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international programs

Madrid, Spain

program description

The City

Madrid is often considered the European “capital of joy and contentment.” Although the city is a dynamic business center, Madrileños clearly enjoy life, taking time for long walks, extended evenings with friends over tapas, and dinner often as late as midnight. Madrid is a city of passion and drama, from the mournful beauty of flamenco to the intense baile of matador and bull. Madrid’s Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Centro Reina Sofia are world-class museums with works of El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera, Murillo,Goya, and Picasso.

The Universities

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

The Complutense is a large city university whose main campus is set in central Madrid. It is the oldest of Madrid’s public universities and the largest university in Spain. The campus offers a dynamic intellectual community, and its professors are among the most distinguished in Spain. Of special interest are courses in communications, art, history, linguistics, psychology, computer sciences, romance languages, law, and anthropology.

Universidad Carlos III

The Universidad Carlos III (Carlos Tercero) was founded in 1989 and is Madrid’s newest public university.  Located just outside of the city, it boasts excellent facilities and a dynamic and young intellectual community made up of renowned professors. BC students with post-intermediate Spanish skills may enroll in “Cursos de Estudios Hispánicos” (CEH) for American students, which include courses in Spanish grammar, conversation, reading and writing, Spanish art history, literature, and cinema. CIII offers a management major taught in English and Spanish. Students with advanced Spanish may enroll in regular university courses to be selected from the range of disciplines.

Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid

The Jesuit Universidad Pontificia Comillas was founded in 1890 and is located in downtown Madrid. The University is known for its international focus and receives about 800 students coming from over 200 universities on five continents. Most classes are conducted in Spanish and BC students need to have a high proficiency level to participate in this program. Comillas offers a full curriculum on two campuses. ICADE, houses the Law and Business Schools, and offers an excellent curriculum in business, economics, and law with a special focus on European studies. The Cantoblanco campus is home to Comillas Sociales, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. It offers a new International Relations program. Economics, law, political science and international security are the disciplinary focuses. The psychology program is among Spain’s best, and students have the opportunity to hold a non-paid internship.

The Program

The BC Residence Director organizes an orientation program upon arrival in Madrid. The orientation includes tours of the city and universities and provides practical information about living in Madrid. Universities conduct proficiency exams at this time for appropriate placement in their respective university classes.  The orientation is followed by an early-start intensive language program in Madrid in which students attending all three universities are invited to enroll. In addition to regular university course work, BC students may participate in a Spanish culture course taught by the BC Resident Director. The course integrates field trips with class work and is designed to improve language skills. Students are assigned tutors to assist with discipline-specific university classes.

Course selection

Before going abroad, the International Study Advisor at Hovey House shows students how to view courses on the website at their university in Madrid. BC students register for courses with the assistance of the BC Resident Director once they are in Madrid. There is a four-day drop/add period at the start of each semester.

Academic support

Students are assigned a faculty advisor from the host university. The Resident Director provides academic counseling and arranges tutorials. In addition, BC students may participate in a language-exchange program and are matched with local students to further develop their Spanish language skills.


Placements in homestays or dormitory-style accommodations are arranged by the BC Resident Director based on student preferences. Students fluent in Spanish may make their own arrangements to live in apartments.


Students are encouraged to take part in clubs and activities sponsored by their host university. The BC Resident Director as part of the Spanish culture course organizes weekend trips around Spain, such as day trips to Segovia, Toledo and El Escorial, visits to the major museums El Prado, Thyssen and the Reina Sofia as well as to the Royal Palace.