Add the atmosphere of a university town and the hospitality and charm of a small city and you have Salamanca. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, Salamanca is the most important university city in Spain and is known for its contributions to Spanish language education.
The program allows you to be involed in the academic and social life of the Universidad de Salamanca (USAL), the oldest university in Spain and one of the most prestigious in Europe. Learn alongside your Spanish peers by enrolling at USAL or the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (UPSA). Regardless of your major, you may combine your interests in linguistic and cultural proficiency with your academic pursuits.
Salamanca will also be your classroom. Get involved in activities like soccer games with local students, movie nights, language exchange gatherings with local students, salsa and flamenco dance lessons, and local theater performances that will enrich your academic experience in Salamanca. You may also try out for official university sports teams that compete against other Spanish universities in sports such as soccer, volleyball, and rugby. Welcome to study abroad!
We want you to feel at home in Salamanca, so we will do everything we can to help you integrate into life in Salamanca, from internships to cultural activities. IES Abroad and USAL's International Student Office offer special events and activities to make the most of your time in Spain.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.
We offer unique courses that explore Spanish Language, Literature, and Political Science, as well as other topics, through an in-depth and hands-on approach.
Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.
You take 16 credits per semester (5 courses), and all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified. All courses are taught in Spanish.
You craft your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:
This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.
To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.
Enrolling in courses at a local university is a great way to meet Spanish students and improve your language skills. You are strongly encouraged to enroll at one partner university. Course offerings vary each semester.
Universidad de Salamanca (USAL)www.usal.es
The Universidad de Salamanca (USAL) was founded in 1218 by King Alfonso IX of Leon, and currently enrolls approximately 30,000 students annually, of which 700 are international students. USAL is recognized for academic strength in Biology, Education, History, Philosophy, and Spanish Language and Literature. The Department of Natural and Physical Sciences offers courses in Biology and Biochemistry that correspond to courses at U.S. institutions for students majoring in these fields. There is a two course minimum requirement at USAL.
Courses are available in the following faculties:
Location & Commute Time
There are four different USAL campuses in different areas of the city. The commute times from the IES Abroad Center, located near the Plaza Mayor, to different university areas by foot are as follows:
Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (UPSA)www.upsa.esUPSA was originally founded in the 13th century but closed in the middle of the 19th century. In 1940, the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca was re-established. Since then, UPSA has continued to broaden its academic offerings with new opportunities for degrees and fields of study. There are currently 8,500 students enrolled in the university.
CoursesYou may enroll in the following facultades:
UPSA is five minutes away from Salamanca's historic Plaza Mayor and has numerous departments and university schools spread out among the Salamanca campus. UPSA also has departments and schools in Madrid and throughout twelve Spanish provinces.
While adding study abroad to your résumé is impressive enough, adding an international internship is even more powerful, and can help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market.
Here are just some of the ways your internship will set you apart:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. Participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Salamanca, it will feel like home.
Homestays – Live with a local resident(s) in your own private room and receive three meals a day while the IES Abroad Salamanca program is in session.Commuting time to the IES Abroad Center is 15-30 minutes.
Residence Halls – All rooms are singles with an en-suite bathroom and a shared kitchenette. The residence hall contains a weight room, laundry facilities, computer lab, study area, and game room. IES Abroad provides you (with a meal card) with seven meals per week to use in various university dining halls. Placement in the residence hall is limited. The commuting time from the Residence Hall to the IES Abroad Salamanca Center is approximately 15 minutes by foot.
Part of making you feel at home in Salamanca is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, house that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
The program begins with a mandatory orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Salamanca staff, your fellow students, and the city of Salamanca. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during this time.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home. You also visit the charming Romanesque town of Zamora and the famous wine region of Toro.
You will also participate in a Spanish language orientation course that includes intensive classes in Spanish conversation and colloquial usage.
Past orientation activities have included dance classes, a soccer tournament with Spanish students, and an excursion to Segovia, site of a roman aqueduct and historical palaces and churches of Spain’s Golden Age.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Salamanca through our cultural activities, such as:
University Clubs & Events
Involvement in sporting clubs and student societies can be a great opportunity to meet local students. Club and event availability for IES Abroad students at the Universidad de Salamanca varies each semester; during your orientation, you will learn about the different opportunities available during your semester in Salamanca.
Although your adventure begins in Salamanca, our field trips take you to other great cities in and around Spain to provide contrast and context for what you are learning in Salamanca. We organize several field trips that are included in the cost of the program or partially subsidized. Past destinations are listed below.
1 day | Fall
Known as the “city of three cultures”—Christian, Muslim, and Jewish—Toledo preserves an artistic and cultural legacy that makes the city an open-air museum.
3 days | Spring
Visit the oldest Portuguese University in Coimbra, the monastery of Jeronimos in Lisbon, and the Basilica of Fatima.
1 day | Spring
Partake in tours of the famous museums in Madrid.
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Segovia is known for its Romanesque and Gothic architecture, and for having one of the longest and best preserved Roman aqueducts in all of Europe.
Sevilla and Granada
3 days | Fall
Explore Seville’s famous cathedral and the Alhambra in Granada—the greatest monument of Moorish architecture in Spain.
1 day | Fall & Spring
Tour a winery and see the largest collection of Romanesque churches in all of Europe.
Camino de Santiago
5 days | Fall
Experience a walking trip through one of the oldest and most unique pilgrimage routes in Europe, ending at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela where the remains of St. James are buried.
3 days | Spring
Experience a nature trip through the Lake Sanabria Park Nature Reserve, set in a beautiful landscape formed by a glacier 100,000 years ago.
The IES Abroad Salamanca Center is located in the core of the city, near the Plaza Mayor and the historic campuses of the Universidad de Salamanca and Universidad Pontificia. Features include:
Barbara LiberatoreIES Abroad Director
Originally from the United States, Barbara Liberatore has been living and working in Salamanca for over 20 years. She is fluent in Spanish and Italian. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and her Master’s degree in Italian Studies from Brown University where she also held a teaching assistantship. Barbara brings to IES Abroad more than 20 years of experience in teaching, management and supervision in international education. She taught in Brown University’s Summer Intensive English Program for many years, worked as Assistant Director for the University of Rhode Island’s Summer Study Abroad Program in Salamanca, and directed other study abroad programs there before beginning with IES Abroad.
IES Abroad Staff
María Ángeles Tabárez de DiosAcademic and Administrative Coordinator
David Artime HolgadoStudent Affairs Coordinator
Yolanda LópezHousing Coordinator
María Marcos RamosLiterature and Cinema
Doctora en Comunicación Audiovisual
Luisa Mª González Rodríguez,Education
Doctora en Filología Inglesa
Profesora Contratado Doctor, Universidad de Salamanca
Teresa Amores SierraSpanish Language
Doctoranda en Filología Hispánica
Laura Muñoz Pérez,Art History
Doctora en Historia del Arte
Profesor Asociado, Universidad de Salamanca
María Encarna Pérez Álvarez,Political Science
Doctora en Trabajo Social
Profesora Titular Universidad de Salamanca
Ricardo Rivero OrtegaPolitical Science
Doctor en Derecho
Catedrático, Universidad de Salamanca
Zulima Sánchez SánchezPolitical Science
Doctora en Derecho
Profesora Contratada Doctora, Universidad de Salamanca
Cristina Anta RodríguezSpanish Language
Doctoranda en Filología Hispánica
Begoña Lázaro BlancoPolitical Science
Licenciada en Sociología
Juan José Rastrollo SuárezPolitical Science
Doctor en DerechoProfesor, Universidad de Salamanca
José Ramón Matito FernándezReligion
Doctor en Teología DogmáticaProfesor, Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca
Andrés Catalán RubioLiterature
Doctor en Literatura Española
Carmen Vanesa Álvarez RosaSpanish Language
Doctora en Filología Hispánica
Profesora Universidad de Salamanca