UAlbany in Madrid

 Faculty Led
  • Madrid, Spain
Apply Now! Contact an Advisor

With a presence in Madrid for over 50 years, the UAlbany in Madrid program offers students the opportunity to study abroad in Spain!

You may think of Spain as the country of flamenco dancers and bullfights, siestas and sangria, a slow-paced place filled with sun-kissed, smiling people. It is all this and much more! Spain is a country with a unique blend of old and new. A diverse country in both landscape and culture, Spain boasts seventeen distinct regions and its people speak five different languages. Madrid, Spain’s capital city, is an exciting international hub with plenty of activities to educate and entertain. The city is home to several famous museums – with one of the best painting collection of the world – and is one hour by bus from plenty of historical sites like Toledo, Segovia, and El Escorial.

Application Deadline

Mar 1 2019

Program Start


Program End


Partner University



  • Madrid

Program Term

  • Academic Year
  • Fall
  • Spring

Language of Instruction


Faculty Led


Internship Opportunity

  • Yes!

Program Details

Academic Program

No prior study of the Spanish language is required; however, all students will study Spanish while abroad.

With 11 tracks to choose from, you can create the study abroad experience that is best for you! You may choose to take your content courses in either English or Spanish. Of course, when in Spain, you will want to chat it up with the locals, so each program track includes language learning. In addition, coursework in Spanish, taught at the Universidad Autónoma Madrid as part of the DiLe program, is available for students with intermediate or advanced Spanish language experience.


UAlbany courses* taught in English include:
Fall 2018
  • Social Psychology (UAlbany equivalency: APSY 270) NOTE: prerequisite of APSY 101, Introduction to Psychology
  • Social Problems (UAlbany equivalency: ASOC 180, satisfies CHALLENGES and SOCIAL SCIENCE of UAlbany’s general education requirements)
  • Intercultural Communications (UAlbany equivalency: ACOM 371)
  • Elementary Statistics (UAlbany equivalency: AMAT 108, satisfies MATH of UAlbany’s general education requirements)
  • Survey of Art in the Western World II (UAlbany equivalency: AARH 171, satisfies ARTS of UAlbany’s general education requirements)
Spring 2019
  • Marketing Principles (UAlbany equivalency: BMKT 310) NOTE: junior class standing preferred, second semester sophomores considered 
  • Psychology of Child Development (UAlbany equivalency: APSY 203) NOTE: prerequisite of APSY 101, Introduction to Psychology
  • Human Communication: Language and Social Action (UAlbany equivalency: ACOM 100, satisfies SOCIAL SCIENCE of UAlbany’s general education requirements)
  • Elementary Statistics (UAlbany equivalency: AMAT 108, satisfies MATH of UAlbany’s general education requirements)
  • Comparative and International Politics (UAlbany equivalency: RPOS 102, satisfies CHALLENGES and SOCIAL SCIENCE of UAlbany’s general education requirements)
Need help determining which courses are right for you? Visit the office to speak with the UAlbany in Madrid Program Coordinator.

*Course may change year to year and offerings are subject to minimum enrollment
Teaching Interaction with Spanish Students 

Engaging with the locals is a wonderful way to become more connected to Spanish daily life. One way to make this connection is by participating in one of two conversation and English language teaching experiences. Acceptance into these experiences is not guaranteed and is based on available placements. To earn credit, you will be expected to participate on-site, as well as submit a series of journal entries and papers to the Program Director. You will be evaluated based on your on-site performance and cultural reflections.

Option 1: Conversation assistant in a private school (2 credits)

Work five to six hours a week in a private school (Santa Ana y San Rafael) assisting the teachers and children in classroom activities. As an “English Assistant”, you will assist with lessons, grammar, activities, homework, and other classroom activities, in addition to acting as a cultural ambassador. By participating in this course, you will acquire important and practical knowledge and experience in classroom facilitation and EFL instruction, as well as enriching your understanding of several aspects of the Spanish society, such as the educational system, the role of the family, and the daily life of a Spanish student.

Option 2: Teaching in interaction with Spanish families, in coordination with Canterbury Language (1 credit)

After taking a short introductory course on teaching techniques of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), you will spend one to two hours a week volunteering as a private English language tutor, assisting in activities designed to improve students’ English language abilities.


Part-time, semester-length internships in a wide variety of fields are also available. Enhance your future employment prospects with real-world work experience abroad. As an intermediate or advanced Spanish language speaker, you can elect to participate in an optional, 6-credit internship experience with a local employer. NOTE: An extra cost may apply for internship placement. Learn more about the optional, part-time 6 credit internships through EUSA.

Courses taught in Spanish, in the Universidad Autónoma Madrid’s DiLe program may include:

Program Tracks

Madrid Tracks, A through D

Madrid Tracks, Advanced, E through K

*Intermediate/Advanced students will take a placement test upon arrival

*Course offerings may change year to year and are subject to minimum enrollment

**Extra charge may apply for internship placement


Program Tracks based on Language Level*
Level equivalencies Completed prior to arrival  
Beginner 0-3 college-level Spanish courses
Intermediate 4 college-level Spanish courses
Advanced 5/6+ college-level Spanish courses

*Intermediate/Advanced students will take a placement test upon arrival.

Need help determining which track is right for you? Schedule an advising appointment, or visit the office to speak with the UAlbany in Madrid Program Coordinator.

General Education Information for UAlbany Students

Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.

Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students

Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.


All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary. 

Your Instructors

All courses are taught by local faculty in Spain, hired in conjunction either with the UAlbany in Madrid program, or with the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid’s DiLe program.


During the semester program, you may choose to live either with a homestay family or in one of several student residence centers located throughout the city. Both options are a short metro ride away from the UAlbany facilities/building/campus.


Living with a host family is a wonderful way to experience Spanish culture first-hand. Not only is it a great way to practice your Spanish skills, it also will provide you a window into Spanish families, customs, and cuisine. Your host family provides a bedroom and two meals a day, as well as laundry service.

Residence Halls

With residences situated in vibrant areas throughout the city, Mi Casa Inn and Colegio Mayor El Faro are the UAlbany in Madrid local accommodations providers. In these residences,you will be part of a diverse community of international students, as well as other students participating in the UAlbany in Madrid program. Bedrooms and common spaces are comfortably furnished, and community activities abound.


The availability and inclusion of meals in your program price depend on your housing selection.

Academic Year 2018/19

Estimate of Costs

For reference, review the Academic Year 2018-19 Estimate of Costs

More Information

Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.

Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.

Academic Requirements

No prior study of Spanish is required – absolute beginners are welcome!

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a 2.5 GPA or above are eligible to participate. Applications are welcome from students in all majors. 

Certain courses may have specific eligibility, prerequisites, and/or language level requirements.  

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning plays a critical role in your program experience. Both the overall program and individual courses include a number of cultural and historical excursions* to important and influential sites, so you will have the opportunity to experience the country and culture of Spain to its fullest. 

Recent course excursions and activities have included:

  • Prado museum
  • Reina Sofia Gallery
  • Walking tours to areas such as Barrio de Salamanca and Círculo de Bellas Artes
  • Food workshops
  • Cultural exchanges
  • And more!

Recent group excursions have included visits to:

  • Seville
  • Córdoba
  • Segovia
  • Toledo
  • León
  • Portugal (Lisbon and Porto)

*Excursions are a mandatory part of the program and specific destinations vary by program and availability.

**Schedule is tentative and subject to change

Funding Opportunities

Most financial aid and academic awards will apply to semester programs.

External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.

More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.

In Their Own Words

“My semester in Spain went very well. I really enjoyed taking classes, meeting my professors and had a wonderful internship with the Centro de Acogida a refugiados (Refugee Reception Centre). What I liked most about Spain and Europe was the architecture. The buildings are so beautiful and historical. There is so much to do there. I absolutely loved Madrid and I didn’t want to leave!”

Julianne, Globalization Studies

“I wanted to get out and see the world while at the same time learn about other cultures and immerse myself in another lifestyle. I chose Spain because Spanish is the only other language I know a small amount of and I have always been drawn to Spain for its beauty.”

Jennifer, Communications

I had an amazing time abroad; once I got past the homesickness and grew closer with the people I was surrounding myself with, I never wanted to leave. I loved how I was able to make friends that way, along with gaining a newfound sense of independence and seeing the world through their eyes. I also loved how Madrid had everything within walking distance, from the hippy neighborhood of Malasaña, to the relaxing Parque de Retiro.

Mitchell H., History and Globalization Studies

Program Advisor

Martinez, Andy

About the City

Madrid, located in the heart of Spain, is a capital city with much to offer. Ancient architecture, quaint cafés, the elegant Plaza Mayor, and the historic Royal Palace almost make you forget this city is a cosmopolitan center of economic and cultural development. In Madrid, there is something for everyone – from first-class museums to sporting events – concerts and films to theater productions – you will find yourself becoming a local Madrileño in no time. Yet, you will always find time to take a stroll down one of Madrid’s beautiful tree-lined avenues or through the famous Retiro Park or to stop for a café with friends. All that Madrid has to offer is only a few metro stops away!

Located in the trendy Las Salesas district, a block away from the Plaza de Colón and a stone’s throw away from the Paseo de Recoletos, the UAlbany in Madrid program operates out of the AIL Formación. With modern facilities, AIL Formación offers classroom, computer, and lounge space for students.

Travel Documents

A valid passport is required to participate in this program. More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.

Flight Information

Independent Flight Arrangements

You will make your own flight arrangements. You will be given a time frame to arrive to Madrid in order to be picked up from the airport from the Madrid team. If you arrive outside of the time frame, you will have to find your own way to the programs destination. You should plan to be in Madrid on the first day of the program. This is considered the beginning date of the program, and orientation will begin that day. If you are traveling beforehand, be sure to give yourself enough time to get to Madrid by the arrival date. 

Application Availability

Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:

  • Spring/Winter/Spring Break programs: July
  • Fall/Year/Summer programs: December

Academic Year 2018/19

Program Dates

Academic Year 2018-2019

08/31/2018 to 05/17/2019

Fall 2018

08/31/2018 to 12/20/2018

Spring 2019

01/17/2019 to 05/17/2019

Program Schedules

Fall 2018*

August 30, 2018

Depart the U.S.

August 31

Arrive in Madrid

August 31 – Saturday, September 1

Mandatory Orientation

September 3

UAlbany Classes Begin

September 10**

Last Day to Add UAlbany Classes; DiLe courses begin

October 12

Holiday (Columbus Day), No Classes

October 15 – 18

UAlbany Mid-term Exams

October 25

Last Day to Drop UAlbany Classes

November 1

Holiday (All Saints Day), No Classes

November 9

Holiday (La Almudena), No Classes

December 6

Holiday (Constitution Day), No Classes

December 8

Holiday (Inmaculada Concepción), No Classes

December 11

UAlbany Classes End

December 12 – 13

UAlbany Final Exams

December 15

Depart for the U.S. (UAlbany-only tracks)

December 20**

DiLe classes end

Spring 2019*

January 16, 2019

Depart the U.S.

January 17

Arrive in Madrid

January 18 – 19

Mandatory Orientation

January 21

Classes Begin (UAlbany content courses)

January 24

DiLe Orientation

January 28

Dile Classes Begin

January 28

Last Day to Add UAlbany Classes

March 4 – 7

UAlbany Mid-term Exams

March 11

Last Day to Drop UAlbany Classes

April 13 – 21

Spring Recess (one week)

April 22

UAlbany Classes Resume

May 1

Holiday (Labor Day), No Classes

May 2

Holiday (Regional Autonomy Day), No Classes

May 6 – 7

UAlbany Classes End

May 8 – 9

UAlbany Final Exams

May 11

Depart for the U.S. (UAlbany-only tracks)

May 17**

DiLe classes end

*Schedule is tentative and subject to change

**DiLe and/or Internship schedule may not fully align with the UAlbany schedule posted above. If applicable, refer to your DiLe schedule upon arrival.

About the Program

UAlbany in Madrid Facilities

Located in the trendy Las Salesas district, a block away from the Plaza de Colón and a stone’s throw away from the Paseo de Recoletos, the UAlbany in Madrid program operates out of the AIL Formación. With modern facilities, AIL Formación offers classroom, computer, and lounge space for students. Take a virtual tour of the facility

Program Orientation

Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The fall semester pre-departure orientation will be conducted the Saturday before the end of Spring UAlbany classes and in late November/early December for the spring term abroad.

Upon arrival in Madrid you will attend a multi-day, mandatory program orientation.  This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by the Program Director of the UAlbany in Madrid program. 

The information at these sessions includes:

  • A familiarization tour of Madrid with the Program Director
  • Information from the Program Director outlining life in Madrid, including cultural difference, safety information, and ways to get involved in community life, as well as an introduction to academic expectations

A welcome meal — this is a great opportunity to meet with other students on the program.

Support Services

UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your  preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.

On Site Staff in Madrid

The UAlbany in Madrid program is supported by local staff: the Program Director and the Program Assistant. They are your first points of contact while you are abroad. Together they are responsible for all aspects of the program, including coordination of academic instruction, housing, and cultural excursions. In addition, they advise on health care and travel opportunities, as well as facilitate adjustment to daily life in Spain.

Program Director

Dr. Carlos Vela has been with the UAlbany in Madrid program since 1993. He holds a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from SUNY at Stony Brook, as well as an M.A. in Peninsular Literature from the same institution and a Licenciatura in Art History from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Dr. Vela’s research interests include Cultural Studies, multidisciplinary approaches to Spanish Culture, and Psychoanalysis applied to Humanities. He has published texts in various conferences and professional reviews and has written two books on Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel.

Program Assistant

Dr. Lilliana de la Luz has worked as an administrative assistant in the UAlbany in Madrid Program since 2015. She has a long history of supporting study abroad programs in Madrid, having worked as coordinator with students from Boston College, Syracuse, Tufts, and Skidmore College, as well as having served a Resident Director for the Marquette Program.  Dr. de la Luz holds a M.A .in Spanish and Literature from New York University and earned her doctorate degree at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.