Madrid, Spain PDF Print E-mail

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Quick Facts

Host Institutions:
  • Universidad de Carlos III (Semester/Academic Year)
  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Semester/Academic Year/Summer)
Eligibility Rules: click here
Language/Academic Focus: Courses are available in Intermediate/Advanced Spanish in a variety of subject areas at Carlos III. Courses are available in advanced Spanish at Complutense in numerous subject areas.  Courses in Engineering are offered in both English and Spanish at Carlos III.  (Click here for Course Offerings)
Volunteer Opportunities: Semester students in Madrid will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of volunteer opportunities (not for credit). 
Housing: All students are housed with Spanish host families.  Semester program homestays include daily breakfast and dinner and 1 load of laundry per week. Summer program homestays include 3 meals a day and 1 load of laundry per week.
Sample Day Excursions: Toledo and Segovia
Sample Overnight Excursion: Sevilla

Why Madrid?

  • Capital of Spain
  • International airport allows easy access to the rest of Europe
  • Some of the world's most famous museums including the Museo del Prado and the Reina Sofia
  • Cosmopolitan city, on the cutting edge of Spanish politics, fashion, film, theatre, art, and culture
  • Madrid's nightlife is unsurpassed

City Description - Large city of 4 million

A large city that can go from modern in one neighborhood to medieval in the next, Madrid is impressive both in size and status. Spain's capital not only sits conveniently in the center of the country, but it is also the country's center for art, shopping, politics, cuisine, film, and all facets of modern Spanish culture. It is also the home of the Spanish royal family. Covering 375 square miles, it seems amazing that there are only 4 million people living within its borders.

Madrid can be described as a city of contrasts. It can go from colorful to gray, from ancient to new, from quiet to bustling, in the blink of an eye. Although the oldest part of the city, called "El Centro," has narrow, winding cobblestone streets reminiscent of their 16th and 17th century origins, other parts of the city have wide, sprawling boulevards lined with shops, restaurants, flats, businesses, theatres, and everything one would expect in a nation's capital. This is just one of the reasons why countless students and tourists choose Madrid as their destination, and when it's time to go home, find the city's charm and energy difficult to leave behind.

The most famous sites in Madrid are located in the city center, within walking distance of each other. From the grand Plaza Mayor, it takes only a few minutes to walk to the Puerta del Sol, and then to Madrid's world-famous "Triangle of Art," which will make any art lover feel as if they have died and gone to heaven. Madrid's Triangle of Art is composed of three very distinct and important art museums. First, begin by visiting the majestic Museo del Prado, which is considered to be one of the finest art museums the world over. The Prado houses artwork from the 12th -17th century, its most celebrated works being from El Greco, Velázquez, Raphael, Ribera, Goya, and many others. In stark contrast to the Prado, and only steps away, the avant-garde Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía presents the opposite side of the artistic spectrum. The Reina Sofia contains some of the world's most famous modern artwork, including Picasso's tragic Guernica, and works by Joan Miró and, of course, the inimitable Salvador Dalí. Finally, a visit to Madrid's Triangle of Art would not be complete without seeing the fascinating and diverse collection at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. The Thyssen is actually the former private collection of a Baron and covers an extraordinarily wide range of periods, from the 14th to the 20th century. Holding the world's largest private collection of art, the Thyssen displays works from such varied artists as van Dyck, Caravaggio, Gaugin, Renoir, Degas, Monet, van Gogh, Picasso, Pollack, and countless others. Although some say that that the Thyssen's Baroque collection surpasses even that of the Prado, you be assured that one seldom finds such a rich variety of artwork under one roof.

Although Madrid's art is certainly one of its strong points, the city doesn't begin and end with just art! There are beautiful parks on both sides of the city where you'll find los madrileños jogging, reading, sunbathing, or just relaxing. In every corner of the city, you'll also find more shops, cafes and restaurants than you could possibly visit in a lifetime. 


ASA offers its students several courses of study in Madrid: direct enrollment at the Universidad de Carlos III and the Universidad Complutense. Courses at Carlos III are for intermediate to advanced Spanish speakers, and courses at Complutense are for advanced speakers only. Additionally, Engineering courses are offered at Carlos III in both English and Spanish.

Universidad de Carlos III

Carlos III: Cursos de Estudios Hispanicos (CEH)

The Curso de Estudios Hispánicos at the Universidad Carlos III is recommended for students with strong preparation in Spanish who wish to study various facets of Spanish culture in an integrated program: literature, history, theatre, art, cinema, journalism, law, and intellectual history. The Curso includes Spanish language classes at four levels, from intermediate to highly advanced. AYA students admitted to the Curso de Estudios Hispánicos will have access to courses such as the ones included here (note that language and conversation courses are on various levels):

Carlos III: Cursos de Humanidades

This is the liberal arts curriculum that is a general degree requirement for local Spanish students at Carlos III. Its one- and two-credit courses range from the arts, literature, history, geography, philosophy, and political science to cultural topics. These courses may extend from semester to semester or be offered at various times during the semester (for example, during the first half, second half, or during fewer weeks with more contact hours). While the Curso de Estudios Hispánicos and Regular Curriculum for major fields, such as engineering (see below), repeat predictably and are posted weeks in advance, the Cursos de Humanidades courses are scheduled and announced only near the beginning of each semester. The following is a list of course titles in the Licenciatura en Humanidades, 1-2 credit liberal arts courses meant to round out the educations of Carlos III students, whatever their majors.

Carlos III: Engineering

Students who wish to study Engineering in Madrid may enroll as alumnos visitantes at the bilingual program in Engineering (Ingeniería) at Carlos III (Leganés Campus). AYA students can take introductory and advanced courses in a variety of Engineering fields, as well as fundamental courses in Math, Physics, and Statistics. Through this bilingual program, students may choose to take courses either in Spanish or in English, though certain courses are conducted in Spanish only. Students who wish to take electives in the Humanities and Social Sciences in addition to courses in Engineering can arrange to take CEH courses on the Getafe Campus of Carlos III (see above for CEH program details), but must have at least an intermediate level of Spanish language skills to enroll.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

The Universidad Complutense de Madrid is a state institution with origins that go back 7 centuries. Today, approximately 125,000 students are enrolled each year, choosing among 43 different areas of study. Unlike many Spanish universities, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid has a campus that is similar to the campuses of many American univerisities. With large, stone buildings, playing fields, and students walking between buildings at all hours, it makes students quickly feel at home. Since the university is almost twice as old as the oldest and largest American universities, your Madrid campus will have a history as old and colorful as the country itself.

Complutense: Alumno Visitante

Studying for a semester or academic year at the Complutense as an alumno/a visitante is demanding in several ways: it requires fluency in Spanish, excellent preparation in the major subject, and extension of the term or academic year by approximately a month in order to take final examinations. The levels of the Complutense Licenciatura are normally designated PRIMER CICLO (courses from the first three years of study), and SEGUNDO CICLO (courses from the fourth and fifth years of the major). Any student intending to study as an alumno visitante at the Complutense for only one semester will not be permitted to take annual courses, that is, courses that extend through two semesters. The minimum number of credits is 18: three six-credit courses.

Complutense: Summer Students

As a summer student in the Language and Culture program at the Complutense, you will have the opportunity to study all facets of the Spanish language in the capital city of Spain. You will develop communication skills both written and verbal, and improving grammar and comprehension all while absorbing Spanish culture as a visiting student.


Costs and Dates

Please CLICK HERE for Costs and Dates.  

What's Included - Madrid

  • ROOM & BOARD: With a Spanish host family - rooms may be double occupancy.  Semester program homestays include daily breakfast and dinner and 1 load of laundry per week. Summer program homestays include 3 meals a day and 1 load of laundry per week.  
  • EXCURSIONS: 2 day excursions and 1 overnight excursion
  • TUITION at one of the following host universities: Universidad de Carlos III or Universidad Complutense
  • ACADEMIC CREDITS: Students who receive pre-approval from their home institution can transfer the credits they earn to their home institution.  Students can earn 5-30 semester hours or 8-42 quarter units of credit, depending upon the length of the program.
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: At the conclusion of the program, an official transcript from your host university will be sent to your home institution.
  • CELL PHONE: ASA provides one cell phone for each student.  Students are responsible for the cost of phone usage.
  • METRO PASS: Students receive a monthly Metro pass that allows them free unlimited travel on the Metro. (Semester programs only)
  • AIRPORT PICK-UP: At the designated airport for students who arrive on the official arrival date by the designated time.
  • MEDICAL INSURANCE: For a Description of Coverage, please visit our Information Library.
  • SITE DIRECTOR: On-site to assist students with any academic or cultural difficulties they may encounter.
  • VISA ADVISING:  While students are ultimately responsible for obtaining their visa (if required for their term/host country), ASA will provide detailed, helpful information upon acceptance as to which visa students will need and how to go about applying for one.  Please click here and scroll down to "Student Visa Information" to find out if a visa is required for your program.

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Books & materials
  • Personal expenses
  • Student visa, if required
  • Daily lunch, if living with a host family during Semester programs
  • Meals on excursions
  • $500 Damage Deposit, paid to ASA at least 30 days prior to departure (Refundable upon return. Applicable only to Summer program students who choose student apartment housing.)

Click here for Billing Information and Cancellation/Refund Policy

NOTE: If you need a "Costs of Attendance" budget for your financial aid office, or simply need more details about the additional costs listed above, please email chelsea(at)

Program Itinerary

Please CLICK HERE for detailed program itineraries.


If you have questions about HOW TO APPLY and make sure your credits transfer back to your home university, please CLICK HERE.

We encourage both prospective students and parents, as well as those who have already been accepted to an ASA program, to visit our INFORMATION LIBRARY. Here you will find tons of helpful info to help you know what to plan for and what to expect, such as:

  • ASA Guide to Study Abroad
  • Student Visa info
  • Medical Insurance info
  • Booking your flight
  • Financial Aid info