2.5 GPA, good academic and disciplinary standing
Fall/Academic Year: Mar. 1
Spring: Sept. 20
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The CIEE Madrid Open Campus program allows students to experience life in Spain's capital city while furthering their studies in a variety of academic fields. Students take two courses (3 sh each) per six-week block and participate in two or three blocks (12 or 18 sh total) per semester. To focus their studies, students select one of the following seven tracks of coursework: Art and Architecture; Business; Communications, New Media, and Journalism; Global and Community Health; International Relations and Political Science; Language, Literature, and Culture; or STEM and Society. In addition to taking the course(s) in their chosen track, students can enroll in courses from other tracks. Most courses are taught in English. Students with advanced Spanish have the option to complete an internship or service-learning project.
This program is administered by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) on behalf of an academic consortium of which the University of Iowa is a member. UI participants on the program join a group of students from other U.S. colleges and universities. University of Iowa students earn resident credit for this program.
Students must select one of the following academic tracks:
UI students must choose two or three academic blocks during either the fall or spring semester. Each academic block is six weeks long. Students take at least two courses per block, which typically equates to six semester hours per block.
Two Academic Blocks
Three Academic Blocks
Note: Although there is no required Spanish course, one Spanish language course is offered during each block (Beginning I in Block I, Beginning II in Block 2, Intermediate I in Block 3) for those students who wish to begin or continue their study of Spanish.
For updated course offerings, descriptions, and syllabi, visit CIEE's program webpage.
The academic program is supplemented with excursions to points of interest in and near Madrid that highlight topics covered in class. Participants visit neighborhoods in Madrid, the Monastery of El Escorial, and towns such as Toledo and Alcalá de Henares.
Students who wish to become involved in the local community can opt to volunteer. Common placements include youth centers, schools, and nonprofit organizations.
Fall, Blocks I & II: Mid-August to early November
Fall, Blocks II & III: Late September to mid-December
Fall, Blocks I, II & III: Mid-August to mid-December
Spring, Blocks I & II: Early January to mid-March
Spring, Blocks II & III: Mid-February to early May
Spring, Blocks I, II & III: Early January to early May
For exact program dates, visit CIEE's program webpage.
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242
CIEE Madrid is located in the heart of the city near Puerta del Sol and the Atocha train station. Students have easy access to numerous restaurants, shops, and public transportation.
With a population of about 3.3 million people, Madrid is both Spain’s capital and largest city. Students will be able to interact with over twelve centuries of history during their time in this distinguished European cultural center. Madrid brings together the excellent food, art, and cultural traditions of Spain while also maintaining its own unique identity. Both modern and historic architecture characterize this vast city, and students will have access to up-to-date scholarly centers and well-preserved historic buildings and streets. The city’s central location makes it a great transportation hub for students who are looking to travel widely in Spain and the rest of Europe.
Situated on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, Spain is a strikingly beautiful and diverse country. The country has the third largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Spain’s distinct regions means there is something for everyone, from lush forests to towering mountains and stunning beaches to vibrant cities, many of which are easily accessible through the country's extensive network of high-speed trains. Widely known for excellent food and art, friendly locals, relaxed lifestyle, Flamenco culture, 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.
The U.S. 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.
CIEE students participating in this program have three housing options: a Spanish homestay, apartments, or a residence hall. All housing options are located within 30-60 minutes of CIEE Madrid.
Students live in Spanish-speaking homes where two meals are provided daily. Each home accommodates one or two students, and each student has their own room.
Furnished apartments may have single, double, or triple rooms with shared kitchens and common spaces. Students live with other CIEE students. Meals and laundry are not included.
Residence halls have single or double rooms with shared laundry facilities. Students live with other Spanish and international students. Meals are not included, but residence halls may have dining halls with meals available for purchase.
Housing is tight in Madrid, so housing decisions are at the sole discretion of CIEE. If they cannot accommodate students' first housing preference, they will let them know before arrival.
U.S. citizens who do not have a passport should apply for one as soon as possible. More information about how to apply for a passport is available on the U.S. Department of State’s website.
Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. US citizens who need to renew their passport can find more information on the US Department of State’s website. The passport must be renewed before applying for the Spanish visa required for semester or academic year programs.
Expedited processing service is available at an additional cost. UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.
Students who are not U.S. citizens should contact UI Study Abroad (email@example.com) for information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their time abroad.
Students book flights independently. Participants are responsible for being at the orientation site on time.
Within the host city and around Spain, students will utilize public transportation such as buses and trains. Spaniards are also very used to walking, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes!
This program is open to UI students who fulfill the following requirements:
The most recent cost sheet for the program is included below. 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 (CIEE 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.
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.
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 CIEE Online Application.
Acceptance into the applicant's chosen study abroad program is made by CIEE directly via an email to the applicant. This acceptance notification will refer the applicant to additional documents posted to the myCIEE account.
Fall and Academic Year: Mar. 1
Spring: Sept. 20
Acceptance and confirmation materials will be posted after the next application deadline.
All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:
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.
U.S. passport holders enrolling in two academic blocks do not need a visa in order to participate. However, U.S. passport holders enrolling in three academic blocks must obtain a student visa from Spain in order to participate in the program. U.S. passport holders should follow the batch processing visa application instructions provided by CIEE. If students do not participate in batch visa processing, they must apply for their student visa independently and present their application by appointment at the Spanish Consulate. 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. Students are ultimately responsible for obtaining the necessary visa to enter Spain.
Non-U.S. passport holders should consult with CIEE regarding their visa requirements.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.