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One of the program's main objectives is to integrate students to the Spanish society.  We feel that a well-placed student with benefit most of his or her experience abroad.

The Program assists students in finding housing either Spanish host families or in residencies. Access to the latter is somewhat restricted depending on available space.  During orientation at the home institution, students indicate their preferences on housing and every effort is made to accommodate them to their choices.

Full year students have the option of moving into shared apartments during the second semester of their stay.

Prior to arrival, students are informed of their housing situation and address as well as the expenses entailed. Students pay their housing directly. One must remember that living expenses in Madrid are high and the program tries to find reasonably priced housing.

Once in Spain, the Program Asssitant monitors their stay and helps students with their adjustments. If the housing placement is not satisfactory, the student is helped to find a new location.


Most Spanish students in Madrid live with their families while they are students. Thus, GU students choosing to stay with a host family will parallel the situation of their Spanish peers. By living with a host family, they will have the opportunity to learn about Spanish culture on a daily basis: family dynamics, foods, space issues, etc. Though they must be aware that they are guests in the home, they often become quite close to the family members. Students must adapt to basic cohabitation norms but will also enjoy a lot of freedom in their leisure time. Students are not expected to do babysitting or other chores and do not have curfews.

All students should have their own room and receive two meals daily. Homes should have some internet access. Only one GU student will be placed per family and hosts are asked to not have other students from English-speaking countries to ensure that Spanish is being used continuously. They may lodge other foreigners or Spaniards in different rooms.

"Families" vary from single professional women to full families (couples with children and or grandparents). Almost all the families live in very central locations in Madrid. Those that are not that central usually compensate this by their excellent  relationships with our students. All families live near a subway stop. 

One of the many positive aspects of the family is their personalized attention to our students.  This is especially appreciated at the beginning of their stay (when students have not yet developed many friendships) or when they are ill.  Also, families are usually very accommodating to food restrictions, though we urge students to try to be adapt to the Mediterranean diet. Participants requiring special food needs would do better in families without children since host parents will be more open to prepare special foods. If food restrictions are many, we suggest students choose a family offering kitchen rights and cook their own meals. This option is very limited, but does exist.


Residences and dorms are somewhat restricted in availability for Spring students because of the Spanish academic calendar. It has a stronger year-long emphasis and there is little student mobility. Furthermore, a limited number of GU students are placed in each residence to promote more integration with their Spanish peers and not form American groups.

Residences range from large buildings hosting a couple hundred students to individual flats with 8-10 students. The larger residences usually offer more services such as internet, group lounges and cafeterias with different food options. The smaller ones are more intimate and warm, where personalized care from the staff is available and the food, though with fewer options, is usually better.  Students are normally placed in double rooms in the larger residences and in single rooms in the smaller ones.  Meal services include at three meals a day, though some residences may not offer meals on weekends and holidays. Since each place has a different set of norms, students must expect to be flexible with the residence assigned to them.  Students are responsible for meals that are not included in their particular residence.

Students have very restricted access to university dorms, though they offer similar services as the larger residences.

Generally speaking, in both residences and dorms, the rooms tend to be much smaller (especially individual rooms) than their American counterparts and most do not have a private bathroom. They also tend to be noisy. Most residences are centrally located. Food flexibility is somewhat difficult. Some will cater to vegetarians to an extent. There are also limited number of residences that offer kitchen rights, where students do all their own cooking.

Residences and dorms require a room deposit that the program forwards, but must be reimbursed if the student chooses to move during the semester. This places a hamper on changing student's housing situation if he/she is not happy in the place assigned.

One aspect of living in a residence is that students will meet peers in their early 20's, though many will be older students studying for State exams. Thus, there is usually a mix of students studying at different universities, different levels or in other academies. Since not many Spaniards study outside their home cities, many students in the residences will be foreigners primarily from other European countries or from the United States. The program will make every effort to place students in double rooms with another Spaniard.


Program participants are not allowed to live in their own apartments, except in the case of full year students, that may opt to move into an apartment during the second semester of their stay, and following program guidelines.


The Georgetown University program at the different Spanish universities (UCM and Comillas) is supervised by the staff, that alternate sites during the week to meet with students and run the program. Program participants have the staff's home phone numbers as well as the office phones and these are readily available for regular and emergency issues.


Miky and Ani at the 2013 Thanksgiving Dinner


Program Resident Director:  Ana (Ani) Flys Junquera

Ana Flys holds a Master in Spanish Civilization from Bowling Green State University and a BA in Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art (Temple U). She has worked for a number of University and High School study abroad programs in different capacities, including that of director, instructor and organizer since 1985. For eight years, Ani also coordinated the Association of North American Programs in Spain.  She designed, initiated and has run the Georgetown University program from its beginning in 1991.

Ani enjoys giving tours throughout Spain to student groups and jewelry making.               She is married and has two sons (Daniel and Paul). 

Program Assistant:  Carmen (Miky) de Miguel Reyes.

Miky de Miguel holds a licenciatura en grado in Biology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.  She has been in her position since 1995. She assists students in different aspects like identifying housing options, health care, legal paperwork, etc..

She is married and has two children (Iñaki and Blanca). Her husband, is a physician and is often a valuable asset to program students, receiving them in his practice and adding that extra attention that is so welcoming to students in a foreign environment.


Academic advisors:

The Resident Director as well as other professors (depending on the university) can assist students when choosing classes at registration. The Deans on home campus have the final word on their class choice and the credits these classes will bear.


All participants are encouraged to have a tutor for each class. These can be either classmates or graduate students and are paid for by the program.


In addition to the staff, students also receive the support from Spanish student mentors. Each year, a group of Spanish students accompany program participants in social and cultural activities. These often provide valuable links towards meeting more Spaniards and helping them  with their integration in Spanish society.

Language Exchange Partners:

Program participants are encouraged to participate in language exchanges with local students. The program helps make initial contacts with Spaniards and sponsors some activities to promote the exchange.


Academic Writing workshop and DELE exam prepartion:

Students participate in a writing workshop that meets during the orientation period as a group, and individually throughout the rest of the semester. The professors help student fine-tune their papers and oral presentations for their credit-bearing classes.

We encourage students to consider taking the DELE exam (Instituto Cervante's official Spanish language diploma) while they are in Spain since towards the end of their stay, their Spanish level will probably be at its strongest as an undergraduate. The program provides assistance and special tutorials for this exam that is offered both in the Fall and in the Spring. Most students that examine opt for the B2 or C1 level. This opportunity also show tangible learning outcomes of their passage through the program.

Intercultural Competance Workshops:

All students attend both cultural adaptation and re-entry to the USA workshops to help them with their adjustment between cultures. During the intitial orientation period, we focus on cultural difference and bridging the gap. Before leaving Spain, the program addresses re-entry issues as well as how their experience can be expressed in the professional field (CVs, in job interviews....).

Students interesting in maximizing their intercultual skills are encouraged to participate in a semester/year long coaching tutorial offered by Intercultural Understanding. Participants take the Intercultural Diversity Inventory (IDI) exam that measures their competence twice, at the begining and at the end of their stay. Students receive feedback sessions with the test results and coaching to help them improve their intercultural skills. The great majority show great improvement over the period.



 . A trained.   


The Universidad Complutense de Madrid hosts one of the GU programs in Madrid. Students in the Complutense program have access to all the schools though generally concentrate in the fields of humanities, political science, sociology, psychology and communications. Students enroll through the Reunidas program.

The Universidad Complutense is one of the oldest and largest Spanish universities with 120,000 enrolled students. It is highly ranked among Spanish universities and offers a large number of schools and disciplines.

This Spanish university main campus is located in Madrid and is easily accessed by subway and bus. Students studying Political Sciences, Sociology, Psychology and Business will go to the Somosaguas campus which is about a 20 min bus ride away from main campus.

The program office is located on the main floor of the Facultad de Geografía e Historia building.

Photographs of places at the Complutense frequented by students.


Spanish universities have just completed a curricular change, substituting the Licenciatura degree programs with the Bologna process Grado plans. 


Universidad Complutense, course offerings and schedules are found on their website. We have include links to the schools where GU students typically take courses. Other can be found through the UCM homepage. As "alumnos visitantes" students can enroll in regular classes (with the exception of first year courses) from most schools of the university. There are restrictions in a few, such as Medicine and Odontology.  In labs and studio arts classes, students need professor approval.

In order to find course schedules and course descriptions (when available),  click on the below links and find key words that will lead you to this information. Since each school and department has set up their own format, it can be confusing. Read over the documents for a better understanding.

Basic academic terms

Navegating the UCM website

Remember, each school designs their website a bit differently so you will need to look for the key words (described in previous document) in order to faind courses offered. Syllabi appear when clicking on a specific course title.


COURSE REGISTRATION: This will be done onsite after the add-drop period. However, students should come with pre-approved classes on their study proposals.



Georgetown students participating in the Universidad Complutense will automatically be enrolled in the Reunidas program. They will take one or two classes each semester from this consortium. Each school at Georgetown will determine the number of Reunidas classes permitted for credit. The remainder of courses will be direct enrollment classes at the UCM.

Universidades Norteamericanas Reunidas is a consortium of 6 university programs that host students from numerous American universities. Reunidas courses are all taught by Spanish professors (most of whom are directly affiliated to the Complutense University). These classes are offered to the American program students only. The Reunidas academic calendar varies a little from the Complutense calendar, but generally speaking, is compatible. Classes are held in the Facultad de Geografía e Historia. A wide selection of Spain or Spanish related courses are offered including language, literature, history, political science, philosophy and economics. Unique courses such as Spanish painting at the Prado Museum and a Service Learning class are offered through Reunidas. At the end of the academic year, students receive a diploma from the UCM.

The program directors of the member programs meet regularly to oversee the academic excellence of the courses offered as well as to establish common terms for all its students. The consortium has good relations with the three deans from the Humanities Schools (Philosophy, Philology and History and Geography).



Course offerings are generally similar each year and are found on the Reunidas website:  https//:www.ucm.es/universidades-reunidas



Also found on the website, the Fall semester falls between September up to the Christmas vacacion in December and the Spring semester is usually February through May.  It does not follow the regular UCM academic calendar.



Academic Year, Fall, Spring semester or Split year*

* When calendar and visa process allows

Universidad Pontificia Comillas (UPCO) hosts a Georgetown University program. This private, Jesuit university has about 7,000 students enrolled and participates in numerous international programs. Jesuit ethical standards form part of the university’s philosophy.

It is especially known for its Business and Law school (ICADE) and the engineering school (ICAI) which are located in the Argüelles campus in Madrid.  

The Cantoblanco campus (17 km from Madrid and accessible by commuter train and bus) offer studies in Theology, Humanities, Education and Psychology. 

Students may take courses in any of the schools or campuses with the exception of the translation school (that has some limitations and will be considered on a one to one basis).  

Photographs of places at UPCO Places will most likely be frequented by GU students. (Note: Pictures were taken while school was out of session).


Spanish universities have recently substituted the Licenciatura degree programs for the Bologna process Grado degrees. These degree plans are more similar to American university degrees since they are divided in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.


Information about the Comillas program can be found in the OGE website. The Universidad Pontificia Comillas webpage posts course offerings and schedules. We have included a video explaining how to find the information and links to the schools where the majority of GU students will take courses. Other can be found through the UPCO homepage. We also recommend you read these two documents.

Basic academic terms

Navegating the UPCO website

To find courses offered, the best place is to go to each school's website, look for the degree and click on the heading called PLANES DE ESTUDIOS. The courses offered will be listed there by year and semester, and are linked to the course decription and syllabus.

Links to schedules: Look for the heading HORARIOS for timetables.

Business and Economics degrees: (Madrid urban campus: Alberto Aguilera ICADE).

Law and Political Science: (Madrid urban campus, Alberto Aguilera ICADE)

Humanities (Cantoblanco campus: Philosophy, Psicology, Sociology, Social work, Education, Translation, International Relations)

Theology (Cantoblanco campus)

In eah school, special "Erasmus" classes are offered that are usually in the Himanities. These are designed for foreigners studying at a perticualr school. GU students have access to these if they are taught in Spanish.


Students enrolled in the Universidad Pontificia Comillas through the GU program, are required to take 5 courses per semester. Of these,only one or two classes can be special classes offered to foreign students.

When signing up for the program, and based on student's study proposal, a school of affiliation must be selected. If student primary take Business classes, they should select UPCO's Business school. If they mostly will be taking Humanities, then that given school. This does not limit students fromtaking classes in other schools, but the registration process will be a bit different for those cases. Students pre-register before arriving to Madrid and have a two week add-drop period to make any necessary changes.

Students will be taking classes in ICADE (Madrid campus) or the Cantoblanco campus (15km outside Madrid connected by a commuter train to the city). The library is found in ICAI, the building next door. The program office is also located in the ICADE building.

The Aula de Cultura offers non- credit bearing classes in a variety of areas such as debate, photography and music. Comillas also offers sports opportunities and religious activities. There are a number of student associations and community service opportunities. A psychological counselling service is open to our students as well.


All participants in the Madrid programs must be current undergraduates at Georgetown University.

Ms. Erin Pendle, the advisor for Spain and Latin American at the Office of Global Education (OGE), is in charge of advising students and processing applications. Selection is completed in the Deans'Advisory Board Meeting held for this purpose. Final acceptance is determined at the host university.

Requirements include a 3.0 GPA as well as a high Spanish level. Students may attend the program for a full academic year or one semester (if calendars are compatible with GU or another split year destination).



Non-European students enrolled in the program must come with a Student Visa from the Spanish Consulate that services their place of residence. Year-long students should obtain the 90 day student visa with multiple entrances to Schengen countries and, once in Spain, process their application for a Student Permanency Card. The program staff assist students in this part of the process.

Semester students may request a 180 day student visa that does not permit extension once in Spain, but does not require further paperwork either.

In order to obtain a visa, the Spanish Consulate requires a number of documents including certificate of good health, financial guarantees, academic acceptance forms and police record forms. Program students will receive acceptance letters and APUNE forms (that include most of these items) from the academic advisor at OIP.

European students do not need a visa. However they should register with the police authorities upon arrival to Madrid.



Once in Spain, full year students will need to obtain a student residency card from the local police. The program will assist them with this procedure. This card also permits students to extend they stay in Spain once they arrive (and should their original plans change).



Upon arriving to Spain, students should register their passport at the corresponding consulate. The USA Consulate permits on-line registration. For general information on passport registration and citizen services at a USA Consulate: http://www.embusa.es/cons/acsregistration.html



All program participants must carry Georgetown University Education Abroad health insurance provided for by CISI. Students also receive the International SOS card where they can obtain medical advise 24 hours a day. During orientation, students will receive information on how to use these services.



The International Student ID card is highly recommended though not required. It provides students with discounts entering museums and offers additional insurance


One of the program's main objectives is to integrate students to the Spanish society.  We feel that a well-placed student with benefit most of his or her experience abroad.

The Program assists students in finding housing either Spanish host families or in residencies. Access to the latter is somewhat restricted depending on available space.  During orientation at the home institution, students indicate their preferences on housing and every effort is made to accommodate them to their choices.

Full year students have the option of moving into shared apartments during the second semester of their stay.

Prior to arrival, students are informed of their housing situation and address as well as the expenses entailed. Students pay their housing directly. One must remember that living expenses in Madrid are high and the program tries to find reasonably priced housing.

Once in Spain, the Program Asssitant monitors their stay and helps students with their adjustments. If the housing placement is not satisfactory, the student is helped to find a new location.




Health is also a concern and students are provided with information on different clinics with English-speaking doctors as well as other physicians that attend students. The housing coordinator's husband is also a general practitioner and offers students valuable advise and assistance. They also receive information for counseling or help groups of different types.

All program participants carry the CISI student health insurance and the International SOS worldwide assistance services, during their stay abroad. The first covers health expenses (usually by reimbursement unless major medical), and the second offers a 24hr hotline that provide students with medical advise overseas. 

The program is a member of the Association of North American Programs in Spain. This organization provides emergency number networking, health statements and is in close contact with the American Consulate.


Students' security and well-being are a high priority for Georgetown. Program staff as well as the Office of International Programs continually monitor consular advisories and local situations to ensure that they are well informed and do not run unnecessary risks. The Resident Director is a US Consulate warden and a member of OSAC Spain. She would be immediately reached and advised in situations of crisis. 

Furthermore, phone trees among program participants and other security considerations have been devised in case of emergency. All program participants have staff's home and cell phones. 


Georgetown has established many links regarding health and safety, both for on campus and overseas. http://preparedness.georgetown.edu/



One of the most attractive aspects of the program is participation in the optional cultural and social activities. Comillas and Complutense students group together for these programmed events and are usually accompanied by Spanish mentors or Spanish friends.

A number of excursions are organized by the program to nearby sites as well as longer trips. Trips often include places like Toledo and Segovia, Granada or the Galicia region. Transportation, room, breakfast, and entrance to monuments are included. The program director, a professor or a tour guide accompanies the group and provides explanations to the sites visited.


Roman theater in Mérida, 2011


Lanzada Beach, Galicia 2012

The program places emphasis on local activities to help students "grow roots" in Madrid and thoroughly take advantage of all the opportunities this dynamic city has to offer. Normally the group will attend various dance events (flamenco, contemporary and/or regional), theater (classic, contemporary), sports (soccer and/or tennis), cooking classes, and social events (such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and tapas with Spaniards).

Local Activities with Spanish Mentors


Prado Museum 2012


Real Madrid game 2013


Retiro park 2013

Thanksgiving2013Thanksgiving Dinner at
Sobrinos de Botin Restaurant 2013

In their free time, students are also encouraged to do community service. The program staff helps them contact volunteer organizations where, not only will they be helping others, but will also receive a new perspective on Spanish society.

In addition to the programmed events, students will also be partially reimbursed for many of the cultural activities or museums they visit on their own.In most local events, program students may invite a Spanish friend to attend, thus helping students integrate with their local peers.

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