Madrid, Spain

Liberal Arts

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Information for term Liberal Arts

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

April 1, 2021

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Aug 30 – Dec 22, 2021 (16 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

October 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Jan 22 – Jun 5, 2021 (19 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA


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Come to Madrid and take your advanced Spanish language skills to the next level in one of the world’s most energetic, artistic, and cosmopolitan cities. Ideal for students majoring in humanities, social sciences, journalism, psychology, linguistics, or communications and/or those who want to gain real-world work experience with an internship at a Spanish company. Students take classes at CIEE’s prestigious partner school, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and at the CIEE Global Institute - Madrid and agree to speak only Spanish to facilitate language and cultural immersion. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Perfect your spoken Spanish

    with conversation exchanges and organized activities with the Spanish Student Network.

  • Add relevant work experience

    to your resume with an internship that aligns with your major.

  • Take advantage of a host of opportunities

    for maximum immersion, from tutoring to personal workshops, to campus activities.

  • world-class art museums within steps of each other

  • minutes - longest you’ll walk to find green space

  • residents


Location & Culture

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Madrid’s influence in politics, education, science, entertainment, media, fashion, and arts make it an important international metropolis, and a major hub in southern Europe. Spain’s capital city is also its largest, with a historic center dating back to the Hapsburg Empire, and world-renowned art museums. A huge variety of tapas bars, dance shows, concerts, outdoor parks, soccer matches, ethnic neighborhoods, and contemporary theater and cinema make it a lively place to live and learn.

The Culture


  • Get to know Spanish students with conversation exchanges or the host university Spanish buddy program.
  • Explore beyond Madrid with day trips to Toledo, the Monastery of El Escorial, or the UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Toledo and Alcalá de Henares.
  • Soak up Spanish culture with museum visits, dance classes, urban art and graffiti tours, and neighborhood visits in Lavapiés, Malasaña or La Latina.
  • Savor down-time with Spanish students while you rock climb, play basketball, hike, kayak, swim, or catch a theater, dance, or music performance.


Volunteering. We’re ready to help you help kids, teens, and disabled people in Madrid, through schools, associations, and outreach programs.

Peer-to-peer language support. Practice your Spanish skills and make a new friend with our language exchange program.

Internships. Earn credit and beef-up your resume with international experience in publishing, medical care, or supporting an NGO – there are plenty of options.

Personal workshops. Learn about issues like culture shock, LGBTQ life in Madrid, cooking, stress management, job interview skills, and more.

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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    Homestay. Students can live with Spanish families – a great way to absorb maximum language and culture, and create lasting friendships. Each student has a private bedroom and shared kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities.

    Shared apartments. Students can live with other CIEE students and a Spanish student with apartments that have single or double rooms. Utilities, cleaning, laundry facilities, and Internet access are included.

    Commuting. Host homes and housing are all in central Madrid with a 40 to 60-minute commute to campus, and a shorter commute to the CIEE Global Institute. Year-long students Students can opt to live in independently-found apartments during second semester, provided they have Spanish-speaking roommates. Students are responsible for finding, leasing, and managing apartments, and need prior approval from CIEE.


    Homestay: Hosts provided breakfast plus another meal per day. Students can purchase the rest of their meals on or nearby campus.
    Apartments: Meals are not included. Students prepare meals in their apartments, or purchase affordable meals on or off campus.

Madrid, Spain

Where You'll Study

  • A

    CIEE Global Institute


  • B


    This campus is a 45-minute commute from central Madrid.

  • C

    Getting Around

    Students walk or use public transportation.


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The Liberal Arts program is designed for students with advanced Spanish language skills – five semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent -- who want to immerse themselves in Spanish university life. Students may also choose to complete a for-credit internship in Madrid. Liberal Arts students choose from CIEE elective courses and a wide range of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) courses in humanities, social sciences, journalism, psychology, linguistics, or communications. Students can also take Curso de Estudios Hispánicos (CEH) courses, which are offered to international students and focus on Spanish language and culture.

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) was established in 1989 and is recognized as Spain’s most prestigious institution of higher education. It follows a U.S. academic calendar and has one of the highest percentages of full-time and tenured female faculty in Spain. Students take classes on the Getafe campus which is the main UC3M campus, located 30-40 minutes outside of downtown Madrid via efficient and modern public transit.

CIEE courses are offered at the CIEE Global Institute – Madrid, which is located near the Puerta del Sol – a well-known public square in the center of the city.



Language Prerequisites

5 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent)

Program Requirements

  • 1 UC3M course
  • 1 CEH Spanish language course
  • 2-3 Electives chosen from;
    • CIEE courses
    • UC3M courses
    • CEH culture courses

Program Credit

Total credit: 15-18 U.S. semester/22.5-27 quarter credits

Course Credit

CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
CIEE Internship: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 15 seminar hours, 100-120 internship placement hours (usually 3/15/100-120)
UC3M courses: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
CEH courses: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits; 45 contact hours

Academic Culture

Students should expect to maintain an active academic schedule that includes a variety of structured extracurricular activities with Spanish students from the university. Class attendance is mandatory and coursework and exams are to be completed as assigned, on schedule. When choosing university courses, note that Spanish students begin to study one area right away; they do not take general or core courses. CIEE students should not enroll in upper level courses for subjects not previously studied in college. Estudios Hispánicos and regular university courses run from early September until early December in fall, and from late January to late April or May in spring. Special humanities seminars are taught for 10 to 30 hours throughout the semester.

Class Format

University courses meet twice a week and classes are scheduled every day, Monday through Friday. Instruction includes lectures and practice groups. UC3M: Class size: 15-60 students. Class make-up: Students take classes with other international students in the Estudios Hispánicos Department (CEH) and enroll in regular university courses and seminars with Spanish and international students.


Students are graded on midterm and final examinations, class participation, and attendance. Some university classes may also require term papers, group projects, or class presentations. Others may have just one oral or written final exam. Most exams consist of written essays. Professors assign numerical grades based on a 10-point scale, which CIEE converts to recommended U.S. letter grade equivalents.

Language of Instruction



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Course Information

  • Students who place at the near-native or heritage-speaker level during the on-site placement test will be exempt from this language course requirement with home school approval.
  • Academic year students are not required to take Spanish during their second semester if they complete Advanced Spanish during their first semester and may substitute with an additional UC3M course.


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All UC3M courses are taken on the Getafe campus, final enrollment with occur on site. Please visit the university website for course information.

UC3M GETAFE Departments
Liberal Arts students may only enroll in courses taught in Spanish. Students must enroll in at least one course from the department of their choosing:

  • Art History
  • Business Administration
  • Cultural Studies
  • Economics
  • Employment and Labor Relations
  • Film, Television, and Media
  • Finance and Accounting
  • History and Politics
  • Humanities
  • International Studies
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Management and Technology
  • Management of Information and Digital Contents
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Statistics and Business
  • Tourism

Students are required to enroll in one of the following Spanish language courses during their first semester of participation in the program. Language courses are offered through the Curso de Estudios Hispánicos (CEH) program on the Getafe campus.

Spanish Language: Advanced and Spanish Language:  Upper Advanced
These courses are aimed at students who have completed advanced grammar at the college level but do not have native oral fluency. Special attention is paid to grammar and vocabulary, in addition to notions, functions, and uses of the language in real speaking situations. Classroom instruction includes film viewing and participatory exercises.

Spanish Language: Upper Intermediate 
This course is designed for students who cannot demonstrate advanced grammatical knowledge of Spanish on the placement exam. Through an emphasis on writing, combined with a grammar review, students are expected to acquire functional and useful language skills for daily practice.

Spanish Language: Proficiency
This course is for those students with a proficient Spanish level who wish to deepen their language skills, focusing on conversation skills through the work in a variety of situations. Students will acquire new communication strategies while examining the sociocultural and sociolinguistic aspects of the language. 



Offered in Spanish. More information can be found on the university’s CEH website.

CEH courses are available to American university students and offered by UC3M Education Abroad. Courses are taken with other American / international students and focus on Spanish language and culture. Unlike traditional UC3M courses, CEH courses do not involve coursework with Spaniards.

The following lists are samplings of courses that may be available. Not all courses are offered each semester. The final list of courses will be available upon arrival in Madrid.

  • Cine Español
  • Economía Española y Europea
  • El Terrorismo y Sus Víctimas: Un Desafío Global Desde 11-S
  • Energías Renovables en España
  • Español Coloquial
  • Español para Hispanounidenses
  • Estudios Culturales
  • Historia de España
  • Historia del Arte Español
  • Historia del Presente: España de Hoy
  • Instituciones Españolas y Europeas
  • La España Literaria de Cervantes (Siglos XVI – XVII)
  • La Mujer en la Ciencia y la Tecnología
  • Literatura Española (siglos XIX y XX)
  • Literatura Hispanoamericana (siglo XX)
  • Religión y Sociedad en España
  • Sociología del Sistema Educativo Español
  • Teoría y Práctica del Cuento en Español

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Spring 2021 19 weeks Oct 1, 2020 Jan 22, 2021* Jun 5, 2021*
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $14,013 **

Housing = $4,470 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $18,950

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $1,000

International Airfare = $1,150

Local Transportation = $600

Books & Supplies = $300

Visa Fees = $160

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500

Personal expenses = $2,800

Total Estimated Costs = $6,510

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

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This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required by their US home institution to study abroad via CIEE's School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** homestay option includes daily breakfast and dinner

round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

Fall 2021 16 weeks Apr 1, 2021 Aug 30, 2021* Dec 22, 2021*

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500.

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What's Included

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What's Included

Pre-departure Advising
Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city
On-site Staff
Full-time program leadership and support in your city
Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
Excursions and/or Study Tours
Travel Protection
CIEE iNext and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support

Our Staff

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Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
  • 1

    You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! 

    Apply Now
  • 2

    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 

  • 3

    Contact Us

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.