Duke in Alicante



Duke’s intensive language institute for elementary and intermediate level Spanish provides you the opportunity to combine two semesters of study into one summer session. The course is designed to meet the needs of both beginners (no prior Spanish experience) and intermediate students (have completed two semesters of college-level Spanish).

The program is taught in Alicante, Spain, a city whose rich culture is attributable to the importance of its port throughout history. The picturesque Mediterranean architecture is complemented by Roman and Arabic influences. Today it is the eighth largest city in Spain and a popular area for tourism.


Location: Alicante, Spain

Term: Summer

Dates: May 19 – July 1, 2017

Application Deadline: December 2, 2016

Academic Theme(s): Spanish Language

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: Open to all majors. No previous Spanish experience necessary for beginner level. Two semesters of college-level Spanish or placement interview required for intermediate level. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke Affiliation: Co-sponsored by Duke’s Department of Romance Studies

Housing: Homestay Families

GEO Advisor: Abigail Hall Grubbs



Based on your level of experience, you’ll enroll in one of the two intensive courses offered. Duke faculty members and local instructors teach four hours of daily instruction. Afternoon workshops highlight Spanish culture and history and help students get to know the city.

You’ll enroll in one of the following courses:

SPANISH 140A Intensive Elementary Spanish  

(FL, CZ) 2.0 Credits

A combination of Duke’s SPANISH 101 and 102.

Prerequisite: None. Students in this course should have had no or minimal exposure to Spanish. If you have had more than two years of high school Spanish, please contact the director to determine your eligibility. 

SPANISH 240A Intensive Intermediate Spanish  

(FL, CZ) 2.0 Credits 

A combination of Duke’s SPANISH 203 and 204.

Prerequisite: Completion of SPANISH 102 or SPANISH 111 or any of the following:

  • An AP Spanish score of 3 (language or literature)
  • An SATII score of 460-580
  • At least 2 years in high school in which material pertaining to Spanish 102 was covered


In addition to coursework and cultural workshops in Alicante, you will enjoy spending time on the beaches of the Costa Blanca, visiting Valencia for one day, and traveling on two long-weekend trips. Possible locations for these trips include Madrid/Toledo and Granada.


You will stay with carefully selected local homestay families, which will help enrich your linguistic and cultural experience. Families will provide three meals per day.


The Duke Intensive Spanish in Alicante program co-directors can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the Global Education Office.

Lisa Merschel

Senior Lecturer of Romance Studies

Melissa Simmermeyer

Lecturer in the Department of Romance Studies

Abigail Hall Grubbs

GEO Program Coordinator / Advisor


Costs below are estimates based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change. 

Summer 2017

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $6,582.00 $6,582.00
Program Fee $1,600.00 $1,600.00
Transcript Fee N/A $40.00
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $11,322.00 $11,362.00


FAQ Costs

What does the program fee cover?

The program fee for this program includes: 

  • Accommodations
  • Meals (three per day except when on excursion)
  • International SOS Coverage
  • Program-sponsored activities and excursions
  • Orientation program
  • Internet usage
  • Mobile phone
  • Laundry
  • Some local transportation

What is not included?

Use the following list to assist with budgeting for expenses outside the program fee. This list contains common examples but should not be considered exhaustive.

  • Airfare
  • Airport transportation to/from host site
  • On-site accident and health insurance policy
  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Visa and/or residency permit (if needed)
  • Passport
  • Textbooks and class materials
  • Independent travel and entertainment
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Incidentals

Personal Spending

Personal expenses can fluctuate greatly depending upon habits and preferences of the individual. It’s also wise to budget for unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies. You can use a cost-of-living comparison tool to get an idea of what daily life costs in the program host location.

When will payments be due?

Step 1: Within 2 weeks of acceptance to the program, submit the Summer Participation Agreement found in your MyGlobalEd application to confirm your enrollment. A parent/guardian’s co-signature is required. This form takes the place of a deposit.

NOTE: If you withdraw after March 31, you will be charged a cancellation fee of $2000 for this 2 credit program.  

Step 2: Summer invoices will be sent via email to your Duke email address and home email address. Remit payment to the Bursar per due date and address indicated on your online statement. All financial arrangements involving Duke University must be completed prior to departure for the program.

Duke Bursar’s Office

Can I use financial aid to pay for this program?

Duke students receiving financial aid are eligible for aid for this program (work-study funds must be converted to loans). Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.

Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.

Are there scholarships available for this program?

This program offers the following scholarship opportunities:



Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted.

  • Arrival: May 19, 2017*
  • Departure: July 1, 2017

*Flights: You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. You are expected to arrive in Alicante on Friday, May 19, which means departing the U.S. on May 18. You may depart the program site at any point on July 1.

Detailed Itinerary: A detailed program handbook will be provided during the Pre-Departure Orientation meeting held at Duke in April.



No visa is required of U.S. citizens to participate in this program.

Non-U.S. citizens—Pay special attention to the visa requirements for your specific citizenship by contacting your country’s embassy. GEO can provide a letter that may be required as part of the visa application process. Please begin the visa process as soon as you have been admitted to the program to ensure you receive your visa in time for the program start date.


All participants must have a valid passport. Make sure your passport has at least six months of validity beyond the program end date to avoid unintended disruptions. For instructions on obtaining or renewing your U.S. passport, visit passports.state.gov.


  • Deadline: December 2, 2016. This program does NOT have rolling admission. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered.
  • Decision: Due to winter break, you will receive an admission decision by January 20, 2017, before the end of the Spring semester add/drop period.
  • Placement: See "Academics" section above to determine which track is appropriate based on your level of Spanish language experience.
  • Physical Demands: The program includes at least two multi-hour bus trips to large cities. During these trips, students will walk for some extended distances, in which the terrain can be hilly. Apart from some moderate climbing in cities such as Toledo and the Castle of Santa Bárbara in Alicante, there is no strenuous physical exertion required during the program. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the program director.
  • Priority: Priority is given to applicants who submit all materials by the deadline and meet the language prerequisite.
  • Minimum GPA: 2.7 on a scale of 4.0. If your GPA is lower than 2.7, you must obtain permission from your academic dean to study away. See: GPA Waiver Form.
  • Non-Duke students: This program is open to all majors and applicants from accredited colleges and universities. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.
  • Late applicants: This program historically fills with a waitlist at the close of the application period. In the rare instance that space remains open after the published deadline, qualified applicants will be considered on a space-available basis.


Apply Now

Please start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.

To apply to this program, please submit the following items using MyGlobalEd

1.     Online application

2.     Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended.*

3.     Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining:

  • How this program will complement your studies.
  • Your experience learning Spanish to date (how many years of Spanish, any tests taken (AP/SAT II) and their scores, what kinds of readings you have done in Spanish, the length of papers you have written). You do not need to answer this question if you are currently taking (or have taken) a Spanish language course at Duke.

4.     Academic letter of recommendation (one), preferably from a language professor noting your linguistic and academic abilities.

*First-Year Students: By the application deadline, you must send a transcript request to the Registrar’s Office, but ask them to wait until fall grades have posted to send it to us. All other components of the application must be complete by the deadline.