IES Abroad Madrid - Engineering, Architecture & Science
97% Rating
(13 Reviews)

IES Abroad Madrid - Engineering, Architecture & Science

This program is designed for engineering, architecture, and science students who want to take courses taught in English or Spanish at two prestigious universities – Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and Universidad de San Pablo CEU. A range of engineering courses, from aerospace to telematics, allow opportunities for specialized study. And, general architecture courses, including introduction to architecture, drafting, and design courses offer students unique insights to their field. Science courses provide students the chance to study pharmaceutical science as well as food sciences, with courses in biology and chemistry, too. Students can mix disciplines or focus on single field for more concentrated studies.

Locations
Europe » Spain » Madrid
Europe » Spain
Program Type
Provider
Degree Level
Bachelors
Timeframe
Fall
Spring
Accommodation
Apartment
Host Family
Language
English
Steps
Online Application
Official Transcripts
Age Requirement
GPA Requirement
Health Requirement
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Contact IES Abroad or see website for details: www.IESabroad.org/madrid

Program Reviews

  • Academics
    84%
  • Support
    98%
  • Fun
    95%
  • Housing
    95%
  • Safety
    97%

Program Reviews (13)

Nicole
Female

An Adventure of a Lifetime!

10/10

I had the adventure of a lifetime studying in Madrid with IES Abroad. I lived in an apartment with other engineers and a local Spanish student, took classes in materials science and manufacturing systems as well as Spanish Art and Architecture, and enjoyed passing time wandering Madrid and its many parks, shops, restaurants, and plazas. While I traveled to many other countries during my time abroad, Madrid will always hold a special place in my heart thanks to IES Abroad. The staff was helpful and always available to help me feel comfortable and to help Madrid become my new home. My peers and I enjoyed participating in a cooking class, watching a spectacular live flamenco show, taking day trips to nearby cities, and meeting students from all over the United States, Spain, and the world. I am glad I was given the opportunity to take advantage of all that Madrid had to offer, and I encourage others to do the same with IES Madrid!

Gina
Female

A true Madrileña experience

10/10

The staff from IES Abroad made this experience a one to remember! There were plenty of activities for us to be a part of and helped us emerge into the culture easily. My host family was amazing and provided me with delicious meals and pack me lunch whenever I left to travel for the weekend. Classes were great because IES provides you with tutors and other resources. Madrid is a safe city for the most part and has a lot to offer! You never get bored and the people are beyond amazing! All in all it was one of my best semesters in college and I would definitely do it again!

How can this program be improved?

Possibly just integrating the engineering and language students

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Reid
Male
20 years old
United States
University of Michigan

The Best Five Months of My Life

10/10

I highly recommend IES Abroad Madrid. I had the best time of my life. The staff was super supportive and friendly. I was in the colegio mayor (dorms) and it was a great fit because I got to be immersed with over 95% of the dorm being Spanish, but I still had the freedom to live on my own. IES put on events and trips to meet the rest of my program and some of the friends I've made will be my friends for life. I already have plans to visit them all of the country. Madrid is a great place to study abroad as well. It's super easy to get around within the city, Spain and the rest of Europe. Madrid has the best metro system I've ever seen and an airport with cheap flights all over. It's not too touristy but there's still so many fun things to do. Without a doubt it feels like home. I cannot recommend this program enough! 10/10.

How can this program be improved?

More immersion events. More flexibility with living arrangements.

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Abdulwahab
Male
22 years old
Kuwait City, Kuwait
University of Rochester

Why engineering students should go to Madrid

10/10

Flamenco, paella, temperate sun, and a striking sense of fashion; these are a few things that I had anticipated to see when I embarked on my flight from Kuwait City to Madrid. I was equipped with my previous (and ongoing) study abroad experience in the United States, and I was ready to set off on yet another journey in the beautiful country that gave birth to Goya and Velazquez (Spain; in case you haven’t guessed it yet). I was armed with a set of helpful instructions from IES Abroad, which aided me in detail from landing in Madrid Barajas Airport till I got to the hotel. That night, I met the students with whom I would spend the most amazing times, as well as the instructors who would make this experience as enriching and as fruitful as possible. We set off to get tapas (Spanish hors d’oeuvres) with drinks; the first visit of many to come. Later, I had met with the host family that IES had paired me with.
My family consists of Carmen and Àngel. with their daughter Maria. Carmen and Àngel are both retired teachers, while Maria works as a nurse in the local hospital. We lived in Embajadores, a borough of Madrid which is right off Centro (downtown). I spent my first two weeks just exploring Madrid as a part of orientation, with my family and with IES. From visits to the Prado museum to the long strolls through the Royal Gardens, it was truly dreamlike. Toward the end of those two weeks, I was introduced to the University in which I would resume taking my engineering degree requirements; Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (The University of Carlos III of Madrid; or UC3M).
The engineering campus is situated in Leganes, a small city right outside of the City of Madrid, but still within the autonomous community (i.e. “governorate”) of Madrid. It took a daily 20- to 30-minute train ride from Centro to Leganes, but it really flew by every morning considering the beautiful scenic routes that the trains took. My classes had around 30-40 students on average, and the professors were really good. Everyone was bilingual, and the courses were offered in English and Spanish, on demand. Additionally, IES had appointed us with mandatory tutoring, which accounts for 25% of the grade of each course. This really helped adjust the students to the Spanish educational system, especially at the beginning. The Spanish system is a little different from the American one, but it’s not too wildly hard to adjust to. The grades are given on a 1-10 scale. There is hardly any homework, just a lot of lab work and engineering projects. Thus, the midterms hold quite a heavy weight, and so does the final (60%). However, the magical portion of the Spanish system is that you can virtually do nothing throughout the semester, and just take the final to account for your entire grade (a huge risk, but it’s an option for those who previously know the material, and have finished the practical aspects). In Spain, it is not so much about the value of the grade itself, but rather whether or not you passed or failed the class. So you can imagine that the rigor and amount of work expected in Spain tends to be more difficult, when a C is perceived to hold the same weight as an A; roughly speaking.
In addition to my three UC3M courses, I took an intermediate Spanish class at IES, whose campus was situated in Moncloa, in the heart of the City of Madrid. My Spanish instructor, Profesora Buesa, was more than just an instructor. She, as all IES staff, served as a general resource for all the questions and issues that were raised during our time abroad. IES staff were incredibly approachable and helpful, but they did more than just educate us. Every weekend, we had a cultural activity. These activities ranged from meeting up with Spanish peers, going to Flamenco shows (and classes), traveling to other places in Spain (there were so many trips that I lost count), to cooking classes. We truly experienced the beauty and diversity of Spanish culture, and we met some of the most amazing people with whom we made long-lasting friendships.
Overall, I would say that my time in Spain was definitely life-changing (and everyone who studied abroad will tell you same thing, and we’re not exaggerating). Spain is a place that I will be visiting repeatedly throughout my life. My hosts, friends I made, and instructors are people that I will keep in touch with. And to be quite honest, no one does it like IES. The guidance and the supervision are things I’ve lacked when I’ve studied in other countries (and I can say I’ve been to a few). A lot of it was redundant, but it was necessary. With regards to Spain: No es una “adios”, es una “hasta luego.” (It’s not a “goodbye”, it’s a “see you later.”)

How can this program be improved?

Better familiarity with academics on the end of IES, and better communication between IES and the universities.

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Neil
Male
21 years old
Rochester, NY
University of Rochester

Studied Electrical and Computer Engineering in Spring 2016

9/10

Don't be discouraged to pursue studying abroad in Madrid if you are an engineering major. I was able to take equivalent courses for my Electrical and Computer Engineering degree, and balanced the course load with travelling just fine. In fact, I was able to schedule my courses so that I had a free Friday, allowing me a 3 day weekend to sight-see.

IES provided students with a weekly tutoring session with professors of their courses, similar to "Office Hours" but held alongside other IES Abroad students in your class. These were not only very helpful, but also attendance counted toward your grade(about 20-25%). The toughest part about courses at Universidad Carlos III was the lab sessions. To quell the difficulty, I made sure to use the tutoring sessions to go over any problems in the lab sessions. Official homework was not assigned, but these tutorial sessions provided a space to clarify any issues during the lecture.

Others have written about the many tours and excursions during the program and I highly encourage students to go on these, even the optional ones. At best, they are a fantastic way to learn about new cities(Toledo, Segovia, etc) thanks to guided tours and at worst, they can be a fun way to meet other IES students and get free food! I always learned something interesting from these excursions, and wish I went on more during my time in Madrid.

How can this program be improved?

I would have liked if the Language Studies program and the Engineering Program had more opportunities to mix. IES tended to separate these students during excursions, but I would have loved to meet some of the people in the other program!

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Hayley
Female
New York, New York
University of Maryland

Magic of Madrid

10/10

As an engineering student, I loaded up on credits early on to make the opportunity of life abroad a reality. Like most engineers the options were limited, and as soon as Madrid was on the table I snatched it up and have yet to look back. Before the program, I had traveled to one other country and had a college career filled with engineering classes and void of all those fun jogging/wine making/art classes that my friends in other majors had sprinkled into their schedules over the years. IES stripped the engineering majors from the classic science/math only stereotype and allowed all of us to immerse in a vivacious, colorful culture. My schedule throughout my time abroad in Madrid afforded me the opportunity to experience Art History in the Prado and Spanish Culture and Language from the tongue of a native speaker. IES further arranged weekend trips throughout the Spanish countryside to places ranging from Segovia to Plasencia to Toledo. Whether planning a full list of activities or coaching us through scheduling and tutorials, IES was the premium trip provider in every respect. I left Spain after traveling to 12 countries, eating way to much paella, and basking in the sun endlessly in Parque Retiro, and yet still I have a deep hunger to go back--I simply cannot get enough. Just as IES made the transition to Spain seamless, the team's professionalism, positivity, and support remained seamless throughout my entire four and a half month stay.

How can this program be improved?

More housing options closer to the city center.

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Matt
Male
24 years old
Annapolis, Maryland
United States Naval Academy

Work Hard, Party Harder

9/10

Madrid is a city that never sleeps. The bars and clubs don't get busy until after midnight, and the cool people show up at 2 am. I absolutely loved studying electrical engineering alongside Spanish students during the day and partying with those same students all night.

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Eliza
Female
24 years old
Nashville, TN
Vanderbilt University

Better than I Could Have Imagined

9/10

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to study abroad. I love exploring new cultures and traveling to new places. I had been dreaming of every possible scenario of what my experience would be like before I left. Studying abroad with IES in Madrid was even better than I could have imagined. When I arrived, I was immediately welcomed by the IES staff at the airport. And this was just the beginning. Throughout the semester, I felt like the staff was always there to guide and help us while still giving us the free range to explore and grow in a new country.

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shurouq
Female
24 years old
Rochester
University of Rochester

La vida loca

10/10

For six memorable months, I lived in a small central town in Madrid called Embajadores. Although my Spanish was limited to “hola” and “cómo estás” before I arrived, I managed to get around pretty well! My host mom was phenomenal - IES does make sure that families are very welcoming and they check on you throughout the semester. She knew some English but she made the effort to teach me Spanish by speaking very slowly and talking to me about the different aspects of the Spanish culture over our daily sobremesa. Long story short, I highly I recommend living with a host family to improve your Spanish and get a glimpse of the typical family life there. When I first arrived to Spain I traveled to other European countries frequently on the weekends since domestic flights in the euro zone are cheap, but as my departure date drew closer, I realized how much I enjoyed the local trips that IES has organized and decided to explore Madrid more closely which turned out to be a great decision! IES organizes many trips throughout the semester but most of the trips happen during orientation. Traveling around within Madrid was really easy with the unlimited transportation card that IES helps you get during orientation - you have to apply online before you arrive though so I highly recommend doing that. I think letting myself get lost with my friends and learning how to use a real map rather than GPS always ended with an interesting story! Overall, I’m really grateful for the opportunity to expand my cultural awareness and widen my horizons. The incredible experiences I had and the long-lasting relationships I made will always be a reminder of how incredible it is to open your mind and heart to a new culture and embrace the little things, like the slower pace of life, the impeccable fashion style, the great tapas and sangrias, and of course, the being casually late rule!

How can this program be improved?

Start survival Spanish earlier and find a better way to help students get their phones during orientation. It was very hectic when we did it this year and many didn't get a chance to get a phone because we went to stores right before they were closing!

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Abner
Male
24 years old
Brooklyn, NY
University of Rochester

IES Abroad Madrid- Engineering

10/10

The program was overall amazing. The staff was extremely helpful and the city was beautiful. The people of the city were always willing to help with anything and there were always plenty of things to do. I must mention that I did not have a language barrier but through observations those who were not native speakers were doing just fine.

How can this program be improved?

I would make the program longer.

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Sami
Female
24 years old
Chicago, Illinois
Vanderbilt University

An absolutely unforgettable semester!

10/10

Choosing to do a semester abroad with IES was the best decision I have made in college. Being an engineer, finding a study abroad program you like can be really challenging, but I LOVED this program and am so happy I chose it! Not only did it give me the opportunity to dust off my Spanish, but as an engineering student, I got to take classes with Spanish students at a real Spanish university. This really made all the difference between a program with just a satellite university with all American students and professors and the IES Engineering program. I had the opportunity to meet so many Spaniards my age who shared with me their culture and lifestyle (and also gave me really great tips on what to do and see in Madrid and the rest of the country). The IES staff were so supportive all throughout the semester, making a point to check in at least every month and make sure we were adjusting well to the new experiences. Also, I loved having the opportunity to live in a home-stay for five months with a Spanish family. This was one of my favorite parts of living in Spain for 5 months because it truly immersed me in the Spanish culture, forced me out of my comfort zone, and greatly improved my Spanish language capabilities. Thank you IES for an absolutely unforgettable semester!

How can this program be improved?

There are very few things I would change about the IES program. I do wish I had been placed with a roommate as requested, but I understand organizing housing for so many students is really complicated. Even without a roommate, I still found it very easy to make friends and meet up with the other study abroad students (and even some Spanish students) living in my neighborhood. I also wish there had been more opportunities to take the Flamenco and cooking classes, as both were offered within a short time frame while my parents were in town.I believe the language students had more opportunities to take these classes, so I wish it had been the same for the engineers. Really other than that, it's a fantastic program and wouldn't want to change a thing!

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Xitlalic
Female
24 years old
Santa Clara
Santa Clara University

Fall 2014

10/10

I absolutely loved my time in Madrid, I was always busy and usually it was with something fun. The museums were great, the food delicious and the nightlife fantastic. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

How can this program be improved?

I would have liked to be much closer to my engineering school where I took two classes, a one hour commute each way was not ideal

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Olivia
Female
24 years old
United States
University of Michigan

Great Program!!

9/10

I absolutely loved my time in Madrid and am so happy I chose to study abroad with IES. The staff is incredibly helpful and supportive and they organize trips and events throughout the entire semester. You really can't beat this study abroad program...

Living in Madrid was a wonderful experience. It is a vibrant city full of culture and things to do. IES had multiple optional events like museum visits, cooking classes, dance classes, walking tours of different parts of the city, etc, almost every week. Even if you choose not to participate in IES events, there is never a shortage of things to do during the day in Madrid. And of course, the tapas, sangria, and overall nightlife can't be beat.

IES planned 4-5 trips to different parts of Spain, all of which were a great time. You can also travel on your own very easily since the Madrid airport is a major hub and most students can choose to only have class Monday-Thursday.

Housing through IES was also very good. I chose to live in a homestay, which most students choose. IES works extremely hard to match you up with a Señora who will fit your needs (though all of them are truly great). Most students lived in a neighborhood where other IES students were, and all of us were close enough to a metro that meeting up was no problem.

There's a pretty extensive selection of classes you can take since you can choose from three different schools. The majority of the Engineering classes are in English but you'll be in a classroom with Spaniards, which is great, and the classes themselves are not terribly difficult. Classes at the engineering school are hit or miss in terms of how engaging they are but the classes offered at IES are all taught very well.

Overall, IES Madrid was a fantastic experience. I couldn't imagine having chosen to study anywhere else but this awesome city. IES made the transition incredibly smooth and the staff is extremely supportive. I made friends through IES that will last a lifetime and I am counting down the days until I return to Spain again. Go abroad, go to Madrid, and do it through IES... seriously.

How can this program be improved?

Classes at the engineering school aren't the best, but that's something that is really out of IES' hands. If you're an engineer, chances are you'll need to take engineering classes abroad. They aren't hard per say, just pretty boring and most of the teachers aren't great. But IES does set every engineer up with a private tutor, so most students do fine. Classes never got in the way of my traveling or going out, so I can't complain too much.

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IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student should have the opportunity to

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