ISA Study Abroad in Madrid, Spain

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Madrid, the capital and geographic center of Spain, is a wonderfully vibrant city with rich cultural, artistic, and intellectual activity. ISA offers the chance to study at two great Spanish universities in Madrid, the Universidad Antonio de Nebrija and the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

The Universidad Antonio de Nebrija is a private and independent university which welcomes students from all over the world to experience modern Spain in a traditional university setting. The university aspires to maintain the highest quality of scientific investigation and academic instruction.

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) is an innovative public research university that is focused on improving society through the highest quality teaching and research. Founded in 1989 and named for Charles III of Spain, the University has been ranked as a top 50 university under 50 years old by QS World University Rankings

Questions & Answers


based on 8 reviews
  • Academics 6.8
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 8.4
  • Housing 8.6
  • Safety 8
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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I've been to Madrid 5 times before and studied abroad with 2 different companies prior to "studying" with ISA and I can honestly say ISA has been the worst company ever. Their policy is if something goes wrong it is your fault. If you find a problem with their substandard housing or education, then it's your problem not their. ISA Madrid and the main staff in Austin are completely useless, rude, and do not care about their students. Unwilling to help you, and in fact hide their shortcoming to make themselves look professional. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!!

Response from ISA (International Studies Abroad)

Dear Fabian,

Thank you for taking the time to review our Madrid program. We are always open to constructive feedback from program participants so that we can continue to improve and provide the best student experience possible.

It's truly unfortunate to hear that you felt your experience abroad was inadequate, after all the assistance that ISA has provided to you. While we continue to assist you with ongoing matters, we wish you had shared these concerns while you were abroad, not after you returned home, so that we could have been in a better place to directly address them and help you have a great experience. While you also did not like the host university, historically, ISA students have felt differently. In fact many expressed a sense of pride in being a part of this particular university, with it over 700 years of academic excellence and it being ranked within the top 250 universities in the world according to QS. Again, we appreciate your feedback and will take it into account during the thorough program evaluations we administer each term.

No, I don't recommend this program
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ISA Staff is the best!

International Studies Abroad is an incredible organization with FANTASTIC people working for them! They all helped me with every single thing I needed, were encouraging, supportive, fun, and great people to get to know!

How can this program be improved?
I just wish I had gone with someone I knew, but that is a personal choice.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Yo Soy Español

I always knew I would return to Madrid to study abroad ever since I visited for 3 days in high school on a cultural immersion trip. The city life, the loving people and the overall Spanish vibe provided me with the best study abroad experience I could have asked for. My homestay experience was everything I hoped for and more, I can't wait to go back and visit my host mom again! Universidad de Antonio de Nebrija was the perfect place to take classes for an American looking to meet people from all over the world while still feeling at home in the classroom. The ISA Office staff in Madrid are all perfect humans and will answer to your every beckon call. They really made you feel like you belonged in their city while showing you the best places to sightsee, eat and enjoy what España had to offer. Overall, my study abroad experience with ISA provided me with a whole new outlook on travel, culture and life in general and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Fall(ing in Love) in Madrid

Living in the city centre was extremely exciting, with plenty to do, you will most likely be busy from day to day. You will have class every day, which is extremely helpful in immersion. The fact that not everyone speaks English can be a challenge at first, but about two weeks in, you will be grateful for that, since immersion is the number one goal.

How can this program be improved?
Personal financial planning; it is pricey to live in the city centre.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Exploring my Spanish roots

I went to Madrid in order to fulfill my class requirements for a Spanish minor, and in my opinion I left with more knowledge than I could have hoped for. All of my classes were taught in Spanish, so I was continuously engaged in thinking and speaking in Spanish. I attended a small private university, Universidad Antonio de Nebrija, which allowed for small class sizes which benefited everyone trying to learn a new language. There is a placement exam on the very first day, so that the staff can make sure that every student is placed at the correct language level. As far as coursework, I personally didn't have that much because my classes were more focused on speaking.

I lived in a homestay that ISA handpicked and I always felt like part of the family. The family did not speak English, but they did speak slower and explained things that neither my roommate or I understood. The apartment was small and cozy, but had everything essential for my 3 month stay. The host family made an effort to buy and make food that was typical of Spain so that I could experience it all. Two home cooked meals were provided each day (no one really eats breakfast in Spain), and on days that I had an ISA excursion the family made sure to send me with a meal. I also happened to be in Spain for Thanksgiving, which is not celebrated there, but ISA wanted to make sure that all of the students felt comfortable so they organized a Thanksgiving dinner for us.

Madrid is centrally located in Spain and the metro system around the city makes it extremely convenient to travel around Europe. I was fortunate enough to travel to Barcelona, Santiago, Paris, and Rome on top of the trips with ISA.

The 3 months flew by so fast and my time abroad is all I can talk about. I would not trade this experience for anything, and I am actually looking at graduate programs in Spain.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would change is to explain the night bus system because I know the first time I used it I was very confused. I was just lucky I was with a friend who had already used the night buses.
Yes, I recommend this program
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An expected love

I went to Madrid not knowing what to expect, where I could go, and who I would meet.

Even before the first day, ISA was able to set my worried mind at ease. We were led through the visa application process and travel planning step by step (this included an airport pick up by ISA-Madrid staff).

On that first day I met my host family, who I still Skype on the weekends, almost a year after my program started. I could not have asked for a more loving and fun family to live with. A single mom, with two kids, would work all day, then come home and cook for us. She treated us like her own and I would argue that we ultimately became family.

Not only that, but the excursions included in the ISA program were a great opportunity to see more of Spain and grow closer to the other kids in the program. Whether it was Toledo, Salamanca, or Granada: we found ourselves immersed in culture and history. I made friends that live all over the US, but I still talk to them and laugh at all of the pictures and memories of our incredible semester away.

Finally, the ISA-Madrid staff was so helpful. Their centrally located office was always open to us to study, hang out, and ask for just about anything. My friends would need to go to the doctor, get a new phone, or figure out where the best paella was and the staff was always there to help.

I had such an amazing experience on my study abroad and I can confidently say that ISA had a large part in molding that.

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing, I would add more excursions to the program. We had many excursions included, but there were so many cities that I wanted to visit. Luckily, the weekends were usually free so we could hop on a 30 euro bus, and head just about anywhere in Spain (and often did).
Yes, I recommend this program
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My time in Madrid

I studied in Madrid, Spain this last summer and had an amazing stay abroad. I was so nervous going to Spain especially because it was my first time out of the country on my own and I feared the language barrier I may encounter. However, my time abroad turned into an unforgettable journey. I was able to indulge in the rich and beautiful Spanish lifestyle. I watched a real futbol game at the Real Madrid stadium and was even able to surf in the northern beaches of Spain! I made so many connections with students from all over the world and the United States. Studying abroad really opened my eyes both educationally and personally. I would have never dreamed of going to school in Spain, but classes were so interesting because of the different cultures imbedded in each one of the students. Every day was a different adventure and I am so glad I took the chance to expand my international experience.

How can this program be improved?
I wish the program gave me more insight about the university. Most of it was more about the time I would have there and didn't focus too much on what I might be studying.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Easily the best semester of my life

During my stay in Madrid, I can honestly say I was never bored. There was always something for me to do if I had spare time after classes or on the weekends. There was always another area to explore. I still want to go back and get to know Madrid even better. There was always a new restaurant or cafe to try, but at the same time I found my favorite little spots. The big city feel that Madrid gave me makes me want to return one day to live and work there because I enjoyed the atmosphere so much. The location of my residence was probably another huge part of my happiness. I was literally two minutes walking from the main square in Madrid. I love being in the center of the action, so I couldn't have been happier with my location. I was two minutes away from the metro station. I was 100 yards from a grocery store and plenty of places to eat. I could go on and on for hours about Madrid. I left knowing that someday I'll be back.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe I'm the odd person out, but I can't think of anything I would have changed. I had the Cinderella story of going abroad. Perfect roommates in the residence, great teachers, incredible ISA Madrid staff, great food in Madrid, and incredible times with new friends
Yes, I recommend this program


About ISA (International Studies Abroad)

As a leader in international education for thirty years, ISA is dedicated to providing university and college level students the opportunity to discover, learn, and enjoy a way of life other than their own. ISA offers a diverse portfolio of education...