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 is linked to 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. You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an internship placement and accompanying academic seminar.
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.
We want you to feel at home in Salamanca, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From internships to cultural activities, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible. IES Abroad and USAL’s International Student Office offer special events and activities to help you 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.
Students enrolled in partner university courses are required to take early exams during this time and depart IES Abroad housing the day after their last final exam. Schedules for final exams or coursework deadlines are not available until students are onsite. For that reason, it is recommended that students purchase airline tickets with open-ended or flexible return date policies.
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.
Students normally take 17 credits per semester and all IES Abroad courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified. All courses are taught in Spanish.
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 in local university courses. 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.
Interning abroad as part of your study abroad experience will help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market. It’s an exhilarating challenge, and we’re here to help guide you in securing your placement and succeeding in your internship.
Participating in an internship abroad helps you:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Past students have interned in the following fields:
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 program is in session.
Residence Halls – All rooms are singles with an en-suite bathroom and a fully-equipped, 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.
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 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 will participate in a Spanish language orientation course that includes intensive classes in Spanish conversation and colloquial usage. The program is designed to integrate you into every aspect of life in Salamanca.
Past orientation activities have included dance classes, a soccer tournament with Spanish students, and an field trip to Segovia, known for its Romanesque and Gothic architecture and for having one of the best preserved Roman aqueducts in all of Europe. You also visit the charming Romanesque town of Zamora and the famous wine region of Toro.
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.
Camino de Santiago
5 days | Fall
Experience one of the oldest and most unique pilgrimage routes in Europe that ends at the site of the remains of St. James, one of the 12 apostles.
1 day | Spring
Partake in tours of some of the world’s most famous museums, such as the Reina Sofia and Museo del Prado.
3 days | Spring
Visit the oldest Portuguese University in Coimbra, the monastery of Jeronimos in Lisbon, and the Basilica of Fatima.
3 days | Spring
Hike through this natural park with local guides and explore the history and the legend of this lake on the Helios Cousteau, the first solar-wind powered boat.
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 & Granada
3 days | Fall
Explore the famous cathedral in Sevilla 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.
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.
About the Center
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:
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
Carmen Vanesa Álvarez Rosa, Ph.D.Spanish Language
Teresa Amores Sierra,Spanish Language
Cristina Anta RodríguezSpanish Language
Andrés Catalán RubioLiterature & Art History
Luisa Mª González Rodríguez, Ph.D.Education
Professor, Universidad de Salamanca
Begoña Lázaro BlancoPolitical Science
S.A.S., Universidad de Salamanca
María Marcos Ramos. Ph.D.Film and Literature
José Ramón Matito Fernández, Ph.D.Religion
Professor, Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca
Laura Muñoz Pérez, Ph.D.Art History
Professor, Universidad de Salamanca
Zulima Sánchez Sánchez, Ph.D.Political Science & History
Professor, Universidad de Salamanca
Alfonso Vázquez Vázquez, Ph. D.Sociology, Communication & Geography