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Spanish Studies Program Instituto Franklin- UAH in Spain

Location

Spain: Alcala de Henares

Description

The Spanish Studies Program came about as an initiative to facilitate collaboration between the Universidad de Alcalá and North American universities interested in internationalizing their students. The Program was established in 1987 and since then it has developed into a program which addresses the current interests of students and institutions alike. Throughout more than 20 years of accumulated history and experience, this initiative has transformed our Institute into a reference point as a leader in Spain for specialized teaching, curriculum development, and study abroad programs. This success is greatly due to the personalized attention we give our students which enables us to maintain high evaluations of our professors and over all of our university associates.

Our academic program reaches beyond the usual study abroad programs by treating this academic experience as a global experience. The time spent studying in Spain is considered a fundamental period of academic development for the students, and besides the excellent curriculum, we offer an integrated education for our participants which maximizes their potential in intercultural and personal development.

Program objectives

- Provide students with a unique opportunity of learning, living, and traveling in Spain.
- Maintain the academic excellence which distinguishes our program.
- Offer a diversity of courses suited for students with different interests.

Courses range from traditional language and culture to more specific ones such as Humanities, Cultural Studies, Political Science, International Relations, and Business Administration among others. Courses are designed for students of all levels of language competencies from beginners to near-native fluency.
- Offer special courses for heritage learners paying attention to their linguistic, academic and cultural development.
- Develop our students´ intercultural skills through different activities outside class and cultural visits, in order to build up their attitudes, believes, communication styles and cultural competencies, and create citizens for tomorrow's society, especially between North America, Spain, and Europe.

Accreditation

The Instituto Franklin, has been approved by the Universidad de Alcalá and the Community of Madrid in the BOCAM Law in 2001. As part of the university, the Institute´s regulations are established in Article 90 of the Universidad de Alcalá by-laws.

All of the academic programs that the Instituto Franklin offers are officially recognized by the Universidad de Alcalá. The transference of academic credits is facilitated by the institution of origin and the Instituto Franklin.

Highlights

Why study at Instituto Franklin?
- A wide variety of courses, from language courses designed for all language levels to courses of humanities, art, history, international relations, business, etc.
- Experienced staff to assist students with all their possible needs throughout the program. We have a 24 hour emergency service.
- Development of students´ competencies and skills. Students participate in different cultural activities in order to improve their cultural awareness and language abilities.
- The opportunity to study in a prestigious and historic university
- Alcala de Henares is considered a relaxing and safe college town where students can get around easily and enjoy the beauty of its historic buildings and plazas.

"The capital of Spain, Madrid, is just 35 minutes away by train or bus.

Instituto Franklin offers different specialized services to provide a safe and enriching experience to all students and faculty:

- Airport transfers
- On-site staff and coordinator for direct enrolled students
- Cultural activities
- Housing
- Medical Insurance
- On-sine tutor for Spanish
- Orientation sessions
- Administrative support for faculty led programs
- Custom made programs

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10 Overall Experience

An Unforgettable Experience

I had the time of my life in Alcalá de Henares. I came with the intent of perfecting my Spanish, and was able to immensely improve through classes taught in Spanish, living with a Spanish host family, and participating in the "Intercambios" program (practicing Spanish and English with a native student). I got exposed to the culture mainly by spending time with my host family and Intercambios partner. Instituto B. Franklin also took students on cultural excursions to cities such as Toledo, Cuenca, and Segovia. There are a wide variety of classes and subjects to choose from that introduce you to Spanish culture, history and language. The institution provides an orientation to get you familiar with the city, transportation, and even takes you to Madrid. One thing I would have liked to see is more opportunities to get involved in the local community. I would have loved to make more Spanish friends but I found it difficult to do so, because I was around Americans constantly during class. The one thing I highly recommend is staying with a host family - this is the richest part of the experience and something not to be missed.

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

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10 Overall Experience

Abroad in Alcalá de Henares

People study abroad for many reasons, and my main reason to study abroad was to get away from my normal every day routine and experience something different. Alcalá de Henares was the perfect place for me because I got the feel of a "small" Spanish town right outside the vast city of Madrid. The Instituto Franklin was also a perfect fit for me because even though the courses pushed me in my Spanish, they also were relaxed enough to where I could do other things and enjoy being abroad. The nightlife in Alcalá was very fun and there was always something to do whether it was walk around the plaza or get tapas on Calle Mayor. I also loved that we walked everywhere, even though the city is very accessible to public transportation. I also liked living with a host family because you got more of a feel for typical Spanish culture, including the slang, popular foods, and typical day to day life, which is very different from the American way of living. All together, this study abroad experience was amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to study abroad in Madrid, but wants a town that's not quite as hectic!

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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8 Overall Experience

A Great Life Experience

The best part about this program was being able to live with a host family. It was crucial in my learning Spanish and bringing more clarity and the relevance of the things I was seeing during my time in Spain and learning in my classes (history, language, film, culture). The home cooked food was great, most of the time. The program accommodates students from all over the United States and had nice field trips to several cities including Cuenca, Toledo, and Segovia. I took classes with only Americans, but if your Spanish is good enough, you can enroll in classes with other Spaniards. The teachers I had were super lenient and nice. It seemed like they did not have much expectations from the students. Sometimes, they seemed to have more important things to do than teach. A lot of the times, students seemed to have more important things to do than stay in class. Still, my Spanish improved tremendously, considering I knew very little at the beginning. I also learned a lot about geography, more than I did of U.S. geography.

I signed up for a conversation exchange buddy from the university, but she never appeared and I was never assigned another one. So, I looked for one myself.

I had to be very proactive to get to know the community—I ended up talking to many of my neighbors and strangers in Alcalá, which goes to show the community is very safe at certain times of the day. Alcalá has a lot of immigrants and foreigners.

The social life is depends on what you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend. You can be great at making Spanish friends (I found it very hard) and learn more Spanish with them. I also know many students, including myself, who traveled to other cities and other European countries as well. There are many bars in Alcalá and the city of Madrid is about 45 minutes away from train. In Madrid, there are a lot of shopping, galleries, museums, disoctecas, cathedrals and historical sites to explore. The hardest thing about the program for me was the culture shock of being in a different country and being around my classmates (other Americans) that had rather different backgrounds from me. Things seemed to be very different and very similar at the same time.

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8