Combine the atmosphere of a university town and the charming hospitality 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.
If you’re looking for a Spanish program that is fully immersive, our program in Salamanca is for you. In addition to an intensive Spanish language orientation and semester-long Spanish course, there are Spanish language writing, speaking, and theater workshops to bring your coursework to life.
The program is also 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 contribute to a local organization by participating in an education internship in the spring semester or a service learning experience at a local not-forprofit organization in the fall semester. If exploring a bigger metropolitan city and connecting to a major international airport for travels throughout Spain and beyond interest you, travel to Madrid on the new high speed train in just 90 minutes.
Salamanca will be your classroom. Get involved in activities like soccer games and language exchange gatherings with local students, movie nights, 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.
Schedules for final exams or coursework deadlines are not available until students are on-site. All students must depart IES Abroad housing the day after their last final exam. 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. Meet one of these professors, Dr. José Ramón Matito Fernández, in this faculty spotlight interview.
Students normally take 15-19 credits per semester (5-6 courses), 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.es
UPSA was originally founded in the 13th century but closed in the mid-1800s. In 1940, the school was re-established and has continued to broaden its academic offerings with new opportunities for degrees and fields of study.
Courses are available in the following facultades:
Location & Commute Time
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.
SERVICE LEARNING: SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONSFall Only
Participating in a service learning experience in Salamanca is an opportunity to give back to the community while gaining a much deeper understanding of the city’s culture and society. Working alongside local people toward a common goal, you experience first-hand some of the social and political issues that affect Salamanca, while contributing your skills toward a community-driven solution.
A service learning experience consists of time spent with a local organization, accompanied by an academic, for-credit service learning seminar. Through the seminar you have structured time for reflection and discussion, and even research, on the issues of your host community.
Possible placements may include organizations focusing on disaster relief, immigrant services, and social and political advocacy.
Course-related excursions are academic trips associated with courses. They are organized to complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of Spanish culture and society. Participation is based on course registration. All transportation costs and entry fees are included in your program cost.
Past examples of short course-related excursions include:
EDUCATION INTERNSHIPSSpring Only
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 education internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You 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 program is in session.
Residence Halls – All rooms are singles with an en-suite bathroom and a shared kitchenette. The residence hall features a weight room, laundry facilities, computer lab, study area, and game room. IES Abroad provides you with 14 meals per week. You'll receive a meal card 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, 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.
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 one-credit 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, 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. The program is designed to integrate you into every aspect of life in Salamanca.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Salamanca through our cultural events, such as:
Orientation Leaders and Mentors
Participate in activities organized by Spanish volunteer students from our partner universities. Whether it's an international potluck, a pickup game of soccer, or a tour of the city's best restaurants you will gain a unique perspective into student life in Salamanca and create lifelong friendships.
El Club de Español
Our IES Abroad Salamanca faculty takes great pride in the quality of its language training. While in Salamanca, you are expected to speak Spanish within the Center and also outside the Center in your everyday activities. We invite you to join El Club de Español (Spanish Club), in which members wear a bracelet that indicates they are committed to speaking only Spanish all semester.
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.
Even though your adventure starts in Salamanca, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of the Iberian Peninsula. Each trip is fully or partially subsidized by IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations.
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.
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
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.
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Tour a winery and see the largest collection of Romanesque churches in all of Europe.
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.
Note: IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.
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:
Read our interview with Dr. José Ramón Matito Fernández!
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
Juan Antonio GómezGraduate Assistant