Instituto Franklin-UAH

Instituto Franklin-UAH


Instituto Franklin-UAH's programs have over 30 years of experience working with international students and universities. We are a department within the Universidad de Alcala that specializes in providing programs that cater to over 500 international students per year.

Instituto Franklin- Universidad de Alcalá is the only University Institute for Research on North America in Spain. Founded in 1987, Instituto Franklin-UAH provides postgraduate research, scholarships, and grants, dissemination of publications, scientific events, and education-related investigation on American Studies and Bilingual Education. We are located in Colegio de Trinitarios, built in the XVII century, in the center of the historic city of Alcalá de Henares, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Instituto Franklin-UAH provides the following in Academics: Ph.D. in American Studies, MA in American Studies, Teach & Learn in Spain program, courses in International Studies, and Undergraduate Study Abroad programs.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Alcalá is a dream!

Alcalá de Henares is such a wonderful Spanish city. There is so much history and literature and life to experience there. I always felt safe, and I never felt like there wasn't something fun to do around the next corner. Try tinto de verano and patatas bravas in the Plaza de Cervantes, you will not regret it. Get a café con leche and visit the Universidad de Alcalá where classes about Don Quijote mesmerize students like me from around the world. I highly recommend you give this dreamy place a visit!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Verano en Alcala

I really enjoyed my time studying abroad this summer. Being able to see many cities in Spain while studying Spanish in Alcala was a very memorable experience and I had loads of fun. Not only did my Spanish improve tremendously but I was also able to have an incredible time, meet lots of new people, and see new parts of Spain that I had previously never visited. Also the material that we learned in the classroom added a layer of depth to the entire experience as many of the things we learned were directly applicable to the experiences we were having.

What was your funniest moment?
Exploring Alcala and being able to take the train to Madrid on the weekends.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Alcalá de Henares July 2021

Alcalá de Henares is a quaint, leisurely city with a family-friendly ambience. It is best for those who want to get away from the fast-paced environment of a big city, although it is only an hour train ride away from the lively downtown of Madrid. My study abroad program was amazing because of the beautiful city and because all of the program staff were welcoming, and had some great recommendations for places to visit! I stayed for a month and think it was a good amount of time to appreciate what the city had to offer. Visit if you have the chance!

What would you improve about this program?
It would be amazing if students could vote for which program excursions they would like to partake in or which cities they would like to visit. For example, many students had already seen the places pointed out during the walking tour of Madrid, but it would have been nice to go inside the Royal Palace.
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Yes, I recommend this program

MA International Education

This is an amazing program that has opened up many opportunities for me! Not only do you get to spend a year in Spain - one of the greatest countries on the planet - you also get to meet an incredible and diverse group of people. It is an opportunity to get a master’s degree for free (or for relatively inexpensive), as well as to get invaluable teaching experience to add to your resume. I have recommended this program to many people as it has led me to a job in International Education here in Canada, and it is also where I met some of my best lifelong friends.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way and make an effort to get to know the people around you.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing program filled with amazing people

I did this program after I finished my UG in 2017. I had already a love for Spain and education. When I found out this with this program I could continue my study in education and actually teach while being in Spain I was very happy. The location of the school is honestly the heart of Spain there is so much history and that happens in Alcala and every corner is so beautiful. The professors are so kind and helpful. Even after being done with the program I still stay in contact with my professors (helps me practice my Spanish too!). I am now done and I am back in the Sates (NYC) I was able to find a teaching job. They loved that I studied and taught in Spain. It definitely made my resume stand out.

What was your funniest moment?
Where do I even start haha! But I honestly had a great group of colleagues and every Friday was never a dull moment.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

Since I was young, I've always wanted to go to Spain, and being near or in a large city was important to me. The University of Alcalá partners with my school, and with this program, I was able to go with other students and a Butler professor, which made me a lot more comfortable about being abroad.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The University of Alcalá's staff assisted in housing, transportation from the airport, excursions, and of course classes and credits for my home institution. If I didn't participate in this program with my school, I would have had to organize my own flight and transportation to the airport to leave.

I organized my own personal expenses, such as public transportation and a phone plan.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Take advantage of every opportunity. This program had several free excursions that they went on throughout the semester. There were some I went to, and others that I did not. Later on, I wish I had taken advantage of the opportunity to go on excursions with this program because I gain more insight on monuments, churches, and landmarks in comparison to going alone or with friends.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Classes are from Monday to Thursday, and they start at 9:30 am and end by 2 pm. The class schedule was probably one of my favorite parts of this program. With all of my classes, I went to school by 10:30 am, and I left by 2 pm. I was at 12 credit hours.

There's the opportunity for job shadowing, volunteering, and even internships, which I took advantage of while abroad.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was living with a host family.

I was a little worried about my safety, acceptance, and living situation. I was worried that my living style would be too different than theirs, but none of those the case at all. I overcame it by not forcing a relationship with them, but and talking to them as friends.

This quickly built a great relationship with my host family, and while I still understand other student's fears of the unexpected regarding host families, talking with them and making an effort to not feel like a stranger is what makes the difference.

The education system of Spain (and what I was told, Europe) is very different in comparison to the United States. There are not many assignments and very few tests. The few tests (midterm, final, final essay, etc.) count for the majority of the student's grade.

This was difficult getting used to, knowing that a single test could hurt or help your grade significantly, but it allowed me to experience a different kind of successful educational system. With my program, there weren't many student organizations to join or school sports, but the university tried to supplement that with football games and different activities throughout the semester.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Antonio Fernández

Job Title
Tutor of graduate students
I've been working at Instituto Franklin-UAH since 2020. First as a language teacher, then as tutor of graduate students. I did my Master's at Bowling Green State University and finished my Bacherlor Degree in English Language at University of Alcala.
the pink brick facade of a building in the Moorish architectural style

What is your favorite travel memory?

My first trip to Italy was in my mid-twenties. I went with a group of friends to visit the most remarkable cities such as Rome, Florence and Venice among others. Strolling through their streets, I happened on the most beautiful buildings I ever saw. The beauty of ancient buildings traced back to Romans’ time, the art of Renaissance and charming of its people trapped my soul. Before going there, I was playing with the idea of studying art history but went I was back home I started studying art in a more professional way. I registered in the UNED.
Thanks to that experience, I am teaching the art courses at Instituto Franklin-UAH and I enjoy visiting museums and institutions with my students. I wish we could go to Italy sometime in the future. I would love to explain how Italian art has been the main source for Spanish art. Visiting cities like Pompey and Rome are crucial to understand the Roman’s arquitecture in Spain. Visiting Venice will be unforgettable trip not only for the beauty of its canals, but to understand the Greco’s technique in his paintings.
I would say that my first trip to Italy change my professional life in a way not only I started learning a different topic but I became an art teacher that I really enjoy very much.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Before working for Instituto Franklin-UAH, I had different jobs. A few of them were focused on teaching English a second language in private institutions. Others did not have much to do with my studies but I had to work to pay the mortgage of my house. Instituto Franklin-UAH gave me the chance to teach, at first, Spanish as a second language for American students. I was very happy and since then I have been working for the same institution. Along these years, I dealt with many different assignments. Not only regarding the field of teaching, but also I have the chance to participate in a conference about the Historic Links between Spain and USA in New York. I currently keep studying and working in the field that I really like and that is what makes me feel very happy at my job.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Many students felt they are different once they are back home. Staying in a different country for a period is one of the most exciting experience they had. They are much open to the world and understand the differences of people.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

We offer several programs. However, the one I like most is Study Abroad because of the diversity of subjects offered in this program. Students can subjects related to different areas. Language, Literature, Culture, Art, Business among others. Having the chance to study different areas one can obtain a solid preparation not only for the workforce buy also as a person. One student who studies medicine can take courses in art or other fields to broad their understanding in those areas. Having different options to study will prepare our students not only in their professional field, but also, in their personal life.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Instituto Franklin-UAH is an institution that not only has programs for graduate students. There is a master program; the Teach and Learn Program where students have the option to study and work at schools as assistance teachers. There is also a phd program, the graduate programs for north American students mainly. In addition, there is an investigation section on north American studies and a line of publication. Among those departments, the Instituto Franklin-UAH gives the Camino Real award to those Spaniards who have built bridges between Spain and USA. All those field of studies and sections make The Institutio Franklin-UAH an unique institution in Spain.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Quality of the product the company sells, in our case, teaching. Having good professionals and interesting subjects, which help students succeed in their professional life are very important factors for a company to be successful. In addition, our students are to feel safe in a new environment. Living with families that have been working with American students for a lot of time are necessary to succeed in an international program like ours.

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