January to late May
Program Focus: Language Intensive
Prerequisites: Two 300-level Spanish courses, cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a 3.0 GPA or better in language study.
Housing: Host Families
Campus Contacts:

Matthieu Raillard
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, 503-768-7472

Magali Rabasa
Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies, 503-768-7482

Juan Carlos Toledano Redondo
Professor of Hispanic Studies, 503-768-7425

Freddy Vilches
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Director of Latin American Studies, 503-768-7431

Program Design

Please note: Overseas & Off-Campus Programs is in the process of proposing a new language intensive program in Spain. Once the new program is approved, it will take the place of this program.

Lewis & Clark offers this program though the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and the Universidad de Alicante (UA). A three-day onsite orientation introduces students to the country, culture, and academic program, and helps students acclimate to the Spanish way of life. Following the orientation, students can choose courses from a wide variety of disciplines at UA, as well as CIEE language and culture classes. The program also includes cultural activities, internship opportunities, and excursions to nearby cities such as Granada and Valencia. Students will take part in the CIEE Community Language Commitment by speaking Spanish at all times, with the exception of emergencies. This fosters a learning community that contributes to both Spanish language proficiency and understanding of Spanish society. Ongoing support is provided on an individual and group basis throughout the program.

Alicante is a historic Mediterranean port, inhabited for more than 3,500 years and favored by tourists for its gorgeous coastline. Students will see modern architecture and Internet cafés alongside historic buildings, and shopping malls next to centuries-old open-air markets. The medieval Castle of Santa Barbara keeps watch over the town from its perch atop Benacantil Mountain. After climbing high to see its beautiful views, people appreciate the easy strolling along the marina on the Explanada de España, a palm tree-lined walkway paved with 6.6 million marble tiles.

Onsite Staff: The center director of CIEE Alicante is Francisco Díez. Originally from Alicante, he also studied at Sheffield Hallam University and taught Spanish for two years at Michigan State University. Francisco joined CIEE in 2000 as the resident coordinator at the CIEE Study Center in Alicante, where he helped develop, produce, and run the socio-cultural and intercambios programs, and administer the Spanish language placement test. Now, in addition to being center director, he is also the resident director of the Liberal Arts study abroad program. He speaks Spanish, English, and Catalan.


The Universidad de Alicante is one of Spain’s newest universities and is located three miles outside the city of Alicante. Established to serve the higher education needs of the province of Alicante, the Universidad de Alicante offers its 35,000 students the benefits of a modern campus with an international atmosphere. The CIEE Alicante Study Center is located next to the Faculty of Education on the northwest extension of the main campus in San Vicente. This location provides students direct access to university facilities.

Requirements Fulfilled: This program fulfills the 8-credit International Studies general education requirement, and the overseas study requirement for the Hispanic Studies major and the World Languages Major with Spanish as the primary language.

Credits: Credits earned varies based on courses completed. Students may earn up to 19 credits. Overloads are not permitted. 

Curriculum: Students enroll in 5 courses/semester: an intensive Spanish language course during the Intensive Cycle (the first two weeks) and then four elective courses during the Regular Cycle. Students can choose from a wide variety of CIEE Spanish language courses, CIEE content courses, and Universidad de Alicante courses. Students are highly recommended, based on their fluency level in Spanish, to take one regular Universidad de Alicante course. All courses are taught in Spanish by professional faculty from the Universidad de Alicante and instructors that specialize in teaching Spanish as a second language. A sampling of the courses and the course descriptions are available on the CIEE Alicante Liberal Arts program page under the Academics tab. 

A minimum of two academic courses should be direct enrollment courses taken at the local university associated with the program.

Excursions: Weekend, overnight, and day trips to different Spanish cities, landmarks in the province of Alicante, and the region of Valencia add a highly relevant cultural component to the academic curriculum. The program fee includes one weekend trip and three day trips. Previous weekend trips have included visits to Sevilla, Barcelona, Madrid, and Granada. There are also several local day trips within the Province of Alicante or the Valencian Autonomous Community, such as visits to the Algar Waterfalls, the Canelobre Caves or the Guadalest Castle.

Internships: Students have the option to participate in a non-credit internship. CIEE has designed specific placement projects with nonprofit organizations and non-governmental organizations.

Student Life

Housing: Students live in Spanish-speaking homes where all meals are provided. Each home accommodates one student. Living with a host family is the optimal housing arrangement because of their contribution to the program’s goals of language and cultural immersion. In the host family, each student is considered a member of the family and has the same rights and responsibilities as other family members. Host families are located throughout the Alicante downtown metropolitan area with access to public transportation that students take to and from the University. Students should expect to use public transportation two to four times per day.

Cultural Activities: Students have access to a wide variety of weekly activities organized by CIEE, as well as to those offered through the International Club, which is run by the Language Center at UA. These socio-cultural and sporting activities include guided tours to monuments and museums in Alicante, intramural activities, nature and hiking activities, cooking and dance classes, cinema, and theater. Students can also opt to be a member of the Club de Español by which they will agree both to speak in Spanish at all times as well as to participate in activities and meetings.

Conversation Partners: A conversation exchange program, Intercambios, with native Spanish students is an integral part of the language program. The Intercambios program gives students the chance to practice what they have learned in their language courses and to connect with local students on a regular basis.


2020-2021 Fee Breakdown*

Total Fee (includes Tuition, Program Fee, and Health & Wellness Fee): $34,921

Tuition: $27,416

Program Fee: $7,468

Health & Wellness Fee: $37**

Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, and administrative fees. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals. 

*Fees are updated every February for the following academic year.

**The Health & Wellness Fee supports the operations of Wellness Services staff in delivering pre-program orientation services, as well as in providing health-related consultation regarding participant health needs. All students in the College of Arts and Sciences pay a mandatory fee of $37 per semester.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to ALC): $800 - $1,500

Estimated Travel Document Fees: $160 - $190

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,350.50

All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding health insurance & overseas programs.

Program Preparation

Application Process: This program has a dual application process. Student must first submit a Lewis & Clark Application. Once admitted by Lewis & Clark, the students will receive instructions for submitting their secondary application to CIEE. Please keep a digital copy of your essays and other application materials as you will need to submit these similar materials again. Please note that this secondary application process can be as late as the semester preceding your scheduled participation.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Travel: Students usually fly into the Alicante airport (ALC), where they are met by CIEE staff and transported to the hotel for orientation.

Visa: Students will be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in this program. More information will be provided upon admission to the program.

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to Spain.

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s Spain page.

Spain, Alicante