IES Abroad Madrid - Language Area Studies Semester/Year

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The IES Abroad Madrid Program is designed for those who want to experience the vitality of Spain! Live in its capital city and through course enrollment at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), one of the country's most distinguished universities.

Students enroll in Spanish language courses as well as courses in their academic major. Field study trips are organized to compliment specific areas of study such as visits to television stations for Broadcasting majors or visits to congress for Political Science majors.

Four semesters of college level Spanish are required to be admitted to this program. Madrid is an ideal place to connect university studies to the city's business, culture, and politics. The IES Center is located on the UCM campus for students use and as a resource for any questions or concerns during the program.

Program Highlights

Enjoy IES Abroad Center amenities such as wireless internet, printer access, an outdoor swimming pool, a small library, and more.

Take area studies courses in Art History, Business, Cinema, Economics, History, Literature, and Political Science.

Gain work experience with internship placements in areas such as Marketing, Business, Education, and others.

Choose between housing options including homestays, residence halls, and shared apartments.

Take field trips to locations such as Valencia, the royal palaces, the gardens in Aranjuez and Chinchon, and others.

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Program Reviews

Most Recent

The Best "Me" Time Ever!

- United States

August 6, 2018

Being abroad completely changed my outlook of how I was living my daily life because it took me out of my comfort zone. I know that sounds cliche, but being able to have the opportunity to travel at a young age, meet new people, taste the flavors of new countries and be independent was incredibly transformative. I got to be reflective every day due to the fact that I had to depend on only speaking Spanish to communicate, bought myself food for each week, organized my studying, and lived with a stranger. Overall, it was a blessing, and nothing can compare to it!

My semester as a Madrileña...

February 11, 2018

I recently studied abroad in Madrid, Spain through IES Abroad, and the most wonderful, culturally-immersive experience of my life! In my program, I chose to live in a colegio mayor, or a Spanish dorm, which allowed me to not only meet students from all over Spain, but also from the all over the world! I met friends from Panama, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Czech Republic and more! I truly believe that living inside of the dorm was the best option that I possibly could have made, as it allowed me to learn about other cultures and gain insight as to how other people live. I loved that I was challenged academically in my program, as all of my courses were taught in Spanish, which allowed me grow and improve my Spanish-speaking competencies. The IES study center also put on so many different cultural events and activities for the students to further get immersed into the culture and local community: I did a month long Flamenco workshop, I went to a Flamenco Show, I learned how to make classic Spanish dishes at a cooking lesson, and so much more! I loved the location of the study center, in the heart of Madrid, and absolutely loved adapting into society as an honorary member of the city; eating tapas, taking the metro (and mastering it), and going to parks and museums in my free time. Madrid was my home for 3.5 months, and it was the best abroad experience I could have ever imagined!

Ya soy una madrileña (I'm a Madrileña now)

- United Kingdom

September 29, 2017

After one semester in Madrid, it'll feel like you have another hometown. Between cultural exchanges with local students, living with host families or native compañeros, and class options designed to immerse you in the culture, studying abroad with IES will lead you on an unforgettable adventure through this amazing capital city. I had opportunities to take unique courses such as History of Madrid and an art class taught in the Prado that were incredibly valuable for understanding the city that I called home for a semester. The staff at IES was always eager and available to help improve my experience in any way possible, my host mom assured I never went hungry (and I mean *never*), and I met a lifelong group of friends in the process. Take advantage of all that IES has to offer, and don't miss out on the excursions. Incredible guides joined us on trips to various locations in Spain, and we gained an appreciation for the diverse offerings of the country. And as one IES adviser pointed out when we tried to say that we were from the US: "sois madrileños", we'd been living in Madrid long enough to claim it as part of our new identity.

Taking books to the street: how a city taught me Spanish

- United States

September 27, 2017

Through my cultural Spanish class that all students in the program are required to take, and you test into a specific level, I was able to learn so much about Spanish lifestyle and the do's and don'ts.Then, I would spend my afternoons (I never had class after lunch) wandering the city and putting what I learned in class to good use. It is the perfect program to completely immerse yourself in the Spanish language. I developed my conversational Spanish so much with my host family, and I learned a lot more of the differences between Latin American and Spain Spanish. It was an amazing experience.

La patria

September 25, 2017

Studying in Madrid through IES was the best 4 months of my life. IES provides students with many options in all areas: hospitality, academics, and culture. The semester was riddled with explorative group trips that really allowed me to become close with my peers, and learn about the lesser known parts of the country. The academics were intensive enough to allow me to improve and practice my Spanish; however, they were not unnecessarily rigorous. IES really established a system where I felt that I was able to fully immerse myself to the Madrid lifestyle as much as I wanted. I met my current best friends, I meandered around Europe, and I fell in love with all things Spanish. I am hit with a wave of nostalgia every day that I am not able to sip on a cafe con leche paired with the ever so consistently delicious tortilla española. IES Madrid does it right.

Was I living in a dream?

- United States

September 22, 2017

For anyone even slightly considering studying abroad, DO IT! Do not miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. And for those considering studying abroad in the IES Madrid Program, I HIGHLY recommend it! I have never been surrounded by so many eager and supportive staff members. The IES Madrid staff is determined to provide you with a safe, enjoyable, and learning filled experience. There are also many interesting classes which teach you about the culture of Madrid and Spain as a whole while enhancing your Spanish skills. IES Madrid takes you on field trips throughout your time abroad that are very informative and a great way to get to know all of the other students and staff in the program. I have nothing negative to say about my experience studying abroad through IES Madrid.

The Abroad Experience that Changed My Life

- United States

September 20, 2017

While enrolled in this program I enjoyed my abroad experience a lot. I enjoyed this program specifically because it allowed me to get a feel for what it feels like to truly live in Spain because the program supervision was not overbearing, but there were enough activities that allowed me to feel a great sense of community. My only critique for the program was that students were rarely allowed to live outside of IES housing, which (in my opinion) did not provide the best option for cultural immersion. Overall, this is a great program for students to have low-academic rigor in order to fully enjoy their abroad experience.

Amazing Experience! 10/10 Recommend!

- United States

September 18, 2017

IES Abroad Madrid was AMAZING! I learned so much while I was in Madrid and wouldn't trade that experience for anything. Because Madrid is so centralized, I was able to travel to a plethora of cities within Spain and experience other countries outside of Spain as well. There is a wide variety of classes offered and lots of activities to participate in with the university. Plus, my homestay experience was incredible - I still talk to my host mom a couple of times each month!

Program Details

  • Age Requirement Varies
  • Contact Provider for Cost Details
  • Spain:

  • Subjects & Courses

    Art & Fine Arts

    Art History



    Computer Science & IT





    International Relations

    Languages & Linguistics


    Marketing, Advertising, & PR



    Political Science & Politics


    Religious Studies

    Social Work




    Women's Studies


    Art & Fine Arts

    Art History



    International Relations

    Marketing, Advertising, & PR

    Political Science & Politics




  • Year(s) Offered


    Terms Available

    Academic Year



  • Age Requirement Varies

  • Worldwide

  • Contact Provider for Cost Details

  • Typically the IES Program fee include tuition, orientation, selected field trips, housing, international health insurance, visa processing, pre-departure support, on-site student services, the IES Get Set! Guide, and the IES Family Guide.

  • Apartment/Flat



  • Experience Required


  • Online Application


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