Skip to main content

Madrid Language & Area Studies

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Program sponsor: IES Abroad

High Angle View Of City Street, Madrid

The Madrid Language & Area Studies program is designed for students who want to experience the vitality of Spain and the large urban university environment of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), one of the country’s most distinguished universities. This program strives to immerse students in the culture of the Madrileños through its academic options, extracurricular activities with university students, excursions, and housing choices. In addition to a required Spanish course, students have the option to take a wide variety of IES Abroad-taught courses, as well as local university courses taught in Spanish.

Begin Application Process

Program Requirements


Open to students from all majors with a minimum 2.75 GPA.


  • 2 years (completion of 121-3 or 125) or the equivalent of college-level Spanish.
  • Enrollment in a Spanish course at Northwestern within the academic year prior to the program start date.


  1. Apply for permission to study abroad
    All students are required to apply for permission to study abroad. Learn more about the process, deadlines, and access the application on the apply to study abroad page.
  2. Apply for your study abroad program
    All affiliated programs and all Northwestern exchange programs require an additional external program application. Complete a IES Abroad application by the program's deadline.


Program Contacts

Estimated Credit

4 - 6 Northwestern units. Visit Registration & Credit to learn more about credit types and requirements, registration, and other considerations.


Homestays – Live in Spanish homes with señoras or families and eat breakfast and one additional meal per day (either lunch or dinner) with your hosts when the program is in session. In many cases, more than one IES Abroad student is placed with a señora or family.

Apartments – Share apartments located in residential areas near the IES Abroad Madrid Center. Apartments are furnished, including a fully-equipped kitchen. Utilities, regular cleaning, and wireless Internet access are included. Space is limited, and meals are not included.

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. Space is limited. 

NOTE: Spots in Apartments and in the Colegios are limited and not guaranteed. Students should be flexible and understand that they may not be placed in their preferred housing. 

Program Cost

Study abroad program costs vary widely and may be more or less expensive than studying at Northwestern. Review the comparison.

Fall 2019: $26,525

Estimated Additional Costs
  • Housing & insurance: $4,110
  • Meals: $1,600
  • Airfare: $995
  • Books & supplies: $250
  • Local transportation: $260
  • Personal expenses: $2,000
  • Visa: $160

Total: $9,375

Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • Financial aid is based on the total cost of the program, including all expenses outlined above.
  • Visit the IES Abroad website for information about their available scholarships. 
  • Students are also encouraged to apply for other study abroad scholarships.

Program Financial Details

This section outlines some of the billing and financial arrangements for affiliated IES Abroad programs, and is intended as a guide to help you navigate the financial aspects of your study abroad process. You should always refer to your program materials for the most current information and instructions.


After you are accepted to an IES program, you will be required to pay a deposit directly to IES to confirm your participation on the program. It is your responsibility to pay the deposit; Northwestern cannot pay or waive deposits for affiliated programs.

Northwestern Invoice

Your Northwestern invoice will be issued through CAESAR on the regular quarterly schedule, and will include only your IES tuition and the NU study abroad fee. Refer to your program materials for the most current cost information.

If you receive financial aid and/or loans, these funds will continue to apply directly to your CAESAR account.

If you use the Northwestern 9PAY plan, you may continue to use 9PAY for your NU-billed study abroad expenses, but you should request a study abroad 9PAY estimate to have your plan set up appropriately.

IES Invoice

You will receive a separate invoice from IES for your housing and insurance abroad. It is your responsibility to pay IES directly by their deadline.

  • IES Deposit: If you paid a confirmation deposit, it will be credited to your IES invoice.
  • IES Scholarships: If you were awarded an IES scholarship, it will appear on your IES invoice, not on your Northwestern account.

Additional fees may apply for certain courses, housing add-ons, field trips, or other optional items related to your program. If applicable, you are responsible for paying any supplemental fees directly to IES.

Program Website