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.

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.

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.

Quick Facts

  • Center: IES Abroad Madrid
  • City: Madrid
  • Country: Spain
  • Program Credits: 15-19 per semester (5-6 courses)
  • Language of Instruction: Spanish
  • Language Prerequisites: 4 semesters of college-level Spanish

Program Dates

After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.

Fall 2018

September 3 - December 8 (IES Abroad courses ONLY) September 3 - Mid December (Partner University courses)

Upcoming Application Deadlines:

Spring 2019 - October 19, 2018


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)
  • Escuela de Cerámica de la Moncloa (3 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.


This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.

Art History

  • AH 312 - History of Spanish Architecture (Fall, Spring)
  • AH 315 - El Greco, Velázquez and Goya in the Prado Museum (Fall, Spring)
  • AH 316 - 20th Century Spanish Painters (Fall, Spring)

Cultural Studies

CU/LT 361 - Spanish Civil War in Literature and Performing Arts (since 1975) (Fall, Spring)


  • EC 303 - Modern Spanish Economic Development (Fall)
  • EC 396 - Spain and the European Union (Fall, Spring)
  • IR/EC 340 - Spain and the International Economic Organization (Spring)


FI 342 - International Finance And The Monetary Union (Fall)

Film Studies

  • FS 320 - Contemporary Spanish Film (Fall, Spring)
  • WS/FS 326 - Almodóvar and His Contemporaries: The Image of Women in Spanish Film (Fall, Spring)


  • HS 332 - Contemporary Spanish History: Republic to Present (Fall, Spring)
  • HS 358 - History of Madrid (Spring)

International Business

IB 330 - Spanish Models of Organization and Management (Spring)

Internship Seminar

IN 395 - Internship Seminar (Fall, Spring)

International Relations

  • IR/EC 340 - Spain and the International Economic Organization (Spring)
  • PO/IR 350 - International Security and Geopolitics: A Spanish & European Perspective (Fall, Spring)


  • CU/LT 361 - Spanish Civil War in Literature and Performing Arts (since 1975) (Fall, Spring)
  • LT 376 - Contemporary Spanish Theater (Fall, Spring)
  • LT 388 - Cultural Myths and Spanish Literature (Fall)
  • LT 480 - García Lorca and His Time (Spring)
  • WS/LT 331 - Contemporary Spanish and Latin American Women Writers (Fall, Spring)

Political Science

  • PO 365 - Legal and Political Structure of Modern Spain (Fall)
  • PO 366 - European Political Movements and Ideologies (Spring)
  • PO/IR 350 - International Security and Geopolitics: A Spanish & European Perspective (Fall, Spring)


  • SP 303 - Spanish Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad III (Fall, Spring)
  • SP 351 - Spanish Language in Context: Independent Abroad I (Fall, Spring)
  • SP 353 - Spanish Language in Context: Independent Abroad III (Fall, Spring, Summer)
  • SP 380 - Advanced Language Usage for Business (Fall, Spring)
  • SP 401 - Spanish Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad I (Fall, Spring)
  • SP 403 - Spanish Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad III (Fall, Spring)
  • SP 410 - Spanish Language in Context: Spanish for Heritage Speakers (Fall, Spring)
  • SP 486 - Spanish for Health Sciences (Spring)

Theatre Arts

  • TH 301 - Theater and Performance Workshop (Fall, Spring)

Women's Studies

  • WS/FS 326 - Almodóvar and His Contemporaries: The Image of Women in Spanish Film (Fall, Spring)
  • WS/LT 331 - Contemporary Spanish and Latin American Women Writers (Fall, Spring)

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)

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 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.

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.

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


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:

  • Add international experience to your résumé
  • Gain real work experience and skills
  • Build your confidence

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.

Customize Your Internship

Once you indicate your interest in an internship, we work with you to determine your academic and career goals and try to match you with an appropriate internship placement. We place students with a wide variety of organizations and businesses; if we don’t currently work with a business or organization in your field of interest, we will search out a placement.

Placement Examples

Past students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Education
  • International Relations
  • Marketing
  • Museums
  • Political Science


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. You have breakfast and one additional meal daily with your hosts. In many cases, two IES Abroad students are placed with a señora or family.

Homestays with Kitchen Privileges - If you prefer to purchase your own food and prepare your own meals, you may wish to consider this housing option. If you choose this option, you receive a meal credit. A very limited number of these placements are available.

Apartments - Share an apartment located in a residential area near the IES Abroad Madrid Center. Apartments are fully furnished, including a fully-equipped kitchen. Utilities and regular cleaning are included, as well as the support of a Spanish apartment guide. 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.

Student Life


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.

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

Eligibility Requirements

  • 18 years of age
  • In good standing at your home school
  • 2.75 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale (GPAs under 2.75 will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • 4 semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
  • Enrolled in a Spanish course within the year prior to the program start date
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing when program begins - some local university courses may not be available to sophomores

Passport & Visa Requirements

A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program, with at least two blank pages is required.

A student visa is required to enter Spain. Upon admission, you will receive more information about the application process and any related fees. The visa application process for non-U.S. citizens can be extremely lengthy, please contact us for more information. If you're studying with IES Abroad in Spain, you may be eligible to use the IES Abroad ACCeSS program. ACCeSS is our visa processing service in which we submit your visa application and supporting documents to the consulate for you.


Fall 2018

  • Tuition: $13,625
  • Housing: $3,730
  • Insurance: $230
  • Total: $17,585

Academic Year

  • Tuition: $24,510
  • Housing: $7,460
  • Insurance: $455
  • Total: $32,425

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.

Program taught in:
  • Spanish
IES Abroad

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Last updated January 18, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
1 - 2 semesters
17,585 USD
Program cost Fall 2018
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