ECELA Spanish Language School (Semester)

  • Mendoza, Argentina

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Slow down the pace and escape to the countryside of Argentina. Mendoza is in a large Andes rain-shadow location with a ton of history. It is also a hub of activity with something always going on. Enjoy Mendoza’s famous wineries and beautiful mountain scenery. Immerse yourself in Argentinean culture as you learn Spanish in the classroom. Take in the natural wonders and enjoy the public squares and historic monuments of this picturesque city surrounded by the Andes.

Application Deadline


Program Start


Program End


Partner University



  • Mendoza

Program Term

  • Fall
  • Spring

Language of Instruction

  • English
  • Spanish

Program Details

Academic Program

The best way to master a language is with native, college certified teachers using a proven curriculum in a small class environment. Classes at ECELA are capped at 8 students per instructor allowing you to have individual attention resulting in dramatic language skill improvement within a short window of time. You can participate as a total beginner or with many years of speaking the language.

Course Descriptions and Syllabi

On the ECELA semester-length program, you can choose from the following:

  • Five Spanish language courses
  • Four Spanish language courses, One elective course
  • Three Spanish language courses, Two elective course

For elective courses, you can choose to take Latin American Cultures I and/or Foundations of Spanish and Latin America.

  • Latin American Cultures I: International Perspectives GenED + ASPN 317
  • Foundations of Spanish and Latin America: International Perspectives GenED + ASPN 316
  • Other elective courses (i.e. – Medical Spanish, Business Spanish, Legal Spanish, and Spanish Composition) may also be available for an extra fee.

Review Course Descriptions for more information regarding course offerings.

General Education Information for UAlbany Students

Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.

Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students

Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.


All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary. 


Housing is provided with local Argentine families. Living with a family is one of the most effective ways to improve language skills and learn about the local culture. All of the families are warm and welcoming and experienced at making you feel at home within their house. All host families are located within an easy commute to the school and are in a safe and lovely neighborhood.

In effort to provide you with the best, families are chosen with the utmost care and go through extensive screening and training before being accepted as host families. Their passion in educating you about their language and culture goes above and beyond many other language and culture programs found elsewhere. The families make every attempt to accept you as part of their “Argentine family” during your stay in Mendoza and after.

Living with a host family also provides an additional layer of support. A local host family assist you with learning the best ways to get around the city, what regional cuisine to try, what sites to visit in the city and beyond, and how to find the best deals in Mendoza.


You will be living in a homestay with a family. Many meals will be provided by the homestay. Get ready to eat amazing Argentinean meals. Eat out and get a taste of different foods. Argentina is extremely diverse so take advantage of it.

Estimate of Costs

For reference, review Academic Year 2019-20 Estimate of Costs

More Information

Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.

Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.

Academic Requirements

This program is open to Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors with a 2.5 GPA. You do not have to have Spanish experience but taking at least one Spanish course prior to the program will help.

Experiential Learning

The program offers daily scheduled activities in and around Mendoza. Participating in these activities is an excellent way to practice your new language skills in a fun and exciting environment.

Weekend trips are also offered where you can discover Argentina’s fantastic landscapes and outdoor sports. Historical landmarks and experiencing the arts and culture that make Argentina so unique are integral parts of this program. Note: only some of these activities and excursions are included in the cost of the program with UAlbany. More information on this will be included in your acceptance packet.


  • Club de Conversación– groups discussing and debating themes of interest, past or current events.
  • Cinema – Watch and discuss a Latin American film.
  • Clase de mate – Learn to prepare the traditional mate seen all over Argentina and how to participate in the daily ritual.
  • Tango – Practice dancing Argentina’s famous Tango.
  • Clases de Cocina – Participate in the preparation of typical Argentine empanadas.


  • Bodegas – Mendoza is Argentina’s wine capital. Visit several vineyards, each complete with a sampling.
  • Estancia – Visit “La Alejandra”, a traditional Argentine ranch. Enjoy asado (typical Argentine barbeque) and horseback riding.
  • Rafting – Mendoza’s Andes location means turbulent rafting is nearby.

Most financial aid and academic awards will apply to semester programs.

External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.

More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.

Program Advisor

Stokes, Jay

Mendoza is one of the most popular cities in Argentina. Famous for its fine dining, upscale wineries and great year-round weather, Mendoza is also home to one of the highest mountain ranges in the world, Mount Aconcagua.

Argentine culture is commonly observed to be a hybrid of Europe sophistication and Latin American passion. Mendoza adds a rural charm and is often called the “most liveable city in Argentina”: it’s well-organized, small enough to be relaxed, big enough to be interesting, and with a comfortable mountain climate. Just outside the city are family-run vineyards and traditional gaucho estancias. You can head to the nearby Andes for hiking, mountain biking, and rafting.

ECELA’s “School Hopping” Option:

During the semester and summer length programs at ECELA, you have the option of dividing your time between ECELA’s many locations in Lima (Peru), Cusco (Peru), Mendoza (Argentina), Viña del Mar (Chile), and Santiago (Chile). This is a great way to experience various other countries and cultures, while still being able to take your desired courses at other ECELA locations.

Please note that you will be responsible for the travel costs between locations, and you must notify ECELA and UAlbany of your intention to transfer at least two weeks in advance of your intended transfer date. The basic costs of the program paid to UAlbany (consult the cost estimate listed above) will remain the same though, regardless of the locations that you choose. If you are interested in the multi-location option with ECELA, please contact with your request.

Travel Documents

A valid passport is required to participate in this program. The entry into Argentina for U.S. Citizens requires a 90 day tourist stamps but since your program is over 90 days, you will have an additional fee to stay in the country longer. More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.

Application Availability

Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:

  • Spring/Winter programs: July
  • Fall/Year/Summer programs: December

Program Dates

Fall 2020

08/10/2020 to 11/28/2020

Spring 2020

01/19/2020 to 05/09/2020

ECELA Mendoza is only two blocks from Parque General San Martín, which is one of the city’s many highlights featuring the Mendoza Zoo, lakes, monuments and more. We are also just a few blocks from the famous Aristides Villanueva street, the main entertainment, and restaurant district.

The University at Albany and the ECELA Spanish Language School gives you the chance to experience rapid advancement in Spanish abilities while experiencing first-hand the Argentine culture in and around Mendoza. As an intensive immersion course (Spanish classes within a “Spanish everywhere” environment), the program’s goal is to give you several semesters worth of Spanish skill enhancement in only a few months. In addition to the 20 hour per week language course, you can also participate in cultural activities such as cooking classes, salsa dance lessons, Cinema Latino, and folklore shows.

The school in Mendoza is in a modern residential area close to the town center. It’s a comfortable building in a quiet location, but you’ll still be within a short walk to the central plaza and dozens of restaurants and cafes – great for people-watching while doing your homework.

ECELA is dedicated to helping students get closer to Spanish fluency even if they are not “naturals” at picking up foreign languages. The 50/50 ratio of grammar and conversation, taught in separate sessions, ensures you of balanced progress. The extra small classes (capped at only 8 students) are intimate enough that you will comfortably join the discussion, even if you normally resist raising your hand. Finally, the “demanding yet understanding” teachers and staff push you to do the necessary work so you will vastly improve your Spanish.

ECELA schools attract students from many walks of life. They come from 42+ countries and have an array of personal and professional interests. You’ll bond with them in your classes, in the refreshment breaks in between them, and in our many social and cultural activities after them. For many of our students, forming a new set of very diverse relationships is a real treasure and an unexpected highlight. While you may come to ECELA alone, you are quickly plugged into an instant social life.

Program Orientations

Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The fall semester pre-departure orientation will be conducted the Saturday before the end of Spring UAlbany classes and in late November/early December for the spring term abroad.

Upon arrival to the ECELA program, you will attend a mandatory program orientation. This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by International Office of your host university.

Support Services

UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your  preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.

The ECELA International Office staff serve as an experienced resource for resolving issues that you may encounter in while abroad.