Loyola University Maryland

International Programs

University of Alcalá de Henares–Madrid, Spain




Madrid is located in the heart of Spain at 2,100 meters above sea level and is home to a population of about five million. The climate is relatively cooled by cool mountain breezes during its hot summers. Its palaces, many museums, and art galleries provide a feast for modern culture lovers. This capital city prides itself on its vibrant cultural life. 

The city of Alcalá de Henares is located 30 km northeast of Madrid on the Castilian Plateau. The city center remains predominately medieval with winding cobblestone streets and surrounding the city’s center square, Plaza de Cervantes. Alcalá is best known as the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, author of the celebrated Don Quixote.

Choosing When to Study in Madrid

This program has two tracks: the Spanish Intensive Track is designed for Spanish majors and Spanish minors; the English Track is designed mostly for business students (however other majors may apply).  Both tracks are available to students in the fall and spring semesters, and it is possible for students to take courses from both tracks while in this program.

Spanish Intensive Track

    • Students will take five classes in Spanish designed to improve their knowledge of Spanish language and culture.
    • All Spanish majors and minors are required to take at least one additional Spanish course upon their return to Loyola to complete their program.

English Track

  • This program is designed for non-Spanish majors and minors and accommodates mostly business students (however other majors may apply). Students must take at least one Spanish language or Spanish culture course. 


This program includes:

  • Tuition and housing (students choose between a home stay with a local family or living in the dorm)
  • Meal plan
  • University Medical Fees
  • Cultural excursions and special meals in Spain
  • Health insurance while in Spain

On-site Support

Students will be supported by our full-time director, Maria José Lopez Pozo, who has been with the program for more than 20 years.  Maria José Lopez Pozo is a Madrid-based professor that not only works with our students on all aspects of their study abroad experience (questions, concerns, illnesses, and homestays) but also teaches one of the required courses for our students. She is assisted by a part-time assistant.  Both Maria José and her assistant will help students get acclimated to their new surroundings and direct them to the appropriate personnel or office that can assist them with any questions they may have. 

Course Information

Course Listings Here

Students will experience a similar class setting to Loyola (small seminar-style classes). However, students must be prepared for a more independent semester and typically grades consist of a midterm and final exam only.

Both semester programs are designed to accommodate Spanish majors and minors. Spanish Minors must complete Spanish 201 before going abroad; Spanish majors must complete complete Spanish 203 before going abroad. Students will take five courses during their study abroad program.

The English track is available both in fall and spring semesters. In addition to business or Spanish courses, students can also take upper core classes in the program. All students are required to take a Spanish language or Spanish culture course (which may return to Loyola as a Free Elective).

All credits and grades transfer back to Loyola, they affect your GPA, and they appear on your Loyola transcript.

Disclaimer: In case of strikes or unexpected disruption to the academic semester Loyola University will work with the host university abroad to provide additional support or other academic arrangements to enable students to complete their coursework in agreement with the rules and regulations of the host university and the laws of the host country.  Loyola University Maryland will not makes any changes to its course, grade, or credit transfer policies following such circumstances.



To assist students in their language and cultural development, students are encouraged to live with a host family in Alcalá.

  • Host families are centrally located to the university within a 5- or 10-minute walk to campus.
  • Students may choose if they want to live alone or with another Loyola student.
  • Homestay families are selected by the University of Alcalá; Loyola has worked with the same families since the inception of the program. These host families have been carefully and thoroughly interviewed. Host families are diverse and can vary from a single mom to an older couple to a retired woman. Students do not find out their host families until about two weeks before they leave the United States. It is normal for students to feel a bit nervous about living with a host family, but the majority of students have come back saying it was their favorite part of their study abroad experience.
  • Two meals per day are included as part of the homestay program, this gives students the ability to practice their Spanish and see and live the daily life of Spaniards.
  • Laundry once a week is provided as part of the homestay program.
  • Please keep in mind that overseas housing is very different than housing at Loyola. Rooms are much smaller and may not have all the modern amenities U.S. housing may have.

Student Dorms

  • The UAH student dorms are located on campus within a 5-minute walk of classroom buildings.
  • Students may choose if they want to live alone or with another Loyola student.
  • Students will be provided with a bedding pack upon arrival.
  • There is a cafeteria in the dorm building which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • There is a gym located in the building which is free for students to use.
  • All rooms include air conditioning, a microwave, and miniature refrigerator.
  • Free WiFi is included.
  • Students have access to laundry facilities inside the dorm.


    • Loyola financial aid applies and students are eligible for consideration for all forms of federal, state, institutional and private sources of aid except the Federal Work Study Program. Students studying abroad for either a semester or full academic year will forfeit the value of a Federal Work-Study assignment. Students who receive GI bill funding or Veterans Benefits for tuition should reach out to SAS for additional steps in securing the ability to use these funds while abroad.
    • Students are charged Loyola tuition, room and board fees and a reduced comprehensive fee, plus a program fee to cover additional cultural trips, meals and overnight excursions planned throughout the semester. 
    • Students’ expenses in Spain will vary greatly depending on how much they travel, shop, and go out at night. Most students will take advantage of the close proximity to other European countries and cheap airline tickets and travel, and that usually accounts for much of their spending. 


Students have access to Spanish medical insurance while studying in Spain. Loyola University Maryland also covers students during the program for emergency medical/evacuation/repatriation services abroad. Students should NOT cancel any domestic insurance coverage while studying abroad. 


Under the guidance of the program director, Loyola students are responsible for obtaining their own student visa. Students are required to attend a workshop during the semester that is specifically dedicated to preparing the paperwork for their visa appointment. Because Loyola University is located in Maryland, ALL students must make their appointment for visa processing in Washington, DC; students may not process their visa application in any other location.

Money and Banking

Once accepted into the program, students must call their bank and credit card carriers to tell them that they will be abroad for the semester.

Students have the option of opening a Spanish bank account with the assistance of Maria José, although Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted forms of payment..

Travel to and from Madrid

    • Group flights are arranged for students traveling to Madrid. Student departures are usually from Newark International Airport in New Jersey or JFK Airport in New York
    • Students fly to Barajas International Airport in Madrid, where students met by Maria José on arrival..


Criteria for Applying

    • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above
    • Attend an information session
    • Attend registration sessions to determine if your degree program matches the courses offered abroad
    • Declare a major before applying to the Madrid program
    • Discuss with your major advisor the possible courses you could take abroad and see if there are any potential problems he/she sees with your plans to study at UAH;
    • Students cannot be on disciplinary probation nor have a history of serious disciplinary problems.

Application Requirements

Students must submit an online application the second Wednesday after Thanksgiving break of their sophomore year to study abroad in the fall or spring term of junior year. ROTC candidates can apply as freshman to study abroad in the spring of their sophomore year. 

Fall Program Online Application     Spring Program Online Application

*Please keep in mind that study abroad information, dates, benefits, and fees are subject to change without notification. You are encouraged to contact the Office of International Programs directly for the most up-to-date information regarding any study abroad programs offered at Loyola.
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