Spain attracts visitors with a passion for life that is contagious. This spirit manifests itself today through the brilliant architecture, the pounding rhythms of flamenco, and the allure of an afternoon siesta. While life hasn’t always been easy in Spain, it has emerged from crises both ancient and modern. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Spanish Empire ruled over broad regions of Europe and the New World, thriving under the rule of the Hapsburgs during a period known as the Golden Age. When this power waned, Spain entered a darker period, mired in turmoil, civil war, and the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. It wasn’t until Franco’s death in 1975 that Spain truly joined the modern international community.

In Morocco, your senses come alive in this north African nation, from the busy medinas to the desolate desert dunes. Morocco combines the influence of Berber, French, Spanish, and Muslim cultures in one of the most stable states in the region. It boasts graceful mosques, colorful shopping, mouth-watering cuisine, and a warm Middle Eastern vibe in close proximity to Europe. As you move from city to city, you’ll have opportunities to learn the history of the many occupants who’ve done the same. Their art, architecture, and cuisine make each region unique. The variety of topography offers the chance to hike, surf, or just relax and enjoy yourself in a nation that offers something for everyone.


In Granada, you’ll be living at a homestay with an experienced, vetted host family. Occupancy is typically two participants to a home or residence. Families will provide three meals per day, as well as laundry service weekly over the duration of the program. This unique accommodation lets students become immersed in the Spanish language and participate and experience aspects of the Spanish lifestyle that are inaccessible to most visitors. Homes are located throughout the city within walking distance or via local bus, 10-45 minutes from where classes will be held. During your time in Morocco, you will stay at hotels. Always Included: Daily breakfasts at your accommodations, wireless internet, taxes & service charges, and any applicable meal gratuities. Please note that elevators, air conditioners, and other modern conveniences may not be available in all locations.


While living with your host family in Spain, they will provide you with three meals a day, except for the days in which you will participate in class excursions and other activities. During your stay in Morocco, most meals will be included. 


Learn more about accessibility in Granada here. Learn about accessibility in Morocco here. Please note that this is a dynamic program. Activities can be strenuous physically and emotionally. These environments, along with the educational activities conducted and frequent traveling require each student to be fully committed to, and capable of working hard, taking responsibility for themselves, and working effectively in the group to achieve the goals of the course. Each student plays an important role in the success of the program. Physical activities may range from palace and cathedral tours to full-day walking tours.  If you have any questions about this program please contact globallearning@ucsc.edu and visit our resources here.


Granada, Spain: 

Lonely Planet says, “Drawn by the allure of the Alhambra, many visitors head to Granada unsure what to expect. What they find is a gritty, compelling city where serene Islamic architecture and Arab-flavoured street life go hand in hand with monumental churches, old-school tapas bars, and counterculture graffiti art.

Granada, sprawled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, was the last stronghold of the Spanish Moors and their legacy lies all around: it’s in the horseshoe arches, the spicy aromas emanating from street stalls, the teterías (teahouses) of the Albayzín, the historic Arab quarter. Most spectacularly, of course, it’s in the Alhambra, an astonishing palace complex whose Islamic decor and landscaped gardens are without peer in Europe.

There’s also an energy to Granada’s streets, packed as they are with bars, student dives, bohemian cafes, and intimate flamenco clubs, and it’s this as much as the more traditional sights that leaves a lasting impression.” 

Currency: Euro

Official Language(s): Spanish

Tetouan, Morocco: 

Tetouan is a beautiful town on the eastern coast of Morocco’s northern peninsula, next to the Alboran Sea. Historically, it served as the main point of contact between Andalusia and Muslim civilizations and was even the capital of Spanish Morocco. Its well-preserved Medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Currency: The Moroccan dirham

Official Language(s): Arabic

Weather and Climate

Learn more about the weather and climate in Granada here. 

Learn more about the weather and climate in Tetouan here.

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Global Learning Advisory of Student Risk

Participation in this UCSC Global Learning program requires travel to and extended living in a foreign location(s) abroad. UCSC Global Learning endeavors to reduce and mitigate risk wherever possible. However, the environments and risks associated with living in these locations are substantially different than those found during a regular course of study at UC Santa Cruz. Any questions should be directed to the Global Learning Team at globallearning@ucsc.edu.

Students with Disabilities

If you need support abroad, notify your UCSC Disability Resource Center (DRC) Coordinator for a needs assessment immediately so that services can be requested and Global Learning can investigate the availability of accommodations abroad. Support services similar to those available at UCSC might not be available.

Identities Abroad and Away

UCSC Global Learning encourages all students to consider studying abroad as a part of their academic plan. Our office is committed to inclusion and equity in our various program options as well as striving to make everyone’s experiences abroad enriching, positive, and safe. It is important to consider and anticipate the possible challenges you might face. For example, if your major identifying characteristic is race at home, it may surprise you that the people around you, while you are abroad, could find your nationality (perhaps US citizen) to be more significant. What rights do Queer people have in your host country? Will you be a minority or part of the majority abroad? Please visit our Identities Abroad and Away resource page to learn more about important questions to consider and how to prepare for your program.