International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987


Culture Corner

ISA Madrid Office

The ISA Madrid office is is conveniently located in the absolute center of Madrid, just yards away from the Plaza del Sol. Several métro lines converge here which allows students easy access to The ISA Madrid office from their respective universities. The office serves as a central meeting place for ISA students, the "home base" of ISA Madrid, and is the location for regular meetings.

The ISA Madrid office houses a classroom/meeting room, resident director offices, a bathroom, entryway, computer/Internet terminals and wireless capabilities for those who wish to bring their laptop. During normal office hours, students may visit to access the free computer/Internet facilities, receive tutoring, utilize academic and other resources, check the ISA bulletin board for upcoming group, community, and cultural events, or simply visit with the ISA staff.

View the ISA Madrid office on a map.

The Universities

Universidad Antonio de Nebrija

The Universidad Antonio de Nebrija is a private and independent university which takes its name from the 15th century humanist who published the first grammar of the Spanish language. The University is fully accredited and recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia). In keeping with the effort to expand Spanish language and culture and to promote understanding between people of many nations, the University welcomes students from all over the world to experience modern Spain in a traditional university setting. The University aspires to maintain the highest quality of scientific investigation and academic instruction. It is a small university, with an annual enrollment of approximately 3,000 Spanish students and 500 international students. The student to teacher ratio is roughly 10:1.

The University is divided into two campuses: Dehesa de la Villa and Berzosa. ISA students may have classes at either campus. The Dehesa de la Villa campus is conveniently located near the Moncloa campus of the Complutense University of Madrid in Northwest Madrid. The Berzosa campus is located further north of these campuses. Both are well-communicated by metro and bus to the rest of the city. The Dehesa de la Villa campus is home to international students taking classes at the Hispanic Studies Center and also to Spanish students taking classes in Industrial Engineering and Computer Science Engineering. All of these students, international and Spanish alike, share the same academic building and have access to the same library, computer lab, cafeteria, and general university services. The Berzosa campus enroll students with a more advanced level of Spanish who want to immerse themselves in an environment with Spanish students who are taking courses pertinent to their university careers and majors. Students on the Berzosa campus have the option of various campus life activities in the following areas: tapas tastings, Flamenco shows, Theatre outings, conferences, Flamenco classes, studio theatre, creative literature, and professional development.

A benefit of studying at the Antonio de Nebrija University is that students have the option of taking courses in both programs (Language & Culture, and Studies with Spaniards), and thus at both campuses. Please see the Academic Programs tab to learn more about the academic offerings through ISA at the Antonio de Nebrija University.

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) is an innovative public research university that is focused on improving society through the highest quality teaching and research. Founded in 1989 and named for Charles III of Spain, the University has been ranked as a top 50 university under 50 years old by QS World University Rankings. The University is fully accredited and recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia). Current enrollment for UC3M is over 18,000 students. The University has a strong international focus, as 37% of graduates have participated in European international mobility programs and nearly 20% of all students are international.

UC3M consists of three schools: School of Social Sciences and Law, School of Humanities, Documentation and Communication and Higher Technical School. UC3M offers 29 Bachelor's programs, 63 Master's programs and 19 doctoral programs. UC3M has three campuses: Getafe, Leganés and Colmenarejo. ISA students will take courses at the Getafe campus of Carlos III, which is located about 30 minutes south of the center of Madrid, where the ISA office is located. The campus includes two libraries, sports facilities, recording studios and auditoriums. Students are also able to participate in clubs such as various international student associations and the Buddy Program.

View the universities on a map.

ISA Housing

In Madrid, students will have a choice between living with a host family, in apartments or in residencias.

In Madrid, most students, unless otherwise requested, live with home stays.  Although homes vary, all will provide three meals a day, laundry services at least once a week, a comfortable bed, clean surroundings, and a good light for studying.  Spaniards generally live in smaller apartments or pisos instead of houses as Americans do.  These apartments are compact but comfortable.  Spanish homes do not have the same amount of space that we are accustomed to.  You will not find large walk in closets or large bedrooms.

Students are placed in furnished, centrally located apartments. All apartments are either within walking distance or conveniently located to public transit routes relative to the university. Residents are responsible for their own laundry service. The apartments may not have a washing machine on the premises. Residents are responsible for providing their own food and meals.

Basically a cross between a small dorm and a boarding house, residencias are assigned on a first-come/first-serve basis, and availability is limited. Students are placed in furnished, centrally-located residences near the ISA Madrid Office around Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. Meals and laundry service are not included, but students will have shared access to a kitchen and to a washing machine access. 

For more information about housing, please visit the "Housing" section of the Madrid page.