IES Abroad Madrid – Language & Area Studies

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About

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.

Our Center is located on the UCM campus, and this program strives to immerse you in the culture of the Madrileños through its academic options, extracurricular activities with university students, and housing choices. Several field trips take you beyond the city limits to sites of historic and contemporary interest.

Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships
IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

Value
$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.59 Rating
based on 64 reviews
  • Academics 7.5
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 64
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Cailin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Immersive Language Experience with IES Abroad: Madrid

I had a great time in Madrid with IES Abroad. This program was perfect for me because my focus of my abroad semester was immersing myself in a different language and a new culture. IES paired me with an amazing host family, who I am still in contact with. Additionally, they did a great job making sure that I continued studying hard but also exploring the city and country that I was in. Additionally, the group of students studying under IES was big enough that I felt as though I could meet many people like me, but not too large to the point where I didn't know everyone.

What would you improve about this program?
At some times, the program felt a little unorganized. Many pieces of information were relayed to the students closer to the date that I'm typically comfortable with, but it was overall fine.
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Miles
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study Abroad In Madrid, Spain: A Time Of Wonder And Excitement

Before I went abroad to Madrid, Spain, I had many reservations about what my experience would be. With only traveling out of the United States two times beforehand, I thought that living in Europe for an extended period of time was always going to be challenging. I was afraid that not only I would react poorly to my new surroundings but also I would not enjoy being away from home for so long. However, as I adjusted to life in Madrid I found that the reservations that I had were simply doubts. Throughout my time abroad, I was able to become immersed in the city’s culture by eating at various restaurants, visiting many important monuments and public sites, and learning about the historical significance of Spain in my program’s classes. Most importantly, I met a wide variety of people who were kind, generous, sympathetic, and open. Through study abroad, I was amazed by how I became more aware of the world around me as I was able to make life long friends and have many memorable experiences. I am incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to have studied abroad in such a beautiful, dynamic, and encapsulating country.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have more trips around Spain and throughout Europe. Earlier in the program, IES led weekend trips to Segovia, Bilbao, and San Sebastian. It would be great if I had more time to travel around Spain and to travel to other countries around Europe such as France or the UK.
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Jeremy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Opportunity

The IES Abroad Madrid program was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not only was the city of Madrid clean, entertaining, and my favorite city I've been to, but the citizens were some of the friendliest I encountered during my entire stay in Europe and most of my experiences in the USA as well. The program allowed us to mingle with local Spanish students while exploring various monuments and points of interest around the city. Also, my host family made the transition to life in Spain very smooth. While they didn't speak English, the ability to practice Spanish and learn the culture in more of an informal setting was very beneficial in the long run. The first couple weeks were a little challenging, but it was extremely worthwhile in the end. Overall, I did not have many complaints about the program. One of the few was the transition to having attendance policies for classes, which is very unlike most universities here in the states, but I understand the reasoning behind it and it forced us to focus on class, but the workload outside of class wasn't overbearing and allowed us to explore and enjoy my time in Madrid.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I ate kangaroo while travelling to Granada and it was very delicious.
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Olivia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Madrid Changed my Life

I spent this past semester studying abroad in Madrid, Spain with IES Abroad. The program I was a part of was affiliated with the local university, therefore, my classes were taught by local Spanish professors on a variety of different topics all in the Spanish language. My classes centralized on concepts of history, feminism through international female writers, theatre and art history. During the week my time was spent in and out of the classroom, one class specifically taking weekly field trips to the Museo del Prado, I spent my time learning in and utilizing my Spanish. In my free time, I lived with a host family, explored the city of Madrid, took a flamenco dance class and learned how to prepare authentic Spanish food. A large contributing factor that made my semester in Madrid feel so special was the people I shared it with. With the common interest of Spanish, I found myself surrounded by peers with similar interests and goals, as well as those I could learn from and grow with. With no wiggle room to take the easy way out, finding myself in a home stay where the only language universally understood was Spanish, I recognized an immediate hurdle. Although I had prepared myself to face this obstacle, throughout the first few weeks I was nervous that my own language skills wouldn’t be able to match my own personality. However, I surprised myself by being able to meet this challenge and exceed it. Although I cringe when saying it, my semester abroad was a life-changing experience. I interacted with a new culture, language and community on a daily basis and was able to learn a lot about myself in the process. This experience studying abroad in Madrid allowed me to grow my confidence and practice my independence.

What would you improve about this program?
We took two trips as a program during orientation and I would have loved to have a similar opportunity at the end of the program to celebrate the semester we had, had together now that I knew more people and felt more confident and established.
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Grace
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Madrid is amazing!

I absolutely loved my experience studying abroad in Madrid. I lived in an apartment with five other girls and it was great! I wanted a chance to live with peers in an unfamiliar environment, and I thought the idea of living on my own in a European city would be a very cool experience, which it was. At the same time, I had some friends who lived in a home stay too and they became very close with their families and loved the experience. I think its personal preference and what you are looking for out of the experience.

I loved everything that Madrid had to offer, the food (especially the tapas), the culture, the people. One thing I would highly recommend is to get comfortable in the city and explore new places. Madrid is a very large city with many things to see and do, the best thing (and my favorite thing) to do in a city with such a different culture is just to walk around the different neighborhoods and parks and see the day to day Spanish culture come to life! But the time really does fly by, so explore while you can and expand your cultural knowledge and language skills by just being present in the city.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I ate blood sausage which was super unfamiliar to me! But definitely don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone when it comes to trying new things abroad.
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Paige
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IES rocks, Madrid is the best,

There is no better place to study than the capital of Spain, the adventures are endless! Why would you study anywhere else in Spain when you could study in the heart of the country!? I have great things to say about my whole experience. IES Abroad is such an amazing program! The whole process from start to end was smooth and easy. They were very good at communicating details that were needed and made sure that we had all the proper resources before departure, during our stay, and upon arrival back in the USA. The program itself was amazing. I improved my Spanish while learning so much about the culture and history. The entire faculty was amazing and supportive while I was there. We went on various field trips as a program, and there were also so many other opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom. There were cooking classes, free tours, flamenco classes, and many other exciting events that we were able to sign-up for! I would highly recommend this program if you want to improve your Spanish, while being surrounded by the Spanish culture. IES provides with opportunities to interact and learn with Spanish students, and volunteer in schools helping teach English to elementary schoolers (one of my favorite memories! Overall, this experience was everything that I hoped for and then some!

What would you improve about this program?
I really can't think of anything!
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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Madrid, Me Mata! (Madrid, you kill me!)

Being in the IES Abroad Madrid program was truly a unique experience for someone who hadn't travelled much in her life, and suddenly was given the opportunity and funds to travel Europe! Madrid was absolutely perfect for me as a city girl because I felt 100% safe there, I had a great home, three dogs and delicious food every day (shout out to my host mom!), access to quick and easy transportation, and I lived a short 15 minute walk away from my school. Being in this program exposed me to being a true 'madrileño' due to all the events IES hosted, and all the resources they gave us when it came to exploring night life or traveling. I miss Madrid every day, and it will always feel like home to me.

What would you improve about this program?
I think this program could improve on introducing the students in the IES program with other student abroad programs in Madrid. I felt like I was in a little bubble sometimes when it came to expanding my social life, and I wish my program had more events/made more connections with other student groups abroad.
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Robin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Has Never Been More Fun

Before I went to Madrid, I was terrified of going abroad - there were so many unknowns, and it was such a big leap to leave all of the friends that I'd made at college to go spend an entire semester in a country I'd never been to with people I'd never met. But as soon as my plane touched down in Madrid, I felt more relaxed. All of the students were nice, the staff were helpful, and the city was beautiful. IES really made Spain feel like a home to me, with interesting courses and the ability to take classes at the local university and really immerse myself in the college life of Madrid.

Not only did I grow academically and improve my language skills, but I also learned so much about myself and I have so much more confidence now. I know that not only can I live on my own in a country 10 hours away from my family, where everyone speaks a different language, but I can thrive there. As happy as I am to be back in the States, with all my friends and family, a part of me wishes that I were back in Spain again.

What would you improve about this program?
The program could be improved by having better communications between the local university and the program, as well as more flexibility for classes - it was often very difficult to manage finding a class that would fit in a schedule, and there was not a lot of leeway to provide for students who wanted to really fit into the local university.