ILCE is an international research institute for teaching, testing, and learning of Spanish language and culture at School of Humanities and Social Sciences Universidad de Navarra (Spain).

ILCE conducts research in the field of Spanish Second Language Learning and Teaching to bring sound pedagogical practices to the classroom, innovative programs and courses, and unique learning experiences in all projects and partnerships.

ILCE has been offering Spanish language, culture, literature, and history courses for international students and designing custom language and culture programs for universities around the world since 1967.

ILCE is an official testing site for Instituto Cervantes. Students may take the Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) exam (Degree in Spanish as a Foreign Language) to officially certify their proficiency in Spanish.

Asociación de Programas Universitarios Norteamericanos en España

ILCE Universidad de Navarra is an associate institution of APUNE (Asociación de Programas Universitarios Norteamericanos en España, founded in 1968) sinde February 22nd, 2018.

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Welcome Letter From the Director

Eduardo Negueruela

Dear International Students,

Welcome to the Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Españolas (ILCE) at Universidad de Navarra!

On this website you will find information about our innovative Spanish language and culture courses, all held at Universidad de Navarra’s main campus in Pamplona, except for our July Summer Program, which is held at the IESE Universidad de Navarra Campus in Barcelona.

Whether your goal is to attend Universidad de Navarra or any other university in a Spanish speaking country, or learn Spanish for professional and personal reasons, our Spanish courses are designed to not only help you improve your written and spoken communicative abilities in Spanish, but also to develop your critical thinking abilities in order to understand Spanish language, culture, history, and literature.

The Spanish Language and Culture Program, grounded on the notion of Global Responsible Literacy, offers a unique educational and cultural experience:

  • An innovative and rigorous academic program at the forefront of Spanish language education

  • A research-oriented university experience

  • A world-class faculty dedicated to your needs

  • A global invited professors program to bring the best faculty to our courses

  • A beautiful campus in spectacular Northern Spain

The following pages give you a sense of the kind of experience you will have if you come to Universidad de Navarra to study Spanish.

We hope to welcome you on campus soon!

Eduardo Negueruela Azarola, PhD
Academic and Research Director


Universidad de Navarra

Number 1 in Spain and 37 of the world in the employability ranking QS 2017 and best private university in the country, according to El Mundo, it is home to some of the most competitive graduate business programs available in the world.

The Universidad de Navarra is a nonprofit private Catholic university founded in 1952. The university is made up of 4 campuses - Pamplona, San Sebastián, Madrid and Barcelona-schools and colleges that offers 57 degrees46 official masters and 23 doctoral programs. Universidad de Navarra aims to form citizens with high professional and human competences, committed to social problems and open to a global world.



Universidad de Navarra has welcomed international students into its classrooms since its foundation in 1952. The teaching of Spanish language and culture was critical to integrate international students. The first Spanish language courses began in the Summer of 1954 for students in the Schools of Law and Medicine.


Starting in 1964, Spanish language classes began to be offered during the regular academic year. Courses were driven by the need of students to learn the language, but there also was an early understanding on the importance of teaching Spanish language with content classes on literature, history, and art.

In 1967, the Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Españolas (ILCE) (Spanish Language and Culture Institute) was founded. A new emphasis on research and innovative teaching was promoted. The institute created a new journal (RILCE) and a monograph series "Aula Exterior" published by Eunsa Editorial.  The publication of "Aula Exterior" provided students with access to unique and accessible books for learning Spanish language and culture. These also became pedagogical materials and textbooks that were successfully used at ILCE courses.  ILCE also promoted an interdisciplinary approach to language learning and worked across schools and colleges at the university to offer a variety of courses.


In the 1990s, ILCE also became one of the first official testing sites for Instituto Cervantes in Spain conducting the DELE (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera) exam for international students.

Over the last 50 years, Universidad de Navarra has become a leading international institution of higher education. In the 1950s, teaching Spanish language and culture was a pioneering answer to an unusual inflow of international students. This was a situation that was still foreign to most Spanish universities at the time.

Today, in a globalized world, the teaching and learning of Spanish language and culture is more critical and central than ever before. It has become a critical component for international students, professors, and researchers at Universidad de Navarra. ILCE offers innovative academic courses on Spanish language and culture to undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world.  


ILCE's mission as an international research center at Universidad de Navarra focuses on fostering innovative best practices for the teaching, assessment, and learning of Spanish as a second language.

ILCE studies, analyzes, develops, and promotes sound classroom pedagogies, coherent assessment tools, and expert curricular innovation related to Spanish Language and Culture courses.

ILCE supports innovation through focused research on Spanish teaching and learning by international research teams constituted by academics (faculty and graduate students) and community experts who aim to inform both the public and private sectors. These international teams also provide possibilities for scholars, graduate, and undergraduate students to develop their expertise and open up career opportunities.

ILCE strives to promote the common good, foster mutual understanding, collaboration, and empathy in multilingual communities around the world through the teaching and learning of Spanish.


"Inspire researchers, learners, and teachers of Spanish around the globe through innovative teaching, testing, and research practices"

To establish ILCE as:

A meaningful global interlocutor, rich resource, and able partner for innovative research that promotes the common good in the teaching and assessment of Spanish

A relevant definer of international research agendas to promote best practices in the teaching and testing of Spanish Language and Culture

A international pedagogical resource for practitioners in the field of Spanish Second Language Learning, Teaching, and Testing around the world

A center that provides national and international scholars and students at all levels with opportunities to develop expertise that respond to pressing social needs and job market realities