- Enjoy the benefits of living in one of Europe’s most vibrant (and comparatively affordable) capital cities: visit its world-famous museums (must-sees for Art History students), experience its fabulous nightlife, explore its unique neighborhoods.
- Join field trips to see the famous windmills of La Mancha, the stunning medieval cities of Toledo and Segovia, and the imposing monastery of El Escorial.
- Immerse yourself in Spanish culture: visit traditional food markets and sample its delicious cuisine, join the language partner exchange program at the university, or volunteer at a local school.
- Take advantage of Madrid´s “Río”—an area where you can play sports or go for a walk.
- Explore lovely Retiro park or the Sunday flea market, El Rastro.
- Practice your Spanish with local professors.
- The USAC Resident Director and staff are present on-site full-time to welcome and support you during your term abroad.
Why Study in Madrid?
Study in Madrid to live and learn about art history, Spanish language, and culture in one of the liveliest capital cities in Europe. Widely known for excellent food and art, Flamenco music and dance, fantastic beaches, and lots of sunshine, Spain has been one of the cultural centers of Europe for thousands of years. It was home to famous artists such as El Greco, Diego Velásquez, Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Salvador Dalí. The capital is a melting pot for all regions of Spain, and, more recently, for other cultures, yet it has maintained its own well-defined character. The city offers a wide variety of entertainment, cultural, and sporting interests. Madrid has a modern infrastructure, but has successfully preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighborhoods and streets. The result is a cohesive blend of old and new; cobblestone streets and monuments, parks, and plazas, alongside modern buildings and public art. In the same fashion, you may eat in a new gourmet restaurant or a century-old café. As you embrace and become a part of Madrid’s culture and meet local people, you’ll find studying in Madrid will be the experience of a lifetime.
You will be able to study Spanish language through a wide selection of academic courses in intensive language. Elective courses in Spanish and European studies, art history, Spanish cinema, history of photography, and drawing will give you deeper understanding of the complexities of Spanish and contemporary European societies. An intensive language approach allows you to complete up to two years of university foreign language coursework in only one semester. You may stay for one semester or a full year. You will have ample opportunity to practice your Spanish language skills in the bustling pedestrian areas, busy cafés, vibrant nightlife, and diverse neighborhoods that make Madrid a socially engaging metropolis. Your art history studies will continue with access to three world-renowned art museums: the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía National Museum. These museums, which are the pride and joy of Madrid, comprise what is commonly referred to as the “Golden Triangle” of art, as all three are located within a mile of each other. A more privileged place to study art isn’t easily found!
Classes are taught at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Vicálvaro campus), which is inviting, modern, and student friendly. It provides a great learning and social atmosphere. Outside the classroom, your coursework will be enhanced by a plethora of extracurricular activities, cultural and sporting events, and day trips to nearby cities. Field trips in and around Madrid also constitute an integral part of this program and students are encouraged to explore every facet of the city. You will also have the option to enroll in a 1-credit field study course each semester to explore Spanish culture and civilization. These trips explore Galicia-Celtic Spain (Santiago de Compostela) in the fall and Andalucía (Sevilla/Granada) in the spring.