Study Abroad

IES Madrid: Language and Area Studies

  • Location: Madrid, Spain
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Language of Instruction: Spanish
  • Class Eligibility: Juniors


COVID-19 Protocols and Travel Warnings

  • You can read about this program’s COVID-19 safety protocols at this link, then read the CDC Travel Warning and U.S. State Department Travel Advisory at the respective links. For more information about Haverford College Study Abroad and the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, read the Study Abroad homepage here.
  • IES requires all study abroad students to be fully vaccinated before they can participate in any IES program. 

IES Abroad Zoom Around the World Virtual Information Sessions

Madrid is an ideal place to connect university studies to the city’s business, culture, and politics. The modern metropolis is made of different districts, or “barrios,” that each has its own distinctive feel. The art scene cultivates up-and-coming filmmakers, dramatists and writers. There are countless sites to visit including the Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum (where Pablo Picasso’s Guernica hangs). Madrid is also host to one of the most famous bullfighting rings in the world, Las Ventas. The city boasts an exciting nightlife, referred to as La Movida. IES center is located on the campus of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Students must have completed four semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent). Students must have taken an appropriate level Spanish course no more than one year prior to the program start date. Students enrolling in the Heritage Speakers Program must be native speakers or near fluent to participate. Some university courses are not available to sophomores. It is preferred that students be enrolled in a Spanish course the semester before they are expecting to study abroad.

Academic Credit

Students must carry 15 credit hours per semester. Students are not permitted to take less than 15 credits unless they have the permission of their dean and advisor in advance. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.

Spanish majors must take their major/minor courses in Spanish at the University. Spanish majors cannot take courses toward their major at the IES Center.  Spanish minors must take the majority of their courses in Spanish at the University.  Non-Spanish major/minor students are encouraged to enroll in at least one course at one of the universities.


IES courses offered in Spanish Language, Art History, Communication, Economics, Film Studies, History, International Business, International Relations, Literature, Political Science, Theater, and Women’s Studies.  You may also enroll in a variety of courses taught at the second and third years at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and the Universidad CEU San Pablo. If you register for courses at the local partner universities, you will have full privileges to university activities and facilities.  Courses at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid are offered in the faculties of Fine Arts, Political Science and Sociology, Philology, Philosophy, Geography and History, and Computer Science, and in the schools of Cerámica de la Moncloa, Ayuntamiento de Madrid and Ciencias Empresariales.

The principal focus of the courses at the IES Center is the development of the students’ ability to communicate in Spanish by strengthening their oral and written skills. Students may take classes at the Universidad Compultense de Madrid.  Special program are available for Spanish bilinguals and heritage speakers.

Beyond the classroom, IES Abroad internship placements are available in a variety of public and private organizations. The strong emphasis on language study supports students in these courses as well as in the cultural components of the program, giving students the tools students need to truly integrate students into Spanish life.

Course Highlights

Art History, Cities,Communication, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Film Studies, History, International Business, International Relations, Literature, Political Science, Spanish Language, Theater, Urban Studies, Women’s Studies

Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad


10-days of lectures on language and Spanish culture and academic life, visits to sites around the city, and a 4-day field trip.

Number of Students

Approximately 100 students attend each semester.

Housing/Meal Plans

Homestay family – Students receive breakfast and one additional meal per day. The homestay with kitchen privileges option is not permitted.

Colegios Mayores – Colegios Mayores are dorms located on the Complutense campus and throughout the city. This housing option includes up to 20 meals per week in student cafeterias. Colegios Mayores are ideal for outgoing students with a high level of Spanish language who want to integrate into local, more traditional student culture, participate in Colegio activities, and are willing to abide by the rules of the Colegio. This housing option is limited.

Haverford students may not opt for independent off-campus housing – that is, housing not arranged by the program.


IES Abroad Zoom Around the World Virtual Information Sessions

Additional Resources

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • PDF
  • Program List


  • Semester


  • Semester I: Late August to early December
  • Semester II: Mid-January to late May/early June

Application Deadlines

  • Semester I: March 1
  • Semester II: September 15

Faculty Contact