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.

Online courses for Spring 2021! Apply Now!

We are happy to announce that our Spring 2021 Online Program will be running! The application deadline is November 23rd, 2020. Students will earn 3 U.S. credits/course. Students may even choose a Virtual Internship!


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Yes, I recommend this program

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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Yes, I recommend this program

The Teach and Learn in Spain program granted me the freedom to travel, practice Spanish, and earn a Master's Degree in my desired field of study for an extremely low cost and high reward. This degree gave me the ability to teach Spanish at a notable private school in upstate New York. It has also taken me to China where I teach bilingual STEM and Science courses each summer. Most recently, it was my academic achievements at UAH that transferred to NYU where I will be continuing my studies in Speech-Langauge Pathology this coming semester.

Although UAH handed us some, admittedly annoying, challenges, such as working out communication and travel flaws between the university and our school placements and finding accommodation, I wouldn't trade it for the world- in hind-sight. Also, be advised that the diploma and transcripts do take several months to receive!
I give this program an overall 9/10 because the faculty are some of the most enjoyable, helpful, and understanding people you will meet. Your fellow classmates will become life-long friends. It is guaranteed that your experience living, working, and teaching in Spain will be at the top of your most rewarding career choices you will make.

What would you improve about this program?
I would improve the proximity of the school placements (I think they have changed this some already?) and the process for receiving the diploma and transcripts.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Studying abroad can seem extremely daunting at first glance. I had so many questions and concerns leading up to the trip. However, I am so happy that I picked this program. The location is absolutely beautiful. There is so much to see just within walking distance! I had the best host mom who made my house mate and I feel right at home. The faculty were incredibly supportive and kind! The classes I took were so engaging and fun. I left with way more confidence in speaking the language as well. I could not believe with how much more Spanish I picked up in just a month!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Do everything! Speak to as many people as you can and do as many things as you can. Everything you do will enrich your experience. You will remember this experience for the rest of your life and you don't want to look back and regret anything!
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Yes, I recommend this program

I loved being able to study abroad in Spain. The city is the perfect place which is close enough to Madrid to enjoy the city but also has plenty to do just a short walk away in the plaza. I had great support while studying abroad from the staff to my host family. The culture of schools in Spain is very different from the US and they have great programs for teaching bilingualism successfully. I was able to bring back many new ideas to my work in the US. It is a great experience for anyone who is open to learning about a new culture.

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Yes, I recommend this program

The Instituto was phenomenal with my semester abroad. All classes were taught in Spanish, and I lived with a host family. These two aspects were wonderful for my cultural immersion and growth in Spanish. I am truly appreciative of the staff who I have grown close with over the semester. They were always helpful, attentive, and supportive of me. One unique part about this program are the excursion, which I wish I had taken more advantage of. They went to Toledo, Segovia, La Valle de los Caidos, and more. With this program I not only made friends from around Spain, but also around the US. I also grown close to the professors and staff and got to know them outside of the classroom, like at futbol games and cooking classes. Without a doubt, living with a host family was one of my biggest stresses, but I have grown so close to them over the semester, and my understanding of the Spanish culture, language, and literature was truly enriched. Yes, having classes all in Spanish was a challenge, but that helped me so much with presenting, writing, and speaking in Spanish. All of these aspects helped me achieve my semester goals abroad, and it's an experience I will never forget.


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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.

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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