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USAC Madrid Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Madrid, Spain




2.5 GPA; good academic and disciplinary standing

Application Due:

Fall & Academic Year: 2/24

Spring: 9/24

Summer: 3/4

Program Cost

Refer to Application tab for more details

Academic Program

Gran Via in Madrid

This program offers a high-quality educational experience in three diverse academic areas: Spanish language, Art, and Spanish/European Studies. These programs are not exclusive of one another; students may chose courses from any area. All students are expected to take Spanish language coursework, although no prior language study is required to participate. A 3 sh internship may also be available.

The program is administered by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), of which the University of Iowa is a member.

University of Iowa resident credit is granted for this program.

For updated course offerings and descriptions visit USAC's program webpage.

Excursions, Cultural Activities, and Field Studies

Excursions & Cultural Activities

Students visit nearby museums, theaters, and cultural sites throughout the semester. One-day excursions may offered to locations such as Segovia and La Granja de San Ildefonso, Las Hoces del Duratón, Toledo, Salamanca, El Escorial and Manzanares Castle or the Valley of the Fallen. Additionally, a wide variety of activities are offered every week, including hiking, sports, cinema, bowling, cooking, dance clases, and guided tours. These excursions generally take place on Fridays. Dates and locations may change at the discretion of the Resident Director.

More information about activities can be found here.

Field Studies

USAC encourages students to enroll in an exciting four-day, 1-credit field study trip to explore a distinctive region of Spain; however, this segment of the program is optional for an additional fee. Participants will sign up for the tour or register for the field study on the Course and Tour Registration Form. Be sure to reserve a spot early as the tour fills quickly.

More information about Field Studies can be found here.

Parque del Buen Retiro

Professional Opportunities


USAC internships are rich resources for academic and professional development particularly in a study abroad setting. USAC internships are considered courses and count as part of your credit load. Students are placed in a Spanish-speaking environment, with high exposure to culture and language. Interns earn credits but no financial compensation. The schedule and the number of work hours will be determined by the schedule of USAC courses.

Eligibility and Fees: enrollment in the Madrid program, a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and junior standing at the time of the internship. Students must submit their resume in English and Spanish and the application forms at least eight weeks in advance, and include a short essay in Spanish describing what they hope to achieve as an intern. A refundable fee of 100 EUR is charged and returned upon successful completion of the internship.

More information about internships can be found here.

Volunteer Opportunities

The USAC staff helps students find volunteer opportunities in the local community. It's a great way to get involved, practice your Spanish skills, and give back.

More information about volunteer opportunities can be found here.

Program Dates

Fall: Late August to mid-December

Spring: Mid-January to late May

For exact program dates, visit USAC's program webpage.

For More Information

Emily Gruis, Study Abroad Advisor
The University of Iowa
Office for Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353


Situated on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, Spain is a strikingly beautiful and diverse country. The country has the second largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the largest number of World Heritage cities. Spain’s distinct regions means there is has something for everyone, from lush forests to towering mountains and stunning beaches to vibrant cities. Widely known for excellent food and art, friendly locals, relaxed lifestyle, Flamenco culture, bullfights, fantastic beaches, and lots of sunshine, Spain has been one of the cultural centers of Europe for thousands of years and remains one of the most popular destinations in the world for study and travel.


Madrid is the capital of Spain and located in the geographic center of the Iberian Peninsula. Its highlights include the historic center dating back to the Hapsburg Empire and several world-renowned art museums, including the Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-Bornemiza. In addition to a rich cultural heritage, Madrid is also a lively metropolis and scene of renewed cultural vitality which can be experiences in its variety of food, tapas, dance shows, music concerts, outdoor parks, jazz clubs, soccer matches, African, Asian and Latin American ethnic neighborhoods, one of the globe’s largest fish markets, and contemporary theatre and cinema.

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

The Rey Juan Carlos University is a young, public university with about 30,000 students distributed among four campuses. USAC classes are held at the campus located in the Vicálvaro neighborhood and are easily accessible via the subway. The campus combines old and modern buildings and has a new, modern library, along with a gym, computer lab, and two student cafeterias. Green areas and an active student body make it an ideal place for the USAC student to find the interaction necessary for successful learning of the Spanish language and culture.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

USAC students participating in this program have two housing options: a Spanish homestay or an off-campus apartment with other USAC, international, or local students. The city has an excellent system of public transportation and all housing is within commuting distance of classes. Inexpensive student dining halls on campus are available for lunch.


Students live in Spanish-speaking homes where three meals are provided daily. Homestays are the optimal housing arrangement because of their contribution to the program’s goals of language and cultural immersion. Participants do not need prior language experience in order to live in a Spanish homestay.

Shared Apartments

Students seeking an independent environment should consider living in an off-campus residence hall with Spanish and other international students. Students are responsible for their own meals. Apartments are fully equipped except for sheets and towels, which students should bring with them or purchase upon arrival.

Apartment facade

Housing Fees

During the semester, students pay monthly rent and the housing fee is not included in the course fee. Students will need to have a plan and budget in place to withdraw the amount needed for rent monthly. For summer programs, apartment housing is included in the course fee- homestay has a surcharge.


This program is open to UI students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA: Students must have at minimum a 2.5 cumulative GPA to participate in this program.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad. In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance, will not be allowed to study abroad, and are wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred.


The cost sheet outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid and planning purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill (USAC program fee, Study Abroad Administrative Fee, and mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance), as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic. Please see the respective websites for further details. Contact your Study Abroad advisor with questions regarding the cost sheet.

Semester Cost Sheets

PDFCost Sheet for USAC Madrid, Fall 2019

PDFCost Sheet for USAC Madrid, Spring 2019

Summer Cost Sheets

PDFCost Sheet for USAC Madrid, Summer 2019, Session I
PDFCost Sheet for USAC Madrid, Summer 2019, Session II
PDFCost Sheet for USAC Madrid, Summer 2019, Sessions I & II

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

Scholarship opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities, and Non-UI External Awards.


Withdrawal Policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to University of Iowa Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
During Early Admissions Period Administrative fee: $0
Course Fee: As determined by the program contract with USAC
After acceptance of USAC Pre-Approval Offer Administrative fee: $400
Course fee: As determined by the program contract with USAC
30 days before program start date Administrative fee: 50% or $400, whichever is greater
Course fee: As determined by the program contract with USAC
After program start date Administrative fee: 100%
Course fee: As determined by the program contract with USAC

Consult with Study Abroad Advisor Emily Gruis for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when withdrawing from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with the airline for further details.

How to Apply

Interested students should make an appointment with the designated UI Study Abroad advisor to discuss the program and the application process. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 319-335-0353. During the appointment, the advisor will provide full application instructions. Note: Application materials will not be reviewed unless a student has already met with the advisor to discuss the program.

The application process consists of the following steps:

• Complete the UI Online Application for Study Abroad. Applicants will be charged a $50 non-refundable application fee. As part of the UI Online Application for Study Abroad, applicants will need to upload a copy of their passport picture page and a list of courses to take while abroad.

• Complete the USAC Online Application.

Post Acceptance

Acceptance into the applicant's chosen study abroad program is made by USAC directly via an email to the applicant. Additional documents will posted to a USAC Gateway account for the participant.

Confirmation of Participation - Summer 2019

If you received notification from both USAC and your UI Study Abroad advisor that you have been accepted to participate in the Summer 2019 program, you must complete and submit the Confirmation of Participation form (posted below) by March 25, 2019. The form should be submitted in person to the Study Abroad front desk (1111 University Capitol Centre). Before submitting the Confirmation of Participation form, carefully review the program costs and withdrawal policy found on the Application tab.

PDFUSAC Madrid Confirmation of Participation, Summer 2019

Confirmation of Participation - Fall 2019

If you received notification from both USAC and your UI Study Abroad advisor that you have been accepted to participate in the Fall 2019 program, you must complete and submit the Confirmation of Participation form (posted below) by March 15, 2019. The form should be submitted in person to the Study Abroad front desk (1111 University Capitol Centre). Before submitting the Confirmation of Participation form, carefully review the program costs and withdrawal policy found on the Application tab.

PDFUSAC Madrid Confirmation of Participation, Fall 2019

Health & Safety Planning

All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.

Financial Aid

For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:

UI Financial Aid Information


US passport holders should follow the batch process instructions provided by USAC. Otherwise participants must apply for their student visa independently. The Consulate for all UI students is the Chicago Consulate; it is based the location of one's home university, not the state of origin.

Flight/Travel Arrangements

Students may either book the group flight through USAC or book a flight independently. Participants are responsible for being at the orientation site on time, as USAC may fine individuals who are late.


In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email