Madrid Language & Area Studies Program
Study Abroad
Madrid - Language & Area Studies Add to favorites
  • Madrid, Spain
Why Madrid?

It won’t be hard to fall in love with Madrid. Located in the heart of Spain, this capital city is especially unique because it has an urban pace and is well-known for its rich artistic, political, and business culture.

Our program is designed for students who want to experience the vitality of Spain and the large urban university environment of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), one of the country’s most distinguished universities where our Center is located.

What You'll Study

This program strives to immerse you in the culture of the Madrileños through its academic options, extracurricular activities with university students, and housing choices. In addition to a required Spanish course, you have the option to take a wide variety of IES Abroad-taught courses, as well as local university courses. You can also take a prep course for the Diploma de español como lengua extranjera (DELE), leading to a certificate. This award will be an asset to your résumé and can be earned at no extra cost. Several field trips take you beyond the city limits to sites of historic and contemporary interest. You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an internship placement and accompanying academic seminar.

Daily Life

Madrid will also be your classroom. Whether visiting one of Madrid’s many art galleries or museums, learning about Spanish culture by taking in a film by one of Spain’s up-and-coming filmmakers, or simply strolling around the city and enjoying the warm climate in one of the city’s many parks, you will be captivated by Madrid’s vibrancy.

We want you to feel at home in Madrid, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.

You are here

Why Madrid?

It won’t be hard to fall in love with Madrid. Located in the heart of Spain, this capital city is especially unique because it has an urban pace and is well-known for its rich artistic, political, and business culture.

Our program is designed for students who want to experience the vitality of Spain and the large urban university environment of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), one of the country’s most distinguished universities where our Center is located.

What You'll Study

This program strives to immerse you in the culture of the Madrileños through its academic options, extracurricular activities with university students, and housing choices. In addition to a required Spanish course, you have the option to take a wide variety of IES Abroad-taught courses, as well as local university courses. You can also take a prep course for the Diploma de español como lengua extranjera (DELE), leading to a certificate. This award will be an asset to your résumé and can be earned at no extra cost. Several field trips take you beyond the city limits to sites of historic and contemporary interest. You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an internship placement and accompanying academic seminar.

Daily Life

Madrid will also be your classroom. Whether visiting one of Madrid’s many art galleries or museums, learning about Spanish culture by taking in a film by one of Spain’s up-and-coming filmmakers, or simply strolling around the city and enjoying the warm climate in one of the city’s many parks, you will be captivated by Madrid’s vibrancy.

We want you to feel at home in Madrid, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.

$4 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit more then $4 million each year to our financial aid programs.

Academics

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, and Area Studies, 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.

While in Madrid, take 15–19 credits per semester and all courses are worth three credits unless otherwise specified. All courses are taught in Spanish.

Craft your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:

  • IES Abroad Spanish language course (required, 4 credits)
  • IES Abroad Spanish-taught area studies courses (3–15 credits)
  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid courses (3–15 credits)

Language Certificate Students

As an added benefit at no additional cost, IES Abroad Madrid also offers preparation courses for Spanish language students for the Diploma de español como lengua extranjera (DELE) examination that leads to a certificate. The DELE is the most prestigious award for Spanish language skills and will enhance your résumé. This certificate, covering general Spanish abilities, is offered by the Instituto Cervantes. The exam consists of oral expression, writing, reading comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary.

Courses

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.

Art History
Course Name Term Language Credits
AH 312 - History of Spanish Architecture Fall, Spring Spanish 3
AH 315 - El Greco, Velázquez and Goya in the Prado Museum Fall, Spring Spanish 3
AH 316 - 20th Century Spanish Painters Fall, Spring Spanish 3
Cultural Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU/LT 361 - Spanish Civil War in Literature and Performing Arts (since 1975) Fall, Spring Spanish 3
Economics
Course Name Term Language Credits
EC 303 - Modern Spanish Economic Development Fall Spanish 3
EC 396 - Spain and the European Union Fall, Spring Spanish 3
IR/EC 340 - Spain and the International Economic Organization Spring Spanish 3
Finance
Course Name Term Language Credits
FI 342 - International Finance And The Monetary Union Fall Spanish 3
Film Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
FS 320 - Contemporary Spanish Film Fall, Spring Spanish 3
WS/FS 326 - Almodóvar and His Contemporaries: The Image of Women in Spanish Film Fall, Spring Spanish 3
History
Course Name Term Language Credits
HS 332 - Contemporary Spanish History: Republic to Present Fall, Spring Spanish 3
HS 358 - History of Madrid Spring Spanish 3
International Business
Course Name Term Language Credits
IB 330 - Spanish Models of Organization and Management Spring Spanish 3
Internship Seminar
Course Name Term Language Credits
IN 395 - Internship Seminar Fall, Spring Spanish 3
International Relations
Course Name Term Language Credits
IR/EC 340 - Spain and the International Economic Organization Spring Spanish 3
PO/IR 350 - International Security and Geopolitics: A Spanish & European Perspective Fall, Spring Spanish 3
Literature
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU/LT 361 - Spanish Civil War in Literature and Performing Arts (since 1975) Fall, Spring Spanish 3
LT 376 - Contemporary Spanish Theater Fall, Spring Spanish 3
LT 388 - Cultural Myths and Spanish Literature Fall Spanish 3
LT 480 - García Lorca and His Time Spring Spanish 3
WS/LT 331 - Contemporary Spanish and Latin American Women Writers Fall, Spring Spanish 3
Political Science
Course Name Term Language Credits
PO 365 - Legal and Political Structure of Modern Spain Fall Spanish 3
PO 366 - European Political Movements and Ideologies Spring Spanish 3
PO/IR 350 - International Security and Geopolitics: A Spanish & European Perspective Fall, Spring Spanish 3
Spanish
Course Name Term Language Credits
SP 303 - Spanish Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad III Fall, Spring Spanish 4
SP 351 - Spanish Language in Context: Independent Abroad I Fall, Spring Spanish 4
SP 353 - Spanish Language in Context: Independent Abroad III Fall, Spring, Summer Spanish 4
SP 380 - Advanced Language Usage for Business Fall, Spring Spanish 3
SP 401 - Spanish Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad I Fall, Spring Spanish 4
SP 403 - Spanish Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad III Fall, Spring Spanish 4
SP 410 - Spanish Language in Context: Spanish for Heritage Speakers Fall, Spring Spanish 4
SP 486 - Spanish for Health Sciences Spring Spanish 3
Theatre Arts
Course Name Term Language Credits
TH 301 - Theater and Performance Workshop Fall, Spring Spanish 3
Women's Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
WS/FS 326 - Almodóvar and His Contemporaries: The Image of Women in Spanish Film Fall, Spring Spanish 3
WS/LT 331 - Contemporary Spanish and Latin American Women Writers Fall, Spring Spanish 3

Partner Institution(s)

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 at least one local course. Course offerings vary each semester.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)
www.ucm.es
The Universidad Complutense de Madrid is the largest university in Spain and one of the best public universities in the country. Registering for courses at UCM enables you to enjoy full privileges of the school’s activities and facilities.

Courses
Courses are available at the following faculties:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Sciences
  • Communication
  • Computer Sciences
  • Documentation Science
  • Economics and Business
  • Fine Arts
  • Geography and History
  • Geological Sciences
  • Health Sciences
  • Law School
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Modern Languages
  • Philosophy
  • Physical Sciences
  • Political Sciences and Sociology
  • Psychology
  • School of Education

When planning, take into account that IES Abroad students are not permitted to take:

  • First-year courses
  • Medical courses
  • Dentistry courses

When choosing your courses, bear in mind that some classes offered by the local university are academic year courses, starting in October and ending in June. Semester students cannot take these academic year courses. You will receive 3 credits for each course taken at the Complutense. Academic year students who take annual classes will receive 6 credits.

Please note that some faculties have specific requirements for visiting students: https://www.ucm.es/condiciones-especificas-de-facultades

Complutense Final Exams
In the fall, official UCM exams take place through the end of February; IES Abroad students must arrange to take exams early (mid-December) at the time of course registration and subject to professor approval.

Spring students enrolled in UCM courses may not arrange for early exams and will need to stay through early June to complete courses and final exams.

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Madrid, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. Some of these one to three-day trips are subsidized by IES Abroad, while other trips are available and may be subsidized by IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations.

Alcalá De Henares
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Famous for being the birthplace of the illustrious Miguel de Cervantes, author of “Don Quixote,” and home to one of the most prestigious universities in Spain. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its monuments, historic churches,convents and university buildings.

El Escorial
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Visit this royal site that was once the residence of the King of Spain, as well as a monastery for the Roman Catholic Church. The palace is also the burial site for nearly every king and queen since the 16th century.

Extremadura: La Ruta de Carlos V
3 Days | Spring
Travel the last route of the Emperor Charles V on his last journey to his retreat in Yuste Monastery, Extremadura. You will be amazed by the natural beauty of this region.

Bilbao y San Sebastián
3 Days | Fall
Two beautiful cities located in the basque region.

Segovia
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.

Toledo
1 Day | Fall & Spring
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.

Note: IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.

Course-Related Excursions

Course-related excursions are academic trips associated with courses and are organized to complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of Spanish culture and society. Participation is based on course registration.

Past course-related excursions are listed below:

  • Local theater performances and concerts
  • Architectural walking tours
  • Visits to Madrid’s most famous museums—the Prado, Reina Sofía, Sorolla, Cerralbo, Museo de América, and Bornemisza
  • Visits to Spain's National Congress
  • Visits to local television stations

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Madrid is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, housing 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.

Orientation

The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Madrid staff, your fellow students, and the city of Madrid.

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. IES Abroad also organizes guided visits around Madrid with Spanish university students and hosts a welcome lunch. There are also a range of cultural events, such as Intercambios, cooking classes, Flamenco workshop, and sports.

During orientation, IES Abroad organizes guided visits around Madrid with Spanish university students, as well as a welcome lunch for students. There are also a range of cultural events, such as intercambios, cooking classes, flamenco workshop, and sports available for you to participate in.

Get to Know Your New City

Visit La Tabacalera

Catch a free concert or art show at La Tabacalera, an old tobacco factory turned funky cultural center.

Take a Walk in the Park

Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon walking down la Gran Via and la Calle, then picnic and people watch in Parque del Retiro.

See La Plaza Mayor

Witness the breathtaking architecture and history found in la Plaza Mayor—Madrid’s central square. A must-have photo!

Enjoy Fresh Foods

Stop by the farmers' market in Casa de Campo the first Saturday of every month to taste the best local products.

Explore Must-See Museums

Include Museo del Prado, Museo Thyseen-Bornemisza, and Centro de Arte Reina Sofía on your to-do list while in Madrid. You don’t want to miss some of the top art museums in the world!

Housing

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 Madrid, it will feel like home.

Homestays – Live in Spanish homes with señoras or families and eat breakfast and one additional meal per day (either lunch or dinner) with your hosts when the program is in session. In many cases, more than one IES Abroad student is placed with a señora or family.

Homestays with Kitchen Privileges – If you are interested in a homestay but prefer to purchase your own food and prepare your own meals, you may wish to consider this option. With this option, you will receive a meal credit. A very limited number of these placements are available.

Apartments – Share apartments located in residential areas near the IES Abroad Madrid Center. Apartments are furnished, including a fully-equipped kitchen. Utilities, regular cleaning, and wireless Internet access are included. Space is limited, and meals are not included.

Colegios Mayores – Colegios Mayores are dorms located on the Complutense campus and throughout the city. This housing option includes up to 20 meals per week in student cafeterias.

Colegios Mayores are ideal for outgoing students with a high level of Spanish language who want to integrate into local, more traditional student culture, participate in Colegio activities, and are willing to abide by the rules of the Colegio. This housing option is limited and requires an additional fee.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Madrid through our cultural activities, such as:

  • Volunteer opportunities and teaching assistant program
  • Lessons in Spanish cooking and dance
  • Sports activities such as soccer games
  • Tour of the Real Madrid Stadium- Estadio Santiago Bernabéu

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Spring 2018
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2018 $13,310 $3,700 $230 $17,240


Term: Fall 2017
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2017
Academic Year
$12,395
$22,300
$4,275
$8,550
$230
$455
$16,900
$31,305

Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$4 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit more then $4 million each year to our financial aid programs.