Madrid, Spain

Liberal Arts

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Information for term Liberal Arts

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

April 1, 2023
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Aug 28 – Dec 23, 2023 (17 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jan 23 – Jun 3, 2023 (19 weeks)
  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA

Overview

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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 multicultural cities. This Liberal Arts program is ideal for academically motivated students who only want to take courses taught in Spanish and are majoring in humanities, social sciences, journalism, economics, business, or communications.

Students will take courses at CIEE's highly selective partner school, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), and agree to speak only Spanish to facilitate language and cultural immersion. All CIEE students must enroll in the semester-long Advanced Spanish language course at the UC3M International School with other U.S. students – except if you are a heritage speaker. The remaining courses can be a selection of UC3M International School courses in Spanish designed for U.S. college students. Students also have the option to combine their registration with regular university courses with Spanish students on the same campus (Getafe). Outside the classroom, all courses are complemented with activities and excursions that delve deeper into Madrid's multicultural traditions.

Unique Experiences

  • PERFECT YOUR SPANISH

    by taking courses in Spanish at the local campus of one of Spain’s most prestigious, international research universities, the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M).

  • ADD RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE

    to build up your international peer network in a variety of ways by delving into class group projects, social activities, or an internship in Spanish for credit that aligns with your major.

  • \

    TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A VARIETY OF CULTURAL OPPORTUNITIES

    for maximum immersion at the host university, from student organizations and theater groups to wellness workshops and small-group tutoring that offer you insights into Spanish society and its multiple perspectives

  • ART GALLERIES & WORLD-CLASS MUSEUMS

    500
  • SQUARE MILES OF GREEN PARKS IN MADRID

    23
  • RESIDENTS IN THE GREATER METROPOLITAN AREA

    5 M

Location & Culture

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Madrid’s influence in politics, education, science, entertainment, media, fashion, and arts makes 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.  

Only steps away from the historic Puerta del Sol, CIEE Madrid is located in the heart of downtown with its vibrant cultural offering. The UC3M Getafe campus is a 40-60 minute commute by train to the south end of Madrid. 

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Madrid.

The Culture

FEATURED EXCURSION

Visit the world heritage site of El Escorial´s Royal Palace, Kings´ Pantheon and Monastery built under the reign of King Philip II of Spain in the 1500s. Located in the mountains about a one-hour drive north from Madrid, El Escorial’s impressive architecture offers visitors a glimpse into the daily life of the royal court, where decisions were made at the height of the Spanish Empire as a global powerhouse. Students have free time to explore the neighboring 18th-century village San Lorenzo. 

OTHER EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES

  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the medieval city of Alcalá de Henares, or hike the trails in the Guadarrama Mountains, on a CIEE-organized day trip 
  • Discover the flavors of Spain while learning to cook. Learn about the correct type of rice to use to make an authentic paella and try your hand at flipping a Spanish tortilla.  
  • Soak up Spanish culture with museum visits, dance classes, urban art and graffiti tours, and popular neighborhood visits to Lavapiés, Malasaña, or La Latina. 
  • Savor down-time with Spanish students while you  play basketball, frisbee, hike, kayak, swim, or catch a theater, dance, or music performance. 

PROJECTS

  • In CIEE sponsored workshops, learn about issues like culture shock, LGBTIQ+ life in Madrid, stress management, navigating the Spanish university, and how to put your study abroad experience on your resume, among other topics. 
  • Apply for an Internship (Spanish only) before arrival. Earn credit and beef-up your resume with international experience in design, marketing, or supporting an NGO – there are plenty of options. Students applying for an internship must submit additional materials during the course selection process.    

LOCAL ENGAGEMENT

Language Immersion. Practice your Spanish speaking skills and make new friends through the local language exchange and the Spanish student Buddy Program at the host university. 

Campus Life. Our students have access to all the same services and campus facilities provided for UC3M students, including access to gyms, sports centers, and libraries, as well as cafeterias, Wi-Fi, and student clubs and organizations. 

Home Life. Students in homestays and residence halls can enjoy meals with their Spanish families or other international and Spanish university students, making for cultural immersion. Try practicing your Spanish with your new family and friends abroad.  

Volunteering. Give back and create a deeper connection to Madrid. Students have opportunities to volunteer at local organizations, youth centers, schools, and more. If the local health and safety regulations permit, in-person volunteering will be offered. 

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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  • HOUSING

    All housing in Madrid is within a 40- to 60-minute commute to the UC3M campus in Getafe and Legané.  
     
    Homestays: Homestay placements may be with individuals or families, and hosts may welcome one or two CIEE students. Each student has a private bedroom and shared bathroom, with access to a kitchen, WiFi, and laundry facilities.   
     

    Residence Halls: These modern-style, WiFi-enabled dormitories typically house students in single or shared bedrooms. The residence halls have independent dining halls and laundry facilities, and are close to supermarkets, restaurants, and public transport. Meals, kitchen access, and laundry are not included in the program fee.  
     

    Shared Apartments: Students stay in furnished apartments with single, double, or triple rooms. Apartments have access to a kitchen and shared common spaces and are in local city neighborhood  areas with plenty of shopping and eating options.  
     

    Housing is tight in Madrid. Housing placement decisions are at the sole discretion of CIEE. If we cannot accommodate your first housing preference, we’ll let you know before you arrive.  

  • MEALS

    Homestays: Hosts provide two meals a day during the week.  


    Residence Halls/Shared Apartments: Meals are not included. Residence halls and apartments have direct access to supermarkets, restaurants, public transport, and independent dining halls. Students have the option to purchase dining hall meal plans on their own if offered by the residence hall management.  

Madrid, Spain

Where You'll Study

  • A

    CIEE Madrid

    Madrid

  • B

    UNIVERSIDAD CARLOS III DE MADRID (UC3M), GETAFE

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

  • C

    Getting Around

    Students walk or use public transportation.

Academics

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Academics

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 UC3M International School Spanish track courses, which are offered to international students and focus on the 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 25-40 minutes outside of downtown Madrid via efficient and modern public transit. 

CIEE courses are offered at CIEE Madrid, near the Puerta del Sol – a well–known public square in the city's center. 

GPA

3.0

Language Prerequisites

5 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent) 

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Program Requirements

  • 1 UC3M course 
  • 1 UC3M International School Spanish language course 
  • 2-3 Electives chosen from; 
    • CIEE courses 
    • UC3M courses 
    • UC3M International School Spanish-track 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; 60 contact hours 
  • UC3M International School courses: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits; 60 contact hours 

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

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. UC3M International School 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 UC3M International School Spanish track and enroll in regular university courses and seminars with Spanish and international students. 

Grading

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. 

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Language of Instruction

Spanish

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Courses

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Course Information

Course notes:

  • 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 a Spanish language class during their second semester if they complete Advanced Spanish during their first semester and may substitute with an additional UC3M course. 

HOST INSTITUTION COURSES

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UNIVERSIDAD CARLOS III DE MADRID COURSES

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 


REQUIRED LANGUAGE COURSES 
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 UC3M International School Spanish-track 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. 

UC3M INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL SPANISH TRACK COURSES 

Offered in Spanish. More information can be found on the university´s UC3M International School Website   

UC3M International School 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, UC3M International School 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 
  • Cuento en Español: Teoría y Práctica 
  • El Terrorismo y Sus Víctimas: Un Desafío Global Desde 11-S 
  • Español en el entorno académico 
  • 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) 
  • Literatura Española (siglos XIX y XX) 
  • Literatura Hispanoamericana (siglo XX) 
  • Religión y Sociedad en España 
  • 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.
"(GI)" denotes courses that originated at CIEE's Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple CIEE sites.

Scholarships

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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers 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

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.

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Spring 2023 19 weeks Deadline Passed Jan 23, 2023 Jun 3, 2023
$19,950
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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 = $14,208 **

Housing = $5,275 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $19,950

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 = $1,850

International Airfare = $540 ††

Local Transportation = $250

Books & Supplies = $300

Visa Fees = $160 †††

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500 ††††

Personal expenses = $2,000

Total Estimated Costs = $5,600

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.

See Scholarships

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

Based on full meal plan in student dorm

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

††† Students staying a full semester in Madrid require a visa

†††† If no consulate in your home area

Fall 2023 17 weeks Apr 1, 2023 Aug 28, 2023* Dec 23, 2023*
$19,950
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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 = $14,178 **

Housing = $5,275 ***

Insurance = $197

Total Fees = $19,950

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 = $925

International Airfare = $540

Local Transportation = $100

Books & Supplies = $40

Visa Fees = $160 ††

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500 †††

Personal expenses = $950

Other = $30 ††††

Total Estimated Costs = $3,245

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.

See Scholarships

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

†† Students staying a full semester in Madrid require a visa

††† If no consulate in your home area

†††† Covid test fees for entry to the US, if required

*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

Tuition
Housing
Pre-departure Advising
Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
Orientation
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

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

    Apply Now
  • 2

    CONNECT WITH YOUR CAMPUS STUDY ABROAD OFFICE 
    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.