Sagunto College

Academic Year Program (Quarter) | Summer Program

About the School

The Escuela Superior de Español de Sagunto (ESDES), accredited by the Universidad de Alcala de Henares since May 2005 operates in the Campus Adventista de Sagunto. This campus occupies about 25 acres on a gentle slope overlooking the towns of Port Sagunto and Sagunto with the Mediterranean Sea in the distance. On a hilltop across a valley full of orange groves sit the remains of a fortress dating from before the Roman occupation in the first and second centuries B.C. This ever-present reminder of the rich cultural heritage of Spain helps give the ACA student a new perspective of time and history.

The beautiful Mediterranean beaches are only five miles away; approximately twenty miles southwest of Sagunto (and well connected by bus and train) lies Valencia, the third largest city of Spain. A little over 200 miles north is the bustling city of Barcelona with its many museums, and traveling the same distance westward will take you to Spain’s capital, Madrid.

Each student will receive 120€ (each quarter) towards travel in Europe. The funds will be given to each student, regardless if they stay for the whole academic year, or just one or two quarters.
Three major trips are included in the ACA program, as well as several day trips to local areas of interest.

Campus Life

Books, stamps and school supplies can be purchased at the reception desk of the Administration building. Other shopping can be done in Sagunto or in Valencia where students will be able to purchase any necessary toiletry items.

Bicycles are available to ACA students for short trips into town, but adventurous students might wish to bring their own bicycles with them for more extensive use. Cardboard bicycle boxes for the airplane are usually available free at any bike shop, or higher quality ones may be purchased.

Students should bring a light-weight sleeping bag for the annual school camping trip that takes place at the beginning of the first quarter. Also they usually find a backpack of some sort to be useful during their stay abroad.

Besides their regular classes, ACA students are encouraged to participate in evening and weekend sports and in the school choirs and orchestra. These activities give North American students an excellent opportunity to mix in with the local young students on campus and develop new friendships. The contributions that ACA students make in providing music for worship are also very much appreciated, so students who enjoy playing an instrument are encouraged to bring it along.

A few furnished apartments are available for married students. They are provided with a washing machine and have one bedroom, a kitchen-living room and bathroom. There is no central heating, but a space heater is provided. Married students must make specific arrangements with the school as early as possible.

Students may connect to the Internet from each dorm room, as long as they bring their own laptop computer. There is also WiFi available in most parts of the campus.

Local Climate

Even though daytime temperatures are moderate, evening temperatures may be cold. Students are advised to plan their wardrobes accordingly, with plenty of warm clothing, especially things that can be ‘layered’ as the day grows warmer or the evening gets cooler. Normally, there should be a few days or weeks of heavy rains during the autumn and the spring although other years are dry, with scarcely any rain at all. A folding umbrella should be brought or purchased on arrival. Bedroom slippers are a must, as floors are made of terrazo or marble, and, in the winter, international students often suffer from colds from going barefoot around the dormitory. In any case, buildings are not as thoroughly heated in winter as they usually are in North America, and a bathrobe or house coat is also useful in the dormitory. Students will usually need to wear a sweater in class, in the winter.

Average high and low temperatures for Valencia are given in the following table:

  • September — 27/18°C 81/64°F
  • October — 23/13°C 73/55°F
  • November — 19/10°C 66/50°F
  • December — 16/7°C 61/45°F
  • January — 15/6°C 59/43°F
  • February — 16/6°C 61/43°F
  • March — 18/8°C 64/46°F
  • April — 20/10°C 68/50°F
  • May — 23/13°C 73/55°F

Spanish people are warm and friendly and so is the climate in the spring, summer and fall.


ACA students going to Sagunto are advised to purchase tickets and check their bags through to Valencia, unless they are planning to travel before school starts and will be arriving by train or bus. A Notice of Arrival Form is available on this site, and if ESDES receives this form five days before arrival, someone from the school will meet and take the student to ESDES at no extra charge.

Academic Program

A college-level elementary Spanish course or its equivalent (2 years of high school Spanish) is a prerequisite to entrance in the ACA program in Spain during the academic year. On the basis of the Spanish Language Proficiency Placement Examination, which is given at the beginning of the academic year, students are assigned to either intermediate, advanced I or advanced II level courses.

Language instruction courses are organized in three levels: Intermediate, Advanced I and Advanced II. A placement test will help the faculty place the students at the right level. Depending on their performance in the Spanish language classes, some students may transfer to a more advanced group at the end of the first or second quarter, but most will remain with their group as they advance together. The school also offers additional classes, free of charge, for those students who may be struggling with Spanish. Students, at every level, take a prescribed cluster of grammar, composition and conversation courses. The balance of their course load usually consists of courses in Spanish culture, folklore, geography, history or literature and electives in art, religion, music or physical education. Language courses are taught in a modern facility that is only used for college level students on campus.

Students who have attended the ACA program recommend that ACA participants bring a copy of the book 501 Spanish Verbs by Christopher Kendris. They have found it and Becherelle’s 12,000 Verbs very helpful. They also advise students planning on going to Sagunto to read, converse and drill on verbs as much as possible in their classes, go to Spanish churches, listen to Spanish radio and television broadcasts, and practice speaking Spanish as much as possible before their arrival.

All students must participate in the outings designed as ACA cultural tours. These tours are an integral part of the instructional program. Record will be taken and specific assignments given. Students’ completion of these assignments and positive participation in the tour will affect their overall grades in certain courses which their teachers will indicate.

Official Spanish Certifications

All students are offered the possibility of taking an official exam in order to certify the level of competence  acquired in Spain.

Students staying the whole year take the DELE exam ( during the 3rd quarter. They are also offered the possibility of sitting for the SIELE exam on campus at an additional cost.

Students who just come for one or two quarters take the SIELE exam ( without any cost.

Both exams certify the degree of proficiency in the Spanish language with four tests:

– Reading comprehension

– Listening comprehension

– Written expression and interaction

– Oral expression and interaction

Both exams are panhispanic and can be included in university applications when requesting scholarships or in job applications.

Both exams take as reference the levels established by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The levels that are certified are A2, B1, B2 and C1.


SPAN 397: INTERNSHIP – 1 qh. = 7.5 hours per week (75 hours per quarter)

  • Graphic Design
  • Multimedia
  • Social Work
  • Business/Office Administration
  • Small Business (Granovita)
  • Web Page Maintenance
  • Landscaping, Maintenance
  • Counseling/Psychology
  • ESL Teaching
  • History, Biology, Spanish, Teacher Assistant
  • Pastoral, Youth Pastor and Family Ministries
  • Music

Financial Transfers

The best way for a student to receive money from home is by withdrawing it at a local bank with an international credit card such as MasterCard or Visa, or with a debit card (an ATM card that carries the Visa or MasterCard logo). ATM cards from banks with international affiliates can be used as well.

Students are also able to cash an INTERNATIONAL MONEY ORDER issued by a bank and sent to them by mail, but postal or personal money orders and personal checks from foreign (North American) banks cannot be cashed in Spain.

Another way money can be sent to the student is by bank transfer, which usually takes a minimum of ten days. The bank which receives the transfer also collects a small fee for the service. Major North American banks can make telex transfer of funds to:

Banc Account
BBVAESMM CCC 0182 5578 3 8 020 00336 9
IBAN ES81 0182 5578 3802 0000 3369

The ESDES accountant should be told that the transfer is en route. The ESDES accounting office has a service for foreign currency exchange, Tuesday through Friday mornings at break times (traveler”s checks are excellent). For exchanges of more than $50, please inform the accounting office two days in advance.

For an emergency transfer of funds, money can be sent by Western Union (for pick-up in Sagunto) or by American Express or Moneygram (for pick-up in Valencia). These methods are more expensive, but almost instantaneous.

Visa Information

For summer programs or applications for just ONE quarter, a visa is NOT required. Please wait for the ACA official admittance email, before purchasing airfare.

For two or more quarters, a visa IS required, and necessary documentation will be issued by the ACA office. All information and instructions will be provided in the ACA official Admittance email.

Cultural Trips & Tours

Scheduled outings may include the following:

  • 1ST QUARTER: • Morocco (North Africa), and Andalucia (Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada, Gibraltar) (8 days tour) • Sagunto, Valencia (1 day tours)
  • 2ND QUARTER: • Barcelona/Andorra (4 days tour) • Benicassim-Thermal Spa, Oceanografic-Valencia (1 day tours)
  • 3RD QUARTER: • Castilla (Toledo, Segovia, Madrid) (6 days tour) • Peñíscola, Port Aventura (Theme Park) (1 day tours)

Program Dates & Prices


Fall 2020
18 Sep '20
13 Dec '20
Winter 2021
7 Jan '21
19 Mar '21
Spring 2021
22 Mar '21
30 May '21

See a summary of Dates & Prices for all programs