Middlebury School in Spain

Video and Photos

About

The Middlebury School in Spain offers cultural and linguistic immersion through a rigorous curriculum and adherence to the Middlebury Language Pledge. By pledging to speak only the target language while abroad, students will have the best chance of acquiring fluency and actively engaging in the local environment. The program headquarters is in Madrid, at the Sede Prim, and students in Madrid, Getafe, Logroño, and Córdoba can take courses at a host university. All students are encouraged to get involved in the community through internships or interactions within the clubs and activities available.

Highlights
  • All course work is conducted entirely in Spanish
  • Students adhere to the Middlebury College Language Pledge
  • Courses at the program center and/or a host university
  • Housing in homestays, apartments and residencias
  • Internships available in many fields

Popular Programs

Madrid has more than three million residents and a student population of more than 200,000. With world-renowned museums, lively theaters, Spanish and international cuisine, a pulsating nightlife, and a deep passion for fútbol, Madrid is an exhilarating city. Students can take some or all of their courses at the Middlebury Sede Prim and up to two courses at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Getafe, a city of 170,000 just 30 minutes south of Madrid, gives students a chance to study at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid alongside Spaniards while still enjoying the cultural attractions of the capital. Generally, students live in Madrid, take a course at the Middlebury Sede Prim, and commute to campus for the rest of their courses.

Córdoba, a city of over 300,000 located in the region of Andalucía, is rich with the multicultural history of southern Spain. As a historic site where Islam, Christianity, and Judaism have coexisted peacefully for centuries, many legendary buildings remain. The historic walls of the city still stand, encompassing a thriving community packed with restaurants, museums, and flower-laden patios. Live the language with the Middlebury Schools Abroad!

Logroño, a city of 150,000, is in the winemaking province of La Rioja. This area, in the north-central part of Spain, is where the Castilian language has its origins. El Camino de Santiago runs through the city. The area’s culinary delights, lively population, and relaxed pace make Logroño a great alternative to larger cities. Students on the Middlebury program enroll directly at the Universidad de la Rioja.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

91%
based on 7 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 8.6
  • Fun 7.3
  • Housing 8.3
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 7 of 7
Elizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study in Madrid. Do it.

Studying in Madrid was a few of the best months of my life to date. The city is so alive. Life is in the streets. People are eating and drinking with their friends and family all night into the morning hours. And I'm talking everyone--middle aged people on a Tuesday night. In Spain, there is a presence and appreciation for the moment like nowhere else. The energy is inviting and exciting.
The Middlebury School provided excellent guidance and support throughout the entire experience. The staff is wonderful. I took the majority of my classes at the public university, Universidad de Carlos III, in Getafe. The Midd staff was continuously giving advice on how to best navigate Carlos III: tips for note taking, for speaking with professors, for talking to other students. They also gave advice for exploring madrid and how to best maximize our time there. All students in the Midd program had to take a grammar/language course at the Middlebury School, no matter where you took the rest of your courses (Carlos III, Autonoma, Midd). I loved my language professor. Hands down the best Spanish instructor I've ever had. In line with maximizing our experience in Madrid, she taught us the colloquial way. For example, she'd regularly tell us: "This is the grammatically correct way to do it, but in Madrid we say it this other way." The midd faculty and staff teaches you how to live in Spain--an immersive experience like no other.

Nina
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

You will learn Spanish!

Classes at UC3M are less engaging/intense than classes in the US, but the language pledge for Middlebury Schools Abroad will ensure you really learn the host country's language. In addition to the 3 classes at UC3M, students take a language class through Midd at the Sede Prim, which is very good. This program gives you a fair amount of independence. As a computer science student, I was able to take some classes in Logroño, but it was kind of a pain to have classes in 3 different places so if that sounds like you, try the other Middlebury in Madrid program at UAM

Audrey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study abroad in Madrid!

I absolutely loved my time in Madrid. The staff members at the Sede Prim truly care about all of the students, and were there to support us throughout our entire experience. I took three classes at the Sede, and all of the professors were incredible - the classes were all only around six students! I appreciated the fact that the course content was all related to Spanish history and/or current events, which helped contextualize the place we were living. Madrid is also such a beautiful and vibrant city. The people were friendly, the food was delicious, and every day was a new adventure. I personally couldn't have thought of a better study abroad experience.

Angela
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Challenging but rewarding!

I can't think of a better program to perfect your Spanish. Córdoba is small so you won't find many English speakers-which does kind of force you to keep the language pledge. The city is steeped in art history, so that's a great subject to pursue here. Finding apartments was challenging, and not all landlords are up front about the living experience they're offering. It's not the most hopping Spanish city, so I got some cabin fever (coming from NYC) but it's certainly one of the most beautiful.

What would you improve about this program?
Better assistance in terms of finding housing, better presence of Middlebury staff in the city itself. I felt like after we found our apartments and had gotten our programs squared away we were on our own, and while we had enough Spanish skills to function, we didn't have as much support as the students at the Madrid or Getafe schools, for instance. Also, the program should have a better network of people leasing apartments in Córdoba as I ended up with a pretty awful living situation since the landlord didn't enforce certain policies with my roommates and we had several facilities issues that he didn't feel inclined to resolve.
Jackie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great study abroad program!

The Middlebury School in Madrid (Sede Prim) is a great program with a wonderful staff. Studying abroad is incredibly fun, but also very challenging in many aspects (logistics, culture shock, academics, etc). The staff at Sede really made Madrid feel like home from day 1. Because they have the graduate students at the same school, there was time for interaction with them which made the experience even better. I took all my courses at Sede. They were extremely challenging but manageable and I definitely improved my writing and speaking abilities. I would highly recommend this program!

What would you improve about this program?
The strong focus on the Language Pledge which meant living in a Spanish-only apartment/home made finding an apartment in Madrid somewhat more difficult than expected. However, it also made for an interesting and much more rewarding experience.
Alex
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Fresh Perspective

One of the greatest parts about my experience at the Getafe program was the change of pace in both academic and social life. Living in a big city like Madrid and being forced to experience new situations (both positive and negative) brought on an immense amount of growth. The teaching staff at Getafe were very kind and accommodating to study abroad students, and the corresponding Middlebury staff at Sede were very helpful and informative in their guidance. If you're looking for some independence and a fresh take on academia, I highly recommend.

Cooper
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Live in Spanish

Middlebury's Language Pledge combined with studying at a Spanish University is optimal if your goal is to live, learn and connect in Spanish. You take a pledge to only speak Spanish during the duration of your study abroad experience. You take three classes at UC3M (the abbreviated name for Carlos III), and one intensive language course at "la sede" (Sede Prim - the Middlebury school in Madrid). I lived near Atocha station, the largest train station in Madrid that connects you to all lines of the Cercanias, the AVE, and a number of metro stops. My apartment was a 30-minute walk to the Middlebury School and a 5- to 10-minute walk to the train station that would take me to Getafe 3-4 days a week.
I loved getting to know Spanish students in my classes. I took one first year course on 20th century history of Spain and two third year courses in sociology. The students in the first-year course were younger than me (18-19), and the age difference made it a bit difficult to connect, but many of them expressed to me that it was exciting to meet an American who could speak Spanish. I really connected with the students in my third year sociology courses. Many of them took both courses with me - one on family and gender in Spain and the other on society and the environment. We often did group projects together, and they really helped me improve my Spanish - from talking in person to chatting via What'sApp or speaking on the phone. We spent time together outside of class around the small town of Getafe and got together every so often in Madrid.
The only downfall of this program was the commute. I didn't really enjoy having to split my time between Madrid and Getafe. Taking the train was a good way to get some reading in or finish up an assignment on the way to class, and there is a train that takes you to Getafe directly outside of the Middlebury School (extremely convenient!). I just had to get used to the train schedule. Having a 3- to 4-hour break between two classes on Tuesday or Thursday meant that I stayed on the campus and did homework (great for getting homework done), but sometimes I felt confined. There is a great gym on the UC3M campus, and many students paid for a membership so that they could work-out during a break before, after or between classes. I had one closer to my apartment that was cheaper though.
I liked the fact that we had to take a language course at the Middlebury School. It is in the Chueca neighborhood, near many quaint cafés and great restaurants. It's just north of the center of the city, la Puerta del Sol, which is a great place for tourism. The language course helped me maintain my connection with the Middlebury headquarters, the other students at the Middlebury program, and all the resources and help offered by the amazing staff there. Patricia (the director) was extremely helpful in helping me select my coursework. Lena helped me with all things related to technology and my visa paperwork. Teruca (Teresa) was awesome with helping me navigate interesting social dynamics and helping me secure an internship for the spring. Marta was amazing in connecting me with all the different cultural activities and travel opportunities in the area (and really helped me improve my Spanish). Laura helped with housing and setting up the different Middlebury events for the program.
I lived with four Spaniards - a guy from Valencia, a girl from the Basque Country, a guy from Italy (who spoke Spanish fluently and was doing his master's in Sports Journalism at UC3M), and a guy from Galicia. We called ourselves "la familia de la Charidad", a play on words (caridad = charity, and our landlady's name was Charo). The name speaks to the kindness and warmth that our landlady showed towards us, and the affection we had for the group living there. I was extremely lucky to live with these people. Laura had this apartment on her list from previous years. After seeing the apartment and meeting the tenants, 4 of us drew straws to see who got to live there, and I won. I highly encourage other students not to settle for an apartment without Spanish housemates. Ideally, if you want to learn Spanish, you will be living with people who only speak Spanish. My housemates were all older than me (26-32), and it was the perfect age range. We all really got along. It was vital for my connection to Spanish culture. I learned how to cook Spanish food and would cook meals and invite friends over often.
My favorite resource through the Middlebury HQ was the language exchange (intercambio) program. I met up with a guy from Getafe once a week (we usually alternated between meeting in Getafe and Madrid), a girl who lived right down the street from me, and a girl from Majadahonda, a suburb of Madrid. I became really close with all three of them and still Skype with them every month or two.
Having class with Spanish students at a Spanish university, participating in the language exchange program, and living with Spaniards were the most important factors that contributed to my linguistic growth in the Spanish language, but more than that, those were the lasting connections that made my experience unforgettable (and really hard to say goodbye).

What would you improve about this program?
The housing hunt was very difficult because we were all staying in hotels or hostels until we found an apartment, and there weren't many apartments that were ideal. It is hard to find housing in Madrid, especially when it is really hot and you're wandering around a city you don't know yet with a group of Americans who are also somewhat lost. They had Spanish assistants that knew the area and helped us find the apartments, but it'd be great if the program could find a way to make a larger, more organized list of the housing options available a few days before all the students arrived. It was very stressful because it is such a crucial part of the experience. A home-stay option is worth looking into. They provide that and have a list of people they have done home-shares with in the past. I'd say that idealista.com is your best friend, but never, ever sign a contract until you've seen the apartment in person!!