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Iowa Hispanic Institute

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:



Valladolid, Spain




2.5 GPA, good academic and disciplinary standing, 4 semesters of college-level Spanish.

Application Due:

Mar. 6, 2024

Program Cost:

Refer to the Application tab

Program Description

This program is designed to improve students' written and spoken Spanish and enhance their understanding of Spanish culture and life in Spain. The program offers five weeks of academic instruction and one week of independent travel. University of Iowa Department of Spanish and Portuguese Professor Ana Rodriguez-Rodriguez serves as the faculty leader, remaining in Valladolid with students and guiding their experience abroad.

Academic Program

Students take three courses, taught in Spanish, for a total of 7 semester hours. Depending on their Spanish level, students enroll in one of the following pairs of courses taught at Universidad de Valladolid: 1) one course in Spanish language and one course in Spanish culture or 2) one course in Spanish literature and one course in Spanish culture. Classes meet from morning to mid-afternoon five days a week. One day each week, students will practice their language skills by meeting with Spanish students who attend the Universidad de Valladolid and serve as conversation partners.

In addition, all participants enroll in the one-credit course Life in Spain taught by UI faculty leader Prof. Ana Rodriguez-Rodriguez and designed to prepare students for the required week of independent travel at the end of the program. In conjunction with this course, students write a final paper about Spanish culture and their study abroad experience.

This program results in 7 s.h. of credit and is approved for fulfill the following requirements of University of Iowa students:

  • Values and Culture CLAS Core requirement
  • 7 s.h. for the Spanish major or minor

Cultural Activities

During the five-week stay in Valladolid, there will be excursions on two weekends to nearby cities. Additionally, there are several cultural events of note. The seven-hour long concert Valladolid Latino brings together some of the most popular names in the Spanish and Latin American music scenes. The internationally regarded Festival de Teatro y Artes de Calle offers hundreds of high-quality street performances in many locations of the city, most of them free of charge. The Concurso Nacional de Pinchos is a gastronomic contest in which dozens of Valladolid’s tapas bars and restaurants compete for the best appetizers and small dishes.

Program Dates

The program dates for 2024 are Friday, May 24 (departure from U.S.) to Saturday, July 6 (departure from Spain). Classes in Valladolid will conclude in late June, after which students will complete their required week of independent travel. See the Logistics tab for more information on travel arrangements.

For More Information

Prof. Ana Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Faculty Director
UI Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Emily Brown, Senior Study Abroad Advisor & Program Coordinator
International Programs
1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353
Fax: 319-335-0280


Valladolid, a city of 350,000 inhabitants, is the capital of a province set in the heart of Spain. Situated 120 miles from Madrid, Valladolid is rich in history and monuments; it was the site of the wedding of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1469 and served as the capital of the Spanish Empire under Phillip II and Phillip III. The College of San Gregorio, built between 1488-1496, is the home of the National Sculpture Museum. Other museums include the houses of Columbus and Cervantes and the Patio Herreriano, which is devoted to contemporary art. The Plaza Mayor is of 16th-century design, and the lovely downtown gardens and park, known as Campo Grande, were originally a jousting field. Universidad de Valladolid, founded in the 13th century, is one of the oldest in Europe, and a number of the school’s buildings date from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Nowadays, it has a student body of 25,000.


Situated on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, Spain is a strikingly beautiful and diverse country. The country has the third largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Spain’s distinct regions means there is something for everyone, from lush forests to towering mountains and stunning beaches to vibrant cities, many of which are easily accessible through the country's extensive network of high-speed trains. Widely known for excellent food and art, friendly locals, relaxed lifestyle, Flamenco culture, and lots of sunshine, Spain has been one of the cultural centers of Europe for thousands of years and remains one of the most popular destinations in the world for study and travel.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

While taking classes in Valladolid, Students are housed, usually in pairs, in Spanish family homestays. Students eat three meals daily with their homestay, and the families also provide laundry service to the students.

Students are responsible for making their own travel and accommodations arrangements during the week of independent travel at the end of the program.


U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens who do not have a passport should apply for one as soon as possible. More information about how to apply for a passport is available on the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. US citizens who need to renew their passport can find more information on the US Department of State’s website. The passport must be renewed before applying for the Spanish visa required for semester or academic year programs.

Expedited processing service is available at an additional cost. UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Students who are not U.S. citizens should contact UI Study Abroad ( for information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their time abroad.

Travel Arrangements

A suggested flight itinerary will be shared with students accepted to the program. Students are strongly encouraged to book the suggested flight itinerary or an alternative itinerary that arrives in Madrid at approximately the same time. The faculty leader will meet the group at the airport and provide transportation to the program site.

Participants who are unable to meet onsite staff at the group arrival point in the airport are responsible for checking in at the designated arrival point at the appointed date and time and are responsible for all transfer arrangements and costs.

Local Transportation

Program participants will be provided with a bus pass for use during their time in Valladolid.

COVID-19 Protocols

For courses traveling abroad, participating students and faculty will be required to follow host country laws and procedures regarding COVID-19. Requirements of each host country are subject to change with little notice. Requirements may include COVID-19 testing, proof of vaccination, or quarantine/isolation to enter the country or to access certain facilitates and services.

To review current entry requirements, please refer to the U.S. Embassy COVID-19 Country-specific Information page for your destination.


This program is open to UI students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Good academic and disciplinary standing: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad. In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance, will not be allowed to study abroad, and are wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred.
  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA: Students must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA.
  • Minimum four semesters of college-level Spanish: Students must have completed at least four semesters of college-level Spanish (Intermediate Spanish II or equivalent) by the start of the program in May 2023.
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity: Students must meet entry requirements for the countries and venues visited by the program, including entry requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel and demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.


The cost sheet outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid and planning purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill (course fee, Study Abroad Administrative Fee, and mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance), as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic. Contact the UI Study Abroad advisor with questions regarding the cost sheet.

The 2024 course fee is $5,100. The course fee does not include the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, CISI Travel Insurance, or out-of-pocket expenses, all of which are listed in the cost sheet below. As with the other out-of-pocket expenses, the amount listed for independent travel and housing during the last week of the program is an estimate.

PDFCost Sheet for Iowa Hispanic Institute, Summer 2024

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

Scholarship opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities and Non-UI External Awards.

How to Apply

The application for the Summer 2024 program opens on January 1, 2024 and will close on March 6, 2024. The application process consists of the following steps:

  • UI applicants complete the UI Online Application for Study Abroad. Non-UI applicants should email UI Study Abroad Advisor Emily Brown ( for application instructions. Applicants will be charged a $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • Once the application process is complete, application materials will be reviewed by the program director, Prof. Ana Rodriguez-Rodriguez. All applicants will receive official notification of their acceptance status shortly after the final application deadline. Accepted students will also receive information about how to confirm their place in the course.
  • Details about flights and orientation will follow soon after accepted students confirm their place in the program in March.

Application Deadline

Summer 2024 program: March 6, 2024

Health & Safety Planning

All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.


U.S. passport holders do not need to obtain a visa for a stay in Spain of less than 90 days. Non-U.S. passport holders should consult with the UI Study Abroad advisor.


In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

During this in-person orientation, students will receive information on registering for their program inn MyUI, payment and billing, course approvals and other practical matters. Students will also have the opportunity to ask the program director, a native of Spain, questions about academics, Spanish culture, and other general topics.